National Art Museum


The permanent collection of this sizeable gallery has creaky rooms featuring 18th- and 19th-century art, mostly portraits of nobles and their bewigged wives, plus landscapes and religious icons. It’s a pleasant collection, though not unmissable. The reason to visit is the stately setting within baroque Bánffy Palace, which hosted Habsburg Emperor Franz Joseph I.

If you’re travelling onwards from Cluj to other Transylvanian towns, it’s worth looking out for Pericle Capidan’s paintings of Sighișoara and Elena Popea’s Bran landscapes to set the scene.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Cluj-Napoca attractions

1. Pharmacy History Collection

0.04 MILES

Cluj-Napoca’s oldest pharmacy building holds an intriguing collection of medical miscellany. ‘Crab eyes’, skulls and powdered mummy are just a few of the…

2. St Michael's Church

0.08 MILES

The showpiece of Piaţa Unirii is 14th- and 15th-century St Michael’s, the second-biggest Gothic church in Romania (after Braşov’s Black Church). Its neo…

3. Statue of Matthias Corvinus

0.09 MILES

Hogging the limelight in front of St Michael’s Church is a bulky 1902 statue of horseback Matthias Corvinus, the famous 15th-century Hungarian king.

4. Matthias Corvinus House

0.15 MILES

A block south of the National History Museum is the birthplace of Matthias Corvinus, a 15th-century Hungarian king. This Gothic building is now the…

5. Franciscan Church

0.16 MILES

On the eastern side of Piaţa Muzeului, the rosy, gilt-edged decor within this sanctuary is worth a peep; look up for trompe l’oeil frescoes.

7. Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania

0.23 MILES

On the upper floor of a renovated neo-Gothic building, dating to the 16th century, find well-tended exhibitions on Romanian peasant life throughout the…

8. Metropolitan Museum

0.28 MILES

Housed beneath a gleaming white cathedral, this museum exhibits religious icons and other artwork.