Transylvania, an area recognized as one of the most picturesque in the whole of Europe, with fortified medieval fortresses, towns and monasteries, is a holiday destination much appreciated by foreign tourists, but too little visited by Romanian tourists. A weekend spent in Transylvania is a much cheaper option than planning a holiday abroad and has at least as much to offer. Transylvania breathes history, Transylvania is a multi-ethnic and multicultural centre like few others in the country, Transylvania is wild in places, enchanting, rich, fascinating and mysterious.
Transylvania is in the center of the country, located in the heart of the Carpathians and is easily accessible for tourists from any corner of Romania, but especially for those from Bucharest, a city only 160 km from Brasov. A weekend trip is enough to fall in love with this area, and those who try it will surely come back to discover and rediscover the diversity and unparalleled charm of this unique region in the country.
How to get there?
The main advantage of this weekend destination is the location. Being located in the center of the country, Transylvania is easily accessible for all tourists, making it the ideal destination for a short stay.
• By plane – the plane is an ideal option especially for tourists coming from outside the country, but also for those who leave the capital and prefer to reach their destination as quickly as possible. Brasov International Airport will soon open, where both international flights and Tarom flights from Bucharest will land. Until then, tourists coming from abroad have as options the 3 airports operating in the Transylvania area, Cluj – Napoca, Tirgu Mures and Sibiu.
• By train – the train is the preferred option for most tourists, and international and national trains run daily to railway stations in almost all Transylvanian cities. Dacia Express, Ister Express, Pannonia Express, Corona Express, Ady Endre Express and Mures Express operate daily on international lines in Transylvania. From Bucharest, CFR has daily trains to Brasov, starting with the staff, the cheapest option, to the accelerated and Intercity, which shortens the journey to less than 2 hours.
• By minibus – another convenient option for tourists are the minibus rides, extremely economical and quite fast. Usually, a minibus ride costs between 20 and 40 lei, and travel time is often shorter than by train.
• By car – the rental car is the most convenient means of transport for short, weekend trips. A route that has several towns and cities as points of interest, even if they are close by, is more easily accessible for tourists who choose this means of travel.
Route to follow
For a weekend route in Transylvania it is impossible to cover everything this beautiful area has to offer. When planning the route, the most important thing is that the first part of the route starting from Bucharest has a big city at the end, from which the rest of the objectives are easily accessible. Another criterion of any successful weekend route is that it should not contain too many stops so that the tourist cannot fully enjoy the atmosphere.
For this reason, we propose a short weekend route, which concentrates the architectural and historical charm, but also the natural beauty of this picturesque area passing through the following cities: Bucharest – Brasov – Fagaras – Sighisoara – Targu Mures – Bucharest.
Bucharest – Brasov distance: 184 km
Brasov – for the tourist who has never visited Transylvania, Brasov is the city that should not be avoided. With its medieval charm that seems somehow suspended in time, although on its streets tourists and inhabitants contradict its architectural presence, with its old streets, with the Council Square and Sforii Street, with the numerous churches but also the beautiful cafes where the traveler can relax while tasting the local culture, Brasov is often host to numerous festivals and events, so it is the ideal place to spend a night.
The Black Church is one of the sights not to be missed on a trip through the city, being representative of the Gothic architecture in Romania, but also the largest building of this type in the country. This cathedral whose parish is German-speaking, belonging to the minority of the Saxons, impresses by its size and architecture, with a length of 89 meters, a width of 38 meters and the highest point, the bell tower, reaching 65 meters high. The church is open to visitors until 19:00 in summer and until 15:00 in winter from Tuesday to Sunday, and the price of a ticket is 8 lei for adults, 5 lei for students and 3 lei for pupils. Also in the Black Church there are organ concerts every Tuesday between 18:00 and 18:30 during June and September, and on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays between the same hours in July and August. The price of a concert ticket is 10 lei.
Accommodation in Brasov – in terms of accommodation, Brasov has a rich offer, from traditional inns, hotel accommodation to 3 and 4 star hotels.
Brasov – Fagaras distance: 67 km
Fagaras – The Fagaras Fortress is a good enough reason to visit this beautiful town located only 67 km from Brasov. Open all year round, between 9:00 – 17:00 in summer and 9:00 – 18:00 in winter, visiting it can take about 2 to 3 hours and is a great way to spend the morning. Admission costs 10 lei for adults and 5 lei for students or pensioners.
Fagaras – Sighisoara distance: 81 km
Sighisoara – after the first half day spent visiting Fagaras, Sighisoara is the next stop. You can get here either by train or by your own car, which is the most convenient way to make this short tour of one of the most culturally rich areas of the country. Sighisoara is one of the few medieval towns that is still inhabited today, and for the history-loving tourist, a simple stroll through its streets can become a complete foray into the fascinating past of this area.
The Sighisoara Fortress, part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 1999, was built in the 12th century by the Sassi settlers at an altitude of 350 meters and 429 meters respectively on two hill terraces. The most impressive feature of the fortress are its numerous towers that served as headquarters of various craftsmen guilds. The price for access by car to the fortress area is 15 lei.
Accommodation in Sighisoara – the accommodation options are diverse, but the most personal are the guesthouses and villas where double rooms are priced under 100 lei/night.
Sighisoara – Targu Mures distance: 53 km
Targu Mures – from Sighisoara to Targu-Mures is easy to reach, and tourists who choose to arrive in time for lunch can enjoy local specialties that combine Romanian and Hungarian cuisine: bulz, goulash, kurtos kolac or papanasi. With its elegant palaces, Targu Mures is perfect for a morning stroll, and the Palace of Culture is open every weekend from 9:00 to 13:00 leaving plenty of time to head home around lunchtime so that the weekend trip can end early enough not to interfere with the working week.
On the way back to Bucharest it is worth taking a short break in Ocna Sibiului, known as a spa resort for its salt lakes. The scenery is pleasant, and a short walk is the ideal opportunity for a little relaxation before the road that always seems longer on the way back.