Not sure what to do in Brasov, Romania? Don’t worry, we are here to help.
As one of the most important Transylvanian Saxon settlements in medieval times, Brasov is filled with historical landmarks, charming streets, and more history than you can imagine.
Its strategic location meant that it was a link between the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe, something that would turn Brasov into one of the most fortified citadels in Transylvania at the time.
With such sophisticated history and beautiful architecture, experiencing Brasov to its fullest might be tough.
That is why we have written this blog post on the 18 best things to do in Brasov Romania, which includes some amazing Brasov day trips!
What To Do In Brasov: 18 Best Things To Do In Brasov, Romania
1. Taking A Free Walking Tour In Brasov
As one of the seven walled citadels constructed by the Transylvania Saxons in the 12th century, Brasov is full of history. As you stroll down the cobblestone streets of Brasov, you are surrounded by historical buildings, famous landmarks, and untold stories.
Uncovering the vastness of Brasov’s history can be difficult, especially without a tour guide.
Luckily for you, the Brasov free walking tour can help you with understanding Brasov’s 800 years of history. Led by local tour guides, the Brasov walking tours are incredibly useful to see the city from a local perspective.
On the free walking tour, expect to learn about the complicated history of Brasov, get personal recommendations on the city, and make new friends.
Typically, the free walking tours happen daily and all you have to do is show up at the right place at the right time. The free walking tour company I personally recommend is Walkabout Free Tours Brasov.
I have used them in both Brasov and Bucharest and their expertise is unmatched!
Though the tours are completely free-of-charge, a tip is expected at the end. Depending on your satisfaction, you can decide how much you want to pay!
2. Check Out The Black Church, The Most Iconic Landmark In Brasov
The Black Church (Biserica Neagră in Romanian) is one of the best attractions in Brasov, Romania. Standing at 89 meters (292 ft) long, 38 meters (125 ft) wide, and 65 meters (213 meters) tall, the stunning Gothic-style monument looms over Brasov’s historic center.
Many of you might wonder how the Black Church received its name. Churches were usually named after people or saints, but the Black church was not.
In 1689, a devastating fire ravaged the church. The walls were badly damaged and smoke-blackened. Ever since that day, it has been called the Black Church.
Anticlimactic? Maybe A little.
Before given its name the Black Church, it was a Roman Catholic church known as Church of Saint Mary. Its construction started in the late 14th century and took close to a century to complete due to the constant attacks from the Ottoman and Tartar armies. Resources were so scarce that a smaller version of the church was constructed instead.
Coincidentally, when the church was finished, the Protestant Reformation was sweeping through the nation, and the Catholic values of the church were replaced by Lutheran ones.
The history of this church is spectacular, but what is most spectacular is the treasure it currently houses. Home of the biggest mechanical organ in the country, a splendid collection of Oriental carpets, and much more, the Black Church is a must-see place in Brasov.
3. Visit Mount Tampa For The Best Views Of Brasov
Anyone strolling down the charming old streets of Brasov will inevitably notice the Hollywood-style “Brasov” Sign on the top of a mountain. That mountain is Mount Tampa, one of the best places in Brasov for stunning panoramic views.
As part of the famed Carpathian Mountains, Mount Tampa soars close to 400 meters (1312 ft) over the city. The top of Mount Tampa sits an elevation of 960 meters (3150 feet). With such a beautiful natural wonder right at your doorstep, the instinctive move is to get to the top.
There are two ways to get to the summit of Mount Tampa: Taking the cable car (telecabina) or hiking.
The cable car is a great option to get to the top of Mount Tampa if you are traveling Romania with kids or the elderly. The ride costs 16 lei (<4 euro) for a round trip so it is hardly breaking the bank. Just be aware that the cable car runs from 9:30 AM to 4 PM, weather permitting.
Winter in Brasov can be unpleasant. It is wise to check with the attendants what the exact schedule is before taking the cable car.
Another option to get up Mount Tampa is by hiking. The 1.5-hour well-marked trail takes you through stunning landscapes of the Carpathian Mountains Range. You might even encounter some native species of birds and animals such as the Ural owl or the black woodpecker.
4. Explore Brasov Old Town, Especially Piata Sfatului (Council Square)
If you are visiting Brasov, the Brasov Old Town is a neighborhood you must see.
Featuring important historical buildings, charming old streets, and delicious Romanian cuisine, the Old Town is one of the best places to visit in Brasov.
Located in the heart of the Old Town is the Piata Sfatului (Council Square). Every medieval town had a big square where trade was conducted, executions were held, and among other important activities. Piata Sfatului was that historic square.
Though nowadays you won’t find any public executions, you will find a gorgeous square surrounded by some of the most beautiful buildings in Brasov, as well as many fine-dining establishments.
The most important building in the Council Square is the former Council House. Built in 1420, it is now the home of the Brasov County Museum of History.
If you are exploring Brasov without a guide, the Council Square is the perfect place to start. Everywhere you go from the Council Square, you will encounter new sights in the historic center of Brasov.
5. Stroll Down Strada Sforii (Rope Street), Eastern Europe’s Narrowest Street
Strada Sforii (Rope Street) is the third narrowest street in the world and the narrowest in Eastern Europe. Measuring a total of 80 meters (260 feet) long and a minimum width of 111 cm (44 inches), visitors can touch both sides of the wall at once.
The Strada Sforii was originally built in the 15th century for the fire fighting brigades. By giving them quicker access to the Old Town, officials were hoping to prevent more disaster.
Nowadays, this street has become one of the top places for sightseeing in Brasov.
6. Visit The Black Tower In Brasov, An Old Fortification Tower
The Black Tower (Turnul Negru) was one of the first fortification systems set up in the medieval walled citadel of Brasov. Unlike the name suggested, the Black Tower is not exactly black. In fact, it is actually white.
The Black Tower was built in the 15th century to stop any attacks coming from the west side of town. In the year 1559, a lightning strike hit the exterior of the fort and blackened it. Ever since that day, it has been named the Black Tower.
Restorative works have been done on the old fortification. Nowadays, not only is the exterior white, but the Black Tower is also a museum featuring historical artifacts and exhibits.
The 4-story Black Tower also features a stunning glass roof, where visitors can get stunning views of the Old Town of Brasov from Warthe Hill. This is also the perfect spot to admire the Black Church, one of the top Brasov tourist attractions.
The Black Tower is open intermittently, make sure you check with the authorities before visiting! It is a short walk from the Council Square!
7. Visit The White Tower In Brasov, A Spectacular Medieval Fortification
Along with the Back Tower, the White Tower (Turnul Alb) was also one of the first fortification systems set up in Brasov.
The 20-meter tall semi-circular tower was built in 1494 on top of a rock and gets its name from the white-colored facade. The impressive structure has a 4-meter thick wall near the base, as well as five machicolations (opening where objects such as stone or burning liquid can be dropped onto attackers).
In medieval times, the tin and coppersmiths guilds were responsible for the maintenance of the White Tower.
Unfortunately, the tower was badly damaged by a fire in 1689, but it was repaired in 1723. Newly renovated in 2006, the White Tower now features temporary exhibitions provided by the Brasov County Museum of History.
Visitors can reach the White Tower from a 250-meter staircase from Bastionul Graft. Alternatively, visitors can also take a path through the woods from the Black Tower.
Similar to the Black Tower, the White Tower is open irregularly. Make sure you call ahead to find out if they are open!
8. Admire The Catherine’s Gate, The Only Gate Survived From Medieval Times
The medieval Catherine’s Gate looks straight out of a fairytale and is the only surviving gate from medieval times. The gate was built in 1559, after an old gate was destroyed by a flood in 1526. It received its name from the St. Catherine’s Monastery, which was situated adjacent to it at the time.
The Catherine’s Gate served as the only gate for Romanians to enter the citadel. During the Saxon rule from the 13th to 17th century, Romanians were not allowed to own property inside the fortified town, so they settled outside the town in an area that is presently known as Şcheii Braşovului.
Romanians were only allowed to enter the citadel at certain times and were only allowed to do so by paying a toll at the Catherine’s Gate.
Nowadays, it is one of the most incredible things to see in Brasov.
9. Visit Poiana Brasov, The Famous Ski Resort In Pristine Nature
If you are visiting Brasov in the winter, the popular Ski Resort in Poiana Brasov is a place you cannot miss.
Travelers from around the world come to ski at the pristine ski slopes in Poiana Brasov, also known as the Alps of Romania. While skiing is no rare commodity in Europe, many places are expensive. Not only is Poiana Brasov cheap, but the slopes are some of the best in Europe.
Skiing is available from late November to late February in Poiana Brasov.
If you are visiting during other seasons, you won’t be able to enjoy the winter sports Poiana Brasov is known for. However, there are many nature trails in the area, perfect for hiking, cycling, or even horseback riding.
The nature in Poiana Brasov is stunning, and any outdoor lovers will find this place a paradise.
Surprisingly, Poiana Brasov has some of the best traditional Romanian food you can find. The dishes vary depending on the season because local ingredients are often used.
Sarmale (Romanian cabbage rolls) and Mamaliga (Romanian polenta) are some of the popular traditional Romanian dishes. If you have a sweet tooth try the kürtőskalács, a traditional Transylvania street food popular in Hungary and Romania.
10. Explore Prund-Schei Neighborhood, An Off-The-Beaten-Path Attraction In Brasov
It is not uncommon for travelers visiting Brasov to miss the Prund-Schei (Șcheii Brașovului) neighborhood, an area with ethnically Bulgarians and Romanians.
As you walk down the village-like neighborhood, you will notice that this small neighborhood contrasts drastically with the historic center of Brasov. Most of the buildings are quite simple compared to the Old Town of Brasov.
In medieval times, Romanians and Bulgarians were forced to live in the Schei neighborhood by the Saxons, as they were the only ones that were allowed to live inside the fortified walls.
Romanians were only allowed to enter the citadel at certain times and through the Catherine’s Gate, where they had to pay a toll to sell their produce inside.
The First Romanian School Museum is an impressive museum featuring many Romanian “firsts”, such as the oldest letter written in the Romanian alphabet, the first Romanian Bible, and the first Romanian printing press.
Adjacent to the First Romanian School Museum is the beautiful Romanian Orthodox St. Nicholas, a stunning landmark in the Schei neighborhood. The church is actually made up of 4 smaller churches inside and all of them worth the short but sweet visit!
Visiting the Schei neighborhood is one of the unusual things to do in Brasov, but we promise you it will be worth the trip. It is also not too far from the historic center of Brasov.
Day Trips From Brasov, Romania
1. Bran Castle, The Famous Dracula Castle
If you are visiting Romania, chances are you want to see Bran Castle, the alleged Dracula’s Castle. Inspiring by the skin-tingling horror novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, the Bran Castle is the most famous landmark in Romania.
Luckily for you, Brasov is the closest tourist city to Bran Castle, and getting from Brasov to Bran Castle is simple and quick.
It is no wonder why Bran Castle is one of the most popular day trips from Brasov.
Buses depart every half an hour on the hour on weekdays from Autogara 2 on Strada Avram Iancu. On weekends, the buses depart every hour on the hour. You can find the full schedule on the official site here. The journey takes about 45 minutes and costs 7 lei (<2 euros).
Since Autogara 2 is not located near the Brasov historic center, we recommend you to take an Uber to there.
Besides being the home to the legends of Dracula, Bran Castle is now mostly a museum for the art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. On the top floor, there is an exhibit that will explain how Bran Castle received its spooky legend.
Don’t miss that when you are visiting Bran Castle.
2. Rasnov Fortress, A Historic Transylvania Fortification
The region of Transylvania is filled with medieval fortifications, as you can probably already tell in Brasov. One of the most impressive ones in Transylvania is the Rasnov Fortress.
Located in a vital region of Transylvania, Rasnov Fortress was responsible for the defense of many nearby villages. It provided refuges for many of the nearby inhabitants, often for long periods of time. Because of that, houses, a chapel, and even a school were built inside the citadel.
When visiting the Rasnov Fortress, make sure you climb the watchtower located in the front. The watchtower offers stunning views of the Rasnov Fortress in its entirety!
There were hardly any tourists when we visited the Rasnov Fortress. Combined with the cheap admission fee, this hidden gem in Romania is a unique experience.
Stroll around the remains of the Rasnov Fortress and take in the sights. Some parts of the fortification walls are broken, and visitors can see the beautiful city of Rasnov through the fragmented walls.
Rasnov Fortress is on the way to Bran Castle from Brasov. We recommend you to combine the two for an exciting Brasov day trip.
NOTE: As of February 2020, Rasnov Fortress is closed for renovation. The anticipated duration of renovation is 3 years.
3. Sighisoara, A UNESCO Heritage Site
Sighisoara, just like Brasov, was one of the seven walled citadels built by the Transylvania Saxons for defense in the 12th century. It is most famous for its well-preserved fortified Old Town, which is a UNESCO Heritage Site.
Though Sighisoara is by no means the biggest or the wealthiest of the seven Saxon walled, it is one of the most well-kept. Stroll down its cobblestone streets and you will find guild towers built by craftsmen guilds, as each guild was responsible for the fortification of Sighisoara.
The charming streets will inevitably lead you to the Clock Tower, a 64-meter high tower that was the city’s main fortification. Nowadays, you won’t find arrows, stones, or burning liquids inside, but a museum on Sighisoara’s history. The open-air balcony at the top of the tower offers stunning views of the town of Sighisoara down below.
When you are tired of exploring the historical buildings inside Sighisoara, stop by one of their cafes or restaurants. As Europe’s last inhabited citadel, the citadel feels like a city (an old one) within a city.
Sighisoara is also the birthplace of Vlad Tepes, otherwise known as Vlad III or Vlad The Impaler. Vlad The Impaler was known for its cruel methods of defeating his enemies, impaling them and leaving them to bleed out.
Legends also said that he drank his enemy’s blood, which allegedly led to the character Dracula from Bram Stoker’s famous book Dracula. Here in Sighisoara, you can visit Vlad Tepe’s bedroom, where he slept until the age of four.
Sighisoara is located an hour and 45 minutes away from Brasov. Because of its distance, the only way to take a day trip from Brasov to Sighisoara is to have/rent a car. Alternatively, you can take public transportation, but the long journey means you will have to stay in Sighisoara for a night!
4. Sibiu, The City With Eyes
Sibiu was the wealthiest and largest of the seven Saxon walled citadels. With unique eye-like openings on the roofs of the buildings, Sibiu is also known as The City With Eyes or “Seebiu”.
Though Sibiu is located a 2-hour drive from Brasov, it makes for an easy day trip because all of the attractions in Sibiu are located in the historic center.
As the European Capital of Culture in 2007, Sibiu’s charm is omnipresent. The charming streets, the traditional Romanian gastronomy, the historic buildings, everything comes together and creates an elegant experience.
If you visit Sibiu, make sure you stop by the Large Square and Small Square. Both of these Squares were historical places where trade was conducted, executions were performed, and important gatherings were held.
5. Peles Castle, The Most Extravagant Castle In Romania
Many people visiting Romania will only know about the famous Bran Castle because of the Dracula legends. However, Bran Castle is not the biggest castle nor the most beautiful castle.
Located in a small town called Sinaia, the Carpathian Mountains surround the Neo-Renaissance Peles Castle, enhancing its lavishness. Its grandeur can be seen even before entering the 3-floor castle, as the courtyard contains intricate statues and beautiful fountains.
Built by King Carol I, Peles Castle took 10 years to complete. The 10 years did not go to waste, as the finished masterpiece has over 170 ornate rooms, including a concert hall and a movie theater.
Architecturally, a mix of Neo-Renaissance, Saxon, and Gothic Revival can be seen. The interior decor is most Baroque style, featuring carved wood and elegant fabric. It is also the home of one of the largest weapon collections in the world.
Every room has been meticulously designed and ornately decorated. It is a surreal feeling to be able to step foot into something so perfect in many ways. Matter of fact, you don’t just step foot into the Peles Castle. Plastic shoe covers must be worn at all times and a guided tour is the only way in.
Don’t worry though, guided tours happen multiple times throughout the day. Just rock up, buy your ticket, and wait for the next guided tour group!
If you want to take pictures inside the Peles Castle, an additional fee of 30 lei is charged!
Peles Castle is located in Sinaia, which is easily reachable via public transportation from Brasov.
6. Transfagarasan Highway, The Best Driving Road In Romania
The Transfagarasan Highway is one of the top attractions in Romania. Crossing the southern parts of the Carpathian Mountains range, the Transfagarasan Road is considered the best driving road in the world by Top Gear.
The Transfagarasan Highway (also known as DN7C) curves and twists along the sides of the Fagaras Mountains, and drivers have to remind themselves to look at the road instead of the incredible scenery.
Near the top of the Fagaras Mountains is a glacial lake named Balea Lake. Offering the best views of the Transfagarasan Road, Balea Lake is a popular place to stop on your visit. Here you will also find street vendors selling traditional Romanian food such as homemade cheese and handicraft, as well as the famous Ice Hotel.
Ideally, you would want to drive on the Transfagarasan Road and experience its madness firsthand. But if you don’t want to rent a car or drive one, then you can find tours departing from Brasov.
If you wish to secure your Brasov to Transfagarasan tour beforehand, click here!
7. Piatra Craiului Mountains, The Best Hiking In Brasov
The Carpathian Mountains surrounding Brasov acted like a natural defense barrier during medieval times, but nowadays it is one of the most popular places for hiking in Brasov.
If the hike up Mount Tampa wasn’t enough for you, I suggest hiking in the Piatra Criului Mountains. There are many trails in the region, so you can choose the length and difficulty suitable for you.
Because we were short on time when we visited Brasov, we decided to hike the Zarnesti Gorge. It took 4-hour and the autumn foliage was absolutely breathtaking, but nothing will triumph over the hike in Rimetea near Cluj-Napoca.
8. Hiking The Seven Ladders Canyon, The Most Adventurous Activity in Brasov
Because of the vastness of the Piatra Craiuiului Mountains, there are many different trails. If you are like me and have difficulty selecting a single trail, consider the Seven Ladders Canyon hike instead.
The Seven Ladders Canyon hike is unique in that you can see up to 7 waterfalls, and some of which are adjacent to the ladders you will need to climb to further along the trail. Keep in mind that the ladders might be wet at times, depending on how much water is coming down the waterfalls.
In the winter, some of these waterfalls freeze, and you are left with magnificent frozen waterfalls! Though the trail can be treacherous in the winter, you are reward with nature at its best.
In the other seasons, the trail is ideal for anyone adventurous. There is also the option to do ziplining at the Seven Ladders Canyon. The whole trail out-and-back takes about 4 hours to complete.
Best Time To Visit Brasov
The best time to visit Brasov depends on what type of experience you are looking for. There is generally no bad time to visit Brasov, as it is a lively city with many activities to do.
In the winter months, Brasov is generally very cold and receives heavy snowfall. This makes it the perfect time to explore Poiana Brasov, a place renowned for its winter sports. If you are visiting during the Christmas time, the Brasov Christmas Market is an event that you will rejoice.
The summer is when Brasov receives the most amount of tourism. The vibe of the city is young and there is plenty of excitement to go around. The warm Romanian summers attract international and local tourists. However, with an influx of tourists comes a surge in prices. Expect to pay a little more than usual in terms of accommodation and food.
Spring and autumn are decent months to visit Brasov. Tourism is very quiet these months, so you won’t have to worry about crowds. Some say the weather might still be too cold, especially if you are up in the mountains. Prices are generally lower in these months, perfect for anyone visiting Romania on a budget.
How To Get To Brasov, Romania
Getting to Brasov might be a little more difficult than getting to Bucharest or Cluj-Napoca, as Brasov does not have its own airport (yet). The Brasov International Airport is set to open in June 2021.
As of right now, the closest airport to Brasov is the Sibiu International Airport. However, because the Sibiu airport is small in comparison to the Bucharest airport (Henri Coandă International Airport), flights to Sibiu tend to be more expensive.
If you are traveling on a budget, we recommend you to fly into Bucharest and then take the train from Bucharest to Brasov.
The Palace of Parliament (the highest building in the world) is alone worth visiting Bucharest for a few days!
Where To Stay In Brasov, Romania
Best Hostel In Brasov – JugendStube Hostel
JugendStube Hostel is the definition of a backpackers hostel – affordability, comfort, and a lively atmosphere. Equipped with a staff that will answer any questions you might have about Brasov attractions, guests can feel confident exploring Brasov. The hostel also provides a free basic breakfast, which is the perfect way to start your day in Brasov!
Best Airbnb In Brasov – Casa Carolina Brasov
(Images Courtesy of Airbnb)
Casa Carolina Brasov is a charming 19th-century traditional house located in the historic center of Brasov. Designed to provide the utmost comfort and elegance through a combination of rustic elements and contemporary touch, this Airbnb is the perfect place to stay in Brasov.
Elements of the past can still be seen today. In the attic bathroom, there is a 100-year-old clawfoot bathtub, perfect for soothing your aching limbs after a day of exploring Brasov. Adjacent to the bathtub is the Thonet washstand.
When you are not enjoying your own personal paradise, sightseeing in Brasov cannot be any easier. The Council Square of Brasov is only 2 minutes away and the Black Church is 5 minutes away!
Best Hotel In Brasov, Romania – Safrano Palace
If you are looking for a luxurious hotel but don’t want to break the bank, look no further. Safrano Palace is the perfect hotel in Brasov for you.
Featuring spacious rooms, comfortable beds, and a modern decor fused with traditional elements, guests are in the perfect accommodation. The free breakfast buffet every morning is the perfect fuel for Brasov sightseeing!
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This is the end of our guide on the top things to do in Brasov, Romania. Hopefully, this has given you an idea of what to do on your Brasov trip!
Any question? Leave them in the comments!
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