Arad is a city of impressive buildings and architecture, with many of the main sights located along the principal thoroughfare, the broad, tree-lined, Bulevardul Revolutiei with trams running along it. These include the impressive white City Hall Palace (1875), the Palace of Culture (1911-1916), the neo-gothic and secessionist-style Red Church (1906), the large, domed Roman Catholic Church (1902-1904) and the neo-classical State Theatre (1874).

Today, Arad is an important industrial center and transportation hub, as well as home to two universities, a Romanian Orthodox theological seminary, a training school for teachers, and a music conservatory. Churches and cathedrals in the city span four centuries, several denominations, and architectural styles ranging from baroque to neoclassic.

Arad County is also home to some important Orthodox monasteries, such as the ones from Hodos-Bodrog (dating from 1177), Bezdin (dating from 1334), Gai (built in 1760-1762), the Sf. Maria – Radna Franciscan Monastery (built in 1727 – 1826), the Princely Orthodox Church from Halmagiu (dating back to the 14th century), the Roman-Catholic Church from Sânpetru German (built in 1774).

Jews settled in Arad in the early 18th century and by the first half of the 19th century, the town became a leading center of Reform Judaism.At the end of 1990s, the Jewish community in Arad was the second largest in the country (after the one on Bucharest).