The unofficial capital of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca is a place significantly less grim than its ominous administrative status may imply. Named European Youth Capital in 2015, the city is home to an estimated 100,000 students (who make up about a fifth of the population) – a statistic that partly explains Cluj's current cultural Renaissance and well-deserved reputation of a party town.

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Central Park

Refreshingly shaded in the summer and still well-visited during the colder winter months, Cluj-Napoca's Central Park is a lively social hub that hosts concerts, contains free-to-use sporting machines, and even offers boats for hire (to be put to use on the park's own lake).

Strada Cardinal Hossu Iuliu, Cluj-Napoca
Botanical Garden

The green oasis of tranquillity that is Alexandru Borza Botanical Garden lies just outside Cluj's Old Town. Inside, a multitude of flora species are on display, from tropical flowers to Nordic mosses sprawling over rock arrangements. There is an on-site museum of plant kingdom curiosities and even a compact Japanese Garden.

Strada Republicii 42, Cluj-Napoca

Out of the tourist way yet still very central, Roata is an excellent choice for those looking to dine on traditional Romanian specialties (those are normally rather meat-heavy, but non-meat eaters will also find a lot to chose from). To sample multiple dishes at once, try the full platter.

6 Alexandru Ciurea, Cluj-Napoca
Bricks - Meating Point

This riverside restaurant offers a refreshingly varied selection of international dishes, ranging from burgers to burritos to even sushi and other Asian specialties. Fit for a (great value) lunch, low-key dinner or even a coffee break just outside the Old Town.

2 Horea, Cluj-Napoca
Central Market

For an authentic Transylvanian marketplace experience, try Cluj-Napoca's Central Market, where dozens of vendors come together daily to offer some of the freshest, locally-grown produce to city residents. Communication may be a challenge, but navigating the kaleidoscope of stalls can be a joy nonetheless.

Piata Mihai Viteazul, Cluj-Napoca
Vivo Mall

Just outside Cluj's town center lies the Vivo mall, whose entrance is marked by two towers modeled after the old Romanian architectural tradition. The shopping center contains a whole range of local and international brand stores and boutiques, as well as entertainment venues and a large supermarket.

492-500 Avram Iancu, Cluj-Napoca

Cluj International Airport

Located only 9km away from the city center, Cluj International Airport primarily serves destinations across Europe. There is a public bus service (buses 8 & 5) that runs between the airport and central Cluj (tickets may be purchased at "Bilete" booths prior to boarding, these are often found at bus stops), but taxis and rental cars are also readily available for hire.

149-151 Strada Traian Vuia, Cluj-Napoca

Public Transport

Most attractions within the city center are easy to reach on foot. For longer distance travel, make use of the excellent public transportation system comprised of buses, trolleybuses and trams. Tickets must be purchased at special kiosks prior to boarding; some stops are equipped with ticket vending machines.