Best Things to Do in Brasov


Published on 10 May 2023

Brasov (Braşov) is the gateway to Transylvania and one of the region’s most visited cities. Thanks to its great connections to Bucharest, Bran Castle, Peles Castle and Transylvanian cities such as Sighisoara, many use Brasov as a hub. But, Brasov in itself is a beautiful and historical city with attractions to keep you busy for a couple of days. So, if you’re heading this way, stay a while and make the most of what this relaxed city has to offer. A colourful, medieval city with cobbled streets and amazing street photography opportunities, a city viewpoint hike and some of the best vegetarian food in the whole of the country are just a couple of the reasons to stay.

Keep reading this Brasov guide to find tips on travelling to the city, top things to do and places to eat vegetarian food, as well a brief history and tips.

Antique shop

Stained Glass Window

Unique Romanian architecture

Fun anecdote from the free walking tour: during communism in Romania, it was decided that a town would be renamed ‘Stalin City’ after the Soviet dictator. The two cities in the running were Brasov and Sibiu. If the city were to change name, any products that also contain the city name would have to change accordingly. This allegedly helped to make the decision, as Sibiu is known for its Sibiu sausage. ‘Stalin sausage’ didn’t quite bring the right connotations with it, so instead, Brasov became Stalin City in 1950.

A Little Bit of Brasov’s History

Back in the 12th century, German Saxons were invited to settle in the area and bring their trade with them. The strategic location on a trading route between the Ottoman Empire and the rest of Europe meant that the city began to flourish. The settlers developed Brasov with fortifications, guild towers and gates, giving the city its recognisable image.

A huge fire damaged a significant portion of the original wooden buildings and the city was rebuilt with stone that is still here today. Regardless, Brasov has succeeded in keeping its medieval charm. Wander around its backstreets, through the main market square and into its gothic church and you can feel the rich history.

How to Get to Brasov

The closest airport is Sibiu (SBZ), but Bucharest (BUH) and Cluj-Napoca (CLJ) are not much further away from Sibiu. All three cities are well-connected to Brasov by bus and train.

Trains tend to be pretty slow but are arguably more comfortable than a bus as you are able to get up and walk around. Read our top tips for train travel around Romania here.

Transport we got in and out of Brasov:

Bucharest to Brasov train: cost 56.3 RON and took two and a half hours, leaving from Bucharest Gara de Nord at 08:00. Now, to get to Gara de Nord station, you will likely need to get a bus as it’s not really in the centre of town. We had a rough experience on the bus getting there which you can read about here and learn from our mistakes! You can easily use Google Maps to pull up live bus times, and routes.

Brasov to Sinaia train: cost 16 RON and took about an hour, leaving from Brasov at 09:30.

Brasov to Sighisoara train: cost 45.85 RON and took three and a half hours, leaving Brasov at 08:45.

Brasov to Bran bus: cost 13 RON and took about 50 minutes, leaving Autogara 2 in Brasov at 08:00.

interior of Romanian train

The ease of train travel

Wander the Colourful Backstreets and Find the Iconic Spots

Piața Sfatului

Piața Sfatului was the main market square and meeting point back in medieval times before communism came in. During communism, the square was turned into a carpark which stopped people from meeting, talking and conspiring against the dictatorial regime. Now it is a historic square surrounded with characterful buildings: mainly restaurants and bars. Their seating spills out on to the square and creates a very sociable and inclusive atmosphere. At the weekends, there may be market stalls selling locally made souvenirs.

the main square in Brasov surrounded by colourful buildings

Piața Sfatului

Biserica Neagră

Take a look at the gothic Biserica Neagră or the Black Church. It is believed that the name came from the blackening of the brickwork during a fire. The church was originally Catholic and then was changed to Lutheran. Entrance costs 15 RON, and while it was interesting to go in, there was nothing too outstanding inside. I would recommend against paying the entrance fee for this one. For me, the inside of the building did not warrant the price. The view from the outside on the other hand is stunning. Wander round and see it from all angles, and make sure you see the decorated clock face.

Black Church Clock Face, Brasov

Biserica Neagră

Black Church, Brasov

Largest gothic Church in southeastern Europe

Strada Sforii

Strada Sforii or Rope Street is the third narrowest street in Europe at 111 centimetres at its narrowest point. It was originally made as a cut through between two main roads in case of fire so people could escape quickly and/or help to put fires out more easily. It has a huge amount of graffiti along its walls, and makes for some interesting photo opportunities.

Strada Sforii with statue

Strada Storil

graffiti on the walls of Rope Street

Tourist hotspot

Biserica Sfântul Nicolae

Biserica Sfântul Nicolae (a Romanian Orthodox church) is stunning from the outside with its gated archway and tall pointed spires, but it’s the inside which is really special. There is artwork everywhere. And this is one of the few religious buildings that actually has paintings of the then royal family inside. This church has no entrance fee and is much more spectacular inside than the Black Church.

Biserica Sfantul Nicolae, Brasov

Biserica Sfântul Nicolae

Poarta Ecaterinei

Poarta Ecaterinei (Caterina’s Gate) looks like a mini castle in itself with tall pointed spires typical of the Romanian style. Wander through and maybe take a quick look at Șchei Gate nearby.

Caterina's Gate, Brasov


Turnul Alb

Turnul Alb or White Tower has a lot of steep steps but offers great views over the orange tiled rooftops of the Brasov.

View down stairs from the White Tower, Brasov

City views

Head up to the Brasov ‘Hollywood’ Sign

You can either hike up to the sign in about thirty minutes or get a cable car. 

To hike

A short but steep hike, you can reach the top in about thirty minutes. We started walking behind Bastionul Țesătorilor (you can find it on Google Maps). There are several routes to get to the top and unfortunately, we ended up picking the steepest route with no proper steps; avoid the route furthest to the right! The others have steps most of the way at least and take you to the same place. Once at the top, there are a couple of viewing platforms. The busiest is always the one at the V of Brasov, but if you walk a little further, you’ll get better views. With your back to the Brasov sign, walk back towards the main path and turn right, and keep walking until the trees clear where you’ll find a wooden platform. This is it! Perfect, uninterrupted views all around.

To cable car it

We didn’t take the cable car, but had heard it was about a five minute journey up and cost 25 RON for a return ticket.

View over Brasov orange rooftops

The hike is 100% worth the reward

Take a Free Walking Tour

Brasov has a really good free walking tour. (The same company also runs two tours in Bucharest.) When we visit a city that so evidently has a lot of history, a walking tour is a top priority. We learnt so much and explored a lot of the city that we wouldn’t have even known about otherwise. All the history, legends and anecdotes bring the city to life even more.

Find more info for tours on their website here.

Stop for Ice Cream at Gelato Mania

Gelato Mania always has at least a few people waiting to place orders. The ice cream here is so so good and is 100% worth the little bit of a wait outside (it just gives you a chance to decide on which flavour you’re choosing).  While we were in Brasov, we tried the blackberry, blood orange, kiwi and Nutella with banana; and we can thoroughly recommend them all. For 7 RON per scoop, you cannot go wrong.

The Best Ice Cream from Gelato Mania

Giving the Italians a run for their money

Sip on a Flat White at Nola Coffeeshop

Our favourite little coffee shop in Brasov is tucked down a quiet side street with a beautiful outdoor seating area right on the cobbles.

Nola Coffee Shop Seating Area, Brasov

Escaping the crowds

Day Trips from Brasov

Get the Bus to Bran to see Dracula’s Castle

A dead easy day trip or even half-day trip. Jump on the bus from Autogara 2 to get you there in 50 minutes. Tickets for the castle cost 45 RON which is pretty pricey but if you visit Transylvania, you’ve got to take a look round Vlad’s place, no?

Bran Castle

Vlad’s place

Take the Train to Sinaia

Wow, Sinaia is beautiful! Castles, greenery all around, monasteries. It’s such a relaxing place to recharge and breathe in the fresh mountain air.

Sinaia medieval archway

Fairy tale land

Best Places to Find Tasty Vegetarian Food

We honestly had some of the best veggie food in our Romanian trip right here in Brasov.

Manna Manna

The top spot goes to Manna Manna (previously known as Simone Bistro/Disco/Bike Repair Shop). The majority of the menu is either veggie or vegan and it’s done well. Not like the option that’s just been added on to the bottom of a menu out of courtesy for us veggie folk; it’s bloody good. The menu changes depending on what produce they have that day. There is an outdoor seating area with a really laid-back feel. If we were living in Brasov, we would be regulars. Try the feta and quinoa ‘meatballs’ and a salad of charred leeks, olives, sundried tomatoes, preserved lemon, tabbouleh and seeds. Wow.

Vegetarian Meatballs at Simone, Brasov

Quinoa ‘meatballs’

Vegan Meal at Simone, Brasov

Our kind of salad

Ceasu’ Rău

For an authentic Romanian meal where the locals go, head to Ceasu’ Rău. Just out of the centre of town, it serves several veggie options. We had the zacusca (roasted veg dip) and the beaten beans with a hunk of bread, and they serve cider too. Guaranteed you won’t see another tourist here.

Romanian Meal, Brasov

Zacusa and beaten beans


Another Romanian meal, more catered to tourists though, this restaurant is in the centre of town. The mushroom stew with polenta is good and everything is served with a massive basket of bread. You will not leave hungry.

mushroom stew with polenta, Brasov

Proper Romanian food

Pizzeria della Nonna

The pizzas here are outrageous. The best we’ve had in this part of the world. Crispy base, tasty toppings and it’s all served in an outdoor seating area (that can be covered) while a musician plays guitar. 10 out of 10 would recommend.

Pizzeria della Nonna, Brasov

Pizza party

Have you been to Brasov? Is there anything else you would add?

I’d love to hear your thoughts, recommendations or questions.

Thanks for reading!

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