Cluj-Napoca: Heart of Transylvania
Day or night, Cluj-Napoca never sleeps! Being the second largest city in Romania, Cluj-Napoca offers an endless number of choices for students with different tastes and budgets. What is more, you will rarely have time to get bored here, because the city is so full of energy and good vibes, it practically pushes you towards it. You’re not convinced yet? Take a look at what Cluj-Napoca has to offer, so that your student years will thrive with experience!
Cluj-Napoca is the place where all the goodies happen! If you are an active person, who loves experimenting, then take a look! We have so many festivals happening during the year, it is hard to say no!
Do you love music? Then we have the perfect place for you! Electric Castle is the first Romanian festival that took electronic dance music and live concerts sounds to a castle’s domain. Since its first edition in 2013, the festival was shortlisted every year for the Best Medium Sized Festival Category at the European Festival Awards, among other important European names. Held on the domain of Bánffy Castle (or Bonţida Bánffy Castle), Electric Castle Festival is an unique, mind-blowing experience. It shakes up the way people interact with music by combining a visually innovative concept with an eclectic musical line-up, breaking the boundaries between electronic music and reggae, mainstream and subculture genres. It’s the only music festival in Romania to offer a complete and authentic experience through notorious international artists, a vast camping area, a diverse food court and an exceptional scenery.
Untold Festival, the “Wold Capital of Night and Magic” is the largest annual electronic music festival held in Romania, taking place in Cluj-Napoca. The first edition of the festival took place in 2015, when Cluj-Napoca was appointed the European Youth Capital, and the festival won the title of “Best European Major Festival”. During the four days of the festival, more than 300,000 people attended the concerts held on several stages of the festival.
Ever get the feeling that you need to escape from the city noise and just breathe? We know the perfect place and time, and you won’t even have to leave the city! Jazz in the Park is not a new concept, and since 2013 it was brought to Cluj! Located in Central Park, Jazz in the Park is the perfect site to listen to good music, read a book, and just relax! Did we mention it has a free entrance?
Is watching movies one of your hobbies? Why not sharing this experience with others just like you? TIFF (Transilvania International Film Festival) was founded in 2002, being the first international feature film festival in Romania. TIFF has become a well-known brand in Romania, having over 60.000 spectators at their film screenings, during the ten days of the festivals. Also, it has become an important release place for young and promising Romanian film directors, being a promoter of the Romanian film. During these 14 years, Transilvania IFF has become a well-known brand in Romania, not only due to the outstanding films screened every year, but also for the effective organization, sparkling atmosphere and density of events, from seminars, workshops and panels to fabulous concerts and crazy all night long parties. The last editions of Transilvania IFF have not only been spectacular, but also showcased an extremely generous and diverse offer of films and sensational events. The 2015 edition presented almost 400 screenings, attracting a record number of over 73.000 spectators during the ten days of the festival.
Over these 14 editions, Transilvania IFF was honored to host important personalities of European and worldwide cinema offering Lifetime Achievement Awards to Julie Delpy, Michael Radford, Annie Girardot, Udo Kier, Vanessa Redgrave, Franco Nero, Nicolas Roeg, Catherine Deneuve, Claudia Cardinale and Wim Wenders, Jacqueline Bisset, Geraldine Chaplin, Nastassja Kinski or Jiri Menzel. In the following years, Transilvania IFF’s main goal remains the promotion of cinematic art by presenting the most important films of the moment that feature both originality and independence of expression. This is a festival where imagination and youthful vision were always encouraged, and which the organizers have shaped up into a high-spirited cultural landmark.
If you want the challenge yourself and learn more about arts, then this is the place! TiMAF (Transilvania International Music and Art Festival) is a unique concept in Romania, gathering in one place all arts: plastic arts, architecture, street arts, dance, theater, literature, publicity, decorative arts and design, gastronomy, martial arts, music, photography and film.
Cluj is an important university center of Romania, and the students have plenty of places to hang out before or after they go the classes! Piezisa street, near Hasdeu campus, is unique because it hosts only pubs and bars, the most notable being Booha Bar and Studio 26. Memorandului Street is the home of L’Atelier Café and Shto College bar. Other nice places in town are Cafe Francesca, Q Cafe, Phil’s Coffee Shop, Chocodor Coffeehouse.
Are you willing to spend every night in your student years sleeping? No? Good! Another impressive characteristic of Cluj is the diversity of clubs, that range from latino to electro, but all promise to keep you up till sunrise. Club Midi is ranked at 26 best 100 clubs in the world, which makes Cluj an even prodder city! Form Space is an unconventional place, the home sweet home of electronic, drum and bass and techno, its fans and local producers. The Shelter and Flying Circus represent the perfect places if you have an eclectic music style, if you love to dance or if you simply want to experience a live concert. Euphoria Music Hall is the perfect place for live concerts from your favorite bands, but also for great student parties, with mainstream music.
Museums and Landmarks
Cluj is one of the cities in Romania with a strong personality and quite a history. This is displayed in the variety of museums, in the architectural wonders throughout the city and its landmarks. The Pharmaceutical Museum is located in a special place, the Hintz house, being the place of the first pharmacy in Cluj. The Ethnographic Museum from Cluj is the first ethnographic museum from Romania, founded in 1922, hosting over 40,000 original artefacts. Casino Building is one of the palaces in Cluj, hosting throughout the years a casino, a museum, an arts school and a restaurant. Located in Central Park, near the Chios Lake, the Casino is a symbol of the city. The Church of Saint Michael is definitely an emblem of Cluj-Napoca, the second largest church in Transylvania. Placed in the heart of Unirii Square, the church is one of the most representative monuments of gothic architecture. The “Alexandru Borza” Botanical Garden was founded in 1920, and it’s the home of over 10,000 species of plants. It is also the perfect place for relaxation and meditating, and from the Water Tower you can see the panorama of Cluj-Napoca. What is more, as a UBB student, you have a free entrance! Cetatuia, the fortress of Cluj, is an outstanding landmark of the city, having been built with the purpose of ensuring control over the city, after Transylvania became part of the Habsburg Empire. Today it is a dating place and a perfect location to see the city panorama. And did you know that you have to climb over 200 stairs to get there? Now that’s a challenge!
For those looking to keep their fitness during their student years, they can find both indoor and outdoor places to do so, along with the local sports teams. If you are part of a sports team, you like martial arts or you simply want to go with you friends and see a match, Sala Sporturilor is your place! Do you like water? Do you like swimming? Do you need time for you and your health? Perfect! Babes Park (which is in the same yard with our faculty) has a really nice, big and clean pool. Central Park is the largest urban park in Cluj and it is located on the southern shore of Somesul Mic river. It is a relaxing location, due to its large green spaces. It is a perfect place to walk, jog or simply relax. It inspires a nice mood mostly during summer nights. You need a few minutes to relax and forget about school? You just have to get out from the faculty’s building and you are there! During your breaks, you can relax on the Somesul Mic river’s side, you can take a walk or take a sun bath on the bench. Also you can come here and jog or you can go swimming at the swimming pool.
Cinema and Theater
With 4 cinemas, one national theatre, one Hungarian theatre and an opera, it’s quite hard not to be satisfied when looking for some motion in front of your eyes. The National Theatre of Cluj is an important venue for all theatre lovers, with screenplays presenting all year long. The National Opera of Cluj functions in the same building as the National Theatre, considered to be a genuine school of singing. The Hungarian Theatre, located near Central Park, is the oldest theatre of the Hungarian language, being founded in 1792. The screenplays are simultaneously translated in Romanian. Cinema City, located in Iulius Mall and Polus Center is home of the newest films the industry has to offer. Cinema Florin Piersic is the perfect place for students, with price tickets ranging from 5-10 lei. It’s quite a bargain, isn’t it? Didn’t get the chance to see a movie? Cinema Victoria runs projections of all kinds of movies, especially Romanian ones.