Journeys, Travel Guides

Visit Oradea, a hidden Art Nouveau destination in Europe

Slow-paced, colorful, and welcoming, Oradea is the perfect city break destination in Europe for curing your spring wanderlust.

Whether you’re into architecture or not, Oradea will make you fall in love with its streets at every turn, with each brightly-colored Art Nouveau palace or beautiful Eclectic building.

It’s also one of the recently added destinations to the Art Nouveau European Route, thanks to the restoration of its most important Hungarian Secessionist buildings.

Oradea City Guide - Romania

Located in North West Romania, near the Hungarian border, Oradea is one of those cities that look even more picturesque because of its Riviera – Crişul Repede.

The city enjoys great spring weather (24-26°C), lovely vibes, and thermal baths that can easily turn your visit into a spa break.

Spring-in-Oradea,-Romania---magnolia

And if you need more reasons to visit Oradea, you should know that it’s also one of the most affordable city breaks you can enjoy in Europe, not to mention that this hidden gem doesn’t get too many tourists.

We all need little pockets of quiet sometimes, away from the big and crowded cities of Europe, and Oradea does its best at offering the traveler just that – a sense of tranquility and well-being.

My reason for visiting Oradea is easy to guess, especially if you follow me on instagramcolorful architecture.

Art Nouveau palaces and Eclectic buildings, many of them freshly restored and dressed in the prettiest pastel colors, made my visit to Oradea even more exciting than anticipated.

The-Black-Eagle-Palace-Oradea

I loved discovering colorful spots in the city during a sunny afternoon this April, with the help of Brigitte Tohm, my instagram friend, who showed me some hidden corners and helped with finding the most beautiful buildings on my itinerary.

Since I had such a lovely time in Oradea, I plan to take another trip soon just to enjoy the perks of a full city break in this pastel-colored destination.

This time we only stopped by for a day, during our spring road trip to West Romania. Our itinerary was: Bucharest – Corvin Castle – Alba Carolina Citadel – Oradea – Timişoara & back home, but it was a bit too short for what this pretty region of Romania has to offer.


Top things to do in Oradea, Romania

Discover the Best Art Nouveau Palaces and Houses in Oradea

Black Eagle Palace & Gallery

Black-Eagle-Palace---Art-Nouveau-Oradea


Sztarill Palace, now Astoria Hotel

Sztarill-Palace,-now-Astoria-Hotel-pov
Moskovits Miksa Palace

Moskovits-Miksa-Palace
Stern Palace

Art-Nouveau-Door---Stern-Palace,-Oradea_S


Moskovits Adolf & Sons Palace

Moskovits-Adolf-&-Sons-Palace,-Oradea,-Romania-s
Poynar House

Poynar-House---Art-Nouveau-in-Oradea,-Romania
The Chamber of Commerce

The-Chamber-of-Commerce---Art-Nouveau-Oradea
Füchsl Palace

Fuchsl-Palace-in-Oradea,-Romania
Adorjan House I
Adorjan House II
Darvas – La Roche House


Take an Archi Tour of Eclectic Buildings in Oradea

Rimanoczy Kalman Senior Palace

Rimanoczy-Kalman-Senior-Palace,-Oradea
The Greek – Catholic Diocese, Oradea

The-Greek-Catholic-Diocese,-OradeaThe-Greek-Catholic-Diocese-in-Oradea,-Romania_s

The Bazaar Building

The-Bazaar-Building,-Oradea,-Romania

Oradea City Hall – Palace & Tower

Oradea City Hall - Palace and Tower

The Rimanoczy Jr. Palace


Transilvania Hotel / Pannonia Hotel

Transilvania-Hotel-in-Oradea,-Romania_S
Zion Synagogue

Zion-Synagogue-in-Oradea,-Romania_S

State Theater
Palace of Justice


Visit other attractions in Oradea

Oradea Citadel
The Moon Church (Baroque)
Ursuline Complex (Romantic Neo-Gothic)
Ursuline-Complex---Romantic-Neo-Gothic

*There are many other Art Nouveau and Eclectic buildings to see in Oradea, but these are the ones we managed to visit during our afternoon in the city.


See Oradea from above

The Tower of the City Hall is one place that can offer a good panorama, but we made it there 20 minutes after its closing time, so next time we’ll surely go up in the tower.

One other spot to see Oradea from above is a hill nearby called “Dealul Ciuperca” (funny translation: “Mushroom Hill”).

Last but not least, the 7th floor of Ramada Hotel in Oradea has a great rooftop terrace with a view.


5) Enjoy a Spa Day or take a trip to the Thermal Baths

If you’re looking for a spa city break, then you must take a trip to Băile Felix, the thermal baths located just outside the city (10 km).

It’s one of the most important thermal resorts in Romania, and its facilities have been improved a lot during recent years. There are lots of new pools and aqua parks with all sorts of fun things to do, more suitable for families with children.

When looking for a fun place with a swimming pool in the Oradea, keep in mind that there’s a water-park called Aqua Park Nymphaea you can check out.

Couple’s spa retreats are best spent away from the crowds, so Ramada Hotel offers two rooftop Jacuzzi baths as well as a variety of massages and spa therapies at their 7th floor Spa Center.

We didn’t have time to properly enjoy all the perks of a spa break, so we postponed the pampering for our next trip.


Where to stay in Oradea, Romania

I randomly picked Ramada Hotel Oradea and it was a fantastic choice.

Since this spring road trip in Romania was impromptu, I haven’t paid enough attention when booking the hotels. So imagine my surprise when I realized that Ramada Hotel has this gorgeous city panorama that you can admire from their 7th floor Jacuzzi.

When visiting cities, I always forget to bring a swimming suit, but hopefully I’ll be back at Ramada Hotel Oradea to enjoy drinks with a view from their rooftop Jacuzzi.


When to visit Oradea, Romania

Spring is a great time to visit Oradea, and April is recommended, if you want to enjoy sunny weather, 24-26°C, and magnolia & cherry blossoms.

If you want to have a spa break at Băile Felix, then you’ll be happy to know that some of the pools are open in December and January. I think the best way to enjoy a thermal bath is during the cold season, so I highly recommend the experience.


How to get to and around Oradea, Romania

Oradea has a small airport, so it’s easy to find a direct flight, but there are also lots of connections from Bucharest.
The city can be discovered on foot and in a slow-paced manner, no need to use public transport.

Since Oradea is only a 4 hours’ drive from Budapest, you can easily couple two city breaks into a spring holiday. 7 days are enough to visit both cities.

Budapest is also a great spring destination, and since I visited last year, you can read my articles here.


Oradea, Romania | April 2018 | All Photos ©Ana Matei > Instagram: @MateiAna 


Hope you enjoyed discovering Oradea and you’ll visit this hidden gem during your next spring city break in Europe.

Ana
Last updated: May 11, 2018
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