Sighisoara – A tourist hotspot on the rise!

Sighisoara is a tourist hotspot on the rise! On my road trip through Transylvania, I made a stop here. Sighisoara is a seemingly sleepy medieval town in the most famous region of Romania. In this article you can read all about the stunning city of Sighisoara. This includes things to do and eat and where to rest your head.

 

Why visit Sighisoara

Sighisoara – a World Heritage Site by UNESCO – is one of the seven walled citadels of the Saxons. Having the other walled citadels like Brasov and Medias to compete with, Sighisoara was never the biggest or richest of them all. However it is one of the most popular among tourists. One of the reasons for that is the excellent preservation of the old town. With its nine towers, cute burgher houses and cobbled streets completely intact, Sighisoara is often called the best preserved medieval town of Europe.



sighisoara

A lot of that popularity comes from one single man and legend: Vlad the Impaler. Because he was born in Sighisoara, many tourists come to see his former house a.k.a. the tourist trap I secretly loved. I must admit visiting the old town of Sighisoara isn’t the best way to avoid all the stereotypical Dracula stuff. However, the beauty of this colorful town is completely worth seeing if you can manage to forget about its famous inhabitant for just a second.

sighisoara

And if you can’t, I suggest you give in to it and enjoy the many little souvenir shops the town has to offer. If you travel on a budget, window shopping can be quite satisfactory as well. When you wander around the hilly streets whilst shopping, you’ll discover little secret squares, tiny alleys and cute colored houses. Make sure you give it a chance.

THINGS TO DO IN SIGHISOARA

 

Enjoy Saxon cuisine

What better place to indulge in a true Saxon or Romanian meal than the Saxon town of Sighisoara! Try the delicious beef goulash at Restaurant-Hotel Sighisoara (they make great liquors as well!) or feast on a plate of Spätzle (German pasta) at Altepost.

 

Explore the Citadel

The Citadel of Sighisoara looks cute now, back in the day it was used to defend the city. There are 9 towers left which you can visit today. The cobblestone streets give you a great example of what it must have been like to walk around in medieval Sighisoara.
The Citadel is also great for (aspriring) photographers. The colorful houses and amazing views will make you stop every 2 or 3 steps. Sighisoara Old Citadel can be explored within an hour.

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Marvel at the Vlad Tepes Statue

Sighisoara is the birthplace of Vlad Tepes, or Vlad the Impaler. This man is one of the most famous people from Romania, as you can read in my Dracula guide to Romania.

In Sighisoara, many attractions are intertwined with its most famous resident. The Vlad Tepes statue is one of them and for that reason alone, it is a must-visit on any trip to Sighisoara!

 

Pay a visit to the church on the hill

Biserica din Deal, or church on the hill, was first mentioned in 1345. The place offers guided tours through the church as well as a great view over Sighisoara. Inside the church you find traces of 15th century frescoes as well as an impressive gothic altar.

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Take a day trip to nearby villages and attractions

When you’re done exploring the medieval wonderfulness that is Sighisoara, you can always choose to see something beyond the city walls. From Sighisoara you can take a day trip to one of the many other highlights Romania has to offer. What do you think about the fortified church of Biertan or the lovely city center of Sibiu? Because you’ve seen one medieval town it doesn’t mean you should stop now.

The Breite Ancient Oak Tree Reserve is a great spot if you love nature. The 800 year old trees are not well-known by foreign tourists a lot, therefore it’s a perfect off the beaten path destination on your trip to Romania.

 

Visit the birth house of Vlad the Impaler

As I’ve mentioned before, the birth place of Vlad Tepes is a special one. It is probably one of the funniest tourist traps I’ve visited in my entire life. For that reason alone, I’d highly recommend taking a look.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much else to learn at this birth house, which is now a part of a Dracula themed restaurant. The crepes, however, are quite delicious!

sighisoara

 

Enjoy the Festival of Medieval Arts & Crafts

Every July, the Festival of Medieval Arts & Crafts takes place in the center of Sighisoara. Not only is Sighisoara the best place to visit any Medieval market, the festival is great for those looking for handmade items, such as bows or any other Medieval souvenirs, live music and theater.

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Marvel at the collection of Anatolian carpets at the church of the Dominican monastery

The church was mentioned for the first time in 1298 and had to be rebuilt several times due to Mongol and Tartar invasions and the great fire of Sighisoara in 1676. Close to the church you’ll also find the Vlad Tepes statue.

 

Where to sleep in Sighisoara

€ Casa Lia

€€ Pension am Schneiderturm

€€€ Casa Savri

sighisoara

 

How to get to Sighisoara

When visiting Transylvania, Sighisoara is already somewhere in the range of interesting medieval towns and fortresses. Because its connection to many cities by train and bus, it’s also relatively easy to get to. Check the Romanian railways for the exact timetables and prices.

I came into Sighisoara while doing a road trip. Outside of the touristic season (summer), I found that it was easy to park your car just outside of the old town.

Another option is to fly there. Airfare usually isn’t cheap, so you might want to fly to Bucharest first.

 

Ready to visit Sighisoara?

Make sure to read everything you need to know about visiting Romania (and Sighisoara) in these posts:

 

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Gabor Kovacs
    April 9, 2015 at 17:49

    I am Hungarian and I visited Romania several times, unfortunately I haven’t got to Segesvár (as we call this city:) yet. It seems really beautiful, and the pictures you took transmit a really calm atmosphere. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      April 10, 2015 at 17:02

      Thanks, Gabor! 🙂 I’d definitely recommend it! Where have you been in Romania? Any favorite spots?

  • Reply
    Elena
    April 9, 2015 at 20:54

    It looks so colorful and beautiful. Reminds me a little bit of Kotor in Montenegro, but much more cheerful. I haven’t been to Romania yet, but if I ever end up there I would definitely visit it.

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      April 10, 2015 at 16:58

      Oh wow! I didn’t see it yet, but now I’m having the same thoughts. Kotor is indeed a little less cheerful in colors, but boy do I miss that place!

  • Reply
    chrysoula
    April 11, 2015 at 11:11

    I have never heard of this place before but looks very nice!

  • Reply
    Andrea
    April 11, 2015 at 20:33

    At the moment I’ve been going back and forth between Montenegro and Romania for a section of my upcoming trip. I’m not sure if I will make it to Sighisoara, but it is a place I need to visit. Its UNESCO title is well-deserved, and the town clearly well preserved!

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      April 12, 2015 at 11:47

      I can imagine it is hard to choose. Both excellent travel countries! Hope you’ll make it there one day 🙂

  • Reply
    Alexandra
    May 24, 2015 at 05:35

    Unfortunately it’s not as well preserved as you suggest. In the last decade the local authorities have allowed a lot of bad changes. Look at the roofs to see the original medieval roofs punctured with modern skylights, traditional wooden windows replaced by plastic ‘wood-effect’ double glazing, ornate plasterwork destroyed when buildings are insulated with polystyrene. A few years ago the town hall ripped up all the original river stone cobbles and wanted to asphalt all the streets, eventually (after we residents protested) replacing them with other kinds of untraditional stones. Not to mention unauthorised modifications and extensions of buildings and façades to make new hotels, closing down of traditional shops to be replaced by pizza places and kitschy souvenir shops. Recently, UNESCO even threatened us with removing our status due to the rapid destruction of the historic part of the town. Beautiful city, but my advice, visit soon before it’s completely ravaged…

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      May 24, 2015 at 09:31

      Oh wow! Alexandera, it breaks my heart to read this. When I was there I saw none of that (I guess it’s easy to hide when people don’t know), but this is terrible! I’m really glad I went and saw some less kitchy stuff (did it help that I came in fall?) There were a lot of bad souvenirs places and strange restaurants already, so I hope they will be able to stop that. Thanks for commenting, it’s appreciated!

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