4 Epic Towns You Have to Visit in Transylvania

Welcome to the land brimming with mystery, guarded by mountains and veiled with eternal legends:

Transylvania

Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock.com

Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock.com

Come on in and have a sip of medieval charm in the place that once served as Dracula’s shelter.

In the very heart of Romania, Transylvania lies beyond the Carpathian forests. It has a lot of stories to tell and beauties to reveal!

We’ve all dreamed of seeing it with our own eyes one day. Book passages, movie captions and tourist guides have given us a sneak peak of its majesty. With well preserved historical buildings and plenty of natural sceneries, who would want to go back home?

corin mihaila / Shutterstock.com

corin mihaila / Shutterstock.com

Transylvania is a bit too complex to be covered in one sitting, but here’s what we’ll do: how about I walk you through its main cities right now? If you didn’t pack yet, you better hurry up, ‘cause you have a plane to catch!

Chances are you’ll either land on Bucharest or Cluj-Napoca airport. Both are great starting points – follow the towns’ order as listed in this article if you land in Bucharest; reverse the order if you land in Cluj-Napoca. Easy peasy!

Now fasten your seatbelt, we’ll be there in no time!

Get ready to be amazed in Brașov

The first town we’re exploring will definitely rock your socks off! Brașov is a cultural, medieval town, the only one in the world featuring a natural reservation (Tâmpa Natural Reservation) and a mountain peak (Postăvaru peak, measuring 1799 meters in height). Pretty impressive, right? You’ve probably figured out by now that the town is framed by imposing mountains which create an unforgettable, fairytale scenery. Brașov is an old pal, founded by the Teutonic Knights back in 1211. The Saxon walls and bastions around the city are willing to be our hosts!

As soon as we arrive, we’ll precede straight to the Council Square (Piața Sfatului), a place resplendent with baroque, gothic and renaissance architecture. It’s pretty crowded over here, as Brașov is one of the most visited towns in Romania. Let’s take our time and walk the charming streets while admiring the multitude of colorful buildings.

Florin Stana / Shutterstock.com

Florin Stana / Shutterstock.com

We can’t miss the largest gothic church in Romania, the Black Church (Biserica Neagră). Do you know why it’s called the Black Church? Well, of course you don’t — that’s why you have me! The place burned during the town’s Great Fire of 1689, and stayed like this – a ruin blackened by the evil smoke – for a while.

Whenever we get tired, we can stare at the red-roofed merchant houses while chilling at a cosy, welcoming cafe. Just pick the one you like most. Let’s soak in the alluring scenery for a bit before we continue with our Transylvanian journey.

corin mihaila / Shutterstock.com

corin mihaila / Shutterstock.com

Sighişoara will have you at hello

There’s so much to see in this small, coquette town! Does the name Dracula ring any bells? Needless to say it does, and let me tell you that we’re in the Count’s birthplace and we’re about to have the time of our lives!

Sighişoara stands as one of the best-preserved and splendid medieval places in Europe. We’ve just arrived in the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, which is also known as the Pearl of Transylvania or the Transylvanian Nürnberg. Let’s walk its cobbled streets and stare at this 16th century gem abounding of ornate churches and burgher houses. Sighişoara reveals itself as a genuine museum town offering us the rare chance to turn back time and enjoy the medieval atmosphere of hundreds of years ago. Oh, what a visual delight!

bilciu / Shutterstock.com

bilciu / Shutterstock.com

Rivalling the historic streets of Wien and Prague, the perfectly intact Sighişoara features nine towers and plenty of other magical attractions. I’ll make sure we won’t miss seeing the citadel with its Clock Tower (Turnul cu Ceas), the landmark of the city. With its baroque architecture, the tower’s balcony gives us the most breathtaking view we can have over the town. Then, I’ll show you the gothic Monastery Church (Biserica Mânăstirii), the Vlad Dracul House (Casa Vlad Dracul), and we’ll go up the Covered Staircase (Scara Şcolarilor).

Hey, did I mention that we’ll go around on foot all this time? Sighişoara is a small place, meant to be admired closely, street by street, tower by tower. As soon as we get tired, we’re just going to relax at one of the numerous terraces in the center and make plans for our next trip.

Andrei Pop / Shutterstock.com

Andrei Pop / Shutterstock.com

PAGE 1 OF 2
SHARE ON

Advertisement

Cultured Palate: Dishes from the American Southwest

It’s easy to forget what a wealth of culinary tradition we have in the American Southwest. Hugely varied, the Southwest of the U.S. represents hundreds of years of culinary innovation.

Cultured Palate: Dishes from China

For many Americans, Chinese cuisine is the fried noodles and saucy spare ribs of our favorite take-out spot. In reality, though, these dishes tell us more about America than about China – American Chinese cuisine is its own unique food.

Cultured Palate: Dishes from Cuba

For decades, Americans and Cubans have been separated by government restrictions. Yet newly porous borders are giving tourists the chance to explore Cuba's cuisine and traditions for the first time.