Incredible Things to do in Sighisoara, Romania
The charming medieval city of Sighisoara is located within the heart of Transylvania, Romania. It’s cobbled streets and unique buildings make you feel like you have stepped back in time and it has a unique charm that will make you feel like you have transported into another era.
Whether you visit this beautiful city as a day trip or stay a few nights as I did, I have gathered the top things to do in Sighisoara.
Where is Sighisoara
Sighisoara is located nearly right in the middle of the country, in between Cluj Napoca and Brașov. The city is small and there are two parts, the old and the new. The old lies further up the hill and the new part is down below.
How to get to Sighisoara
There are plenty of ways to get to Sighisoara whether you have a car and are on a Romanian road trip or you are travelling the country by train or bus.
Sighisoara is connected with many cities via rail. The best way to check train timetables and fares is to visit the national rail booking site. You can easily check which train times and even book your ticket online, however, usually the trains are not full so there’s no real need to purchase your ticket the day before. Keep in mind the quality of trains is not up to most standards around the world. Expect a slow journey and maybe a few smashed windows within your carriage.
Another way you can reach the city is via bus. To check timetables and fare, be sure to visit Autogari. Buses in Romania can be a bit of a hassle as timetables are usually word of mouth in many cases, but this website can help you a lot.
If you are arriving by car, make sure you talk to your accommodation provider (click here to get $35 free Airbnb credit) to make sure they have parking. As it’s a small city and the cobbled roads are VERY bumpy you may want to even leave your car at the entrance of the old city.
Another fantastic way to get to Sighisoara is by ridesharing with BlaBla car. I did this twice on my Romanian trip and it made it so much easier plus it was cheaper than public transport a lot of times!
How long to stay in Sighisoara
If you are arriving in Sighisoara by car it’s possible to do this as a day trip from Brasov or Cluj Napoca as it’s about 2 hours’ drive away. If you are arriving via public transport it would be difficult as trains and buses are not too frequent.
You can find some great tours leaving from the surrounding cities here if you did want to do this city as a day trip.
It would be easy to see everything in one day but if you want a little more relaxed time then try and stay 1 or 2 nights.
The best things to do in Sighisoara
1. Climb the clock tower and visit the museum
The clock tower is one of the most prominent buildings within Sighisoara. You can marvel at this 14th-century clock tower from outside or you can pay €3 and climb the squeaky old stairs to the top. But not only can you gain a panoramic view from the top but before that, you can enjoy the museum which is inside! There are some Roman artefacts and lots of interesting trinkets.
Once you reach the top you can enjoy the fresh air and the view that looks over the city. You can walk around getting a different view each side. I spent quite a bit of time up here to take in the beauty of this place! As I visited in winter the rooftops were covered in blankets of snow.
To get another view of the city you should climb the stairs of the scholar’s stairway leading up to the church on the hill. These stairs were built in 1642 and are a great example of medieval architecture. The stairs were built so children could get to their high school on the hill safely. They are still in use today and give a sort of interesting tunnel-like feeling when walking up and down them.
3. Walk to the church
Once you reach the top of the Scholars stairway you can visit the church on the hill, known as Biserica din deal in Romanian. The building of the church started in 1345 and it still in use today. This is a great example of the late-gothic architecture you will find throughout the city.
The church used to be covered in beautiful paintings which you can still see some today that have been preserved. From the church, you also get another nice view of the city!
4. Visit the birthplace of ‘Dracula’
Vlad Tepes was also known later as Vlad the Impaler was born in Sighișoara! You can see the bright yellow house he was born and lived until he was 4. Until I visited Romania, I didn’t realise how much Romanians couldn’t care less about Vlad Tepes. Vlad was Prince of Wallachia, a region here in Romania. When he was ruler in the 1400s his whole family was tortured and killed so Vlad Tepes made himself known as Vlad Dracula (son of dragon) and went on a ruthless killing mission.
One of his not so finest moments was when he invited everyone that wasn’t so set on him being a fearless leader to a banquet. When they arrived, he stabbed them and impaled their bodies on spikes of a fence. It is said that he impaled around 20,000 people whilst he reigned.
This story inspired what we know today as the fictional story of count Dracula. You can pay a fee and go inside his house to see his bedroom instead of just seeing it from the outside if you wish.
5. Eat at the house of Vlad Dracula
You can not only see where Vlad Tepes was born but you can also eat at a kitsch restaurant inspired by count Dracula. The food is a little more expensive than you would find elsewhere and to be honest, I have had better meals in Sighisoara. It’s more of the experience of eating at Vlad Tepe’s house if you’re into that.
6. Stay at Fronius residence
During my stay in Sighisoara, I got the opportunity to stay at Fronius residence which is a luxury residence. The building dates to 1609 and holds so much charm and uniqueness! They have kept the look and feel of how it would have been in 1609 but with a modern twist.
The buffet breakfast was one of the best I have had in Romania by far. Fresh cheeses, meats and breakfast dishes were the perfect start to the day. They also have a cave bar where you can enjoy a cocktail or a glass of Pálinka (also known as Rakia in many other Balkan countries).
7. Check out the guild towers
In Sighisoara, guild towers were built for the local guildsmen but also to keep an eye on any threats coming to the city. These guild towers are scattered throughout the walls of the old city and many points of entry are still used today. Unfortunately, you cannot go inside but you can marvel at these unique structures in Sighisoara!
8. Wander the streets
The ultimate best thing to do in Sighisoara is simply wandering the streets of the old city. The colourful houses and gothic architecture are unique and different from many other cities in Romania. Just keep an eye on where you’re walking as the old cobbled streets aren’t in the best condition!
9. Purchase some Romanian souvenirs
As you are wandering around the city you will come across many handmade souvenir shops. I purchased a beautiful set of Palinka cups as well as some other ornaments. You will be spoilt for choice! If you’re looking for real authentic handcrafted souvenirs I can recommend a visit to Arts and Crafts.
There’s your list of 9 incredible things to do in Sighisoara, a medieval city not to be missed on your Romanian travels!
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