Brasov takes pride in being the gateway to Transylvania, one of the most popular travel destinations in Romania.
This well-preserved medieval city is located at the foot of the southern Carpathian Mountains, about 106 miles from Bucharest and 256 miles from Timisoara. It makes a great year-round destination for those who love history, the great outdoors, and stories about Dracula. Here are 5 best things to do in Brasov.
1. Walking tour in Brasov
Step into the past in Brasov’s old town and discover 800 years of history. See the colorful buildings along Piata Sfatului Square, visit Biserica Neagra (Black Church) and St Nicholas Church, the Old Town Hall, and stroll on the four-foot-wide Strada Sforii, (Rope Street), the narrowest street in Eastern Europe.
After being constantly invaded by the Mongols and Ottomans, the Saxon settlers in Brasov fortified the city with massive stone walls, towers, and gates. Only a few of the towers and walls survived. You’ll also discover a part of the ancient wall surrounding the city, Black Tower, White Tower, Graft Bastion, Weaver Bastion, and the fairytale-like Catherine’s Gate.
2. Hike to the top of Mount Tampa
Hike with the locals to the top of Mount Tampa for breathtaking views of Brasov. Mount Tampa is about 3,140 feet above sea level. The hike is around an hour. Take the cable car if you prefer a more relaxing way to get to the top.
Note: The cable car is available from 9:30 am to 4 pm. It is closed on Mondays.
3. Enjoy Romanian food
Brasov has many cafes, bakeries, and restaurants for every budget and taste. You can get a taste of traditional and modern Romanian dishes when in Brasov. Most of the popular eateries are close to the main square. You don’t have to venture far to find good food.
Romanian cuisine is a mix of Turks, Slavic, Greek, and German. When in Brasov try these Romanian dishes:
- Sarmale (cabbage rolls) – Romania’s national dish
- Roasted pork knuckle
- Mici (grilled sausages)
- Papanasi (a donut-shaped dessert with cream, cottage cheese, and berries)
4. Discover Transylvania’s villages and rural lifestyle
Join a two-day tour with Romanian Friend, a travel Romanian travel company to the village of Cobor. You’ll have opportunities to meet the villagers, go on a horse cart ride, eat authentic Romanian home-cooked food. This tour offers you a chance to live life on a Transylvanian farm and make new friends.
5. Visit Bran Castle
No trip to Transylvania is complete without a visit to Bran Castle. Bran Castle and the medieval fortress were built between 1377 and 1382 for defense and economic reasons. It was positioned to block enemy invasions of Brasov and the surrounding areas. In 1918, when Transylvania became part of Romania, Bran Castle was given to Queen Marie, granddaughter of England’s Queen Victoria, who married King Ferdinand of Romania in 1893.
Under Queen Marie’s supervision, the third and fourth floors were added to the castle. But the most famous story of Bran Castle started when Irish writer Bram Stoker wrote Dracula, the fictional character of a bloodthirsty Transylvanian count. Rumor had it that he based the story on the 15th-century ruler, Vlad the Impaler (Vlad III Dracula).
Also known as Dracula Castle, Bran Castle is now a museum, and did you know, Bram Stoker never visited the castle?