Brasov may not be the first city you think of when visiting Romania, however, it is definitely worth a visit. Whether you are traveling in Transylvania and want a nice city to stay in or stop by or if you are looking for fun Romanian vibes outside some of the larger cities, Brasov is perfect for you. It is a quaint and picturesque city with a lovely pedestrian walkway lined with colorful buildings and mountain scenery. The cobblestones streets and medieval architecture will instantly take you back a few centuries in history.
Brașov – A Little Bit of History
Brasov is a city located in the Transylvania region of Romania. It has a rich history dating back to the medieval period, as can be seen and felt as you walk through the city. The city was first mentioned in documents in 1235, and through the years. it grew in importance as a trade and cultural center. In the 14th century, Brasov became a significant stronghold of the Transylvanian Saxons, who were German settlers in the region. The Saxons played a key role in the development of the city. They contributed to its architecture (like the Black Church), education, and economy.
In the centuries that followed, Brasov experienced periods of prosperity and hardship, including Ottoman invasions, plague epidemics, and wars. The city also played a role in the 1989 revolution that led to the fall of communism in Romania. Brasov is now a thriving city that attracts tourists from around the world. It is charming, has beautiful nature, and rich culture.
*Note, our vintage sweaters are curtesy of House of Brecho, an adorable vintage shop that our friend owns. She has lots of similar pieces for sale!
Top 10 Things to Do in Brașov
Whether you are visiting just for the day or are spending a few nights in this central Transylvanian town, the city offers plenty of fun things to do and places to visit.
1. Visit the Black Church
Located right in the city center, you will find the Black Church. This is one of the most beautiful gothic structures in Romania. If you visit the main center you will see the church surrounded by coffee shops, stores, and colorful buildings.
Its original name is the “Saint Mary’s Church”, but it is known as the “Black Church” due to the dark color of its walls. The walls were blackened by a fire in the 17th century. The church was built between the 14th and 15th centuries by the Transylvanian Saxons, who were German settlers in the region. It is one of the largest and most impressive Gothic churches in Eastern Europe. It is 65 meters tall and 89 meters long. You can also go inside the church to admire the collection of historical artifacts and collection of Ottoman rugs and tapestries.
2. Enjoy Piata Sfatului – Council Square
Piata Sfatului, which translates to Council Square in English, is the place to be in Brasov. The square dates back to the medieval period and was originally the site of the city’s main market. Now it is the hub from cafes, restaurants, bars, and lovely views. If you are visiting in the summer, you may be able to catch some of the cultural events that are held there. They often offer concerts, festivals, fairs, and art exhibitions. But it is a lovely place to visit any time of year.
3. Find The Narrowest Street in Europe
Did you know that there is a street that is only 112 centimeters (44 inches) wide? Well, there is and it is called Strada Sforii and it is located in Brasov. It is the narrowest street in Europe and is easy to find while wandering through Brasov (despite how narrow it is). The street was apperently created and kept clear in case of a fire so that the city’s fireman could easily reach other areas without being blocked.
4. Enjoy the Cafes and Restaurants
Brasov is famous for its cafes. Just walking through the streets of the cities, you will probably be overwhelmed by all the cafés and restaurant available to you. Whether they are hidden away on colorful back streets or located centrally by all the tourist attractions, there are so many to choose from! Be sure to check out CH9 Specialty Coffee which gives you a direct view of the Black Church while you sip. If you’re hungry, don’t miss eating at Bistro de l’Arte which offers incredible food in a lovely atmosphere.
5. Tampa Mountain – Hike or Cable Car Ride
One of the first things you will notice about Brasov is that it is surrounded by formidable and beautiful mountains. One of the mountains even has a Hollywood like sign with BRASOV written for all to see. The name of the mountain is Tampa Mountain. And the best part is that you can climb up this mountain and explore the nature. Or take a cable car up if you do not want to hike, but still want the incredibly city views from above.
6. The Black and White Towers
Across from the BRASOV sign on top of the mountain, you will find two historic towers known as the Black Tower and the White Tower. The White Tower was built in 1494 and looks the part, with much of the historic vibes still intact. The Black Tower was struck by lightning (hence the name). It has since been renovated, making it appear a bit more modern. However, you can climb up both of them with the staircases that are inside and be impressed by the beautiful views of the city and general area that are offered.
7. Catherine’s Gate – Medieval City Gate
Built in 1559, Catherine’s Gate is one of the oldest and longest standing medieval gates. It is a beautifully designed gate. If you are interested in history or beautiful architecture, be sure to visit here! Also, there is also a small museum at Catherine’s Gate that you can explore on your visit.
8. Visit Castles and Fortresses
No trip to Transylvania is complete without stopping by some of the castles and fortresses in the area. There are many day trip options from Brasov. Luckily for Brasov, some of Romania’s most famous castles and fortresses are also just a 30-45 minute drive away. You can visit Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s castle. You can also visit the fairytale like Peles Castle…or both if you have the time. Rasnov fortress also offers a glimpse into the area’s history. It was built as part of a defense system for the Transylvanian villages exposed to outside invasions. Now it offers many tidbits of history and glimpses into the past.
9. Carpathian Mountains Explorations
One of the best things about Brasov is that it is located right by the incredible and beautiful Carpathian Mountains. That means that if you are staying in the city, you have an endless list of things to do in the nature of the nearby mountains. There are countless bear watching tours (the Carpathian mountains have the largest bear population in Europe), hiking options, and even skiing in the winter.
10. Go Dog Sledding in the Mountains
Hands down on of the best experiences of our lives was going dog sledding in Romania. This activity is not offered in many places around the world. It is usually famous in Alaska and Finland, however, it can also be done in Romania (for a fraction of the price you’d have to pay in other countries). In the Harghita Mountains of Northern Romania you’ll find Zoltan. He has a whole team of huskies (all rescues) who go for daily trips in the mountains. The experience was one of our most memorable. It was a wonderful way to enjoy the mountain views while having an amazing time. And the best part? It is located just an hour and a half outside of Brasov.
Check out the full post here: Dog Sledding in Romania | Experience of a Lifetime
Getting Around in Brasov
Depending on how long you are visiting and what you’re looking for on your trip to Brasov, you have plenty of options for getting around the city.
Walking – The easiest way to get around is definitely by walking. It is a very compact city so it is simple and quick to get around by foot. It is also a great way to explore some of the smaller streets and pedestrian areas.
Public transportation – Brasov has a reliable and affordable public transportation system.You can purchase tickets from vending machines or kiosks located at the bus stops.
Taxis – You can flag down taxis on the street easily in Brasov or you can use apps like Uber for more security.
Car – We rented a car for our entire trip to Romania, so that included the time that we spent in Brasov. As a result. we needed to find parking for the time that we visited the city, which proved to be quite simple even in the city center.
Where to Stay in Brasov
If you want to be in the ideal, central location on your trip to Brasov, be sure to stay somewhere near the city center and Piata Sfatului – Council Square. However, the city also offers accommodations with incredible views for those who are more interesting in the scenery than city life. Brasov overall is a very safe city so there is little reason to be concerned about different parts of the city.
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How Many Days to Spend in Brasov
Many people are happy just to spend a few hours in the city of Brasov or just a day trip. However, if you are using it as your hub and central location for excursions in the area, you could spend up to a few days here and still find plenty of fun things to do.
Looking for more fun cities to visit in Romania? Check out: 10 Spectacular Cities to Visit in Romania | From Big Cities to Quaint Villages10 Spectacular Cities to Visit in Romania | From Big Cities to Quaint Villages
If you are looking for more fun things to do in Romania, check out this list: Visiting Romania? 15 Memorable, Unique, and Adventure Activities
Lots of Love and Safe Travels,
Danielle and Brooke, Colorful Sisters