Recharging in Cluj-Napoca

Have you ever heard of Cluj-Napocoa?  Do you have any idea where Cluj-Napocoa is located?  Honestly, I had never heard of the city until a good friend of mine in Madrid, who is Romanian told me that I should add it to my list during my travels in Romania.  Of course, I immediately began to read more about the city.  Everything I read was positive and enticing.  A huge plus of visiting the city was the dates in which I wanted to visit was the week of TIFF (Transylvanian International Film Festival).  I am not a movie buff, but I figured maybe this will be a good time to slow down my pace and really soak up some culture.  Although I enjoyed every city I have visited so far, Cluj-Napoca is special; at least in my eyes.

I promised myself to finish up some projects that I had been working on for a few months.  I can’t believe I’m confessing to this, but I actually created a checklist.  Yikes!  Here is what I promised to work on.

  1. Edit the 2,000+ photos from the previous month.
  2. Plan for September.  I have no idea where I will be in September. Hmm.. Morocco?  Ireland?  Norway?  Greece?*  
  3. Work on marketing my Madrid tour for October.
  4. Write more blog posts.
  5. Call the family and bother my nephews via Face Time.

During the week I chipped away at my five item check list and tried to also see as much of the city as possible.  The weather was cold.  Not cool, but cold.  During most days the temperature was around 70-75 degrees and in the evening it would drop down into the forties.

Now, let’s move onto where I stayed, what I did, and why I love the city so much.

Where I Stayed

Deja Vu Hotel

I knew I would love the city once I arrived.  My train ride from Brasov was seven hours.  I was tired, hungry, and thirsty.  The staff at the hotel were very understanding and offered me a complimentary wine.  I went from frustrated to relaxed within a few sips.  Amazing how kindness and wine can do that very thing.

Deja Vu Hotel

Deja Vu Hotel

The hotel is located a good 15 walk from the town center, but it’s a peaceful and the walk is beautiful.  You will walk through a park prior to arriving in the center and it’s a good place to stop and read or of course, take a few photos.

A walk through the park.

A walk through the park.

After my stroll through the park I headed towards the city center, specifically Unirii Square where you’ll find the Saint Michael’s Church and the monument dedicated to Matthais Corvinus.  I was impressed with the history and beauty of the square.

Saint Michael’s Church

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Saint Michael’s Church is the second largest church in Transylvania.*(source: Wikipedia)  The first being the Black Church in Brasov.  According to wikipedia, the church, construction probably began in 1349 and it was completed in 1447.  I couldn’t find any resources while visiting the church that would give me solid data to write a more detailed description.

Matthais Corvinus

Statue of Matthais Corvinus on Unirri Square.

Statue of Matthais Corvinus on Unirri Square.

Matthais Corvinus was known as Matthais I, King of Hungary.  For more on Matthais visit Matthais Rex.

Beyond Unirii Square, you can make your way to Ivram Inacu Square.  The theater and the Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral is located there.  The square is beautiful and it’s a great place to take photos.

Lucian Blaga National Theatre.

Lucian Blaga National Theatre.

Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral in the background.

Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral in the background.

TIFF (Transylvania International Film Festival)

Every theater in the city was showing dozens of films, that I had never heard of before, but seemed all very interesting.  The city was abuzz with people from all over the world.  I met Canadians, Belgians, and fellow Americans.  I talked to several people working for TIFF and I decided to watch a move in Unirri Square.  I saw the movie “In Order of the Disappearance” with Stellan Skarsgård.  The film starts off with a very dramatic and serious mood.  However, things changed quickly and you’ll be laughing pretty hard by the time the movies ends.


Where to Eat

Bistro Vienna 

There are many amazing places to eat in Cluj-Napoca.  There is one thing that I budgeted for and that was food.  I do not skip out on good meals.  I made a promise to eat well in order to experience the food of all the countries I was going to visit.  Bistro Vienna is well priced and the staff are friendly.  I spent $10.00 for a soup, main course, and a glass of wine.  The bistro is near Unirri Square.

Bistro Vienna.

Bistro Vienna.

I am blessed to been able to visit such an amazing city.  I was able to completely recharge and focus on planning my summer.  I was also able to work through most of my checklist.  However, my plan for September is still undecided.  I am seeking your help.  Where should I spend September?  Your feedback is much appreciated!

  1. Greece
  2. Norway
  3. Morocco
  4. Ireland


For more photos on Romania visit

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