Craiova with 298,928 inhabitants, is one of the top five major cities of Romania. Craiova is located in southwestern region of the country and hosts the administrative buildings of the Dolj County and of the Oltenia district.
- 1 Craiova International Airport (CRA IATA). Wizz Air from Barcelona, Beauvais, Bergamo, Bologna, Charleroi, Cologne/Bonn, London-Luton, Rome-Ciampino, Madrid, Tel Aviv–Ben Gurion
An alternative is to come to Henri Coanda Aeroport in Bucharest and then go by train to Craiova (the train takes about 3 hours).
There are 17 trains daily from Bucharest (3hr15m, €12), 8 from Timişoara (5hr30m, €15), two from Sibiu and one from Cluj Napoca. Online timetables and prices can be found here. The conditions in Accelerat trains are the same as those in Rapid or Intercity, but the price is lower.
The northern bus station (Autogara Nord), next to the train station, is where the main daily services depart. maxitaxis leave from there to Bucharest (30-35 lei, every 30 minutes), Piteşti (15 lei, two daily), Calafat (10-15 lei, at least two daily). Also some rural routes from here.
Oz Murat travel agency, outside the northern bus station, runs a bus to Istanbul via Bucharest, departing at 10:30AM daily, except Saturday (€90 return).
There are a lot of taxis in Craiova. Price is about 2.30 lei per km and a start fee which is 2.30 lei.
The tickets can be bought from special arbours (2 lei).
The same tickets as for buses can be used.
1 Nicolae Romanescu Park (Parcul Romanescu), Nicolae Romanescu. 24hrs. A special sight in Craiova is represented by "Nicolae Romanescu" Park, with its picturesque character. Unique in Romania, this valuable architectural monument is also one of the most interesting accomplishments of its kind in Europe. Displayed at the Universal Exhibition in Paris, in 1900, the park`s plans received the Golden Medal. The works began in 1901, under the supervision of the project's author, assisted by artists Jules Redont (his brother) and Emil Pinard. For two years, 50.000 seedlings of ornamental trees and shrubs, from among which many species difficult to adapt to our climate were planted. Thus, the park began to take shape: the lake and the two islands, the river, bridges, small waterfalls, alleys, "The Suspended Bridge", with its two gorgeous porticos, "The Enchanted Castle", "The Circular Hall", the deers' pen and the bears' cave, the pier and the restaurant on the bank of the lake, pavilions, greenhouses, imitations of rocks and tree trunks made of armoured-concrete. The park's inauguration took place in May 1903, and the celebrations caused by the event lasted for two weeks. Conceived and created like a romantic park with a surface of 90 ha, plus the lakes (4 ha) and the racecourse (20 ha), the park is unique in Romania, in its own way. Moreover, this is the second largest park of its kind in Europe, and the racecourse is the biggest in the Balkan area. In 1956, it was enclosed with a fence, the monumental portal at the main entrance being built at the same time. free.
2 [dead link] Craiova Art Museum (Muzeul de Arta), str. Unirii, nr.15 (Close to Prefecturii Square.), ☏ . 10-17. The Art Museum of Craiova is located in the sumptuous palace of the former magnate Jean Mihail. Built between 1899-1907, according to the plans of the French arhitect Paul Gottereau, the palace represents, stylistically, a rather free interpretation of the late baroque. The wealth of the patrimony, the quite elegant backgrround, with Venetian mirrors, candelabrums of Murano crystal, Carrara marble staircases, walls with tapestry of Lyon silk, but specially the particular way the objects are displayed, have brought it to the attention of the visitors. At the origin of the museum is the "Alexandru and Aristia Aman" pinacotec, founded in 1905 and sheltered in the house of the Lăceanu family (Aristia's parents). Along the years, acquisitions by the City Hall or donations have been added: Cornetti, Glogoveanu, N.Romanescu, Jean Mihail. Taken over by the Museum of Oltenia in 1950, this rich fund was removed, in 1954, to the present center turned into the Art Museum. The Museum is organized in three sections: (1) The European art Gallery (the Dutch, Flemish, French and Italian schools), located in five rooms on the ground floor of the palace; (2) The Romanian Art Gallery(from feudal to contemporary art), on the first floor; and (3) The Brancusi room with masterpieces from the youth of the great sculptor: Vitellius, Vainglory, Head, Fragment of Torso, The Kiss and Melle Pogany.
3 Craiova National Theater Marin Sorescu (Teatrul National Marin Sorescu), str. Alexandru Ioan Cuza, nr. 11. The Craiova National Theater "Marin Sorescu" is an internationally renowned institution. Every two years theater troupes and theater lovers from all around the world come to participate in the International Shakespeare Festival (in 2010 at VIIth edition).
4 The Museum of Oltenia (Muzeul Olteniei), Str. Popa Şapcă nr.8. It is located in three different buildings that host three different exhibitions. The building from str. Popa Şapcă nr.8 is where the Nature Science Museum and a traditional pottery shop are located. In the building from str. Madona Dudu nr. 14 the history and archaeology exhibition is located, with a new build wing. The building from str. Matei Basarab nr.16 is one of the oldest in the city, built in the XVth century. Here the ethnography exhibition is located
Mihai Viteazu Square. An entire ensemble of artesian wells, vases with verdure and decorative plants, the reorganization of the small park, the relocation of the statue of Mihai Viteazu to a monumental ensemble represent just a few examples. Street lighting is also one of the modern factors. The musical fountain stands out though, reuniting every night around 2,000 visitors from Craiova and from the neighbouring towns. The musical fountain in Craiova is unique in the country as design.
Botanical Garden, Str. Constantin Lecca nr. 26 (Second tram station from University, when going to West.). 08:00-23:00. Nice park with many interesting plants.
Visit Art Palace. Visit Nicolae Romanescu Park.
Art Museum is interesting and well worth the walk there.
Electroputere Shopping Mall, Mercur Commercial Center.
The city has many restaurantes with decent prices and a lot of fast foods.
- Rond Shaworma, Carol I bvd (500 m from the train station). Big shaworma is 12 lei and is very good.
- Mc Donald's, Str. Calea Bucuresti - Bd.A.I.Cuza Intersection (Near 'Piata Mare'(the Big Market)), ☏ .
- El Greco, Str. Alexandru Ioan Cuza 9. Proper pizza, spaghetti dishes, salads and Greek specialities are served with creamy milkshakes. Mains €3-5..
- Amandina Pizzeria, Str. Popa Sapca. This is a straight pizza joint with pastries and a full bar. Mains 3 euros..
- KFC, Calea Bucuresti. A normal, clean KFC
- Restaurant Rex, Str. Fagaras Nr. 3, ☏ . Middle price restaurant.
- [dead link] Havana Pub, Strada Jean Negulescu 6, Craiova. A place where you could drink something or even eat.
- Patrick's Pub, Bibescu nr. 42. A nice place where you could drink a beer with your friends. In some evenings there are karaoke shows or stand up comedy.
- Golden House. A great hotel that is very clean and with good service. Thanks to the nice staff, the place has the feel of a large house. Also has a nice outside terrace. €110 (though possible to haggle down to €85).
- Sydney Hotel, Calea Bucuresti, nr. 118, Craiova 200515, ☏ . Located on Via Bucharest, at the Piteşti – Bucharest exit, near the International Airport - Craiova and the Hypermarket Metro. The diversity of details is available in the 36 rooms: 6 executive double rooms and 30 double twin/king-size rooms. 130-240 lei.
- Pensiune Carmelita, Imparatul Traian nr. 41. Three star guesthouse in downtown. 130-180 lei.
- [formerly dead link] Pensiune Belvedere, 1 Mai, nr.92. This 15 rooms guesthouse is situated near Romanescu Park. 90 lei single, 100 lei double..
Craiova is plagued by corrupt officials and police, and overrun by lawless gangs. However, this is more related to organized crime and should not concern regular citizens. Day trips are more than OK, but it may be unsafe at night even in downtown.
In Craiova one may occasionally encounter stray dogs. Be careful, in case they are aggressive.
A day in a nearby village could be an option. Preajba de Padure is a small beautiful village 45 km away, near the border with Olt county. You can take the bus (seven daily, less in weekends) from the bus station (near the railway station) for 9 lei one way or 15 lei return. The bus has another stop on Decebal Street (exact location: 44 18' 58.30" N, 23 50' 02" E).