A symbol of unification in modern times, the city of Alba Iulia is located in the heart of Transylvania, and is one of the cities that Romania is proud of. Alba Iulia is also called the City of Union because throughout history several political and religious unions have taken place here. The city comes with an impressive historical and cultural load, boasting an urban tradition of over 2000 years.
Alba Iulia is a medieval city, and here is the largest Citadel in Romania, which is also considered the heart of the city. The city is visited annually by hundreds of thousands of tourists from all parts of the country, but also by tourists from abroad, because it can be convincingly stated that it is a city that offers, and offers a lot.
For a successful stay in this wonderful city, we have prepared below a list of the most important tourist attractions in Alba Iulia.
- Alba Iulia tourist attractions - What to visit in Alba Iulia
- Accommodation in Alba Iulia- Where we stay in Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia tourist attractions - What to visit in Alba Iulia
Alba Carolina Fortress
Alba Carolina Citadel is one of the largest and most impressive in Romania and dates back over 300 years. It is one of the most important tourist attractions in Alba Iulia and it is the place where you can go back in time and see the remains of three fortresses from three different eras, each of them encompassing the old one: the Roman-built fort, the medieval fortress and The Alba Carolina fortress is definitely one of the most important places to visit in Alba Iulia. It is divided into several tourist routes, so those interested can follow the Three Fortifications Route, the Gate Route, the Romanian Nation Route, the South Route, the East Route or the North Route.
Once in this city, you must visit the Citadel, which has a great historical charge, being a museum in nature, and a walk through the citadel is both cultural and relaxing. There is also the possibility of renting bicycles to visit the fortress and all the routes. Alba Carolina Citadel has the legal status of a historical monument and access is free.
Horea, Cloșca and Crișan obelisk
Inaugurated in 1937, the monument is located in front of the Third Gate of the Citadel, on an artificial hill which, in the past, had the role of protecting the main gate of the fortification from direct artillery fire in case of siege. The obelisk was erected to mark 150 years since the execution of Horea and Cloșca, the leaders of the Revolt of 1784. The monument is one of the most visited and popular tourist attractions of the city, which impresses with its height of 20 meters, being visible from kilometers away.
The Coronation Cathedral is probably one of the most historical monuments in Transylvania. It is the first important place of worship in Transylvania after the Unification of 1918. The Orthodox place of worship was built especially for the coronation of the kings of Romania the Great, Ferdinand and Maria, on October 15, 1922. The Cathedral of Alba Iulia was built in 1921, and the completion took about 9 months. On one side of the cathedral is the portrait of King Ferdinand and Queen Maria, who were crowned in Alba Iulia in 1922.
The most important event that took place here was the coronation of King Ferdinand and Queen Maria in October 1922. The coronation reflected Romania's prestige at that time, with representatives of the royal or imperial houses, personalities and political officials from around the world present .
Visiting schedule: Monday-Saturday 06:30-20:00, Sundays and holidays 07:30-20:00. Access is free.
National Union Museum
The National Museum of the Union is one of the most famous museums in Romania, with a heritage and scientific reputation. It has around 200,000 objects in its collections, covering a wide range of history, from prehistoric times to the present day.
The museum also hosts exhibitions about different periods of Romania's history, as well as information about the country's wars. The building in which it operates was built between 1851-1853 and is the largest structure of its kind in Alba Iulia. It is the building where the Union of Transylvania with Romania was voted on, it was known by many names throughout history, but in 1968 it underwent an extensive reorganization and returned to the name of the Union Museum.
Once here you must also visit Union Hall, being an important touristic objective of the city, one of the reasons being the fact that the most important political meetings of that time were held here, and one of the most important being the meeting of the Great National Assembly on December 1, 1918.
The western wall of the hall is decorated with marble slabs on which is written the text of King Ferdinand's Proclamation to the country, the text of the Union Motion and the text of the Law for the Union of Transylvania with Romania. Near the entrance there is a triumphal arch which has an inscription commemorating the Act of Union of 1 December 1918.
The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday between 10:00 and 17:00
Entrance is free to the Union Hall, and for the Babilon building the price of a ticket is: adults 10 lei, students and pensioners 5 lei, students 2.5 lei. Admission is free for the disabled, preschoolers and war veterans.
The Batthyaneum Library
One of the most popular attractions in Alba Iulia is the Batthyaneum Library. This building houses a large collection of medieval and pre-modern books, making it a great museum. The Batthyaneum was built at the beginning of the 18th century, in a corner of the Citadel. One of the most famous works here is the Codex Aureus, which dates back to the early 9th century and is written in gold ink. The library was founded on July 31, 1798, and the library building is a historical monument.
Roman Catholic Cathedral
The Archbishop's Cathedral is one of the oldest churches in Transylvania and is still in use today. It was built in 1009 and is the oldest building in the city of Alba Iulia and also in the county of Alba. The Roman Catholic Cathedral is a valuable monument of Romanesque and Gothic architecture in Transylvania. It is also one of the most important and impressive tourist attractions in Alba Iulia. The tower of the cathedral is 56.7 meters high, dominating the perspective of the city of Alba Iulia seen from afar.
Another impressive aspect of the Cathedral is the organ built in 1877, which has 2209 pipes and is still working today. It is a historical monument, a building loaded with a lot of history, and definitely worth a visit. The cathedral can be visited daily between 09:00 and 18:00 and access is free.
If you want to experience what it was like to be a Romanian soldier, you should visit the Principia Roman Museum. This museum is located in the Citadel Square and has recreated the equipment worn by Roman soldiers. It was inaugurated in 2015, and contains some exceptional models, which recreate Roman military camps and battle scenes from that era. The Principia Museum is a modern building that contrasts with the older architecture of the Alba Iulia fortress. But when you look more closely, you can see how its modern structure makes the ancient artifacts more visible, putting them in a heightened light.
Visiting schedule a Principia Museum: Tuesday-Sunday, 09.00-18.00. Ticket price: 10 lei for an adult, respectively 5 lei for children and pensioners.
Dendrological Park "Dr. John Vlad"
Founded in 2001 by a passionate forester, namely Nicolae Pătrânjan, the Dendrological Park "Dr. Ioan Vlad" has a total area of 21 hectares and over 12,000 different species of trees. There is a museum here with a large collection of wood species. One of the exhibits is a wooden model of a ship from the 18th-19th centuries, which contains a variety of different types of wood. It is located on Valea Popii, at the base of Mamut Hill, just outside the city.
Dynamis Adventure Park
And if you are passionate about adventure and fun, I recommend a visit to the Dynamis Adventure Park. It is located on Valea Popii street, in Alba Iulia and is made up of routes that are composed of 55 elements suspended in trees (stairs, bridges, houses built of wood, climbing panels, zip lines) offering different activities and sports on which to you try them: tree trails, ziplining, rock climbing and rock climbing. The park is open daily between 10-18:00 and the price of a ticket is 15 lei/hour.
Tourist attractions in the surroundings of Alba Iulia: Câlnic Peasant Citadel, Râpa Roșie, Scarișoara Cave, Transalpina, Bethlen-Haller Castle from Baltă Citadel, Snail Hill.
Accommodation in Alba Iulia- Where we stay in Alba Iulia
- Hotel Aura Unirii is 600 meters from the city center, and is an accommodation unit that includes a restaurant, private parking, sauna, bar and terrace. A night's accommodation here, in a double room for two people costs 300 lei with breakfast included. The price may fluctuate depending on the time of year and the facilities chosen.
- Elma Guesthouse Featuring garden views, Villa Iulia offers accommodation in Alba Iulia with free bikes, a shared lounge, a garden and a terrace. At this B&B you can have a buffet or continental breakfast. A night's stay here, in a king room for two people is 160 lei, and the price may fluctuate depending on the time of year and the facilities chosen.
- Comfortable apartment Alba Iulia is located in Alba Iulia, Alba Carolina Citadel is 500 meters away and has everything you need, perfect for a stay or for business trips. An apartment furnished with taste and quality materials. One night's accommodation in the 57 m² apartment costs 180 lei, and the apartment can accommodate a maximum of three people.
- Villa Preciosa offers a restaurant, a bar and free WiFi in all areas. Guests have free public parking. One night's accommodation here, in a double room for two people, costs 220 lei with breakfast included. The price may fluctuate depending on the time of year and the facilities chosen. Each room at Vila Preciosa has air conditioning, a desk and a flat-screen TV with cable channels. All have a bathroom with a shower, hairdryer, bathrobes, slippers and free toiletries