Romania has really blown me away. Bucharest was a beautiful city, but I’d heard Brasov was possibly even nicer. I wasn’t having any of it, and then driving in to the city from the south, it looked industrial. This is how I expected Romania to look – grey, dull and soviet.
10 minutes later I was eating my words, we pulled into the old town and my jaw was on the ground. Narrow cobbled streets, Russian orthodox churches, boulevards with boutique restaurants and outdoor seating everywhere. How wrong I was. This place is the nuts.
Anyways, I ended up staying here 3 days – but I’d happily stay longer. When you make it here, be sure to check out the best 5 things to see in Brasov:
The old town makes up at least 50% of the city, so there’s no reason to wander outside it. The streets are crooked, there are archways and winding alleys all reminding us of their medieval glory. Spend a couple of hours getting lost, it’s awesome.
The whole city is dwarfed by Mount Tampa, sitting proudly to the west of the city with it’s huge Brasov ‘Hollywood’ sign, you literally can’t miss it.
You can take a cable car up Mount Tampa ($5 return) and then hike for 10 minutes to get to the sign, from up top the views of the city are cracking. .
If Mount Tampa dominates the city, then the Black Church dominates the Old Town, and it could do it by sheer size alone. Brasov’s iconic black church was built around 600 years ago and it’s blackness was brought about by a fire in the 17th century. It costs $1.50 to enter but to be honest the true grandness of it is much better viewed from the outside.
I know it’s not exactly a ‘sight’ but this place really deserves a mention. It’s found on 106 Castlelului Street, just a five minute walk from the main square. When you enter you’ll feel like turning away with the waiters, classy table clothes, wine glasses etc Not exactly a backpacker haunt I hear you say. Wrong. They offer delicious Romanian food and you can eat two courses with drinks for less than $10, if you’re on a tight budget you can get a main for about $3. Seriously, this places looks and tastes like it should be $50+ per head, so jump in before they hike their prices.
Bang in the centre of the old town is a beautiful square, you get great views of both the black church and the Brasov ‘Hollywood sign’ from here. Also, there are lots of beer gardens dotted around the square ($1.30 per pint!) as well as some pretty tasty restaurants. Great, great, great place to spend your evening in Brasov.
Romania has quickly become one of my favourite countries, and Brasov is an absolute must-see when you make it here. Happy travels!