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Turda Salt Mine, aka Salina Turda in Romanian, is one of the most popular day trips from Cluj-Napoca. This underground wonderland is one of the most unique places to visit in Transylvania and is popular with tourists from all over the world.
history of turda salt mine
One of the oldest salt mines in the world is Turda Salt Mine (Salina Turda). Medieval villagers in Turda originally dug the mine for the exploitation of salt and other minerals. Its first documented reference dates back to 1271.
Excavations continued throughout the years and eventually concluded in 1932.
Following the last year of excavations, Turda Salt Mine was used for multiple (and sometimes rather obscure) purposes. Salina Turda served as both a cheese storage unit and bomb shelter during World War II.
Even after all these years, the mining equipment and machinery for transporting salt were in excellent condition. Eventually, in 1992, tourists were allowed to visit the salt mine, offering fascinating glimpses into the past.
Modernization and improvement of the mine began in 2008. Here, history and innovation combine seamlessly.
how to get to turda salt mine from cluj-napoca
Taking a day trip to Turda Salt Mine from Cluj-Napoca is super-easy and straightforward. If you’re taking public transportation, the bus ride from Cluj-Napoca to Turda takes about 40 minutes.
Alis is a popular bus service provider and is usually who we get rides with if we don’t take our own vehicle.
The bus will drop you off either in the center of Turda or slightly before at Turda Micro. Turda Micro stop comes first, and this is the better option to go to Turda Salt Mine.
From Turda Micro, you will need to grab a taxi to take you to Salina Turda. The bus ride will cost about 15 RON ($3.60 USD) and the taxi ride is about 20 RON ($4.80 USD).
the turda salt mine experience
There are a number of different mines and rooms which effectively demonstrate the vast scope and intricacy of both the mine’s history and the mining process. Each different mine is labeled by name, so navigating your way through the mine is straightforward.
When visiting the Iosif mine, which is done through salt-carved balconies, be sure to speak to hear your echo.
The Terezia mine is best known for its vast height and diameter (90m high and 87m in diameter).
In the Rudolph mine, you can see the exact place where the last salt excavations took place in 1932.
The Gizela mine is where the health services are located. These are offered only by treating doctors and physicians, and tourist access is not permitted.
Finally, in the Crivac room, tourists can observe a rudimentary installation that was used for hoisting the massive salt rocks up to the surface. It was originally installed in 1864.
All of the different mines and rooms are interconnected by a vast maze of (somewhat precarious) stairs and elevators that lead tourists throughout Salina Turda.
Then, at last, you arrive at the tour de force – 120m below the earth’s surface, an underground theme park that looks like something you’d see in outer space.
Among the different components of the theme park at Turda Salt Mine include an amphitheater for the occasional performance, a Ferris wheel, bowling alley, miniature golf course, pool tables, ping-pong tables, and an underground lake to explore by paddle boat.
It’s definitely a sight to behold. The paddle boat ride is an extra 20 lei, but it’s well worth it. Each paddle boat can hold three people. It allows you to experience your day trip to Turda Salt Mine from a very unique perspective.
turda salt mine hours & admission
50 lei ($12)
Weekends & Holidays
60 lei ($14.40)
seniors & children
30 lei ($7.20)
It’s worth noting that if you are coming on a day trip to Turda Salt Mine and plan on setting up some professional photography or videography equipment, there is a sizeable fee (2,500 lei / $600). I visited with my DSLR, however, and didn’t have to pay anything extra.
Other activities at Turda Salt Mine cost extra. Use of the mini-golf course, the Ferris wheel, the bowling alley, the amphitheater etc. are available for an additional fee.
For a boat rental on the underground Lake Terezia, you’ll pay an additional 30 lei ($7.20) for up to three people. Definitely take the boat ride! It gives you a completely different perspective (and is kinda creepy).
food & souvenirs
While Turda is seriously lacking when it comes to restaurants, a day trip to Turda Salt Mine will still include plenty of delicious, traditional Transilvanian food. There are a number of food stands directly outside in the parking lot, offering treats such as langos and kurtoskalacs.
Looking for a gift to bring home as a souvenir, either for yourself or a loved one? You’ll find plenty of therapeutic toiletries made with mined salt, kitschy things such as keychains, and more. Souvenir stands are found both in the parking lot alongside the food stands, as well as in Salina Turda itself.