Oradea is the city where eastern and western ambiance comes together in harmony, where the multitude of architectural styles within the city centre competes with the beauty of its parks. Nowhere in Romania is the architecture more diverse and spectacular. The Secession and Art Nouveau style, so widespread in Oradea’s architectural landscape of the 19th and 20th century, is most prominent in the buildings found in the historical centre.
Alongside these emblematic buildings, churches and museums, Oradea also offers excellent opportunities for relaxing, like thermal baths, shopping or local gastronomy. The city on the Crișul Repede River is a perfect destination for cultural tourism or a city break.
Situated in the immediate vicinity of the Hungarian border, surrounded by beautiful natural landscape, and with a population of over 200,000, Oradea is the most important city of the Crişana historic region. This cosmopolitan city prides itself with its millennial history, with each foreign rule (Hungarian, Ottoman, Hapsburg) leaving its mark on the city’s landscape.
Another major influence on the city’s evolution was one of the most important Jewish communities in Romania that lived here between the two World Wars. Its favourable geographical position, its economic and cultural development makes Oradea one of the most dynamic Romanian cities.
Once you are in the capital city of Crişana, the first thing you will notice is the architecture. Take a walk through the city’s historical centre to discover the myriad of architectural styles that coexist in harmony. Without a doubt, the architectural highlight of the city is the Black Eagle Palace (Palatul Vulturul Negru) in Unirii Square, a tribute to the Secession style, where you can visit its galleries or enjoy a cup of coffee.
While in Unirii Square you can admire the Church of St Ladislau – facing the Town Hall – with its tall tower or the Episcopalian Palace. In the immediate vicinity you will find the Moon Church with its unique mechanism showing the phases of the Moon.
On the bank of the Crişului Repede River you will find the New Synagogue Sion, a testament to the strong presence of the Jewish community between the Wars. Crossing the river from Unirii Square, you shouldn’t miss Levay Palace and the Hotel Transylvania, and right ahead the State Theatre built in Eclectic style.
Take a stroll down the Republicii Avenue, an animated pedestrian area filled with cafés, terraces and shops. Take your time and admire the impressive 19th and 20th century buildings like the Building of the Bazar, Park Hotel, Ursulines Complex, Stern Palace or the Palace of Finances, just to name a few.
Also not to be missed are the Crişurilor Museum (housed in the Baroque Palace, where you can admire many works of art and science), the Roman Catholic Cathedral or the medieval Stronghold of Oradea in the Under the Fortress (Sub Cetate) district.
Oradea is also a veritable green capital. So, if you want to relax after visiting its many outstanding buildings, you can do so in the 1 Decembrie Park, in the Park of the Baroque Palace, a real dendrologist park, or you can climb Mushroom Hill, the established leisure area of the city, from the height of which you will be treated with a beautiful panorama of the city.
- Discover Oradea by following the thematic trails proposed by the Tourist Information Centre, such as “In palaces and citadels”, „Oradea Secession“, “Churches in Oradea” or “The memorable Oradea” trails.
Good to know
- You can get to Oradea via European Route E60, or by National Route DN 1, DN 76 and DN 79. You can enter Hungary through Borş customs.
- Oradea is transited by the 300 Main Railway Bucharest – Oradea with daily connections to Bucharest, Braşov and with nearer cities such as Timişoara, Satu Mare, Baia Mare and also with Budapest.
- The Oradea International Airport is on Aradului Blvd. no 80.
- The Tourist Information Center in the Tower of Oradea City Hall can be found at 1-2 Unirii Square.