The area around Brasov is one of the most looked for destination in Romania! Since it's close to my hometown Bucharest, I myself have had the majority of my Romanian holidays somewhere in this region. Brasov has always impressed me with the small streets around the center and the amazing architecture of the buildings. But the city is not only a beautiful destination itself, but also a perfect starting point for exploring the landmarks around. Use this article to plan a lovely holiday in one of the most offering region in Romania!
Almost each road leaving Brasov reveals some of the most unique sites of Romania! So here's what you need to know about Brasov area, and how to plan a vacation in it!
The best way to reach the city is via Otopeni International Airport near Bucharest. The best option from here is a rent-a-car or travel-with-a-local service - I'll show you why in a few minutes.
Brasov is 154 km and around 2.5 hours away from Otopeni. You will pass through Prahova Valley, leave behind the astonishing Bucegi Mountains, and approach the city on a splendid 1-lane national road.
Just when your eyes get used to the green spectacle displayed by the Carpathian mountains, your road will be crossing a bridge and... nothing will ever be the same again...
I don't have a photo, but try to envision a green, narrow road suddenly turning into the modern perspective of a metropolis. You will drive by hipermarkets, car dealers, gas stations, huge crossroads, parking places where locals usually go shopping.
Nothing really announces this turn of events, but you know Brasov is almost there and can start prepare for this top Romanian city!
When entering Brasov, have a look around and beyond. You will have a first contact with probably the most beautiful ancient city in Romania. While still in your car, try to raise your eyes from Google Maps and forget about finding your hotel for a few seconds.
Remember if you have ever seen another similar place elsewhere: wide boulevards, old and modern buildings, guarded from the background by tall mountains all over the place. Freiburg in Germany is a good example, Salzburg in Austria maybe...
As you can see, Brasov has its own identity. It is the only place in Romania where the three historical regions Transylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia meet.
It is beautifully surrounded by mountains.
And it's the place where you will turn back every day of this trip, being amazed by the incredible beauties of Romania!
You will best explore Brasov by foot, so grab some comfortable shoes and get ready for a unique city in the whole world!
Any walking tour should start from the Council Square. It is by far the most beautiful in Romania, built in German medieval style, similar to any other vibrant square in Europe.
It's a perfect place to savor a lunch, coffee or dessert while admiring the central fountain, the magnificent architecture of the buildings and the perspective of the gorgeous pedestrian Republicii street.
From the square, all the main sights are within walking distance:
Visit The Black Church - the largest Gothic church in South Eastern Europe and Brasov's main landmark.
Pass through Schei Gate, have a photo in front of Yekaterina's Gate and walk towards Unirii Square to find The First Romanian School - where I remember the guide giving me one of the most authentic and complete history lesson in my life!
Climb Mount Tampa, by foot or cable car, for an astonishing view upon the city and surrounding mountains;
Walk along the old fortress walls, the streets back to the old town and the Rope Street (the narrowest in Europe).
Also climb White or Black Tower for some amazing views over the old city.
And, last but not least, spend 3 hours in Romania's most appreciated adventure park and the biggest in Eastern Europe. Aventura Parc has no less than 15 routes of different degrees of difficulty, suitable for any level of experience.
Other things to try in Brasov:
If you cannot cover everything in one day, don't worry, you have plenty of time left in the next days. Days 2 and 4 to be more specific.
If you do though, just use the time left to walk through the streets of the city center. Relax on a terrace and enjoy the medieval feeling throughout the whole city.
It is something you don't get to live every day!
For the next days, you are about to drive around Brasov. This is why you need a car, in order not to spend all your day waiting for a train or bus... There are alternatives, but I cannot guarantee they are reliable...
So, better build your own schedule, and try the following:
Find Viscri - the village formed around the most picturesque fortified church in Transylvania. You will have the chance to encounter typical Romanian life at the countryside, to learn a thing or two about some unique customs, to understand why Prince Charles of Wales himself has decided to buy a house here, investing in the development and nurture of old local traditions;
Visit Rupea Fortress - one of the most beautiful medieval castles of Transylvania, standing high up on a hill and easily to be admired from the road. A few years ago, local authorities have rehabilitated the old fortress and they are now declaring over 10.000 visitors each month. Do stop by, for some history and some spectacular views from top of the fortress!
The city of Fagaras houses one of the biggest fortresses in Europe and the 2nd most beautiful castle in the world after Neuschwanstein in Germany, according to the Huffington Post. Inside the Citadel, there's also a nice ethnographic museum worth visiting.
Tip: Build your schedule so that you are there around 12 a.m. You will witness the nice changing of guards, aiming to recreate the atmosphere during Middle Ages. Mondays are closed, Entrance fee is 3.5 Euro per adult.
Fagaras is also the starting point for the best road in the world (Top Gear), a must-do for anyone at least once in a lifetime! The highest reachable point on Transfagarasan is at Lacul Balea (2034m) - a glacial lake formed between several peaks of the region. Here you can see the Edelweiss - a rare, protected plant, as well as black goats or mountain eagles (also protected by law).
If you are into hiking and have 2-3 hours left, several routes await you towards beautiful destinations such as Balea Waterfall or Capra Lake.
The most visited sight of Romania lies in Bran, just at the border between Transylvania and Wallachia. Although strongly linked to the legend of Dracula, the Bran castle itself displays art and furniture collected by Queen Marie of Romania (1914-1927), who held Bran in highest regard as her special place for relaxation and retreat. Entrance Fee: 8 Euro per adult
Rasnov Citadel, located on a hill up above the town of Rasnov - one of the oldest and most impressive medieval sites of the country, offering some spectacular views from the top. It used to be the only chance for survival for the inhabitants of the area, and the legend says it has only been conquered once around the year 1600. Entrance Fee: 3 Euro per adult
Well, these are the Bucegi Mountains, where hiking opportunities are endless, with around 40 mountain routes available!
You can loose yourself in Bucegi as long as you wish, depending on how much do you enjoy hiking. Remember though:
The resorts from Prahova Valley (Predeal, Azuga, Busteni and Sinaia) are well-known for their spectacular display of nature, their many hiking trails and their popular (and crowded) ski slopes. Sinaia for instance is often being called "the pearl of the Carpathian Mountains" and houses the 2nd most visited museum in Romania - Peles Castle, former summer residence of our German royal family.
This is Brasov in brief and the most relevant things to do in the city and its beautiful surroundings. For few money, like always in Romania - check out here a few recommendations if you don't believe me!
I hope you will use this article as a basis for how to plan a vacation in the future. In one of the best region of Romania!
Tell me about your experience in Brasov of ask if you feel anything's missing!
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