The Central square of the city, the Union Square, is the place where the past modern times. Hidden under a glass surface, the ruins of the Roman citadel Napoca represent the beginnings of the 2,000 years old city of Cluj Napoca. Opposite, the monumental statue of Matthias Corvinus attracts the visitors, who can’t leave without a picture with the massive monument. Behind, the Saint Michael Church dominates the square. If you are around on a Saturday, make sure you don’t miss the organ concert.
Walls of the old citadel of Cluj are hidden on the Potaissa Street, the place where you can transpose yourself in medieval times. Following the street, you can find the Transylvania Hostel, a rock pub, la Tevi and two modern terraces, Makeba Pub & Bistro and Cafe Rejoice. If you continue further on the Inocentiu Micu Klein street, you can take your lunch at the smallest restaurant in town, Kaja Tanya. The traditional cuisine menu changes daily; find updates on their website.
One of the most recent squares built in Cluj, the Avram Iancu Square impresses with its monumental buildings. Here, religion and culture meet. On one side of the square is the National Opera and Theatre of Cluj, an eclectic building of the 20th century. Masterpieces like Don Juan, written by Molière or Romeo and Juliet written by Shakespeare are played on the theatre’s stage. Facing the opera is the statue of Avram Iancu and the Orthodox Cathedral. Nothing like a Catholic church, the Orthodox Cathedral reminds us of the Saint Sophia Mosque of Istanbul, a former Christian church. But what is even more impressive is the interior. Step inside and be mesmerized.
As you already noticed, there are plenty of churches in Cluj, each one representing the different beliefs of the local communities. A 15th-century building, the Reformed Church hosts the biggest collection of Transylvanian Coat of Arms. Behind the church, there is the only tower of the medieval citadel still standing, the Tailor’s Bastion. The tower was renovated several times, and it opened its doors to the public as an Urban Culture Centre. Inside, you can admire local work of art exhibitions.
At only 30 kilometres from Cluj Napoca, the Turda Salt Mine is the coolest underground place on earth. With a height of 120 meters (400 feet) and very thick walls, the mine is spectacular. Since 2010, it has featured a mini-golf course, a basketball and football court and an amphitheatre that hosts concerts regularly. You can also go for a boat ride on the subterranean lake of Ghizela Mine or take a tour on the Ferris wheel.