Famous for its Art Nouveau buildings, Târgu Mureș is the cultural and economical centre of the Székely Land. First mentioned as Forum Siculorum in a document dating to 1300, market rights were bestowed in 1482. Both the Romanian name Târgu Mureș and Hungarian Marosvásárhely mean "market (place) on the river Mureș/Maros". The town prospered especially during the late-19th and early-20th century, the population quadrupled between 1869 and 1966.
Before World War I, Marosvásárhely belonged to the Kindom of Hungary and 90 percent of inhabitants were ethnic Hungarians and Hungarian-speaking Jews. Since 1919, when the town was awarded to Romania, the share of ethnic Romanians grew steadily, but Magyars (ethnic Hungarians) still were the majority population until the 1990s. Nowadays, ethnic Romanians make up just over half of the population, with 45 percent Magyars and more than 2 percent Romanies. There is a religious diversity as well: 47 % profess Romanian Orthodoxy, 30 % belong to the Reformed (Protestant) Church, 13.5 % are Roman Catholic, 2.6 % each are Eastern Catholic or Unitarian.
- 1 Târgu Mureș International Airport (TGM IATA) (14 km southwest of the city). Wizz Air from Budapest, Dortmund, London-Luton and Memmingen.
- 2 Târgu Mureș train station (southwest of the centre). There are five daily trains to/from Brasov, (6½-9 hours), two to/from Bucharest (9½-10 hours), and one to/from Timisoara (6½ hours). There is also a daily train to/from Budapest. Service to Cluj-Napoca (4 hours) is available with a transfer and 1-hour layover. There is also a daily direct train from Cluj that takes just under 3 hours and arrives at Târgu Mureș at 19:00. Tickets start at around 30 lei.
There are frequent buses to/from Brasov (3 hours), passing through Sighișoara and Cluj-Napoca (2½ hours). These have their terminus at 3 Bega street, in the south of the city. Most other intercity buses start/arrive at 4 Autogara.
A bus is by far the cheapest option to get around. As of September 2019, a one-journey ticket costs 2 lei and a day ticket 5 lei. The route is posted on the front window of the bus.
Rate for most companies is 2.64 lei per km. The cab drivers can speak Romanian and usually Hungarian. Many are also fluent in English.
At the football stadium, you can rent a bike for free for two hours, but you have to sign a contract in Romanian and submit your photo ID.
- 1 Art Nouveau city center (main central plaza and surroundings). The main plaza (Trandafirilor Square) and nearby streets have many Art Nouveau (Hungarian Secession) style buildings.
- 2 Culture Palace (western edge of the main plaza). It is a remarkable building built between 1911-1913 in the Hungarian Art Nouveau style.
- 3 Targu Mures Fortress (right northeast of the main plaza, up on a small hill). It was built in the 17th century as a protection for the citizens in times of war. In the 19th century the Habsburgs converted it to a military fort. It is now a place for relaxation, with events and exhibitions. The main Calvinist church of the city is within the fortress.
- 4 Ascension of the Lord Cathedral (Catedrala Înălţarea Domnului). Romanian Orthodox cathedral, built after the union of Transylvania with Romania, between 1925 and 1934, in a neo-Byzantine style.
- 5 Annunciation Church (also known as "little cathedral"; Biserica Buna Vestire). Romanian Greek Catholic cathedral, built 1926–1936 in a Neoclassical style, modelled after St Peter's Basilica in Rome.
- 6 Teleki Library (Biblioteca Teleki-Bolyai). Historic library and museum, established by Hungarian Sámuel Teleki, chancellor of Transylvania, in 1802. The Baroque building houses over 200,000 volumes, including many rarities, constituting one of the richest cultural collections in Transylvania.
- 7 Saint John the Baptist Church (Biserica Sfântul Ioan Botezătorul). Baroque Roman Catholic church, completed in 1764 during the Habsburg rule.
- 1 Platoul Cornești (East of the city). A hill near the city, good for walking, hiking, or picnic. Zoo Târgu-Mureș, considered by many one of the nicest zoos in Romania, is also here.
- 2 Weekend (Near Mureș river). Open-air aquapark, swimming pools, sports grounds. The pools are open only in the summer.
- The Târgu-Mureș Historical Society occasionally holds seminars on local history and mythology in English.
- Târgu Mureș State Philharmonic (Filarmonica de Stat Târgu Mureș). Classical orchestra; concerts at the Culture Palace
The main shopping area is the Trandafirilor Square which is the center of the city.
There are also shopping malls:
- 1 Mureș Mall. Near the city center. The mall has 5 floors, each of them hosting renowned brands and names, some of them for the first time in Romania.
- 2 Promenada Mall. Located near the industrial park, on the outskirts of the city.
- 1 Tempo, Strada Morii nr. 27. A restaurant with a vast array of dishes and specialties. A lot of character, and a Hungarian musical band every night.
- 2 La Teo Restaurant, Alexandru Papiu Ilarian nr. 1 (next the Medieval Fortress), ☏ . 11:00-00:00. International dishes and local food. Great coffee, winebar, and house made cakes and deserts. Run by a friendly owner, Teo.
- 3 Pizza Sole, Str. Chinezu nr. 1 (north of the center). Very tasty Italian food.
- 1 The Back Stage, Piata Trandafirilor nr. 53, ☏ . A quiet place with good music and pleasant service. Live music on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
- 2 Piaf, Strada Bolyai nr. 10. Nice and cozy bar close to the main plaza.
- 3 Sörpatika, Strada Plutelor. Near the Mureș river, close to Weekend aquapark
Being a university town, there are plenty of clubs to go out at night to have fun with local and international students. Smoking is generally allowed in the clubs.
- 1 City Central Hostel, Strada Victor Babeș nr. 11. Hostel that seems to be undergoing a period of transition; may not be open.
- 2 Hotel Continental Forum, Piața Teatrului nr. 5-6, ☏ . A swanky luxury hotel in the center of town with a beautiful view of the churches. €90.
- 3 Hotel Concordia, Piața Trandafirilor nr. 45 (a five-minute walk from the center of town), ☏ . Decent rooms popular with tour groups. €30.
- Târnăveni, 37 km southwest
- Sighișoara, 55 km southeast – medieval old town
- Mediaș, 60 km southwest
- Turda, 75 km west
- Cluj-Napoca, 110 km northwest (2:40 to 3 hrs by train)
- Sibiu, 120 km south
- Brașov, 170 km southeast