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Best Cities in Transylvania To Visit in 2024!

Are you looking to visit some of the best cities in Transylvania?

Transylvania, which is often thought of as a place of scary folklore, grand castles, and beautiful scenery, has a lot more to offer than the myths and legends that are often told about it. Sounds cool, right?

Transylvania is literally in the middle of Romania. It is a fascinating mix of a long history, interesting culture, and stunning natural beauty.

This area has a lot going for it, and people from all over the world come here to find its hidden gems.

In this mini-guide, I’ll look at Transylvania’s best towns and some other topics. These are the places you can’t miss on your trip in 2023!

What are the main cities in Transylvania?

Before we dive into the best cities in Transylvania that are really worth a visit, it’s good to know what the main cities are in this region.

Transylvania is a vibrant place with a lot of different people and cultures. It has a number of cities, each with its own personality and draw. Cluj-Napoca, Brasov, Sibiu, and Timisoara are four major towns that stand out as important hubs because of their rich histories and lively cultures.

Cluj-Napoca, which most people just call Cluj, is a busy city known for its exciting nightlife and diverse arts scene.

Cluj is a cultural melting pot where the sounds of the past and the sounds of the present blend together to create an atmosphere that is exciting, welcoming, and impossible to resist.

The historic center of Brasov is like a time capsule. It shows what medieval Romania was like through its buildings. You can almost hear the whispers of the past as you walk along its cobblestone streets and look up at its tall buildings.

Equally appealing is the city of Sibiu, with its colorful Baroque buildings and charming streets. Timisoara, also known as ‘Little Vienna,’ has elegant buildings from the Habsburg era and lots of green parks.

What are the best cities to visit in Transylvania?

Transylvania has some of the most interesting and historically important towns in all of Romania. Each city has its own charm, cultural customs, and beautiful buildings. Here are five places in Transylvania that you must see on your next trip!

  • Cluj-Napoca: This city is often called the unofficial capital of Transylvania, but most people just call it Cluj. It is a center for arts and culture, with many theaters, galleries, and events.

    In the middle of Cluj is the beautiful St. Michael’s Church, which is a symbol of the city’s Gothic architecture. The city also has a busy nightlife, which makes it a popular place for young people to visit.
Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca

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  • Brasov: Located at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, Brasov has a well-preserved medieval center with pastel-colored baroque houses and cobblestone streets.

    The Black Church, a beautiful example of Gothic building, and Council Square are two of the city’s most popular sights. The Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle, is right next to the city.
Brasov
Brasov

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  • Sibiu: Once the capital of Transylvania, Sibiu is known for its Germanic architecture, lively arts scene, and long past. Its Old Town is fun to look around because it is full of colorful houses, cute squares, and strange “eyes” on the roofs.

    The Brukenthal National Museum is an important place to see because it is one of the oldest museums in Romania.
Sibiu Tower view
Sibiu Tower view

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  • Timisoara: Known as “Little Vienna” because of its classic style. In 1989, the Romanian revolution against communism began in Timisoara. There are beautiful parks and streets in the city, and the Orthodox Cathedral is a sight to see.

    It has a lot of colorful baroque buildings in Union Square, which is a great place to sit down and take in the local atmosphere.
Timisoara Square
Timisoara Square

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  • Alba Iulia: This city may not be as well-known as some of the other towns on this list, but it is a must-see in Transylvania.

    The Alba Carolina Fortress, a star-shaped fortress full of Romanian history and beautiful architecture, is one of the city’s most famous landmarks. The city is also a huge sign of how united and independent Romania is.
Reunification Cathedral in Alba Iulia in best cities in Transylvania
Reunification Cathedral in Alba Iulia

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Transylvania is made up of many different cultures, customs, and histories, and each of these cities shows a different part of that.

No matter if you’re a history buff, a culture buff, or just a curious traveller, these places will give you an experience you’ll never forget.

What is the capital of Transylvania?

Even though Transylvania is an area in Romania, it doesn’t have an official capital. However, as mentioned, Cluj-Napoca is often used as a substitute.

This is because of its large population, important cultural and educational institutions, and important role in the economy of the area.

Because of this, Cluj-Napoca has a important status, and many people think of it as the beating heart of Transylvania.

Why is Transylvania famous?

Transylvania will probably ring some bells, right? But what exactly is it? Well, Transylvania has a special place in popular culture around the world, mostly because of Bram Stoker’s classic book Dracula!

People all over the world think of this area as a scary place where vampires and wolves live. But Transylvania in real life has a lot more to offer than just Gothic stories.

Transylvania is a land of natural beauty and rich history. It is known for its well-preserved medieval towns, beautiful churches, and the majestic Carpathian Mountains.

Carpathian Mountains
Carpathian Mountains

Transylvania is a great place if you’re an outdoor adventurer because the mountains, in particular, have beautiful views and exciting climbing trails in store for you!

Where in Transylvania is Dracula’s Castle?

The official name is Bran Castle and it’s near the city of Brasov. But it’s often called Dracula’s Castle.

This rocky hilltop castle from the 14th century is often linked to the scary story of Count Dracula.

Dracula Castle
Dracula’s Castle

Even though Bram Stoker, who wrote Dracula, never went to Romania, most people think that his description of the creepy castle was based on what they heard about Bran Castle.

Was Transylvania always part of Romania?

The history of Transylvania is very complicated, with moving borders and shifting allegiances. This would need a separate blog post!

But before Transylvania became a part of Romania, it was ruled by the Kingdom of Hungary and then by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

After World War I, when the Treaty of Trianon was signed in 1920, the area finally became a part of Romania.

Visiting Transylvania: FAQs

If you would love to visit Transylvania, the information below will help you prepare your trip and to start your journey!

Is Transylvania cheap to visit?

As a part of Romania, Transylvania is usually a cheaper place to visit than many other parts of Europe. The low prices can be seen in how much it costs to stay, eat, get around, and see places. Here are some examples:

  • Accommodation: The cost of accommodation can change a lot depending on how much comfort you want and how much money you have. For as little as €10 – €15 per night, you can get a bed in a hostel room.

    A room in a mid-range hotel can cost between €30 and €60 per night, while a room in a luxury hotel can cost well over €100 euros per night.
  • Food: It can be very cheap to eat out in Transylvania. A meal at a cheap restaurant, for example, can cost you between €5 and €10. At a mid-range restaurant, a three-course meal might cost you between €15 and €25 per person.

    If you buy groceries and cook for yourself, you can expect to spend between €25 and €35 on food each week.
  • Public transport: this is very cheap and easy to use. Local public transportation may cost around €1 for a one-way ticket. The usual cost of a taxi ride is about €0.50 per kilometer, which is also a really good price.

    If you want to rent a car, a basic model will cost you around €20 per day.
  • Sightseeing: When it comes to seeing the attractions, many of Transylvania’s sites are free or have low entry fees. For example, it takes about €10 to get into Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s Castle.

    Other important sites, like the Black Church in Brasov or the ASTRA Museum in Sibiu, also charge between €2 and €5 to get in.
  • Activities: If you want to do things like hiking or skiing outside, you can explore the Carpathian Mountains for free, but ski lift passes cost about €20 to €30 per day. Definitely recommended to discover the Carpathian Mountains.

Keep in mind that these are just average prices and that your real costs may be different depending on how you travel, the time of year you go, and how far in advance you book certain services.

But even with these differences, Transylvania is usually worth the money you spend.

What language do Transylvanians speak?

Romanian is the language most people speak in Transylvania. This language comes from Latin, like Italian, Spanish, French, and Portuguese. It is a Romance language. Romanian is the country’s main language, and most of the people there speak it.

Transylvania, on the other hand, is known for the rich culture diversity that shows up in its language landscape. There are also big groups of people who speak Hungarian and German (Saxon).

This is because of things that happened in the past, like when Transylvania was ruled by the Hungarians or when Germans moved to the area.

English is spoken by many people in tourist places, especially younger people and people who work in the tourism industry.

Most of the time, you can get around Transylvania just fine with English, but learning a few basic words in Romanian can definitely improve your trip and help you connect with locals.

What are the best months to visit Transylvania?

Transylvania is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year, but the best time to go is between May and September.

During this time, the weather is mostly very nice and pleasant, making it great for going outside and exploring the city.

Near Brasov in September
Near Brasov in September

From December to February can be a great time to visit if you like winter sports or want to learn more about classic Christmas markets. It’s a great idea to visit Romania in winter if you ask me!

Is it safe to travel to Transylvania?

Yes, Transylvania is usually thought of as a safe place for tourists to visit. As with any place, there are some things to worry about, but they aren’t too bad, and many people travel through the area without any problems.

Most public transportation, hotels, and tourist spots are safe, and serious crime isn’t that common. But, as with any place you visit, it’s important to take basic safety measures.

This means being careful with your stuff, especially in busy places, being aware of possible scams, and staying away from places with few people late at night.

Also, most locals are friendly and open to tourists, which makes it easy for them to ask for help or directions when they need to.

I would recommend having travel insurance, learning about the rules and customs of the place you’re going, and keeping emergency numbers handy. This number is 112 in Romania.

And even though Transylvania is connected to the legend of Dracula, it’s important to remember that this is just a story, and the area is not inherently scary or dangerous!

The Wrap-Up: Best Cities in Transylvania

And there you have it: a complete look at the best cities in Transylvania, a region full of magic. Transylvania has something for every kind of traveler, whether it’s the old-world beauty of Brasov, the rich cultural tapestry of Sibiu, or the lively pulse of Cluj-Napoca.

But don’t let your journey end at Dracula’s Castle. If you go further, you’ll find a treasure trove of historical sites, culture sites, and natural wonders.

I’m sure Transylvania is excited for your visit in 2023 to see its history, culture, and unspoiled scenery.

Pack your bags and be surprised by the magical things you’ll find in some of the best cities in Transylvania!

Safe travels!

Your restless voyager,

Dustin

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