One of my favorite cities in Romania is the mountain city of Brasov. This picture-perfect city is nestled in the Carpathian Mountains and offers tourists and locals a wonderful experience. I have personally visited Brasov a couple of times during both spring and fall. I do regret to say that I haven’t visited during the winter months, but plan to in the future! Ironically, Brasov is a huge skiing destination and one of the most visited cities in Romania during the winter.
History of Brasov
The city has an extremely rich history. In the early 1100’s it was colonized by German traders and craftsmen, also known as Transylvanian Saxons. The area was known as a meeting point for the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe. As trade between the empires flourished, so did the people of the town. Many of the buildings and architecture visible today is a result of this time period.
There are a variety of activities that one can do while visiting Brasov. One of my personal favorite activities to do was the free city walking tour. This tour meets everyday rain or shines at either 10 am or 6 pm depending on the time of year. The meeting point is in the main square, Piata Sfatului, in the old city by the large fountain. The tour takes you around the city and, depending on your guide, provides you with amazing history and interesting information about the city. Some of the highlights of the tour are visiting the Black Church, St. Nicholas Cathedral, Rope Street, The Defence Bastions, and Ecaterina’s Gate, to name a few. For more information about the free city tour in Brasov visit Free City tours.
Another activity that I really enjoyed in Brasov was taking the gondola to the top of the mountain and viewing the city from the famous BRASOV sign. The hike up can be quite strenuous and treacherous, especially when wet. If you are looking for some exercise, but don’t want to make the trek up, there are several hiking trails and places that you can explore once you get off the gondola. The views of the city are stunning.
There are also a lot of great restaurants and bars that you can visit while staying in Brasov. One of our favorite places that we ate while there was a delicious spot called Keller Steak House. This restaurant offers high-quality meat and an assortment of wonderful dishes. The french onion soup was so flavorful and delicious, especially since it was a bit rainy and cold. We also thoroughly enjoyed the steak. It was perfectly cooked and dressed with a wonderful red wine sauce. Our friend had a vegetarian pasta that was also nicely flavored. We were very pleased with our meal as well as the very affordable price.
When it comes to arranging your accommodation, we have found that Booking.com works pretty well. Most of the hotels in the area are members and by looking at the site you can get a good idea where the majority of the places to stay are located in the city. Although, I would recommend that you find places on the website and call to set up booking directly with the hotel. This will save you a bit of money and also allow you to make a connection with the hotel staff directly before you arrive.
Other Activities Outside the City
There are several day trips that you can take from Brasov. The area is full of tiny villages, gorgeous landscapes, and historical sites. Bran Castle, Ransov Fortress, Fagaras Fortress, and the Medieval city of Sighisoara are all must-sees and can easily be accessed from the city.