Cluj-Napoca (Romanian) or Kolozsvár (Hungarian) , is the capital of Cluj county and the unofficial capital of the historical region of Transylvania . The city, with 310,243 people, is very pleasant, and it is certainly a great experience for those who want to see urban Transylvanian life at its best. Along with fine dining, excellent cultural activities, a wonderful historical legacy and a great atmosphere, the city will certainly not disappoint those who add it to their travel itinerary. What's more is the fact that Cluj (as it's called for short) is so easy to access and get around.
The official language is Romanian, a Romance language. Most educated people born after about 1970 will speak reasonably good English and will likely be proficient in one or more second Romance languages; most educated people born before about 1970 will speak reasonably good French and Italian. Hungarian is a commonplace language, spoken by the relatively large Hungarian minority. The Roma people (Gypsies) speak their native Romany, as well as Romanian. Beyond that, as in any major city, there will be a smattering of other languages.
Getting to Cluj-Napoca is easy due to its position and its status as a major Transylvanian city.
As with many other Transylvanian cities, train is the easiest way to reach Cluj. (Because it is an important Romanian railway hub.) There are 4 trains daily to Bucharest and 4 trains daily to Budapest (via Oradea). There are train connections to most Romanian or Transylvanian cities, including fast InterCity connections to Oradea, Arad, Timisoara, Brasov, Sighisoara, Ploiesti and Bucharest.
On a few routes like Cluj-Napoca - Oradea or Cluj-Napoca - Târgu Mureş you can find private companies like Transferoviar grup . They are offering cheaper tickets.
Important to know, that in Romania there are three kind of trains.
- Regio - This is the slowest but cheapest way to go somewhere. The Regio trains stop at every station.
- InterRegio - The InterRegio trains is much faster than the Regio. Because it is very comfortable many international trains are InterRegio. The ticket is more expensive than the Regio ticket but affordable.
- InterCity - The fastest and the most comfortable way to travel but the ticket is very expensive.
The International Someşeni Airport of Cluj-Napoca  is offering flights to Bucharest, Timisoara, Vienna, Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, Stuttgart, Dortmund,Milano, Bologna, Ancona, Bergamo, Florence, Rome, Treviso, Verona, Lviv, Paris, Barcelona, Valencia, Madrid, Eindhoven and London provided by Blue Air, TAROM, Austrian, Lufthansa, Iberia, Alitalia, Carpatair and Wizzair).
WizzAir, the Hungarian budget airline, started flying to Cluj-Napoca in October 2007.
For European travellers, a budget alternative is to fly to Budapest Ferihegy Airport with a low-cost company, and then shuttle to Cluj-Napoca. The shuttle takes six to eight hours to make the travel. Many companies travel this route. You can find shuttles from early morning till late night. Reservations have to be made in advance, make sure you leave at least two hours between your flight arrival and the departure of the shuttle, to account for any flight delays. Prices are around 60 to 80 RON (€25).
Car rental by Avis, Budget, Europcar and several local providers (PHP rent a car, 321 Rent a car, rodna Trans, Hermin) is available, as well as on request by Hertz.
- The Airport of Cluj-Napoca has transport connections to downtown Cluj-Napoca. To get there, travelers can choose between car rentals, taxi, limo service and public transport (bus line 8 running from 5:30AM till midnight, 3.5 RON for two travels). For the public bus, you need to buy a ticket from the booth in front of either the Arrivals or Departures terminals. You are not allowed to buy tickets from the driver.
- Also, WizzAir company introduced a bus-shuttle to the center of fixed price of 15 RON (about €4).
Cluj-Napoca has good road connections. European road E60 links it to Bucharest and Brasov to the south, Oradea and Budapest to the west, through Bors customs. E81 leads to Zalau and Satu Mare to the north, Brasov and Bucharest to the south. E58 links Cluj-Napoca to Dej, Bistrita, Baia Mare and Vatra Dornei.
On demand bus to Cluj Napoca from Budapest by Eurobusways 
By public transport
Public transport in the city is possible by means of 25 bus lines, 7 trolleybus lines, and 3 tram lines, all operated by the RATUC company (Regia Autonomă de Transport Urban de Călători). Complete routes can be found on the company's website . Schedules are available online . For most lines servicing the city center you won't need to wait more than 15 minutes. The tariff is 3.5 RON (about €0.85, or US$1.20) for two travels. Tickets can be bought for cash only at special booths at most stops, identifiable by the RATUC logo and possibly the text "Bilete si Abonamente" (meaning "short and long-term tickets"). Be careful to correctly punch an unused half of your ticket once in the vehicle, ticket control is relatively common and the fines are sizable.
Transport in the Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area is covered by many private bus companies, one of the most important is FANY  which provides numerous daily connections to neighboring towns and villages. More information about the transportation to and from the metropolitan area is available online .
Taxis are relatively more expensive than in other parts of Romania, but still cheap, and very convenient. The tariff is around 1.79 RON (€0.50/US$0.70) per kilometer, and the same is applied as start fee. All the respectable companies charge the same price. Typically you won't pay more than 10 RON (€3) for a travel between the city center and some point in the suburbs. Payment is always done in cash, and paying by credit card is not possible. It is customary, though not mandatory, that the sum is rounded up to 0.5 RON multiples (e.g., if the meter shows 3.2 RON you will probably be expected to pay 3.5 RON, leaving the extra 0.3 RON as a tip). If you do not have exact change, the driver might keep this tip himself when paying back the change. If he tries to keep too much (like rounding from 3.5 to 5 RON, for example), do ask for the change.
Taxi cabs come in all shapes and colors, they are identified by the company logo on the sign on top of the car, which will also be placed somewhere on the car body. Taxis cluster around important locations in the city, and clusters are usually no more than 1 kilometer apart. Take care to always use respectable companies, such as Atlas, Diesel Rapid, Diesel Taxi, Pritax, Nova, Terra & Fan, Pro Rapid. There might be underground, "shark" drivers as they are called, which try to exploit unknowledgeable strangers by overcharging. You should avoid them as they charge at least several times the normal fee. They mostly hang around the train station and the airport. Shark drivers might sometimes "helpfully" offer a ride themselves; you won't see a usual driver do that. Usually shark drivers' cars are marked TAXI and nothing else. Search for name of company on the door of car! Respectable firms typically have several cars parked at each station; that's an easy way to identify them. Elseway, the price per kilometer is sometimes displayed on the cab door. It should be no more than 1.79 RON (17900 lei, in the old currency).
Cabs can also be phoned in. You typically need to give a name, and wait for the number of the car to be relayed to you. Cars will arrive after a period on the order of minutes.
It may happen that you will be driven around on a longer route if you don't know the city. This may happen even with respectable firms. You can't do much to help that, unless you are able to read a map very well, especially if you're easy to spot as a foreigner. The best thing to do is to appear confident, jump in the car and state your destination unhesitantly as if you knew exactly where it was.
Some of the taxi companies in Cluj-Napoca:
- Nova Taxi - (0264) 949, +40-745 151000
- Diesel Rapid - (0264) 946
- Atlas Taxi - (0264) 969
- Diesel Taxi - (0264) 953, +40-744 646663, +40-745 381532, +40-722 859093
- Pritax - (0264) 942, +40-744 159720, +40-788 550000
- Pro Rapid - (0264) 948
- Terra Fan - (0264) 944
- Clima&Confort Taxi - (0264) 943, +40-742 012280, +40-723 012280, +40-768 347379, +40-264 422224, +40-364 310673
Cars can be rented from the numerous operators throughout the city. Many small tourism agencies also intermediate for renting cars, and you might be able to get better rates there. You can find such agencies scattered throughout the city centre.
You should see Matthias Corvinus' mounted statue and the old St. Michael's Church in the Union Square - right in the middle of the city. This Gothic architecture piece is one of the most valuable in Transylvania. Its murals date from the 15th century, and the 50m neogothic tower was built in 1860. The statue is always scaled by tourists, although officially this is not allowed.
The area around the Union Square is also a must see for the visitor, with the Teleki and Banffy Palaces (the former now housing the National Art Museum), the Franciscan Monastery, the first Unitarian Church in the world, the Piarist Churches, the Mirror Street (Iuliu Maniu Street - a unique architectural accomplishment dating back to the late 1800s) and Matthias Corvinus' place of birth, a former 15th Century hotel now home to the Visual Arts Academy.
Smaller streets around the Square can take you into splendid inner courts, old houses and isolated Churches. The Tailors' Bastion and the corresponding section of the medieval wall is very well preserved, South-East of the Union Square.
The Museum Square, a 2 minute walk from the Union Square, is home to the Franciscan Monastery (a combination of Baroque and Gothic architecture dating back to the 14th Century), the Transylvanian History Museum and the old Obelisk of the City, offered to the City as acknowledgement of its statute by the Austrian Emperor Franz Ferdinand in the 19th Century. You can have a nice coffee right by the Obelisk, as during daytime the surrounding clubs and cafes move out of their inside locations into cool, relaxing terraces.
The Botanical Garden  (Republicii no. 42) spreads over 14 hectares and contains among others a small Japanese garden, greenhouses for ecuatorial and tropical plants, a small water course through its middle, and a tower which can be climbed to get a better view of the garden arrangements.
The Central Park is a welcome break from the rush of the city. The middle of the park hosts a small lake and the Chios Casino, from the terrace of which you can rent rowboats and hydrobicycles to circle the small island in the centre of the lake.
The Cetatuia hill (Fortress Hill) used to hold a stronghold, as its name implies. People were also jailed there. Not much of the old fortress remains, but the Transylvania Hotel (also known to the locals as Belvedere) was built on top of the hill, and besides the great view offers a good restaurant as well. The hill can be climbed by stairs from the centre of the city. On the way you will also find a large iron cross monument. A walkway circles the crown of the hill just below the Hotel, offering a nice view to the city.
Other objectives include:
- National Theater, Ştefan cel Mare Square nr. 24
- Hungarian State Theater. Emil Isac nr. 26-28;
- Palace of Justice, Calea Dorobantilor nr. 2
- Babeş-Bolyai University. Mihail Kogălniceanu nr. 1B;
- The Hazsongardi Cemetery,
- National Art Museum, Union Square nr. 30
- National Museum of the History of Transylvania, Constantin Daicoviciu nr. 2
- Emil Isac Memorial House, Emil Isac nr. 23
- Etnography Museum of Transylvania, Memorandumului nr. 21;
- National Etnography Park "Romulus Vuia", Tăietura Turcului
- Zoology Museum, Clinicilor nr. 5-7
You can see many objects live on the LiveCam  mounted on top of a tall building on C. Daicoviciu Str: Cetatuia hill, Transilvania Hotel, the St. Michael Cathedral, the Hungarian State Theatre, as well as most of the city centre, can be seen by rotating and tilting the camera via the webpage controls (you might need to wait to get your turn in controlling it).
- Somesu Rece fortress
- Cuzdrioara fortress
- Bologa fortress
- Gherla fortress.
- Liteni fortress
- The Salt Mine in Turda
- Gilau castle
- Bocskai castle in Aghiresu
- Banffy castles in Bontida, Rascruci and Borsa
- Beldi castle in Geaca
- Haller castle in Coplean
- Kemeny Banffy castle in Luncani
- Kornis caslte in Manastirea
- Teleki fortress in Luna de jos
- Ciucea, with the memorial house of Octavian Goga
- Belis agrotouristic village with the Fantanele lake
- Padis  and Doda Pilii, in the Apuseni Mountains
Today Cluj-Napoca is one of the most important shopping cities in Romania, with two of the biggest malls: Iulius Mall and Polus Center. You can also visit Sora Shopping Center, Central and Galeriile Ferdinand (very expensive). At a lower budget you can find lots of cool clothes in Piata Marasti (shopping center).
Another two malls are going to be built in Cluj Napoca. Atrium Center and Akademia Center  (the construction of Akademia will be completed by 2011)
Cluj dining is some of the best in Romania. Ranging from traditional Romanian, Hungarian and Transylvanian (a combination of the previous two) to Italian (very good Italian food), Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Middle Eastern, American and International Cuisine, the city can offer great dining for all tastes. Fancy restaurants are available as well as local fast food shops and a few international chains (McDonald's, Pizza Hut).
- Academia More - Pizzeria. Clinicilor st. 9A. Pizza & pasta, sports bar. Near University campus and downtown, with biggest summer garden in Cluj-Napoca (+400 seats). Pizza delivery also available: 0040-264-590823, 0040-745-983100. Big groups reservations.
- Elite Pizza. The oldest pizza place in town. Pizza delivery also available: 0040-264-597.
- Akropolis, ☎ 40 264 439228. Str. Moţilor nr. 40. Greek dishes. The restaurant is actually a fast-food restaurant and a bar, with separate entrances.
- Aroma, on the Feleacu hill. International cuisine with a great view.
- Beijing, Str. A. Iancu nr. 12-14. Chinese eatery.
- Bolero - International.
- Casa Ardelenească, Bd. 21 Decembrie 1989 no. 5 (in the Sora Shopping Center), . Traditional Romanian menu, popular with the locals, and decorated with local art.
- Casa Vikingilor - International cuisine with huge portions.
- Chicago's - American fare.
- Ciuleandra, inside the Best Western Topaz Hotel. Specializing in Romanian/Transylvanian food.
- Club Italia - Italian Dishes
- Don Mario - Mediterranean Cuisine
- Fahid - Middle-eastern cuisine.
- Fair Play - International.
- Hao Yi - Chinese.
- Il Milanese, Str. Avram Iancu Nr. 85, Comuna Floreşti. 12 kilometers from downtown Cluj-Napoca in neighboring Comuna Floreşti. Specializing in Italian dishes.
- Lugano, Str. Roosvelt no. 3. International cuisine.
- Maestro - International.
- Maimuţa Plangatoare. Traditional Romanian and Hungarian.
- Marco Polo, in the City Plaza Hotel. Japanese food.
- Marty Caffe, ☎ 40 264-591212. Str. Victor Babeş nr. 39. International.
- Pizzeria Michelangelo, ☎ 40 264-596969. Str. Memorandumului nr. 6. Romanian, Pizza,Restaurant.
- Panoramic. International cuisine on the Cetatuia with a great view from above downtown.
- Pizza Y - International.
- Red House - Transylvanian/Hungarian.
- Roata, near the City Hall. Romanian/Transylvanian.
- Roland Garros - International.
- Shanghai. Calea Turzii nr.42, tel. 0264 - 442.027; 0264 - 431.444 or
0727-833.453. Located near a residential neighborhood a few kilometers from the city center, Shanghai has one of the most varied selections of Chinese dishes.
- Tokyo. Japanese.
- Vila Tusa - International.
- Baracca Str. Napoca, nr. 8A, tel. 40 0732.155.177. New restaurant, opened up in October 2008. Very good Mediterranean food with French cuisine influence, great atmosphere.This restaurant changes its menu every 6 months, in collaboration with a Chef from France .
- Hubertus Str. 21 Decembrie 1989 no. 22, tel. 40 264-596743, 40 264-439405, . One of the oldest and most select restaurants in the city, with a wide selection of traditional Romanian dishes.
- Matei Corvin Intim, ☎ 40 264-597497. Str. Matei Corvin nr. 3. International cuisine. This restaurant frequently receives national and international celebrities.
- Topaz, ☎ 40 264-414066. Str. Septimiu Albini no. 10 (inside the Best Western Topaz). Refined menu of international selections in an elegant atmosphere.
Cluj has a vibrant night life, guaranteed by the over 60000 University students living here. There are bars, cafés, clubs for all preferences and budgets.
- Corvinus - Str. Memorandumului - A pub popular with the Hungarian community.
- Diesel, ☎ 40 264-598441. Piaţa Unirii no. 17. One of the oldest and most expensive clubs in Cluj-Napoca. Cosmopolitan events on three floors with some of the most popular groups in Romania.
- Euphoria, café-bar style with a popular and large out-door setting in a square. Nice food.
- Insomnia, opposite the cinema next to the bookstore on Piaţa Unirii. Bohemian and ever changing decor and nice personnel. Also serve light meals.
- Kharma, ☎ 40 722-365342. Piaţa Păcii nr. 1-3. Nice decor and good DJs.
- King, next to the house of Mateus Corvin. Hungarian and Moldavian club.
- The Jack Pub - the smallest pub from the town.
- L'Atelier (also known colloquially as the cardboard place), Str. Memorandumului 9 (1st floor), is a relaxed café-bar with furniture made from cardboard and scrap materials. Music ranges from jazz to alternative rock.
- La Gazette, Calea Turzii Str. A place to meet students and to get to know new music, especially electronica.
- Molotov Pub - Str. Virgil Fulicea nr. 13. A popular place situated in a medieval house, in the historical center, close to Matei Corvin House. They have a very good coffee and tea specialties, and the famous, personal, recipe of the 'Molotov Cocktail'. Bhoemian and challenging decoration,  Reservations: 0040.756.393.785.
- Obsession, ☎ 40 264-591831. Str. Republicii nr. 109. The biggest club in town.
- Oscar - A good after-hours haunt.
- Roland Garros, ☎ 40 264-530786. Str. Horea nr. 2. A place unique for its plain style.
- Stone, Str. Gheorghe Fulicea nr. 17, 40 264-408167.
- Umbra de Noapte - Cafe/Bar/Absintherie. The only full-time goth location in Romania. Reservations: 0040.743.820.669 
- Umbra de Noapte (Nachtschatten / Night Shade) Str. Georges Clemenceau 7. Take a bus or tram to the center, station "Memorandumului" or "Mihai Viteazu". From the statue of "Matthias Rex" it is only a very short walk through some nice small streets of the historical center. The Café Umbra is located near the "Casa Matei Corvin". It's a place where you can meet with friends or relax and read dark literature or international magazines (from Germany, the Netherlands, France, Finland, Italy, Australia and the UK). Enjoy varieties of coffee and tea specialties, soft drinks, beer, wine, spirits; Romania's largest variety of absinthe; nonalcoholic, alcoholic and Absinthe-Cocktails as well as season-specials like iced coffee and fresh Ice-Tea in summer or spiced wine and spiced coffee in winter. Dimly-lit atmosphere; listening to dark music (mainly Gothic, Darkwave, EBM, Industrial, Horrorpunk, Gothabilly, Medieval). The whole Cafe Umbra crew speaks Romanian and English, partly also Hungarian, French, Japaneze, Spanish and German.
- Zorki, Str. Ion Raţiu 10, cafe-bar with jazz & alternative rock music. Regular photo exhibitions. Sometimes small, acoustic concerts.
- Zorki Off the Record is located in the basement under Zorki. Where concerts sometimes happen. You can grab a beer or a glass of wine.
- VERTIGO Espresso Social Bar, 9 Unirii Square Cluj Napoca. A visionary design and futuristic lighting which challenges the borders of imagination. A setting that appears to be cut out of an OP Art expo – a place where spirit meets style, where energy becomes conversation.
The last three years have seen a boom in the Cluj lodging scene. There are lodging options for all budgets, including a newly opened 5 star hotel. Other than that, you can find something that suits your needs.
- Cluj Pension. Str. Meteor nr. 71B, +40 264 438 593 or +40 741 369 403
- Do - Re - Mi, only between July and August, Str. Braşov nr. 2-4, +40 264 186616.
- Hotel Cristal, ☎ , fax: +40 264 594 677. Str. Moldovei, nr. 17, and
- Meteor, Eroilor nr. 29, +40 264 591060. In the commercial center of Cluj, close to important economic and administrative sites.
- Mioval Pension, Non Stop B&B Accommodation, Str. Partizanilor nr. 33 (5 min far from the Train Station) +40 726 147 593 or +40 742 706 077 
- PAX, Station Square nr. 1-3, +40 264 432927.
- Retro Youth Hostel, ☎ .
- Sport, George Cosbuc nr. 15, +40 268 593921.
- Transylvania Hostel, Str Iuliu Maniu 26, ☎ . A comfortable hostel in the city center with a friendly knowledgeable staff. Large social areas including a lounge, a game room, a guest kitchen and an outdoor terrace.
- Vlădeasa, Regele Ferdinand nr. 20, +40 264 594429.
- Belvedere (ex. Transilvania), Călăraşilor nr. 1-3, +40 264 432071. Facilities include a pool, gym, conference rooms. Nice view, on top of Fortress hill close to the city center.
- Best Western Hotel Topaz, Septimiu Albini nr. 10, +40 264 414021. Quiet area close to the city center. Besides its own restaurant, also contains the Ciuleandra Romanian-food restaurant, .
- Deja Vu Pension, ☎ . Ion Ghica nr. 2,
- Fullton, ☎ . Sextil Puşcariu nr. 10.
- Olimp, Observatorului 82-86, 0264 595 900. Facilities include WiFi, conference room.
- Panorama Hotel, Calea Baciului nr. 28D, +40 755 084 342; +40 364 566 784. Accommodation in hotel management at apartments. .
- Pensiunea Orient, str. Caisului nr. 22, +40 731996746, +40 364144813, a place furnished in oriental style, inspired by a trip to Morocco, approx. €35 for a double room, Wifi included 
- Victoria, 21 Decembrie 1989 nr. 54-56, +40 264 591441.
- Villa-Hotel Escala, 33 Crisan Street, ☎ . 002, 444.062. Facilities include Gym and pool.
- Agape, ☎ . Iuliu Maniu nr. 6. Set in the city center a few minutes walk from the statue of Matthias Corvinus.
- Casa Albă, Emil Racoviţă nr. 22, +40 264 432277.
- City Plaza, ☎ . Sindicatelor nr. 9-11. Near the Municipal Park in the historic city of town.
- Deja Vu, Ion Ghica nr. 2, +40 264 354939.
- Golden Tulip Ana Done, ☎ . Observatorului, nr. 129.
- Onix, Septimiu Albini nr. 12, +40 264 414076. Situated in the center of the city, the Onix has 3 and 4-stars rooms and suites, all of which have a jacuzzi, PCs with Internet access, air-con, cable television, minibar, and telephone. .
- Opal. Constantin Brâncuşi nr. 148-152, +40 264 403136.
- Premier, ☎ . Donath nr. 100.
- Rimini Plaza, ☎ . Cometei nr. 20A.
- Tulip Inn Sunny Hill, ☎ . Fagetului nr. 31A.
- West City Hotel. Str. Avram Iancu nr. 442-446, Floreşti, +40 264 501 820. The first design hotel in Cluj.
Cluj-Napoca is in general a safe city. Even after dark, it is safe to walk through the city center and some of the other neighbourhoods. To be on the safe side, unless you know exactly where you're going and how to get there, suburbs should be avoided at night, especially the neighbourhoods of Manastur, Marasti, and Iris, and the train and inter-city bus station areas.
You should, as always, take care of your belongings and pockets. In the unfortunate event that your wallet is stolen or lost, it is likely that it will resurface after a while, but without the money and credit cards (so be sure to call your credit card company and lock the credit card as soon as you notice it's missing).
As throughout the rest of the European Union, the police, ambulance, and fire department are reachable at the number 112.