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"Romania is not - yet - an obvious holiday destination…"
Romania is not - yet - an obvious holiday destination for those in the UK, but therein lies part of its charm. Cluj - pronounced to rhyme with 'rouge' not 'sludge' - is as far from the grey, drab stereotype of an ex-Communist country as can be imagined. Its centre comprises wide, tree-lined boulevards, grand squares and charming side streets, all featuring sufficient quantities of ornate, pastel-coloured fin-de-siecle architecture to render any similar town in Western Europe an over-run tourist trap.
But despite its popularity with locals (Cluj is Romania's main university town, with around 200,000 students, many of whom can be seen enjoying a quiet drink in one of the town's numerous pavement cafes) the city is virtually unheard of in the west. Hopefully, budget air carrier WizzAir's recent addition of daily flight's to Cluj's small airport direct from Luton will encourage more UK tourists to take the plunge, for a couple of days or longer. Cluj also enjoys fantastic countryside ('like Switzerland' as one local described it) with castles to enjoy the full Count Dracula experience; Cluj is the main city in Transylvania.
Finally, the prices and quality of life a Westerner can enjoy here are unbelievable - in the 5 star hotel restaurant, waiters actually whisked off polished silver lids as they served me arguably the best steak I've ever eaten - for a mereRead moreLess