Explore medieval Brasov in 2 days with a comprehensive itinerary for unique experiences! Discover the top 15 spots in the city and all the day-trip options.
Last updated: 16 Jan 2024
Before you start reading the following itinerary, I have to confess something.
I’m a big fan of smaller cities.
To be fair, I also love large destinations like Rome and London.
After spending 2 days in Brasov, this list has inevitably gotten longer.
The sixth-largest city in Romania is surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains and has a beautiful historic center.
It is perfect for walking, relaxing, and enjoying traditional Romanian food.
Hence, it is a relatively unknown yet hidden gem and makes the best addition to a 3 days trip to Bucharest.
How to Get from Bucharest to Brasov
The easiest way to get from Bucharest to Brasov is by train.
This route takes about 2.5 hours, and conveniently, you can buy your ticket online through the Romanian Railways website.
The fastest option is to depart from București Nord station, by a direct train to Brașov.
In fact, this was the mode of transportation that we chose.
Alternatively, if you prefer driving, you can rent a car.
The route takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes, and the roads are safe to drive on, as long as you are careful enough.
In this case, remember to use Rentalcars.com to find the best choice of car.
It is a search engine that compares a large selection of car hire brands and uses real reviews from customers, which has proven to be extra helpful in my trips.
How Long Do You Need in Brasov?
One day in the city is sufficient to see all its important attractions.
Nevertheless, I strongly recommend spending two days in Brasov if you want to fully enjoy all its unique experiences.
Doing so will allow you to go hiking on Tampa Hill, relax in Council Square, and also visit Bran Castle and Peles Castle.
Where to Stay in Brasov?
If you want to explore the city, the best place to stay is near the historic center, within walking distance of The Council Square.
We chose the Casa Chitic Hotel & Restaurant because it had everything we usually look for in a stay: a clean and comfortable room, fast internet, and a good breakfast.
However, if you don’t mind increasing your budget to add a touch of luxury to your trip, the Radisson Blu Aurum Hotel is an excellent choice.
On the other hand, if you are looking for something more economical yet equally central, check out the Centrum House Hostel.
How to Get Around Brasov?
The best way to get around during your 2 days in Brasov is undoubtedly on foot.
The city center is quite compact, and all points of interest are close to each other.
Thus, you can reach anywhere you want within a few minutes and truly enjoy the city.
However, if you are staying far from the center or feel tired, you can use either a bus or a taxi.
Both are extremely affordable, with prices starting at around half a euro (or dollar) per ride.
Unique Experiences in Brasov: Day 1
The recommended route for your first day
1. Enjoy Specialty Coffee
It’s no secret that my love for specialty coffee is quite strong.
If you are in the same mood, the Book Coffee Shop in the city center serves excellent coffee and is an ideal place to start your day.
Alternatively, if you’re also hungry, right next door is La Birou Bistro, which offers decent brunch.
Another spot in town where we enjoyed great coffee was Twinbeans Coffee Shop.
You can stop there later in the day, on your way to the First Romanian School Museum.
2. Visit Parcul Nicolae Titulescu
Having fueled up, you’re ready to start exploring the city.
Parcul Nicolae Titulescu is right next door and will be your first destination for a relaxing walk.
From there, cross the street and continue your walk to another park, Schaeffler – Livada Poștei Park.
3. Walk the Path to White and Black Towers
To reach your next destination, the White Tower, you’ll need to follow a scenic path that I personally consider more beautiful than the Tower itself.
After about 10 minutes of walking, you will reach the White Tower, or ‘Turnul Alb’ as the locals call it.
It was built in the 15th century to protect the city from invaders and is an ideal spot for photos with the Old Town and the Black Church in the background.
The Black Tower is also very close by, although a bit smaller; it was erected in the same period and served the same purpose of defending the city walls.
4. Admire the Council Square
After the Black Tower, your next stop is the city’s most beautiful landmark, the Council Square.
In its center stands the Council House, built in 1420, a distinctive structure amidst the surrounding 18th and 19th-century buildings.
Originally, this building housed the town hall, but now the Brasov County Museum of History resides there.
Although you’ll find yourself in the square again later in the day to enjoy your dinner, it’s worth taking some time just to admire the scenery and watch the passers-by.
This location was undoubtedly one of our most unique experiences of this 2-day itinerary in Brasov.
5. Taste Kurtoskalacs
Perpendicular to the square is Strada Republicii, a pedestrian street bustling with people day and night.
Along it, you’ll find street vendors selling a must-try dessert for first-timers: Kurtoskalacs.
This delicacy, essentially a chimney cake, has variations found in other European cities such as Prague.
Originating from Romania and Hungary, it’s prepared with basic ingredients like flour, sugar, milk, butter, eggs, yeast, and salt, and is typically topped with walnuts or cinnamon.
Grab one and enjoy it as you head back to Council Square.
6. Explore the Black Church
After indulging in the sweet treat, continue your 2 days itinerary of Brasov with one of the city’s most unique experiences: a visit to the Gothic Black Church.
The most imposing building in the Old Town was constructed between the 14th and 15th centuries and stands 65 meters high.
Until recently, it was believed that it got its characteristic color from a fire that broke out in 1689 and destroyed a large part of the city.
However, according to newer research, the black color is actually the result of atmospheric pollution!
Beyond its impressive exterior, the church’s interior is also worth a visit, particularly to marvel at the enormous organ.
This standout feature, built in 1839 and composed of 4,000 pipes, is still in regular use today.
7. Squeeze in Strada Sforii
Tucked behind the Black Church, you’ll find Strada Sforii, Brasov’s narrowest street.
Likely constructed in the 17th century -a time when fires posed a significant threat to cities- it was designed to enable firefighters to save valuable time.
While walking down this narrow street today might not be the most thrilling experience you’ve ever had, it’s certainly fun.
It’s so slim that a grown man can’t extend his arms fully while passing through.
Give it a try!
8. Navigate to Beth Israel Synagogue
To reach your next destination, the Beth Israel Synagogue, you’ll have to cross Strada Sforii once again and make your way back to Strada Poarta Schei.
Adjacent to it, you’ll discover a picturesque narrow street leading up to the Synagogue.
First opened in 1901, this structure has a beautiful Neo-Gothic design.
If you want to explore its interior, a small fee applies.
However, bear in mind that sometimes it remains closed, even during its supposed opening hours.
9. Behold Schei Gate & Catherine’s Gate
Going outside the walls of the Old Town once more, you’ll encounter two distinct gates.
Initially, you’ll come across the Schei Gate, the younger of the two, built in 1828 to accommodate growing traffic in the area.
Only a few meters away stands Catherine’s Gate, a structure originally created for defensive purposes.
The original gate, substantially larger, was completed in 1559.
However, in 1827, a part of it was demolished, leaving the segment you can admire today.
10. Discover the First Romanian School Museum
If you are interested in immersing yourself further into Romanian history, The First Romanian School Museum is an excellent choice.
As its name suggests, it was the first institution in Romania to offer education in the Romanian language.
Today, the school’s facilities host a museum, which showcases, among other things, rare books, very old editions of the Bible, as well as the first Romanian printing press.
11. Hike to the Brasov Sign
Now, it’s finally time to ascend to the Brasov sign and enjoy a unique view of the entire city.
Initially, you’ll have to walk on a lovely, easy route to the Tampa Cable Car.
From there, you have two options for reaching the top of Tampa Hill: the easy one is to take the cable car; the more challenging one is to walk the path.
If you’re up to it, the climb takes about an hour, and although difficult, it is manageable.
Conversely, for the descent, you’ll need about 45 minutes.
We opted for a compromise, as Chrysavgi was feeling tired: we ascended with the cable car and descended on foot.
Just make sure to wear appropriate shoes, as the terrain can be quite slippery.
12. Savor Traditional Romanian Food
The day concludes with a return to The Council Square for traditional Romanian food at La Ceaun Piata Sfatului, one of the unique experiences in Brasov.
Despite its location in the city’s most touristic area, it continues to serve delicious local cuisine at reasonable prices.
We tried the bean soup in bread and the Mititei, which are grilled minced meat rolls – a must-try for first-timers.
However, the best part was the dessert, which you must definitely try.
It’s called papanasi, and it’s a local donut served with cheese, sour cream, and homemade jam.
I don’t want to know how much sugar it contains, but even the mere thought of it makes my mouth water!
Unique Experiences in Brasov: Day 2
The recommended route for your second day
On your second day in Brasov, I recommend taking a day trip to the famous nearby castles to gain a deeper understanding of the Transylvania region.
To make this day trip, you have two options.
A) Book a guided tour: This option eliminates the need for driving, as the tour will handle your transportation.
More importantly, you’ll have a tour guide to help you gain a deeper understanding of the places you’ll visit.
If it fits your budget, I’d recommend this highly-rated tour of the Castles.
B) Rent a car: The route isn’t difficult and can be easily navigated.
As always, make sure you use a price comparison website like Rentalcars.com to get the best rates.
Unfortunately, it is practically impossible to use public transportation for this journey.
The bus ride to Bran Castle takes about an hour, but there’s no direct connection to Peles Castle.
Consequently, you’d have to take a bus back to Brasov, another bus to the city’s train station, then a train to Sinaia. After that, you’d need one more bus to reach Peles Castle.
Assuming all connections depart on time and without delay, you will need a minimum of 3 hours for this route alone!
The only feasible alternative would be to skip Bran Castle and Rasnov Fortress and only visit Peles Castle.
In this case, you will need approximately 1.5 hours: an hour by train to Sinaia, followed by a 25-minute combination of a bus ride and a walk from the station to Peles Castle.
Day Trip From Brasov to Bran Castle and Peles Castle
13. Bran Castle
The most famous destination around is Bran Castle, where, according to legend, Count Dracula lived.
In truth, Vlad III Dracula, the historical figure who inspired the fictional character, never actually resided there.
However, as they say, “Never let reality spoil a good story.”
Back to Bran Castle, it is approximately a 35-minute drive from Brasov and is recognized as a national monument.
While we weren’t entirely awestruck during our visit, it’s still worth dedicating an hour of your time.
14. Rasnov Fortress
The next stop on your 2 days itinerary of Brasov is Rasnov Fortress.
It’s about a 15-minute drive from Bran Castle to the parking area of Rasnov Fortress, and from there, you’ll need to take the cable car.
Be careful, though: the Fortress is currently closed for maintenance, and the completion date is uncertain.
Consequently, if you go up, you will only be able to enjoy the view of the surrounding area.
Just keep your expectations in check, as the fortress is unavailable for viewing due to the ongoing renovations.
15. Peles Castle
The last and most interesting stop of the day trip is Peles Castle, which is actually more of a palace than a castle.
Specifically, it was built between 1873 and 1914 for King Carol I, and after a series of legal adventures, it returned to the Royal Family in 2007.
Today, it is home to the Peles National Museum and features a unique collection of art and artifacts from around the world.
Without a second thought, it’s worth paying the required entry fee to visit its interior.
Conclusion: what to add or skip
The above itinerary should be enough for you to enjoy 2 great days in Brasov, filled with unique experiences.
However, if you want to skip something, then after Catherine’s Gate (point 9), head directly to the Tampa cable car (point 11).
Make Your Trip Easier
I always book my accommodation with a reliable service like Booking.com. Besides their price guarantee, you can rest assured that you will have 24/7 support in the event of any problems with your hotel. Always make sure you read reviews from other guests before booking.
Don’t forget to use Skyscanner before booking your flights, as it compares different airlines to provide the cheapest and fastest solutions. Moreover, you can save a lot of money if you are flexible with your dates.
Nobody wants to think about all the things that could go wrong on a trip. However, these things can happen, so do not miss taking out travel insurance: SafetyWing is the one I use as its plans are affordable and can save you a lot of trouble.
Sunny Athens is reader-supported. Some of the links above may be affiliate links for which I may receive compensation if you click, at no cost to you. This does not influence my evaluations. Learn more in Advertise Disclosure.