Life in Cluj

The City of Cluj-Napoca

Cluj Napoca is the second most populous city in Romania, with a population of ~ 400,000 people in metropolitan area and it is roughly equidistant from Bucharest (324 km / 201 mi), Budapest (351 km / 218 mi) and Belgrade (322 km / 200 mi).

City’s spectacular geography is due to location at the confluence of the Apuseni Mountains, the Someş plateau and the Transylvanian plain: Cluj is surrounded by forests and grasslands, with two botanical reservations, beautiful summer and winter resorts/spas.

Cluj-Napoca has a diverse and growing cultural scene, including the visual arts or performing arts: the city contains a number of galleries featuring both classical and contemporary Romanian art, as well as selected international works (The National Museum of Art, Gallery of the Union of Plastic Artists); also the city has a number of renowned facilities and institutions involving performing arts (Lucian Blaga National Theatre, Romanian National Opera, The Transylvania Philarmonic, the Hungarian Theatre and Opera, the Puck Theatre). Contemporary cultural manifestations cross ethnic boundaries, being aimed at students, cinema-goers, arts and science lovers.

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Currency

The money used in Cluj Napoca is the RON (or “leu; plural “lei”).

There are lots of different banks in Cluj-Napoca. As a student, it is highly recommended to create an account in lei and transfer money from your home country to Romania, rather than using a credit card.

It is, of course, possible to use a credit card from your country, but additional fees with ATM will be considered (which will be less in the office). Withdrawing cash directly from the office is always cheaper.
For most banks, additional fees are applied when you are abroad. For this reason, we recommend you to open a bank account in Cluj and transfer your money to this account.

Please note that these banks allow you to make withdrawals directly in euros from a foreign bank account in euro (such as for your rent). Thus, you only pay the card fees and not the change rate twice.

Other available financial services are Western Union and Moneygram. They allow the transfer of money from your country to Romania within several minutes. Using the number provided by the emitter, you can withdraw the money with a simple ID. It allows a quick transfer, but it is more expensive than the other one (5% of the total amount is to be paid as a fee).