Top 10 Things to Do in Brasov for First-Time Visitors

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

Our guide to the top things to do in Brasov sums up the must-see attractions that make this city one of the most popular destinations in Romania. The many nearby famous castles and fortresses add to the list and place Brasov at the top of your list for your trip to Romania.

Check our guide to what to do in Brasov.

Discover also our Brasov Walking Tour

1. Explore the medieval fortifications

One of the most prosperous cities of medieval Transylvania, Brasov had a strong fortification system that included several walls, 27 towers, eight bastions, moats, and ponds. The best-preserved today are the fortifications from the Lower Walls – the Black Tower, the White Tower, Graft Bastion – and the Upper Walls – the Weavers’ Bastion, the Drapers’ Bastion, the Red Tanners’ Bastion – all easy to reach on foot from the old city center.

Best things to do in Brasov

View from the fortification walls

Both the Lower and Upper Walls offer great views of the Black Church, the Council Square, and the uphill fortress Cetatuia. Don’t miss the 16th century Ecaterina’s Gate, the only one of three city gates of fortified Brasov that still exists.

2. Visit centuries-old churches

Brasov is often associated with the image of the Black Church, one of the most impressive Gothic churches in Eastern Europe. Over 600 years old, this large Evangelical church can receive up to 5,000 people. It has one of the biggest organs in Europe and the largest collection of Oriental carpets in Europe outside Turkey.

Black-Church-Brasov

The Black Church

But the Black Church is not the only medieval church in Brasov you should see. Walk outside the city center and visit the 13th-century fortified church of Bartolomeu, the oldest monument in the city. Or stay closer to the Black Church and discover the 14th-century Orthodox Church Saint Nicolae. This impressive monument had a key cultural role for the local Romanian community during Transylvania’s time as a province of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire.

Don’t miss the museum of the First Romanian School, right next to the church.

3. Walk around the historical center

Walking around the historical center is one of the great things to do in Brasov and is for free. Enjoy a stroll on Baritiu Street and Apollonia Hirscher Street. On your way to the Upper Walls, take a shortcut on Sforii Street, one of the narrowest in the country, with a varying width between 111 and 135 centimeters. For longer walks, choose one of the oldest streets in the city, Strada Lunga, the easiest way to reach Bartolomeu Church.

4. Hike on Mount Tampa

You don’t have to be an experienced hiker to take a short hike on Tampa Mountain. Overseeing the city from its 960 meters altitude, Tampa connects the city to more challenging hiking trails from the nearby mountains.

Best things to do in Brasov

Tampa Mountain

5. Walk to Cetatuia Fortress

This fortress is only a short walk from the lively streets of the Old Town. Dating from 1625, the site had a strategic defensive role throughout the centuries. While Cetatuia is closed to visitors for now, the walk uphill is worth it. You’ll have a great view of historical Brasov and you’ll consume enough calories to enjoy a delicious lunch.

6. Have lunch in the Council Square

Impossible to miss, the Council Square is the heart of the old part of Brasov. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the square has many cafes and restaurants to choose from. It’s the best place to have lunch after taking a walking tour.

Brasov

The Council Square

7. Enjoy local traditions

If you’re in Brasov on the first Sunday after the Orthodox Easter, you’ll see one of the oldest local traditions, ‘Parada Junilor’, or the parade of young men. Combining Christian and pagan elements, the tradition celebrates spring with groups of men horseback riding on the streets of Brasov. The itinerary starts from Scheii Brasovului, once the Romanian neighborhood, and continues to the Old Town, inhabited for centuries by the German ethnics.

8. Visit the Bears’ Sanctuary

Take a morning to visit the Bears’ Sanctuary from Zarnesti, the largest in the world. Over 100 bears rescued from cruel treatments were given a second chance in this 70 hectares sanctuary from the foothills of Piatra Craiului Mountains. Don’t forget to book your tickets online a few days in advance.

Zarnesti-Bear-Sanctuary

Bears playing in the pound

Photo source: Libearty-Bear Sanctuary

9. Visit the nearby castles and fortresses

Brasov is an excellent starting point for exploring more of the historical Transylvania. The city is only a few kilometers away from the fortified churches of Harman, Prejmer, and the medieval fortress of Rasnov. You can also easily reach the royal castles Peles and Bran, the fortress of Rupea, and the now famous village of Viscri.

10. Go hiking in Piatra Craiului National Park

If you have enough time to spend in Brasov, take one or more days to hike in Piatra Craiului National Park. You can take one of the easy walks from the villages Magura and Pestera or go up on the mountain, departing from Zarnesti or Plaiul Foii. This is one of the most popular hiking locations if you’re traveling from Bucharest.

Piatra-Craiului-National-Park

Piatra Craiului National Park

Brasov is more than a weekend destination. You can easily spend one week, taking your time to discover the city and the many nearby attractions. A great starting point for one-day trips to Transylvania, Brasov has all it takes to be the perfect vacation choice.

Where to stay in Brasov

We recommend you book in time for your stay in Brasov. If you’re looking for a lovely guest house located in the Old Town, we recommend Villa Katharina, Casa Rozelor, and The Pines Boutique Villa but also the boutique hotels Bella Muzica and Antler.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Diana, I’m on my way to Brasov, thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

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