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Cluj-Napoca as capital of historical region Transylvania, is one of the most visited cities in Romania. It is very pleasant, and it is certainly a great experience for those who want to see urban Transylvanian life at its best. Along with fine dining, excellent cultural activities, a wonderful historical legacy and a great atmosphere.
The official language is Romanian, a Romance language. Most educated people born after about 1970 will speak reasonably good English and will likely be proficient in one or more second Romance languages.
Getting to Cluj-Napoca is easy due to its position and its status as a major Romanian city.
As with many other Romanian cities, the train is the easiest way to reach Cluj from Bucharest. There are train connections to most Romanian cities, including fast InterCity connections to Oradea, Arad, Timisoara, Brasov, Sighisoara, Ploiesti and Bucharest. Many trains to Budapest leave early in the morning. The average trip from Cluj to Bucharest or Budapest is around 8 hours. When planning a train trip in Romania, allow 2 hours for each hundred kilometres of journey.
The International Airport of Cluj-Napoca has flights to Bucharest, Munich, London/Luton, Vienna, Milano/Bergamo, Bologna, Bari, Rome, Venice/Treviso, Paris/Beauvais, Brussels/Charleroi, Eindhoven, Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Geneva, Basel, Malmo, Nuremberg, Cologne/Bonn, Dortmund and Tel Aviv. Airlines are Wizzair, TAROM, Lufthansa and Vueling.
WizzAir, the Polish-Hungarian budget airline, started flying to Cluj-Napoca in October 2007.
Cluj-Napoca has good road connections. European road E60 links it to Bucharest and Brasov to the south, Oradea and Budapest to the west, through Bors customs. E81 leads to Zalau and Satu Mare to the north, Brasov and Bucharest to the south. E58 links Cluj-Napoca to Dej, Bistrita, Baia Mare and Vatra Dornei.
Cluj-Napoca can be reached by bus from Bucharest, major cities in Romania, most cities in Transylvania, and a number of major cities in Europe. Search for a route online.
OrangeWays has modern but "low cost" style buses that circulate between Budapest and Cluj-Napoca. You can catch a bus to Cluj-Napoca from the Nepliget bus station in Budapest. Online booking available.
Royal GTS offers daily comfortable afternoon bus from Budapest Nepliget bus station stopping in Cluj before Billa supermarket in Mănăștur. This coach doesn't start in Cluj so phone reservation is necessary for the way back.
Eurobusways offers door to door transfers from any address in Budapest or Vienna airport, directly to address in Cluj Napoca, WiFi, english speaking drivers.
By public transport
Public transport in the city is possible by means of 25 bus lines, 7 trolleybus lines, and 3 tram lines, all operated by the RATUC company (Regia Autonomă de Transport Urban de Călători). Complete routes can be found on the company's website.
Taxis are relatively more expensive than in other parts of Romania, but still cheap by European levels, and very convenient. All the respectable companies charge the same price.
Cars can be rented from the numerous operators throughout the city. Many small tourism agencies also act as intermediaries for renting cars, and you might be able to get better rates there. You can find such agencies scattered throughout the city centre.
Rent a bike
A good idea to get around the city is by bike. There are many opportunities to rent a bike in cost-free bike-sharing system from Down Town Rent a Bike, I’Velo or StudentObike, Other rent offices are at Raiffeisen Bank agencies.
What to see
You should see Matthias Corvinus' mounted statue and the old St. Michael's Church in the unnion Square -- right in the middle of the city. This Gothic architecture piece is one of the most valuable in Transylvania.
The Museum Square, a 2 minute walk from the unnion Square, is home to the Franciscan Monastery (a combination of baroque and gothic architecture dating back to the 14th Century), the Transylvanian History Museum and the old Obelisk of the City, offered to the City as acknowledgement of its statute by the Austrian Emperor Franz Ferdinand in the 19th Century.
The Botanical Garden spreads over 14 hectares and contains among others a small Japanese garden, greenhouses for ecuatorial and tropical plants, a small water course through its middle, and a tower which can be climbed to get a better view of the garden arrangements.
The Central Park is a welcome break from the rush of the city. The middle of the park hosts a small lake and the Chios Casino, from the terrace of which you can rent rowboats and hydrobicycles to circle the small island in the centre of the lake.
Cluj dining is some of the best in Romania. Ranging from traditional Romanian, Hungarian and Transylvanian to Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Middle Eastern, American and International Cuisine, the city can offer great dining for all tastes.