Guide To The Best Things To Do In Transylvania, Romania In 3 Days

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Written by Laurentiu Artugyan.

Welcome to Transylvania – Eastern Europe’s prime spot for travelers and the crown of Romania’s tourist attractions! Even if you haven’t set foot in this fascinating region, you’re likely familiar with its reputation, thanks to the legendary tales of Dracula.

Get ready for an up-close look at this enthralling destination that transcends the famous myths!


Romania Travel Blog_Best Things To Do In Transylvania

Having wandered through its quaint streets and explored deep into Transylvania’s core, I can tell you there’s way more here than just tales of vampires. It’s a place rich with history, brimming with culture, and packed with landscapes that’ll take your breath away.

So, grab your gear and come along as we dive into the real allure of Transylvania – where every street tells a tale and every castle is brimming with mysteries just waiting to be discovered.

Prepare for an experience with the genuine smiles of locals and the stunning beauty of this less-explored jewel in Eastern Europe!

Best Things To Do In Transylvania, Romania That Are Not Dracula & Bran Castle

Welcome to Transylvania, a crossroads of cultures and a treasure trove of traditions nestled in the heart of Romania. This region, with its storied past as part of the grand Habsburg Empire, today stands as a testament to its rich heritage.

Transylvania is like a trip back in time but way cooler than history class. Every corner’s got a story, from the old cobblestone streets to the lively festivals that fill up the place with music and color. It’s all about getting a real feel for the legends and life that make Transylvania what it is. 

Ready to make the most of your visit to this enchanting region? While truly uncovering Transylvania’s treasures could take an age, I’ve got just the plan for you. In this guide, we’ll embark on a three-day excursion that captures the spirit of Transylvania, from its iconic castles to the deep cultural heritage that makes it such a unique slice of Romania

Day 1 Itinerary In Transylvania

A view of a city from the top of Deva Fortress

Kick off your trip to Transylvania by heading straight to the breathtaking Corvin Castle in Hunedoara, followed by the towering Deva Fortress. Prepare for a day jam-packed with medieval wonders and stories from the past.

Your journey into the heart of Transylvania starts in the storied city of Hunedoara, a place deeply rooted in Romania’s rich history. Hunedoara, one of Romania’s oldest cities, showcases its heritage through its ancient streets. Right at the center, Corvin Castle stands as a testament to medieval times, inviting you with its myriad of legends and architectural grandeur.

Morning: The Goth Corvin Castle, Hunedoara

A wooden bridge over a body of water. Corvin Castle Hunedoara, Transylvania

Start your exploration in Transylvania at the stunning Corvin Castle, also known as Huniazilor Castle, a true medieval treasure of Europe. Constructed in the 15th century, this castle was the stronghold of Iancu de Hunedoara, an influential figure in European history known for his political and military prowess. The castle’s Gothic architecture, with its tales of historical battles, fires, and enduring craftsmanship, offers a glimpse into a past filled with intrigue and resilience.

Located in Hunedoara, the castle stands as a magnificent example of historical fusion and architectural magnificence. As you roam its ancient halls, ascend the lofty towers, and admire the detailed stonework, you’ll be transported back in time. Make sure to capture the essence of this remarkable structure with plenty of photos – it’s an experience you’ll want to remember forever.

Lunch Of Local Flavors In Hunedoara

Refuel with a delicious lunch, diving into the rich flavors of Transylvania. Treat yourself to local specialties, from robust stews brimming with flavor to traditional pastries that tell a story of culinary heritage. It’s a perfect way to taste the essence of the region.

Afternoon At Deva’s Fortress

A castle on top of a hill. Deva Fortress Transylvania

After recharging with a delightful lunch of Transylvanian specialties, continue your journey to Devas Fortress, an emblematic site perched atop a hill with commanding views of the surrounding city and countryside.

This fortress, rooted in the 13th century, showcases the strategic significance of its location, bridging the historical regions of Transylvania and Banat across the Mures River Valley. Its architecture, a testament to centuries of history, offers a window into the past and a panoramic vista that’s hard to beat.

As you delve into the fortress’s rich history, you’ll find connections to the ancient world, with its foundation on a volcanic neck hinting at human settlements dating back to the Neolithic and Bronze Age. The fortress’s ties to Iancu de Hunedoara weave a deeper narrative into the fabric of Transylvania’s storied past. 

A stone building with a wooden roof. Deva Fortress Walls Transylvania

This visit to Deva’s Fortress is not just an exploration of architectural marvels but an immersive experience in the layered histories of the region. And as you gaze out from its heights, let your eyes wander to the distant  Retezat Mountains, where nature’s beauty unfolds in stark contrast to the fortress’s rugged history, offering a tranquil escape and a reminder of Transylvania’s diverse landscapes.

Evening Savoring Transylvanian Delights

As your adventure in Transylvania stretches into the evening, there’s no better way to cap off the day than with a dinner that embodies the essence of the region. After a day filled with exploring medieval landmarks and soaking in panoramic views, it’s time to experience another facet of Transylvania’s rich heritage—its cuisine.

Tonight, dive into the culinary world of Pădurenilor’s Land, a region renowned for its distinctive flavors and recipes that have been cherished and passed down through generations. Situated around Hunedoara and Deva, this area offers dishes that are not only a feast for the taste buds but also a reflection of the local culture and traditions.

From savory stews that simmer for hours to bring out a depth of flavor to handmade pastries that are both comforting and delightful, every dish tells a story of the land and its people.

With the first day of your Transylvanian journey wrapped up, having taken you from the grandeur of medieval castles to the serenity of ancient fortresses, make sure to rest up. The adventure continues on Day 2, promising even more enchanting places in Transylvania.

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Day 2 Itinerary In Transylvania 

A white gate with statues on it. lba Iulia Fortress Gate

On the second leg of our Transylvanian adventure, we find ourselves in the heart of the region – Alba Iulia, a city steeped in history and a crucial chapter in modern Romania.

Morning At Apulum & Vauban Fortress

Start your day diving into the rich history of ancient Apulum, one of Romania’s hidden historical gems. This place was a big deal back in the day, serving as a major Roman military and economic hub.

As I wandered around, I imagined soldiers and traders bustling around as you check out the cool leftovers from that era – we’re talking ancient temples, awesome mosaics, old-school baths (thermae), some seriously old statues, and even an amphitheater. It was like I went back in time and had a front-row seat to the Roman way of life.

After soaking in the Roman vibes, I suggest that you head over to the Vauban Fortress. This place is straight out of an 18th-century military architecture magazine inspired by the legendary Vauban.

These six gates are straight-up early Baroque masterpieces, decked out with sculptures that were all the rage in Europe back in the day. Walking through, I couldn’t shake off the feeling of being surrounded by history, like if these walls could talk, they’d spill centuries of secrets. It’s this blend of military strategy and artistic talent that really shows how smart and creative people were back then.

As you bounce from the ancient world to the era of baroque fortresses, you’re not just touring; you’re time-traveling. These stops in Transylvania offer a peek into the layers of history that have built up over centuries, making for a day that’s as educational as it is entertaining.

Lunch Of Flavors Of Alba Iulia

Recharge with a delightful lunch featuring local delights, allowing the flavors of Alba Iulia to tantalize your taste buds. From traditional dishes to modern culinary creations, Alba Iulia’s gastronomy is a feast for the senses.

Afternoon Of Cathedrals And Palaces

St. Michael Cathedral - Transylvania Things To do

In the afternoon, swing by the Orthodox Cathedral of the Reunification for a slice of the 1920s history that still resonates with pride across Romania. This isn’t just any old cathedral; it’s where King Ferdinand I and Queen Marie had their crowning moment, making it a big deal in the heart of every Romanian.

Plus, St. Michael’s Cathedral isn’t just another addition to Alba Iulia’s skyline; it’s a masterpiece that stands tall, telling stories of the past.

Don’t wrap up your day without checking out the Prince’s Palace. Back in the 17th century, Mihai Viteazul, a big name in Romanian history, called this place home during the very first steps toward reunifying Romania.

And you’ve got to see the Union Hall – the spot where, on December 1, 1918, the deal was sealed, bringing Transylvania back into Romania’s fold. That’s why December 1 is a huge deal here, celebrated as Romania’s National Day.

So, Day 2 in Transylvania? It’s been a ride through time, from the days of the Roman Empire to milestones that shaped modern Romania. Keep your shoes tied tight because Day 3 promises to dive even deeper into what makes this region absolutely unforgettable!

Day 3 Itinerary In Transylvania 

A church with a clock tower. Gothic Cathedral Sibiu Square

As dawn breaks over Sibiu, gear up for a day that’s a perfect mix of old-world charm, rich culture, and a dash of adventure in Dumbrava Sibiului.

Kick things off in Sibiu’s Upper Town, where history is tucked around every corner. Wander over the famous Bridge of Lies, wrapped in tales and legends, and climb the Clock Tower for some unbeatable views of the city. Don’t miss out on the Lutheran Cathedral and the Holy Trinity Cathedral, each telling its own story of Sibiu’s layered history.

Next, head down to the Lower Town, slipping through the old fortified walls into a world of narrow lanes and historic homes that feel like stepping straight into a medieval fairytale. Make sure to drop by the city hall and the grand Brukenthal Palace, which doubles as a museum now. Here, dive into the Brukenthal National

Lunch In Sibiu

Refuel with a delightful lunch in Sibiu’s Large or Small Square, savoring the atmosphere of the city. From traditional Romanian dishes to international flavors, the local cuisine is a treat for the taste buds.

Afternoon At The Stairs Passage & Dumbrava Sibiului

A yellow building with a black railing. Buildings in the Sibiu City center

Wander down the picturesque Stairs Passage next, where you’ll stumble upon cool art and handmade treasures by local craftspeople. Wrap up your trip to Transylvania with a stop at the ASTRA Museum of Folkloric Traditional Civilization in Dumbrava Sibiului, not far from Sibiu.

This massive open-air museum stretches over 96 hectares and features a 10-km display that brings the traditional Romanian village to life. You’ll get to see everything from how people decorated their homes back in the day to the farming techniques they used, giving you a deep dive into Romania’s vibrant cultural heritage.

As the day turns to night, settle into one of Sibiu’s welcoming restaurants for a chill dinner, soaking up the city’s warm vibe. As your Transylvanian tour wraps up, you’re left with a heap of memories from exploring historic towns, diving into folklore, and getting a taste of the culture that makes this area stand out. Feeling drawn to see more? Maybe it’s time to extend your adventure and keep wandering through Romania’s stunning scenery.

I have. more ideas on what to see in Transylvania after the accommodation ideas.

Transylvania Accommodation

In Transylvania, the range of accommodations and dining options caters to every taste and budget. Here’s a guide to help you find the perfect stay and savor the local flavors:

Best Deva Accommodation

Romania Travel Blog_Guide To Transylvania_Villa Boutique Alina
Photo Credit: Villa Boutique Alina

Budget. Hostel Citadella is a ideal for budget-conscious travelers.

Mid-Range. Villa Boutique Alina or Hotel Wien is comfortable options for a moderate budget.

Luxury. Villa Venus is the spoft or those seeking a luxurious stay.

Best Alba Iulia Accommodation

Romania Travel Blog_Guide To Transylvania_Castle Transylvania
Photo Credit: Castle Transylvania

Budget. Speed House or Apartment Citadel Alba Iulia both are ffordable options for budget travelers.

Mid-Range. Castle Transylvania or Transalpina Residence are comfortable stays with great amenities.

Luxury. Citadel Residence or Vila Carolina Apulum these upscale options are for a more refined experience.

Family-Friendly. Verte House this spacious and high-quality accommodation excellent for families.

Best Sibiu Accommodation

Romania Travel Blog_Luxury Hotels in Romania_Hilton Sibiu
Photo Credit: Hilton Sibiu

Budget. Serenity House Apartments and Ayoona Homes, you’ll find these budget-friendly options for a comfy stay.

Mid-Range. Townhouse Boutique, Vila Saguna, or Vila Helena all three have the ideal balance of amenities and cost.

Luxury. Martha Residence and Hilton Sibiu splash out and indulge in a luxurious experience in these upscale accommodations.

Other Top Attractions To Consider

If you did not love my suggestions above, here are some other top tourist attractions that make up the best of Transylvania (not also including Vlad The Impaler); you can swap out for one of the above options while you’re in Transylvania.

City Of Brasov

Road Trip From Bucharest_Brasov

Visit this city to fully appreciate its medieval charm, vibrant old town, and iconic Black Church. The city serves as an excellent base for day trips across Transylvania and is known for its proximity to other key attractions.

Peles Castle

Castles in Romania - Romanian Castles - Peles castle, Sinaia, Romania

A must-see attraction, visit this stunning castle in Transylvania to delve into the luxurious residence of Romanian royalty, set against the picturesque Carpathian Mountains.


Things To Do In Sighisoara Romania - UNESCO

Explore this UNESCO World Heritage site to wander through one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. It’s also the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, adding a layer of historical intrigue.


Castles in Romania - Romanian Castles - Rasnov Citadel, Located in Brasov County, Romania

Visit this fortress for a glimpse into medieval defensive architecture and stunning panoramic views, making it a top place to visit in Transylvania.

Fortified Church

Beautiful medieval architecture of Biertan fortified Saxon Chruch Romania

Explore these unique structures scattered across southern Transylvania. They symbolize the region’s Saxon heritage and offer insights into the life of medieval communities.

Turda Salt Mine

A visit to this remarkable underground wonder is a must. It’s not only a place to visit for its historical significance but also for its modern recreational facilities.


Driving through the Balkans - Your Guide to Driving In The Balkans - Transfagarasan Pass

Drive this spectacular road for some of the best views in Romania. It’s a testament to Romania’s unique natural landscapes and a must-see for adventure seekers.

Vlad The Impaler And Count Dracula

From Brasov to Bran Castle - Europe, Transylvania, Romania, 13th century Castle Bran

Delve into the history of Transylvania and the lore surrounding Vlad the Impaler and Count Dracula by exploring places like Sighisoara, Vlad’s birthplace, and Bran Castle, often associated with Bram Stoker’s iconic vampire.

How To Get To Transylvania

Embarking on a Transylvanian adventure offers a range of travel options, ensuring flexibility based on your starting point. Here’s a guide to help you plan your journey:

By Air

Sibiu Airport (SBZ). For a seamless experience, landing at Sibiu Airport is ideal. With increasing flights from all over Europe in recent years, it provides quick access to the enchanting cities of Sibiu, Alba Iulia, and more.

Cluj-Napoca Airport (CLJ). Another viable option is Cluj-Napoca Airport, which is larger than Sibiu Airport. Well-connected, it’s a great choice for those looking to explore Transylvania’s northern regions.

Timisoara Airport (TSR). If your journey starts closer to the western side of Transylvania, consider Timisoara Airport. Approximately 150 km from Hunedoara or Deva, it’s a convenient option with a highway connecting with Deva and Sibiu.

By Land

Train From Bucharest. If you land in Bucharest, Romania’s capital, you can opt for a scenic train journey to Sibiu or Deva. Enjoy the landscapes as you travel through the country. You can utilize the Romanian Railways website to check the timetable and, when necessary, make online reservations for your train journey.

Bus Services. Several bus companies offer connections between Bucharest and various cities in Transylvania. This is a comfortable and cost-effective option for those seeking flexibility. For those who travel by bus, there is an online platform where you can find most of the bus companies providing transportation and connecting major cities in Romania.

Guided Tours

Tour Guides. To make the most of your Transylvanian exploration, consider hiring a tour guide offering a comprehensive three-day package. This option typically includes private transport, guided tours, and even accommodation, ensuring a hassle-free and enriching experience.

Traveling Between Transylvanian Destinations

Navigating between the captivating destinations of Hunedoara, Deva, Alba Iulia, and Sibiu is a breeze, offering convenient options for every traveler.

Hunedoara To Deva

Public Buses. For a quick and economical journey, public buses and minibusses operate every 30 minutes between Hunedoara and Deva. The approximately 25-minute ride provides a budget-friendly option, with a fare of around €2.5 at the time of writing.

Deva To Alba Iulia

Train. Deva serves as a major railway hub, providing a seamless connection to Alba Iulia. Utilize the Romanian Railways website to check the train timetable and make online reservations. Depending on the train rank, travel duration varies between 45 minutes to 2 hours, with prices ranging from €5 to €8.

Public Buses. If trains are not your preference, public buses from Deva to Alba Iulia are available. The journey takes approximately 70 to 80 minutes, with ticket prices ranging from €6 to €8. Use online platforms for Romanian bus travel to check departure times and plan your route.

Alba Iulia To Sibiu

Train. While trains provide a scenic journey, they might be slower. The train ride from Alba Iulia to Sibiu takes approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, with a ticket price of around €3.5.

Public Buses or Minibuses. Opt for faster travel with public buses or minibusses, reducing the journey time to about 75-90 minutes. Ticket prices range from €5 to €10 at the time of writing.

Car Rental

Flexibility With Car Rental: Consider renting a car for maximum flexibility and independence. With the short distance between these destinations, a car rental allows you to arrange your journey at your own pace. Autonom or Avis are reputable companies offering car rental services.

Parking Facilities: In Hunedoara, Deva, Alba Iulia, and Sibiu, parking is readily available. Most cities have convenient parking systems where payment can be made via SMS or specific apps. In Hunedoara, Deva, and Alba Iulia, use the TPARK app, while in Sibiu, rely on SPDAPP. Free parking options are also accessible, but it’s advisable to avoid residential areas where parking spots may be designated by car numbers.

With efficient public transportation and well-connected routes, your journey through Transylvania promises to be not only culturally enriching but also hassle-free. Enjoy the scenic landscapes and seamless transitions as you explore the wonders of this enchanting region!

Final Word On Medieval Transylvania & Its Medieval Towns

A building with a clock tower. Coronation Cathedral Alba Iulia, Transylvania

You will love your time in Transylvania as like jumping into an epic story as you’re wandering through awesome cities like Hunedoara, Deva, Alba Iulia, and Sibiu, and every corner’s got something cool to see, from old castles to chill locals.

But hey, it’s not all about the city vibes. Around the corner, you’ve got the Retezat and Făgăraș Mountains just hanging out, ready for you to hike, snap some pics, or just breathe in that fresh mountain air.

In Transylvania, it’s all about the good times and great stories you’ll tell later. It’s a mix of rad history, friendly faces, and killer nature spots. So throw some stuff in a backpack, get ready to kick back, and dive into what Transylvania’s got to offer. 

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