This is part II of a suggested Romania 10-day travel itinerary. Make sure you read the first part of the blog.
Day 6: Sibiu
Sibiu is among the most popular cities in Romania and for good reason – it is among the best-preserved medieval towns in the country and offers plenty of attractions. The city has numerous colorful and charming houses and buildings and its cathedral and tower will give you the chance to witness the city from above.
Tip: Sibiu is pedestrian friendly so wear comfortable shoes and explore the quaint streets on foot.
- Take a picture with the houses which have windows resembling skeptical human eyes.
- Walk on the bridge of lies – the first cast iron bridge built in Romania. There are many legends surrounding this bridge including that it will collapse if someone tells a lie while standing on it.
- The great square (Piata Mare): Located in the heart of the old city, this square has colorful houses and amazing architecture all around. In the past executions were held here, but today you’ll find markets and festivals.
- The little square (Piata Mica): Stop by one of the restaurants and coffee shops to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee or lunch.
- Council tower: Located between the two main squares, this tower offers magnificent views of Sibiu. The entrance fee is 2 lei (US$0.50) and you will have to climb 141 steps to get to the top.
- Lutheran cathedral: For wonderful views of Sibiu climb the steps to the top of this cathedral. The windows are open, so you won’t have any trouble taking amazing pictures.
- Sibiu’s Towers: The best-preserved fortifications are located in the southeastern side. There are three towers that are still standing: Harquebusier, Carpenters and Potters towers.
- The Stairs Passage: This passage featuring twin staircases and archways, connecting the Upper Town to the Lower Town.
Recommended hotel: Continental Forum Sibiu
Day 7: Corvin Castle
Travel to Hunedoara to visit the amazing Corvin Castle which with its impressive structure and gothic architecture dominates the city. It will take you approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes to drive from Sibiu to the castle.
Corvin Castle is one of the largest in Europe and it was taken straight out from a Disney movie. There are numerous legends around the castle, including the one of the fountain. Legend has it the fountain on the castle grounds was dug by three Turkish prisoners who were promised by the prince, John Hunyadi , to be set free if they could dig a well.
The prisoners dug for 15 long years and managed to find water. Unfortunately, during this time, John Hunyadi died, but his wife went against her husband’s word and killed the prisoners. As a last wish, the prisoners asked to write an inscription in the fountain which was granted – the cunning Turks wrote “You may have water, but you have no soul”.
It’s also said that Vlad the Impaler was imprisoned in Corvin Castle during his exile which led to his insanity.
Spend some time in the exterior to admire the imposing structure, visit the inner courtyard, chapel, rooms, as well as climb the stairs which lead to the towers.
Opening hours and entrance fees:
Monday: 12:00 to 17:00
Tuesday – Sunday: 9:00 – 17:00
Adults – 35 lei I US$8.6
Photo fee – 5 lei I US$1.25
Video fee – 15 lei I US$3.72
Recommended hotel: Continental Forum Sibiu
Day 8: Transfagarasan Road and Bâlea Lake
Wake up early, pack your stuff and drive one of the most scenic highways in the world: the Transfagarasan Road. It will take around 2 hours to drive from Sibiu to Bâlea Lake– the highest point of the Transfagarasan Road.
The road has numerous scintillating sharp turns and several ascents and descents. However, it’s well-maintained and during the summer months you shouldn’t encounter any major problem.
- Stop by the viewing areas in the Transfagarasan Road: Take pictures of the stunning green scenery, waterfalls and the Făgăras mountains.
- Take a picture of the Transfagarasan Road from above: Once you reach Bâlea Lake you have the best shot to capture the turns and twists of the Transfagarasan Road.
- Hike to Lake Capra: For amazing views of Bâlea Lake from above. It’s easy to locate as the path starts right by the hotel/restaurant’s parking lot and there are signs that guide you to the trail.
- Capra Waterfall: After leaving Bâlea Lake, stop by this waterfall for a photo opportunity. It’s only a few steps from Cabana Capra if you spend the night.
Recommended hotel: Cabana Capra
Day 9: Poenari Castle, Vidraru Dam, and Bucharest
Day 9 is packed with activities, so wake up early and drive to your first stop: Vidraru dam, which offers incredible views of Vidraru Lake.
Vidraru Dam is among the largest hydroelectric plants in Europe. After taking some pictures, head to Poenari Castle to experience the real Castle Dracula. To get to the top of the fortress you will need to climb 1480 steps and It should take you around 30-35 minutes to reach the top at a medium pace. Don’t worry – the views are worth the exhausting climb!
Address: Transfagarasan, Arefu 117040. The entrance is 5 lei I US$1.25.
Winter season: 9 am – 3 pm (last admission at 2 pm)
Summer season: 9 am – 5 pm (last admission at 4 pm)
In the afternoon head to Bucharest and start enjoying the bustling city. It’s a long drive so take advantage of the charming villages for a snack or lunch.
- Stroll through the old town/city center: Located in the city center, the old town is very pedestrian friendly, with hosts of beautiful buildings along with several restaurants and coffee shops sprinkled throughout.
- Old Princely Court & Church: The Old Princely Court was built by Vlad Tepes (aka Dracula) in the 15th century. Unfortunately not much remains today except for a few walls, tombstones and arches. There is also a bust of Vlad Tepes keeping watch over his former court.
- Palace of Parliament: It was built at special request by the leader of Romania’s Communist Party, Nicolae Ceausescu. It’s the second largest administrative building in the world taking 20,000 workers and 700 architects to build it. According to the official website starting on December 1, 2020, visits of the Palace of Parliament are permitted only for groups (minimum 10 persons). To make a reservation email email@example.com, with a minimum of 3 days before the visit. A valid passport or national ID is required to gain access to the Palace of Parliament.
- The Arch of Triumph: Standing at 89 feet high the Art of Triumph was rebuilt back in 1922 and redecorated in 1936 with base reliefs carved in granite. A beautiful monument symbolizing another reason why Bucharest is the Paris of the East.
- House of the Free Press: This impressive building stands in the northern part of Bucharest and is a smaller replica of the Lomonosov University in Moskow. It is the headquarters of print media companies and also houses the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
Address: Strada Franceza 25 – 31
Adults: 40 lei (US$10); Students: 20 lei (US$5); Children: 10 lei (US$2.5)
Address: Strada Izvor 2 – 4
Address: Piata Arcul de Triumf
Address: Piata Presei Libere 1
Day 10: Continue enjoying Bucharest and fly home
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