Experience in Cluj-Napoca, Romania by Bianca

Published by Bianca Iulia — 2 years ago

0 Tags: Erasmus experiences Cluj-Napoca, Cluj-Napoca, Romania

What is it like to live in Cluj-Napoca? Would you recommend it? What is the city like?

I am a student in Cluj-Napoca and would definitely recommend it, I have always wished to study here because of the beautiful people who inhabit this city. The city center is really nice with Austro-Hungarian architecture. There are a lot of places and bars where you can spend your time in the city center.
Near to the city center there is a place called "Piezișă" where you can find most of the student housings from Cluj and the street is literally made out of bars. There are bars and clubs on both sides and if you go there during the night it will be always full of people partying or just hanging out. There will always be things to do.
The city itself is pretty crowded because of the narrow streets, small surface and many inhabitants, the traffic can be horrible sometimes at rush hours, but if you take the bus it will have special bus lane in many places and you can travel way faster by bus.

What is the student lifestyle like in Cluj-Napoca?

The student lifestyle in Cluj-Napoca is amazing, because there are more than 50.000 students in this city, so it's literally named a student city.
You can find parties everyday, bars and food places open the whole night 24/7. Personally, I think that the most important aspect of the lifestyle in Cluj is the people who live here. They are "ardeleni", this means from the Ardeal (Transylvania) region and they are very kind and welcoming. I love the people here.
Babeș-Bolyai University is the best University in Romania in the majority of fields of study, it's always in a competition with the University from Bucharest, therefore sometimes one is ranked better than the other in some fields. Also, the Technical University of Cluj is a really good University.

How much does it cost to live in Cluj-Napoca?

Living in Cluj compared to the other cities of Romania can be a bit expensive because of the housing prices, but if you plan to come here with Erasmus chances are big that you will have accommodation in a very nice student housing, exactly on the other side of the Faculty of Economics, they are called Economica 1 and Economica 2 (the student housings) and they are very cheap, 50-80 euros. The rooms are nice and you share a room with one or two persons and have a private bathroom.
If you plan on finding private accommodation by yourself, prices can be higher, around 200-350 euro per room.
Everyday life is not expensive in Cluj, compared to other european cities it's very cheap, a beer in bar can cost between 1-3 euros, depending on what beer you buy. Partying is also not expensive.

Is it difficult to find accommodation in Cluj-Napoca? Is there any advice you can give?

In my opinion, it's easier to go with the offer made by your University for student accommodation, i would highly recommend sticking to it because the prices for accommodation are exaggerated in Cluj compared to other cities in Romania. It is not worth it to spend so much money on a communist apartment with crazy old neighbours (if you are unlucky).

What is the food like? What are your favourite dishes?

The traditional food in Romania is called “Mămăligă" and "Sarmale". You should try it at least once to see how you feel about it.
Besides this, we eat a lot of "ciorbă", which means soup with a lot of vegetables and maybe also meat, we eat it with sour cream, bread and chilli. For most of us, it is a part of our daily meal, we usually eat ciorbă everyday.
Food here is very tasty, I have lived in Western Europe and have travelled there a lot but couldn't find food which I liked, I think eastern European food is usually more tasty. Also, you should try Gulaș, it's a Hungarian dense soup with meat but it's amazing and you can find it pretty much everywhere.

What places would you recommend visiting in Cluj-Napoca?

I recommend visiting the city center, the Belvedere, going to Piezișă street to party, visiting Salina Turda which is a salt mine where you can go on a boat on the lake from inside and play ping pong or the small version of golf(30 km away from Cluj), lake Gilău and lake Beliș if you have a car at hand.

Is it good to eat out in Cluj-Napoca? Can you tell us your favourite spots?

The food is really good if you plan eating out, Roata is my favorite restaurant in Cluj, it's traditional Romanian food and if you order food, you will get a shot of Pălincă (Eastern European strong Alcohol, in this case it s made here in Romania) or a shot of Vișinată if you are a woman, it's not so strong but much more tastier, it's made out of sour cherry.

Is the nightlife good in Cluj-Napoca? Where is good to go?

Nightlife is really good, if you want to drink as cheap as possible go to Janis, if you want to go somewhere to party just go to Piezisa street and you will find there for sure a Club of your liking and people to party with. If you like alternative music- techno or minimal or experimental, go to Gazette. It's a nice small cozy club at Belvedere which brings small artists from all over the world to play there. You can find nice parties there.

What advice would you give future students heading to Cluj-Napoca?

Have lots of fun and make lots of friends, Romanians are very kind and like meeting new people and sharing new experiences. Enjoy!

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