So, you’re heading to Brasov? If you are staying in the city for a few days – or even just one day – and you don’t know exactly where all you should visit, we have you covered! With this quick guide, we are going to tell you all the spots you should try to visit, even if you only have a limited amount of time in the city.
If you are not super familiar with Brasov, it is a beautiful city in the Transylvanian mountains – in fact, it is surrounded on three sides by mountains, which made is a great city to settle as there was a lot of natural protection from invaders. Brasov is a great city to visit year-round; it is warm and walkable in the summer, but it turns into a winter wonderland during the colder months, so no matter when you want to visit, you are sure to have a fantastic time!
Head to Bran Castle
Alright, so there are actually two castles that are considered “Dracula’s” Castle: Bran Castle and Poenari Castle. Bran Castle is significantly more popular, and subjectively more beautiful. This is the one that is most similar to the castle described in Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula. Although Stoker had never been to Romania himself, Bran Castle in Transylvania pretty much perfectly fits the bill for Dracula’s castle. It is perched at the top of an ominous hill, it is large and majestic, and it dates all the way back to the 1300s. Some people believe that the character Dracula is based off the real-life Romanian Ruler, Vlad the Impaler. Vlad did visit this castle during his lifetime, but he did not actually live here. Because of its age and perch overlooking the valleys, this is the ideal beautiful yet isolated and weathered castle to visit.
And to Peles Castle
This is one of the most famous and well-known castles of Romania. It is located just outside of Brasov, in Sinaia. This castle was constructed from 1873-1914 for the first king of Romania: King Carol I. King Carol I loved the mountains and when he came across this mountain range, he knew that this would be where he would want to spend the rest of his life. You will have to see it for yourself – the castle was beautifully built and the view of the mountains is absolutely magnificent!
Explore Piata Sfatului
Piata Sfatului, aka The Council Square, is the historic center of Brasov. It is an open-air market and has been the spot for markets in Brasov since 1364! It is a gorgeous spot with tons of history and it is surrounded by houses from the 18th and 19th centuries, many of which have been declared historical monuments.
Check Out the Rasnov Fortress
This is a fortress that dates all the way back to the 13th century and was built by Teutonic Knights. The location has a museum and even a buried skeleton that you can view through a glass floor! Walking through this Fortress feels like walking through a maze, it is really a cool site to see!
Visit the Black Church
The Black Church of Brasov was built in the 1500s and is the largest Gothic church in Eastern Europe. There is no other church that comes close to its size between Italy and Istanbul. Now, before you get worried, it is called the Black Church because its walls were darkened n a fire that nearly destroyed in entirely in 1689. Inside the church you will find a huge Bucholz organ and the largest collection of oriental carpets in Europe.
Get Great Views from Tampa Mountain
Tampa Mountain is a really cool place for many reasons. A lot of people know this mountain because it has the famous “Brasov” sign – if you have not seen pictures of this, it basically looks like a copy of the Hollywood sign. It is also a well known mountain because you can get some of the best views of Brasov from here. You can hike up the mountain by foot or take a cable car to the top (which only costs about $4.50 USD round trip).
Go Skiing at Poiana Brasov
We told you that Brasov becomes a winter wonderland during the cold months – and what’s a winter wonderland without a few nice ski resorts? One of the most famous ski resorts in all of Romania is located in Brasov, called Poiana Brasov. It features many slopes, as well as plenty of hotels, restaurants, and other winter sports facilities. It is just 7 miles away from the Brasov city center, and there snow on the ground lasts for about four months a year. If you are looking for another mountain resort, we would also recommend Predeal. It is a little bit further out from Brasov, roughly 14 miles, but it has five massifs: Fitifoi, Baiului, Bucegi, Piatra Mare, and Postavaru. You can ski here in the winter or find endless hikes during the warmer months (don’t worry, they are not actually endless, but you will definitely have plenty to choose from)!
Walk through the Romanian Quarter
As we have mentioned, Brasov is a city with a lot of history and part of that history is that this used to be a deeply divided town. It used to be that the Saxons and Hungarians were the elite, while the Romanian were pushed aside and marginalized. For the most part, the Romanians had to live in the Schei, which were small, cramped neighborhoods with many stairs and dark alleys. Even though it was difficult to live in these small spaces, Romanians made the most of it by building beautiful churches, like the St Nicholas’ Cathedral, and building what later became the First Romanian School Museum, which celebrates the country’s long publishing tradition.
Whether you only have a day to spend in Brasov or you have a few weeks, Brasov is a city that just keeps giving! There is so much to do and enjoy in Brasov, the air is clean and the people are friendly – this is a city where you are sure to find endless joy!