The most authentic from our list of Romania tours: a small group tour, specially designed for tourists willing to visit Transylvania with a hand-on approach: learn to cook, visit farmers, craftsmen or small factories.
What to see How to get here Where to stay What to do What to eat
Sibiu is one of the most romantic cities in Eastern Europe, and a perfect hub to discover Transylvania. A rich cultural agenda, diverse architecture, great options for eating and drink, lovely natural setting are making Sibiu a perfect destination for a weekend getaway in Transylvania or a requisite stage for any successful trip in Romania.
Sibiu is the city to whom you will fall in love at first sight. One just needs to wander in a warm summer evening through the old squares, to feel the romantic vibe of the city: the sound of live piano music, kids playing near the fountain in the main square or friends enjoying their drinks at the sunset from one of the chic terraces from the Upper Town.
You have seen above some of the multiday trips starting from Sibiu or having Sibiu as the main stage. For the best day trips from Sibiu, you can check our Sibiu Tour Guide site. There you can find the comprehensive lists of Sibiu tours, like the Corvin Castle day tour, Bran Castle day trip and Peles Castle tour, Transfagarasan road trip, Sighisoara and Saxon villages tour or Marginimea Sibiului tour. Or, if you are interested only in a quick introduction in Transylvania and Romania history, we warmly recommend the walking tour of Sibiu.
Geographically, Sibiu is located in the southern part of Transylvania, close to the Carpathian mountains, which are offering a perfect setting for photography lovers. Located at a few hours driving distances from Cluj, Brasov, Sighisoara or Hunedoara, Sibiu is a good base for the best day trips to Transylvania.
The most important attraction is definitively the former medieval town. Built 800 years ago by the Saxon settlers invited by the Hungarian King in Transylvania, Sibiu managed to preserve untouched most of its architectural heritage.
What we like about Sibiu is that it has so many squares and hidden corners where you can find cosy restaurants, cafes or bars, souvenir shops or art galleries.
The Large Square is the heart of the city, the stage of all major cultural events (and there are a lot), but also the natural place of promenade for both locals and tourists. The large square (this is also its name) is surrounded by colourful buildings from the 18th – 20th century, which are offering a perfect setting for the Sibiu Christmas Market in winter or October Fest in autumn, just to name a few of the major events happening there.
Just near the Large Square, The Small Square is a vibrant space, filled with cosy restaurants, cafes or pubs, small museums, souvenirs shops or art galleries. In summer times there are plenty of events happening there, from a beach volleyball tournament to handmade objects fair or Rroma culture festival.
The Liars Bridge is probably one of the most iconic places in Sibiu. Built of cast iron in the 19th century, the small bridge built its fame due to its name and the legends developed around it. In summer, is usually flocked with vacationists trying to take the most instagrammable picture of Sibiu there, or big tourist groups listening to the stories of the bridge from their tour guide.
The stairs passage is a medieval corner of Sibiu which survived almost unchanged for centuries. Around the corner, more comfy restaurants or cafes can be found, on the pedestrian part of the road leading to the main market of the city: Cibin Market. If you’re interested in the food culture, the Cibin Market is the place where you should start any culinary tour of Sibiu. Local fresh veggies and fruits, the famous cheese of Sibiu, honey, fish and meats, everything can be found there.
The southern fortifications should not be missed, as they are the only good remainings of the medieval walls. If you walk between the walls, in the citadel parc, you will discover the Sibiu Walk of Fame. The names written on the stars are from the theatre world, as Sibiu is the host of one of the most important theatre festivals in Europe
Astra Museum of Traditional Folk and Civilisation, stretching over more than 100 hectares, is one of the largest museums of its kind in the world. The museum, with its more than 300 houses and traditional installations found a perfect place in the shaded parkland offered by Dumbrava forest, near Sibiu. It’s a living museum, as craftsmen, artist and people from the countryside are invited to the museum to recreate for the visitors the rural atmosphere once was in the Romanian countryside. So, if you are visiting the museum in summer you can see the interior of the houses, find the story of the house from their caretaker, indulge yourself in Romanian traditional gastronomy or learn traditional crafts during different workshops organised there. If you come in winter, and you’re lucky to find snow you can enjoy a horse-driven sleigh ride through the museum alleys.
Marginimea Sibiului is the area made of 18 villages located between Sibiu and the Carpathian mountains. The typical rustic ambience, the unchanged preservation of traditions, the hospitality of the locals make these lands an attractive touristic destination for travellers who want to explore more the countryside. For tourists looking for more active tours, guided walks are possible in the area or higher up, in the mountains around Paltinis.
Paltinis is a small touristic and ski resort located at 1400 metres altitude, in Cindrel mountains, just 40 minutes from Sibiu. It’a popular destination in winter for ski lovers, and in the summertime for hiking enthusiasts. For the latter, there are numerous hiking trails, from easy to medium difficulty, and some of the trails are open all year round. If you are going there in summer, there are high chances to encounter shepherds with their sheep flock, but nature lovers can spot wildflowers or wild birds.
Transfagarasan road is probably one of the most popular touristic destinations in Romania. And Sibiu is the closed city to this road, so if you planning a trip to Sibiu, you should consider a tour on the famous mountain road. Opened only 6 months per year, from July till November, Transfagarasan road can be an optional route for a transfer to Bucharest from Sibiu, is you are planning to visit the capital of Romania as well.
There a few options. The easiest way is to fly directly to Sibiu. The international airport has connections with destinations in Europe, and if you don’t have a direct flight from your town, you can reach Sibiu using those connecting airports. For example, Sibiu has daily connections with Munich, Viena or London, just to name a few.
You can also come by train from Budapest, or, if you have arrived in Bucharest, you can come here by train, bus or plane.
The old town is the most popular area for tourists looking for accommodation in Sibiu. But if you are coming by car, you should check if your hotel is offering free parking, as in the old town the parking places are limited. Also, some of the streets are pedestrian, so you should consider carrying your luggage for a few hundred meters if you choose your hotel or apartment in those areas. Sometimes, if you are coming by car, is better to look for accommodation outside of the old town, especially if you can find better deals. Sibiu is not a big city, so getting around is quite easy.
In terms of the type of accommodation, you can find almost everything in Sibiu, from cosy apartments rented by the locals to classy boutique hotels, or big hotels, belonging to international chains.
In some periods, when Romanians are having vacations (like May 1st, August 15th, November 30th or December 1st) or during cultural or sports events, you will find a room with difficulty, so, to avoid any stress, be sure you have booked your hotel in advance.
Sibiu is a perfect hub to explore the area for a few days. Its position in central Romania is placing Sibiu at just a few hours distance from the main cities of Transylvania or Banat. Brasov, Cluj or Timisoara are at 2 and a half hour driving distance from Sibiu, and Sighisoara, Hunedoara or Alba Iulia are even closer.
In terms of the sightseeing tours, we already pointed out what are the main things to see in Sibiu.
If you are a more active tourist there are a lot of things to be done in Sibiu and around. If you like walking, you can reach the Astra Museum by feet, without using public transportation or the car. It’s around 40 minutes walk from downtown, and you can use the Sub Arini parc alleys to get there. Or you can rent a bike and arrive there must faster, the bicycle lane is stretching from downtown to the neighbouring villages. If you like off-road biking, there a lot of marked trails around the city, you can find them easily, as they are marked with the “C” letter. One of the biking paths is starting from the Zoo, passes through Dumbrava forest, just outside of the Zoo and the Astra Museum and reaches Rasinari village. From there there are many options: you can push your limits by trying to bike as far as Paltinis on the asphalt road or to stay on the offroad biking path and return to Sibiu, through Cisnadioara.
If you prefer hiking, the options are numerous: you can discover the countryside, by walking around the villages in Marginimea Sibiului or Hartibaci river valley or venture higher up in Cindrel or Fagaras mountains. An easy hike can be done around Paltinis, the city’s ski resort. Find and follow the trail marked with a red cross on a white rectangle as far as Batrana saddle, passing through fir tree forests and alpine meadows. At Batrana saddle, after admiring the magnificent views of the surrounding mountains, you can return to Paltins on the same way, or following the foresty road going east.
If you are interested in cultural events, you’re lucky: Sibiu, a former Europan Capital of Culture has a generous cultural agenda. The Radu Stanca theatre is one of the best in Romania, but Sibiu has also a Philharmonic, a Ballet Theatre, and even specialised theatre for kids.
In terms of cultural festivals, Sibiu visitors and inhabitants are spoiled. From Spring to late Autumn, there always something to see in Sibiu. The most important cultural event, which is attracting equally aficionados and theatre novices, is the Sibiu International Theatre Festival. Ranked among the most important festivals of its kind, it is changing the vibe of the city for 10 days, at the beginning of June. The other main cultural festivals are: The Sibiu Jazz festival, which is usually organised in May, TIFF (Transylvania Film Festival which is in late June), the Artmania rock festival, which is in July, or Astra Film Festival (a festival dedicated to the documentary film) which is in October.
Shepherding is one of the ancestral occupations of the villages near Sibiu that continue to survive almost untouched by modernization. Due to the favourable climatic conditions and the traditional style of farming, the milk collected from the sheep from Sibiu has a special taste, taste reflected in the quality of the cheese for which it is used. That is why the cheese from Sibiu has become famous throughout Romania and beyond.
“Telemeaua de Sibiu” labelled as a PGI (a protected geographical indication product in the EU) is a cheese made from sheep’s milk and prepared for centuries by shepherds. The fresh version of telemea has a light taste, but at the same time slightly salty, which becomes more intense and spicy after the cheese is matured. The closest European equivalent to this cheese is the Greek feta.
Another popular sheep cheese is the “burduf” cheese, a salted kneaded cheese, with a buttery and creamy consistency, with a strong flavour. It is a salty cheese that is traditionally produced in the sheepfolds on the alpine pastures, and which is the best accompaniment to another traditional dish, polenta (cornmeal).
You will find these cheeses in the Cibin Market (the daily farmers market), or at the Saturdays Farmers Market near the Sports Arena. Also, a smaller market is organised every Friday, in the Old Town, in Huet Square.
If you are looking for street food, the main pedestrian street in Sibiu, Nicolae Balcescu street, is the place with a high density and doughnuts and bagel shops. You will find a wide range of bagels (Romanian – covrig). Simple, salty, with seeds, gratin, with different fillings (jams, chocolate), you can surely find something to your taste.
Sibiu boasts a great range of restaurants if we refer to city size. Romanian and Italian cuisine predominates, but there are a few restaurateurs who wanted to get out of the ordinary. One of them is Hochmeister, as their menu is bringing together local and central European recipes under the chef’s personal touch. The chef from Pasaj restaurant managed to put in the same place simplicity with the refinement, having as final aim the food. The menu is compact and blends local and international cuisine, with an inclination to use mostly local produce.
If you are looking for a traditional Romanian restaurant in Sibiu, you can choose from Crama Sibiul Vechi, in the Old Town and Dobrun, located at a walking distance from the citadel walls. And if you’re interested to go where locals are eating, you can choose from Grand Plaza and Prima. These restaurants are not fancy, but they offer simple, tasty food in pantagruelic portions.
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