Corvin castle
City breaks, On the Road, Outdoor, Romania

10 Unmissable things to do in Transylvania

Transylvania is the magical land of Romania steeped in history and legend, where you can visit some of the greatest castles and fortresses in Europe, like the elegant Peles Castle, the mysterious Bran Castle and the stunning Corvin Castle.

But Transylvania is so much more than this! Here you can lost yourself in picturesque medieval towns like Brasov and Sibiu, or you can explore the amazing natural scenery of the Carpathian mountains which offer infinite possibilities for hiking and climbing.

Let’s see together 10 unmissable things to do in Transylvania.

1. Explore Peles Castle

Located at the end of a beautiful forest path in Sinaia, the royal Peles Castle is one of the most famous castles in Romania, along with Bran Castle.

From the exterior, it looks like a sumptuous Disney castle, while the interior is a triumph of multiple styles such as Florentine, Turkish, Moorish, French, Imperial and Moorish.

Mesmerized by Peles Castle
Mesmerized by Peles Castle

Fun fact: this castle wa the first electrified castle in Europe. Among the other things, the electricity was used to open and close the glass ceiling of the hall and and to activate a lift, which is still working. Additionally, this castle was also the first to be equipped with central heating.

In my post about castles of Transylvania you can find the instructions to reach this castle, along with other additional info!

2. See Pelisor Castle

Right down the path from Peles Castle, there is another castle, the Art Nouveau-style Pelisor Castle, built inside the Peles Castle park.

Pelisor means “Little Peles”. This castle is indeed significantly smaller than Peles but still very beautiful.

Pelisor Castle
Pelisor Castle

READ MORE:Stunning castles in Transylvania

3. Stop at Sinaia Monastery

Sinaia is not only home to two of the most beautiful castles of the country. Here indeed there is also one of the oldest monasteries in the country, the Sinaia Monastery.

It makes for the perfect stop before or after your visit to Peles and Pelisor Castles.

New church in Sinaia MonasteryNew church in Sinaia Monastery
New church in Sinaia Monastery

4. Hike to the Sphinx

A few kilometers away from Sinaia, on top of Bucegi Mountains, there is another important Romanian landmark, the Sphinx, one of the most impressive natural monuments in the country.

This interesting rock formation was named after the sphinx because its shape resembles a human face. The actual appearance of this megalith is the result of the erosion produced by wind over a long period of time.

This weirdly shaped rock is the object of many legends. Some say that the Egyptian and the Romanian Sphinxes are somehow linked by a tunnel of time and that the Egyptians were inspired by the shape of this rock. Some people claim that an ancient civilization carved this rock to represent some sort of supreme god. Others say that the Sphinx on top of Bucegi Mountains is evidence of the existence of an alien civilization that would have left behind several constructions, including this one.

The Sphinx
The Sphinx

Fun fact: every year, on November 28, hundreds of people meet at the Sphinx at sunset, when the gentle rays of the sun go down forming a magical pyramid around the statue, which is believed to emit positive energy. 

5. Stroll in Brasov

Brasov is one of the most visited cities in Romania and 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 (which are not the best in Romania).

Brasov is not very big, so one day is sufficient to visit it! I was there at Christmas and I was absolutely enchanted by the magical atmosphere of this cute town.

Council Square at Christmas
Council Square at Christmas

READ MORE: 10 beautiful things to do in Brasov, the capital of Transylvania

6. Visit Bran Castle

Perched on the top of a hill overlooking the small town of Bran, Bran Castle is the one that most resembles the castles described as the home of Dracula in the horror novel written by the Irish author Bram Stoker. This makes this castle one of the most visited by tourists in Romania, eager to explore “Dracula Home”.

The position of the castle is certainly impressive, but the interior is nothing special. The most interesting part is the area dedicated to the legend of Dracula, where I learned how the fictional character is actually inspired by a real historical figure: Vlad the Impaler.

Internal court of Bran Castle
Internal court of Bran Castle

READ MORE: Stunning castles in Transylvania

7. Get lost in Sibiu

Sibiu is probably the city I loved the most in Romania and it is definitely a place you cannot miss if you are planning a trip to this beautiful country.

This small city is quite far from Bucharest, which is why it is not really crowded with tourists. Here you can taste the real Transylvanian culture, between beautiful old buildings and cobbled streets.

View from the Council Tower
View from the Council Tower

READ MORE: 10 Beautiful things to do in Sibiu

8. Tour Corvin Castle

Corvin Castle is the most spectacular castle in Romania and perhaps the one which is closer to your idea of castles of Transylvania. This is one of the largest castles in Europe and its majesty can be admired by looking at it from the opposite side of the massive moat, which can be crossed using a long footbridge.

Corvin Castle
Corvin Castle

READ MORE: Stunning castles in Transylvania

9. Walk around Deva Fortress

Another landmark well worth a visit is the Fortress of Deva. The entrance is free and the view from the top is breathtaking! You can see for miles around, with the stunning backdrop of the Carpathian mountains.

To reach the top of the fortress you have to climb a lot of stairs but during summer (May 1 – Sep 30) you can get to the top of the hill using a cable car.

Here you can find more info about prices and opening time of the cable car.

Deva FortressDeva Fortress
Deva Fortress

This fortress can be easily reached on a day trip from Sibiu.
READ MORE: 10 Beautiful things to do in Sibiu

10. Stop in Alba Iulia

Alba Iulia is one of the most important urban centres in Romania. Here, the Union of Transylvania with Romania was declared in December 1918. Alba Iulia seven-point star shape citadel is quite impressive. It is delimited by seven bastions and it is accessible from six monumental gates.

Alba means white and comes from the time when the Slavics called the settlement Belgrade (“White Castle”). Iulia comes from the name of Romanian Prince Gelu (Iulius in Latin) who ruled over the land around Alba Iulia during the 10th century. 

Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia

This city can be easily reached on a day trip from Sibiu.
READ MORE: 10 Beautiful things to do in Sibiu

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