The Best Things to Do in Transylvania and Romania

The Best Things to Do in Transylvania and Romania

Lonely Planet has named Transylvania the best region in Romania in 2022. It is located in the heart and soul of Romania. Transylvania charms visitors with its unique mix of culture, wild beauty, and medieval enchantment.

Here’s a guide to Dracula’s homeland:

Wander through the charming Old Town of Sibiu

Sibiu is one of Romania’s most welcoming cities. It has an extensive cultural scene with many museums, art galleries and world-class festivals. It is the chocolate-box Old Town with its charming cafes and stunning Baroque architecture that holds all of the magic. Imagine charming cobblestone streets, handsome plazas, historic structures that span eight centuries, and secret passageways that take you to fancy bookstores and restaurants.

Transfagarasan Highway is the most famous road in the world.

The highway, which Jeremy Clarkson called “the greatest road in all of Transylvania”, rises to 2,034m. It connects the cities of Sibiu and Pitesti and twists and turns through the southern Carpathian Mountains. The Transfagarasan Highway offers a unique challenge for both drivers and cyclists. It features breathtaking views, hairpin turns and steep descents.

Sighisoara, a postcard-perfect medieval city, is your chance to visit.

Although most famous for its role as the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler (the Romanian ruler that inspired Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula), Sighisoara is a charming fairytale city full of colourful architecture and old-world charm. The UNESCO-listed historical centre of Sighisoara is a remarkable example of a small, fortified medieval city. Its idyllic cobblestone streets are filled with pavement cafes, souvenir shops, and small art galleries.

Visit the Transylvania citadels and castles that have been preserved in time.

A variety of castles, citadels, and fortresses are nestled among the lush hills, wild mountains, and mysterious valleys of Transylvania.

Bran Castle is the mythical home for Stoker’s Dracula. It’s located about 30 kilometres from Brasov, on a 200-foot rock. The hilltop Rasnov Fortress was built in the 13th-century by the Teutonic Knights.

Turda Salt Mine, the world’s most underground amusement park, is your place to have fun.

Salina Turda (Turda Salt Mine), located 400ft below the surface, is the most impressive and deepest theme park you will ever see. Visitors will find an underground paradise with its spa and boating lake.

Explore Romania’s folk culture at the ASTRA Museum in Sibiu

The ASTRA Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization is one of the most important open-air museums in Europe. It is located in a forest 3 km south of Sibiu. It features a remarkable collection of traditional peasant houses, windmills, and public buildings from different regions and periods of Romania.

Brasov is where old meets new!

Brasov is centrally located near the best Romanian ski resorts and surrounded by the Southern Carpathians. It’s a modern, cosmopolitan, medieval-style city. You can spend the day wandering through the cobbled streets full of stylish boutiques and antique shops. Stop by Piata Satului for coffee and delicious pastries. The evening is equally impressive, as there are many restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Go to Balea Lake

The crystal-clear Balea Lake, located at 2,034m in Transylvania’s Fagaras Mountains, is surrounded by stunning alpine scenery. This area is a scientific reserve and offers excellent climbing, skiing, and hiking opportunities. In winter, it also hosts the first-ever Icehotel in Eastern Europe.

Balea Lake can be reached from Sibiu at 80 km. It is accessible by car via Transfagarasan Highway in summer and Balea Cascada Lodge in winter.

Marvel at the Fortified Churches of Transylvania

The Fortified Churches of Transylvania, listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, are extraordinary examples of defensive vernacular architecture and have been meticulously preserved since the Middle Ages. These unique medieval churches, built between the 13th and 16th centuries, are scattered throughout the charming villages of southern Transylvania. They speak to the rich history, Saxon heritage and unspoilt cultural environment of the region. Each one is unique in its architectural details, and they are all protected by defensive walls.

Ski-in Poiana Brasov, a chic resort

Poiana Brasov is Romania’s most exclusive ski resort. It is located 12 km from Brasov. The resort welcomes all levels of skiers with an Olympic track, 9 downhill and 7 slalom tracks. There are 2 cable cars, 1 gondola and 8 modern ski lifts. Although the slopes are best for intermediate and beginner skiers, there is plenty to do in the resort’s après-ski area, including bars, clubs, and traditional restaurants that offer authentic Romanian food. Many accommodation options exist, from luxury hotels to self-catering chalets to luxurious resorts.

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