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The second largest city in Romania is a cultural melting pot with a lively schedule of music festivals, a charming historic center, all the galleries and museums you could need and a youthful, irrepressible nightlife scene.
Cluj Napoca has been the capital of Transylvania for centuries. Historical highlights are plentiful, including the statue of Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus and the Gothic beauty of St. Michael's Church.
Cluj Napoca is probably Romania's musical nexus, offering annual events like August's Untold dance festival and Electric Castle in July, which features leading Romanian acts.
Transylvania is full of wonders (and hardly any vampires, actually). Don't miss Bran Castle, Biertan Church and the therapeutic volcanic spa at Covasna.
Back in the town, the Banffy Palace houses the superb National Art Museum, the Transylvanian History Museum and the fascinating Pharmacy History Collection.
Cluj Napoca is green and spacious, with gorgeous attractions like the Alexandru Borza Botanic Gardens and the Romulus Vuia Ethnographic Park, which features reconstructions of medieval buildings.
If you want to attend a music festival, summer (June through September) is the time to go. However, spring and fall are fine seasons to explore Transylvania as well.
Cluj-Napoca International Airport has good European connections. From there, bus number 5 costs RON4 and taxis cost about RON20.
There are InterCity rail connections to Bucharest and other Romanian cities. It's about an 8 hour journey from the capital.
From Bucharest, you can follow the E81 all the way to Cluj Napoca. From Timisoara, take the A1 eastbound, then change to the E81 at Sebes.
EuroBusWays, OrangeWays and Royal GTS run buses from Budapest and Bucharest.
Some accommodation highlights in Cluj Napoca include the modern Hotel Belvedere and the luxurious City Plaza, as well as the palatial Grand Hotel Italia.
Centru - Cluj Napoca's old town Centru is packed with cafés, galleries and, most of all, beautiful churches.
Mănăștur - A sprawling residential area, Mănăștur hosts some of the city's best eateries, including Casa Piraților and Valahia.
Zorilor - Located in the southern half of the city, Zorilor is a thriving student area, with plenty of clubs and bars to pick from.
RATUC buses cover the entire city and charge RON4 per journey.
Taxis in Cluj Napoca tend to charge around RON3.50 per mile after a RON3.50 meter drop.
Car rental outlets in the city include Sixt and Auto Daya, and rates can be as little as RON25 per day.
If you want to shop for bargain apparel, head to huge city center malls like Lulius Mall, Galeriile Ferdinand or the Polus Center, or explore the streets around Mihai Viteazu Square.
Supermarkets include Kaufland and Billa, where you'll pay about RON15 for a gallon of milk.
Cluj Napoca has some fantastic dining options, from the fish specialties at Baracca to gourmet sushi at Tokyo Restaurant, and classical Transylvanian fare at Casa Ardeleana (check out the soup served in hollowed out loaves). Meals start at around RON15-20.