Craiova with 306,000 inhabitants (2016), is one of the five largest cities of Romania. Craiova is in the southwestern region of the country and hosts the administrative buildings of the Dolj County and of the Oltenia district.
- 1 Craiova International Airport (CRA IATA). Wizz Air from Barcelona, Beauvais, Bergamo, Bologna, Charleroi, Cologne/Bonn, London-Luton, Rome-Ciampino, Madrid, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion
An alternative is to come to Henri Coanda Aeroport in Bucharest and then go by train to Craiova (the train takes about 3 hours).
There are 17 trains daily from Bucharest (3 hr 15 min, €12), 8 from Timişoara (5 hr 30 min, €15), two from Sibiu and one from Cluj Napoca. Online timetables and prices can be found here. The conditions in Accelerat trains are the same as those in Rapid or Intercity, but the price is lower.
The northern bus station (Autogara Nord), next to the train station, is where the main daily services depart. maxitaxis leave from there to Bucharest (30-35 lei, every 30 minutes), Piteşti (15 lei, two daily), Calafat (10-15 lei, at least two daily). Also some rural routes from here.
Oz Murat travel agency, outside the northern bus station, runs a bus to Istanbul via Bucharest, departing at 10:30 daily, except Saturday (€90 return).
There are a lot of taxis in Craiova. Price is about 2.30 lei per km and a start fee which is 2.30 lei.
The tickets can be bought from special arbours (2 lei).
The same tickets as for buses can be used.
1 Nicolae Romanescu Park (Parcul Romanescu), Nicolae Romanescu. 24hrs. A special sight in Craiova is represented by "Nicolae Romanescu" Park, with its picturesque character. Unique in Romania, this valuable architectural monument is also one of the most interesting accomplishments of its kind in Europe. Displayed at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, in 1900, the park's plans received the Golden Medal. The works began in 1901, under the supervision of the project's author, assisted by artists Jules Redont (his brother) and Emil Pinard. For two years, 50,000 seedlings of ornamental trees and shrubs, from among which many species difficult to adapt to our climate were planted. Thus, the park began to take shape: the lake and the two islands, the river, bridges, small waterfalls, alleys, "The Suspended Bridge", with its two gorgeous porticos, "The Enchanted Castle", "The Circular Hall", the deers' pen and the bears' cave, the pier and the restaurant on the bank of the lake, pavilions, greenhouses, imitations of rocks and tree trunks made of armoured-concrete. The park's inauguration took place in May 1903, and the celebrations caused by the event lasted for two weeks. Conceived and created like a romantic park with a surface of 90 ha, plus the lakes (4 ha) and the racecourse (20 ha), the park is unique in Romania, in its own way. Moreover, this is the second largest park of its kind in Europe, and the racecourse is the biggest in the Balkan area. In 1956, it was enclosed with a fence, the monumental portal at the main entrance being built at the same time. free.
2 Craiova Art Museum (Muzeul de Arta), str. Unirii, nr.15 (Close to Prefecturii Square.), ☏ . 10-17. The Art Museum of Craiova is located in the sumptuous palace of the former magnate Jean Mihail. Built between 1899-1907, according to the plans of the French arhitect Paul Gottereau, the palace represents, stylistically, a rather free interpretation of the late baroque. The wealth of the patrimony, the quite elegant backgrround, with Venetian mirrors, candelabrums of Murano crystal, Carrara marble staircases, walls with tapestry of Lyon silk, but specially the particular way the objects are displayed, have brought it to the attention of the visitors. At the origin of the museum is the "Alexandru and Aristia Aman" pinacotec, founded in 1905 and sheltered in the house of the Lăceanu family (Aristia's parents). Along the years, acquisitions by the City Hall or donations have been added: Cornetti, Glogoveanu, N.Romanescu, Jean Mihail. Taken over by the Museum of Oltenia in 1950, this rich fund was removed, in 1954, to the present center turned into the Art Museum. The Museum is organized in three sections: (1) The European art Gallery (the Dutch, Flemish, French and Italian schools), located in five rooms on the ground floor of the palace; (2) The Romanian Art Gallery(from feudal to contemporary art), on the first floor; and (3) The Brancusi room with masterpieces from the youth of the great sculptor: Vitellius, Vainglory, Head, Fragment of Torso, The Kiss and Melle Pogany.
3 Craiova National Theater Marin Sorescu (Teatrul National Marin Sorescu), str. Alexandru Ioan Cuza, nr. 11. The Craiova National Theater "Marin Sorescu" is an internationally renowned institution. Every two years theater troupes and theater lovers from all around the world come to participate in the International Shakespeare Festival.
4 The Museum of Oltenia (Muzeul Olteniei), Str. Popa Şapcă nr.8. It is located in three different buildings that host three different exhibitions. The building from str. Popa Şapcă nr.8 is where the Nature Science Museum and a traditional pottery shop are located. In the building from str. Madona Dudu nr. 14 the history and archaeology exhibition is located, with a new build wing. The building from str. Matei Basarab nr.16 is one of the oldest in the city, built in the 15th century. Here the ethnography exhibition is located
5 Mihai Viteazu Square. An entire ensemble of artesian wells, vases with verdure, and decorative plants greet you in this central plaza wherein also lie the statue of Mihai Viteazu and a musical fountain and a formal English garden to the east. The musical fountain in Craiova is unique in the country as design.
6 Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Demetrius, Strada Matei Basarab. Nice pinstriped church, Romanian Orthodox, though constructed in 1933, inhabits a former site of a church from 1651.
7 Alexandru Buia Botanical Garden, Str. Constantin Lecca nr. 26 (Second tram station from University, when going to West.). 06:00-23:00. Nice park with many interesting plants representative of flora from across Romania.
Visit Art Palace. Visit Nicolae Romanescu Park.
Art Museum is interesting and well worth the walk there.
Electroputere Shopping Mall, Mercur Commercial Center.
The city has many restaurantes with decent prices and a lot of fast foods.
- Shaorma La Rond, Bulevardul Nicolae Titulescu 14. Shaworma fare.
- El Greco, Bloc M7 Calea București 8. Proper pizza, spaghetti dishes, salads and Greek specialities are served with creamy milkshakes. Mains €3-5.
- Amandina Pizzeria, Str. Popa Sapca. This is a straight pizza joint with pastries and a full bar. Mains €3.
- Restaurant Rex, Str. Fagaras Nr. 3, ☏ . Middle price restaurant.
- Havana Pub, Strada Jean Negulescu 6, Craiova. A place where you could drink something or even eat.
- Pensiune Carmelita, Imparatul Traian nr. 41. Three star guesthouse in downtown. 130-180 lei.
- 1 Casa Craiova Nuova, 67 Strada Adrian Păunescu (end of street), ☏ . A lower-priced option in a tucked away homestay location, but with a nice garden and wood furniture. No breakfast sadly. 129 lei.
- 2 Hotel Helin Central, Strada Alexandru Ioan Cuza 14, ☏ . It's kind of a foo-foo boutique hotel with lots of formal furniture and a la carte restaurant serving breakfast. 173 lei.
- 3 Hotel Restaurant Royal Craiova, Strada România Muncitoare 88, ☏ . Here is another kind of stuffy, or, depending on your view, formal hotel, in a 19th century building, with elegant hallways and a full-service restaurant/bar that offers a breakfast buffet. 173 lei.
- 4 Hotel La Favorita Guesthouse Boutique, Strada Madona Dudu 5, ☏ . Another boutique hotel that sort of looks like it could fit in somewhere in Bavaria, with cozy rooms and a restaurant. 177 lei.
- 5 Prestige Boutique Hotel Craiova, Strada Matei Basarab no 15, ☏ . This place has a pretty modern feel and looks like it was just furnished with stuff from Ikea. Also has a restaurant with breakfast buffet. Depending on where your room is, you may be able to look out at the Metropolitan Cathedral. 185 lei.
- 6 Golden House. A great hotel that is very clean and with good service. Thanks to the nice staff, the place has the feel of a large house. Also has a nice outside terrace. 265 lei.
Craiova is plagued by corrupt officials and police, and overrun by lawless gangs. However, this is more related to organized crime and should not concern regular citizens. Day trips are more than OK, but it may be unsafe at night even in downtown.
In Craiova one may occasionally encounter stray dogs. Be careful, in case they are aggressive.
A day in a nearby village could be an option. Preajba de Padure is a small beautiful village 45 km away, near the border with Olt county. You can take the bus (seven daily, less in weekends) from the bus station (near the railway station) for 9 lei one way or 15 lei return. The bus has another stop on Decebal Street (exact location: 44 18' 58.30" N, 23 50' 02" E).