Top Things To Do In Brasov, Transylvania
Picture the scene – breathtaking scenery, the iconic feel of Transylvania, mountains, greenery, and fresh air. Can you picture a more idyllic image?
Brasov is the place you’re thinking about.
‘Where is Brasov’ I hear you ask! Brasov is a large city in the center of Romania and it makes up part of the iconic Transylvanian region of the country. With the huge Southern Carpathian Mountains in every direction, Brasov is a nature lover’s dream, and for anyone who enjoys taking amazing photographs, more than fit for the best Instagram feed, this is the place to go.
Brasov is separated into two parts, old and new.
The old part of the city has nods to Saxon times, and it sits right at the foot of the imposing Mount Tampa. The newer part is much more modernized and has tower blocks and the usual modern-day fare.
Whilst it’s a great thing to have both, without a doubt the most beautiful and most visited part of Brasov is the older region. This is one of most well-preserved old towns on the continent, with influences from all over the region, including Germany, Austria, and Hungary. Brasov also dates back to 1211, so you can imagine the amount of history found here.
Best Places To Visit In Brasov
There are countless things to see and do in Brasov, the capital of the Transylvanian region, so let’s me get down to the fun stuff and show you a few! Here are some of the best Brasov attractions to put on your to-do list.
Take A Brasov Walking Tour
Walking around Brasov city is the single best way to see it first hand, and if you can empty the help of a local Brasov travel guide, all the better!
This means you can learn about the history, really explore the architecture, and breathe in that fresh air much easier. There are many free walking Brasov tours which set off every day, and take around three hours, leaving you with the rest of the day to relax or do whatever else you want to do.
Grab a Brasov city map and explore!
Explore The Old City Centre, Or Centrul Vechi
The old part of the city is certainly the most charming and you can easily spend a few hours wandering around, losing yourself in the feel of the city itself. The cobbled streets and pastel-colored buildings are truly magical, no matter what the weather.
If you visit during winter time, and the snow is falling, be prepared for some delightful photos.
Check Out The ‘Brasov’ Sign
This is quite a strange tourist attraction, but it’s one you need to take a photo of, both during the day and night. Just in case you forget where you are,. Jokes. It’s like the Hollywood sign of Romania! Brasov’s iconic sign is high up in the mountains and is also lit up at night, just in case you get lost!
Try Authentic Food
You cannot visit Brasov and not try authentic Romanian food, it would be a crime!
Traditional Romanian food is heavily influenced by surrounding countries too, so you might even have tried a few dishes, such as sarmale, which is cabbage filled with mincemeat and then rolled up, or polenta served with sour cream and cheese. You should also check out pork knuckles (smoked), served with hearty beans. You’ll certainly be full!
Visit The Brasov History Museum
Piata Sfatului is home to the Old City Hall, dating back to 1420, but also to the Brasov History Museum. This is a great way to learn more about the region, which will help you understand the city a little more.
After that, check out the people watching opportunities in the square, with a delicious cup of coffee in hand. This is one of the best historical sights in Romania for telling a true story.
Check Out the Black Church, Brasov
The tower of this iconic church is one of the most famous sights in Brasov, and it was built by the Germans, back in 1542. In Gothic style, it looks impressive rising high into the sky, and it is one of the largest places of worship in the entire region. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to catch a Black Church Brasov organ concert.
Enjoy The Shopping Opportunities
Brasov’s modern section is packed with shopping opportunities, but there are also many shopping boutiques and streets in the old section too. You’ll find delightful souvenirs to take back home with you, and the pedestrianized shopping streets are also a great place to observe daily life and enjoy a cup of coffee too.
Head To The Liberty Bear Sanctuary
The bears of Eastern Europe have had a very difficult past, with many of them mistreated or used in tourism trades for entertainment. Thankfully, for the most part, all that is behind us, and the bears are free to enjoy their lives.
Whilst it’s hard to forget what happened in the past, places like the Liberty Bear Sanctuary give you hope and also make your heart melt when you see bears walking, playing, and sleeping in natural habitats.
This sanctuary is a short drive from the center of Brasov, but it’s a must do, in fact, the Bear Tour Brasov is one of the most famous attractions in the whole region.
Hike Tampa Mountain
You can either hike or take the cable car, but whichever option you go for, the views are simply stunning and you’ll see right across the city and beyond!
During the warmer months, the scenery is extremely green, and you can even walk to the famous Brasov sign we mentioned earlier. This is must do during your visit for some amazing summit photographs, and one of the best places in Brasov for views to take your breath away.
Brasov Day Trips
Whilst basing yourself in Brasov, it’s totally possible that you can venture further afield and explore the greater region. There are many places you can visit for the day from Brasov, including:
The capital is only 2.5 hours away! Bucharest is one of the best places in Romania for culture, nightlife, and history.
Visit Bran Castle
This is about half an hour away, but Bran Castle is iconic. The castle is quite a busy place, because it is the home of Dracula, well, at least according to Bram Stoker.
When you see it, you’ll get chills, and you cannot visit Brasov and not head here. The scenery around the castle is jaw-dropping, but the mystery of the castle will have you wondering whether the book is actually true! It’s very easy to get from Brasov to Bran also.
As a side note, did you know that Vlad the Impaler may have been imprisoned at Bran Castle? This is thought to be what gave Stoker a little inspiration into writing the character of Dracula. Fun fact!
Piatra Craiului Mountains
If you feel like a day out in total nature, then the Brasov mountains are the ideal spot. You can easily venture out for a trek and head back to your hotel in Brasov by nightfall. A definite one for your Brasov itinerary!
Around an hour from Brasov, you can reach Peles Castle, one of Europe’s most beautiful royal castles and certainly one of the most well preserved too.
With Neo-Renaissance architecture and truly opulent/fairytale feel, this is one for the visit list. From Brasov to Peles Castle you’re also sure to pass some fantastic scenery.
Harman Citadel & Prejmer Citadel
If you travel a short distance north you will be able to see two very impressive citadels, which date back to Saxon times. Ideal for views and for anyone into history.
This is the site one of the most beautiful and most well-preserved citadels in Europe, and it is surrounded by pastel-colored buildings and cobbled streets. A beauty place for a day out, especially if you can visit during the annual Medieval Festival. It’s like going back in time quite literally!
Seven Ladders Canyon
One hour away from Brasov you will reach Seven Ladders Canyon which is carved naturally into limestone. As the name suggests, there are seven ladders which have a height of 15 meters at the highest point. There are waterfalls on each ladder, and if you want to scream your head off on the way back down, take the zip-line instead!
This is one of the best Brasov tourist attractions for those who love the outdoors and is one of the most fun things to do in Brasov overall.
High in the mountains, you will find this stunning citadel, which is around an hour away from Brasov. Dating back to the 16th century, this citadel used to be teeming with life and today you can explore history in one of the most well-preserved manners. Brasov tourism at it’s best!
Top Spots For Food & Drink
Romanian food is certainly hearty and delicious, but if you’re concerned about not finding something to suit your palate, don’t be! Brasov is packed with wonderful places to eat and drink, serving both local and international fare.
Here are a few of the best spots in Brasov nightlife.
La Birou Bistro
Located in the old city center, this is the best spot for a delicious breakfast, especially if pancake are your thing! Serving local dishes with a stunning view, you’ll enjoy your time here for sure. There are also many options for vegans, vegetarians and those who need a gluten-free menu.
This another top spot for local and international food, but be sure to try the goulash, and it’s a legendary dish from this particular restaurant! Portions are large and the view from the restaurant will have you not wanting to leave. The ribs are also highly recommended here.
Located in the modern part of Brasov, Sub Tampa is a very chic and sophisticated dining experience, so it’s great for a modern night out. Try the vegetarian meatballs as your main dish, whether you’re veggie or not! The mushroom soup is also delightful as a starter.
Keller Steak House
Everyone loves a good steak house and this is a fantastic spot in Brasov. Surf and Turf, as well as ribeye steaks, are some of the most highly complimented dishes from the restaurants, but the prices are also very good considering the quality of meat you’re getting. Make this a spot for a night out.
This is certainly an atmospheric restaurant, located in the old part of Brasov. Try the wines here, as they are considered to be some of the best around, as well as the steaks. Foodies will love it here, but it’s also a great spot for a special occasion too.
Brasov Accommodation Ideas
There are many accommodation options in Brasov, but if you’re looking for a little inspiration, check out these ideas before you get knee deep in Brasov sightseeing.
Hotel Aro Palace
This five-star choice is the ideal place to stay in total luxury, and right in the center of the city too. With a huge swimming pool, spa and wellness center, as well as a fanatic onsite bar and rrestaurant this, is a great place to choose. The rooms are also very large and the views over the mountains are divine. This is also the only five star choice in Brasov, which is something to consider if star ratings matter to you!
Located in the most beautiful countryside you can imagine, this hotel is a four star choice with fantastic amenities and facilities on site. Rooms are decorated in traditional style, and there is a large indoor swimming pool and fitness center on site, for working off those excesses. The onsite restaurant is considered to be high quality and breakfast here is always a favorite amongst guests.
Located at the foot of the mountains, this is hotel sits in a beautiful setting and is a great budget choice for visitors to the Brasov region. Feeling like a home away from home, Hotel Kolping has a large bar and restaurant for evening enjoyment, and the natural feel will have you chilled out in no time.
How To Get To Brasov
It’s very easy to reach Brasov, thanks to the fact that the rail and road networks are fantastic in Romania! The likelihood is that you would fly to Bucharest and from there you would connect either to bus or train.
Brasov is a major hub for trains, and from the capital, there are several trains every day, usually hourly. Bucharest to Transylvania trains are comfortable and very cheap, so this is a great way to not only travel in comfort but also enjoy the passing scenery.
You can also reach Brasov by rail from Budapest in Hungary. the Bucharest to Brasov train, in particular, is quite spectacular in terms of the passing landscapes. Do bear in mind that the Bucharest to Brasov train cost varies according to the time of year, so check out prices closer to your time of visiting.
If you prefer to travel by bus, you can do so quite easily, again connecting from the airport in Bucharest. Buses are cheaper than rail travel and leave very frequently, again around every hour, or even half an hour. They are very comfortable and a great way to travel throughout the country, not just to Brasov. You can also get the bus from Brasov to Bran nearby, quite easily, one of the most famous places in Romania.
Visiting Brasov is certainly something you won’t forget in a hurry and with even more fantastic things to see and do just a stone’s throw away, you’ll be planning your return visit before you know it! This is without a doubt one of the best cities in Romania.