Top Things to Do in Oradea & Places to Visit

Oradea is one of the most beautiful and fastest growing cities in Romania. It’s also my favorite at the moment and I’m going to try make it yours as well by sharing the best things to do and see in the city.

From beautiful old buildings that have a unique classical charm, to modern structures, Oradea has a lot to offer to its visitors. An amazing citadel, churches, a palace and an aquapark are just some of the top things we’re going to talk about today.

It’s also worth noting that Oradea is the only Romanian city that is part of the international network of Art Nouveau cities. So if you’re a fan of this style, you’ll have an extra reason to love the city.

I recently wrote an article about living in Oradea – make sure to read it as well after you’re done checking out the attractions as I’m sure you’ll want to make it your home!

But now let’s focus on today’s topic and see the top places to visit and best things to do in Oradea, Romania.

Oradea Citadel

A beautiful structure that has been recently renovated to bring it back to its former glory, the Citadel is probably the main attraction in the city and a great place to visit when you get here.

There’s also a beautiful park surrounding this beautiful fortress, but the main attraction lies in between the walls.

Composed of 12 different buildings and 5 bastions, it is an amazing place to learn about the city’s history. Of all things in Oradea, this should definitely be #1 on your “to see” list!

Palatul Vulturul Negru (Black Eagle Palace)

A real jewel, right in the heart of the city, this palace is built in a Y shape, with three entrances marked by a black eagle and with an absolutely breathtaking inner passage covered with colored glass and looking like a fairy tale brought to life.

It’s strange to see that a bank managed to open a branch inside and ruins a bit of the charm, but the entire place remains a jewel nevertheless.

The palace was built back in 1903 over an even older building dating back from 1700. There lots of cafes and pubs inside the location which is by far one of the best to take tons of photos for your Instagram account (or just personal memories!)

Nymphaea Aquapark

One of the largest aqua parks in this part of Europe and a mighty impressive one, the Aquapark offers you the chance to relax during the hot summer days and enjoy the various pools and entertainment options offered here.

The entire aquapark is still in a great shape, clean and beautiful – a mix that you will rarely find in Romania.

It offers some thermal pools to accompany the traditional ones, so you have all the excuses to go there for the benefits of the thermal baths. And the fun, of course!

The Church with the Moon

Although not as beautiful as most of the other attractions, the Church with the Moon is one of the city’s main attractions thanks to the metal moon that’s mounted up in the tower of the church.

The moon is powered by a mechanism that makes it rotate at the same speed as the real moon around the earth.

It is said that the entire contraption is the only one in Europe, but I didn’t really double-check the claims. Either way, it’s still interesting as a novelty item.

The Zion Synagogue

This is the largest neological synagogue in Romania, built all the way back in 1878 and it’s a pleasant surprise to know that such an impressive monument built by the Jewish community still stands after all the horrors of the past.

But it does and it’s better than ever since it has been recently renovated and the impressive Zion Synagogue is open to public (and there’s a lot of room inside as it can host up to 1,000 people!)

Unirii Square

oradea unirii square

We can call this the heart of the city. This is where you will find some of the individual attractions mentioned in today’s article, like the Black Eagle Palace, the Church with a Moon and more.

An absolutely amazing place to walk through and enjoy, the Unirii Square offers a mix of architectural styles, from baroque to classical and modern.

Well maintained and the place were various festivities and events take place during the year, it’s definitely the best place to be in Oradea.

The Baroque Complex

baroque complex oradea

A set of three attractions in one, Oradea’s Baroque Complex is made of the Baroque Palace of Oradea, the Catholic Cathedral and the Row of Canons (yes, the religious terms, not tanks or such!).

The Palace was built with the intention of becoming a miniature of the Belvedere Palace in Vienna. Fortunately, they didn’t just copy the architecture and the result is quite impressive.

Built in the 1770s, the Baroque Complex is a truly amazing, impressive work of art. A museum operates inside the Palace.

row of canons oradea

Also, this is where you can see one of the oldest operating pipe organs in the country. Located in the Catholic Cathedral, the organ was built in 1780.

To round things up nicely, you also have the beautiful English gardens outside the complex, for a nice walk during a beautiful day of spring (when it’s best to visit the place).

The City Hall Tower

oradea city hall tower
The one to the left is the tower you can visit for a panoramic view over the city

There’s no better place to get a jaw-dropping panoramic view over the entire city than from the City Hall’s tower.

It’s a long climb all the way to the top – and it’s pretty narrow – but it’s also worth doing at least once.

A stroll along the Crisul Repede Promenade

crisul repede promenade

The river that divides the city in two is a great place for a stroll. With beautiful views along the way, it’s a walk you will never get tired of – especially in the central area of the city where most of the other attractions are located.

Baile Felix (the Felix Baths)

Felix Baths Oradea
A tiny bit of what Baile Felix has to offer. Photo source: Wikipedia.

Just 9 kilometers away from Oradea, we have Romania’s largest thermal spa resort. Although a bit left behind in terms of development and rehabilitation, it remains a great place to visit especially during the summer.

You have plenty of hotels and private accommodation to choose from, as well as various pools – outside and inside, thermal or not – for an unforgettable stay.

Conclusion

A city of impressive attractions and a melting pot of various classical styles, Oradea remains one of the most beautiful cities in Romania.

There is always something to do here, from visiting the major attractions to walking around the city and discovering new, smaller – yet just as charming – places of interest.

Oradea also hosts a zoo, a botanical garden and various other hidden gems that you can discover during your stay. But the most important places to visit are mentioned above so make sure to at least check those off your list!

Do you have other favorite places in Oradea? Share your thoughts and experiences with us all by commenting below!

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