Cluj. Transylvania short story

Regardless where I would travel and get to see in this big world, a few days in Romania seem like a therapy for the soul. My roots and cultural identity are in this corner of Europe. My last trip home was in the heart of Transylvania, in Cluj-Napoca, also known simply as Cluj until 1974 and still now, in everyday life.

Bulevardul Eroilor / Boulevard of Heroes


Strolling on the main boulevard called Heroes (Eroilor) I could not help to gladly notice the Romanian and EU flags. And in the same time, to admire the buildings, some colorful, others in Art Deco or Baroque style, and finally, many with Art Nouveau decorations.

Then, after seeing the Romanian National Opera Cluj-Napoca and walking through the old center of the city – fragments of other travels to German cities, Warsaw or Prague crossed through my mind. I haven’t seen all towns in Central and Eastern Europe, but to me, areas of Cluj resembles them. Although Cluj also has gray parts, however, its architecture constantly reminded me of an European style and spirit.

Romanian National Opera Cluj-Napoca

Sights & food

In the main Union Square (Piața Unirii), the largest one in the city and most important social meeting point, we can admire St. Michael Church. From here we can quickly reach the old town and explore its alleys until is time to eat.

As a result of its history, Transylvanian gastronomy is a mix of Romanian, Hungarian, German Saxon and Jewish cuisine.

So I arrived in time for dinner at the traditional Rhédey Café in Union Square, and started with the recommended Transylvanian tarragon soup and continued with an original dessert from Cluj, Vargabéles, or sweet noodles cheese pie, with cottage cheese and raisins.

Happy with my choices here and for the next meals. Eggcetera is a well known breakfast spot, and I had a deliciously light lunch at the bakery Panemar, both also near Unirii square.


Lastly, after lunch, is time for a visit to the Art Museum, to admire paintings with most appreciated Romanian painters such as Nicolae Grigorescu and Stefan Luchian.

Close to the center are also the Central Park and Fortress Hill (Cetățuia Park), for a view that was worth the hike (featured photo). Also, Alexandru Borza Botanic Garden, the huge botanical garden of Babeș-Bolyai University (that I explored many years ago) should not be missed.

Piața Unirii / Union Square

Soon is time to catch my next flight. Even after a short visit, I have a few moments to write down my thoughts. Transylvania is definitely one of my favorite regions in Romania. Traditional, yet modern and European.

Read also – Visit Transylvania – for an introduction in the region and stories from Sibiu, Sighișoara, Brașov and Bran Castle.

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