It may not be flanked by epic mountains or be as instantly arresting as Braşov or Sibiu, but Cluj is big on charm and in no time you'll be infected by it. Film capital of Romania, the city is bursting with students and cineastes; in fact its Transylvania International Film Festival (www.tiff.ro), held each year in the last week of May, attracts plenty of international talent, while the Transilvania Jazz Festival (www.transilvaniajazzfestival.ro), held in October, is another cultural highlight.
Romania's largest student population make this city their home, and with its boulevards, baroque architecture, bohemian cafe society, and back streets animated with bon viveurs and subterranean bars, you can see why. It’s also a great base for renting a car, has several good travel agencies, and serves as a common shooting-off point for the Apuseni Mountains and further-flung Maramureş.
Thanks to one-way streets complicating Central Cluj, your best bet is to park up and see the city by foot. The train station is 1km north of the town centre, where many of the sites and hotels are within walking distance of one another. Head to the excellent tourist office for a map of the city.