city in Arad County, Romania
Europe > Balkans > Romania > Crișana > Arad (Romania)

Arad is an industrial city of some 160,000 population (2011) at the western edge of Romania, close to the border with Hungary. It is a regional transportation hub and a convenient place to stop over on a journey between those countries.



There is an intact Vauban-style fortress and an interesting old town with a great number of historic buildings. Most of them date from the Habsburg era, ranging from Baroque to Art Nouveau. While some have been renovated, others are left in a state of dilapidation.

The city's cultural life is marked by a Philharmonic Orchestra, several theatres and a museum complex. The latter is particularly interesting for history buffs, as it showcases evidence from various eras of human history that have been discovered in this area. The Arad county wine route starts a few kilometer east of the city.

Get in


By train

  • 1 Arad Central Railway Station (Gara Arad), Piața Gării 8–9 (2 km north of the city centre). The interior is modernised; few facilities within but lots of fast food places, small supermarkets, and a currency exchange just outside on the main boulevard.    

There are five direct trains a day to Budapest Keleti, taking 4 hr 30 min, fare 100 lei. (This includes an hour waiting at the border; there's also a one-hour time switch between Romania and Hungary.) The last direct train is at 15:30, but there's a 17:00 indirect route taking six hours. The 01:00 train is a through-service to Vienna.

There are only two direct services to Bucharest, both overnight, 11 hr. The best daytime connection is via the midday train to Timișoara.

For Transylvania, take the mid-afternoon train running through Deva (3 hr) and Sibiu (6 hr) to Brasov (10 hr).

There are two direct trains to Iași (one daytime 14 hr, one overnight 17 hr) via Cluj Napoca. There's one other direct and two indirect services to Cluj Napoca (5-6 hr).

By bus

  • 2 Arad Bus Station (Autogara Transdara - Atlassib), Aurel Vlaicu Bvd (in the Atrium Centre, 200 m west of the railway station and 2 km north of city centre).

Arad is on the main highway E68 between Budapest and Bucharest. There are buses every hour or two to Timisoara (60-90 min); change there for Bucharest. Buses run every 30 min to Budapest, the fastest in only 2 hr.

For Transylvania, four or five buses run daily to Deva (3 hr), Sibiu (5 hr) and Brasov (8 hr). There are four buses to Cluj Napoca (4-6 hr).

By plane

  • 3 Arad Airport (ARW  IATA) (4 km west of the city). Only an occasional charter flights.    

The nearest international airport is Timisoara (Traian Vuia, TSR IATA) 40 km south, with 6 or 7 flights a day to Bucharest, and other European destinations. Budapest (BUD IATA) airport 230 km north-west has more extensive connections.

Get around


Most sights, eating and accommodation are a short walk from City Hall. Buses and trams run along the main strip here, Bulevard Revolutiei. At its north end this curves west into Calea Aurel Vlaicu, with the bus and railway stations. Taxis and car hire are readily available.

Piața Sfatului: Administrative Palace (city hall) in the centre, Cenad Palace to its left, Financial Palace to the right.
New Orthodox Cathedral
  • 1 Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral (Catedrala Ortodoxă "Sfânta Treime"), Bulevardul Revolutiei. Built in 1992-2006, the interior was re-plastered & repainted in 2018, with wooden scaffolding filling the northern part near the iconostasis. The murals at the southern part, by the entrance, look very fresh.    
  • 2 Lutheran Church (Biserica Roșie, "Red church"), Bd. Revoluției 61. Built in 1906 from red bricks (hence the nickname), Gothic Revival style.  
  • 3 Administrative Palace (Palatul Administrativ), Bd. Revoluției 75. Impressive city hall, built in 1876 in Renaissance Revival style.    
  • 4 Neumann Palace (Palatul Neumann), Bd. Revoluției 78/str. Horia (across the city hall). Representative building created for a very rich industrialist in 1891–92, eclectic style. Today it houses a number of shops as well as the private Vasile Goldiș University. The former ballroom was converted into an auditorium for 200 students.    
Palace of Culture
  • 5 Cultural Palace & Museum (Palatul Cultural & Complexul Muzeal), Piaţa George Enescu 1 (by City Hall). Museum Tu-Su 09:00-17:00. Imposing cultural complex, dating from 1911-13, in an eclectic style mix of neoclassical, Gothic and Renaissance elements. The museum has three divisions: fine arts, natural sciences, and archaeology/history. The philharmonic orchestra (filarmonia) has regular concerts: the box office is in the Ioan Slavici Theatre. 2 lei.  
  • 6 Moise Nicoară National College (Colegiul Național "Moise Nicoară"). Stately school building, built from 1869–1873 with Renaissance and Baroque elements. It was thoroughly refurbished after 2010 and made one of Romania's best equipped schools.    
  • 7 St. Anthony of Padova Church (Biserica Sf. Anton de Padova). Roman Catholic cathedral built in 1904 in neo-Renaissance style.  
Theatre at Avram Iancu square
  • 8 Ioan Slavici Classical Theatre (Teatrul Clasic „Ioan Slavici”). Elegant neoclassical theatre building, completed in 1874.    
  • 9 Avram Iancu square (Piața Avram Iancu). The city's main square, with a central green space and monument to the Unknown Soldier. Surrounding buildings include the theatre to the north and the Art-Nouveau Nádasdy House to the west.  
  • 10 House with locked log (Casa cu lacăt). One of the oldest secular buildings in the city, built for a Viennese merchant in 1815. The building's distinctive mark, a brass-coated log, was modeled after the famous "Stock-im-Eisen" in central Vienna and used by travelling journeymen to leave a mark of their guild. After being stolen (and recovered) in 1994, the log was moved to the Museum of Art, to protect it from other thieves.  
  • 11 Synagogue. Reformed synagogue, built from 1828–1834, neoclassical style with Greek and Tuscan elements.  
Old Orthodox Cathedral
  • 12 Serbian Orthodox Saint Peter and Paul Church (Biserica Sârbească). Baroque church, built around 1700 (the city's oldest church that has survived in its original form), with a high steeple.    
  • 13 Cathedral of the Nativity of John the Baptist (Catedrala „Nașterea Sf. Ioan Botezătorul”). Old Romanian Orthodox cathedral, built from 1862–65 in Baroque revival style.    
  • 14 Statue of Liberty (Statuia Libertății) (3 blocks west of Piața Avram Iancu). Reconciliation Park (Parcul Reconcilierii) with this monument to the "13 Martyrs of Arad", rebel generals who were executed by Austrian forces after the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1849.  
  • Art Nouveau architecture (or Secession style, as it was called in Austro-Hungary) – Several highly decorative examples of this early 20th-century style, similar to those found in Budapest or other cities of the former Danube Monarchy, with their elaborate floral or geometric ornamentation. However, most of them are in a rather sad state of preservation. Notable instances include:
  • 15 Palatul Bohuș (Str. Goldiș Vasile 1-3)
  • 16 Palatul Szantay (Str. Horia 3-5/Str. Episcopiei 2)
  • 17 Palatul Kovács (Str. General Vasile Milea 19)
  • 18 Trajan Bridge (Podul Traian). Iron bridge over the Mureș river, dating from 1910–13, carrying road and tramway. Rehabilitated in 2010 for the bridge's 100th anniversary.  
  • 19 Citadel (East of the river). An 18th-century Vauban-style fortification on the site of an earlier Ottoman fort. But it is a military base and closed to the public; you can't even see much of the exterior among the tangled shrubs.
  • 20 Ruins of the Franciscan Church (Biserica Franciscană). Cannot be visited regularly, as it is in the citadel and therefore part of the restricted military area.  
  • 21 Șoimoș Fortress (Cetatea Șoimoș).  
  • 22 Bezdin Monastery (Mănăstirea Bezdin). Dating from 1539, is one of the few Serbian Orthodox monasteries in Romania which is still preserved.    
  • 23 Bodrog Monastery (Mănăstirea Hodoș-Bodrog). Dating from 1177.    
  • Just east of the Palace is the Mures river, with a promenade for strolling, and a children's play-park.

Try to avoid shopping in the city center—quite expensive.

The city has 2 market areas where you can buy fruit and basic foodstuffs, plus some days of the week there are also more affordable markets than in the city center, where prices are similar to any European country, in other words expensive.

Arad has several shopping centers on the outskirts of the city, there are A MAKRO that in Romania is called METRO, BILLA, although the city is well supplied, due to its proximity many Romanians go to neighboring Hungary to shop where they are even cheaper, in the towns across the border.

Eat and drink


Strings of cafes, restaurants and bars on Bvd Revolutiei just south of City Hall.




  • Alexander, 175 Calea Radnei (3 km east on Hwy 7 towards Deva), +40 728 009 656. A little guesthouse with some flowers outside. $32.
  • Arad, 9 Bvd Decebal (corner of Str 1 Dec 1918), +40 257 280 894. Central, with restaurant, cleaning variable.
  • Ardealul, 98 Bvd Revoluţiei (on midtown Bvd), +40 257 280 840. Nice old building, needs a makeover.
  • Lotus, 8 Str. Nicolae Ştefu (central, off Str Banu Maracine), +40 723 319 313. Good value for 2-star. €25.
  • Pensiunea Mioriţa, 127 Calea Radnei (3 km east on Hwy 7 towards Deva), +40 745 326 254. Small clean place.



Go next


The main options are to go west towards Budapest, or south via Timișoara towards Bucharest, or east into Transylvania.

  • Timișoara – 50 km south (50 min by train), the capital of the Banat region and "Little Vienna"
  • Sânnicolau Mare – 65 km southwest
  • Békéscsaba – 90 km northwest (2 hr by train)
  • Lugoj – 100 km southeast (2 hr by train)
  • Szeged – 100 km west
  • Oradea – 115 km north, city known for its rich Art Nouveau architecture
  • Deva – 155 km southeast (3 hr by train)
  • Szolnok – 170 km northwest (3 hr by train)
  • Hunedoara – 170 km southeast, Corvin Castle, also known as "Dracula's castle"

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