Alba Iulia is a city that breathes history and culture and fascinates with its amazing Vauban style bastion fort. The fort is the touristic heart of the city, where numerous architectural gems are located, like medieval churches, museums and palaces, and where in the summertime many cultural events delight visitors almost every weekend.
Alba Iulia, the stylish city located on the bank of the Mureş river and surrounded by the red clay hills of the Transylvanian plateau, has a population just over 60,000. Also known as “the other capital”, it is one of the most interesting cities in Romania, a true historical, cultural and spiritual centre for its people. The city has had a tumultuous history over the centuries that culminated in the Great Union of 1600 under Michael the Brave, and the second Great Union of 1918.
The main tourist attraction today is the Alba Carolina fortress that abounds with historical and cultural attractions. Here you will find the National Museum of the Union, the Saint Michael Roman-Catholic Cathedral, the Coronation Cathedral, the Roman Castrum, and the Old Citadel. Aside from these, the Princely Palace, Union Hall, the “Horea, Cloşca and Crişan” obelisk situated in front of the 3rd gate, or Michael the Brave equestrian statue, are sure to spark your interest. You also have the possibility to walk the Three Fort route or the Gates route.
With historic and cultural themed events organized throughout the year, Alba Carolina is an attraction no matter the season.
Make sure you don’t miss the Apulum Festival, Alba Fest Music Festival, the Tale International Theatre Festival, Alba Iulia Music and Film Festival or the National Folklore Festival of the Golden Grape.
- Watch the changing of the guards’ ceremony at 12 o’clock every day. This historically charged event will take you back to the 18th century, when soldiers wearing Austrian uniforms marched along the citadel’s fortification.
- Bicycle enthusiasts can make use of the cycling track in the Pope’s Valley- Mammoth Hill area. The 5 km circuit starts near the “Dr. Ion Vlad” dendrological garden, and reaches the Pâclişa district.
- Take a stroll down the Transylvanian Boulevard, the main commercial and promenade spot in Alba Iulia. Here you can rest and grab a bite to eat at one of the many terrace restaurants.
Good to know
- Alba Iulia intersects the E80 road that connects Deva and Cluj-Napoca.
- The train and bus station are located 1.5 km from the city centre on Ferdinand Boulevard.
- The nearest airports are located in Sibiu and Cluj-Napoca.
- The Tourist Information Centre in Alba Carolina can be found at 28 Allea Capistrano Street.
- The nearest post office to the fort is at 10A Nicolae Titulescu street. Its schedule is Monday-Friday 8:00-19:00, Saturday 9:00-13:00.
- A spot for renting bicycles can be found in Unirii Square.
- For those with a passion for history there is an option for a guided tour, with a choice of a general tour of the citadel, a tour of the city’s unforgettable sites places, or even a thematic tour.
- The Alba Carolina can be visited with an electric minibus that has the capacity to carry 15 people.