Frequently Asked Questions
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So.. let's get to our questions then :)
What to do in case of emergency?
If you have any kind of emergency on Romanian teritory, call 112. Other than that there is an emergency SMS service, 113 and also a 112 App, where you can send videos or photos.
For less life-threatening emergencies, you can find the contact numbers of the ORGA team in your activity booklet.
Where is Cluj and how do I get there?
Cluj-Napoca is the second largest city in Romania. In order to find out how to get there by car, bus, plane or train, see our Travel Guide.
How is it best to move around Cluj?
Transport in Cluj is fairly cheap compared to Central and Western Europe. Check out our Local Travel Guide.
What is the weather like in Cluj-Napoca around Christmas?
The Romanian climate is temperate continental, so a lot drier than western and central Europe. It is hot in the summer and cold in the winter, particularly in Transylvania, which is surrounded by mountains, so air tends to stagnate. In a cold wave, it could get to -20 degrees Celsius but we've seen years where temperatures were a +20 degrees Celsius as well.
This year we expect to see -5 to +5 degree Celsius at the end of December, so hopefully some snow, but no promises.
So - dress warm especially if you plan some outdoor activities. Or buy some mittens at the Christmas fair, why not? :)
What is the currency in Romania? Can I still use EUR? What are accepted payment types?
The local currency is the Romanian Leu (RON) and a quick estimated conversion rate to EUR is to divide by 5 (1 EUR = 4,91 RON).
You cannot pay in EUR at any shops, however there are exchange offices everywhere, including the Iulius Mall next to the Univers T Hotel.
You can pay almost everywhere, including the Christmas market, by debit or credit card. Exceptions are: restaurant tips, fresh market and some obscure shop where the owner has a war against technology.
As per Romanian regulations, if you don't receive a receipt, you are not required to pay anything and this is announced everywhere, including on the first page of every restaurant menu.
Are there stray dogs or other animals a problem in Cluj?
If you go hiking or wondering around outside of the city, you might encounter some stray dogs. However, within the city borders, chances are close to zero. You might see some cats though but they are harmless.
What are drinking regulations in Romania?
You have to be 18 to purchase and / or drink any kind of alcohol in Romania.
Drinking in public places (such as parks) is forbidden and you can get a fine.
Drinking and driving is a big no-no. The alcohol limit for driving is 0.
Are shops open during the holidays? What about public transport?
24.12: all shops will close earlier than usual, mostly around 16:00 - 18:00.
25.12: except for gas stations and very few restaurants, everything is closed. Public transport is available but with lower frequency then usual.
26.12: ~half of business start to open, usually chains, malls and restaurants but not so much small family owned shops. Public transport with lower frequency.
27.12 - 30.12: Life goes back to normal.
31.12: all shops will close earlier than usual, mostly around 16:00 - 18:00.
01.01: except for gas stations and very few restaurants, everything is closed. Public transport is available but with lower frequency then usual.
02.01: ~half of business start to open, usually chains, malls and restaurants but not so much small family owned shops. Public transport with lower frequency.
03.01: Life goes back to normal.
What are expectations when it comes to tipping?
In restaurants, 10% is common, depending on service you can go up or down. Regardless of payment type, tips are left in cash, on the table, before you leave (probably the only place you will need to have cash on you).
If you pay by cash in taxis, it is expected that you round up the amount. In taxi apps you can select after the ride if you with to tip and how much.
Can I bring my family to Silvensa?
Non-Mensa members are welcome as long as they accompany a Mensa member and they register as well on the Website.
We do not offer any activities specifically designed for children and we do not offer any daycare facilities. The parents will be 100% responsible for their children at all times.
_______________________________________Can I still sign-up to do a Workshop / lecture / presentation?
Yes, simply send an e-mail to email@example.com and the Orga team will get in touch with you.
_______________________________________Will there be a designated board game location at the hotel?
Yes, one of the conference rooms at the hotel will be a board-game room and you are also welcome to play in the lobby.
Can I share a hotel room at Univers T with another person?
All the hotel rooms at Univers T can accommodate 1 or 2 people. If you stay alone, you just need to book the Single Hotel Room. If you stay with a friend, please book the Single Hotel Room AND the Upgrade to double room. In the comments on the last page, let us know the name of your roommate. Your roommate will not need to book a hotel room when registering.
_______________________________________Can I park at the Univers T hotel?
If you are staying at the Univers T, you can park your car for 10 RON / day.
If you have a different accomodation and are only visiting, the cost for you will be 3 RON / hour.
In the second scenario, we recommend parking at the Iulius Mall, which is built around the hotel. The price is the same during the day, but the first 2 hours are free. There are many regulations on this topic, you can read more here: https://iuliusmall.com/cluj/regulament/?lang=en
How do I book the hotel and extra nights?
Hotel booking example:
27. means 1 night from 27. to 28. So it is possible to book dates from 25.01 till the 4.01. if you book all the dates. If you wish to stay longer, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be no separate confirmation from the hotel (at least for now). The hotel is reserved by Mensa Romania and the Orga Team will handle all the reservations.
The Univers T Hotel is fully booked. What now?
The Orga Team has negotiated a good deal with the Hampton by Hilton hotel in Cluj. This hotel is located in walking distance from the city center and a 15 minutes bus ride from the Univers T Hotel.
The Hampton by Hilton hotel has provided us with a generous discount. To access this, you must use this link: Fares for Mensa
After opening the link, select the rate that appears on the 26.12 as Asociatia Mens Mensa and then on the next page you can choose the actual dates that you wish to book.
There are two types of rooms: Queen Rooms and Queen + Sofa Bed rooms. Check the link above for more information.
I would like to visit Cluj-Napoca or other parts of Romania also for Christmas. Would you recommend this?
You will not find better hosts than in Eastern Europe and Romania is not an exception. We will welcome you with a lot of warmth, Christmas lights, all kinds of public shows, Christmas fairs and lots and lots and lots of food. In the Orthodox culture, there is a 40 day (vegan) fasting period before Christmas, hence on the 25th we like to catch up on everything we missed.
Yes, Christmas starts here on the 25th of December, not 24th, and it traditionally goes on for three days.
Keep in mind though, while you can still visit the city and everything there is to see around Cluj (or anywhere else), the 25th is one of the few days in the year when everything is closed. Almost literally everything. There will be a few open restaurants and some gas stations for quick purchases, but other than that, make sure you have everything you need by noon on the 24th as stores will close early that day and open on the 26th or even 27th. Btw, this is valid also for New Year's, as both the 1st and the 2nd of January are public holidays.
This being said, if you are interested in an authentic Christmas experience, less city and more "dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh", you can visit the Northern part of Romania, Maramureș (few hours away from Cluj). Reach out to the Orga team, we can help you find some options.