Oradea Bucket List: 21 things to do in Oradea in a lifetime
Oradea was and is a cosmopolitan city, inhabited by Romanians, Hungarians, Italians, Germans, Jews, etc. All of them contributed to the development of the city and to some of the cultural and architectural baggage. It is also the city where Christianity is encountered under its various forms of manifestation from Orthodox, Greek-Catholic, Roman-Catholic, Reformed, Unitarian and non-Protestant, materialized in the large number of places of worship.
These days Oradea is also called the Art Nouveau capital of Romania due to the large number of constructions belonging to this style. The city impresses with the architectural beauty, owning most of the buildings in the Secession style in Romania, but also concentrates a lot of restaurants, pubs and teas, so as to keep your curiosity and the sense of adventure active. So, if you decided to pay a visit, here is a list of 21 unforgettable experiences in Oradea and its surroundings:
1. Put a lock on the Intellectuals’ Bridge
With a 150-year history, the current Intellectuals’ Bridge, which has served as a gateway since 1850, connecting the Liberty Park and the December 1st Park, between the Medicine and the Law Faculty, between many historical monuments and important points in the city, among the stories of those who decided in a sign of love, fraternity, or for any other purpose, to symbolically block, of course, the special moments and covenants through the locks “closed” and always present on the bridge. The Intellectuals’ Bridge offers the opportunity for both locals and tourists to admire the passing swans, the flowing river, the surrounding city, or simply walk to the river banks.
2. Admire the city from the town hall tower
The tower has a height of almost 50m. It is provided with 4 main levels, three of which are panoramic. At level one there is the clock mechanism – called the “mother clock” which was built at the beginning of the twentieth century, in 1904 by a clockmaker named Mezey Dezső and this clock sings at fixed times “Iancu’s March”.
Level two presents a panorama from 33.85m. Level three, located at 40.25m, has mounted on the balcony parapet several huge functional hammers, which strike three times every quarter of an hour.
Level four offers the possibility of observing in detail the touristic attractions in the central area of the city with the help of a telescope. The access to this level can be done in a number of maximum five people due to the limited space.
3. Sit and listen to the street artists in the Liberty Park
We can hear the music of street artists, often running in a hurry through the city. At least once, we have to sit on a bench in the Liberty Park in Oradea to listen to the divine sounds of the flaps touched secretly in flight, with perfect skill.
The piano that the aspiring artists and passers-by sing and expect to be used daily in the summer season. It is located in a wooden filigree by the florist Marius Sabau, who owns the Florius Art kiosk right in the vicinity.
4. Negotiations through Ocsaka (Market 100)
It’s the past at the edge of the modern city. A bridge between old trades fairs and modern shopping. Let’s take the opportunity of such an experience, as long as it lats. Currently, the flea market in Oradea is waiting for us Weekend after Weekend to cross its threshold, to explore, to negotiate, to look for and, why not, to sell.
5. The exterior and the interior of the Moon Church
Two of the peculiarities that confer uniqueness to the Moon Church from Oradea are the medallion portrait of Horea, placed in the key of the vault arch between the nave and the apse of the altar, an image that crowns the iconostasis and the mechanism made by Georg Rueppe, in 1793, and placed in the tower of the cathedral. This is the ingenious mechanism that, through its globe or half gold, half black, indicates the monthly phases.
6. Tour of cafes and restaurants in Oradea
Any first-time tourist in Oradea will want to try some of the local dishes, so some of the most inspired places to do this are the following: Rivo, Spoon, Rozecas, MEATic etc. In these restaurants you will find only delicious goodies, prepared with taste. And if you miss a coffee or a cake or simply a place that respects its customers by offering specialty coffee or freshly roasted and carefully prepared, you cannot miss these café stores in Oradea: The Dripper, Tucano Coffe Dominicana, Victoria’s Place yes Baretti.
7. Let’s admire Oradea from Ciuperca Hill
Ciuperca Hill is one of the symbols of the city and can be easily found by going up to the end of the Grailor Street or starting at Olteniei Street – between no. 68 and 70. This tourist spot was recently refurbished.
Benches, pergolas, relaxation areas, outdoor amphitheater, a café, a tourist information center, five viewing points linked to each other by an alley and plenty of green space – all of the above are available to the visitor, regardless of the day. and seasonally. So, to have a great view of the city, we urge you to book a half hour or even an hour to climb the hill and admire this beautiful landscape.
8. Visiting the old historical center of Unirii Square
Here is also the historical center of the city, a center that looks similar as we have seen in major European cities, such as Budapest or Barcelona. It is an absolutely gorgeous market, surrounded by Art-Nouveau style buildings, such as the Black Eagle Palace or the Moon Church. This is the place where various ideas of master architects, painters, builders materialized, making Unirii Square the historical and cultural center of Oradea.
9. Oradea Fortress
One of the biggest attractions of the famous city of Oradea is of a historical beauty that has so much story to tell you, so you have no reason to bypass it. The Fortress is one of the most monumental buildings in Central Europe, in Renaissance style and tells immortal stories and offers any tourist who visits it a piece of history that was once a spectator to numerous events in time.
10. Escape the city noise and unwind at Nymphaea Aquapark
If you go through Oradea and are in “relaxed and pampered” mode, you will find a thermal complex called Nymphaea Aquapark. The newly modernized complex with thermal water has indoor and outdoor pools, some so warm that you can stay in them even in winter. Accept the temptation and allow yourself the benefits of thermal water, adrenaline and lots of fun. You will have the opportunity to choose between saunas, Jacuzzi, water slides, beauty salon, fitness room and all kinds of crazy.
11. Sion Synagogue is a space for contemporary arts
The synagogue is an important place of worship and an imposing eclectic construction, being the 3rd largest synagogue in Europe. It was built by the Jewish neolog community and has Moorish oriental influences, the interior space being oriented in accordance with the direction of Jerusalem that is to the North-East and South-West.
The rehabilitation of the monument marks the restoration of an emblematic building for the entire community by preserving its historical and architectural value in full authenticity. Through this rehabilitation it is possible to maximize the cultural, religious, architectural, historical and artistic potential of an exceptional architectural monument.
12. Walking or jogging on the banks of the Crisul River
Anyone more or less sporty, can jog at night on the banks of the Crisul River. It is a very accessible way to relax and maintain health. The green areas near the river are full of greenery and offer more freedom, without crowding, and a few hours in the outdoors doing sports were simply a walk at no cost.
13. Enjoy a coffee at the Ristretto
Every coffee lover in Oradea should enjoy at least once a coffee from Ristretto. The restaurant specializes in high quality coffee and pays special attention to this beverage appreciated worldwide.
14. Walk through Baile Felix
We, Bihorians, are lucky to have close by the largest spa resort in Romania. According to doctors, thermal water has many benefits. Its temperature and relatively mild winters allow people to enjoy beaches even in the cold season. Besides the taking a dip in a hot pool, another attraction of the resort is the lake that houses water lilies, lotuses, turtles and some species of fish.
15. Visit the Darvas House – La Roche
An Art Nouveau jewel of Oradea, with secessionist influences, the Darvas House is considered the most beautiful building in the city. It presents very expressive ornaments, but still simple and balanced, combined with style. If it picks your interest, the building is on Str. Iosif Vulcan, no. 11.
16. Visit the City Zoo, a universe of childhood and curiosity
The Oradea Zoo is a universe of innocent and wild imagination, a life-carrier, love and hope for the animals. With a noble past, wrapped in a veil of greenery, the small zoo universe protects interesting, sensitive, vibrant and colorful lives. Oradea Zoo offers visitors the peace and quiet of childhood memories, the wonderful atmosphere that pulsates in an alert rhythm, an eternal beauty, emblematic, spectacular for these places.
17. Get a taste of the night life in Oradea
After a relaxing walk in the Zoo, we recommend with the fall of the evening, to venture down town and let yourself be guided by the lights and the vibrations of the city. The fun takes place down town where most of the venues are gathered. Those eager to spend until dawn can try The Avenue or Life Club, and those who love the relaxed atmosphere of pubs have many options like: Black Eagle Pub, Crown Pub, Edison Pub, Gekko, Hole Pub.
18. Travel in time to the Rodia Pharmacy Museum
The pharmacy was opened by the Roman-Catholic monks of the Mercy Order and has been operating for 250 years. The minutes spent here will take you through time and show you how people of old were treated, the utensils used in the laboratories of long time pharmacies, before the industrial era, or old packaging. You will be fascinated, even if you have no education in the field!
19. Music lovers cannot miss a performance at the Oradea State Philharmonic
Even if the public in Oradea is passionate about all forms of art, the music is the one we find most often in their hearts but also in their homes. Art lovers tell us that music is the one that positions them in a state of well-being and harmony. Passing the threshold of the Philharmonic in Oradea you will have high artistic programs based on a repertoire of major interest, made with the contribution of consecrated invited artists, who will surely delight you and take you to other countries.
20. Walking through city parks
The hustle and bustle of the city makes you psychically tired. Concrete jungle and pollution will affect your health. A relaxing walk in the park is all you need. Nothing compares to the fresh air and the peace you find in a park. In such a place you can think more clearly and the calm and beauty of the parks can transmit energy and vitality. Liberty Park, The Fortress Park, Salca Park, are just a few of the green parks through which you can spend your free time in the city of Oradea.
21. Enjoy excellent wine at ReWine
It is that wine bar in the Center of Oradea that you can taste one of the more than 200 types of wine they have, both Romanian wines and those with international reputation. The warm atmosphere, the wines chosen, the delicious and handy food both inside and on the outside terrace contribute to a setting only good for book launches, networking events and wine tastings on demand.
The prices are affordable, and the experience is unforgettable.
Now that you have learned about the 21 things to do in Oradea in a lifetime, you have only to decide where you want to spend the night. And here, the Hotel Lyra team will be at your disposal with an unbeatable offer. Accommodation bookings here: www.hotel-lyra.ro
Photos by Valcan Vasile
More destinations in Oradea: www.oradeainimagini.ro