The capital of Transylvania, Cluj Napoca is a charming city, attracting a lot of visitors every day. Served by an international airport and railway station, the city is easily reached from other destinations in Romania , as well as from abroad.
While you won’t be breaking the bank here – after all, it is a students’ city and cheap food, as well as affordable accommodation is plentiful – , it is always nice to find great free things to do in Cluj Napoca. Below is a list of my favorite ones.
Check out The Old City and what is left of the walls
Unfortunately not much is preserved of the Old City. But what’s left is lovely and worth your time. The best preserved part of the walls is on Potaissa Street. Come here on a week day, in the morning, and you’ll have the street for yourself.
See the view from Cetatuia (Fortress Hill)
You shouldn’t visit Cluj Napoca without walking up to the Cross and checking out the view towards the city. Come during the day but don’t avoid it at night, either. Perfect place for photographers, as well. I would go as far and say to pack a sandwich and have a mini picnic here.
Walk in Central Park
From Cetatuia , it is easy to just make your way to Central Park. It is large and you can spend a lot of time here. There’s a lake where you can take snaps of the local inhabitants – ducks and swans, a place where you can work out (yes , they have stair steppers!) and of course, the enormous area where you can walk or sit on a bench.
Also by the lake there’s the Casino center, which has been recently renovated and houses various open exhibitions.
Stroll in the Museum Square
It is one of the most picturesque areas in Cluj Napoca. Surely, it is known for a place where you can sit down to heave a drink or nibble on something, but it is also worth your time to walk here and take some photos.
See Union Square and the Roman ruins
Piata Unirii (Union Square) is home to three interesting landmarks, all of which can be visited for free. St. Michael Church dominates the view and is one of the finest examples of Renaissance. While the panorama from the tower is not a free thing to experience, the church can be visited for free.
On the right hand side of the church, right in the square, you can find the statue of Matthias Corvinus, the king of Hungary and Croatia.
Walk to the glass covered area and there are the Roman ruins of Napoca. They spread underneath the modern city.
Relax and photograph the fountain at Avram Iancu Square
Further down the road from Union Square, a rather odd looking statue greets you: Avram Iancu, standing in front of the Orthodox Cathedral. The colorful dancing fountain is also here. Spend some time taking photos and maybe check out the interior of the church as well.
Visit the Tailors’ Tower
Make your way past the university and reach the Tailors’ Tower. A nice sight from outside, but inside you can find exhibitions which can be visited for free. The tower opens at 10 am (closes at 8 pm on weekdays and 6 pm over the weekend).
Walk on Eroilor (Heroes) Boulevard
Connecting Avram Iancu Square to Union Square and spanning all the way to the Students’ Cultural House, the boulevard offers you a chance to soak up the city’s feeling. Cafes and stores dot it, so you may feel tempted to spend some money.
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