Alba Iulia

Alba Iulia General Information

Fast Facts

Location: Central Romania
County: Alba
Size: 3.7 sq. miles (9.7 sq. kilometers)
Elevation: 710 - 790 ft. (222 - 247 meters)
Population: 63,000
First documented: 1097 AD
Inhabited since: 106-107 BC

Alba Iulia Sights and Landmarks

The gentle climate and the richness of the soil made the area around Alba Iulia inhabitable since ancient times and established Alba as a leading wine growing region since 1st century AD. Northwest of Alba Iulia are the Apuseni Mountains and in the east the Transylvanian Plateau with its rolling hills and deep, wide valleys.

One of the oldest settlements in Romania, known in ancient time as Apulum, Alba Iulia served as the largest military and economic center during the Roman occupation. Temples, mosaics, thermae and statues, amphitheaters, the governor's palace "Daciarum Trium" – all rendered the original Dacian Apulul as the miniature copy of the mother Rome.

An Episcopal citadel and an important political, military and cultural center, Alba Iulia reached its peak between 1542-1690, serving as the capital of the independent Principality of Transylvania and the residence of the Transylvanian princes. In 1599, Mihai Viteazul (Michael the Brave) achieved here for a brief period of time the union of the three main provinces of Romania: Walachia, Transylvania, and Moldavia. The town later became an important printing centre. Nowadays the local universities continue the tradition of the old academic schools.

The peasant revolt led by Horea, Closca and Crisan, executed on February 28, 1785 on the Pitchfork Hill (Dealul Furcii) turned the town of Alba Iulia into a symbol of the fight for justice and freedom.

It was here that on December 1st 1918 the province of Transylvania announced its unification with Romania. In 1922 Prince Ferdinand was crowned King of Romania in an act which mirrored the union achieved more than four centuries earlier by Mihai Viteazul.

Alba means white and comes from the time when the Slavics called the settlement Belgrade ("White Castle"). Iulia comes from the name of Romanian Prince Gelu (Iulius in Latin) who ruled over the land around Alba Iulia during the 10th century. The Habsburgs tried to impose the name Alba Carolina (Karlsburg) in honor of the emperor Charles VI. In 1918 the town became once again Alba Iulia.

In the old town visitors can stroll along the wide, tree-lined streets of the Habsburg citadel, one of the most impressive in Europe, to discover the historical, cultural and architectural places of interest of Alba Iulia: the Roman Catholic Cathedral – the oldest and most valuable monument of architecture in Transylvania., the Batthyaneum Library, the Orthodox Cathedral of the Reunification, the Babilon Building – housing the National Museum of Unification, the Union Hall, the Apor Palace, the Princely Palace, and the University of Alba Iulia.

Alba Iulia is a good starting point for exploring the Apuseni Mountains National Park.

Alba Iulia Fortress

Cetatea Alba Iulia
The plans of Alba Iulia fortress - inspired by Vauban military architectural systems - were drawn by Italian architect Giovanni Morando Visconti. Completed in 1735, is the largest of this kind in Southeastern Europe. The fortress is outstanding both for its architectural elements and for the beauty of its six gates, unique in European military structures. Doubtless the artists, sculptors Johann Koning, Johan Vischer and Giuseppe Tencalla, had been inspired by ancient mythology.
About 7.2 miles of ramparts made of brick and quarry stones form a seven-point star shape with seven bastions (Eugene of Savoia, St. Stephen, The Trinity, St. Michael, St. Carol, St. Capistrano and St. Elisabeth) guarded by six monumental gates - wornderful examples of early baroque - a style that characterizes the 18th century Transylvanian architecture.

Alba Iulia

Princely Palace

Palatul Princiar
The Princely Palace, built in the 16th century, was Prince Mihai Viteazul's residence during the first political unification of Romanians in the 1600s. Following Ottoman and Tatar invasions the palace was destroyed. During the rule of princes Gábor Bethlen and George II Rakoczi the palace was restored but not to its previous condition. From 1700 on, the building was used as military barracks.

Opposite the palace the Union Hall (Sala Unirii) is the room where where the unification act between kingdom of Romania and Transylvania was signed, during the Great National Assembly meeting of December 1st 1918. 

Batthyaneum Library

Biblioteca Batthyaneum
In 1780, Ignac Batthyany, bishop of Transylvania, transformed a former Unitarian church into one of the most famous libraries in Transylvania. The Batthyaneum library is known all over the world for its rare manuscripts - over 60,000 documents, including the Codex Aureus (9th century), also known as the Lorsch Gospel, containing the Gospel of Mark and Matthew, David's Psalms, Codex Burgundus (15th century), Biblia Sacra (13th century) the Pentateuch from Orăştie (1850), Şerban Cantacuzino's Bible, and the New Testament from Balgrad (1648).
The first astronomical observatory in Transylvania was founded here in 1792.

Apor Palace

Palatul Apor
Apor Palace is located nearby the Bathyaneum Library. Built in the second half of the 17th century, it served as the residence of Prince Apor, and at the beginning of the 18th century as that of Austrian army leader, Prince Steinville. Apor Palace was renovated in 2007.

Alba Iulia

Historic Churches

Orthodox Cathedral of the Reunification

Catedrala Arhiepiscopală Alba Iulia
Address: Str. Mihai Viteazu 21
Open: Mon – Sun 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.

Located near the western entrance of the citadel, the impressive Orthodox Cathedral was built between 1921 and 1923 to celebrate Transylvania's reunification with Romania. The first monarchs of unified Romania, King Ferdinand I and Queen Marie were crowned there on 15 October 1922.

Roman Catholic Cathedral

Catedrala Romano-Catolica
Address: Str. Mihai Viteazu 21
Telephone: (+4) 0258 811.689

Alba Iulia Roman-Catholic Cathedral was built in the 13th century on the site of a Romanesque church destroyed during the Tartar invasion of 1241. This place or worship features one of the most impressive early Renaissance interiors in Transylvania. The light coming in from the Gothic windows helps create inside an ethereal atmosphere. The tombs of Prince Iancu de Hunedoara (c.1400 – 1456) and that of Polish-born Isabella Jagiełło (1519 – 1559), former Queen of Hungary are located in the cathedral.
Alba Iulia Roman-Catholic Cathedral more info


National Unification Museum

Muzeul National al Unirii
Address: Str. Mihai Viteazul 12 - 14
Telephone: (+4) 0258 813.300
Open: Tue. – Sun.: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

The National Museum of Unification, founded in 1887, is housed in Babilon Building a structure originally built, in 1851, for military purposes. The museum features a pre-history section, a Dacian-Roman and feudal sections, and sections dedicated to the fights against the Ottoman Empire, the 1848 Revolution, the Unification of the Principalities of Walachia and Moldavia in 1859, World War I, the Union of Transylvania with Romania.

The Unification Hall is the venue in which, on 1 December 1918, delegates from all-over Transylvania decided the province's union with Romania.

Attractions Near Alba Iulia

Town of Sebes

Location: 9 miles southeast of Alba Iulia
Access: car, bus, train
Sebes info

Calnic fortified church

Biserica Fortificata Calnic
Location: 15 miles southeast of Alba Iulia
Access: car
Calnic fortified church info

Day Trips

Corvinilor Castle - Hunedoara

Castelul Huniazilor Location: 54 miles southwest of Alba Iulia
Access: car, train to Hunedoara
Corvin (Hunedoara) Castle info

Turda Salt Mine and town of Turda

Salina Turda
Where: 41 miles N of Alba Iulia
Access: car, bus

An important salt-mining town, Turda was the seat of the Transylvanian Diet during the 16th century and hence, one of the wealthiest towns in the region. Walk along the main street lined with grand stone houses and some well-preserved baroque facades.
The Calvinist church and the Roman Catholic Church, both dating from 15th century,
feature impressive gothic architecture.

* Salt was extracted from Turda salt mine since well before the Roman times;
in 1932 salt extraction of salt stopped as cheaper salt was available from the nearby town of Ocna Mures. From 1932 and until late 1980's some mine galleries were used for cheese aging and storage.
Today, the mine is home to one of the world's most unique underground amusement parks: Salina Turda. Website

* One mile east of Turda, visitors can relax at Baile Turda / Durgău Salty Lakes
(two natural heliothermic, salt-water, lakes formed on the site of an old salt mine).

Jidvei Winery

Location: 35 miles northeast of Alba Iulia
Address: DJ 107, Jidvei
Access: car
Telephone: (+4) 0258 881.881
Located in the Târnava valley - ( Transylvania ), Jidvei Winery is known for its superb dry white wines.
Wine tasting and private events can be arranged at Bethlen Castle (built in 1624) in Cetatea de Baltă, located 5 miles NE of Jidvei Winery.

Town of Mediaș

Location: 50 miles east of Alba Iulia
Charming medieval section, home to impressive fortified evangelical church
Access: car, train
Medias info

Town of Sighișoara

Location: 70 miles northeast of Alba Iulia
Sighișoara is the most authentic and one of the best preseverd medeival citadels in Europe.
Access: car, train
Sighisoara info

Apuseni Nature Park

Location: 60 miles northwest of Alba Iulia
Access: car, train (Huedin station)
Apuseni Nature Park info

Town of Sibiu

Location: 45 miles southeast of Alba Iulia
Second-largest town in southern Transylvania, Sibiu is the Cultural Capital of the Region,
home to exquisite museum, wonderful architecture and great restaurants.
Access: car, bus, train
Sibiu info

The Dacian Fortresses in Orastie Mountains

Location: 38 miles southwest of Alba Iulia
Access: car
Dacian Fortresses info

Alba Iulia



Air Transportation

Alba Iulia does not have a local airport. The closest airports are located in:
Sibiu (SBZ) - 44 miles southeast
Cluj Napoca (CLJ) - 62 miles north
Targu Mures (TGM) - 75 miles northeast

By Car

The recommended route from Bucharest to Alba Iulia is:
Bucharest – Pitesti – Ramnicu Valcea – Sibiu – Alba Iulia (E81)

The fastest route from Budapest (Hungary) to Alba Iulia is:
Budapest – Debrecen – Bors – Oradea – Alba Iulia (E60)

Distance from Alba Iulia to:
City Distance (Miles)
Baia Mare146
Belgrade (Serbia)231
Budapest (Hungary)319
Satu Mare150
Sighetu Marmatiei175
Vienna (Austria)471

By Train

Alba Iulia - main train station
(Gara Alba Iulia)
Address: Bd. Ferdinand
Telephone: (+4) 0258 812.967
The railway station is located about a mile southeast of Alba Iulia Citadel.
There are a few direct trains from Romania's main cities to Alba Iulia;
most international and domestic express trains stop in Teius (12 miles north).

For a list of international trains with service to/from Romania please visit
RomaniaTourism International Transportation section

Train Travel Time from Alba Iulia to:
City Travel Time
Bucharest7 hours 30 min.
Arad3 hours
Brasov5 hours
Cluj Napoca2 hours 30 min.
Iasi11 hours 30 min
Sighisoara2 hours 50 min.
Suceava9 hours 30 min.
Timisoara4 hours

To check train and bus schedules for domestic routes please visit RomaniaTourism domestic transportation section.

By Bus

Alba Iulia Bus Station
Autogara STP Alba Iulia
Address: Str. Iasilor 94
Telephone: (+4) 0258 812.967
Daily domestic bus service from/to: Apoldu de Sus, Baia Mare,Beclean,Bistrita,Bucharest, Calimanesti,Carei, Cluj Napoca, Deva, Hateg, Miercurea Sibiului, Orastie, Prundu Burgaului, Ramnicu Valcea,Satu Mare, Sebes, Sibiu, Targu Jiu,Teius, Timisoara, Turda

Public Transportation

Several bus (autobus) routes connect Alba Iulia's main areas and tourist attractions.
For the bus routes map in Alba Iulia please visit:

Alba Iulia Taxi companies

Taxi companyPhone #
Ace Taxi0258 946
Comfort0258 944
City Taxi0258 948
Exclusiv Taxi0258 941
Florea Taxi0258 945
Nova Taxi0258 942
Unic Taxi0258 949

Car rental

Address: Str. Energiei 6 A
Telephone: (+4) 0744 535.825

Address: Piata Consiliul Europei 32 A
Telephone: (+4) 0755 802 813

Alba Iulia Hotels

Accommodations in Alba Iulia include:

Hotel Name Class Location
Aura Unirii boutique / mid-scale Alba Iulia Town Centre
Transilvania four-star / midscale Alba Iulia Town Centre
Mariss three-star / midscale one mile south of Alba Iulia Town Centre
Cetate Imparatul Romanilor three-star / midscale Alba Iulia Town Centre
Cardinal four-star / midscale 8 miles south of Alba Iulia Town Centre
Allegria three-star / midscale four miles north of Alba Iulia Town Centre
Hermes three-star / midscale one mile north of Alba Iulia Town Centre

Tourist Information

Alba Iulia Tourist Information Centre
Centrul de Informare Turistica
Address: Str. Mihai Viteazul 15, Poarta IV A
Telephone: (+4) 0745 081.021

Telephoning Alba Iulia from Abroad
International Access Code + 40 (country code) + 258 or 358 (area code) + six-digit telephone number

Pharmacies & Hospitals

Alba Iulia pharmacies (Farmacie) open non-stop:

Farmacia Dona
Address: Bulevardul Revoluției 1989 nr . 25 B

Farmacia Remedia
Address: Str. Iuliu Maniu, Bl.280

Farmacia Sic Volo
Address: Bulevardul 1 Decembrie 1918 nr. 11
Open: 7 a.m. - mid-night

Emergency Hospital
Spitalul Judetean de Urgenta Alba Iulia
Address: Bd. Revolutiei 1989, Nr. 23
Telephone: (+4) 0258 820.825

Alba Iulia Area Code (Prefix) — 0264 or 0364

Alba Iulia Local Authorities:

Archives of Alba County
Directia Judeteana Alba a Arhivelor Nationale
Address: Str. Mihai Viteazul 29,
Telephone: (+4) 0258 810.996

Alba Iulia Town Hall
Primaria Alba Iulia
Address: Calea Motilor 5 A
Telephone: (+4) 0258 819.462

Alba Iulia Consumer Protection Agency
Oficiul pentru Protectia Consumatorilor – Alba
Address: Bd. Octavian Goga 9
Telephone: (+4) 0258 811.946


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