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Lonely Planet designated Transylvania the #1 region in the world as a 2016 destination.  In the heart of the region, the city of Cluj-Napoca sends a warm message to anyone who wants to listen: Welcome!

A little-known tourist destination, the selfie-sticks have yet to become a thing here. With its unspoiled beauty, the city offers an authentic Romanian experience. It breaks the stereotypes of the ex-communist country filled with gypsies and poverty.  The city stands as an emblem for the young, reborn country that survived and recovered from its traumatic past.  With a young and educated average population, Cluj keeps its’s vitality intact. And, even more, it passes it on.

Both Geography and History are on the it’s side.

Cluj is located at the same distance between  three different European capitals: Bucharest, Budapest and Belgrade.  It holds a central position in the Transylvania region, and its picturesque surrounding preserved a reach flora and fauna. Regardless of the season, outdoor entertainment is always available.


With a great position on the European map, Cluj has been desired by many. Civilisations after civilisations populated it’s territory, First mentioned two millenniums ago as  Dacian settlements, it enjoyed a time of privilege even after the Romans arrived here. The city became a “municipium” and the capital of Dacia Porolissum.

The Aurelian withdrawal (271 A.D.) was the beginning of a dark period in history, with numerous barbaric invasions: the Visigoths, the Huns, the Gepidae, the Avars, the Slavs. The Hungarian occupation that followed, was a flourishing one for the city, which received the status of being a town in 1316 from Charles I of Hungary. Yet, the biggest protector of the city was king Matthias Corvinus, whose historical presence is everywhere around the city centre.

When the Ottoman Empire conquered the Hungarian kingdom, Transylvania became a self-ruling principality recognising the Ottoman suzerainty( 1541). It lost this privilege during the Habsburg Monarchy and after the emergence of the Austro-Hungarian state it was incorporated to Hungary.

Emancipation came only after the First World War and on 1st of December 1919 Transylvania region united with Romania. The interwar period was the most flourishing time in the country’s history, and Cluj was no exception.

Communist time left its mark on the city, with their characteristic apartment building and the emergence of new factories. Still, Cluj kept its identity as a second largest cultural and scientific centre ( after the capital, Bucharest) intact.

Do not take my word for it: a walk around the city should be proof enough. Cluj has a lot of treasures that are waiting to be discovered. But it  does not serve them on a silver plate, rather, it makes you hunt them. So wander around the city and find for the mirror street or dare to venture further, and trace the roots of the Calvaria church.


Cluj, city of contrasts

Traces of all this periods are scattered around the city. One can find the archaeological remains of the Dacian and Roman settlements, the walls  and bastions of the medieval fortress or the architectural testimonials of the modern period. Anyone with a taste for architecture can distinguish the multitude of styles, periods and currents sat side by side throughout the city.

Such a rich history shaped the city in spectacular ways. The city centre is home to six different historical religions, with places of worship belonging to Catholic Church, Greek-Catholic Church, Evangelical Church, Reformed Church, Unitarian and the Orthodox Church.


In this way, you can experience a blend of traditions into contemporary lifestyle. Cluj is the place where traditions are passed from one generation to another. Regardless of the time of year, you can experience some of Romania’s best. So keep your eyes open for Dragobete and Martisor, for The day of the Dead or for Christmas Carolling

There is no need to wait for special occasions to visit Cluj. Just enjoy the rich social life of the locals and encounter our going-out culture. With a wide selection of cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs, every taste is satisfied.  Join whatever is appealing to you and relax,  The Clujeni are known to be warm and friendly people.

For this reason, Cluj-Napoca is considered the friendliest city with foreigners by the Daily Mail experts (July 2014). According to this, locals consider that foreigners are a positive influence for the fast developing city.


Reminiscence of the past, Hope for the future

Anyhow, the essence of the city is found in its prevailing vitality. Part of an ex-communist country, Cluj did not get stuck in the past. With a prominent young population, Cluj is the place where new ideas arise. Being an important educational, cultural and activist centre, the city holds a position of power in the country.

Cluj is booming with start-ups and cultural events. A favourable environment for entrepreneurs, the city has the right mindset for young businesses to develop. With the fastest growing European economy in 2015, the expectations are high.

From a cultural festival to another, it is impossible to get bored in the City. Names like the Transylvania International Film Festival or Untold Festival are well-known in the European sphere. And a lot more are rapidly gaining popularity


And most important, Cluj is a place for all. With a open mindset, we don’t care where you come from, how do you look like or what music you listen to, as long as you are cool, we are friends!

Known as “ The Heart of Transylvania” or “The Treasure City” We like to think of Cluj as a world on it’s own. As locals would say: “Cluj has a soul”.

Travel smart. Visit Cluj.

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