This blog post (and more to follow about my summer holiday to Italy), is long overdue for various reasons which I won’t bore you with. We were very lucky to be invited to our good friends’ wedding in Cluj-Napoca (Cluj), Romania, at the end of August and we had a couple of days either side of the wedding to explore the city.
Cluj is in north-west Romania in the province of Transylvania and is the second largest city in the country. What struck me is how pretty it is with its medieval buildings, and it has a really nice, laidback vibe. We only had a couple of days to explore it, and I’m sure there are many things we didn’t see and good restaurants we didn’t get a chance to try, but we really enjoyed our time there.
We stayed in an Airbnb apartment on a quiet courtyard just off one of the main roads, which was a great place to be based. The first restaurant we went to for lunch was Roata. It had really good ratings and didn’t disappoint – the food is traditional, hearty Romanian fare. We ordered a huge meat platter but I think they also have vegetable options. It was nice to sit outside on the terrace, but the interior is a bit more traditional.
Walking around near our Airbnb we saw some awesome sights, including the Monument de Memorandists, which was built in 1994. It commemorates the centenary of the trial in 1894 of Memorandists who rose against the denationalisation measures of the Austro-Hungarian Government against Romanians.
Doing my research on Cluj, I came across the Soviet bar which we had time to visit, and although it was quiet when we went I imagine during peak times it could be quite a vibrant and buzzing bar. The Soviet theme is quite unique and I really enjoyed their rather strong, themed cocktails 😉
For dinner on our first day we went to the amazing Via Restaurant, which is a bit more on the expensive side but was well worth it, as the food and wine is great and the atmosphere was buzzing but relaxed. We sat in the garden and could not have enjoyed it more.
On our second day, we started with breakfast at the Olivó Caffe which we returned to for breakfast the following day, as it was just so damn good – why mess with a good thing?! The coffee is great, their breakfasts are amazing and the interior is pretty dreamy.
Walking around Cluj, we headed to Cetatuia Hill to take in the panoramic views of the city.
I thoroughly enjoyed ogling the architecture and making the most of our time before we left for Bologna. I would highly recommend Cluj as a city break, or longer so that you can explore more of Transylvania.