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Things to do in Cluj-Napoca

Our most recommended things to do in Cluj-Napoca

Cluj-Napoca: Maramures Mocanita Train Ride with Guided Tour

1. Cluj-Napoca: Maramures Mocanita Train Ride with Guided Tour

Today we will guide you through an unforgettable experience on Europe’s last historic forest railway to Viseu de Sus, close to the Ukrainian border. Ever since ancient times, Maramures has been mainly known due to its thriving wood-based industry for the thriving civilization of wood. The forest and their resources have represented the main way to make a living for the local people. Elders still maintain the habit of saying a prayer before cutting a tree. Also, many religious holidays in these places are directly related to forest and trees. Frequent attacks of enemies have forced the locals to adapt to a particular lifestyle: each time they were attacked by enemies, they had to retreat into the mountains and virtually abandon their homes and villages. After the invaders' withdrawal, people started rebuilding the villages. Everything was made of wood: houses, churches, gates, even cemeteries. Many of these treasures of architectural heritage are still preserved today. Almost every household is built out of wood, has a wooden gate and keeps a room of dowry. A lot of traditions have been preserved here, despite the economic and industrial development of the last two centuries. One of the most interesting between tradition and technology is represented by the Mocăniţa of the Vaser Valley. Built-in the 1920s, after the first World War the forest railway was fit into the mountain rail system that was built around the country at that time. In the late 80s, in Romania, there was about 6.000 km of narrow railway. After 1990, most of these railways were destroyed, with few exceptions. One of these exceptions is the forest track from the Vaser Valley. The train hasn’t stopped working, being used in logging in northern Maramures. Since the year 2000, with help from the Swiss foundation Hilfe für die Wasserthalbahn, trains have been also used to transport tourists. This railway is unique in Europe because of its steam locomotives, which drive small wagons into remote areas, completely isolated from any modern life. Get ready for a unique adventure in a landscape of rare beauty, where time seems to have stood still. In the evening we will return to Cluj.

Transylvania: Dracula's Castle and Birthplace Tour

2. Transylvania: Dracula's Castle and Birthplace Tour

Drive across Transylvania towards the city of Sighisoara. Here, admire the beautiful medieval cityscape in Romania. Visit the clock tower, giving you an insight in the city's history with an impressive view of the citadel, the former defensive towers and walls of the city. Admire the birthplace of the Walachian leader Vlad Dracul, who would later become known as Count Dracula. Discover his house of birth, and sample a shot of Romanian schnapps. In the afternoon, drive to Bran Castle, an impressive fortification and residence of the Romanian family. The castle is also known as Dracula's Castle. In the late afternoon, go back to Cluj-Napoca.

Cluj-Napoca: 2.5-Hour Guided Walking Tour

3. Cluj-Napoca: 2.5-Hour Guided Walking Tour

Enjoy a lengthy 2.5-hour walking tour through the fascinating city of Cluj-Napoca, know as Cluj for short. Visit the birth house of Matthias Corvinus, Hungary's most renowned 15th-century king, and learn fascinating stories about his life, as well as the importance of wine in the region. Continue the tour to the large Union Square to admire the classic Gothic style of the 14th-century St. Michael's Church, and the large equestrian statue of Corvinus that rests in front of it. Continue walking until you arrive at the "Street of the Intellectuals," famous for its many educational institutions, including the Babes-Bolyai University. As you walk, learn from your knowledgeable guide about the fate of the witches living in Cluj in the Middle Ages, and the formation of the Guilds. Walk past the remains of the city's defensive walls and arrive at a newer part of the old city, named the Avram Iancu Square. Admire the Orthodox Cathedral that rests here, built in the 1930s, as well as the National Theater, built in 1906 by a team of Viennese architects.

From Cluj: Day Trip to Corvin Castle and Alba Carolina

4. From Cluj: Day Trip to Corvin Castle and Alba Carolina

First, visit Corvin Castle, the spectacular Gothic-style castle where Dracula is said to be imprisoned, referred to by many as "one of the seven wonders of Romania". Learn about the historical importance of this medieval castle as you journey through its 3 main areas: the Knight's Hall, which was used for feasts, the Diet Hall, which was used for ceremonies, and the circular stairway. Marvel at these beautifully decorated marble halls and listen to tales and legends of Dracula and Vlad the Impaler. Next, head to Alba Carolina Fortress, the largest medieval citadel of its kind in Romania. Soak up the medieval atmosphere of this Vauban fortress and learn about its history from your English-speaking guide. After your tour of the fortress, get dropped off back at your hotel in Cluj-Napoca.

From Cluj-Napoca: 2-Day Bucovina & Painted Monasteries Tour

5. From Cluj-Napoca: 2-Day Bucovina & Painted Monasteries Tour

To begin this two-day tour, you will be picked up from your hotel in Cluj-Napoca by your guide and start the journey to Bukovina. On your way to Bukovina, you will make a quick stop in Bistrita, the northernmost fortified Transylvanian town. In a short walking tour through the town, you will enjoy the medieval legends and explore its narrow streets. Bukovina is especially famous for its painted monasteries, and over these two days, you will visit the most representative of all seven. During the second part of the day, you will have the chance to visit the most famous painted monastery in the world, Voronet Monastery. The frescoes of the monastery are dominated by intense shades of blue, and the southern wall depicts the best-preserved ‘Last Judgement’ fresco in Romania. The monastery was built in 1488 by Prince Stephen the Great in order to commemorate one of his victories against the Ottoman Empire. Enjoy a traditional dinner with a folkloric dance show at a nearby restaurant then stay overnight in Gura Humorului. You will start the day with a short drive to Humor Monastery, a small cross-shaped church built in 1530, dedicated to the Dormition of Virgin. Red hues dominate the exterior frescoes showing scenes from the lives of saints, as well as significant moments from the locals’ lives, such as the wars with the Turks. Moldovita Monastery is the next stop on your itinerary. The highlight of the day is Transrarau Highway. With a total length of 28 kilometers (17 miles), it is known as the Treasury Road. You will be amazed by its curves and the scenery. It goes up to 1400 meters in altitude, and from there you will have a hike through the Rarau Mountains. You will have the chance to see the rock formations that emerged from the ground millions of years ago in order to give birth to these mountains. After you have filled your lungs with fresh air it is time for lunch at a fish farm.

From Cluj: Turda Salt Mine, Gorge, and Remetea Full-Day Trip

6. From Cluj: Turda Salt Mine, Gorge, and Remetea Full-Day Trip

Embark on an excursion from Cluj to visit three of Transylvania's notable sites. See an underground theme park that's nestled inside the Turda Salt Mine, go for a hike through the dramatic Turda Gorge, and encounter traditional rural life in a preserved Rimetea village. Start your experience with pickup and a short drive to the Turda Salt Mine. Take a guided tour and spend some time in its unique underground theme park. Try out the ferris wheel, play a round of minigolf, or ride a boat on its underground lake. Hop back in the vehicle and head for the Turda Gorge. Marvel at the 3-kilometer long canyon, with massive walls sculpted in weathered limestone. Hike through high cliffs with steep ridges, rock towers, caves, and lots of varieties of flora and fauna. Conclude your experience with a visit to Rimetea village. Enjoy strolling amongst traditional white houses with green windows. Get a feel for Transylvanian rural life in a preserved and beautiful location.

From Cluj-Napoca: Turda Salt Mines and Rimetea Day Trip

7. From Cluj-Napoca: Turda Salt Mines and Rimetea Day Trip

Depart from Cluj-Napoca and head to Turda, once the most important economic center of the region where salt, also known as “white gold,” has been extracted since the Roman age. Arrive for a guided tour at the Salina Turda salt mine and discover the history of salt mining in the town dating from the 17th century. Explore site, including the Terezia mine, Rudolf hall, and the Franz Josef Gallery.  Afterwards, spend the afternoon in the Transylvanian western mountains in the village of Rimetea. The chalk-white houses and the harmonious structure of the village have earned it several distinctions. Considered to be one of the most beautiful village in Transylvania, it received the Europa Nostra Award for its architectural preservation.  Next up, take a 1-hour hike to the ruins of the Coltesti Fortress for an impressive view of the valley below. In the evening, head back to Cluj-Napoca where you’ll be dropped off at the starting point of your tour.

From Cluj: Winter Walking Trip on the Great Mountain

8. From Cluj: Winter Walking Trip on the Great Mountain

Head for Carpathia's Great Mountain on a seasonal hiking trip from Cluj. Admire the scenic snow-covered landscape, learn about the area from your guide, and enjoy hot drinks as you go. Put on a pair of special snowshoes which allow you to walk on top of the snow, rather than sinking down into it, assisted by complementary hiking poles. Get ready to plot a path with your guide through the spectacular mountain scenery. Enjoy a 5.5-hour experience involving a walk over the Great Mountain. Hike through deep forests and marvel at the picturesque views as you go. Learn about native plants and animals, geology, and local culture from your knowledgeable guide. Take advantage of pauses in your guided hike to admire the views. Sip on free hot drinks as you make the most of your wintery Carpathian adventure.

Sighișoara and Biertan: UNESCO in Transylvania

9. Sighișoara and Biertan: UNESCO in Transylvania

Drive through the Transylvanian highlands towards Sighișoara. Visit the medieval town center of Sighișoara, which is very well preserved and is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk through the citadel and visit among others the emblem of the town, the Clock Tower, the Church on the Hill, the Citadel, the fortified walls and towers of the city and also the birthplace of the Wallachian leader Vlad Dracul, who later became known as Count Dracula in Gothic literature and film. In the afternoon, drive to the Biertan, a small village in a secluded Transylvanian valley. Visit the imposing fortified church in Biertan (also belonging to the UNESCO World Heritage Site). Then, return to Cluj-Napoca.

From Cluj: Diverse Transylvania – Day Trip to Sighisoara

10. From Cluj: Diverse Transylvania – Day Trip to Sighisoara

Your tour will start in the morning when you will be picked up from your hotel and taken on a 2-hour road trip to Medias. Take a short walking tour of the city and get a glimpse of the Citadel of Light and of the beautiful medieval buildings, most of which were built in the 15th century. You will then head to Biertan in order to visit the Biertan fortified church, a monument included in the UNESCO patrimony as part of Transylvania’s villages with fortified churches. The church is surrounded by thick medieval walls which were built in the 15th century, and the front door is equipped with 19 locks and bolts. Your next stop will be in Sighisoara. The medieval Sighisoara Citadel is the only inhabited citadel in Europe and it is surrounded by 9 towers, the Clock Tower being the most important of all. The Clock Tower was destroyed by a fire, but it was rebuilt in the 16th century, and it is now home to a history museum that includes a torture chamber. The Sighisoara Citadel was built in the 12th century, and it had a significant role throughout Transylvania’s history, Sighisoara being one of its 7 independent cities. In Sighisoara, you will also visit the Hill Church, a holy site that you can reach by climbing 175 wooden steps, as well as several other buildings such as the Stag House and a Venetian House. If Transylvania were to be described in one word, the word diverse would be chosen. This historical land was home to numerous isolated villages, and you will find traces of its Romanian, Hungarian, Gypsy and German communities, all living in harmony for hundreds of years. Gypsies first settled in Romania more than 800 years ago, after being forced away from their lands by the Mongol invasion. Today, you will visit an isolated community of Gypsies who earn their living through various crafts such as copper smithing. Because they are a slightly isolated community, the access is permitted only to those accompanied by someone they trust. On your way back to Cluj, you will take a different route in order to explore some of the stunning landscape of Transylvania. You will be back in Cluj by night, the duration of the trip being affected by traffic.

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What people are saying about Cluj-Napoca

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 105 reviews

Amazing experience. A great way to see more of Transylvania and learn about the history. It is really diverse and steeped in history. This is a full day trip and you will see a few different areas that as a tourist, you would not be able to see on your own. We had Florin as our guide. He was excellent. He was very passionate about the history of Transylvania and had a vast amount of knowledge. He was really easy to get along with and talk to. Overall a 10/10 experience and a must see if you want to get a feel of Transylvania and learn about different cultures.

We had an excellent day trip visiting Medias, Biertan and Sighisoara. Our guide, Andrei, was very helpful and informative and made our trip very interesting. We learnt about the history of Transylvania and Andrei was able to answer any questions that we had. Cluj Napoca is a beautiful place to visit but it is well worth taking a day trip out of the city because you get to experience the beauty of Transylvania and it's Saxon villages.

Very nice day ! Great hike in the canyon then climb to see the canyon from above. Thanks to Tudor for this magnificent view! Everything was perfect! Thank you Tudor for your kindness and this unforgettable day!

A really nice hike with the best guide. Tudor was very friendly and helpful and knew a lot about the place.I would 100% recommend it.

Very nice guide, a lot of knowledge. Highly recommended.