Transylvania has another trick up its sleeve, but this one does not involve fangs. Descend an astonishing 120 metres to the Turda Salt Mine which adds new meaning to the phrase a ‘hidden gem’. Opened to the public in 1992, get up to all kinds of activities here from riding the world’s only underground Ferris wheel, to taking a boat tour for a closer inspection. Stepping into this black-and-white wonderland is more colourful than you may expect.
It is easy to spend half a day here, especially when the Turda Salt Mine is proven to have health benefits. This amusement park has truly embraced its wellness status, as made apparent from all the sporty activities inside. Play a game of mini-golf across 6 trails, or aim for a strike whilst bowling. Badminton and billiards can be equally exciting for the adults; whereas the playground is perfect for kids.
But as a destination that is one-of-a-kind, you will want to spend time marvelling at the Turda Salt Mine’s unusual beauty. A 20 minute boat ride will take you up-close to the cave’s breath-taking natural formations. With a maximum capacity of 3 people, this activity costs 30 lei per boat (€6).
Once you have traced every detail, get ready for a ride on the only underground Ferris wheel in the world. Reaching 20 metres high, it is easy to see why they call it the panoramic wheel. This ride costs 15 lei per person (€3).
You can find a full list of activities and their fees here.
Adult tickets for the Turda Salt Mine cost 50 lei (€10), whereas senior and children and students can go in for 30 lei (€6). On the weekends and public holidays, this fee is increased in 60 lei (€12). Parking for cars and motorbikes cost 5 lei an hour (€1 an hour). Full ticket information can be found here.
The Turda Salt Mine is open everyday from 9am to 5pm, with last entries being 1 hour before closing. There are two different entrances for the amusement park: including one which is accessible to people with neuromotor disabilities.
Whilst the easiest way to get to the Turda Salt Mine is via car or taxi, there is also a regular minibus service in the city of Cluj-Napoca which can take you there. Catch either a Fany or Alis mini-bus from the ‘Michael The Brave Square’. You can find Alis’ mini-bus timetable here. The journey should take you around 20 minutes, in addition to a 5 minute walk from the stop-off to the Turda Salt Mine’s back entrance.
Another option is to join one of the several guided tours available for visiting the Turda Salt Mine. Check out TripAdvisor for a full list.
Whilst you’re in the area…
Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania’s unofficial capital
Packed with all the amenities you might hope out of a student hotspot, Transylvania's unofficial capital is surprisingly cheery. From steampunk themed bars to thrift shops, Cluj-Napoca embraces the vintage. Its old town is as lively as ever and dispersed in between some greenery.
Whether you prefer coffee shops over clubbing, Cluj-Napoca’s eccentric charm will not go to waste. And with an international airport in addition to an efficient bus service, planning a trip here is pretty straightforward.