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Christmas Fair and Relaxing Thermal Baths in Oradea

It was just one weekend left until Christmas and our wandering spirit was telling us that we have to go somewhere. And after our experience in Rome, we wanted to find a fair dedicated to this holiday. So we chose to revisit Oradea and Felix to feel the winter atmosphere in there, too.

As we said before, it’s easy to get there. This time, we went by car, the road takes about 3 hours, but we made a stop at a really good restaurant for travelers. The road wasn’t as busy as we expected.

In Oradea, we booked accommodation at a pension near the city center and after arriving there, we headed towards the new aqua park in town. We weren’t there before, the place was recently renovated and extended, using EU funds. We were pleasantly surprised even from the exterior, by the nice design and large spaces in the area. Unlike other projects managed by the state, here quality materials were used.

The entrance fee is similar to the other aquatic centers. During the weekend the tickets are pricier than in the workdays, and there are various discounts for children and families. Inside, there are 10 water slides, 15 pools for swimming and relaxation, playgrounds for children, 6 saunas, massage parlors, a Turkish bath, sport grounds and restaurants.

As it was winter, the piece de resistance was the outside hot pool, where we felt amazing. We were a little surprised that there was an additional fee for accessing the saunas, as other spas we visited didn’t have this rule. The food was tasty and not too expensive. It’s worth coming here, it’s a very interesting place that we would award with the second place after the one in Bucharest!

In the evening, we went to the city center to see the Christmas Fair and seasonal decorations. A pleasant surprise was waiting for us here, too. Although it’s less famous than the Christmas Fair in Sibiu, the one in Oradea looks really good, we liked it more than the one in Cluj and it fits very nicely in the recently renovated old center. We took a ride in the big wheel installed for the occasion and ate lots of delicious stuff to mark the holiday.

The next day started with a stroll through the mall and Chinese food for breakfast, because… why not? Did anyone say it’s not allowed? After that, we headed towards Felix, to have a bath at an aqua park we visited before.

After the good experiences we had so far, it was about time for something bad. The aqua park we went to in Felix belongs to a hotel that kept extending. It was built four years ago, but unfortunately no investments were made for cleaning and maintenance. So, even if there are many interesting pools, it is obvious that the place is slowly degrading. Also, the water in the outside pool was too cold for bathing, although it was a relatively warm day for December.

It’s a pity, we expected more from them. It’s strange how a government managed place has better conditions than a privately owned one. We hope that for the future they will spare some money for quality renovations and hygiene. The next time we’ll go to their new competition, which we haven’t tested yet.

As the sun was setting, we got in the car and headed home. It was an accident on the road so we lost some time in a traffic jam, then stopped to have a bite at the same restaurant where we had to wait quite some time for the food, but it was worth it, because it’s really good and doesn’t leave you moneyless. In the evening, we arrived in Cluj after by-passing Florești, to avoid the traditional tailback.

It was an amazing weekend with hot baths, Romanian and Hungarian junk food, Christmas lights and magic. We want more. We’d love the whole winter to be like December!

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