The land of Transylvania (also known as Ardeal) is located inside the Carpathian arch and shelters countless of surreal places. The region became famous worldwide and is the best-known area in Romania.
The popular legend of Dracula has its origins in Transylvania and is one of the reasons the area is most famous for. However, the beauty of this place has many more layers: the openness and warmth of the locals, the traditional dishes, the multicultural heritage of the area, the spectacular landscapes, and its rich history are just a few things which will make you fall in love with Transylvania.
And not only locals have said it. The American publication Condé Nast Traveller included Transylvania on its list of touristic recommendations.
Also known as ‘the heart of Romania’, Transylvania is located in the centre of the country.
It is bounded on the North by Bucovina and Maramureș counties, on the East by Moldova, it borders with the regions of Banat and Crișana to the West and on the South with the areas of Oltenia and Muntenia.
Transylvania is one of the Romanian regions that is defined by the ethnic diversity: one of the largest national minority in the area is represented by ethnic Hungarians who live in harmony with Romanians. The area is also home to Saxons, Armenians, and Rroma communities.
Surrounded by three branches of mountains, Transylvania does not cease to impress anyone who steps into this land. The vast majority of the region consists of the Transylvanian Plateau. The complexity of the relief is impressive, created by the way the plateaus, valleys, and plains merge together in harmony.
When it comes to the culinary delights of Transylvania, you can rest assured that your taste buds are in for a treat. The skilled chefs and warm-hearted locals take great pride in their culinary traditions, creating a gastronomic experience that is both enticing and memorable.
When you venture into the charming region of Transylvania, it is a must to embark on a culinary journey that showcases the authentic flavours and local specialties. Allow yourself to savour the rich and hearty balmoş, a traditional dish that tantalises the palate with its combination of tender meat, savory spices, and luscious flavours. Be sure not to miss the Transylvanian zama, a comforting soup that warms the soul with its aromatic herbs and nourishing ingredients.
Another iconic dish that deserves a place on your plate is the renowned goulash, a hearty stew bursting with tender meat, vibrant vegetables, and a symphony of spices. And for a true taste of Transylvanian cuisine, you simply cannot resist the allure of “cabbage a la Cluj,” a delightful dish where tender cabbage leaves embrace a flavorful filling, creating a harmonious blend of textures and tastes.
Cluj-Napoca, the largest city in Transylvania and the second-most populous in Romania, is a multicultural hub with a wealth of attractions. From charming city sights to diverse leisure activities, Cluj offers unique experiences for all visitors.
Explore its authentic landscapes, immerse yourself in the vibrant arts scene, savour its culinary delights, and enjoy outdoor adventures amidst Transylvania’s beauty. Discover Cluj’s rich heritage, cultural offerings, and warm hospitality in this captivating city.
Brașov is another landmark town for both locals and foreign tourists. You can find here many historical places of worship and unique defensive medieval monuments: towers, bastions, fortresses, museums, and memorial houses.
As an important cultural and historical centre, many events and festivals dedicated to art, music, and film take place here. Some of the most representative events include Brasov International Contemporary Theatre Festival, Dracula Film Festival, The Golden Stag Festival, Etnovember.
Poiana Brașov is another emblematic location in the area and one of the most popular resorts in the country for winter sports, making Brașov a city that offers everything you need for an ideal vacation all year round.
And HEY…how about Dracula’s Castle? Yes…3o minutes from here.
As the designated European Capital of Culture in 2007, Sibiu is a charming medieval town known for its well-preserved fortifications. With a wealth of cultural events, historical sites, and architectural wonders, Sibiu is the perfect destination for those seeking a blend of culture and history.
In addition to the town’s captivating sights, venture into the surrounding areas and be mesmerised by the natural beauty of Transfăgărășan Road and the picturesque Mărginimea Sibiului region. Explore winding mountain roads, breathtaking landscapes, and immerse yourself in the scenic allure of the countryside. Sibiu offers a complete experience that will exceed your expectations.
Imbued with a sense of history and romance, Sighișoara is a captivating Transylvanian town. Its renowned medieval festival, set within the fairy-tale-like citadel, adds to its allure.
Be sure to tick off the iconic landmarks such as the Clock Tower and the Covered Staircase. When you yearn for a respite from the urban rush, venture into the nearby villages like Bezid, Saschiz, Viscri, Apold, Richis, or Biertan. There, you’ll be warmly embraced by locals who proudly preserve their traditions and cherish all that is beautiful and authentic.
Târgu Mureș, nestled in the heart of Transylvania, exudes a serene and inviting atmosphere that is ideal for unwinding. Far from the hustle and bustle, this charming town offers a distinctive setting where you can truly recharge and rejuvenate. Immerse yourself in the city’s wealth of cultural and historical landmarks, impressive monuments, and statues that leave a lasting impression.
Alba Iulia, a landmark city in the history of the Romanian people, is another must-visit destination. Here, you will find the largest Romanian fortress – Alba Carolina Fortress – which is also the largest in Eastern Europe. It has heroically withstood numerous events and trials throughout time. Alba Iulia offers tourists the opportunity to embark on a journey into the past, through its buildings, edifices, and fortifications that still stand today.
Transylvania is a treasure trove of tourist attractions, capable of captivating visitors of all kinds. Whether you’re an adventurous explorer seeking hiking trails and breathtaking mountain routes, a nature lover yearning to recharge amidst picturesque landscapes, or a culture enthusiast eager to immerse yourself in the region’s rich heritage, Transylvania has something for everyone.
Indulge in the abundance of Transylvanian traditions and culinary delights, and let yourself be transported to pristine rural areas that exude an enchanting, storybook charm.
Embarking on a journey across Transylvania requires dedicating several days to truly uncover its hidden gems. Take the opportunity to finally schedule those long-awaited 3-5 days off that you’ve repeatedly postponed due to your hectic schedule.
Once you’ve secured your time, plan your itinerary meticulously to ensure you don’t miss out on the must-see attractions. To assist you in this endeavor, we’ve prepared a curated list of suggestions that will help you make the most of your Transylvanian adventure.
Bran Castle: Known as “Dracula’s Castle,” this iconic fortress in Bran is a must-visit. Explore its medieval architecture and learn about its fascinating history.
Sighișoara Citadel: Step into the medieval world in Sighișoara, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Admire the well-preserved architecture, climb the Clock Tower, and stroll through the cobblestone streets.
Peleș Castle: Located in Sinaia, Peleș Castle is a magnificent royal residence that showcases exquisite architecture, luxurious interiors, and beautiful gardens.
Corvin Castle: Immerse yourself in the Gothic ambiance of Corvin Castle in Hunedoara. Discover its impressive towers, courtyards, and secret passages.
Turda Salt Mine: Descend into the depths of the earth and explore the unique Turda Salt Mine. This underground marvel features stunning caverns, an underground lake, and various recreational facilities.
Biertan Fortified Church: Visit the fortified church of Biertan, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Marvel at its impressive defense system and intricate craftsmanship.
Râșnov Fortress: Discover the medieval fortress of Râșnov, perched atop a hill. Enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside and learn about its strategic importance.
Transfăgărășan Road*: Drive along one of the most scenic roads in the world, the Transfăgărășan. Admire the breathtaking landscapes and stop at picturesque viewpoints along the way. *Only opened during summer.
Bâlea Lake: Located in the Făgăraș Mountains, Bâlea Lake is a stunning glacial lake surrounded by majestic peaks. Enjoy hiking, skiing, or simply take in the natural beauty.