11 Things to Do in Brasov on Your First Visit

In the heart of Transylvania lies Braşov, an ancient city flanked by the southern Carpathians. It is a compact, cozy city with a nice center and about 800 years of history to discover. Because of the convenient location, not far from Bran and Peleş Castle, the city sees a lot of tourists passing by. We based ourselves for two nights for our visits to the castles and on arrival in the city, I immediately thought about how lovely and fun the city was! Here are the best things to do in Brasov besides visiting Bran and Peleş Castle!

Romania Travel Guide

How to Get to Braşov

Flying In

Braşov Airport is currently under construction. You can fly to the Sibiu or Bucharest airports, both are relatively close. We flew into Bucharest.

Getting to Brasov from Bucharest

From Bucharest, it’s about a 2.5 to 3 hours drive to Braşov. We rented a car  (I always rent at SunnyCars because of the All Inclusive formula), and we drove on good roads to the north. If you don’t want to rent a car, you can look into booking a shuttle.

If you choose to take a train, it’ll be about the same 2.5-3 hours.

11 Things to Do in Braşov

Although Braşov is a small, easily accessible city, there is a lot to see. It has always been a relatively rich city because of its location on the trade route between east and west.

1. Visit the Old Town / Council Square

A good place to start your visit to Braşov is of course in the Old Town, and the center of that center is the Council Square, in Romanian, Piaţa Sfatului. Since 1364, markets were held here so salesmen from home and abroad could sell their goods. The buildings surrounding this square date back to the Middle Ages.

If you think that the architecture is a bit German, then you’re not wrong! Between the 12th and 19th century there were many Transylvanian Saxons in the area, and of course, they had German roots. You see that still in the city, because some buildings also have a German name, and just behind the square is also a German school.

  • Address: Piaţa Sfatului 1, Braşov

2. Visit the Black Church

The Black Church, or Biserica Naagra, is the most famous building in Braşov. The Lutheran church, initially called St. Mary’s Church, was built by the German population, making it the largest Gothic building in the country. The construction of the church started between 1383 and 1385 and was completed at the end of the 15th century.

The church derives its name from a great fire that destroyed a part of it on April 21, 1689. The walls were so blackened with flames that the church became known as the Black Church. The fire also explains the difference in architectural styles: the exterior is in the Gothic style, and the interior was renovated in the later Baroque style.

  • Opening hours: Closed on Mondays. From April – September from Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 – 19:00, Sunday: 12:00 – 19:00. From October – March from Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 – 15:00, Sunday 12:00 – 15:00.
  • Entrance fee:  Adults: 9 slate, students 6 slate, children 3 slate.
  • Address:  Curtea Johannes Honterus 2

3. Visit the Hidden Church

I think the Catedrala Ortodoxa Adormirea Maicii Domnului is actually much more fun than the Black Church. If you are at Council Square, you will not immediately see it. That’s why I call it the hidden church, (and it sounds as interesting as “Black Church”).

Go to the facade with the cross above it (next to the KFC). You then walk to a courtyard where you suddenly see a hidden church. The reason that this orthodox church is hidden? As I understood it, it was because supporters of the Orthodox Christian faith were not allowed to build churches within the city walls. The church is still in service. It’s quite small but very extravagantly designed.

  • Address:  Piaţa Sfatului 3

4. Walk Along Strada Sforii

The thinnest street of Braşov is so narrow that you can not fully spread your arms. At the narrowest point, the street is 110 centimeters wide, and at the widest point, it is 135cm. The corridor is 80 meters long and dates back to the 17th century. It was then used by the fire brigade, so that they could get to a fire faster and did not have to walk around. According to legend, this is also where Vlad Dracula (also called Vlad the Impaler) met his mistress Katharina. She was 17 then, he 34. He was already married and asked for a divorce for her (which was very rare at that time). Together they had five children.

  • Address:  Strada Sforii, Braşov

5. Climb Tampa Mountain

If you still have a good view of the city, then you have to go up the Tampa Mountain. You can go up in an hour, but you can also go up by cable car in three minutes. Here you will also find the “Hollywood sign” of Braşov, and from there you have the best view. The mountain is circled for the most part by Brasov, but brown bears and lynxes also appear at the back of the mountain.

  • Address:  Tâmpa, Braşov
  • Cable car opening hours:  09:30 – 16:00. Closed on Monday.
  • Cableway costs: 16 lei.

6. Walk around the City Walls & Catharina’s Gate

Transylvania has always been a place where many fights took place. The Saxons constantly had to fight the Turks & Mongols. In order to keep out the invaders, city walls were built between 1400 and 1650. Incidentally, not on all sides, because the city is conveniently flanked by, among other things, the Tampa Mountain. To enter the city, a number of city gates were of course required. Catharina’s Gate from 1559 is the most beautiful, and the only original gate that survived.

  • Address Catharine’s Gate:  Centrul Vechi, Braşov

7. Climb the Black Tower (Turnul Negru) and White Tower (Turnul Alb)

Just outside the city walls, you will find the black and white towers of Brasov. These were watchtowers. Both date from the end of the 15th century, and they can be visited via a short brisk walk. The towers are both white, by the way, so do not think you can separate them from their color. The Turnul Alb is also the larger of the two. The black tower also owes its name to a fire (from 1649) that blackened the tower. At the top of the towers, you have a nice view of the city.

  • Address:  Prund-Schei & Calea Poienii

8. Take a Walking Tour

The best way to discover a new city is always with a free walking tour. These are given in Braşov by Walkabout Tours. The tour departs every day at 10:30 and 6:00 from Council Square and takes you past all the above-mentioned spots.

The tour lasts about 2 to 2.5 hours, and I would recommend bringing an umbrella in case it rains (it did with us). Although the tour is free, tips are very welcome. I always give around €2 per person per hour (so about €5 for a tour of 2.5 hours), but you can also decide to give less.

9. Eat at Gratar Urban

If you are looking for really tasty citizens, then you should go to Gratar Urban. Super good, and in addition, the owner is really very sweet. We spent less than 20 euros between us both.

  • Address: Strada Michael Weiss 11

10. Enjoy the jazz at L’etage

In the shopping street of Braşov, you will find a jazz cafe called L’Etage. We always love live jazz music, but I think we were too early at night for the live music. They do have a nice pasta dish and cocktails here, regardless. Including cocktails, the two of us spent a little under 25 eurps.

  • Address: Strada Republicii 50

11. Stay at Hotel Apollonia

I stayed at Hotel Apollonia in Brasov, which was a great hotel in itself. Comfortable rooms, a good breakfast, and not so far from the center. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a budget hotel. The above isn’t its exterior, just a random building I saw. I didn’t take photos because it’s not very photogenic!

Compare more hotels in Brasov here

Tours in and Around Braşov

If you’re looking for a more luxurious experience of Brasov, try hiring a chauffeur service where you can create your own itinerary. Check here for more details and prices

General Travel Tips

Do you have any nice tips for Braşov?

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Nestled between Bran Castle and Peles Castle, Brasov is a great place to base yourself in Romania. The city itself is also quite charming, so here are 11 things you must do and see! #brasov #romania #thingstodinbrasov

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