Traipsing Around Transylvania: Sighisoara and Sibiu, Romania

You might’ve read about our time in Brasov, our favorite place we visited in Romania. From Brasov, we traveled to two other cities in Transylvania: Sighisoara and Sibiu. While they didn’t steal our hearts quite like Brasov, they were still pretty magical. Allow me to explain…

Sighisoara

Sighisoara (pronounced siggy-shore-ah) is a small, medieval-looking town with colorful houses, narrow, cobblestone streets and plenty of history. Its size made it incredibly easy to explore in just one day. The historic old town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Honestly, we didn’t fall in love with this city like many other people do. I think there are a few reasons for this:

We’re not history buffs, nor are we obsessed with vampires (more on that in a bit)
We had just come from Brasov and had completely fallen in love with that city
We are huge foodies and Sighisoara did not satisfy our taste buds – at all

Eat

The restaurant selection left a lot to be desired. We tried the top rated restaurants on Trip Advisor (which was probably our mistake – we were just starting out our trip and didn’t know how to find good restaurants), and honestly, they were the worst meals we’ve had in a while. The salads were strictly ice berg lettuce, the pastas were room temperature and the pizzas were very mediocre. Even though the prices were very reasonable, we actually bought groceries (!) because we were scared to try any other places.

Pete walking wearily towards a restaurant

Do

Walk around! The little alleyways meandering through the town are really fun to explore and the architecture is very old.

Cobblestone streets

Peek into the home where “Dracula” was born, which is now a very touristy restaurant. (Note – we chose to skip it because it looked like a horrible tourist trap, but to each his own!)

Restaurant Casa Vlad-Dracul
“Restaurant for Tourists!” (jk it didn’t really say that)

Climb the clock tower for some 360 degree views. The tower also doubles as a museum.

The clock tower
Views of Sighisoara from the clock tower

It costs 14 lei ($3) to enter and climb the tower.

Walk up the Scholars Stairs – 175 steps through the covered stairway that was originally built in 1640!

Me post sprinting-from-spiders

Warning – if you have arachnophobia, do not look up! You may find yourself sprinting down the steps, hands over your head (or maybe that’s just me…)

After you walk up the stairs, you’ll see the Church on the Hill and the cemetery.

Church on the Hill

Take some time to walk around the cemetery (is it weird that I really enjoy walking around graveyards?) – I thought it was really creepy (in a cool way).

Creepy old gravestones

Stay

We stayed at Casa Soare. It was really cute with sunny vibes and a great location – very close to the historic center.

Our hotel, the adorable Casa Soare

If you’re staying in town, I’d recommend this place. However, if we did it again, I probably wouldn’t stay in Sighisoara overnight. You could walk around the entire place in a day (or maybe just a few hours) if you wanted to take a day trip here.

Sibiu

This is another “medieval” town in Transylvania, much larger than Sighisoara. It felt just a bit smaller than Brasov’s old town. We had fun walking around the old town – it was filled with history and lots of bright colors.

A special quirk of this town was the crazy “eyes” that watch you from many roof tops across the city.

Eat

We were relieved and delighted to discover Sibiu had a much better food-scene than Sighisoara!

Pete chowin down

If you’re in the area and craving Italian*, look no further than Max! This restaurant was adorable with delicious food and great service.

*We did try some traditional Romanian food and just couldn’t get into it – definitely not one of my favorite cuisines we’ve tried.

See

Just like the other Romanian towns, we saw a lot (and got a good feel for the city) just by wandering around the streets and alleyways.

Back in the days when we really over-edited our photos…

Here are some of our favorite sights in Sibiu.

Bridge of Lies

I liked the legends behind this bridge. The most popular legend is that this bridge is powerful and if you tell a lie while standing on it, it will collapse.

Me being a tourist on the bridge

Basically, it’s just a pretty, cast-iron bridge with a lot of history that connects Upper Town and Lower Town.

Views from the bridge

Council Tower (Turnul Sfatului)

Views from Council Tower

Entrance cost 2 RON (less than 50 cents) – you’ll get some of the best views in the city. Note that you will have to take pictures through the windows, which can be tricky.

Plenty of old, wooden stairways in Romania!

We also liked walking next to the massive walls that surround the old town (called the Turnul Dulgherilor), which were once used to defend the city.

Stay

We stayed on points at the Hilton Sibiu. While it was great for the points value, it was quite far from the old town. However, it was a pretty easy bus ride away from all of the main attractions. You can read Pete’s detailed review here.

Are these towns how you’d picture them? Have you ever been to Sibiu or Sighisoara?

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