Are you visiting Romania and looking for things to do in Brașov and surroundings?
We have been living in Brașov for decades, we guide people in and around Brașov every day, spend our free time roaming around the city, hiking, biking or looking for the perfect spots for photography. Let’s say we know a thing or two about the city.
But enough bragging, let’s get started!
Our top 35 things to do and places to see in Brasov will help you save precious time and money during your holiday in Transylvania.
Considered by many the most beautiful city in Romania, Brașov (pronounced [braˈʃov]) lies in the central part of the country, inside an arch in the Carpathian mountains. It is located in the Land of Bârsa or ”Țara Bârsei”, a name which seems to derive from the name of the river ”Bârsa”, one of the main courses of water flowing in this depression, from South-West to North-East.
A bit of history about Brașov
Its history dates back to the first traces of civilization, in the Neolithic. Around 1700 B.C., on the territory of the future town of Brașov, used to live people of the so-called Schnekenberg (The Snails’ Hill), which belonged to the Bronze Age.
After the 4th century B.C., several Dacian settlements are believed to have existed on mount Tâmpa, Solomon’s Rocks (Pietrele lui Solomon), Valea Cetății, Șprenghi, Bartolomeu and Stupini.
The medieval settlement was built here by the Saxon colonists, in the 12th century.
In 1344, the King of Hungary, Louis I the Great, visited Brașov. At that time, this city was considered to be the biggest town in Transylvania (around 3000 inhabitants).
In the 14th century, Brașov was granted several privileges, which allowed it to become the most important commercial center in the medieval Transylvania.
The first attested guild in town was the furriers and skinners guild.
In 1421, the Ottoman armies devastated Brașov. This was the moment when major fortifications works commenced.
The first document written in the Romanian language is still being preserved in the city’s archives. It is a letter received in 1521 by the mayor of Brașov.
Since 1556, Deacon Coresi worked in Brașov until 1583 as a translator and editor of religious books written in Cyrillic letters, but in Romanian language, using the idioms spoken in Southern Transylvania and Northern Wallachia. This was the beginning of the Romanian written literary language.
On April 21st 1689, the fortified town was devastated by a massive fire. It was the greatest architectonic catastrophe in the history of Brașov.
During the Middle Age, the main ethnic communities were the Saxons, the Romanians and the Hungarians. However, until 1781, only the Saxons had the right to live within the citadel’s walls.
During the communist regime, the ethnic structure of the city changed radically and 86% of the inhabitants were Romanians. This was determined by the intensive industrialization and after these measures, Brașov became on the biggest labour towns in Romania.
most important touristic destinations in Romania, no matter the season. From Spring to Autumn, this area is highly appreciated for the multitude of things to do in Brașov, its hiking trails and nature and during Winter, ski enthusiasts can enjoy skiing in Poiana Brașov, the most important winter resort in Romania.
So what are the things to do in Brașov?
Visit the historical monuments
We created a Brasov visual guide for you, with a recommended walking itinerary. Feel free to download it and use it. Or use directly from the mobile phone
1. The Black Church, located South West of Piata Sfatului, stands out as the biggest Gothic church east of Vienna. It dominates the cityscape in Brașov, mostly because of its size. It is 90 meters long (295 ft), 37 meters (121 ft) wide and its tower measures 65 meters (213 ft) in height.
The church dedicated to Saint Mary was erected between 1383-1477. It was severely affected and got its ”commercial” name after the devastating fire in 1689, which destroyed most parts of Brașov. The restoration took almost a century and ended in 1772. The Black Church hosts the biggest collection of Oriental carpets, after the one in Cairo and the biggest mobile church bell in Romania (6 tons) but also, the biggest pipe organ in Romania, built between 1836-1839 by Carl August Buchholz from Berlin.
A visit to the Black Church is a must in our top things to do in Brașov. Its tumultuous past gives visitors a glimpse of the historical background of Transylvania and the Saxon community.
Moreover, if you are in Brașov between June and September, we highly recommend attending an organ concert in the Black Church. These concerts are held every Tuesday and you must pay a separate ticket.
If you want to visit the Black Church in Brașov, make sure it’s not on Mondays, when it is closed. For more information, visit the dedicated website: https://www.honterusgemeinde.ro/
2. Saint Bartholomew Church, located here, is considered to be the oldest building in Brașov, being attested in the beginning of the 13th century. It was erected and decorated after the architectural model of the Cistercian monastic order. From the old church, only the choir, including the two rectangular chapels on the Eastern side, are still conserved.
The visiting hours are quite limited, but being relatively close to the city center, a walk there is recommended.
Locals’ tip: For a better view of the church, climb on top of the nearby hill.
3. Saint Nicholas orthodox church in Șchei, located here, was built between 1495 and 1594. The inside of the central church was painted by Costin Petrescu in 1940. On the northern wall it was depicted the entrance of prince Michael the Brave in Brașov while on the southern wall, there is the coronation scene, at Alba Iulia, of the King of Great Romania, Ferdinand I.
4. In the same court, visitors can see the First Romanian School, built in 1495. Here, the first Romanian language classes were held, in 1583. The school remained in use until 1850, when Andrei Șaguna College was opened.
The First Romanian School in Brasov
The collections of archaic and original items were gathered starting in 1933 and were first organized in a museum in 1964. It houses a variety of early Slavic and Romanian books, the first Romanian Bible and what can be loosely described as the first school magazine. The library contains six thousand books which were used in the school.
The museum also contains the first Romanian printing press. Only 39 books were made by this press, which is hardly surprising given the labor required, however the work it did produce included plenty more firsts. The first Romanian letter in Latin was produced by the press, the first Romanian schoolbook and the first Bible, which was printed on goatskin and had a cover weighing a hefty seven kilograms.
5. Saint Catherine’s Gate is the only remaining entrance gate to the old part of the city. It was built in 1559 and until the first half of the 19th century, it used to be the only entrance in Brașov from Șchei neighborhood. The significance of the four turrets around the main tower is that this community had the right to apply the capital punishment – Jus gladii. It must have been crazy back then! Also, above the gate, you will notice Brașov’s coat of arms, a crown placed on top of tree roots.
6. The Citadel, located here, used to be a watchtower, around which, in 1524, a bastion was erected, destroyed by Petru Rareș army in 1529. The fortifications were rebuilt in mid 16th century and extended at the beginning of the 17th century, when four other bastions were built. After 1688, the Citadel was occupied by the Austrian garrison. In 1932, when it was offered by the Brașov City Hall to King Carol II of Romania, it became a military prison. It was restored after 1975 and became a touristic attraction in 1981.
However, in the last years, the Citadel is closed to tourists. At the time of this article (April 2020), entrance to the citadel is not allowed, unfortunately. But you can still go up the hill and admire the fantastic city view.
Locals’ tip: some tourists we met admitted that they managed to enter the citadel after a small ”bribe” to the keeper. We don’t encourage this but it’s up to you if you want 🙂
7. The Weaver’s Bastion, located here, is one of the most underrated places to see in Brașov and a hidden gem situated within the city’s walls. It was built in two steps, between 1421-1436 and 1570-1573 and taken care of the Weaver’s Guild. It is the best preserved bastion in Brașov and currently, the only one still open for tourists.
Since 1910, the Weaver’s Bastion became a museum. In 2001, a permanent exhibition was opened here and its main attractions are a 1896 scale model of how Brașov used to look like in the 1600s and, of course, the main building, looking like an amphitheater, where a few musical concerts were held, thanks to its acoustics.
The entrance is cheap (7 LEI/ person) and it’s open every day from 10 AM to 6 PM, except Mondays, when it’s closed.
These are only some of the historical buildings worth visiting. Keep in mind that Brașov is an old medieval city that dates back to centuries ago and you need a lot of time to explore its secrets. If you have plenty of time, we also recommend to see the following list: House of Mureșenilor Museum, Brașov History Museum, Holy Trinity Church, Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, Museum of Urban Civilization, St. John Franciscan church, Church of St. Peter and Paul apostles, the White and the Black towers, which are closed for public, but you have a nice view over Brașov from there. You can also visit the Beth Israel Synagogue, the famous Rope Street and of course, the Art Museum and Ethnographic Museum, which host an outstanding number of exhibits. The entrance for these is, as you expect, dirt cheap.
8. The Rope Street, located here, was built as an access passage for firefighters, between Poarta Schei and Cerbului Street. Originally mentioned in the 17th century, Rope Street is among the narrowest streets in Europe, with a length of 80 meters and a width ranging from 1.11 to 1.35 meters.
And there are also the catacombs of Brașov, officially not open for tourists, but accessible if you know the right person 🙂
Go on top of mount Tâmpa
9. Probably the first thing a tourist notices when arriving in Brașov is the Hollywood-style letters situated at the top of mount Tâmpa. These weren’t always here and they are relatively new. You need to know that there are several easy trails that you can use to go up to Tâmpa or you can take the cable car if you want to get there fast or if you’re not fit enough. We don’t blame you, not everybody has a mountain in their back yard.
Once up there, go behind the BRAȘOV letters and admire the splendid view of the city and the surrounding area. But keep in mind that this is not the top. You get to the highest point of Tâmpa mountain (or hill) on a 2-3 minute trail. Once here, there’s no fence between you and the landscape. Our suggestion is an evening hike up here to take advantage of one of the most beautiful sunset points in Romania. Don’t worry about bears or darkness. The trails here are sometimes crowded from trail runners and hikers. Just make sure you have a head lamp or a charged battery on your phone.
One of the most exciting things to do in Brașov is attending a bear watching tour in the wild. Most of the tours start in the afternoon and take place in the wild, in the forests near Brașov. For these tours, it’s necessary to book through a licensed tour operator. You can find one here.
Normally, you are picked up from your accommodation in Brașov and taken 10-15 kilometers away, where you’ll meet a forest ranger who will accompany you and your guide during the activity. After a short hike, you will reach a specially built bear hide and wait for the bears to arrive. If you’re lucky enough, you’ll see quite a lot of them. Just make sure you don’t make too much noise or use the camera flash or the focus assist lamp. As you will find out, the bears are very cautious wild animals and they will run away at the slightest sound or sudden flash. And you’ll end up with an empty clearing and angry tourists looking at you…
However, if you’re interested in wildlife photography or simply want a high quality viewing experience, choose a bear watching tour in the Land of Volcanoes, near lake St. Anna. Here, there are currently two bear hides, designed by Mate Bence, a world-famous wildlife photographer.
Both observatories are situated at ground level and sometimes the bears come as close as two-three meters away. Don’t worry, there are one-way mirror windows between you and them; so, as long as you stay quiet and don’t use flash, they won’t be bothered. If you want more, you can even spend a whole day in this area and visit the stunning Saint Anna lake, the only volcanic crater lake in Eastern Europe, the interesting Mohos peat bog and the Stinky Cave, famous for being the cave with the biggest gas emanations in Europe.
Go hiking in the nearby mountains
11. One of the most active things to do in Brașov and the surroundings is hiking in one of the numerous mountains situated near the city. The most accessible massif is Postăvaru. You can reach there by choosing one of the many marked trails starting from Brașov or, if you want to save some time, take bus number 20 from Livada Poștei that will take you to Poiana Brașov and from here, the mountain is just meters away. The easiest way is ”Drumul Roșu” – during winter this route if not recommended because it follows the main ski slope.
When there’s no snow on the mountain or during low winter season, you can reach the peak in about 2-3 hours, at a very slow pace. Just make sure you stop at Postăvaru Chalet, one of the most picturesque mountain huts in Romania. We guarantee that you will like the atmosphere, the food and the unfiltered beer…
12. Another very accessible mountain is Piatra Mare (The Big Rock). You can reach the base if you take bus 17B from the main train station in Brașov or by foot, in about one and a half – two hours from the city center.
It is a very accessible mountain but this doesn’t mean you can go up there in flip-flops or sandals. There are several marked trails and most of them will get you first at the Piatra Mare hut. From here, you reach the summit in about one hour. At the hut, we recommend the biscuit salami 🙂
13. The third most accessible mountain is Piatra Craiului, situated near Zărnești. You can reach this city by car or, the easiest and cheapest way, by train. RegioCălători is a private railway company that operates the trains to Zărnești. You can buy the tickets online (unfortunately, there’s no English version on their website, yet) or just buy the tickets from the main train station in Brașov. There is a separate counter for RegioCălători. At the time of this article (April 2020), a one way ticket for one adult was 3.90 LEI (less that 1 Euro) and if you want to take you bike with you, it’s another 2.90 LEI. Once you get to Zărnești, it’s the end of the line. Cross the city towards the mountains and you’ll leave the paved road for a gravel road that goes in a valley. From now on, you’re in Piatra Craiului National Park. Remember to pay the entrance fee (about 5 LEI) near the Tourist Information Center, located here.
Once in Piatra Craiului, feel free to explore the area on the numerous marked mountain trails, on your own or with a guide. If you choose to go on the main ridge, our advice is to go with a licensed mountain guide. If you’re looking for something easy, you can choose to follow the main gravel road until you reach the Zărnești Gorges, a beautiful 2 kilometers long canyon with massive cliffs. Or you can go to Curmătura chalet and enjoy the nice mountain scenery, while savoring a rustic ciorbă (Romanian style soup) or a mug of tea with rum (yummy). You can even stay here overnight in basic rooms and choose a harder trail to La Om peak, on the Northern ridge.
Locals’ tip: To find your way on the marked trails, we recommend Munții Noștri, a free Romanian app that might come in handy. Don’t worry about the name, the interface uses English language.
14. Ciucaș mountains are situated 40 kilometers away from Brașov and are the least known, mainly because they have poor public access.
Same as the other mountains, you will find here several accessible marked trails that will take you to the peak, situated at 1954 meters. However, keep in mind that Ciucaș has one of the most unpredictable weather patterns in the Carpathians. Strong winds and blizzards in the winter can transform an easy hike to a nightmare. If you want to hike here on your own, keep an eye on the weather forecast and let others know where you’re going. This is an important rule regardless of the place you’re going. Otherwise, you can get help from a licensed mountain guide that will help you during your trek.
Locals’ tip: Ciucaș mountains are truly spectacular in June, when the rhododendron blooms, turning the alpine pastures pink. Also, during fall, the mountains turn orange and yellow as Mother Nature decides to express its artistic side, painting the landscape. In some conditions, you might even encounter a unique sea of clouds.
15. Last but not least, Bucegi mountains, located on the way to Bucharest, are probably the most impressive around Brașov. If you come to Transylvania by train, you will probably see them from outside your windows.
Bucegi mountains are one of the 16 natural parks in Romania and are the most accessible … by car and probably the most visited in Romania. They stand out as having the most dramatic scenery in Romania, if you don’t take into consideration Făgăraș mountains. On their Eastern side, these mountains have a very steep slope, towards Prahova Valley. On the other hand, their plateau is quite flat and here, the action of the winds and rain shaped peculiar figures like the Sphinx and Babele. Let’s not forget about the Heroes’ Cross on Caraiman, at an altitude of 2291 meters, visible for tens of kilometers away. The cross was erected between 1924-1928 to honour the memory of the soldiers from WWI.
16. Hiking the Făgăraș Mountains. Făgăraș is Romania’s longest and highest ridge and is often dubbed ‘Transylvanian Alps’. The main ridge extends east to west for over 70 km. The eastern end lies just south of Braşov, separated from the Piatra Craiului by the Bârsa Valley. The ridge ends just west of Sibiu which flows along the northern side of the Făgăraş, bends south. Geographically, the Făgăraş is the natural border between Transylvania to the north and Muntenia to the south. It also marked the border of the Habsburg Empire.
Eight of Romania’s 14 peaks over 2500m lie in the Făgăraş, including the two highest peaks in the country: Moldoveanu (2544m) in the eastern part, and the rockier Negoiu (2535m) in the western half. As many as 42 peaks are over 2400m. The first and last stages of the 90 km-long ridge route proposed in this chapter (Route 22) involve a long, slow ascent to the main ridge through forest and over long, rust-coloured grassy slopes. The middle three stages are more eventful and sometimes require some bravery and stamina, especially when traversing Romania’s most difficult scrambling section, Custura Sărății, which lies just west of Negoiu Peak (but can be bypassed). The summit path is well marked and, with the exception of some scrambling sections, the path is always clearly visible. There is no shortage of water in the Fagaras, which mostly concise igneous rocks; there are plenty of springs on the trail or a short distance fare as well as a good many glacial lakes and tarns, which make for great spots. In fact you can camp anywhere you like the Fágáraş is not a national park (vet) and therefore bivouacking is not restricted to designated areas. The ride dotted with refugees, cabanas can be found in the valleys to the north and retire descending to an altitude of 1500m or lower. The climate in the Fagaras is harsher than in most other mountainous areas in Romania; it receives the highest amount of rainfall and it is often the first to see snow.
Those who do not want to make a full traverse of the main spine, which can be tackled in five or six days if not descending to cabanas, will want to opt for one of the many access routes from the north. The northern side is much steeper than the southern side and hence the approach walks, through glacial valleys, are shorter. Access points from the north (from west to east) are Avrig, Porumbacu de Jos, Ucea de Jos, Voila and Făgăraş, which are all on the railway line from Sibiu to Braşov. In each case, though, you will have to cover quite some distance (20-30 km) before you are really at the foot of the mountains, whereas you will be right at the start if you begin at the eastern or western end in Plaiul Foii or Turnu Roşu respectively. The railway halts in the west are considerably closer to the mountains than the ones in the east. Another option would be to hitchhike (or drive) up the famous Transfăgărăşan Road from Cârța and start your hike at Bâlea Lake. There is one company that offers bus transfers to Bâlea Lake, see www.baleabus.ro (reservations only). Note that the Transfăgărăşan is open from late June until September only, with precise dates dependent on snow cover. Check www.transfagarasan.net for up-to-date info. The southern spurs, with gentler and longer slopes, are hardly frequented by tourists, except perhaps for the Rea Valley, which allows tourists to drive up to just a few hours away from the Moldoveanu Peak.
Try a cycling tour in Brașov or in the surroundings
One of the most exciting activities in this list of things to do in Brașov is cycling. Being surrounded by hills and mountains, Brașov is perfect for those seeking a cycling adventure. There are numerous trails and forest roads accessible for everyone and some a bit more difficult, for those looking for adrenaline.
17. One of the most popular biking routes is the forest road that takes cyclists from the area called Pietrele lui Solomon up to Poiana Brasov resort. It is a relaxing gravel road that goes through the forests for a few kilometers. Also, in this area, there are numerous marked hiking trails that can be used for cycling as well. Just make sure you don’t go too fast and respect other people.
18. Another popular trail among locals is at the foothills of mount Tâmpa. It goes almost entirely around the base and reaches from Șchei to Răcădău quarter. It is an easy trail with only a few meters where you need to pay attention to slippery rocks.
Starting from Astra or Noua neighborhoods, a few trails and forest roads can get you out of the bustling city directly into nature. These are usually very quiet and you’ll probably encounter only a few hikers or other local cyclists.
19. If you’re looking to go away from Brașov, you can try this route to Râșnov, which avoids the heavy traffic and takes you through green meadows near the forest. From Râșnov, you can go up to Poiana Brașov on the paved road or continue to the area called Glăjărie, from where you have the possibility to continue to Bran.
20. If you want to explore the area near Piatra Craiului mountains, you can take your bike with you on the train to Zărnești and choose where to go. A nice alternative for those with kids or who just want a relaxing 20-30 km ride is the road that goes to Plaiu Foii chalet. It was recently paved and goes through a nice and idyllic valley behind the massive mountains.
From Zărnești, you can go to Curmătura chalet through Zărnești Gorges or climb up to Măgura village, if you’re looking for that mixture of rural and mountain landscapes. Go from Măgura to Peștera and descend to Moeciu de Jos and Bran and end the loop back by going back to Zărnești through Predeluț.
21. For the roadies, a nice quiet road starts also from Zărnești and goes to Poiana Mărului and beyond, to Șinca Veche, up to Sâmbăta de Sus village near Făgăraș. The paved road has seen better days but if you just want to enjoy the scenery and breath in fresh rural Transylvanian air, then it is the perfect choice.
22. For those brave enough, there’s also the opportunity to cycle up on the Transfăgărășan road, named by Top Gear as the best road in the world. It is a bit far from Brașov but it’s totally worth it. We went there and absolutely loved it!
23. Last but not least, if you want single trails, go to Viscri – Bunești – Criț villages. A team of lovely people built here an extensive network of stunning single trails that go through idyllic forests and meadows, connecting the Saxon villages. You will meet shepherds, friendly locals and if you choose to stay here for more than a day, you will have the chance to taste organic locally sourced food and sleep in old Saxon houses.
For a hassle-free experience, you can stay at Bike Check Inn. The owner, Cornel, is a wonderful and passionate guy who will help you with everything. He even has a bunch of bikes, ranging from basic hardtail mountain bikes to the latest full suspension eBikes.
Of course, these are not the only places around Brașov where you can try cycling. The variety of things to do in Brașov give you the opportunity to mix different activities and plan yourself a wonderful holiday in Transylvania.
24. Try paragliding near Brașov
If you’re looking for the real thrill, the mountains around Brașov offer many opportunities for a paragliding tandem flight. Some of us are paragliding pilots and we can recommend the best pilots for you. The usual places for paragliding are Bunloc, in Săcele, South of Brașov and Postăvaru Mts mentioned above, but also in Șaua Măgurii or Sinaia.
The access to Bunloc is faster and therefore also it cost less. We recommend taking a taxi or uber to Bunloc ski-lift, where is the normal meeting point with your pilot.
You should know that two types of flights are possible:
- an initiation flight, that normally takes about 15 minutes in the air. However, when you calculate your time, take into account one hour from your arrival to Bunloc until landing, near the ski lift. Why? Well, it takes few minutes for the ski lift to start (it only goes up with a minimum of 6 persons); add 15 minutes to go up by cable car, add 10-15 minutes to prepare at the take-off. Plus a few minutes waiting for the good moment to take off, considering wind direction and speed. And the flight itself.
- a long flight, where the pilot will try to keep you in the air as long as possible. The long flight can be a local flight with landing at the “official” landing place (long time) or long-distance flight, called cross-country or, for short XC flight. Many pilots, as included, are keen to go for the distance, for themselves, but it is also possible to book a XC tandem flight!
Local tip: if you are going to try paragliding in Brasov, please do your arrangements before your arrival, for two reasons: 1) while other things depend mostly on yourself, paragliding is subject to weather conditions. You should aim to be flexible with other things to do in Brasov, but be prepared to fly when the weather allows. 2) For a long-distance flight is much more difficult to find a pilot (compared to an initiation flight), so please give them time to make the necessary arrangements – the pilot might not be able to do another flight that day.
Local tip 2: we recommend an XC flight if you flew before and know you react in a turbulent condition. It can be quite bumpy up there in the air on a day with a lot of atmospheric instability
Local tip 3: because we like you, our reader, we give you another hint. If you go for XC, dress adequately (warm clothes). On a good day you can reach to the cloud-base and, man is moist and cold up there. We learned it the hard, ehhr cold way. 🙂
If you’re considering paragliding and you need more help, feel free to get in touch, we’d happily help you.
Visit the fortified churches around Brașov
Transylvania is famous for its over 160 fortified churches, dating back from centuries ago. These were built by the Germans – the so-called Transylvanian Saxons – during the Middle Age and have suffered numerous damages but also reconstructions during the following centuries.
In the past, these churches were considered to be the heart of the community and remained until today, the symbols of each settlement.
The fortified churches appeared in the 13th century, as a result of the heavy attacks coming from all sides. The reinforcements were added after each attack and therefore, many of these sacred buildings changed their destination from a church into a shelter for the locals.
25. Such is the case with the Prejmer Fortified Church, which looks more like a fortress, rather than a church. This heavily fortified construction dates back to the 13th century, more exactly in 1218, when the Teutonic Knights began its construction. Because it didn’t have the advantage of higher ground, it needed to be well defended, so 14 meters high walls were built around the church. There were also five defensive towers, a watch road and a moat. One very valuable characteristic is the 4 storey storage rooms, one for each family in the village, which provided shelter during sieges. Basically, the whole structure was made to withstand a few weeks of siege from the invading armies.
The sheer dimensions of this well-preserved construction and the historical importance made Prejmer citadel a UNESCO World Heritage site worth visiting. From Brașov, you can get here by public transport, taking bus 520 or using a private transport company. Or you can simply hire a car or book a guided tour here.
26. One of Transylvania’s most enchanting villages, Viscri has conserved numerous examples of Saxon-type architecture, characterized by the alignment of their pastel-hued façades with the street, their frontons, and their large, arched gateways. The old-fashioned atmosphere and wild landscapes of Viscri have delighted Prince Charles, the heir to the throne of England, who has bought a number of properties in the area and founded the Mihai Eminescu Trust, a foundation that has restored numerous historic buildings. This has led to an upsurge in rural tourism, and there are now a host of pensions fitted out in the traditional style, where you can sample dishes made according to ancestral recipes and discover the secrets of traditional crafts,
Today, the village attracts thirty thousand tourists annually.
The fortified church of Viscri, with its two rings of defensive walls and five towers, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
27. The fortified church at Cincu village, founded by Saxon colonists in the thirteenth century on a plateau between the rivers Olt and Hârtibaciu, is dominated by a monumental fortified church set at the top of a small hill. In the Adoration of the Shepherds depicted on the altar, the painter immortalized the traditional costume of local shepherds. In front of the altar, there is a fourteen meter deep well, dug so that the villagers would have a secure source of water in case of siege. The complex also includes a small chamber named the Matrimonial Dungeon, where husbands and wives who failed to get along were brought; forced to share a single glass, a single spoon, a single fork and a single bed, they were held here until they were reconciled. In the last 150 years, there has not been a single divorce in Cincu!
28. The fortified church of Hărman – The peasant fortress of Hărman (German: Honigberg, Latin: Mons Mellis, i.e. Honey Mountain) has at its center a Romanesque basilica recorded in documents dating back to 1240.
It is protected by twelve-meter-high fortified walls with seven towers and a zwinger. In the east tower, a pre-Reformation chapel has been preserved, inside which you can see murals depicting the Last Judgement.
Although it was attacked many times, the fortress was never conquered.
Visit the castles and citadels around Brașov
Yes, we know you’re thinking of the famous Dracula’s Castle, or Bran castle…
29. Built between 1377 and 1382 by the burghers of Braşov, Bran Castle was the main bastion against invasion by the Ottoman Empire. Later, Iancu of Hunedoara (1441-56) repaired and strengthened Bran, before entrusting the defense of southern Transylvania to Vlad the Impaler, who had recently lost the throne of Wallachia. It may well be that the Impaler visited Bran which was an important border post, although there is no written record of him doing so. On 1 December 1920, the townsfolk of Brasov donated the castle to Queen Maria, in token of their gratitude for the part she played in the unification of Romania on 1 December 1918. Between 1920 and 1927, Karel Liman, architect to the Royal Court, softened the castle’s military look, subjecting the interiors to astonishing metamorphoses.
Linger in the tea house on the shore of the lake it is an old wooden barn that Queen Maria had converted into a pavilion where she took her five o’clock tea.
30. Peleș castle, located in the charming city of Sinaia, is our recommendation if you are interested in royalty, princesses, and magnificent architecture.
Built in a German new-Renaissance style, is considered one of the most impressive castles in Europe. Finished in 1883, Peleș Castle served as a summer residence for the Romanian royal family until 1947. It has a staggering 160 rooms, each richly decorated with the finest woodwork, Murano crystal chandeliers and impressive examples of European art.
This castle was the first castle in Europe to have electricity and even its own power plant and central heating.
In 1953, Peleș Castle became a National Museum but due to degradation, in 1975 it is closed until 1990, when it’s open again, for tourists.
Locals’ tip: If you choose to go to Peleș from Brașov, choose the train. Most of the time, there are traffic jams on DN1, on the way to Sinaia and back. Going by train is much cheaper and you don’t waste time looking for parking around Sinaia.
Locals’ tip: Make sure you buy the tickets for the extended tour if you choose to go here on your own. This tour gives you access to the second floor, where you can see beautifully decorated rooms and much more.
Visit some kid-friendly attractions in Brașov
31. The ZOO is located in the middle of nature, in Noua neighborhood. It has more than three hundred animals of seventy species, and is one of the county’s most popular destinations for children.
32. Aventura Park: sixteen trails of progressive difficulty, covering an area of three hectares, plus three zip lines over the central lake. The perfect place, weather you are looking for adrenaline or just relaxation.
33. Planetarium: part of the ZOO. Recently opened, the Planetarium in Brașov is the biggest in Romania and has multiple facilities at the highest standards, which allow children to enjoy a memorable virtual experience journey through the cosmos.
34. Rasnov Dino Park: located near Râșnov Castle, Dino Park features one hundred life-size dinosaurs, a 9D cinema, a 360 degree cinema, an adventure trail, a laser labyrinth and numerous interactive areas. For the first time ever, the world’s largest flying creature is reproduced here: Hatzegopteryx Thambema, discovered in the Hațeg land, in Romania. Also, visitors can see here the world’s largest dinosaur, Seismosaurus which was forty-five meters long.
35. The Seven Ladders Canyon zip line and the Râşnoavei Gorges: At the Seven Ladders: you can attempt Romania’s longest zip line installation, which stretches for 3.8 kilometers. There are thirty-seven trails here (twenty-three for adults and fourteen for children), the longest being 273 meters in length, the shortest forty-seven meters. This could also be a perfect place for adults to have fun in the middle of nature.
Well, this kindof covers most of the things to do around Brașov, but there are more. If you visited Brasov and have any comments, or if you are about to visit, you can let us know what you think!
Best time to visit Brasov
Oh, we almost forgot! In case you’re wondering when it’s the best time to visit Brasov, it really depends on what you’re looking for.
If you like skiing an winter sports in general, you might want to visit Brasov during winter. In the last years, the cold season got warmer and warmer and we believe that in about 10 years, there won’t be snow anymore. So you still have some chances. Try to find accommodation from January to February (sometimes March). This way you’ll avoid the heavy crowds that usually come here during winter holidays.
if you’re looking for hiking and cycling and good weather, April – May and end of August – September is the best time to visit Brasov, as there is less rainfall and temperatures are acceptable. Of course, pack some extra layers because the mornings and evenings can be chilly.
The rest of the year is pretty ok as well, if you ask us. June has the most rainy days of the year but everything depends on the weather, as you can probably imagine.
One important thing you must not forget: Brasov is famous for having four seasons in one day. So come prepared for snow, hot afternoons and rain as well 🙂