City breaks, Romania

10 things to do in Brasov, the capital of Transylvania

There is a reason if Brasov is one of the most visited cities in Romania: it is the most picturesque place in the country. Plus, this charming city, sited in the centre of Transylvania, is quite easy to reach from Bucharest even by public transports.

There are at least 10 things that you have to do if you happen to pass by this city

1. Stop at Piata Sfatului (Council Square)

If you are a sucker for pretty colourful buildings just like me you will be enchanted by the Piata Sfatului (Council Sqaure), the heart of the historic centre of Brasov. The peculiarity of this square is its shape. It is indeed an arc-shaped square. 

Piata Sfatului, Council Square
Piata Sfatului, Council Square

I was in Brasov at the beginning of December and the atmosphere was just magic. During this period a very cute Christmas market takes place at the Council Square, where a magnificent Christmas tree stands out between the rainbow houses.  And if it starts snowing you can get the feeling to be inside a magical snow globe.

Council Square at Christmas
Council Square at Christmas

2. Visit the Black church

Just off the main square in Brasov there is the Black Church. This church is one of the most beautiful Gothic monuments in Romania and the largest Gothic church in Eastern Europe. 
The church was seriously damaged by the great fire of 1689 that destroyed much of the city and darkened the walls of the church, which has been known with the name of Black Church since then. 

Fun fact: inside the Black Church, there is the largest collection of Oriental carpets outside Turkey. 

Black Church
Black Church

3. Pass through Ecaterina’s Gate

Ecaterina’s Gate is the last standing original medieval gate in Brasov. Today it might look like a fairytale gate, but the 4 small turret towers located in each corner used to indicate to visitors that the Town Council had the right to sentence people to death.

One of the most common method of execution was the impalement. Offeders were impaledd in the Council Square.

Ecaterina’s Gate
Ecaterina’s Gate

4. Walk by the wall of the city

Not far away from the Ecaterina’s Gate, there are the ruins of the medieval fortifications.
The most impressive of these is the Bastion Gate, that you can cross walking on the on the footpath. Additionally, the ruins still include two towers: the Turnul Alb and Turnul Negro.

Gate Bastion
Bastion Gate

5. Visit on of the narrowest street in Europe

Brasov can also brag to be home to one of the narrowest streets in Europe: Sforii Street. This street, which originally was just a space between two lines of houses, has a width that varies between 111 and 135 centimetres. Today, this place is a popular tourist attraction.

Sforii Street
Happy me taking the snow in one of the narrowest streets of Europe

Plus, the houses at the entrance of this odd street have facades painted with adorable pastel colours. Love them!

6. Cute house spotting 

Well, to be honest, you can find cute pastel painted houses everywhere in the old city centre of Brasov.

Strolling around the winding cobblestone streets to spot them was one of my favourite things to do.

The atmosphere of this city is even more magical because of the backdrop of the mountainside
If you are looking for a fairytale place plenty of adorable buildings, this is it!

If you walk down the Strada Republicii from the Council Square, you reach
Piața Tricolorului, where you can find some of the most picturesque buildings of the city.

Building in Piata Tricolorului
Building in Piata Tricolorului

7. Experience the religious diversity

In Brasov, you can find landmarks of different religions. Besides the Black Church, there is a beautiful Synagogue and the Orthodox Church of Saint Nicolae. Other significant religious buildings are the Catholic Church of Peter and Paul and the medieval St. Bartolomeu Church, the oldest monument in the city.

Brasov synagogue
Brasov synagogue

8. Hike to or ride the cable car up to Tampa Mountain.

When you are in Brasov you cannot help but noticing the Hollywood-like “BRASOV” sign perched high above the city. The mountain where this sign is located in the Tampa Mountain. I couldn’t hike to the top because of the weather conditions, but apparently, the hike to the top takes about one hour. You can also take the cable car to rich the rocky summit.

At the end of the walking path, next to the “V” of the Brasov sign, there is a viewing platform from where you can enjoy the best views of the old town.

Tampa Mountain
Tampa Mountain

9. Visit the fortress

A short walk uphill from the park Nicolae Titulescu there is the Brasov fortress, from which you can see the city from the top. This building used to be a military base and a prison, and it used to have a strategic defensive role.

This fortress is perched on one of the hills which surround the city and it is easy to spot even between the buildings of the old city centre.

Brasov fortress in the background
Brasov fortress between the buildings of the old city

10. Carturesti

Is it legit to put a bookstore in the list of things to do in a city?! Yes, if it is a Carturesti bookstore! I looove them! My favourite store is the one in Piata Romana in Bucharest, but also the one in Brasov is a super cosy place where to hide during the long and cold winter days.

Carturesti - Brasov
Carturesti – Brasov

Map of Brasov

Here I pinned all the places I listed in this post for you 

How to get to Brasov from Bucharest

Getting to Brasov by train from Bucharest is very. There are several trains between the capital and Brasov every day. Trains in Romania are quite slow, so, if you can, try to take the InterCity (IC) trains, which are more comfortable and faster. The faster train takes less than 3 hours from Bucuresti Nord to Brasov train station.

You can buy the train tickets on the CFR Calatori website.

If you prefer the bus, try the buses operated by MementoBUS.

Where to eat in Brasov

I finally decided to write my first “where to eat” paragraph on my blog because I ate the best salad of my life in Brasov. The place is called Trattorian and the pizza is also super good (my mum ordered it and she agrees with me). Yes, we are both Italians so our standard for pizza are quite high. Plus the hipster atmosphere is super relaxed and the stuff is super friendly.

I think the secret of the salad is in the dressing.

My amazing salad

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