After what was supposed to be a 3 hour train ride which turned into 5 thanks to the Romanian train system, I finally arrived in the city of Brasov. A city where much of what there is to do lies on the outside of the city.
Coming in, I did not know much about Brasov. This being my last stop in my eastern European trip, I decided that instead of doing research I would let the city of Brasov surprise me.
As I walked inside the old city square, the unmistakable Hollywood-like sign with the name of the city was the first thing that I saw. Looking at it confused as to why such a western-style display, I would later learn that the city had been renamed Stalin in 1940 when Russia took over Romania, and that there was a display on the mountain made up with Christmas trees with the name “Stalin”. It was only when Romania regained the country in 1960 that new trees were planted to hide the Stalin name and the city was renamed Brasov once more and the sign was put up.
Weird, I thought.
The City of Brasov
The city of Brasov offers but a few sightseeing points within the city. It still remains popular with travellers due to its proximity to the capital of Bucharest, and Romania’s claim to fame Bran Castle.
I started my tour of Brasov and headed to the central plaza, the Council Square. The place is surrounded by colorful houses and commerces and a massive church luring in the background. The place did have a certain charm to it, the buildings of different colors giving the plaza its character.
On the other hand the plaza is extremely crowded with people and I found it difficult to fully enjoy it given how busy it was.
The church behind the plaza is named the Black Church due to a fire which broke down in 1689 and consumed a good part of the city and turned the inside of the church and its outer walls to color black.
I headed to Bran castle on my second day, hoping to get a glimpse of the folklore surrounding Vlad the Impaler, or better known as Dracula.
Bran castle is pretty small and does not have that many rooms to visit. I did not find the price of entry of 35 Lei worth the visit, as touring the entire castle can be done in about 30 minutes. I was somewhat disappointed and this seemed to be the consensus with other travellers I met who had also visited the inside of Bran castle.
Walking on the roads surrounding the castle I found a small green space which offered some great views to the castle. On the park there was a boy shepherd caring for about 20 sheep and 2 small puppies, which he tried to sell to me for 50 Lei. I must admit that I had to think twice before coming back to my senses and refusing the offer.
Getting to Bran Castle
Head to the bus stop outside of the Old Town near the University of Transylvania and take bus 16 for about 7 stops. Get off at the stadium, across the stop there is a bus station. Buses to Bran leave from gate number 2. The whole journey takes about 1h15.
Rasnov is a city located about 15 kilometers outside of the city of Brasov and can be reached on the way to or coming back from Bran. Simply ask the driver to let you know once you have reached Brasov to know where to get off.
The city is mainly famous for its beautiful citadel sitting on top of a mountain overlooking the city. The top can be reached by cable car or by foot, offering some nice views of the small city of Rasnov.
There is not that much more to do within the city however, but this serves as a good day-filling activity if you have visited Bran in the same day.
Overall I found Brasov was pretty, however it lacked the feeling I had when I first got to Timisoara or Sighisoara. However I have to say that I felt exhausted by the time I got to Brasov so I might not have given it a fair chance.
Here are some more pictures of Brasov so you can make your own mind about it 🙂
The city of Brasov is the perfect base to start your journey through Transylvania, and a nice city to spend some time in. What do you think of Brasov?