We’ve been asked a lot lately, especially by foreign friends, which is our favorite city in Romania. It never takes us a lot of time to answer, even though there are a lot of wonderful places in Romania. We have a crush on Sibiu and it’s not hard to persuade anyone to go visit.
Why? Because Sibiu it’s like an all inclusive city break destination: culture, gastronomy, wonderful views, great surroundings and friendly people. Aaaand you can go there by car, by train and by plane (the Sibiu International Airport is located 3 km away from the city).
So, what is there to do/see in Sibiu?
If you’re into culture and architecture (and you’re a romantic :D), this should be your heaven. The historical city centre it’s a must and all the roads in Sibiu lead to… Piața Mare (Large Square).
Admire the buildings and the medieval architecture of the Large Square, but don’t be afraid to roam the adjacent little streets (highly recommended). If you feel like you’re being watched, don’t worry. It’s the houses, they have eyes, I tell you. Check their roofs.
Don’t miss the Brukenthal Museum (the oldest museum in Romania), that is host to one of the most important art collections in the country. Most known buildings beside the Brukenthal Palace are the Blue House and Roman-Catholic Church.
Close to the Large Square is also the Small Square (Piata Mica). It’s main attraction is the Council Tower (Turnul Sfatului). You can climb up the tower for a nice panoramic view of the city every day between 10:00 – 20:00 for an entrance fee of only 0.50 EUR.
For an even broader panoramic view, you can climb up the tower of the Evangelic Church, a tower of 73 m high (the tallest in Transylvania). However, at the time this article is being written, the church is closed for restoration and it seems to be so for the next 5 years.
Speaking of churches, besides the Roman-Catholic and the Evangelic Church, Sibiu takes pride in being one of the main Orthodox centers in Romania and the Orthodox Cathedral is an impressive piece of religious architecture. Don’t miss these churches, you will be impressed.
Another must is the Bridge of Lies, a short pedestrian bridge connecting the two “shores” of the Small Square. If you never told a lie, don’t cross it. Rumor has it you’ll start lying instantly *laugh*.
Still on the cultural side, Sibiu has a very busy calendar regarding fairs and festivals. Amongst the most notable ones are the International Theatre Festival (yearly, in June) and Sibiu Jazz Festival (check their website for the dates, as it varies from year to year, free entrance).
What do we eat?
Sibiu has the fame of being the homeland of cheese and cold meats, make sure you try them, you can easily find them in any local market.
In restaurants/pubs you can find traditional Romanian food, but also international dishes. The local gastronomy has known strong Hungarian and Saxon influences along time, therefore there is a wide variety of dishes you can try.
Did you know?
A former European Capital of Culture in 2007, Sibiu was recently awarded European Region of Gastronomy 2019. Just saying, in case you were wondering if the food is good here..
Around Sibiu there are some natural and (other) cultural attractions that should not be missed, if time allows.
4 km outside the city, in the natural reservation of Dumbrava Sibiului, there’s The Astra National Museum Complex, hosting four museum units of ethnographic profile in its structure, but the most important of them is The Astra Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization (an outdoor ethnographic museum).
If you’re into hiking, Cindrel and Fagaras Mountains are perfect for it and you can even go skiing in Paltinis mountain resort.
Best time to visit?
We’re spring and summer lovers, however give Sibiu a try in winter, too. You wouldn’t want to miss Sibiu Christmas Market, the most beautiful seasonal market in Romania, hosted by the Large Square. It’s perfect if you travel with kids! 🙂
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