I felt my visit to Sibiu was like walking back into the Middle Ages. As one of Romania’s tourism capitals, Sibiu attracts a lot of tourists seeking its wonderful medieval charm, excellent views of the surrounding landscapes, great food, and stunning parkland. Out of all the places I visited in Romania, this city was my favorite. I’m a sucker for medieval cities, and as an added bonus, the city’s historical center was recently renovated in 2006 and looks spectacular. And, while it may attract the crowds, they don’t deter from the many sites in the city. Make this place a stop on your Romanian travel itinerary.
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Sibiu
1. Visit the Brukenthal Museum
2. Stroll through Huet Square
3. Explore the old town
4. Trek the Cindrel Mountains
5. Explore the Citadel of Sibiu
Other Things to See and Do
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1. Take in the Sibiu Jazz Festival
Held for a week every May, this festival was resurrected in 2005. It isn’t a very large production, but for those of you that are jazz enthusiasts, or just want to attend a festival, it is something fun and inexpensive to do.
2. Unwind at Balea Lake
A worthwhile day trip from the city. Many people come here to hike, or to ski during the winter.
3. Visit Radu Stancu State Theatre
This venue has regular productions in Romanian. There are also some German productions through the week (you’ll have to check the website for detailed listings). You can buy show tickets online or at the theater at least 30 minutes before the starting time.
4. Explore the open-air museum
The Astra National Museum Complex is an open-air museum, showcasing old restored buildings and homes from Romania’s history. Check out the old mill, wander through the streets, and buy some traditional handicrafts. The museum lies a couple of miles south of Sibiu. Admission is 17 RON and it’s open 9am-5pm with extended hours in the summer.
5. Learn some local history
The Sibiu History Museum is located within city hall. It offers a deeper understanding of the city’s history, starting back in the Neolithic period. You can also find a collection of artifacts from the Middle Ages and Baroque periods here. Admission is 20 RON and it’s open 10am-6pm and closed Mondays (as well as Tuesdays during the winter).
6. Admire the orthodox cathedral
The Holy Trinity Cathedral in Sibiu is the second-largest orthodox cathedral in the country. It was built in the early 20th century and modeled after the Byzantine-style Hagia Sofia cathedral in Istanbul. The exterior has been done in red and yellow brick, and the painting on the interior is stunning. It’s worth a quick peek.
7. Take a day trip to Ocna Sibiului
Ocna Sibiului is a small town in the area of Sibiu, known for its saline lakes. Spend some time wandering the old center, and then if the weather is nice, swim or enjoying the spa activities. The town is 10 miles from Sibiu and can be reached by train.
8. Cross the Bridge of Lies
This is a small bridge that’s probably not worth going out of your way for, but it’s a nice stop if you’re wandering around the town. The bridge was rebuilt in the late 19th century on the site of an old wooden one. The new version was Romania’s first forged iron bridge.