Cluj-Napoca: The European Capital of Youth
I am going to tell you about Cluj-Napoca, an amazing city located in Romania. This city not only hosts the largest annual electronic music festival but is also welcoming travellers around the world who are ready to discover the magic package this lovely city has to offer.
How did I get there? Well, I was trying to find a reason to meet up with some friends back home and as I was surfing online, I ran into Untold Music Festival. Next thing I know, I had booked the tickets and had also made my friends book their tickets. I jumped onto a plane and I was off! There was an unusual vibe on the plane; it reminded me of those summer camps where everybody was so relaxed but looking forward to some new challenges. Those people on the plane were completely ready to enjoy the new city vibes and the music; they already had the city map and festival bracelets on. Everyone had lots of energy and even party hats on! I also managed to get off the plane with some new friends from Berlin. Like usual, I was talking too much so they used me as a guide.
The hotel I was staying in was located in the center of the city so I had full access to all the things going on. As I was admiring the well preserved medieval architecture of the hotel, one of my best friends I haven’t seen for a while appeared. Oh boy, what a moment! But, I will skip the cheesiness and jump right into the adventure!
Let’s begin; bohemian cafes and restaurants, medieval buildings and dynamic nightlife are the soul of Cluj-Napoca. You can basically walk the entire city and be amazed at every corner by the mix of traditional and progressive. We started the exploration of the city at it’s heart. First thing that appeared before our eyes was the imposing St. Michaels Church, situated in Unirii Square. That’s one of the few Gothic treasures in the region. As we walked further, we ended in a medieval square called Piata Muzeului. This is the place where everybody usually hangs out until late in the night. Here, you can discover many cozy coffeehouses and also find out more about this this city’s past by visiting the Museum of History.
If you’re a Theater or Opera lover, you can’t miss this new-baroque inspired institution that houses the “Lucian Blaga” National Theatre and the Romanian Opera. Crossing the street, one of the most important historical testimonies in the city winks at you. That is the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral from Avram Iancu place. At some point, our energy needed a refill and we found the perfect place to relax. I’m talking about a place called Panoramic-Cetatuia. Besides the goodies on the menu, this place offers a breathtaking city view.
After almost 3 hours of enjoying the city view, the drinks and of course, the endless chatting, we decided to head on to the location where the festival was taking place. Everything was so organised that we had no trouble in finding it. We were in the Central park of Cluj waiting in line to get in and as we waited, I was simply amazed at the hundreds of thousands of people waiting to be entertained by the best DJ’s in the world. I knew it was one of the most popular festivals in the world but I didn’t expect to see so much energy in one place. It was like a huge international center of good music, fun and socializing.
Everywhere I looked, there was something interesting to do. I tried everything! I jumped in a pool full of plastic balls, danced in an old bus full of people where a DI was heating up the atmosphere, chilled in one of the hammocks that filled the park, and I went from stage to stage and discovered different music beats. But the most important moment of all was on the main stage, when the real show started and a well known DJ pushed the button and started the fun. We sang and danced our hearts out. We were reunited by the love of music and our voices became one and that is a kind of magic to me.
After 4 days of intense fun, I returned to my home with a big smile on my face and with a pocket full of priceless memories. There are so many things to tell about this magic city but I will leave some of them for you all to discover. So what are you waiting for? Make it happen!