When people talk about Transylvania, Dracula is always mentioned in the conversation. The legends around this famous “bloodthirsty vampire” made this place known in the entire world.
But Transylvania is much more than that. Described by many as one of the last truly medieval places in Europe, the central region of Romania is a perfect mix between “pristine” nature and beautiful old architecture.
So, let's discover Transylvania in 4 days road trip itinerary :)
Day 1: Bucharest - Sighisoara
This place was always on our “must-visit list”, but never really took few days off to explore it. Shame on us, we know. After a short trip to Veliko Tarnovo, we decided to fill up our car tank, packed some extra garlic to keep the vampires away and left Bucharest behind.
Every good trip from Bucharest starts really early in the morning due to the traffic jams. Most of the people who want to escape the Romanian capital for the weekend are leaving around 8 o’clock. So be one step ahead and leave a couple of hours earlier to have a clear road ahead.
After almost 3 hours of bumping the best Eminem, Kendrick Lamar and J Cole tracks, right before Ely was about to say “Don’t you wanna play something else?” we saw the “Welcome to Brasov” sign. This is a very beautiful city with a large central square and narrow streets. But we have visited Brasov before so we decided to see something new: Noua Neighborhood. This place has a beautiful lake in the middle and a morning stroll here can charge your batteries for the whole day.
We went to the old center of Brasov to have breakfast in George Enescu Square. After that, we continued to our next less-known destination: Racos.
This little village has two attractions you shouldn't miss.
- The Emerald Lake - the name comes from the green and bluish color of the water. This place is less known, wild and beautiful.
- The Basalt Columns - very close to the lake. Those columns are more impressive as you get closer. They were created due to the volcanic eruptions, in the same way as the basalt columns from the black sand beach in Vik, Iceland.
Another stop was to admire this beautiful citadel from Rupea. This was first mentioned in year 1324 and since then had different administrative functions.
Once we got there we were amazed by the history of this place and the views…oh, the views. A "must visit" place while on your way to the heart of Transylvania.
This village is for sure one of the most authentic places from Romania. With a history of almost 900 years, the village stays true to its authentic Transylvanian roots.
The fortified church is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and the picturesque little houses will make you believe that traveling back in time is indeed possible.
It was almost 4 PM and we were ready for our last stop for the day: Sighisoara. This place is one of the most beautiful and well-preserved sites in Europe and the old town is right in the middle of a citadel.
Get ready to get lost and enjoy its beauty. The Clock Tower, the birthplace of Vlad Tepes (known from legends as Dracula), the Covered Staircase - are only a few top attractions you shouldn't miss from Sighisoara.
Day 2: Sighisoara - Hunedoara
Like every serious wannabe traveler, we woke up the next day really early in the morning to see the rest of the city before the check out. Sighisoara has a unique vibe in the daytime, with all those pastel buildings and cobbled streets. There are a lot of great places if you want to try traditional food, but this time we chose Cafe Martini & Habermann and La Perla Restaurant. We enjoyed every single bite.
After lunch we packed our things and headed to our next stop: The Fortified Church of Biertan.
The road leading to this beautiful Gothic masterpiece was one of the best me and Ely had in Romania. It was purely picturesque and we enjoyed every single km. Once we got there we were amazed by the history of this place.
Did you know that centuries ago, there was a room here called “matrimonial prison”? This prison was the place where couples who wanted to divorce were locked for two weeks. They were receiving food on a single plate, with only one set of cutlery and one water cup. The legend says that, from all the couples locked in there, only one decided to go through with the divorce. Pretty impressive. :)
The Red Ravine
We continued our way to The Red Ravine, which is nearby the city of Sebes. This place is called by many “Romania’s little canyon” and it’s surely a place worth visiting if you are around. This geological reservation is often missed by many tourists who are visiting Transylvania.
Fun fact: the largest fossil jaw of a pterosaur was found here. It belonged to an “ancient flying predator” which measured 9 meters in wingspan. Seems like this area was pretty dangerous 66 million years ago, but it’s all safe now. You can enjoy a lovely afternoon walk through these reddish paths.
Our next and last stop of the day was the little city of Hunedoara.
We wanted to visit one of the most and beautiful sites in Transylvania – Corvin Castle, but we were too tired and it was almost night. So, we decided to leave it for the other day and we ended up sharing a big plate of food at Pizzeria Roma.
Day 3: Hunedoara - Sibiu
Corvin Castle is maybe the most fairy tale-like sites in Europe and it is also an architectural example, even in a region that has a lot of heritage, like Transylvania. The story of this imposing medieval castle begins 600 years ago and it is considered to be the most spectacular Gothic-style castles in Romania.
When we arrived there we had a little surprise: on Mondays, the place is opening at noon so we decided to save the tour for the next time.
After we filled our gas tank again we headed to Sarmizegetusa Regia – the capital of ancient Dacia more than two millenniums ago. Dacian people were our ancestors, so the place was so very special for us. Included in the UNESCO World Heritage list, this is the greatest of all Dacian sites and one of the most important areas of Romanian history.
Moreover, this place is hidden deep in the forest, so you will get a scenic drive through all those switchback roads.
Tips:make sure you have with you have cash money with you. :)
After we left this amazing place we headed to Sibiu – our last stop of this trip. Our accommodation was really close to the old town, so we had the chance to see the most important attractions of the city at sunset.
Day 4: Sibiu - Bucharest
Our last day of this road trip in Transylvania found us again in the city center. Right in the middle of Sibiu, between reddish buildings, bridges and old stairs, you can find so many picturesque and charming places. Some nice restaurants with a great vibe can be found among the narrow streets of Sibiu. La Turn, Kulinarium, Lili’s cafe are just a few of them.
After we spent several hours strolling in Sibiu, it was time for us to go back home. It was such a beautiful journey and we will remember it with a smile on our faces for years to come.
Tips:If you are planning to use this itinerary for your trip, don`t forget to add Cluj Napoca as well. It's one of the most beautiful cities you will see in Transylvania - 100% worth visiting and clearly the most famous place for tourists.