05.09.2014 - 07.09.2014 26 °C
Romania's 2nd city is dominated by its universities, and the number of students gives it a youthful, bohemian feel. The old town covers a very small area, though, which makes walking around the centre a very relaxing experience.
Train station: Is about a mile from the old town. We took a taxi because we weren't feeling well, it was hot and we didn't know about buses. Taxi had to go round the houses to avoid roadworks so ended up costing 16Lei (about 4Euros).
Buses: Lots of buses go straight from the station (Gara) to the old town, but make sure you buy a ticket first from one of the kiosks on the side of the road, if you can find them! On our way back, we walked half way to the station before we spotted one. Bought our tickets and got on, not knowing how to 'compost' the ticket, so we didn't...
Make sure you compost or validate the ticket. There's an old metal bell-looking thing by eacch door and you slip the ticket vertically down and then press the 'bell' to punch a hole in it. Of course, with us not having done it, there was a ticket inspection one stop later, and we were given a stern talking to by the inspectors, who we thought would be the first fine/bribe we'd have to pay on the trip so fat. But they let us off...
Tourit Info: very helpful in the old town, round the corner from the Orthodox Cathedral (right opposite Caffe Olivo)
Don't miss ( as we did cos got there after 4pm) the History of Pharmacy Museum - medical things are big in Cluj and this museum is supposed to be excellent.
Cinema fans: go to the Cinema Victoria and just see whatever is on, as we did: a Danish film with Romanian subtitles. Sounds impossible to follow, but you can really do it. Films are visual after all...
Coffee: Coffe Olivo is the best coffee in Cluj; but look also for Captain Bean on his bike just past the bridge heading towards the station from the old town. Coffee not as good, but still pretty decent and a great guy running the show.
Tea: Do NOT miss Samsara Tea House (further up the same street as Samsara Food House) - take you back to the hippy 60s with its music, no shoes policy and relaxed feel, but also has great tea and lovely raw cake.
Samsara Food House also good especially if you are into vegetarian or vegan food