Best Things to Do in Alba Iulia and Around the City

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

Alba Iulia is included in many of our tours in Transylvania

Alba Iulia or ‘the other capital’ is one of the most interesting travel destinations in Romania. Its wonderful citadel has enough attractions to keep you occupied for a full day, and the entire Alba county is a labyrinth of ancient and medieval monuments, caves and mountains, beautiful villages, and plenty of options for having fun.

Our guide to the best things to do in Alba Iulia and around the city will help you explore this beautiful land from Transylvania. It includes the most iconic attractions and the best activities you can do in the area.

Visit Alba Iulia Citadel

It goes without saying that the citadel is the heart of Alba Iulia, its main and must-see attraction. We recommend one full day if you want to cover the entire citadel and its most famous landmarks: the Baroque gates, the Catholic Cathedral, the Orthodox Cathedral, the Union Museum, and the Union Hall, plus the ancient ruins and medieval fortifications. Of course, you can’t miss the change of guards that takes place every day at 12 pm in front of the third gate.

things to do in Alba Iulia

Alba Iulia Citadel

The best option to cover the citadel is on foot, but you can also rent bikes and even take horseback riding lessons. Try the delicious lemonades and pies for sale at the food trucks.

See a new kind of church

In Alba Iulia, you can see a unique contemporary church in Romania. Its architecture is distinct from any other, bold and outside the box for an Orthodox church. Also known as Noah’s Ark, the monument was inaugurated in 2015, and its daring architecture is a modern interpretation of the most important Orthodox styles and their evolution in time. Driving is the best way to get to the church that’s located in the neighborhood Micesti, on Vidra street.

things to do in Alba Iulia

Noah’s Ark Church

Enjoy wine tasting

If you’re looking to spend some time wine tasting, you can visit the winery from Jidvei, one of the most important in Romania. The tasting takes place in the Renaissance style Bethlen Castle, also known as Haller Castle after the name of one of its many owners. The monument, located 60 km from Alba Iulia, dates from the end of the 16th century but was modified between 1615 and 1624 to resemble the French castle, Chambord.

You need to book your wine tasting visit in advance.

For more information, check

Visit a UNESCO World Heritage Site

The fortified church from Calnic, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Romania, is one of the main historical monuments of the area. Only a 30 km drive from the city, this landmark dates from the second part of the 13th century when it was originally built as a residence for the family of Count Chyl of Kelling.

The monument was later bought by the villagers who transformed it into a veritable fortification with two rows of walls, a donjon tower, a gate tower, and a defense tower. The chapel still preserves original fresco fragments. A visit here is definitely one of the best things to do in Alba Iulia county.

best things to do in Alba Iulia

Calnic Fortified Church

Go hiking

If you’re planning a more active getaway, then Alba Iulia is a great starting point. You have several hiking options in Trascaului Mountains, all you have to do is decide which one or how many itineraries you want to do. The first option is Piatra Craivii, a massif with a maximum altitude of 1,083 meters. You have various marked trail options, and on average it should take you around five hours for the complete tour.


Walking to Piatra Secuiului

The second option is Piatra Secuiului, the iconic cliff from Rimetea, the museum village with white houses and green windows. One of the best-known images of the region, Piatra Secuiului is easy to reach on the trails that depart from the village. The third option, also in Trascaului Mountains, is a great fit for more intense adventure seekers who get to cross Rametului Gorges following the blue triangle or blue cross trails. These are difficult routes that involve rock climbing and crossing even waist-deep water.

Explore the caves from Apuseni Mountains

The nearby Apuseni Mountains are the best place in Romania for cave exploration. On a one-day trip from Alba Iulia, you can visit the famous Scarisoara Cave where you’ll see a 4,000 years old glacier, the largest in Europe. The cave can be reached on foot from the beautiful village Garda de Sus. Departing from the same location you can visit the cave Ionele.

Caves in Apuseni Mountains

Scarisoara Cave

Relax in traditional villages

You can also opt for a day of complete relaxation in some of the most beautiful villages in Alba County. Rimetea is maybe the best example, but don’t miss Coltesti, Garda de Sus, Sagagea, Posaga de Sus, or Ramet.

scarita belioara romania

Posaga de Sus

Visit the medieval fortress from Aiud

On your way to Rimetea, stop for one hour in Aiud to visit the medieval fortress located right in the city center. Built by the German colonists in the early 13th century, the fortress still has nine towers, enclosing walls, parapets, bastions, a 15th-century Gothic-style Reformed church, a Romanesque-style Evangelical Church from the 14th century plus a former palace, now the Museum of History.

If you’re interested in seeing more historical monuments, include on your list Coltesti Fortress, the ruins of Teleki Castle from Vioara de Sus, Wesselenyi from Obreja, Bethlen Castle from Sanmiclaus, and the medieval fortress from Garbova.

Coltesti Fortress

Coltesti Fortress

We hope our list of the best things to do in Alba Iulia and around the city will help plan a great vacation. Just remember to book your accommodation in time as Alba Iulia is a popular destination Plan at least one weekend to explore the city and its nearby attractions.

To find out more about all the great things you can do in Alba Iulia, check or download the app ‘Visit Alba Iulia’, available on Google Play and App Store.

Where to stay in Alba Iulia

Book in time your stay in Alba Iulia as this small town has fewer accommodation options than bigger cities from Transylvania. We warmly recommend Pension Marylou. For golf enthusiasts, Theodora Golf Club, a unique venue in Romania, is definitely the perfect choice.

Alba Iulia is included in many of our tours in Transylvania


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