Discover Romania’s Fairy Tale Town: Sighisoara


Published on 24 May 2023

Sighisoara old town looks like it was used as the set for Beauty and the Beast. Pastel-coloured buildings, a tall clock tower with colourful tiling and puppets, cobble-stoned streets, medieval archways. An absolute treat for street photography lovers, I was in my element, camera in hand at all times! I’d say it is my favourite place that we visited in Romania. You know that old cliché of ‘it’s like you’ve stepped back in time’, it genuinely is like time has stood still here. This is a proper authentic medieval fortified town and you can’t help but feel it when you’re there. Even if you only have time to visit for a half-day, add this to your Romania itinerary (and then you’ll be wishing you stayed longer!). Keep reading to find our top things to do in Sighisoara.

fairy tale town

Decorated window sills

top thing to do in Sighisoara - wander the colourful streets

Colourful cobbled streets

A Little about Sighisoara

As with Brasov, Sighisoara has been around since the 12th century when German Saxon craftsmen were invited to settle here. They came, created the settlement and built the surrounding fortifications and towers; each tower named after the crafting skill that they brought with them. This location was strategic due to the natural barrier of the Carpathian mountains between the town and the invading Ottomans. Today, the medieval fortified town is so well-preserved that it is recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

View from Sighisoara clock tower

Bird’s eye view of Sighisoara

How to Get to Sighisoara

From Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu and Bucharest, there are direct trains. Rome2Rio is reliable in Romania for public transport. For our top tips on using the train system in Romania, read this post.

Trains that we took in and out of Sighisoara:

Brasov to Sighisoara: cost 45.85 RON and took three and a half hours, leaving Brasov at 08:47.

Sighisoara to Cluj-Napoca: cost 72 RON each and took three and a half hours, leaving Sighisoara at 12:00.

There are also buses, but these tend to be a little more expensive.

Get Lost in the Colourful Backstreets

Look out for all the exquisite details of these historic streets and buildings. The BEST thing to do in Sighisoara is just to get lost in the backstreets. Grab your camera and put on some sturdy shoes to walk over the uneven cobbles.

cobbled street in Sighisoara

Colourful cobbled streets

Spot the 14th Century Clock Tower

The clock tower can be seen from almost anywhere within Sighisoara old town with its brightly coloured tile roof and pointed spires. Make sure you spot the small puppets by the clockface and the original painting and writing. For a 16 RON fee (or 8 RON for students), you can climb the stairs to the wooden balcony at the top for views across Sighisoara.

visit the medieval clock tower - top thing to do in sighisoara
Sighisoara medieval clock tower

Hunt Down All the Characterful Guild Towers

Towers around the Sighisoara fortifications were built, maintained and used during siege by each individual guild. You will find towers of the butchers, tinsmiths, ironsmiths, tailors, furriers, boot makers and ropemakers surrounding the old town.

tinsmiths' tower

Tinsmiths’ Tower

carpenters' tower

Carpenters’ Tower

Wander Down Culoarul Bătrânelor Doamne Walkway

Now, this feels like it’s straight out of Disney’s Notre Dame. This archway takes you under the clock tower and is so atmospheric. Walk a little further down and you will get some great views of the clock tower from the other side too.

Disney's Notre Dame-style archway, things to do in Sighisoara

I would not be surprised to see Quasimodo here

Climb the Steps Through the Covered Walkway to the Church on the Hill

175 steps lead up from the centre of the town to the church at the top (Biserica din Deal) and its cemetery. Climbing up the covered walkway is a rite of passage when visiting Sighisoara and was used to shield church-goers during the winter months. You can get some great views over the town from here and it’s worth exploring the church, cemetery and ropemakers’ tower while you’re up here too.

wooden covered walkway, Sighisoara

The covered walkway

Biserica din Deal cemetery

Biserica din Deal cemetery

See the Holy Trinity Church (Biserica Sfânta Treime) and the Church of Unitarian Universalism (Biserica Unitariană)

The Holy Trinity Church is just on the other side of the river from the main part of town, whereas the Unitarian Universalism Church is about another five minute walk from here. Both are very different. Holy Trinity is very grand with black domes, while the Unitarian is very small and narrow, yet tall with a pointed orange roof. We were unable to enter either: they were either locked or hosting ceremonies. If you manage to get inside, let us know how they are!

Giving the Italians a run for their money

Explore the Citadel Square (Piața Cetății)

Citadel Square is surrounded by beautiful old buildings. Stop here for a drink, see the souvenir shops or explore the alleyways leading off the square. Keep an eye out for the Stag House.

things to do in sighisoara

Citadel Square

Stop by the Birthplace of Vlad Dracul

Not necessarily a top thing to do in Sighisoara, but the city’s claim to fame is being the birthplace of Vlad Dracul, also known as Vlad the Impaler. The building where he lived up until the age of four has been converted into a restaurant. You could stop for lunch (but it is pricey, so we skipped it) or just wander upstairs to see some paintings of him. Maybe pop your head out the first floor window for a great photo taken from the cobbles outside. If you pay a fee, you can enter the second floor, where it is said that Vlad used to stay.

Birthplace of Vlad the Impaler

Birthplace of Vlad Dracul

Eat Lángos and Papanași

Genuinely one of my favourite things to do in Sighisoara! Probably not best to eat both in one sitting though: you will explode.

Lángos is basically a flattened, savoury donut. Deep fried to create a crunch on the outside but a soft and chewy centre. Get the classic which is smothered in sour cream and topped with cheese, but don’t forget to ask for extra garlic. Grab your lángos from Nuvela.

enjoying langos, top things to do in sighisoara

Langos at Nuvela

Papanași is a cream cheese donut that is smothered in a sweetened sour cream and topped with sour berry jam. Beautiful. Grab yours from the hole-in-the-wall vendor to the right of Vlad Dracul’s birthplace.

papanasi with a view - top thing to do in sighisoara

Smothered papanasi

Top Spots for Coffee Stops

The Bean Speciality Coffee

Great coffee and an even better view. Snag yourself a spot outside overlooking the staircase up towards the clock tower. Spot on!

View up the staircase to the clock tower

Clock Tower view from The Bean

Speciality coffees

The Bean’s speciality coffees

Atelier Speciality Coffee

Really good coffee and you get a beautifully presented little set. The interior is really cute, or sitting outside on the cobbles is great too. Check out this door while your sat there. (I have a thing about doors and this one is a stunner.)

Beautifully decorated door

What a beauty

Atelier coffee set

UP Speciality Coffee

Again really good coffee presented nicely, but a less exciting outlook on to a car park.

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

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

Thanks for reading!

Like it? Save it!

krusevo p

Follow us on Instagram and Pinterest


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.