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15 Amazing Things to Do in Brasov

Fringed by the Carpathian Mountains and adorned with colourful Baroque buildings, Brasov looks like something straight out of a fairy tale.

This medieval fortress can easily be explored on foot in a day, but you might want to base yourself here if you plan to visit other historical cities and attractions in Transylvania.  

Whether you want to delve into the colourful history of Transylvania or just take photos of picturesque streets, here are the best things to do in Brasov.

Brasov town centre. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

1. Take a walking tour of the Old Town

Founded by the Teutonic Knights in 1211 and later inhabited by the Saxons, Brasov boasts a wealth of history, culture and architecture.

If you’re only visiting Brasov for a few hours and want to see the main highlights, I highly recommend joining a walking tour with a local guide.

This 3-hour tour of Brasov offers a great immersion into the city’s history and includes stops at several landmarks, including the City Hall, the Orthodox Church and the Black Church.

The Council Square | Things to do in Brasov
The Council Square. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

2. Explore the Council Square

Located at the heart of the Old Town is Piata Sfatului, or the Council Square, which is ringed by elegant buildings with pastel facades and russet-tile roofs.

The City Hall (Casa Sfatalui) stands proudly in the middle of the square. It was built in the 13th century to serve as a meeting place for the town councillors. Nowadays, the hall houses the Brasov History Museum.

Shops and cafes in the Old Town. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

3. Hit the shops

Brasov is also a major shopping hub. The streets of the Old Town are lined with shops, cafes and eateries.

Traditional craft shops selling embroidered clothes, painted eggs, woodcarvings, hand painted pottery and exquisite lacework can be found on almost every main street leading up to the square, including the lively Strada Republicii.

The Black Church | Things to do in Brasov
The Black Church. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

4. Visit the Black Church

Brasov’s star attraction is the Black Church. This sacred building earned its nickname after a great city fire in 1689 blackened the walls of the church.

The Black Church boasts the largest church bell in Romania and an impressive 4,000-pipe organ. It also houses an extensive collection of Oriental rugs which were donated by German merchants in the 17th and 18th century.  

Mount Tampa | Things to do in Brasov
Mount Tampa. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

5. Climb Mount Tampa

Brasov sits at the foot of Mount Tampa. A Hollywood-style sign bearing the city’s name has been erected on the mountain for all to see.

This forest-covered mountain is also a nature reserve. You can walk up to the top of the hill or ride a cable car to enjoy some staggering views of the Old Town.

Rope Street. Photo by Nomadic Julien on Unsplash.

6. Squeeze your way through Rope Street

Brasov is home to one of the narrowest streets in Europe. Strada Sforii, also known as Rope Street, is just over 100 centimetres in width and dates back to the 1600s. It was built as a quick route for firefighters.

If you want a challenge, try squeezing your way through this super narrow alley (though I wouldn’t recommend doing this after a hearty Romanian meal).

Lunch at Sergiana. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

7. Indulge in a traditional Romanian meal

There’s no shortage of restaurants and cafes in Brasov. For a delicious Romanian meal, head to Sergiana. This traditional restaurant offers a vast selection of meat-based dishes, its main specialities being venison, wild boar… and pig testicles.  

If you don’t feel like having a big meal, there are a few bakeries close to the square which serve freshly-baked savoury bites and sweet pastries.

Beth Israel Synagogue. Photo by falco from Pixabay.

8. Pop into the Synagogue

The Beth Israel Synagogue is one of the most beautiful buildings in Brasov.

Built in the late 1800s, the synagogue features a mix of Neo-Gothic and Moorish architectural styles, with a red and white facade, beautiful stained glass windows and an ornate white interior.

The synagogue is open to the public and also houses a kosher restaurant.

Ekaterina Gate. Photo by Nicu Farcas via Flickr.

9. Walk along the citadel walls

If you want to walk off your heavy Romanian lunch, go for a stroll along the citadel walls. There is a nice path that runs along the medieval walls of the city, with views of several historic sites.

Start your walk at Strada Dupa Ziduri. One of the first sites you’ll come across is the Bastionul Graft, an early 16th century structure, followed by the White Tower and Black Tower (both accessible to the public).

Other must-sees while walking along Brasov’s citadel walls include the fairytale-like Catherine’s Gate and the Weavers’ Bastion, which houses an interesting museum.

Brasov by night. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

10. Go on a ghost tour

If you’re spending the night in Brasov, make sure to explore the city’s historic streets after dark.

Besides hanging out in the historic centre and enjoying a drink at a local cafe, you could also go on a candelight tour of old Brasov. Delve into the Brasov’s dark past and discover the city’s little-known ghost stories and vampire myths.

Schei District, Brasov
A view of Brasov’s Old Town and Schei District. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

11. Explore the Schei District

The Schei district is the area where Romanians lived when they were refused entry into the citadel during the Saxon rule of Brasov. This settlement outside the fortified old city offers an insight into traditional Romanian communities.

Some sites worth visiting in the Schei District include St. Nicholas Church, which has a blend of Gothic and Baroque architectural styles, and the First Romanian School Museum.

Rasnov Citadel | Things to do in Brasov
Rasnov Citadel. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

12. Take a trip to Rasnov Citadel

Located on a rocky hilltop, Rasnov was built by Teutonic Knights in the 14th century to protect Transylvanian villages from invaders.

This medieval citadel is a joy to explore – picture winding alleys, traditional buildings, and stunning views. Rasnov is only a short bus/train ride from Brasov.

Bran Castle | Things to do in Brasov
Bran Castle. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

13. Meet Romania’s top celebrity

Widely known as Dracula’s Castle, Bran Castle is possibly the number one attraction in Transylvania.

Bran Castle owes its fame to Bram Stoker, who was supposedly inspired by this medieval fortress when writing his world-famous novel Dracula. The castle is located just a short drive from Brasov and offers an insight into the colourful history of the region.

Libearty Bear Sanctuary. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

14. Go on a bear-watching walk

Romania is home to the largest population of brown bears in Europe. There are around 6,000 wild bears living in the Carpathian Mountains.

Over the last few years, several brown bears have been rescued from a life in captivity and now live in the Libearty Bear Sanctuary – 70 hectares of oak forest in the Carpathian Mountains. The bears are closely monitored and looked after by rangers and volunteers. The sanctuary is open to visitors.

Piatra Craiului National Park
Piatra Craiului National Park. Photo by Daniela Frendo.

15. Hike through the Carpathian Mountains

If you’re up for an adventure, go on a a hiking trip in Piatra Craiului National Park. This mountain range in the Southern Carpathians offers potential sightings of wild bears, wolves and lynx.

Hiking in Transylvania is also a great way to experience rural Romania, where people living in mountain villages still practise traditional farming methods.

Recommendation: While there are plenty of hotels in Brasov, I highly recommend staying in a pensiunea (guesthouse) on the city outskirts or in a nearby town if you’re travelling on a budget. One place you should definitely check out is Zarnesti, a quiet town at the entrance of Piatra Craiului National Park. Zarnesti is less than an hour’s drive from Brasov, yet it offers a break from busy tourist spots in Transylvania.

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Best things to do in Brasov
Things to do in Brasov

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Daniela Frendo

Daniela Frendo

Hi! I'm a Maltese blogger based in Scotland. I created Grumpy Camel to help travellers connect with places through culture, history and cuisine.

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