I didn’t know what to expect when I first arrived here, but the many touristic attractions in Targu Mures are reason to return again. This has happened to me several times with cities in Romania not calling out to me, but once I went there discovering many things to visit. Targu Mures was one of these cities, not very attractive until I arrived there for the first time.
The drive from Bucharest to Targu Mures is not one of the easiest or the shortest, so it wasn’t really possible to visit the city as a weekend getaway. I was able to include it in a longer tour around Romania and that’s how I ended up spending one day in Targu Mures. At first I thought this was a great idea, but once there, I realized I would need more time to see everything the city has to offer.
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Things to See in Targu Mures:
The Targu Mures Medieval Fortress
Our first stop was at the Targu Mures Medieval Fortress. Built in the 17th century and completely renovated a few years ago, it’s the perfect place for its visitors to take a stroll. We were able to walk along its walls and see its bastions which are named after the various guilds, just like the towers of Sighisoara. We then explored the buildings inside the fortress and admired the Reformed Church of Targu Mures, the oldest building in the city.
We then managed to squeeze through the fortress’ narrow gates, passing to the other side of the wall to head to the city center.
We didn’t know where we would find parking places in Targu Mures, so we were really happy to find a less busy street running alongside one of the fortress walls, the perfect place to leave the car.
The Reformed Church of Targu Mures
The most imposing building in the fortress is the Reformed Church. Built in the 15th century on the site of an older, wooden church which had been destroyed in a fire, the stone church underwent many alterations throughout the years until the 18th century when it finally arrived at its current form. It represents the most important medieval monument in Székely Land.
We then walked towards the city center where we found other churches to visit. The first one we ran into was the ‘Ascension of the Lord’ Orthodox Cathedral.
The ‘Ascension of the Lord’ Orthodox Cathedral
If you have been wanting to visit an imposing church, you can stop by here. The Targu Mures Orthodox Cathedral was built last century on the site of a musical fountain. It is the largest religious building in the city and dominates the Trandafirilor Square where it stands. On the central boulevard, which runs from this square we found the following two landmarks in Targu Mures.
The Palace of Culture of Targu Mures
One of the best things to do in Targu Mures is to visit the Palace of Culture. It’s impossible to pass by and to not at least ask yourself what this building with a colourful roof and golden décor houses. It currently hosts various events and you can find information about the program and prices here.
The Targu Mures Prefecture
Right beside the Palace of Culture there is another building with a mosaic roof and castle-like appearance that caught our attention. This building happens to be the Targu Mures Prefecture and therefore, cannot be visited. A statue with the she-wolf and the two babies she feeds is placed right in front.
The ‘Annunciation’ Church
At the other end of the central boulevard, directly opposite the fortress, the ‘Annunciation’ Church guards the city center. We stopped in front of it for a bit, but did not go in. We wanted to discover as much as possible in the city and knew it still had a lot of beautiful things to offer. However, it was only the next day that we found that we were looking for: the staircase painted with traditional motif.
Things to see in Targu Mures: the Rakoczi Staircase of Targu Mures
Located between Avram Iancu Street and Revolutiei Street, right at the corner of the fortress, the Rakoczi Staircase of Targu Mures became famous after being included in a list of the top painted staircases in the world. We wanted to walk up and down these stairs. Unfortunately, the traditional designs were blackened by the city’s dust. I found it a pitty that they were not taken care of since I found this staircase to be one of the most beautiful places to visit in Targu Mures.
We did not have time to make it to the zoo. In fact, I didn’t really want to go. I don’t particularly like the concept of zoos. We chose to spend the evening at PRIVO, a restaurant with a special atmosphere and the next day we started our journey back home, leaving behind the beautiful landmarks of Targu Mures.
Hotels in Targu Mures
The city also surprised us when it came to hotels. We found several attractive accommodation options in Targu Mures, but since we wanted to try something different, we chose the PRIVO* Hotel. Some of the best places to stay in Targu Mures are:
Privo hotel 4*, a modern hotel close to the city center – check prices here*
Thuild – Your world of leisure 5*, a comfortable guesthouse – check prices here*
Plaza V Executive 5*, a luxurious hotel – check prices here*
Pension Passion 3*, a guesthouse for every budget – check prices here*
Day Trips from Targu Mures
Before we arrived in the city, we had already visited its surroundings and we were already familiar with parts of the Mures County (especially the southern parts). If you would like to spend several days in the county’s capital city, here are some beautiful places that you could visit in day trips from Targu Mures:
The Teleki Castle in Gornesti
Located only 20 km from Targu Mures, you need a little bit of luck to visit the Teleki Castle. It is not officially open to the public, but you can dial the phone number on the gate. If someone answers, they can let you visit the castle.
The Bethlen Castle in Cris Mures
Another wonderful discovery in Mures County was the Bethlen Castle. I got to see it a few years ago but from recent articles I found out that it has remained pretty much unchanged.
Day trip from Targu Mures to Sighisoara Fortress
Also located in Mures County, Sighisoara can also be explored in a day trip from Targu Mures. Sighisoara has changed a lot since the first time I saw it and it has been a change for the better. It is now a pleasure to explore the medieval fortress and to get lost walking along its cobblestone streets. If you like driving, you can even go to Sibiu. Here you can read what to do in Sibiu.
The Turda Salt Mine and the Turda Gorge
Also just a stone’s throw away, albeit in a different county, you can find the Turda Salt Mine and the Turda Gorge. On the way there, you can stop by the Ogra Castle (now a hotel) in the village with the same name.
The Mures County convinced me that it deserves to be visited. Besides Sighisoara, one of the most popular places to see in Romania, the rest of the county lacks visitors. But some of the things to see in Targu Mures can convince you that a visit here worths your time. Include Targu Mures in your tour in Romania.