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Basic information

  • Area: 49.3 km² (19 sq mi)
  • Calling Code: +40
  • Currency: Romanian leu (RON)
  • Population (EST): 145,151
  • Official language: Romanian
  • Time Zone: EET (UTC+2)

Târgu Mureş – Overview

The city of Targu Mures is to be found just to the north of the centre of Romania in Eastern Transylvania. The city grew from being a market town on the banks of the River Mures, with Targ meaning market in Romanian. The origins of the city were documented some time around the 1330's and was one of the westernmost areas of Europe to be invaded by the Mongol's. The people of the city are an indication of the regions past, with a the majority being of either Romanian or Hungarian descent, those of Romanian origin are just by a few percent margin in the majority.

Modern Targu Mures is a major crossroads within the country and as such an important stop off for many travellers as well as a destination in its own right. Surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains, the city is a perfect base to explore the surrounding countryside and attractions, however a number of locations really require a car to get to.

The Old parts of the city are almost an oasis amongst the communist era apartment blocks and industrial areas, with the contrast between the architectural styles from the past and modern era's standing out. Forgetting for a moment communist era architecture, the city does have many buildings an structures that are pleasing to the eye ranging from hundreds of years old to less than a century. Some examples include St. Michael's Wooden Orthodox Church and the Palace of Culture. The city is in many ways surprising but it's buildings even more so by the sheer elegance of it's older architecture over the utilitarianism of its mid 20th century constructions, the city's older buildings will be amongst your cameras main targets.

The city has many places of worship covering a number of styles and each with their own unique character. As with religious buildings all over the world some of the best examples of art in the city are contained within the churches of Turku Mures and can be viewed for free, but if you do take photos in the churches leaving a donation which is voluntary, is a good way to show your appreciation.
For shopping the city offers a number of mall's and shopping centres such as the Mures Mall, the Promenada Center and the Tiago Mall, providing a large selection of outlets. Additionally there are many many markets to choose from, but in the markets it is customary to haggle. Night-life in the city is quite sparse as Targu Mures is not really that kind of place, however there are some bars and café's to spend an hour or two in the evening.

Accommodation in the Targu Mures region ranges from 4 star hotels to apartments and hostels, however in the city itself there are only a few hotels close to the centre. Eating in the city is varied with many small restaurants and eateries to choose from however Romanian, Hungarian and Transylvanian cuisine dominates, Italian restaurants can be found but there are not many. Luckily American and west European fast food chains have not yet got a foothold in Targu Mures meaning that for the most part what is on offer is fresh local produce. The regional cuisine is quite varied so you should easily find something to your taste.

Weather in the region is considered to be continental, with winters seeing temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius and summers reaching around 75 degrees Celsius, higher and lower temperatures have been recorded though. By and large Targu Mures, is by European standards a relatively safe and clean location, but a survey of the local population reveals that the major problem of concern is beggar’s. Whilst it is true of anywhere in the world, if you encounter a beggar you have the choice to believe them or not.

One of Targu Mures's major modern contributions to all of Romania is SMURD, despite sounding like an evil organisation from a James Bond film, SMURD is in fact an emergency rescue service. Started in the 1990 in Targu Mures where its headquarters still are, SMURD now covers all of Romania.