In May 2008 we flew to Cluj-Napoca from Dortmund (D) with the Hungarian budget airline Wizzair. In April 2012 we left the town also with Wizzair twowards Dortmund (D).
Cluj-Napoca's airport is the biggest in Transylvania and the 4th biggest in Romania.
It is located about 9 km east of the Cluj-Napoca's city centre in the suburb of Someseni.
Please read my "From the airport to the city centre" tip for more information about how to get from the airport to the city centre.
Cluj-Napoca's airport is served by local bus number 8. The bus stop can be found about 150 metres in front of the terminal at the main street. Depending on the day the bus runs every 10-30 minutes to the Piata Mihai Viteazul in the city centre.
As we usually prefer taking public transport to taxis in Eastern Europe we went to the bus stop, where we got in contact with two Romanian people.
As it was a bank holiday, the bus only ran every 30 minutes, so we finally decided to take a taxi altogether. The taxi ride was only 17 RON to the city centre. Of course the Romanian people did the talking with the driver, so that we didn't get ripped off.
Cluj-Napoca's public transport system consists of buses, trolleybuses and trams.
We only used the trams, which cover the route along Hora Street between the city centre and the train station.
Tickets can be purchased from kiosks and cost 3 RON (2008) for two journeys. One half of the ticket has to be punched in the vehicle as soon as you board it.
In May 2008 we left Cluj-Napoca by train to Suceava. The ticket for a fast train (Accelerat) for this trip cost 43,80 RON and the journey for the 322 km took approximately 6,25 hours.
In April 2012 we arrived in Cluj-Napoca by train from Sighisoara. The ticket for an IR train for this trip cost 58,20 RON and the journey for the 203 km took approximately 3,5 hours.
In Romania the train fares depend on the type of train, which means that fast trains can cost more than double the price than regional trains. Please also read my tip "Buying a train ticket in Romania" for more info.
Cluj-Napoca has train connections to almost all bigger cities in Romania, including Bucharest, Timisoara, Oradea, Sighisoara and Iasi.
Cluj-Napoca's train station is located at the Str. Garii 1-3, about 3 km north of the city centre. The best way to get to town is by tram #100 or #101.
Buying a train ticket in Romania can be a bit complicated.
First of all train fares depend on the type of train. The faster the train the more expensive the ticket. In addition to this a seat reservation is obligatory to most of the trains.
Train tickets are sold in the station office only about 1 hour before the train departs, this is due to the slow seat allocation and reservation system.
An alternative is to buy your tickets at one of the CFR booking offices (Agentia de Voiaj CFR).
These can be found in most towns and sell tickets in advance but usually not for same day travel.
Cluj-Napoca's CFR booking office can be found at the Piata Mihai Viteazul 20, right in the city centre.
Cluj-Napoca's city centre is best explored on foot, especially as many streets in the historic city centre are pedestrianised.
There are also many small alleys which aren't accessible to cars or buses.
If you are tired from walking you can still catch a local bus or tram and get back to your starting point.
They don’t have specific color, could be red or white or grey, etc. The drivers are friendly and the cars are comfortable (at least one, hehe). The price per km is 1.80 lei (around 0.45 EUR). I’m telling you this just to watch out before catching a taxi.
Once in Cluj-Napoca, as the weather was good (0 to 6ºC, but there was not snow), we decided to do some excursions. The best way to move around was renting a car. Among the offers we found at the tourist office, we chose Olis rent-a-car.
We took the car at City Plaza Hotel, in downtown. In fact, we contacted the agent through the reception. We rented a Renault Megane for two days, for 38 euro per day, with a deposit of 300 euro.
so safety and quiet... but the most attention you have to pay is once you go to the ticket glass window and ask for it... the first of all is so curious ..the cue is on the right side of the window not in front of !! i lost my turn cos i didnt know,...and dont try to ask people cos they dont speak a word in english lol
So now you know what to do...then when we ask for the ticket you will recieve some cardboards, each one for different ways of the journey and you are charged basically by the kilometers you do ...so u will take in your hand two or three cardboards
You have to buy the tickets to the tram and buses in special booths. They are not many, I found only two around Piata Mihai Viteazul, the hub for the buses in downtown and where you find the bus #8 to the airport. There should also be a booth in the area of the railway station but I couldn't find it! It was not visible when coming from the station anyway.
This is a warning!!! I was fucxd with taxis at Cluj Airport. Stupid me!
I took taxi from the airport to Bethlen Kata...and meter showed 52 ROL, I tipped and payed 70 ROL
Return trip costs with DIESEL taxis only 12 ROL and no need to tip...
So be carefull with there boys in the airport and call a cab!
It is easy to get to or from Cluj Napoca with train, and I find the train standard to be as good as in any country. The tickets are cheap and can be purchased and printed out from Internet. A one-way journey to Sighisoara, which takes about 3,5 hours, costs no more than ~50 Lei (~11 Euro) in second class. The railway station sits about 1 km north of Piata Mihai Viteazul, the transport hub in town, and about i1,5 km north of the town centre.
I post the link to the railway company further down.
Here are two other links: the first one takes you to the map of the rail lines and the second one to a site with private operators. It is unfortunately in Romanian only.
An international airport is available, 10 km East of the city. Frequent connections to Italy (Verona, Treviso, Bologna, Firenze, Bergamo) through Carpat Air, and to Germany (Frankfurt. Munich) via Lufthansa and the national airline: Tarom.
The Romanian railways have good connections to the main cities, but you must remember to make reservations in advance, because it may very well happen the train is full and you're not allowed to catch it.
The Public Transportation Authority (RATUC) provides access to nearly ever part of the city.
The map shows all bus, trolleybus and tram routes in different colours, points of tourist interest, the airport and the railway station. This map is available in English, German, Romanian and Hungarian.
Budapest is surprisingly close to Cluj-Napoca, so it's easy for travelers visiting Romania to make a side trip to Budapest (though frankly, Romania is better!). "Overnight" busses are a bit of a misnomer, as with so little traffic on the roads at night the trip is dramatically shorter than if you were to drive during the day. Minibuses leave at 11:00 pm every night (when I went it was from the front of Hotel Napoca, though this can change), and will have you in God-knows-where Budapest by 4:30 am (before the metro begins operating). Sadly, you cannot expect anyone at all to be quiet on this journey, and thus you're unlikely to get any sleep on the minibus. Manners, people! Your arrival in the middle of nowhere can be a little creepy but ask friendly-looking people for directions to the metro and they'll be sure to help you out. It is helpful to get some forints before you arrive, as no currency exchanges will be open at 5:00 am and you'll need to buy a metro ticket.
This route is not listed on the official Romanian bus website- all the listed routes require nine or more hours. You CAN do this quickly if you travel at night, and I'm sure your hotel can help you make the reservation. If not, check with the guys at Retro Hostel (and give them a tip!).