Transylvania

Why?

Nature and history conspired to transform Transylvania into one of the most fascinating regions from both Europe and the world.

Think about the vampire and ghost legends, add the medieval churches and villages, a life style unchanged by the passing of time and natural fairy tale like landscapes and you will have the full picture of Transylvania right in front of your eyes.

Dracula should be a mere pretext for you to discover an exceptional cultural heritage found in cities and villages like Sighişoara, Biertan, Viscri, Braşov or Sibiu.

No wonder Prince Charles visits these areas so often!

Take your time and a good camera to discover the cultural treasures, the rural and mountain landscapes of Transylvania.

We recommend

To take the “Route of cheese” in Marginimea Sibiului.

Visit Korund, a big pottery centre where traditional ceramics are produced.

Observe the bears in their natural habitat from the bear hides in Băile Tuşnad.

Visit the of workshop of a gypsy in Brateiu.

Visit the castle from Lăzarea in Székely Land.

Visit the fortress of Prejmer.

Visit the Turda Salt Mine.

Take part in the many international cultural events such as the Transylvania International Film Festival, Electric Castle or Untold (music festivals that take place in Banffy, Bonţida and Cluj-Napoca).

Good to know

You will find bike rental and tourist information centres in all the big cities in Transylvania (Sibiu, Braşov, Cluj-Napoca, Sighişoara etc.)

The tourist information centre in Sibiu can be found in Piaţa Mare at  Samuel Brukenthal street, F entrance.

In Braşov tourist information centres can be found at 1 Prundului street, 10 Eroilor blvd and in front of the Railway Station.

The tourist information centre in Cluj-Napoca is at 6-8 Eroilor blvd.  

The change of the guard in Alba Carolina citadel can be seen daily at 12:00 from May until September.

The Ursu Lake (“urs: means “bear”) it’s the only heliotherm lake in Europe and its waters are used to treat various afflictions such as rheumatic, endocrine or cardiovascular.

How to get here

Transylvania is relatively easy to get to by plane, train or by car due to its proximity to Central Europe.

Air access

There are international airports in Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu and Târgu Mureş.

Railway access

There are international trains connecting important cities in Europe (Paris, Vienna, Budapest, Bratislava) with Bucharest or the cities of Transylvania.

Road Access

Most people who visit Transylvania rent a car, but you can also easily get around with your own means of transportations. Most of the roads are well maintained, many of them cross spectacular picturesque landscapes. The region is crossed by European road. For those of you who prefer transportation by coach you can access the www.autogari.ro website where you can find a bus from almost all main important cities in Romania and Europe.

Have a nice trip!

Discover

The story of Transylvania fascinates with its blend of culture, nature and history. Throughout centuries Transylvania has been part of the mysterious state of Dacia, the Roman Empire, the Hungarian Empire and for a short period of time was also an independent state.

After the Austrian Hungarian Empire triumphed over the Ottomans, Transylvania entered the Habsburg administration until World War I. During the interwar period, the region became part of Romania and then Hungary. At the end of World War II we find Transylvania finally as a Romanian territory. The rich history and the cohabitation over time of so many ethnicities like Romanians, Hungarians and Saxons, left a positive mark on the territory found inside the Carpathians. Culturally speaking in Transylvania, there are four distinct touristic sub-regions with complex character where you will find special centers and attractions.

South-East Transylvania

Located at the foothills of the Carpathians, this part of Transylvania has a strong Saxon character due to the fact that for many centuries these parts have been inhabited by them. They are the ones which left behind an exceptional architectural and cultural heritage consisting of picturesque villages and towns, peasant fortresses, fortified churches or important castles and museums.

In addition to the medieval cities like Sibiu and Braşov or Sighişoara don't forget to visit Făgăraş, the Râşnov fortresses, Bran Castle or the UNESCO villages: Biertan, Viscri, Prejmer, Saschiz, Dârjiu, Câlnic and Valea Viilor.

The natural attractions add to the charm of this region. Here you can admire spectacular glacial landforms like Bâlea or Cascada Lake. Winter sport enthusiasts need to include an itinerary in Poiana Braşov or Păltiniş the famous resorts, while those of you who admire the folklore and pastoral traditions can admire them in Mărginimea Sibiului or in the Bran-Moieciu area.

South Western Transylvania

This area has represented, since the longest period of time, a special natural area carrying a big importance in the history of the country, with ancient and cultural settlements tracing back to the Dacian period.

Hunedoara and Alba Iulia are important historical references for Romanian culture. Alba Iulia is the place where, in the year 1600 for the first time in history, the three historical Romanian provinces were unified. In this region you can visit in Hunedoara the Corvin Castle, one of the most beautiful medieval castles in the world, and nearby you can see the Roman capital of Dacia, Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa, as well as other citadels and medieval castles or very old churches.

This region is also renowned due to its spectacular natural landscapes like Dinosaurs Geopark-Ţara Haţegului, a place where many traces of the dwarf dinosaurs specific to this area were discovered.

North-Western Transylvania

Unfolding over the hillock parts of the Cluj and Bistriţa-Năsăud counties, the defining feature of this part of Transylvania is a homogeneous ethnic mix and a natural environment which blend perfectly with the cultural heritage. Thus the touristic activities are polarized around a few major cities like Cluj-Napoca and Bistriţa. Turda, Dej, Gherla or Beclean are other towns worth visiting, along with a few villages close by showcasing Romanian, Saxon or Hungarian roots. Here you will discover lost architectural gems like palaces but also museums and parks.

If you find yourself in Cluj-Napoca, known more recently as the capital of Romanian cinematography, you can admire the houses in Baroque style or take a stroll down the large boulevards where you can enjoy a coffee at the one of the cafes found here. Being the University centre with the largest density of students in Romania, Cluj-Napoca will offer you a truly vibrant nightlife.

Central Eastern Transylvania

Also known also as the Székely Land (the Mureş, Covasna and Harghita counties) this region stands out not only through its remarkable picturesque natural scenery but especially through its special cultural potential, a result of a long coexistence between the Romanians and Szeklers. You will very often hear the Hungarian language, and the differences of culture can be spotted in the architectural style and the traditional costumes.

In this region you can buy fresh bread or szekeller sweet bread (Kürtőskalács) made by locals right outside their house or you can enjoy a walk nearby the volcanic lake St Anne (one of a kind in Romania) or relax in Băile Tuşnad Resort. Don't miss the Sovata or Salina Praid spa resorts. In Târgu Mureş you can take a stroll through the centre and admire the Cultural Palace built in the Art Nouveau Style or visit the medieval citadel.

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Gastronomy

Transylvania will fascinate you not only with its natural setting and remarkable history, but also with its particular culinary tradition.

The diversity of the culinary scene is due to the multiculturalism of this region, each ethnic community living here bringing their own contribution with their specific dishes.

Whether they are of Saxon, Hungarian or Romanian origin, the people here know how to prepare a good meal! You’ll really get to know Transylvania once you discover its cuisine, which is similar to that of Banat or Crişana.

The richness of its dishes and the eccentricities that have defined it over time will surely surprise you, such as fat chicken soups with homemade noodles, soups soured with vinegar or sour milk and flavored with tarragon, milk and dairy specialties (cottage cheese, cream, butter or sour milk), vegetable dishes (beans, lentils, peas, cabbage or nettles), pork prepared in different ways according to traditional recipes (bacon, sausages).

In order to convince you of the special taste of Transylvanian cuisine, try some of the specialties that you will find only here: pork soup flavoured with tarragon, potatoes soup, beans soup with smoked pork bone, caraway or sorrel soup, “pogăcele” (a kind of baked pie on the hearth with caraway and smoked bacon), “palaneţ” (small pies filled with cheese and onion), meatballs with tarragon and cream, stuffed mushrooms with meat, baked celery, beet salad with caraway seeds, bean salad with smoked bacon or stuffed turnip.

You might also be delighted by the spiced “virşli” (a type of sausage made from a mixture of goat or lamb with pork meat) from Haţeg, Hungarian goulash and paprikash (spiced stew with veal or chicken), “varza à  la Cluj” (cabbage with minced meat laid in layers, with rice and sour cream), roast pork steak with sour cherry sauce, beans and peas prepared with tarragon and served with red onion salad, shepherd's bulz (a mixture of polenta and cheese), and various dishes from sheep meat from  Mărginimea Sibiului, or the Făgăraş potato bread.

As for desert you can savour some delicious “crèmes” (cream cake), kürtős kalács (chimney cake), plum dumplings or crepes with various jams.

Complete your flavorful Transylvanian dish with a unique wine from one of the famous vineyards of Jidvei, Blaj, Lechinţa, Aiud or Apold.

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