I just spent the last five days exploring Cluj-Napoca, Romania and although my stay was just long enough to barely break the surface of understanding the people and culture of the country—it was enough to know that I will one day return to Romania to travel deeper.
Upon Arriving in a new city it’s often a bit of a puzzle figuring out how to arrive in the center from the airport—at least on a budget. Of course almost everywhere in the world you can just hop in a cab and often times even pay the ‘foreigner price’ to get to your accommodation in a new city.
I almost always try to find out information about what to expect upon arrival, but in some cases there is just not that detailed or up-to-date information. Given that I have been traveling and living out of (mostly) hotels for the last seven months I thought it would be useful to write a ‘how to’ series of getting from airports to city centers of the places I visit.
How to Get To & From the Airport in Cluj-Napoca
If you’ve decided to take a flight to Cluj-Napoca to explore Transylvania you will be arriving at Cluj Avram Iancu International Airport. The airport is located just 9 km east of the city center on the outskirts of the Cluj-Napoca city limits.
With it’s close proximity to the city center it’s an easy and short journey to get to most areas in the city. There are several options, both of which will not break your budget.
To take a taxi from the airport to the center of Cluj-Napoca just walk out the front exit after baggage claim. You will find a line of taxis waiting and all should be official, but always check for a badge and number when entering. Until recently you could choose any taxi you want, but now there seems to be a system where you take the taxi at the front of the line.
The average cost to the center should be a minimum of 15 RON and 35 RON should get you to the farther side of the city. Make sure that the driver turns on the meter when you depart. I’ve heard of stories where travelers are surprised when the driver asks for 40 euros upon arriving at the destination and the meter was never on!
Getting to the center is very straightforward with few turns. When you exit the airport parking area you will make a right on E576 and continue until you reach the center area of the city.
If you want to get to the center of Cluj-Napoca the absolute cheapest way other than hike hiking you can take a local public bus. It’s easy and straightforward. To get to and from the airport you can take local bus No. 8 or No. 5. From the airport the bus travels along highway E576 straight into the center of the city with with frequent stops.
Upon arrival at the airport, exit the baggage claim area of the airport continue out to the main road in front of the airport, then make a right. Walk around 50 m and you will find a bus stop with a small kiosk labeled ‘Bilete’ with a woman inside selling bus tickets. You must buy a ticket (4 RON) before entering the bus. These ‘Bilete’ kiosks are the only way to purchase bus tickets, so it may be an issue purchasing a ticket late in the evening.
Getting to the airport from the city is easy and you can purchase a ticket from the kiosk where the bus leaves at Piata M. Viteazul or at any stop along Bulevardul 21 Decembrie 1989, which is the main street in the center leading back to the airport.
A round trip ticket costs 4 RON (there is no one-way ticket option) or about $1 USD. You can use the same fare for two trips within the city.
Bus No. 8 runs every ~15-20 minutes, from 5:05 am until 10:40 pm weekdays and has a slightly shorter schedule on weekends and holidays. You can check out the full schedule here.
Bus No. 5 runs every ~30 minutes, from 6:20 am until 9:02 pm weekdays with a similar schedule on weekends and holidays. You can check out the full schedule here. You can also reach the main train station on bus No. 5.