What to do in Brasov? Brasov is the crown jewel of Romania and one of the most visited cities in Romania. After spending one week in the city, I made a list of what to see in Brasov! So what are the top things to do in Brasov, Romania?
Brasov is a medieval town and first remains that prove its origins date from the 13th century. That’s when the Teutonic Knights built the oldest building in today’s Brasov (St. Bartolomeu Church).
What to see in Brasov, Romania?
As you understand, the history of this ancient settlement is troublesome, as the centuries passed by and the many disasters that drove its development. From the ruins of an old fortress to the medieval town you see today, Brasov has many stories to tell, and some will make it on your list to what to see in Brasov.
When it comes to what to see in Brasov, there are many corners you need to discover. I’ve created this map for you to use in addition to this blog with all the explanations of the things to do in Brasov.
Consider taking a free walking tour to discover the Old Town of Brașov.
If there is no walking tour available, or if you simply want to explore on your own, then I suggest the following self-walking tour in Brașov:
- Day 1: Piata Sfatului, Biserica Neagră, Strada Sforii (Rope Street), Bastionul Țesătorilor (Weavers’ Bastion), hike on Tâmpa Mountain to see the sunset
- Day 2: Cetățuia de pe Strajă, Black and White towers, Catherine’s Gate, Beth Israel Synagogue, Prima Școală Românească (First Romanian School), Pietrele lui Solomon (Solomon’s Rocks)
So let’s start with a list of things to do in Brasov, to discover what parts and buildings have been preserved over the past few centuries.
Things to do in Brasov, Day 1
The central Square of Brasov, Piata Sfatului, is the most famous landmark of Brasov and the most visited. Whenever you ask a Romanian about what to do in Brasov, he or she will reply that you have to visit Piata Sfatului.
Since medieval times, the central square of Brasov, Piata Sfatului, was used for fairs and gatherings.
Piata Sfatului was where the merchants would bring their goods and put them in Casa Sfatului, the building which stands tall in the middle of the square.
Over recent history, the square was used for fairs and music festival. The most famous one is Cerbul de Aur, which was organised for the first time in 1968, and where many worldwide famous singers made an appearance (just to name a few: Diana Ross, Julio Iglesias, Christina Aguilera, and Kyle Minogue).
Casa Sfatului, the central building in the square is a museum, was originally built as a surveillance tower. Today, it is the home of the Brașov County Museum of History.
Around the square, you’ll discover many historic buildings and places to visit, such as:
- Casa Sfatului,
- Church of the Assumption (Biserica Adormirea Maicii Domnului)
- Merchants House (Casa Negustorilor)
- Filstich-Plecker House (Casa Filstich-Plecker)
- Mureșenilor House (Casa Mureșenilor)
- The Museum of Urban Civilization (Muzeul Civilizației Urbane Brașov)
- And of course, the famous Black Church from Brasov (Biserica Neagră)
Biserica Neagră (the Black Church) is one of the most representative gothic monuments from Romania and got its name after a fire in the 17th century when its walls got black.
The church belongs to the Lutheran community and dates back to the 15th century. On the same spot stood a Romanesque church which was demolished during the great Tatar invasion in 1241.
The inscriptions inside the church as well as the weekly mess and other ceremonies held inside the church are all in German, as this was a predominantly Saxon town until the 19th century.
There is a small entrance fee to visit the church (12 lei =~2.3 Eur), but you are not allowed to take photos. That’s why you won’t find any pictures of the church anywhere.
Strada Sforii (Rope Street)
Address: Strada Sforii, between Poarta Schei and Cerbului Street.
The third narrowest street in Europe, Rope Street in Brasov has a total length of 80 m and varies in width (1.11 – 1.35 m).
According to historical documents, Rope streets exists from the 17th century, and its primary purpose was to facilitate the access of firefighters to the old town.
As a reference point, look for Casa Sforii (19 Poarta Schei Street), and the Rope street is just to its left. Or look for Sforii Residence (20 Cerbului Street) and find the famous street also to its left.
Bastionul Țesătorilor (Weavers’ Bastion)
Address: 9 George Coşbuc Street, Braşov
Once the valley town was fortified, each guild was assigned one bastion to protect the city. Each bastion was named after its guild.
Built in the 15th century, The Weavers’ Bastion is regarded as one of the best-preserved defensive structures from Brasov.
There is a small entry fee (there is an extra fee for photo and video) and they host many plays and events during the summer warm evenings. They are mostly in Romanian, but it’s worth checking the events’ schedule.
Remember that the Weavers’ Bastion is closed on Mondays as most museums are.
Tâmpa Mountain is the famous Romanian mountain with ‘BRASOV’ sign on top of it. It resembles the famous Hollywood sign.
You can hike up, or you can take the cable car. There are a few different trails which start from the walls of the old town.
The ticket for the cable car for going up is 10 lei and 18 lei (~3.7 Eur) for a round trip.
On the top of Tâmpa mountain, are still visible the ruins of the old Brassovia fortress built in the 14th century. The fortress was destroyed in the 15th century at the order of Iancu de Hunedoara, and the stones were used to fortify the fortress from the valley, on which the city stands today.
The hike on Tâmpa is worth it, as it’s this is the place to get the best view of the sunset. If you want to actually get a complete view of Brasov, then going up the mountain should be on your top things to do in Brasov.
Things to do in Brasov, Day 2
Cetățuia de pe Strajă Brașov
What do in Brasov for free? Where to go to admire the old town of Brasov? I know a place, and it’s totally free to visit.
Hike up to the Citadel on Straja Hill!
The Hill Fortress of Brasov (Cetățuia de pe Strajă) was an important defence point, built outside of Brașov fortress.
At the beginning of the 15th century, it consisted of only one surveillance tower to which a wooden bastion with four towers was added. In the 17th century, after being completely destroyed, the fortress was rebuild using stone walls.
In the 17th century, the hill fortress of Brasov lost its importance and was used as a warehouse and then as barracks. From the 18th century, it was used a prison and then it was the main ground for Brașov State Archives.
Since 1981, it has become a touristic attraction. Unfortunately, it is closed for the public at the moment, with no explanation or date when it will be open again.
Nevertheless, the massive fortress is impressive to see it from outside, and the view over Brasov is stunning from there, and that’s why I have included on the list of things to do in Brasov.
The Black and White Towers
Both the Black and White towers were built in the 15th century, outside the city walls, on a hill. The two towers are the only ones left from the four surveillance towers that were built to protect the city.
They are both museums but seemed closed on my last visit there. The towers deserve a visit because they offer a beautiful view of the city.
I recommend visiting the Black tower first and then take the dirt path to the White tower, to skip the steep stairs from the city walls.
Catherine’s Gate and Brasov’s fortified medieval walls
Built on the old 15th-century gate, the gate you see today was built in the 16th century by the Tailors’ Guild. The distinguishes architecture of the gate’s tower makes it special.
The gate takes its name after the former Catherine monastery that once stood on this place.
The purpose of this gate was to facilitate the access of the people living in Schei neighbourhood into the city.
The four small towers on each corner of this tower would symbolise that the leaders of Brasov were entitled to apply the capital penalty.
Today, the only remain of this old gate is this tower, built on three levels, and it occasionally hosts art and history exhibitions.
Beit Israel Synagogue Brașov
Address: 29 Poarta Șchei Street
Listed as a historic monument in Romania, the Beth Israel Synagogue was built between 1899-1901 is regarded as one of the most beautiful synagogues in this part of Europe.
In the right side of the entrance is a monument dedicated to all the Brasov Jews who were deported to concentration camps during the Second World War.
There is the visiting schedule written on the front door. Even if the door seems close, ask around if you can visit. They don’t have a lot of visitors and keep the door of the synagogue close. But don’t worry, there’s someone who will open the door for all visitors.
Prima Școală Românească (First Romanian School)
Next to St. Nicolas Church, in the Schei neighbourhood in Brasov, is the building and museum of the First Romanian School in Brasov.
In 1583, here were held the first Romanian courses. The museum has an impressive collection of old and valuable books, with its oldest being the first Romanian school book, from the 11-12th century. The museum also displays the first Romanian Bible.
The priest of the church takes care of the museum, and he has translated most of the old books and published them. They are all for sale, and you can find them at the museum. The priest is very knowledgeable about the Romanian history and kind to share some stories with all visitors of the museum.
Pietrele lui Solomon (Solomon’s Rocks)
The Fortress from Solomon’s Rocks is an ancient fortification used by the Dacians as a shelter. The archaeological digging discovered this to be a place inhabited since the Neolithic.
Today there isn’t much left of the ancient fortress, but the area is also known as a nice picnic area by locals and there are also some legends of this spot.
This is a list of the most impressive things to do in Brasov. If you’re still wondering what to do in Brasov, make sure to stay a few more days and plan a few day-trips from Brasov. There’s plenty to see around Brasov.
Day trips from Brasov
If you plan to visit Brasov for more than two days, then think about renting a car and exploring around some beautiful mountain views, go for some hikes and see more historic fortresses.
Poiana Brașov is the most famous ski resort in Romania. With a total of 12 slopes and many accommodation options, Poiana Brașov makes for a nice visit even in summer.
The myth of Dracula lives on, and Bran Castle is the place that most likely inspired the famous legend. The protagonist of the legend was a Romanian ruler with cruel punishments.
Located on a rocky hilltop, in the city of Rasnov stands tall the Rasnov Fortress. Pay it a visit to get a feel of a medieval city and admire the views.
Hike the Carpathian Mountains
Close to Brasov, you will find many hiking opportunities. Trails for all levels, and some of the most beautiful mountain landscapes. Some visit Romania just for its mountains.
Libearty Bear Sanctuary
Located in Zarnesti, the Libearty Bear Sanctuary is a 69-hectare area for rescued bears from captivity. Proclaimed as the largest brown bear sanctuary in the world, visitors discover some of the bears’ stories. The sanctuary also fosters wolves, dears, donkeys, dogs, cats and other animals which people had as pets and abandoned.
Advertised as the largest adventure park from Eastern Europe, Parc Aventura from Brasov is a great activity for families, couples and group of friends. It has something for each age group, and you will enjoy the challenge even if you are not used to this kind of effort.
Built between the 14th and 17th century, Rupea Fortress was used as a fortress and also a refuge for the people living in the villages nearby. Rupea Fortress is regarded as one of the oldest human settlements, and it dates back from the Paleolithic and early Neolithic (5500 BC–3500 BC).
Food in Brasov: Where to eat in Brasov, Romania?
Brasov has many restaurants that will impress you and some street food you’ll need to try. Remember that Brasov has many great influences from Hungary and its Saxon population, so you will notice it when it comes to food as well.
Try a Kurtos Kalac (a Hungarian sweet bread ) or a crepe if you crave something sweet. Of course, make sure to try some traditional Romania food (Tochitură, Bulz, Papanaşi).
Here’re some restaurant recommendations from some of my friends from Brasov or who have visited Brasov:
- Sub Tampa
- Bistro de l’Arte
- Brasserie Luther
- Bistro La Birou
- Dei Frati
- Ninna Mancare Faina
- Delicious Raw Lab (They have a takeaway point on Strada Nicolae Bălcescu 49)
- Simone (for veggie options)
- Rawdia (vegan restaurant)
- Gelato Mania (best ice cream in Brasov)
- Juno Wine Bar
How to Get to Brasov?
Bucharest to Brasov by train
You can take a train from Bucharest (or any other major city) to get you to Brasov. You can check the train schedule on CFR website.
Bucharest to Brasov by bus
Brasov is a popular destination, so you will find some buses to take you there if the train isn’t a convenient option for you.
Bucharest to Brasov by car
Renting a car and driving is the best way to discover Brasov, especially if you plan to spend more days and discover the medieval fortresses nearby, or if you’re on a road trip in Romania. Romania has good transport between the major cities, but it would be impossible to reach most of the historic spots without a car.
Where to Stay in Brasov:
Brasov had many beautiful accommodation options right in the old town, but if you plan to stay for longer, I do recommend booking an apartment.
I stayed at Valentina’s flat (a studio apartment in Brasov) for almost one week, and it was one of the best accommodations I ever encountered in Romania.
Are you ready to go and start discovering Brasov, one of the most beautiful cities in Romania? Whether you’re into medieval structures, traditional food or hiking in Brasov, you’ll most likely be pleased with what you will see in Brasov.
Enjoy your time in Brasov and let me know if there’s anything I need to add to this list of things to do in Brasov.