All of us know that this country is full of natural wonders and intriguing local stories. Each place is rich in history and medieval pieces of art that nevertheless amaze everybody. Let’s take a look and discover new outstanding locations that you can visit with your family and have an unforgettable time. Furthermore, become closer with the mouth dropping Romania tourist places and traditions of its citizens!
In this blog we will have a look at the most mesmerizing places in Romania tourism, located in the Transylvania region (Ardeal).
But before we start we want you to know that you can get to those top tourist attractions in Romania via 4 airports: Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Târgu Mures and Brasov (which will receive the first flights in June 2023). Low cost airlines using these 4 direct airports in Transylvania are: Ryanair, Wizzair, etc.
Let’s start with this amazing place. I have been there many times, and let me tell you this place holds unique vibes, maybe due to its architecture and always smiling people. You and your family can have a walk around the city and enjoy the beautiful buildings and the little details that Mother Nature had left there. Undoubtedly, the city has many interesting places to visit, so therefore let’s list down all the locations that will undeniably make an impression on you. Write down everything, because all of this will leave you with unforgettable emotions and memories!
A tour around Cluj
One thing to do when you are about to explore a city, go to one of the highest places in the city. Cluj has one, which is called Cetatuia Park.
So, why this place? Well, it is a lovely location, where you and your loved ones can spend some spare time together as a family. It is an enchanting park, and furthermore a big bonus is the outstanding view it offers. It is a special place that is not so known by tourists, therefore I deeply suggest you visit this one and truly feel the exceptional atmosphere of the city!
A big bonus is the fact that you can clearly see the city center and admire the nature this place holds, the amazing and huge hills, together with the beautiful meadows displayed near Cluj.
I bet this is better than any tour around the city since from such places you can take a look and check out all the mesmerizing locations, and nevertheless have the time of your life together with your family. Why not organize a picnic there? I consider it a great idea. What do you think?
All the beauties that Cluj has
Before we start talking about really fantastic locations, let’s gather our attention on the Vibrant atmosphere of Cluj.
Did you know that the best coffee you can try in Cluj?
Dears, the cafes here are impressive, not only for their unique styles but also for their coffee. I had the chance to try one, and let me tell you, I am obsessed with its delicate taste. I suggest you try and fall in love with it!
Let’s move further and discover the Botanic Garden.
Walk around it and you will forget where you are! I guarantee you! The place itself is pretty unique, because it has a diversity of plants, to be exact 10,000! Which is an impressive number! The most interesting parts are the Japanese garden and the hothouse but the whole botanical garden is great.
Yes, Cluj is an amazing city, unique in its way. There are a lot of things to do for a family, walk around the city, enjoy the beauty of the old city and truly understand the traditions the city holds!
Well dear parents, what to do after all this excursion around the city, when the kids are already tired and going to sleep? I have great options for you too - festivals!
If you plan your trip wisely you might be able to attend some local Cluj festivals. The citizens of Cluj are huge fans of Electronic Music, and therefore such open-airs are present here. I suggest you visit the city in summer and enjoy the great atmosphere.
A well known festival is the “Untold” one, which happens around 30 July-2 August each year. Take into consideration this information, dwell with Electronic music and gather perfect travelemotions!
Bars & outdoor cafes around the city
After such a crazy Cluj-Napoca nightlife, dear parents, I suggest you visit the local Bars. Due to the fact that it is a lively student city, there are a number of good and pretty affordable bars, some good examples might be (Bistro, Enigma, Booha Bar and Insomnia).
Why are these places good choices for you?
They have an unique vibe and the drinks there scream “WOW”. As I said, Cluj is a student city, and the bars know how to light up their hard lives!
It is a perfect chance for you to meet some locals and have a fun night with them. Romanians are a lively nation, believe me you will never be bored around them. They know how to party and will definitely teach you how to do the same!
Now, let’s move to something more interesting! For instance, you have a nanny with you and you get the chance to leave your dearest kids for some time. Well, now, you can truly discover the wonders of Cluj!
The haunted Hoia Baciu Forest
The next place is also less known by the tourists, for the reason that it has a unique story behind it. Actually the location itself is creepy, better to say haunted. If you want to be a part of a horror movie, Cluj is again the perfect place for you to visit. Now we are going to talk about the Hoia Baciu Forest experiences.
Here come the Halloween stories that all of us are pretty afraid of. In the countryside of Cluj is located a beautiful forest, but it holds a creepy vibe! The place is haunted by restless ghosts of sinners that have committed their terrible crimes here and their souls are searching for a new prey! Scary? I bet yes! The forest lies in a valley between two rivers, overshadowed by mountains. The place is full of supernatural beings that are searching for fresh blood.
An interesting fact is, in 1968 an UFO was seen there, this is maybe why the forest is one of the creepiest in Europe!
Let’s put drama aside! However, everything I said is true. Hoia Baciu Forest is indeed said to be haunted and a location where paranormal activity has been reported. It would be the ideal Halloween excursion to Transylvania to explore Hoia Forest at night with sensors for paranormal activity. Spooky, right?
Turda Salt Mine
After the intriguing trip to Hoia Baciu Forest, you, along with your family, must head to one of the top tourist attractions in Romania - Turda Salt Mine.
Yes, the name is nevertheless funny and it is a great post for your Facebook friends. Well, now let me sincerely tell you that this place is the world’s hidden gem, and you might ask me why…
First, it is an immense cave full of salt! It is actually a good place for those who have respiratory problems, because the salty air cleans all the impurities in your nasal system.
Second, when you start the tour, you will descend into a mine, which is as old as Egyptian Pyramids. You will walk through a long and narrow tunnel, which is rather chilly. After more time, and more stairs you will arrive at the Rudolf mine, it is a masterpiece!
A huge, huge underground chamber has salt stalactites hanging from the ceiling... which features an underground lake where small boats can be rented. Also there you can find a Ferris wheel, ping pong tables, mini golf, pool tables, and other attractions.
You MUST visit it; it's one of the most incredible places I've ever been to. Make sure you see family-friendly Salina Turda amusement park in Romania even if you don't see anything else on this list or if you totally ignore my advice, VISIT IT. It's gorgeous!
Great resorts and hotels in Cluj-Napoca!
You enjoy being treated as a celebrity, then come to Cluj! The best place for those who like spending their time chilling and living the best time of their life.
This location holds a lot of Spa resorts and amazing hotels that will suit you and your family! See a full list of accommodations in Cluj with 9.5+ rating here.
Those are perfect examples of good resorts. They are loved by tourists, because you never get bored there and can freely rest and enjoy your time during your trip to Romania.
Those hotels have beautiful gardens with a relaxing atmosphere there. Not only do you have an outdoor pool at those places, a sauna, a relaxation room and Turkish bath, but you also get a 9-hole golf course and outdoor bars for relaxing in the sunshine. You get a huge bed, all of the luxury trappings, and your own private terrace.
Let me tell you one thing. Those resorts do not cost a large amount of money and actually cost less than 100 euros per night, so I think those are perfect options for those who enjoy a high-quality vacation
In Cluj you can freely find other good hotels, much affordable, just schedule your trip a little earlier and you will undoubtedly find a great one!
Let’s move forward to one of the best tourist places in Romania, Sibiu. Cool city with impressive vibes and authentic Transylvania cafes! Not only beautiful museums and architecture that actually amaze each and everyone. Stay with me and I will give you all the details about it.
First, I will suggest you roam around Sibiu and discover the beauty of the city. If you remember, I started the description about Cluj by presenting a great spot for viewing the city above. Here again I come with another stunning location, which is “The Council Tower”. Climb the stairs, do some cardio and enjoy the outstanding view and do not forget to take some photos with your family and send them to your relatives! The view is breathtaking, since you have in your sight the whole Sibiu and gorgeous Carpatian mountains covered with snow till mid of May located just 10 kilometers south from the city.
Walk around Piata Mare
In the mornings the place is absolutely chill, rarely a soul there. You can have a nice walk there, enjoy a coffee at the local cafes and eat some traditional food, such as mamaliga, sarmale, ciorba de burta and so on.
However, in the night the fun starts. Leave your kids with a nanny and visit it!
Be a part of the night life in Sibiu and discover how citizens spend their free time. Drink the best alcohol and eat well, because Romanian cuisine is full of yummy dishes. I warn you, you might gain some weight in Sibiu. So be careful!
After descending the Council Tower steps, Piata Mica and the Bridge of Lies await. This place is a total gem and the locals are proud of it. Not only the interesting architecture and the strange houses, but also the one tourist attraction that is loved by everyone.
Let’s start with the intriguing building and in particular “The eyes”. You might not understand it at first, but believe me you will be stunned by it.
As you can see in the picture the building itself has eyes! Well, not precisely)
Let’s agree on one thing… This screams “WOW” and in reality it looks pretty creepy and amazing too. So do not doubt walking around the city and stare at those eyes!
While you are walking around Piata Mare, you might stumble across an interesting bridge, a small one but with a surprising story behind it. Its name is “The bridge of lies”.
According to the legend, the bridge will collapse if you stand on it and say something untrue. So do not test it out!
Walk through the Upper and Lower Towns and don't be afraid to visit the local courtyards where real gems are often hidden. Enjoy the winding streets and numerous cafes. As I said, do not miss the Council Tower for the best views of the city and surrounding area.
When you're done sightseeing, soak up the relaxing atmosphere of this beautiful place.
Sibiu has a lot of museums that are pretty impressive, a lot of them are regarding the traditions of Romania, and the national wear which is actually astonishing!
One good example might be the Brukenthal National Museum, this museum screams “Aesthetics”, and yes the building is indeed marvelous. When you enter it you will be amazed by the variety of art displayed there, the art of Romanian and European artists.
If you want to get a better knowledge of the local culture and even religion, visit Cathedrals. Romania is a religious country, and therefore people cherish them, because it brings them closer to the Higher Force!
Some beautiful locations you can visit are:
Holy Trinity Cathedral
Evangelical Cathedral C.A. St. Mary
Gothic Lutheran Cathedral
Accommodation in Sibiu
Being included in all tours of Romania Sibiu has an abundance of accommodation options with 9.5+ rating.
A true example is Cloud Studio - apartments located on the 6th floor of the building which is right near the Old Town. As a result, you can lay in your bed and simultaneously see the historic center of the city from above, plus snowy mountains in the background and the planes landing at Sibiu airport.
See a full list of Sibiu hotels, apartments and the like here.
Now, we are heading to one of Romania tourism pearls - the medieval city of Brasov. I have been there multiple times and each of them have left me with unforgettable memories. Indeed, the place is full of wonders, so I suggest you discover them together, as a team!
All the cities we talked about have their unique style and vibe, and Brasov has it too. The architecture here is on another level, the medieval streets and many more beauties you can see in the city.
The streets are lined with lively cafes, busy shops, and sweet-smelling carts selling delicious traditional sweets. If you decide to walk around picturesque Brasov, keep an eye out for the hidden aesthetic details. When you're ready, take a seat at an outdoor cafe and enjoy the atmosphere there. Those details can be seen on people’s balconies, I guess in Brasov citizens have such a tradition! In general, these details resemble angels, different fairies and many other creatures.
Of course, when you visit a new city you have to take a look at their main square, the Brasov one is super aesthetic and chill in the mornings. Sometimes while walking through it you doubt if you are in Romania, and not in some other European countries.
Back in time, the center was full of peasant houses, now, after decades they were rebuilt into cute and small restaurants and cafes. Another great possibility to try national cuisine!
The Narrowest Street in the world
You know what is even more interesting in Brasov? The streets! All of them are so different and unique, however the total gem is the “Strada Sforii” which is translated as “String Street”. Well, funny, I know. The street is actually so narrow that your heart beats as fast as possible, and you can even hear it. Amazing!
Actually this street back in time had an important meaning, because firemen used it to quickly get between Brasov’s tightly packed houses. History all around!
Again, I am here to suggest a location which will suit hiking lovers, maybe you and your family enjoy that. Go on a hike and take in the marvelous view and the beautiful nature all around. It is a rather small mountain, so it is not so difficult to hike. But believe me you will be left with so many bright memories about Brasov and you will fall in love again with it.
Having kids is quite a tough thing, since you always have to think how to entertain them… However, in Brasov you can find such a place, and it is called “Park Aventura”.
A family-friendly attraction featuring ladders, rope nets, bridges, and zip lines between trees can be found on the southeast suburbs of Brașov.
Four purple courses are available for children under eight years old. For optimal security, kids will be permanently connected by a carabiner to a safety rope on these courses. Older climbers can take on eleven different routes, with yellow being the easiest and black being the most difficult and providing an extra adrenaline rush for specialists.
This place usually scares tourists, why? Well, people think that the Dracula is still there and eager to drink their blood. Funny! In reality all this is just a story and I will tell you the actual story, so you are more advanced regarding this topic.
In reality the place holds a specific aura and it is so intriguing. It is a massive palace with an impressive story behind it. I greatly suggest you visit this place. At the Bran Castle are often organized specific excursions, so do not lose this opportunity.
The origin of the Dracula legend took place at Bran Castle. It is located in Transilvania, on a 200-foot cliff. This castle is reputed to have been home to Vlad the Impaler, and as you pass through its narrow passageways, you can really sense the history it is home to.
Dracula was a made-up figure based on Bram Stoker's 1897 novel "Dracula," and he never even existed. Although Stoker had never gone to Romania, the idea of using a castle in the Carpathian Mountains came from legends he had heard of harsh tyrants and enigmatic locations concealed in the area's rolling hills and peaks. Vlad Tepes, a real-life ruler with a reputation for impaling his foes, somehow evolved into a Dracula-like figure. Bran Castle also matched Stoker's depiction.
Now, you all know the true story behind it. So do not scare your kids with stories about Dracula, the real Dracula is seen in the cartoon “Hotel Transylvania”, which is inspired actually from the Bran Castle. Even the castles in the cartoon and the real one look similar!
Brasov is well known for its ski and snowboarding resort so a great thing might be to visit Brasov in winter so you can engage with the amazing atmosphere up there in the mountains which are permanently covered with snow from mid-November until mid-March.
Poiana Braşov, a ski resort located less than 15 kilometers from the city center. The four mountains that surround Poiana Brașov are a hiker's paradise in warmer months thanks to their expansive meadows, lofty vantage spots, and numerous hectares of young oak and hazel forest.
Actually, Poiana Brasov has a large list of hotels, check them here. Some of them offer a large number of commodities. The best thing about it is, there are so many spas and saunas for everybody. It is a true dream for those who want to relax and enjoy splendorous views.
I am so eager to go there again. If you love skiing go to this place. Possibly not all the members of your family know how to ski, and for that at Poiana Brasov you can find good instructors for a 25 euro/1 hour/1 person!
In just 1 hour south from Brasov there is one more ski resort called Sinaia and located in Bucegi Natural Park. There are almost 20 km of ski slopes of any difficulty here including 3 km of black ones.
Sinaia together with Peles Castle which is just a few kilometers away are in top tourist attractions in Romania. Check the accommodation options in Sinaia here. It will be a hard choice:)
Here comes the end of our small tour around Transylvania or as locals call it - Ardeal. I truly wish that you enjoyed it and you will find this information beneficial for your next trip to Romania. Not so many tourists take into consideration visiting these places, but I bet you will change it! Travel through this beautiful country and discover new places, do not forget to take great photos and share it with the world, who knows I might see them and give you a huge like:)
Visiting those destinations with your family is the best thing to do. Your kids will see a new country and gather new knowledge through traveling, and you and your lover will have some time alone (sometimes)!
Be happy and come to these spectacular locations and enjoy life to the fullest!