Visit Cluj-Napoca like a local – a 24 hour guide

A lesser known Romanian city (and cheap Wizz air destination)  is student paradise Cluj-Napoca. Also located in Transylvania, Cluj, as the locals call it, feels like medieval town meets modern times. I was so fortunate to have a few local friends as my guide to give me a speed tour through their city. They showed me the crème de la crème of the of this place, the very best and hidden Cluj


Romance at fortress hill

Who says you have to go everywhere to see the entire city? The best way to get your morning exercise is to climb up the fortress hill, or Cetăţuia to get a good view over everything. People say that a lot of love stories began at the fortress hill, don’t be surprised to see some  couples as you go along. Also great at night time.

Have lunch in the university cafeteria

If  you really want to eat amongst locals, eat at the university cafeteria. The food is incredibly cheap and you get to share your table with students and other people who like to join in. Prepare to have a big lunch, as it is typically Romanian to have a good meal to get through your day. Who knew you could make friends and feed yourself for such a tiny bit of money?

Photo credit

Visit Central Park

Who needs New York if you have Cluj. Parcul Central or Central Park is not only quite big, it’s also extremely photogenic. One thing I found in every park in Romania were chess tables, where elderly people like to meet up and play. Also, Romanian parks are filled with benches. Extremely handy when you’re tired from all the walking (and eating). Sit down on any bench and watch the park for a while. Most Romanian parks are popular and everyday life is sometimes most visible there.

1 meter of hamburger @ Vikings, Cluj.

Een foto die is geplaatst door Rose (@thebravedame) op

Have dinner at Vikings

Another way to eat bucket loads of food. After a total of five weeks in Romania, Casa Vikingilor even surprised me. The portions are absolutely huge, so beware of what you get. Finishing your plate is a well known value in Romania, so you’ll have to explain yourself to a waiter once in a while. Mostly they will understand. The food is pretty cheap so it’s great if you’re on a budget. Tip: Get 1 meter of hamburger meat to share with a friend. The meat is traditionally Romanian, so go as local as you can.


Have a drink in one of the many bars

Strada Piezișă is the place to go for beer, food and cocktails. The street is famous for its many bars, restaurants and night shops. If you want to engage in some local partying, try and watch a soccer match at a small café. We watched the qualification match with some friends and people kept joining in. Later, drunk and dressed in Romanian flags, we climbed the fortress hill to watch the city sleep.

Get inpired

You can always choose to stay in Cluj longer than 24 hours, which I didn’t and still regret. A great way of getting some travel inspiration is by checking out  Facebook pages dedicated to this beautiful city and country. I love Cluj shares many, many photos and they will all tickle your wanderlust for sure. Other great pages are Transylvania Trip and Romania Redescoperita, which is more about Romania in general.  Have fun!


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  • Reply
    January 19, 2015 at 09:33

    Cimitirul Central and the Central Park are 2 different places in Cluj Napoca. 🙂

  • Reply
    January 19, 2015 at 09:33

    Great post, very happy to see people enjoying my home town! Only thing I have to say about the post is that the Central Park is ‘Parcul Central’. Cimitirul Central is the Central Cemetery.

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      January 19, 2015 at 13:28

      Thanks, Dragos and Ana! I changed it. My Romanian is still way too basic. Thanks for helping out! You guys are awesome! 🙂

      Thanks for the website, Spi-oana! I will check it out for sure!

  • Reply
    Un blogger de călătorii din Olanda: “cine are nevoie de New York, când ai Clujul?!” | Cat costa Clujul
    January 19, 2015 at 10:39

    […] “Un oraş mai puţin cunoscut din România (o destinaţie ieftină cu Wizz Air) este paradisul studenţesc Cluj-Napoca. Situat în Transilvania, Cluj, aşa cum îi spun localnicii, dă impresia unui oraş medieval care a întâlnit timpurile noi”, îşi începe postarea despre Cluj, blogger-ul de călătorii prin Europa, originar din Olanda – The Brave Dame. […]

  • Reply
    January 19, 2015 at 10:50

    And if you want to feel the real life of the city 😉

  • Reply
    Zbona Ioan
    January 20, 2015 at 13:35

    Conceptul ca atare e ok!, ambianta lasa de dorit, de la calitatea aerului (la propriu), pana la calitatea bucatelor gatite instant, in intervalele orare in care au clientela! Eu aleg Parcul Central! No offense!

  • Reply
    January 21, 2015 at 18:37

    1 meter of Hamburger? Wow, that sounds like something you can share with 5 people 😀

  • Reply
    January 21, 2015 at 20:58

    Mmm! Definitely want to try out dinner at Vikings!

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      January 21, 2015 at 21:14

      Make sure you get the fries with the cheese on top, Andrea 🙂

  • Reply
    Casey O'Connell
    January 23, 2015 at 10:51

    What a neat little city!!! The 1 meter of hamburger looks like a unique find!! I’d also love to have a stroll in the park and chow down in university campus… cool ideas!

  • Reply
    January 23, 2015 at 11:41

    There are a lot of great things in Cluj. Tons of them, other exemples as mirror street, or the building with one balcony, the wok’n’pasta place or the Souper restaurant. Cluj Greeters can show you all of them, and all the nice places to party 🙂

    We have the Jazz in the Park festival, that makes the central park more awsome. Visit Cluj this year, it’s gonna be awsome 😀

  • Reply
    January 23, 2015 at 13:56

    OMG 1 meter of hamburger – we are so there! We really can’t wait to visit Romania and it seems we will certainly have to add CluJ-Napoca to our travel list.
    Thanks for sharing

  • Reply
    Christine | The Traveloguer
    January 23, 2015 at 14:24

    This was really interesting. The Central Park looks gorgeous. That metre of hamburger meat is pretty insane, but it looks good! 🙂

  • Reply
    January 23, 2015 at 23:04

    I have to be honest with you and amit that I didn´t know anything about Cluj (even though I am a neighbor and my hometown is on Danube river looking over Romania). It looks lovely though and would love to visit one day

  • Reply
    Roaming Renegades
    January 24, 2015 at 10:43

    Great guide, never heard of the city but Romania is on the list of countries we really want to visit, and it looks amazing!

  • Reply
    January 24, 2015 at 17:53

    I would love to try some of that one metre hamburger at Vikings! 🙂 🙂

  • Reply
    Stephen & Jess
    January 25, 2015 at 03:08

    Didn’t know about these places but the photographs of them certainly makes me want to visit them!

  • Reply
    January 25, 2015 at 06:08

    And to think I’d never even heard of this place! Cluj definitely looks like it’s worth a visit, but I do believe a couple of days would suffice! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Andreja Jernejčič
    January 25, 2015 at 21:01

    I was thinking of visiting Cluj Napoca this year but I just wasn´t so sure, I think this city is not well known among travelers. But now I am pretty sure to visit this city this year. Thank you for great post and some amazing photographies as well!

  • Reply
    MAD Travel Diaries
    January 25, 2015 at 22:15

    I’ll go just for the fries and cheese! Love places like these, a true peek into authentic local life. Thanks for sharing, I think 24hrs may be too short, you’ll need that just to finish the hamburger, lol.

  • Reply
    January 27, 2015 at 12:45

    Ah I so want to go to Cluj-Napoca! I first heard about it last year (after I’d been to Romania… doh!) and I instantly wanted to go. I can’t wait to explore it – hopefully soon 🙂

  • Reply
    February 11, 2015 at 15:55

    Virtual tur of central park

  • Reply
    February 12, 2015 at 06:08

    Cluj-Napoca… The first time I heard about this city is when I was in a music summer camp when I was in high school. There were a couple of Romanian students who attended the camp, and they came from Cluj-Napoca. Other than that, I knew nothing about this city. Thanks for sharing some info on this Romanian city.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2017 at 11:35

    More inspiration here:

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