Things to see and do in Transylvania

Transylvania Destination Guide

Transylvania is a relatively new option for holiday travel among tourists. This is surprising since you can find a wide range of fascinating wildlife, folklore and landscapes in the region. Transylvania is ideal for the tourist looking for a getaway from the usual overcrowded beach or resort. The country has not changed much in the last 50 years and tradition, folklore and culture are still an integral part of the daily life in many Transylvanian villages.

Immerse yourself in the rich history and culture of Transylvania by discovering the relatively untouched towns throughout the region.

Our Transylvania destination guide tells you all the highlights of a trip to this beautiful region. There is a wealth of things to see and do, especially for history and nature buffs. Be sure to also take a look at our Transylvania tours page to book an exciting tour or activity with us. Our Romania Country Guide will provide all the travel information you need to plan your trip.

We recommend you check out the Transylvania travel information from fellow travellers on the RealTravel web site.

Things to See & Do in Transylvania

Transylvania transports you back in time to an era where horses plough the field, pull hay carts and drag logs. The untouched Ronda Mountains look down on the spectacular domain that was once Dracula’s. The Borgo Pass made unforgettable by Bram Stoker lies to the south. The historic Saxon towns and the renowned painted monasteries of Moldovita, Humor and Voronet are nearby and can be enjoyed before or after the ride. Bears, wolves, lynx and deer live in the surrounding forests and wild flowers fill up the hay fields. These make for a timeless experience.

Follow the links below or scroll further down the page for details on some of the many interesting tourist attractions in Transylvania:

Carpathian History and Nature Ride

The Carpathian Mountains are the largest area of unspoiled nature in Central Europe. “New Shinca”, the village of Sinca Noua is at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. It is a beautiful village which is home to 2,000 villagers. This village, which declared itself as the first “Ecological Village” of Romania takes you back to a life lived centuries ago where shepherds take their flock to the mountains to graze and cattle return home in the evenings from the pastures. The only sounds you will hear are insects buzzing and swallows and sparrows chirping. Hoopoes, bee-eaters, black storks or lesser spotted eagles are seen often and the place is filled with beautiful flowers. You will start your ride at the base of the newly built riding centre that is a fusion of local traditions and the comforts of the west. The centre has a new, contemporary and stylish guesthouse with private bathrooms. The food served here is primarily organic which is either from its own garden or the nearby farms.

Transylvanian Castles and Citadels

Don’t miss visiting fairy tale castles like Peles, Bran and Corvin Castles or the old fortresses and citadels that protect churches and villages.

Transylvanian Medieval Cities

Look out for broad Piatas, 12th-15th century buildings, decorative architectural designs, cobble stoned streets and historic monuments throughout Transylvania, especially in Brasov and Sighisoara.

Transylvanian Monasteries

Check out the distinctive 13th century monasteries. Some of the exteriors are painted with Byzantine frescoes.

Transylvanian Museums

These give you a chance to witness 2,000 years of history, culture and art.

Must See Sights in Transylvania

You must visit the marvellous wooden churches. Some are as tall as 70 metres (200 ft). Don’t miss out on the church-castles built by the Transylvanian Germans, the scenic medieval towns of Sighisoara and Sibiu, “Dracula’s own” castle at Bran and the ancient church located in Densus.

Do not miss visiting the several wooden churches, monasteries and wooden homesteads that make Transylvania resemble an open air museum.

The environment in the mountains is more or less untouched and the temperature has not been affected by the last glacier. Transylvania has Europe’s largest collection of carnivores like the brown bear, wolf and lynx. There is great potential for spelunking as there are over 11,000 unique caves which can be visited with special guides.

Transylvania is the home of the famous Count Dracula or Vlad Tepes, as he is known historically. It offers many castles and towns with Medieval Germany or Hungarian influences. Some of the prominent tourist attractions are Brasov, Sighisoara, Sibiu and Cluj Napoca. If you are an explorer, you will find several other sites that are yet to be discovered and enjoyed.

If you want to relax and get away from it all, head off to one of the many beautiful and untouched beaches (more than 225 km) on the Black Sea. Stay at any one of the world class resorts which are located right on the coastline – go right from main port city of Constanta, south to the border of Bulgaria. Visit the spa and enjoy a mud bath – these were the preferred baths of the Roman Gods in earlier times.

Transylvanian Spas

Rejuvenate you mind, body, and spirit in the thermal spas and treatment centres located amidst mountains as well as along the Black Sea coast.

The old world charm

Most of the Transylvanian cities are old communities, some of which were inherited from the Romans. Each city has its own interesting tale to tell. Medieval towns and villages are found all over Transylvania. Although this region has faced tumultuous times, the people will proudly invite you to share their culture and history. Count Draculafans flock to Transylvania to look for the well known Prince Vladimir or Vlad Tepes – to some a hero and to others a rogue, Vlad Tepes was the Prince of Walachia, who defiantly defended Christian beliefs from the Turks. This history and story of this prince motivated Bram Stoker to write about Count Dracula. Legend about Count Dracula lives on in Transylvania thought it varies from region to region.

Transylvanian Villages

The local pottery and textiles found in the old traditional villages of Maramures and Transylvania are worth a visit as well.

Transylvanian Fortified Churches

The Kirchenburgenschutzverein is a group dedicated to the preservation of the forified churches and associated aspects of Saxon culture; in addition to raising money among the Saxon diaspora in Germany, it has set up a network of small guesthouses, so the people interested in seeing the churches can contribute financially to the cause.

Transylvanian Famous Philosophers

Rasinari was the bithplace not only of the anti-Semitic prime minister and poet Octavian Goga, but also, in 1911, of the philosopher Emil Cioran. In 1934, he published “On the heights of despair”, setting out the nihilist anti-philosophy.

Another philosopher, Constantin Noica (1908 – 1987), spent the last years of his life in nearby Paltinis. In 1949, he was arrested fo writing a study of Goethe and exiled in Campulung Muscel and from 1958 to 1964 he was imprisoned for writing to Cioran, and in effect for Letters to a Distant Friend, which Cioran published as a reply in Paris, this case contributed to to the founding of Amnesty International in 1961. His best works are Romanian Philosophical Speech and The Romanian Sense of Being. In 1974 he settled in a one-room cabin in Paltinis.