Oradea, the capital city of the county of Bihor, is cuddled right between the Crisana Plains and the towering Apuseni mountains in Romania while it is almost divided into two halves by the Crisul Repede River. Oradea has also played a very important role in the territorial history of Transylvania as some of the very major fortifications and the military were based out of Oradea. The designs of the monuments in Oradea are mainly inspired by the Baroque architectural styles and some of the monuments are remarkable masterpieces that leave tourists spell-bounded.
Home to the University of Oradea, the Oradea Fortress and the Bishop’s Palace, Oradea is one of the most important economic, social and cultural centres of Romania. Not many people know that Oradea is just about 10 kilometres away from the Hungarian border and is also one of the main gateways for travellers who want to travel to Europe via road. This Romanian city has lots to offer to tourists who are here to explore the culture, monuments and the lives of the locals. If you are thinking of planning a trip to Oradea, here is a guide to the top ten places in Oradea that you must visit.
10 Best Places To Visit In Oradea
Knowing beforehand about the various best places to explore in this city of Romania, is surely going to give you good head start. So, check out this list right away!
1. Town Hall Tower
The Town Hall Tower is built in a ‘U' shape and is especially known for the way it has been made. The tower has two storeys which can be accessed by visitors. This first floor of the tower has the "mother clock", which is a century old clock that has lived through World War I and World War II. The dial of the clock still has bullet holes from the year of 1944 when there were massive shootings in Oradea. From the second floor of the tower, you can see panoramic views of most parts of Oradea.
Location: Piața Unirii 1, Oradea 410100, Romania.
Timings: The City Hall remains open from 7:30am to 4pm on all weekdays. It remains shut on Saturdays and Sundays.
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2. Oradea Fortress
The Oradea Fortress was one of the most important fortifications in the political conflicts that took place in the 15th and the 16th centuries between the Turks, Hungarians and Austrians. The interiors of the fortress are frescoed while the fort is shaped like a pentagon, fenced with five tall towers and surrounded by defensive walls on all the sides. This Fortress remains one of the most active cultural hubs in Oradea where a lot of cultural events are held, all around the year. Make sure you also visit the Museum of Bread which is located in the Fortress itself.
Location: Piata Unirii nr 1, cam. 234, Oradea 410100, Romania.
Timings: The fortress remains open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 9am to 5pm.
3. Neolog Synagogue Zion
The Neolog Synagogue Zion was built by the Jewish community in the year 1878. Erected on the banks of the Crisul Repede River, this historic synagogue is covered with a large central dome, making it more magnificent than it already is. The interiors, exteriors and the colours of the synagogue are inspired by a typical neo-Moorish style, giving it a very ancient yet impressive appearance.
Location: Strada Independenței 8, Oradea, Romania.
4. Military Museum Of Oradea
The Military Museum of Oradea displays all the different types of military equipment that were used by the military, back in the day. Situated in a building that was built in the year of 1895 for the Hungarian army, this museum will leave you thinking about the heroes who fought battles for the sole honour and love of their country. The military equipment that is exhibited at this museum includes everything, right from weapons to military uniforms, maps, medals and even the important documents used by the military. This museum is one of the best places to visit in Oradea as it will give you an insight into the Transylvanian history and the territorial changes that came about due to the battles. The guides who take you through the museum are extremely professional and are well aware of all the details of the wars and conflicts.
Location: Calea Armatei Romane, Oradea 410087, Romania.
Timings: The museum remains open from 10am to 4pm on weekdays. It remains closed on Saturdays and Sundays.
5. Holy Cross Monastery
The Holy Cross Monastery was established in 1992 and is located on the shore of the Crisul Repede River, about 2 kilometres away from the main city of Oradea. This beautiful church has a large Byzantine painting that adds to the beauty of the interiors at this monastery. Even on the outside, the monastery is adorned with paintings, giving it a very unconventional look, compared to the other churches or monasteries that you would visit in Oradea in Romania, Europe .
Location: A Strada Facliei 24, Oradea 410181, Romania.
6. Cris Country Museum
The Cris Country Museum is inspired by the Baroque architectural style and has a total of 365 windows, representing each day in the year. After about a hundred and ten years of existence, this museum has come to be an important local, national and European cultural reality. The museum is also surrounded by stunning gardens where you can see gorgeous flowers blooming, especially if you are visiting in the spring-summer months. Check the collections that would be put out on display at this museum before you visit so you get an idea of what to expect.
Location: Bulevardul Dacia 1-3, Oradea 410464, Romania.
Timings: The museum remains open from 10am to 3pm on all days of the week except Mondays.
7. The Corridor of Canons
Built over the late 1700s and early 1800s, the Corridor of Canons is an architectural complex consisting of ten buildings, all in one line. If you look at the Canon’s Corridor from the Roman Catholic cathedral that is located close to this architectural masterpiece, you will see a straight, long line of arches. This place also makes for the perfect place to click some super professional looking photographs, especially around the arches.
Location: Oradea, Romania
8. Bishop’s Palace
The Bishop’s Palace is the biggest palace in Oradea, with about a hundred rooms and over two-fifty windows. Inspired by the Baroque architectural style, the Bishop's Palace is also one of the most valuable architectural buildings in Oradea. The Palace has beautifully done up interiors, the ceiling and the walls have representations of a Grecian community fight that is very explicitly outlined for the locals and the tourists to see.
Location: Római katolikus püspöki palota Strada Muzeului, Oradea, Romania.
9. Lotus Centre
Lotus Centre is one of the most popular and the biggest malls of Oradea. Located in the Nufarul street, this mall makes for a great place for tourists to enjoy a relaxed day out at the mall. If you are looking for a place to shop, there is no better place than the Lotus Centre itself, you will find lots of stores selling things, right from high street fashion to luxury brands. After you are done shopping, you can head to the food court and grab some yummy food from one of the restaurants there. It is a good idea to visit the Lotus Centre mall if you are in Oradea around the summer time and just want to take a day off from sightseeing.
Location: Strada Nufărului 30, Oradea 410583, Romania.
Timings: The mall remains open from 10am to 10pm on all days of the week.
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10. Black Eagle Palace
Built in the years from1907-1909, over an old Eagle guesthouse, the Black Eagle Palace was once a very famous hotel in Oradea. This Palace is located in the centre of the city and is one of the most important monuments with a fierce black eagle that is painted on a glass dome that stands out from the rest of the interiors. Make sure you visit this palace earlier during the day so that you get a chance to see how the glass windows of the palace turn the sun’s rays into an array of beautiful vibrant colours. This prismatic burst of colours at the Black Eagle Palace is one of the best things to see in Oradea.
Location: Piața Unirii, Oradea, Romania.
Sounds enticing, doesn’t it? Well, if you’re in for a vacay plan, then surely atrip to Europe is not that far! Just keep in mind to put some extra clothes in your luggage in case you wish to extend your stay! After all, this charming city will make you fall in love with Romania and you will have an experience like never before!
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