Brasov is everything that we hoped Transylvania would be–and more. We knew the moment that we arrived that we would love it here. The colorful buildings, winding streets and traditional food all give the city a classic and old-timey feel. It’s no surprise that Brasov is quickly emerging as one of Romania’s top tourist destinations.
The Transylvania region of Romania has a long-time reputation as being the birthplace of vampires. Despite this, we can happily say that we left Brasov feeling happier and healthier than ever. In fact, many of the cuisines we tried had a lot of garlic!
We should add that if you don’t like rain, don’t come to Brasov! It rained at least once every day that we were there. We didn’t mind it, though. In fact, the cool, rainy weather was a welcome change from most of Europe’s hot and humid summer climate.
11 Things To Do in Brasov, Romania
1. Explore Council Square
Council Square is the main square in Brasov, and it’s the perfect way to start your time in the city. The square is a pedestrian-only zone surrounded by great restaurants, bars, cafes and shops. In the middle of the square, there’s a fountain and a bunch of vendors selling yummy treats like gelato.
It was nice to see that there is a good mix of old and new in the square. While there are mostly traditional Romanian restaurants, we also spotted a Starbucks and a KFC. No matter where you go, you can’t escape them!
2. Visit the famous Black Church
Just outside of Council Square is the famous Black Church. It’s one of the largest structures in the city center, so you really can’t miss it. Our first view of the Black Church was against a pitch black sky of stormy clouds. It looked so beautiful and epic!
The Black Church got its nickname when soot and smoke from a massive fire turned the entire church black. After that, the locals nicknamed it the Black Church. Visitors can definitely enjoy the beauty of the Black Church from outside. If you want to go inside, it does cost a small fee to enter.
3. Visit the Brasov Sign
The Brasov Sign is a massive Hollywood-esque sign made up of white black letters that sit atop Tampa Mountain. The sign is so massive, so can see it from pretty much any part of town. We were even lucky enough to have a view of it from our Airbnb porch!
To get to the top, there is a cable car that will bring you from the base of the mountain up to the top. It was a little crowded when we went, but not too bad and it’s definitely worth seeing in person.
4. Admire the incredible views of Brasov from atop Mount Tampa
There’s another reason to visit the Brasov Sign at the top of Mount Tampa: the views are incredible! We could see for miles and got the best views of Transylvania. The orange roofs of the buildings in Brasov look so beautiful against the lush green forests!
5. Try Kurtos Kalacs for a sweet treat
When we first food trucks with signs advertising Kurtos Kalacs, we had no idea what that was! But after discovering that Brasov is famous for selling these sweets treats that resemble chimney cakes, we couldn’t resist giving one a try!
We bought this one from the truck in Council Square for 15 RON (about $3.50 USD) and gobbled it down. They even sell chocolate ones too, but they were out when we went.
6. Hike up Mount Tampa
After you’ve had your delicious Kurtos Kalacs, you might decide that you need a little exercise to walk it off! If that’s the case, you can actually hike up Mount Tampa to the Brasov sign. There are two trails that lead up there, and it takes about an hour of moderate hiking. If you hustle, you can finish the hike in 45 minutes like us.
The trail is really beautiful and not too steep, since it weaves back and forth up the mountain. Just make sure to bring bug spray since the trail is very shady and has lots of mosquitos (a different kind of vampire!).
6. Try Authentic Romanian Food
You can’t visit Brasov without trying authentic Romanian food at least once! Start with the classics like cabbage rolls and ciorba soup before making your way onto the other delicacies. There are a bunch of great Romanian restaurants located right in Council Square where you can grab a bite to eat and people watch.
7. Take a Day Trip to Bran Castle (AKA Dracula’s Castle)
Bran Castle (AKA Dracula’s Castle) is only a short 30 minute drive from Brasov. This epic castle was built over 600 years ago and is rumored to be the inspiration for the castle in Bram Stoker’s famous novel “Dracula.” Take a tour inside this beautiful castle to see how Romanian royalty used to live.
8. Squeeze down Rope Street
Rope Street is another very popular tourist attraction in Brasov. Rumored to be one of the narrowest streets in all of Europe, Rope Street was originally built for firefighters’ passage. We came across this cute street accidentally as we made our way from the Black Church to Mount Tampa. It was a lovely surprise!
9. Grab a beer in Council Square and people watch
We look for any excuse to relax with a cold beer, and an unexpected rainstorm in Brasov proved to be that excuse! As the entire Council Square got poured on, we took refuge in a little cafe and ordered two Stella Artois drafts. Then, we watched as people fled the rain! It was an unexpectedly nice way to spend the afternoon.
10. Stroll down Strada Republicii
Right next to Council Square is a charming street called Strada Republicii. It’s lined with cute shops, cafes and restaurants. The architecture is really pretty and it’s slightly less crowded than the main tourist attractions. This is an awesome street to explore if you’re looking for some good shopping, or even just a cup of coffee.
11. Do a Free Walking Tour!
We are really starting to love Free Walking Tours. At first, we figured we could basically find the main tourist attractions on our own. But free walking tours are also a great way to meet people and get more history about the attractions you’re seeing.
Brasov has a free walking tour that leaves from the fountain in the middle of Council Square every day at 10:30 AM and 6:00 PM. You can find the group by looking for the tour guide in a bright orange outfit.
Brasov is an awesome city with some really cool things to explore. You could truly spend an entire day just wandering the beautiful city streets and taking pictures of all the incredible architecture. In fact, we did spend a day doing just that!
Here are a few final takeaways that we have for you from our time in Brasov:
- Brasov is pronounced “Brashov.” We were pronouncing it wrong for an embarrassing amount of time 🙂
- Most vendors accept credit card. We’d still carry a little cash on you just in case you want something from a street vendor.
- It will probably rain. A lot. Bring an umbrella and rain jacket so the rain doesn’t stop you from having fun.
- We stayed in a really cute Airbnb and felt like we got a more authentic experience. Here’s the link to our Airbnb.