Salina Turda: The Guide To Romania’s Subterranean Neon Wonderland

Salina Turda: The Guide To Romania’s Subterranean Neon Wonderland

Featured On

Kien Instagram
Ultimate Bucket List


Where and Wander uses affiliate links on this page. When you purchase or book something using my links, I might earn a small commission and it costs you nothing.

Close your eyes and imagine a gaping volume of emptiness and darkness deep underground. Now picture a string of neon lights descending in a geometric spiral down this open space. Follow the lights until you reach the bottom, where it reflects off a surface that you recognize as water. It’s a lake, with what looks like a small city you make out from the pattern of neon lights. Except upon closer examination, it’s not a city, but a miniature amusement park – and it’s floating on a lake deep within an abandoned salt mine.

Just 30 minutes outside of the city of Cluj-Napoca in Romania is a little town called Salina and home to the world’s most surreal amusement park located a salt mine. Salina Turda is an attraction that is part art and part recreational space. Years before visiting Romania, I came across a photograph of Salina Turda with no description. It took a bit of creative word searching, but I found the place and immediately added it to my Bucket List – and then promptly forgot about it.

How To Get To The Salina Turda Salt Mines

Inspired by The Historian, I traveled to Romania to follow the route of Dracula’s real life inspiration, Vlad the Impaler. Salina Turda was only a short distance from Cluj-Napoca, my last stop before traveling onwards to Hungary. It seemed fitting to end my Romanian trip with the first place that drew my interest to this old world country.

With my friends in tow, a blue-haired English girl with the Game of Thrones accent and a doppelgänger of Roger Federer, we jumped on a bus, with the help of some locals, to the salt mine.

At Turda, we followed an offline map and trudged 20 minutes across a muddy field, eventually arriving at the back entrance (Entrance B) of Salina Turda. We figured there was a better way to do it – and turns out there is.

There are two entrances to Salina Turda that are quite far apart. Entrance A is a newer access point in Turda town. Entrance B is the old entrance in the fields.

From Cluj-Napoca

There is an unmarked minibus stop at the corner of Piaţa cel Ştefan Mare and Strada Ion I. C. Brătianu. Take the FANY or ALIS Group bus with a sign that says Turda. The bus drops you off here at a five-way intersection. The ride takes around 25-30 minutes and costs 9 lei.

From the drop off point in Turda,  you can take the 17 bus that takes you to Entrance B or you can walk 1.2 km to Entrance A. Use this mapped route.

Alternatively, you can get off earlier near Parcul Turda Noua (New Turda park) and walk along Strada Tunel straight to the Entrance A. It’ll save you a few minutes.

By car, it’s about 35 minutes away from the Cluj-Napoca old town. Parking is 5 lei/hour.

TIP: For those who planning to visit Salina Turda with Corvin Castle and/or Alba Carolina, it’s more efficient to do combined tour and hit up all three spots in one day without worrying about your own transport.

For those who don’t want to deal with getting there on your own, there’s also an option for a private small group guided tour with pick-up and drop-off from your hotel in Cluj-Napoca.

Hours and Tickets For Salina Turda

From May 20, 2024, Salina Turda is open from 9 am to 7 pm daily, with the last entry at 6 pm.

Ticket prices are currently below:

Adults Seniors (with valid ID) Children (3-18 years) and Students (with valid ID)
Weekdays (Mon – Fri) 50 lei 30 lei 30 lei
Weekends (Sat and Sun) 60 lei 30 lei 30 lei

History Of The Turda Salt Mine

Evidence of this salt mine being used dates back to 11th century Transylvania, but was possibly used even during Roman times. It’s one of the oldest salt mines in the world and between 1075 and 1843, the mine was explored and excavated for its salt contents until salt mining moved to other locations that were easier to extract from.

The mine, with its constant temperature between 11-13 degrees Celsius, ever present salt aerosol particles in the air, and a virtually zero concentration of allergens, is regarded as a place with strong medicinal properties.

After mining activities were abandoned after the 1840s, the space was used to store cheese for a while and as a bomb shelter, until it opened up for tourism at the end of the 20th century. In 1992, the salt mine opened up to visitors with an amusement park built right onto the lake at the bottom of the Terezia Mine.

Descending Down Into Wonder

We entered through the futuristic domed back entrance and followed a long tunnel walkway. This turns into subterranean descent towards the Terezia Mine. You can fill the temperature shift as soon as enter the tunnel system.

At the end of the tunnel, you are immediately rewarded with a view into the main chamber, a 120 meter deep conical open space underground. If not for the light from the staggered strings of lamps spiraling down, you would no doubt be staring into a dark abyss. Instead, your eyes will slowly process the scene, eventually using the scale of the row boats to make sense of this neon light wonderland floating in the middle of a subterranean lake.

view of the terezia mine from above

From here, an elevator takes you down into the Rudolf Mine, where most of the amusement park attractions are located.

An Underground Amusement Park

Partway down, there is an open area level with the top of the amusement park.  From 42 meters above, you can look down and see the Ferris Wheel, the amphitheater, the sports field, and the mini-golf course. There are walkways on both sides leading to the stairs on the other end.

For a bit of exercise, I recommend walking the 12 floors down.

At the bottom, enter the main recreational area where you’ll find enough to do to kill a few hours. From mini golf and table tennis to bowling and riding the 20 meter wheel. There’s a 180 seat amphitheater for shows and concerts and even areas for badminton, football, and handball practice. It’s so surreal to find all this deep underground in such a gorgeous space.

Below is the price schedule for the amusement activities:

Activity Price
Bowlling (20 min) 20 lei / person
Minigolf (20 min) 20 lei / person
Ferris Wheel (8 min) 15 lei / person
Sports Court (1 hour) 200 lei
Pool Table (1 minute) 1 leu
Table Tennis (30 min) 20 lei
Row Boat (20 min / boat / max 3 people) 30 lei / boat


The Lake At Salina Turda

Once you’ve had enough of the games at the Rudolf Mine, follow the pathway to the Terezia Mine. At the ground level, it looks so different from what you initially saw from above.

There’s a wooden platform to walk around to all the neon light art structures. This is fun, exploratory space.

At the center of the lake, we rented boats to row around. From down here, the boats are a lot bigger than the tiny things we could barely make out from above.

Looking up from water level, you truly get a sense of scale and a deeper appreciation for the vastness of the salt mine.

In total, we spent about three hours here. I’d say to plan for 2 to 4 hours here depending on how many activities you want to do. It will take bout 1.5 hours to walk through the main areas of the mine.

Interesting Facts About Salina Turda


Having problems breathing? The microclimate in Salina Turda is beneficial for people with respiratory conditions due to its constant temperature and high humidity. The air is enriched with salt, which can be used in a respiratory therapy called Speleotherapy that’s offered here.

Natural Concert Hall

The Rudolf Mine has been noted for its exceptional acoustics. The chamber is used for concerts and events, where the natural acoustics enhance the sound quality, creating an surreal auditory experience.

Underground Dead Sea

The water in the Terezia Mine’s lake is extremely salty given it very buoyant qualities similar to the Dead Sea in Israel and Jordan. I’m not sure you’d want to drop in to find out if you float, so just take my word for it.

Frequently Asked Questions For Visiting Salina Turda

1. What should I wear when visiting Salina Turda?

The temperature inside the mine is constant at around 10-12°C (50-54°F), so it’s advisable to wear warm clothing. Comfortable walking shoes are also recommended due to the uneven terrain.

2. Is Salina Turda accessible to people with disabilities?

Yes, Salina Turda is equipped with elevators and ramps to accommodate visitors with disabilities, making it accessible for everyone. Visitors with disabilities will need to enter from Entrance B.

3. Are there any restaurants are food served at Salina Turda?

Yes, there are cafes and snack bars within the mine where you can grab a bite to eat or enjoy a hot drink.

4. Is photography and videography allowed at Salina Turda?

Photo and videos are allowed, but commercial and professional photography requires a separate fee at 300 lei / hour or 2000 lei / day.

5. Can you visit the Salina Turda after hours?

Salina Turda is available for events after hours with a minimum of 50 adults. 2500 lei / hour.

6. Are there guided tours available at Salina Turda?

Yes, guided tours are available on request for 100 lei / person. You can also book a private tour with transportation from Cluj-Napoca for up to 5 people.

Looking for more travel inspirations? Scroll through some of the 450+ experiences on my bucket list. Maybe you’ll find your next adventure on there.

How You Can Help

If you’ve found the content useful, you can help support this site by using these links when you plan and book your trip.



Leave a Comment

Leave A Comment Your email address will not be published

Featured On