50 free things to do in Cluj-Napoca


piata-unirii-okEvery month I’m invited to go on television and express just why in the world I like Romania and to “explain” how it is possible I can truly enjoy my life here.

I always respond that there are so many beautiful and wonderful things here, including those with zero monetary cost and thus are accessible to everyone. Money is nice but you don’t need one red cent to avail yourself of a lot of really fantastic and good things here, as I demonstrate in my own personal life on a regular basis.

Below are 50 (and there are many, many more!) fun and wonderful things you can do right here in Cluj-Napoca that are free and are available to even the grumpiest, poorest Romanian.

* = requires an ID card and/or that you’re a Romanian citizen

  1. Listen to and enjoy a folkloric traditional music concert
  2. Attend a book launch and meet local authors
  3. Visit and enjoy one of the local museums (at select times)
  4. Drink clean, healthy and delicious water from a public fountain
  5. *Play ping-pong and jump on a trampoline (Decathlon at Polus mall)
  6. Take a stroll through the 10+ beautifully landscaped city parks filled with flowers
  7. Enjoy a hike through the forest (begins at Clabucet bus station INSIDE the city limits)
  8. Play in the fountain (Piata Unirii)
  9. Meet and greet the mayor and take a photo with him
  10. *Rent and ride a bicycle (over 750 available city-wide!) on several kilometers of bike paths
  11. Admire the amazing architecture and interior design of cathedrals (many) and churches
  12. Attend a rock concert with top-name stars (multiple times per year)
  13. Eat a sample of fresh, homemade cheese (at the piata/market)
  14. Eat free food from around the world (remember this?) during “Cluj Days”
  15. Listen to Hungarian music and browse traditional handicrafts (every August – Hungarian festival)
  16. Watch a movie in the open air (TIFF movie festival)
  17. Kick off your shoes and work on your suntan (any park or grassy area)
  18. Read thousands of books in multiple languages (libraries)
  19. Enjoy a festival of lights (as I did here)
  20. See and pet a real sheep (manger “scene” during Christmastime)
  21. Listen to classical music and enjoy a light show (fountain at Pta Avram Iancu)
  22. Use the internet and check your email (tourist office B-dul Eroilor)
  23. Get a map of the city and info about local attractions (tourist office in 2 locations, B-dul Eroilor and Turnul Croitorilor)
  24. Watch a marathon and cheer on the runners
  25. Take a lovely stroll alongside the river
  26. Feed the ducks
  27. *Vote and participate in a democracy
  28. *Get clothes that were donated by your fellow citizens (Caritas in P-ta Cipariu)
  29. Get food, clothes, books and other things freely exchanged (see my post here)
  30. *Receive basic healthcare and emergency treatment
  31. *Get a quality education including at the university level
  32. Enjoy a book fair and meet local authors (Gaudeamus Book Fair)
  33. Have access to police, the fire department and other emergency responders
  34. Use gym equipment to get a workout (Central Park)
  35. Eat the most delicious apples of your entire life (see my post here)
  36. Get homemade cheese, zacusca and an onion from a super friendly shepherd (see here)
  37. Go out on the town and enjoy drinks with your friends
  38. Enjoy the panoramic view from the cetate (fortress) at Hotel Belvedere
  39. Attend a lecture or workshop on a variety of topics (multiple)
  40. Watch a bicycle race and cheer on the contestants
  41. Climb a medieval tower and enjoy the view of downtown (St. Michael’s church in the summertime)
  42. Sit on a bench and “people watch” some of the most beautiful and well-dressed folks in the world
  43. Use high-speed Wi-Fi on your computer or mobile device (P-ta Unirii and hundreds of other locations)
  44. Watch children hilariously try to catch a pigeon
  45. Listen to and/or sing karaoke and have the time of your life (see here)
  46. Visit the astronomy observatory and scan the heavens (Str. Cirese)
  47. Watch a demonstration of salsa dancing (multiple times per year) and enjoy the caliente beats of Latino music
  48. Laugh and enjoy yourself on children’s playground equipment (multiple parks)
  49. Attend a gallery expo showcasing local artists and their works
  50. Go on television multiple times and express your views about this lovely country

So yeah, there’s nothing good in this country, not at all :P

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Cgjumpin says:

    I’m pretty sure cluj is not as borring as your articke makes it look.or is it?

    Like

  2. Andrew Jones says:

    Hi Sam

    Love the blog, and have found affordable fights to Cluj! Any idea if it is possible to find reasonably priced tour guides? I cant find much on the internet, but have tended to negotiate with taxi drivers before (but in cities with a more establised tourist trade I guess).

    cheers
    Andrew

    Like

  3. Nadia says:

    Also join ”Verdeata Isteata”(a Green informal group) to install urban gardens at the Calvaria Tramway station; visit the museums at night during the ”Night of the Museums”; take photo walks around this fabulous city of Cluj, there are so many interesting spots to shoot; enjoy reading a book in the lovely Parcul Central…And soon to come enjoy free Jazz in the Park, what a lovely and generous city!

    Like

  4. Robert Macfarlane says:

    You should write a tour book of some sorts….. ;-)

    Like

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