Bucharest to Transylvania: Five Day Trips to Remember

Diana Condrea
Diana Condrea
Diana is a tourism consultant, tour guide, travel writer and amateur photographer. You can find Diana on LinkedIn

For more day trips from Bucharest, check our tours on www.uncover-romania-tours.com

Bucharest is by far the most popular city destination in Romania, and, if you’re planning to visit, most likely you’ll start with the capital. However, we’re sure you’ll want to explore more of the country, including beautiful Transylvania. Taking day trips is the best option if you’re based in Bucharest or if you only have a few vacation days.

Traveling from Bucharest to Transylvania is easy and fast, and you can find your way by car, train, or by bus without major headaches. But, we do suggest starting early morning to make the most out of each day.

To make your planning easier, we hand-picked the best day trip ideas from Bucharest to Transylvania. As we prefer a slow tourism approach, our suggestions imply fewer attractions and more time at each destination.

1. Day trip to the Libearty Sanctuary

Home for over 100 brown bears, the Libearty Sanctuary from Zarnesti is a one of a kind wildlife protection project in Romania. This is the largest brown bear sanctuary in the world and paradise for the bears saved from horrible captivity conditions.

Extending on 69 hectares of oak forest, close to Piatra Craiului Mountains, the sanctuary is dedicated to the female bear Maya who died tragically, mutilating herself after spending her entire life trapped in a small cage.

Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti

Bears playing in the sanctuary

Photo credits: the Libearty Sanctuary

With ages varying from a couple of months to over 20 years, the bears from this sanctuary have now found their own piece of heaven with swimming pools to cool off on summer days, trees to climb and more bear friends to play with.

You can only visit the sanctuary in the morning, from Tuesday to Sunday. If you’d like to spend more time in Transylvania, you can visit nearby Bran Castle or Rasnov Fortress.

Discover our day trip to the Bear Sanctuary from Zarnesti.

2. Day trip to Brasov

Brasov is one of the most beautiful cities in Romania and the easiest to visit on a day trip from Bucharest to Transylvania. Nearly three hours by car, train, or bus, Brasov is maybe the perfect destination if you’re interested in the history of Transylvania.

Once a fortified city with solid walls, towers, and bastions, the city was in the medieval centuries an important commercial center. Brasov has an eventful history that starts in the early 13th century with the Teutonic Knights. Saxon colonists, Ottoman attacks, earthquakes, a devastating fire, the battles of the World Wars, and an important anti-communist protest are all part of the history of Brasov.

things to do in Brasov

The Council Square, Brasov

For a great day, visit also one of the nearby attractions: the fortified churches of Prejmer and Harman, Rasnov Fortress, or Bran Castle. On your way back to Bucharest, you can visit the royal Peles Castle.

Discover our day trip options to Brasov.

3. Day trip to the fortified churches

The fortified churches of Transylvania are unique in the European space in terms of architectural diversity. Many of them survived centuries after their defensive purpose was no longer of use for local communities.

On a day trip from Bucharest to Transylvania, you can visit three of these must-see historical attractions: the fortified churches of Prejmer, Harman, and Viscri. Each of them has a unique element. While Prejmer has almost 300 rooms built inside the fortified walls, Harman has the tallest tower in the Barsa region and splendid Oriental carpets. The white fortified church of Viscri is one of the oldest and probably the most famous of all after Prince Charles’ repeated visits to the village.

Vacations in Transylvania

Viscri Fortified Church

Leave Bucharest early morning to be sure you get to see more than one. While you can reach Harman and Prejmer by bus or train, you will need a car to get to Viscri.

Contact us via www.uncover-romania-tours.com for a day trip to the fortified churches.

4. Day trip to the medieval fortresses

The architectural landscape of Transylvania would be very different today without its iconic medieval landmarks. Rebuilt or in ruins, the old fortresses of the region tell the story of a very different world, one in which locals’ life was constantly threatened by attacks and sieges.


Rasnov Fortress, view from the Old Town

The medieval fortresses that survived time are great attractions if you’re planning a trip from Bucharest to Transylvania. In one day you can visit the legendary Bran Castle, Rasnov Fortress, and Rupea Fortress, all medieval monuments built starting with the 14th century.

You can travel by train to Rupea and Rasnov and by bus to Bran

Discover our Medieval Fortresses of Transylvania day tour.

5. Day trip to Postavaru Massif or Piatra Craiului Mountains

If you’re planning an active day trip, we suggest Rasnoavei Gorges from Postavaru Massif or Piatra Craiului Mountains. In this case, driving is the best option to enjoy more time in the great outdoors.

Choose the first option if you’re passionate about rock climbing if you wish to do easier hikes or simply to enjoy a day in nature. Horseback riding and bungee jumping are also available options for a memorable experience.

Piatra Craiului Mountains also offer wonderful day trip options, taking a walk from one village to the other or maybe even a hike to Curmatura Hut (1,470 meters) and back to Zarnesti if you leave the capital early enough.

Postavaru Mountain

Postavaru Mountain

Discover more hiking destinations close to Bucharest.

These are our day trip ideas from Bucharest to Transylvania. We experienced all of them first-hand, and we’re sure you’ll have a great time discovering fascinating Romania.

If you’ve already tried one of these day trips, let us know your impressions in the comment section below. We love hearing from you.

Where to stay

If you prefer the hotel experience right in the heart of historical Bucharest, our top recommendations are Hilton Garden Inn Bucharest, Mansion Boutique Hotel, Grand Boutique Hotel, Grand Hotel Continental, Epoque Hotel, Cismigiu Hotel, all splendid buildings from the glory days of Bucharest.

Booking an apartment is also a popular and more budget-friendly option in Bucharest. While there are hundreds of choices, we can help narrow down your list to the best. Our suggestions are Vila Cotroceni Boutique Apartments, University Central by Orchid Garden, Bucharest Residence, Diana’s Flat Bucharest, Cismigiu Orchid Garden, Studio Old Town, Elysium.

If hostels are your thing, try Umbrella Hostel located in a 1920s building, Podstel Bucharest close to the beautiful Carol Park or First Hostel Bucharest.

For more day trips from Bucharest, check our tours on www.uncover-romania-tours.com


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