Sighisoara - Transylvania, Romania

Facts about Transylvania

About the name: Transylvania or Transilvania (from Latin – "the land beyond the forest")
Location: Central Romania - surrounded by the arc of the Carpathian mountain chain
Area: 34,177 sq miles
Population: Approximately 5 million
Main cities: Alba Iulia, Bistrita, Brasov, Cluj Napoca, Medias, Miercurea Ciuc, Sebes, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Targu Mures

Transylvania Highlights

Transylvania is home to some of Europe's best-preserved medieval towns, most notably Brasov, featuring Old Saxon architecture and citadel ruins; Sibiu with its cobblestone streets and pastel-colored houses, and Sighisoara, adorned with a hilltop citadel, secret passageways and a 14th century clock tower. Tiny shops offer antiques and fine hand-made products by local artisans and artists.

Visitors to Transylvania will also encounter stunning castles such Bran, near Brasov, - a Gothic fairy-tale structure, often associated with 15th century Walachian Prince Vlad Tepes, the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. While the connection with Vlad is tenuous, the deep bond of local villagers with the legend is not.

In close proximity to Brasov and Bran are the fortified churches at Harman, with its massive 13th Saxon towers, and Prejmer, the largest fortified church in Southeastern Europe. The 15th-century Corvinilor Castle, the most beautiful in Transylvania, located nearby Hunedoara, has a sumptuous Knights Hall – that can be used for functions or parties, as well as towers and buttresses reminiscent of the medieval times.

Transylvania is the birthplace of the Unitarian Church that merged with the Universalist Church here in America in 1961 to form the present Unitarian Universalist Association.

Transylvania's multi-ethnic heritage (including German and Hungarian ) is delightfully apparent in the folk costumes, architecture, cuisine, music and festivals.

Colorful centuries-old traditions are alive and well in the small villages of Transylvania. People here still make a living at such time-honored occupations as shepherds, weavers, blacksmiths and carpenters.

The Apuseni Mountain range, in the western Carpathians, is a landscape of exquisite beauty and mystery. Here, you'll find ancient legends of mountain spirits and rare species of wildlife, along with 4,000 caves, many of which can be explored. Scarisoara Glacier, a national monument, shelters the second largest underground glacier on the continent.

Places to explore in Transylvania

Some of Europe's best-preserved medieval towns: Brasov, Sibiu, Sighisoara

Bran Castle (also known as Dracula's Castle), built in 1377

Rasnov Fortress – built in the 1300s by the Teutonic Knights to protect Transylvania against the Tartars and the Turks

The Saxon fortified churches at Biertan, Calnic, Harman, Darjiu, Prejmer, Saschiz, Valea Viilor, and Viscri - all designated by UNESCO as World Heritage sites

Transylvania's finest art museum – the Bruckenthal Palace in Sibiu

Marginimea Sibiului, an area northwest of Sibiu home to more than 18 traditional villages

The Museum of Glass-Painted Icons in Sibiel, the largest of its kind in Europe

The city of Hunedoara with its 14th-century Gothic Corvinilor Castle

The Dacian Fortresses at Sarmisegetuza (UNESCO World Heritage List)

The Moti Land (Tara Motilor) on the Ariesi Valley - moţi is the name given to the inhabitants of this region. They live in scattered villages at altitudes up to about 4,265 feet and have preserved their century-old traditions and lifestyle.

The Apuseni Mountains with Scarisoara and Focul Viu glaciers, Chiscau Bears' Cave and Vartop Cave as well as other 400 caves.

Main Museums in Transylvania

Unification Museum in Alba Iulia

Ethnographic Museum in Brasov

Art Museum in Brasov

Brasov History Museum

Weavers' Bastion Museum in Brasov

Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania in Cluj

National Art Museum in Cluj – collections of weaponry and Romanian paintings dating from the Middle Ages

National History Museum of Transylvania in Cluj

Skezely Museum in Miercurea Ciuc

ASTRA Museum of Traditions and Folk Art (ASTRA) in Sibiu – original dwellings, workshops, and churches from around the country

Bruckental Museum in Sibiu – Transylvania's finest art museum

History Museum in Sighisoara, featuring the Torture Room

Performing Arts

Brasov: Gheorghe Dima State Philharmonic, National Opera, Puppet Theater "Arlechino", Sica Alexandrescu Drama Theater

Cluj: Cluj Opera, National Theater, Hungarian Theater of Cluj,

Sibiu: Radu Stanca National Theate, State Philharmonic Sibiu

Targu Mures: Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hall of Mirrors

Transylvania Outdoor Adventures & Parks

Apuseni Nature Park – caver's paradise

Gradistea Muncelului-Cioclovina Nature Park - site of the Sarmisegetuza archaeological ruins

Piatra Craiului National Park – spectacular rocky steep walls, virgin forests, and one of the world's deepest underground abysses (Coltii Grindului shaft, - 1771 feet)

Activities

Biking, Camping, Caving, Climbing, Fishing, Hiking, Nature walks, Rafting, Skiing, Wildlife and Bird Watching

Food & Wines of Transylvania

Traditional food

Transylvania's cuisine displays a variety of flavors with dishes spiced with thyme, red pepper or tarragon.  Meats, such as pork, mutton, veal, are among the most popular ingredient in Transylvania's cuisine. The soups, to which sour cream and egg yolk are ofted added, also include flour dumplings or homemade pasta.

Romania is one the world's leading producers of cabbage (varza).  Make sure you don't leave the region without trying the delicious "Varza a la Cluj" – the Romanian version of lasagna - prepared from several layers of finely shredded cabbage (fresh or sour) and minced pork or veal mixed with rice and bacon and baked in the oven.

Vineyards

"Transylvanians" are not only artisans in producing fragrant, pleasant and light wines, but also sophisticated double-distilled liquors: palinca, horinca and rachie (varieties of brandy). These are made of fruit, particularly plums, apples, and pears, and aged in mulberry tree or oak barrels.

The vineyards in Tarnave area: Blaj, Jidvei, Medias, Tarnaveni, Zagar and Valea Nirajului are known for their excellent white wines. With its cool climate and sloped terrain that stretch from the Tarnava Mare to the Tarnava Mica rivers, Tarnave is ideal for fruity white grapes with mild acidity. The area has a long tradition of producing excellent dry, and medium-dry flavored wines such as Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Regala, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Ottonel, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Traminer.

Even if traditional tools have been replaced by modern wine-presses and state of the art technology, grape picking, the control of fermentation, clarity, stability, the storage and maturation of wine are all carried out according to a rules handed down from generation to generation. Many small farms are still producing their own wines.

Winetasting / Wineries in Transylvania

Domeniile Boieru
AddressCiumbrud - Aiud (Alba county)
Nearest CityAlba Iulia, Sibiu, Cluj Napoca
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailcontact@domeniileboieru.ro
Telephone0258 866.216
Website www.domeniileboieru.ro
WinesDry Muscat, Pinot Gris, Traminer, Sauvignon
LabelsDomeniile Boieru, Cardinal, Episcopal.
Crama Jidvei
AddressJidvei (Alba county), Str. Garii 32
Nearest CityAlba Iulia, Sibiu, Sighisoara
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailoffice.jidvei@jidvei.ro
Telephone0258 881.881
Websitewww.jidvei.ro/en/
WinesFeteasca Regala, Feteasca Alba, Gewurtztraminer, Sauvignon Blanc, Aligote, Muscat Ottonel, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Italian Riesling, Pinot Noir.
LabelsCastel, Tezaur, Grigorescu, Classic.
Crama Papp Peter
AddressAiud (Alba county), Str. Avram Iancu 56
Nearest CityAlba Iulia, Sibiu
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailoffice@taravinului.ro
Telephone0751 088.643
Websitewww.taravinului.ro
Wines 
Labels 
Pivnita Sallai
AddressAiud (Alba county), Str. Progresului 19
Nearest CityAlba Iulia, Sibiu
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailoffice@taravinului.ro
Telephone0258 866.039
Websitewww.taravinului.ro
Wines 
Labels 
Pivnita Savu
AddressCiumbrud (Alba county), Str. Garofitei 20
Nearest CityAlba Iulia, Sibiu
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailoffice@taravinului.ro
Telephone0723 184.137
Websitewww.taravinului.ro
Wines 
LabelsPivnita Savu
Pivnitele Logos
AddressAiud (Alba county), Str. Bethlen Gabor 1
Nearest CityAlba Iulia, Sibiu
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-maillogoswine@yahoo.com
Telephone0258 863.668
Websitewww.hotel-hostel-aiud.com, www.taravinului.ro
WinesSauvignon Blanc, Traminer, Pinot Gris, Muscat Ottonel, Plebanos
Labels 
Crama Takacs
AddressAiud (Alba county), Str. Protopop Iosif Pop 2
Nearest CityAlba Iulia, Sibiu
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailoffice@takacspince.ro
Telephone0762 207.490
Websitewww.takacspince.ro
WinesTraminer Roz, Gewurtztraminer, Muscat Ottonel, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay.
LabelsCrama Takacs
Crama Telna
AddressTelna - Ighiu (Alba county), Str. Principala 225
Nearest CityAlba Iulia, Sibiu
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailinfo@cramatelna.ro
Telephone0258 843.686
Websitewww.cramatelna.ro
WinesFeteasca Regala, Muscat Ottonel, Sauvignon Blanc.
LabelsSimfonia Vinului.
Crama Liliac
AddressBatos (Mures county), Str. Principala 41
Nearest CityTargu Mures, Sighisoara, Bistrita, Cluj Napoca
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailhello@liliac.com
Telephone0732 733.062
Websitewww.liliac.com
WinesPinot Gris, Feteasca Regala, Sauvignon Blanc, Feteasca Alba, Rose Pinot Noir, Merlot.
LabelsLiliac.
Crama Villa Vinea
AddressMica (Mures county), Str. Principala 243
Nearest CitySighisoara, Medias, Targu Mures
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailwine@villavinea.ro
Telephone0365 505 107
Websitewww.villavinea.com
WinesSauvignon Blanc, Feteasca Regala, Rhine Riesling, Kerner, Gewurtztraminer, Zweigelt, Rose Zweigelt, Feteasca Neagra, Merlot, Pinot Noir
LabelsVilla Vinea
Crama La Salina
AddressTurda (Cluj county), Str. Dealu Viilor 10
Nearest CityAlba Iulia, Cluj Napoca
Open to PublicYes, Reservation Required
E-mailcontact@cramalasalina.ro
Telephone0742 908.311
Websitewww.cramalasalina.ro
WinesChardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir.
LabelsIssa

TRANSYLVANIA ESSENTIALS

Transportation to Transylvania

By air

Major airports located in:
Cluj
(CLJ) - www.airportcluj.ro
Sibiu (SBZ) - www.sibiuairport.ro
Targu Mures (TGM) - www.targumuresairport.ro

Airlines with service to the region: Austrian Airlines, Lufthansa, Tarom, WizAir

Travel to Transylvania by train or bus

There are several daily trains and buses from/to Bucharest and other major cities in Romania to Transylvania region. 

Main train stations in Transylvania:
Alba Iulia, Bistrita, Brasov, Cluj Napoca, Medias, Miercurea Ciuc, Sebes, Sfantu Gheorghe, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Targu Mures

To check train and bus schedules for domestic routes please visit our: Romania Domestic Transportation section

Information on international trains with service to/from Transylvania - Romania are available at:
www.romaniatourism.com/transportation.html#bytrain

Tourist Info

Alba Iulia Tourist Information Centre
(Centrul de Informare Turistica)

Address: Bd. Ferdinand I nr. 14
Telephone: 0258 813.736
E-mail: turism@apulum.ro
Open: Mon. – Fri. 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Closed Sat. & Sun.

Brasov Tourist Information Centre
(Centrul de Informare Turistica)
Address: Piata Sfatului 30 (located inside the History Museum)
Telephone: 0268 419.078
E-mail: turism@brasovcity.ro
Open: Mon. – Sun. 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Sibiu Tourist Information Centre
(Centrul de Informare Turistica)

Address: Str. Samuel Brukental 2
Telephone: 0269 208.913
E-mail: turism@sibiu.ro
Web: www.sibiu.ro
Open: Mon. – Fri. 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Sat. 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.; Sun. Closed

Targu Mures Tourist Information Centre
(Centrul de Informare Turistica)
Address: Str. Enescu 2
Telephone: 0365 404.934
Email: turism@cjmures.ro
Open: Mon. – Sat. 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Closed Sun/

Miercurea Ciuc Tourist Information Centre
(Centrul de Informare Turistica)
Address: Piata Cetatii 1
Telephone: 0266 317.007
Email: csikinfo@szereda.ro
Open: Mon. – Fri. 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Closed Sat. & Sun.

Maps

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