Brasov is a beautiful medieval city in the Romanian mountains. I've spent so many seasons visiting Brasov with my family and friends and I can promise you there are so many things to do in Brasov, you can never tire of this city.
With so much to do in Brasov, it's easy to see why so many tourists visit here from Bucharest. It's easy to reach, has plenty of restaurants, independent boutiques and accommodation and it's ideal for the culture and history lovers. Furthermore, Brasov is located just a bus ride away from Poiana Brasov, where many go skiing and enjoy the great outdoors. You will be close to Bran Castle, Ranov citadel while enjoying the atmosphere of a medieval city.
Let me tell you all the fun things to do in Brasov on your next trip and why you need to add this amazing city to your wishlist.
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There is no trip to Brasov without visiting the Black Church. This is the biggest gothic church in Eastern Europe, an absolute joy to look at. It is even called "The biggest gothic church between Vienna and Constantinople". This magnificent structure received its nickname "The black church" after its walls blackened as a result of a 1689 fire, which partly destroyed some of the building. In the 19th century, its name officially changed to "The Black Church".
The Black Church was most likely built in 1383, at the initiative of the priest Thomas Sander, on the site of an older shrine. After the great fire of 1689, the interior of the Black Church was rebuilt in Baroque style, with vaults and richly decorated arches.
One of the best things to do in Brasov is to grab a cup of coffee and people-watch in the council square. The square is a former market square which houses the town hall, the council house as well as some beautiful fountains. You'll find many shops and cafes here and this is one of the main meeting points for locals.
This is a charming square with old, coloured houses. During the warm season, this square becomes filled with joy, with small stalls, ice cream parlours and ambulant vendors. During the cold season, there's an eerie silence during the evenings, and the square is often covered in fog. It makes look really atmospheric.
For history and travel lovers, you must go admire the Casa Sfatului. Casa Sfatului is Romanian for the Council House. Casa Sfatului is located in Council Square, just a few minutes walk from the Black Church.
There are documents dating back to 1420 that this very building was used in the name of justice for the purpose of holding meetings by the City Magistrate. Subsequent documents record works that took place to enhance and expand this building. For example, in 1521 a guard room and a prison are mentioned.
Destroyed by the fire of 1689, which affected most of the representative buildings in the "Brasov Fortress", the Council House was rebuilt in Baroque style, between 1774 and 1778.
Since 1950 the Council House became a museum with collections of local history and archaeology.
A must-see in Brasov is the Trumpeter's Tower is located on top of the Council House. The tower is especially interesting as it is in the shape of an "onion bulb" preserved in this form until 1910. At the end of the 18th century, the clock in the "Trumpeter's Tower", with the dials painted by Joseph Moor in 1775, was one of the main city's attractions.
Once upon a time, during medieval times, this tower was also used as a watchtower to warn locals of any danger. It is why it's known as trumpeter's tower (Turnul Trompetilor) because trumpets were sound. To celebrate this tradition you'll see musicians dressed in traditional costumes singing trumpets songs from the top of the tower. You can see this every single day at noon.
Also known as Rope Street, Strada Sforii is one of the narrowest streets in the world. It measures 80 metres long (260 feet) and its width ranges from 111 - 135 centimetres (44-53 inches). It is the third narrowest street in Europe. At its narrowest point, you can easily touch both walls.
You must see this street, and not just because of its width, but also because it's so very charming. It features cobblestones and it's painted in parts in green, yellow and red. It truly is a little marvel. Let your imagination run wild and visualise the medieval locals how they used this street to sneak around at night.
Catherine’s gate (Poarta Ecaterinei)
Catherine's Gate (Romanian: Poarta Ecaterinei) was built in 1559 for defensive purposes. It was meant to replace an old gate previously destroyed by a flood in 1526.
What makes Catherine's gate so marvellous is that it is the only original city gate which survived since medieval times. Unlike many other structures, it was not affected by the Brasov fire of 1689. There are some old documents that mention this gate as Porta Valacce, the Vallah's Gate because it was the only entrance for the Romanians living in Șcheii Brașovului. During the Saxon rule of the 13th and 17th centuries, Romanians were not allowed to own property inside of the citadel. So this gate was intended also as a toll gate into the citadel. The toll was for the "privilege" of being allowed to sell products inside the citadel.
It is now used as an entrance to the museum.
You cannot miss the Tampa mountain as it's the towering mountain overlooking the city of Brasov. Tampa is special in its own way, as it is a natural habitat for the brown bear, the lynx, boar and many other forest creatures.
It might look inaccessible at first glance, but it's in fact very much easy to explore. Grab your hiking boots and make your way to the top of the mountain by taking the Tampa trail. You will start from Telecabina Tampa and make your way up on the marked trail. Once you reach the endpoint, called Belvedere, you can admire Brasov from above. The trail takes 30-60 minutes depending on your fitness level.
If you don't fancy the hike, you can take the cable car to the top. The ticket for the cable car is £4 per person return. The cable car is open from 09:30 - 16:00 Tuesday to Sunday.
The Brasov sign is the Hollywood sign of Eastern Europe. It is located on Tampa Mountain, overlooking the city of Brasov. The sign was placed on the mountains in 2004 and welcomes visitors to the city.
You can take the cable car to the sign (see above) or can take the cable car to the top of Tampa Mountain, then walk for 5 minutes to the sign.
Brasov inhabitants look at Tampa Mountain as a clear symbol of Brasov. Whether you decide to hike to the sign or just photograph it from afar, you can't miss the Brasov sign when visiting this gorgeous medieval city.
Join a walking tour
Love meeting new people and learning great things from locals? Then I've got just the activity for you. Join a 3-hour tour of Brasov and stroll the historic centre, experience the history behind the walls of the Brasov citadel. There is so much to learn, so much to see.
Of course, you will have an English speaking local that will tell you all about Brasov. For example, did you know that Brasov was founded by Teutonic Knights in 1211? It is one of the best-preserved cities in Europe and it's your chance to uncover all its secrets.
I recommend booking your walking tour now as it usually fills up really fast.
Eat traditional food
One of the best things to do in Brasov is to eat traditional Romanian food. Let me tell you all about it. Due to its geographic location, Brasov has an array of incredible dishes with influences from all over the country. You will even find incredible Hungarian dishes here too such as kürtőskalács or Lángos, German traditional foods like pretzels and strudel.
Sit down at one of the authentic restaurants in the old town and order a traditional meat platter or Romanian sarma (mince in fermented cabbage rolls) with polenta.
Try the following restaurants:
- Ograda - Piața Sfatului 14, Brașov 500030, Romania
- Sub Tâmpa - Aleea pietonala de sub Tampa, Aleea Tiberiu Brediceanu, Brașov 500014
- Sergiana - Strada Mureșenilor 28, Brașov 500030, Romania
- La Ceaun - Piața Sfatului 11-12, Brașov 500031, Romania
Stroll The Historic Streets
Old Town is Brasov's historic centre which is incredibly well preserved to this date. Originally built by Teutonic Knights in 1211, you will find many medieval buildings, fornications and historical houses.
There is plenty to do in the historical centre and one of them is shopping in the many indie boutiques run by locals. During the summer, you can enjoy a drink in one of the many terraces or a cosy hot chocolate in the winter. Check out the pedestrian-only Republicii street where you'll join many others in the quest to find the perfect souvenir from Brasov. don't worry though, there are plenty of artisanal things to pick from.
Photograph the Șchei Gate
Șchei Gate is right next to Catherine's Gate. It was built between 1827 and 1828 in order to let through heightened traffic between "Cetatea Brașovului" and "Suburbiul de Sus". The gate is built in a neoclassical style framed by pedestrian passages with semicircular openings.
The gate was completed in 1828 by the mason Joseph Jani. Note that all work was financed by Romanian merchants.
Admire the Bastionul Țesătorilor
Also known as the Weavers Bastion, Bastionul Țesătorilor is a fortress bastion built in the 15th century, now housing a medieval museum. Once you enter you will love the unique architecture of the guard tower. It was built (and maintained) by the weavers' guild in 1430. The bastion walls are 4m thick at its base. It features two watchtowers used for protection. The interior has four levels of wooden galleries surrounding a cobbled courtyard.
Weavers Bastion is open Tues - Sun 10am to 6pm, and the entry fee is as little as £1.2 per person.
Whitepixels, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons
Visit Poiana Brasov
Fancy a little bit of an outdoor adventure? From Brasov City Centre make your way to Poiana Brasov. From Livada Postei bus station you need bus number 20 which takes you to Poiana Brasov. The ride will cost just £1 per person.
Fall in love with Poiana Brasov is at is one of the most renowned skiing resorts in Romania. If you travel during winter, hire skiing equipment or take ski lessons on the slopes. During spring and summer, you can hike, cycle or do horseback riding.
See art at the Muzeul de Artă Brașov
If you love art, you must visit The Art Museum of Brașov. It is conveniently located in the centre of the city. The museum houses a permanent collection in the six rooms located on the building's first floor.
Admire over 150 works of art, paintings and sculptures which represent the evolution of art in Romania. Besides Romanian art, you will see some artworks created by artists who are connected to Brasov such as Saxon portraits as well as post-war artworks.
1 October - 1 April: Tuesday to Sunday,
09.00-17.00 (except for official holidays)
April 1 - October 1: Tuesday to Sunday,
10.00-18.00 (except for official holidays)
The admission fee is just £1.20 per person or £10 for a guided tour in English.
First Romanian School Museum
How would you like to see the first-ever Romanian school? It was created right here, in Brasov. Now a museum full of useful information, this wonderful building was once a school built in 1495 and reconstructed in baroque style in 1760.
The museum is really well preserved and you will get so much historical information here. You can get a guide to teach you all about it or just visit at your own pace. It is authentic and beautiful.
The entry to this museum is only £4 per person.
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 10.00 - 17.00
Tuesday: 14.00 - 17.00
Saturday: 11.00 - 17.00
Sunday: 12.00 - 17.00
Check our Rasnov Fortress
Built between 1211 and 1225, this medieval fortress was originally constructed from wood and erected to protect Transylvanian villages from outside invasions. It's still incredibly well preserved and perched on top of the mountain top. It is towered by higher mountain tops and surrounded by pine trees and thick forests.
While the fortress looks impressive from afar, you will love its grounds too, which include two courts, several forts and a gallery, as well as a courtyard, school and chapel.
It's a joy to explore and one of the best things to do when visiting Brasov. Book your trip to Rasnov straight from Brasov here.
Be Spooked at the Bran Castle
Who doesn't love the idea of vampires? Well, you can now try and find them all at the Bran Castle, the well known Dracula residence. Full of myths and history, this is one of the most magnificent castles to visit in Transylvania. Located just 30 minutes drive from Brasov, Bran Castle is a must-see attraction.
Around the castle, there are local vendors selling artisanal items as well as street food. To save time and money I recommend booking a tour to Bran Castle straight from Brasov and back.
Hike to Pietrele lui Solomon
For the best ever adventure in Brasov, hike to Pietrele Lui Solomon, which is just two hours hike return. It's a fairly easy walk with a little elevation so you will need to be quite fit for this hike.
During the summer you can relax with a picnic or have a BBQ in the open air. There are a few streams and waterfalls along the way so make sure to rest and snap all the pictures! There are no shops here so bring your own food and drinks. On a sunny day, don't forget to wear sunscreen.
The place itself looks stunning, like a small gorge with green forests all around you. There are ways to climb to the top of the gorge but make sure to bring proper hiking shoes with you.
How to get to Brasov
There are several ways to get to Brasov but as with almost all cities in Romania, it's easiest to rent a car and make your own way there from Bucharest.
As already mentioned, making your way from Bucharest to Brasov is the easiest by car. Rent a car and drive for 185 km on Motorway A3/E60. It will take you around 2 hours 40 minutes to reach Brasov. Most rentals will already have had their motorway toll paid for. But in case you need to pay for it yourself know that it costs just £2.70 for 7 days or £5 for 30 days.
By public transport
If you want to take the train, you can do so from Bucharest Nord train station to Brasov train station. There are many trains on this route that go almost every 30-60 minutes. The train doesn't operate at night though. The trains are on a direct route and they take just 2 hours and 33 minutes.
The train ticket is £10-15 per person. You can purchase your train ticket in advance on the official train website of Romania.
If you only wish to visit Brasov for a day trip, you can do so by booking a tour online. You will get to see Bran Castle as well as the city of Brasov on a full day trip. If you want an easy day out this is definitely the best option for you. Besides, you can meet like-minded tourists who have the same interests as you.
These day tours fill up quickly so we recommend that you book your tour now to save your spot!
Where to stay in Brasov
Brasov is a wonderful medieval city that has plenty of great accommodation options to suit all budgets. I love staying in Brasov because prices are so good and most accommodation is right in the city centre or within walking distance to all amenities. Here are some of the hotels we recommend to stay in during your trip to Brasov.
Kronwell Brasov Hotel - The 4-star superior Kronwell Brasov Hotel features a stylish à la carte restaurant, state-of-the-art facilities, and free WiFi. Belaqva Spa and Wellness Center offers beauty therapies, a fitness studio, a sauna and an indoor pool, for a surcharge. Stay here when you visit Brasov and are tired after all the fun activities you've done during the day! Prices from £110 per night. Book Kronwell Hotel here.
Vila Katharina - Located in the heart of Brasov Old Town, is just a 1-minute walk from Strada Sforii and 350 yards from Council Square. The elegantly decorated rooms feature hardwood floors and wallpapers, as well as a flat-screen TV. The private bathrooms feature bathtubs for your comfort and relaxation. Prices start from £89 per night. Book Vila Katharina here.
Residence Hirscher - This residence enjoys a quiet location at the foothills of Tampa Mountain in the historic centre of Brasov, only 200 yards away from Council Square and Republicii Street. Free WiFi access is available in the entire property. Prices start from £44 per night. Book Residence Hirscher here.
You must be so excited seeing how many awesome things there are to do in Brasov. A wonderful medieval city with a great old town and so many activities, you'll love every moment of your trip. Enjoy the culture, the history and the food and don't forget to tell us about your experiences in Brasov in the comment section below.