Tours & Day Trips in Cluj-Napoca
Why visit Cluj-Napoca in 2022? It's Romania's second largest city, the unofficial capital of Transylvania and a favourite spot for city breaks for tourists and Romanians alike! Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the city was known as 'The Biggest Festival in Europe' because there were so many events going on fuelled by its incredibly lively, friendly and bohemian young crowds - which we hope will come back! Its middle class works in IT, is well-off and always looking for fun and interesting ways to spend their time - which is why you'll find lots of specialty coffee shops and modern restaurants in the city.
Located in the heart of Transylvania and having the 2nd largest airport in Romania, Cluj-Napoca is the ideal entry point into Romania and a great base to visit the country including the best sights of Transylvania and famous tourist sub-regions such as Maramures or Bukovina! Be sure to check our guide on what to do in Cluj-Napoca to get a better idea of what to see & do in the city!
Here's our selection of tours in Cluj-Napoca with specialist guides in culture, history and hiking - contact us if you want a custom, private tour!
Start from: Cluj - Napoca
Start from: Cluj - Napoca
Start from: Cluj - Napoca
Start from: Cluj-Napoca
Start from: Cluj - Napoca
Start from: Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara or Bucharest
Start from: Cluj-Napoca
Start from: Cluj-Napoca
Start from: Cluj-Napoca
Reviews about Tours & Day Trips in Cluj-Napoca
Alex our guide was very passionate and knowledgable about the forest. Unfortunately we did not witness anything paranormal except that the K2 meter was going off in the rotunda clearing area of the forest for no apparent reason but it never went off in the wooded area at all then started again when we entered the clearing for a second time. Although we got no other activity, the evening was an enjoyable one. Thank you to Romanian friend and Alex for an interesting and different evening.
Our night tour to Hoia Baciu forest with our guide , Alex was amazing . My three kids loved the experience and Alex is clearly very passionate and knowledgeable about what he does . I would definitely recommend the night tour to anyone staying in Cluj … you won’t be disappointed.
I had an enjoyable time on this tour! The trees were mystifying and the Clearing was an atmospheric place to visit. Thanks Alex!
The trip was great, couldnt be better... except for the weather, maybe :)
Best Tours and Top Things to do in Cluj-Napoca
Planning to visit Cluj-Napoca in 2022? Great idea – here’s some inspiration to help you plan your trip!
Situated in the heart of the historical region of Transylvanian, Cluj county (județ in Romanian) is the second most very important for the economic, cultural and social life of Romania. Cluj-Napoca (unofficially considered the capital of Transylvania among locals) is the main city of the county and the second largest in Romania. The name Cluj comes from the word "clus" in Latin which means "closed" and refers to the fact that the city is situated between hills and Apuseni Mountains of Western Carpathians. If you’re going to visit Cluj-Napoca in 2022 then check our suggestions below for tourist attractions and areas you can visit on guided tours – and let us know if you need any help in deciding where to go or planning your trip!
- Cluj-Napoca - the unofficial capital of Transylvania!
You need at least one full day, best is two, to visit the city of Cluj-Napoca. Besides a leisurely walk in the city there are many attractions you should consider most of them outdoor and not overcrowded, making this a very safe destination after the Covid pandemic.
Dive into the history of Cluj and Transylvania by discovering the stories behind the city’s impressive neo-classical and Secession buildings, historical monuments and public squares. Go on a guided tour of Cluj to learn how revolutions, anti-communists protests and even the Great Union of 1918 were planned in the townhouses here. Find out in what way was history changed in Union Square, discover the historical significance of the Museum Square in the medieval part of the city and take in the cultural mélange of Romanian, Hungarian and Austrian culture, all coming together in heritage in the Avram Iancu Square. Museum Square is located between the biggest and most exciting museums and it’s also the place where many local events take place. Although Cluj-Napoca’s Old Town area is large, all three squares are within walking distance.
If you are a fan of architecture, Cluj will not disappoint. In churches and cathedrals alone, it combines the Gothic style of St. Michael’s Church, a Romano Catholic edifice dominating Union Square, with the local Orthodox tradition of the Orthodox Cathedral in Avram Iancu Square, near the Museum of the Cluj Mitropoly, and the Franciscan Church and Monastery.
And when you are done with your trip through Christianity and its architectural representations, you end up the museum district of the city centre, right between the Transylvanian Ethnographic Museum and the Museum of Transylvanian National History. If you plan to see them on the same day, start early and expect to get side-tracked by the many other side attractions and alleys in the Old Town. Casa Matia, a former medieval inn and the birthplace of Matia Corvin, son of Iancu de Hunedoara, is in the vicinity, as well as the Cluj-Napoca Art Museum. Lots to be seen and enjoyed!
Cluj-Napoca is famous for its culinary experiences boasting some of the best restaurants in Romania. When you are in the city center, don’t miss out on BARACCA gourmet restaurant seen by international food bloggers and locals alike as one of the best in the country. Come for the food, stay for the fancy establishment, welcoming staff, and relaxing atmosphere. Via Restaurant is another great option in the city centre, with a diverse menu that will make you sorry there are only so many meals to be had in a day.
Cluj’s Old Town area is like the Bermuda Triangle for foodies and coffee lovers. No matter how many places you try, you will always feel there is that one cool, fancy or interesting place you saw and did not get to go. Don’t worry, this is how locals feel too! That’s why we recommend tourists to extend their stay and take it slow. The true Transylvanian spirit is to take it easy, relax, no rush, enjoy life, have a good meal and spend time with friends and family out in the
But if your time is limited maximize it by going on a food tour in Cluj-Napoca to visit a farmer’s market and taste regional dishes, deserts and specialty coffee with a local guide who knows his way around a spoon and fork.
Once you are done with your city tour, visiting the Tower of Firemen, the Tower of Skydivers or the Tailors’ Tower, stepped into every boutique shop and eaten to your heart’s desire in the Old Town area, it is time to break for a while from city life, to disconnect from history and tradition and to enjoy a relaxing stroll. Nature lovers can find a breath of fresh air in the hard of a modern, busy city at the Botanical Garden, one of the most beautiful in the country, or in the Simion Barnutiu Park, with its mesmerizing water fountain and its stunning Casino building. And if you plan on spending a nice evening out, start out with the CHIOS Social Lounge situated on the park’s lake. The view is breathtaking, inside and out and the local atmosphere at it’s best!
Some visitors like to end a day walking around town with a trip to Cetatuia Hill for a sunset walk and maybe a bite to eat at some of the food vans on top. A cool beer or a delicious hot chocolate can well complement the view of the city whose heart you have been exploring all day long.
- visit Turda Salt Mine on a tour from Cluj-Napoca
The most popular day trip from Cluj is to Turda Salt Mine, a must-see attraction in Romania. The 2000-year-old mine is the most popular tourist attraction in Cluj County with almost 700.000 visitors each year since it was first recognized as a tourist attraction in 1992. The 2009 – 2010 modernization of the mine with European Funds added lighting decorations that make the scenery spectacular and the huge caverns and tunnels even more interesting.
Accessibility through the tunnels and to the main attraction points was increased for all age ranges and created the leisure centre people enjoy so much when visiting.
120 meters deep, the Turda Salt Mine is not only a spectacular underground formation with huge grottas, but a historical monument, an amusement park, and a relaxing oasis surrounded by salty air, so beneficial for the lungs and overall health. There is bowling, mini golf, a ride on the Ferris Wheel, pool, and tennis tables, and you can even book a ride on the salty waters of Mine Lake Terezia for an even more immersive experience in the heart of Transylvania.
Visiting fees for adults are 50 lei Monday to Friday and 60 lei Saturday and Sunday, and 30 lei for seniors, children, pupils, and students throughout the week. All fees for leisure activities can be consulted online, along with parking and other optional fees, and entrance tickets can be purchased online in advance with a 24-hour cancelation option available.
If you’re worried about being in closed, confined spaces in the post-Covid era, rest assured that safety measures are in place. All public facilities are sanitized frequently. Visitors are advised to use hand sanitizer, to avoid crowds, to use the stairs (for those physically fit) not only the elevators, and to come in early to have enough time to enjoy everything underground. Even people with minor claustrophobia feel safe here!
The Salt Mine is part of what Turda has to offer tourists, along with a recommended visit to the salty baths, the ruins of Potaissa Fortress belonging to the 5th Macedonian Legion, the Turda medieval fortress, the tomb of the famous Romanian prince Mihai Viteazul, the Calvin Reformed Church, the Turda Museum or the local zoo. There is also a SPA & Wellness Center, which would complement the healthy activities you have undergone underground, and the Potaissa Hotel Restaurant will be a treat and a delight for all your senses.
- Turda Gorges – visit, hike, or bike!
A 30-minutes car ride or an even longer yet healthier bike tour from Cluj, will take you to Turda Gorge (Cheile Turzii). This is a day trip to a natural attraction you don’t want to miss out on if you’re a fan of the outdoors. The Turda Gorges were formed through the erosion of Jurassic limestones thousands of years ago. The steep canyon is 1270 meters long and about 200 meters high and is crossed by Hashed Creek. Thanks to its wild beauty and natural diversity, Turda Gorge was included by UNESCO on its list of the most important natural attractions and reservations. There are more than 60 caves of about 20 m - the longest one being of 120 m.
The area has been declared a protected natural area because there are over 1,000 plant species (including wild garlic) and around 67 species of animals, including deer, weasel, fox, wild boar, rabbit, marten, living inside Turda Gorge.
Besides being full of natural wonders, there are options for light trekking, medium hiking, and real mountaineering and rock climbing adventures. Just make sure to wear the right shoes on your hiking day trip and hire a hiking guide that can take you on an unforgettable adventure outdoors. Unfortunately there’s no other way to reach Turda Gorge then by car.
With steep walls and a rocky canyon, this is a great place to go on a hiking trip with various trails available to choose from. The hiking route is suitable for people with an average level of experience or physical condition, but with the right guide, it is accessible to beginners as well. A guide can also show you special points where the gorges close in on you and you truly feel isolated in a natural oasis, or great vista points!
If you are looking for some adventure, opt for the Via Ferrata hiking tour in Turda Gorge, one of the most popular in Romania. Via Ferrata means rock climbing and mountaineering using steel cable attached in the rock. This is an option for experienced climbers or people who want to learn how to do this and have a medium/good physical condition. Our friendly hiking guide will provide the equipment and can teach you how to do this – so don’t hesitate to book our hiking tour if you’re interested!
- Apuseni Mountains National Park – the best destination for hiking tours from Cluj-Napoca!
The National Park of Apuseni Mountains has been declared a national protected area due to its picturesque rural landscapes, varied geological structures and unique flora and fauna. This is where some endangered species such as the brown bear and the otter can still be seen here in their natural habitat. Eco-tourists and mountaineering enthusiasts can explore over 300 caves. The most popular guided tours will take you to Scărișoara Ice Cave where you can see the second largest underground ice block from the glacier-era in the world or to Vârtop cave where the oldest traces of the Neanderthal man were discovered. How exciting is that?
Other hiking day trip options will take you to Scărița Belioara, a rock formation situated at an altitude of 1300 meters which offers a unique view over the surrounding Apuseni Mountains. This trip is suitable for people with a medium to high fitness level as there will be hiking uphill – but the views are breath taking and totally worth it!
Spread over almost three counties (Bihor, Cluj, and Alba), the park offers numerous opportunities for tourists to discover local diverse communities and experience what is representative for the Romanian traditional lifestyle. On your way up to the natural wonders of the Western Carpathians, you will pass through remote villages and see with your own eyes how people manage to live off the land, cut-off from civilization, being in touch with nature, self-sustained, and ever so hospitable and generous.
One region of interest is known as Moților Land where specific customs and crafts are preserved by locals. Playing the tulnic, a long, elongated blowing instrument with a unique sound is one of them – once you hear it’s echoes going over the hills, you’ll never forget it! Having local connections is essential if you want to see this so you’ll need to hire a guide for a multi-day tour from Cluj for this kind of experience.
- Bride’s Veil Waterfall
Another popular natural attraction you can see on a day trip from Cluj through Apuseni Mountains includes a visit to Bride’s Veil Waterfall near Răchitele Village. This is just one of the many destinations in the heart of the mountains, accessible to the people doing the Pietrele Albe (White Stones) mountain circuit. This is one of our most popular hiking day trips from Cluj-Napoca.
With an impressive fall of over 30 meters and a wide rock display for the tumbling water, the name “Bride’s Veil” comes from the similarity between the waterfall pattern and a bridal veil.
In wintertime, the water stream freezes and creates the perfect environment for climbing. There is even a legend about how a bride fell from the cliff and her veil was left hanging from the rocks. Upon seeing her perish, her loved ones invited to the wedding started to weep and their tears formed the waterfall.
- Hoia Baciu haunted forrest
Definitely one of weirdest, not-so-common and un-touristy attractions in Romania, the Hoia Baciu forrest near Cluj-Napoca is said to be haunted and a place of paranormal activity. Without doubt it’s one of the most popular tourist attractions and day trips from Cluj for tourists looking for a different, off-the beaten path experience.
Hoia Baciu forest became known in the “different” tourism scene after a UFO was presumably sighted hovering above it in the 1960s. After that, the forest started displaying strange, unnatural forms of vegetation, like the Round Glade (Poiana Rotundă) a perfectly circular glade where nothing but grass grows at an even level, like it’s being constantly mowed!. And in some parts of the forest strange, inexplicable data readings show up.
But in reality there are lots of folk stories and legends about strange things that happened in the forest which created its reputation among locals. One of them is about how a shepherd inexplicably went missing with his entire flock inside the forest. That’s why it’s called the haunted forest of Romania and locals from all over the country come visit!
If you want to hear about these stories and see the strange places and weird fauna inside the forest then our guide is the most knowledgeable expert in the matter. He has been doing guided tours in Hoia Baciu forest for almost 8 years now and is truly passionate about making it known on a short trip from Cluj. And since the forest is not your typical tourist attraction there are no tourist info panels or trails, it’s just a forest! So visiting with a guide is necessary!
You don’t need to pack your ghostbuster overalls as our guide will provide you with a Geiger meter and other equipment for special measurements. This way you’ll see for yourself. The guided tour is available in daylight and at night-time for those looking for a unique experience.
- Belis – Fantanele area
Nature was not the only beauty creator in the area. To find proof of that you must only take a day trip from Cluj some 100 km from the city to the Belis Fantanele resort. The artificial lake in the area is located close to the village of Belis, and it was created when a dam was built there between 1970 and 1974. The lake flooded the villages in the area and forced locals to relocate the entire village, including the cemetery, on the nearby hill. In the middle of the lake the former church still exists and sometimes can be seen when the water drops as proof of the village that was once there.
Now, the Belis Fantanele area is a very popular summer and winter destination with locals, as a wild place of nature and relaxation. Besides breath-taking views, you can also enjoy summer tourist activities such as fishing or swimming, or simple ones in winter like riding the slope with a sledge.
- Szekler's Stone and Rimetea Village
There’s another popular day trip from Cluj to a place so beautiful that the sun has to rise twice just to see it! Are you intrigued yet?
The village of Rimetea is said to be one of the most beautiful in Romania, with bright white houses adorned with dark green shutters, a testament of the Hungarian and Szekely heritage in the area, well-kept gardens, and friendly locals! This is the first Romanian village to have received the Europa Nostra Award for architectural patrimony preservation.
First mentioned in written documents in the 13th century, Rimetea developed around its mining and blacksmith activities and strived up until the 19th century, when most houses were built in this specific style as a sign of the locals’ wealth and pride.
But more than that there is the Szekler's Stone (Piatra Secuiului in Romanian) which towers over the village and offers spectacular views of the entire area. This is the reason they say the sun rises twice over Rimetea. Because of the towering peak, the first sun rays remain “stuck” behind it, only to reappear as the sun rises over the horizon. On a guided tour you can either see the village and stop for a traditional lunch or choose to go hiking all the way to the top of this impressive natural attraction!
- The Banffy Castle in Bontida
Banffy Castle is a popular destination for music and film lovers, as well as history buffs looking to explore ruins and historical attractions on a short trip outside of Cluj. The castle in the village of Bontida was built in 1437 and suffered numerous changes and additions to its structure up until 1890. The castle is one of the many properties that belonged to the wealthy Banffy family, a noble Hungarian family from Transylvania.
The original architectural style was the Renaissance, but due to later changes in also has Baroque and Romantic influences. After the last owner died in 1950, Banffy Castle was used by the communist regime as the headquarters for an agricultural cooperative in the area, which led to some serious degradation of the building. Recently, it underwent a series of restoration works thanks to it being included on a list of 100 most endangered sites in the world in 2000.
Since 2013, Banffy Castle has been the host location for Electric Castle music festival. The festival gained popularity and prestige on the European festival scene having won several awards for the best mediumEuropean Festivals Awards. Part of its annual profit is donated to the fund for the monument restoration and the festival helps build awareness and appreciation for the ruins of Banffy Castle, which can be visited freely. Also, it hosts some of the outdoors screenings of the Transylvania Film Festival. Its vast open spaces were a blessing for people who longed for cultural events during the Covid pandemic.
Apart from the cultural and entertaining events organized here, the place is a great destination for a picnic or a relaxing stroll on a trip out of Cluj.
- Tarnita Lake
When you feel the need to change the cobbled stones or cement under your feet with soft grass, and if you want to feast your eyes on some natural beauties as opposed to architectural wonders, book a day trip from Cluj to Tarnita Lake. It only takes an hour or so by car to get there.
Tarnita Lake is an artificial lake formed in 1974 after the construction of a dam 97 m high and 237 m long. Stretched over an area of 8 km and depth of 70 m, the lake is attractive for locals passionate about sports and activities such as fishing, water skiing, jet-ski, swimming, or boat rides. You can go for a hike, challenging or more accessible, depending on your fitness level. Lucaci’s Rock at the Tarnita dam is a 3-hour hike away from the base and an option for people at a medium level of training. The hike to Dan’s Rock is only 2 hours but much more challenging.
Also, there are sports events and competitions that are organized in the area, as well as summer festivals and celebrations. Located some 30 km away from Cluj-Napoca, it’s great for a day spent in the great outdoors. On your ay back to Cluj, stop at Gilau for a spectacular view of the sunset over another lake. A nice way to end a day spent in nature.
- Other attractions: Alba Iulia Citadel, Sighisoara Citadel, Maramures and Bucovina regions and Transylvania's countryside
Travelers will be surprised when they come on a trip to Transylvania. Apart from discovering Cluj-Napoca and spending time outdoors, there is more. Thanks to its ideal location, Cluj-Napoca is a great starting base to go on day trips or multi-day tours to other top tourist attractions in Transylvania.
Almost any direction you choose you find amazing sights and exciting cities. If you go North, for example, you will enter the historical region of Maramures, a place with numerous UNESCO sights, cultural attractions, and a glimpse into traditional Romanian village life unlike anywhere else in Romania. One interesting attraction is the Merry Cemetery of Sapanta, a place where people’s lives are celebrated on their tombstones in the most creative ways. Meet the locals and see their colourful traditional costumes. Attend a village dinner while wearing such a costume and see how well you can blend into the background. Book a guided trip from Cluj to Maramures and spend a couple of days there for the full experience.
Bukovina is further up North and the place where you will see some of the most beautiful monasteries in Romania. Some of them are included in the World UNESCO patrimony, like the Voronet monastery, painted 400 years ago with a unique shade of blue which stood the test of time so well that it baffled experts. And if admiring old monasteries makes you think that time stays still in this part of the world, then a trip with the Mocanita (a very-very slow train that still runs on coal) will guarantee that you have fallen in a time pocket only the lucky ones who visit this place know about. Like Maramures, the best way to experience the beauty of this region – and also due to logistics – is on a multi-day guided tour.
Moving down South Alba Iulia Citadel, an important historical landmark for Romania’s history. The day trip from Cluj to this tourist attraction is not long, so you will arrive feeling refreshed and ready to visit the Alba Carolina Citadel. This star shaped citadel was built between 1715 and 1738 over the site of a former Roman fortification, the Roman Castle of Legio XIII, and the Balgrad medieval Citadel. This is the largest in Romania and a place of great historical significance where the Great Union of 1918 took place and where King Ferdinand and Queen Mary were crowned in 1922 in the great Orthodox Cathedral.
The neighbouring counties of Sibiu and Mures are other amazing destinations. Our guided tours from Cluj include Medias and the famous Saxon villages with fortified churches. Just when you thought you have discovered all foreign influences and traditions in Transylvania, Siebenburgen presents itself before you, revealing its secrets. How did the Saxons live during medieval times? Walk on narrow streets, admire the old colourful houses locals are so proud of and enjoy a nice coffee break.
Sighisoara Citadel is another well-known popular tourist attraction for a day trip from Cluj. You will be surprised by the oldest inhabited medieval citadel in Europe and start wondering how would it be to actually live here – like the locals do? If you travel away from Cluj for more than one day, you could even book a stay at one of the boutique hotels in the citadel. They provide modern accommodations in the most amazing historical setting. Can you say this about any other touristic destination?
And while citadel life is impressive, the picturesque landscapes of Transylvania will impress you. On day trips in the region you’ll see other attractions such as the fortified church of Biertan an impressive Saxon construction part of UNESCO heritage. On multi-day trips you can go as far as visiting the village of Viscri or the popular tourist cities of Brasov and Sibiu.
Our guides and tours from Cluj-Napoca can take you to visit these sights – and if you need help with planning your itinerary let us know!