One of our favorite spot of our 2 weeks trip was the visit to the Turda Salt mine, which is located very close to Cluj. Why? well easy, because it is not just a mine, but also a museum and an amusement park! you heard it right, deep down under earth they created an amusement park.
It was built between 1853-1870 and when it was finished it was 780 meters long and another 137m were added in the 19th century. The electrical system was installed in 1910. Between 1948-1992 it was used as a cheese storage room. (Source). In 1992 was opened for tourists and after new investments with the help of some European funds, the salt mine re-opens it's doors in it's current state in January 2010.
Before you go, maybe best to check out the schedule as it works on a summer/winder basis. if coming by bus from Cluj, you can check the post of Barbara Weibel, more specifically the comment from Gordon Jackson to get more details.
you first enter the gallery that gives you a sort of a museum tour
then as you advance through the rooms you get in front of a lot of stairs that you have to climb down (you can get the elevator, but we decided for the stairs). the view from up there is amazing. It opens up the whole amusement park. From table tennis to mini gold and including a fairy wheal, everything is down there. a paradise for kinds and quite fun activities for grown ups as well.
after playing for a while mini golf and the guys also went for some table tennis we decided to also check out Teresia Mine which has a lake inside which is 0.5 to 8m deep. You can rent a boat and go around for 30 min
at the end, after buying some postcards for our collection from back home we decided to take the stairs again up especially with the encouraging message from the mine
Definitely not worth it taking the elevator ;) and below you can see some of the stairs actually
I think we spent like 2h inside, the entrance fee was approx. 5 Euro and I don't remember if we could pay by card or not, but better have RON with you just in case.
I enjoyed the place a lot and I believe an amazing job has been done. Building the theme park so much underground is a fascinating idea. Before leaving towards Cluj, I got myself some salty snacks to cheat my hunger (big dinner was awaiting).