Olivia's travel guide to Cluj-Napoca

Olivia's travel guide to Cluj-Napoca

illustriousbyolivia travel blog

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Travel plans look pretty amazing for the near future (I am going to visit 7 countries in 1 month with my partner <3 ) but for now, we're headed to Cluj-Napoca, the heart of Transylvania, which is now a kind of wintery destination, as December can get very cold here. I am going to tell you all the amazing things to do, and give you tips for your trip to Cluj.

Cluj is an international student city, a hub for startups, but also an amazing place for nightlife and good food. We are going to explore the city, and also spend one day in Maramures (I will tell you all about what we're doing there in the next post, it's a suprise for now!)

Cluj is a city in the northern part of Romania, and it is also called the "heart of Transylvania", because of its location. It also some bars that have left people in awe, such as the Enigma Cafe, the first kinetic steampunk pub ever opened with a worldwide-unique design or cafes such as Joben Bistro, which are so Mad Max like. It is alltogether a chilled city, but can also be a bit gothic.

In our first day there, we did some coffee searching, and then went to explore. We went to the Christmas Market, went up the Fortress Hill, took some photos and then continued our day with amazing traditional Romanian food.
We went to Roata, and have two amazing soups (goulash soup and beef with vegetable), with homemade bread, and a traditional 60% alcohol drink (tuica), and afinata. We spent the rest of the evening at the Christmas Market, listening to carols, and having mulled wine.

Where to stay:

I cannot say Cluj is one of my favorites for a good price versus quality accomodation. Prices per night vary from 20£  to 100£ per night for a double room. If you want to stay in a very chic location, try Cluj Apartments. It's a selection of refurbished old factories or villas with a unique touch. Or try Airbnb, which can cater to all tastes. :) We stayed first in an Airbnb in the center, but it was quite cold, and then at Vila Anda found on Booking. You can use this code to get 10% off your stay booked on Booking.com. So I suggest maybe booking in advance to get a good deal for a better stay.


What to see:

The Church Tower
The Old Town
The Botanical Gardens
Fortress Hill
Kogalniceanu Street
Andrei Saguna Street
You can go up the Church Tower right in the centre of the town and have an amazing view of the city. It was quite gloomy when we arrived, so we ended up not going, but maybe in the next days we'll check it out.

Fortress Hill was quite amazing, went up there and got some pretty amazing shots, which you will see below! :)

Kogalniceanu street and Andrei Saguna streets are one of my favorites in Cluj, pretty little cobbled streets, where everything is so quiet. Good for a romantic stroll.

Where to shop:

There are loads of second hands where you can find designer pieces, and lots of outlets. There are about 10 just in the city center alone.

You can try one of the famous ones, Humana Second Hand, here.

You can find more on Napoca street, Universitatii Street,or Memorandumului. Also, check out Bulevardul Eroilor for more outlets and Piata Mihai Viteazul for three other shops.

Have fun!



Where to eat/drink:

Restaurant Roata: we opted for traditional Romanian soups, I recommend the goulash one.
Casa Maramureseana: amazing for traditional food, again, very highly rated.
Maimuta Plangatoare: funny name, and kind of a fusion cuisine, try it out if you want a mix of different foods.
Rhedey Cafe: we had an amazing breakfast there, they do all sorts of omlettes. And coffee is really good there!
L'Alchemiste: amaaazing place for Bailey's coffee!
Che Guevara pub: cool decor, awesome cocktails, and very very cheap.

Tip: everything is really cheap, 1 £ for a coffee, or less than that for a tasty pastry, or 5£ for breakfast in a very nice place. So go for it! :)


See his video on what we did while in Cluj here.


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