Brasov is the 7th largest city in Romania, located in the heart of Transylvania region amidst the Carpathian Mountains. It’s only a few hours by train from Bucharest and it can be a good day trip. It’s also the ideal base to explore other parts of the region, with its straightforward transport system. There are also many things to do in Brasov, Romania.
Brasov is also quite small, and most attractions are close to each other. There’s so much to see and do in this city that wasn’t quite on the radar of travelers until this past decade or so. So here are a few suggestions to help make the most of your visit to Brasov.
10 Best Things To Do in Brasov, Romania
1. Stop and listen in Piata Sfatului
A perfect place to people watch and admire the many colorful and ornate buildings surrounding it, Piata Sfatului is one of the main points of interest in Brasov. It is situated in the heart of Brasov’s historic center and a favorite meeting place among locals.
The place pretty much gives you a glimpse of what Brasov has to offer, as you listen to the chimes of 13th-century town hall clock. The place buzzes with activity, warm and friendly, which was a far cry from what it was once.
Back in the middle ages, Piata Sfatului was the venue for public trials and executions. Then a parking lot during the communist rule to discourage people from congregating or holding rallies.
Nowadays, this area is where most people seem to want to spend a few minutes or hours of their days. Which makes it an ideal starting point for those who want to explore Brasov.
2. Enter the Black Church
Just off the main square in Brasov’s historic center is the Black Church, or Biserica Neagra. It’s not really black but earned that nickname after surviving a fire in the late 1600s that darkened its walls. It is the largest Gothic church in Eastern Europe and has some of the more fascinating interiors.
It’s dramatic Gothic architecture blends well with the intriguing Anatolian carpets adorning the walls which showcase the geography and history of medieval Brasov.
3. Ride the Cable Car to Tampa Mountain
A cable car ride to the Tampa mountain is one of the best activities to do in Brasov. As it offers some amazing views from the city center to the mountain itself. Way up on the cable car, you’ll see charming rooftops, and admire the colors (depending on the season) of the trees that cover Tampa.
In the winter, the mountains are quite magical when they’re covered in snow. But autumn is the real showstopper – this is when the trees explode into vivid fall colors. If you’re planning a Euro-trip in the fall, be sure to include this spot in your itinerary.
Make sure you also snap a photo of the Brasov sign right on the mountain, perched like the Hollywood sign in California.
4. Walk Down the Strada Sforii
Walk down to Piata Sfatului or the narrowest street in Eastern Europe. It’s one of the quirky things to do in Brasov but it’s just a few minutes walk from the Piata Sfatului. And the name ‘Strada Sforii’ literally means ‘rope street’ in Romanian.
This street is said to have existed as early as the 17th century, and that firemen may have used it to access certain parts of the city faster. The lane’s widest part is only about 53 inches or barely a meter while the narrowest portion is only 44 inches.
5. Visit Brasov’s Medieval Fortifications
Brasov is one of the most fortified cities in medieval Transylvania. Most of what’s left of its defense system back then are well preserved and can be visited today.
These walls and towers that protected the city hundreds of years ago are all within walking distance from the city center. Some of the best-preserved sites you can visit are the Lower Walls, Upper Walls, Red Tanners’ Bastion and the 16th century Ecaterina’s Gate.
6. Check the first Romanian School in Brasov
Just a short walk from the Piata Unirii is the Prima Școală Românească or the first school in Romania. It was constructed within the grounds of Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church in Schei district.
The school opened in the 1400s, and now houses a museum that contains such gems like the first Romanian bible and the first Romanian printing press.
7. Visit Bears at their Sanctuary
Only 20 kilometers away from Brasov is the 70 hectare Bears’ Sanctuary. It is also one of the best places to see in Brasov. This area houses 70 bears and is located at the foothills of Piatra Craiului Mountains.
These bears were rescued from cruel treatments and given a second chance at the Sanctuary. And where the environment is close to their natural habitat.
8. Try a Kurtos Kalas in Brasov
A Kurtos Kalacs is a sweet cylindrical cake toasted on a spit and sold on the streets. Other countries like the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia have the same sweet delicacy and you must try at least once to know why.
The Romanian version is said to be the biggest, a definite indulgence so make sure you head to the nearest Kurtos Kalacs cart and buy some for yourself.
9. Dine at the Brazov Fortes
While we’re talking about eating, how about having a meal at the Brazov Fortress? This one is perched on a hill just outside the city center. Brasov Fortress was a defensive structure built in 1524 and over the centuries, parts and annexes were added to it.
Aside from its original function as a defense system, this Fortress has also been used as a prison than a royal residence. Nowadays, it is one if Brazov’s attractions and it is home to a restaurant that has stunning views over the nearby city center.
10. Visit the Bran Castle
Bran Castle is considered one of the best castles in Europe, and it’s also an easy day trip from Brasov. Also known as Dracula’s Castle, it is one of the top places to visit in Brasov and it’s one of the most beautiful castles in Romania.
There is no clear connection between the castle and the fictional Dracula. However, nor is it clear if Vlad the Impaler (said to be the basis for Dracula) really lived there.
The Bran Castle in itself is far from its ominous connection though, as it’s pretty and bright and has a nice courtyard at the center. It has a maze of rooms that’s fun to explore with bits of information along the way. There is a ‘torture exhibit’ however which may be a homage to Vlad the Impaler, and it costs extra to visit.
The only real connection that this castle may have to the fictional vampire is that this is most likely the inspiration for Dracula’s home as the description in the book matches Bran Castle.
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