Located in the heart of the country, Sibiu (Hermannstadt in German) is Transylvania’s cultural centre. In Sibiu you will discover one of the best museums in Romania, beautiful churches, the ruins of Saxon bastions and the old centre painted in pastel colours, where every third building is a historical monument. Visit the city declared European Capital of Culture in 2007 and discover the intriguing mixture of German, Austrian, Hungarian and Romanian influences.
Art and Culture
The Upper Town (Oraşul de sus) is a true open-air museum. It focuses around three squares linked together: the Big Square (Piaţa Mare), the Small Square (Piaţa Mică) and Huet Square (Piaţa Huet). The Big Square (Piaţa Mare) is ground zero of the city’s public life and it is surrounded by houses which belonged to some Saxon nobles. Here you can admire the Roman – Catholic Church, as well as the imposing Brukenthal Palace, which houses one of the most well-known Romanian museums – Brukenthal Museum, where famous Romanian and Occidental art collections are exhibited.
On your way to Huet Square (Piaţa Huet), stop at the History Museum, where you can see interesting silverware, weapons and glass collections. In Huet Square (Piaţa Huet) you should not miss the Evangelical Church, the place where is located the tomb of Mihnea cel Rău, the son of Dracula.
From Huet Square (Piaţa Huet), go towards the Small Square (Piaţa Mică) to see the main attraction in the area: the Bridge of Lies (Podul Minciunilor), an elegant wrought iron bridge. In the Small Square (Piaţa Mică) you can visit the Museum of Pharmaceutical History (Muzeul de Istorie a Farmaciei) and the Etnographic Museum (Muzeul de Etnografie Universală ” Franz Binder ”). Climb the 111 stairs of The Council Tower (Turnul Sfatului) and you will enjoy a spectacular panoramic view of the city.
Bălcescu Street is the most important arterial road in the new city. Here are located hotels which once accommodated Liszt, Johann Strauss and the Romanian poet Mihai Eminescu, souvenir shops and traditional restaurants. In the nearby area, visit the Natural History Museum (Muzeul de Istorie Naturala) and Haller Bastion.
Things to do
Near Dumbrava Sibiului Natural Park, 7km away from Sibiu, you can find the Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization (Muzeul Civilizaţiei Populare Tradiţionale), the most beautiful open air exhibition space in Romania. Here you will discover the most complex collection of rural architecture monuments from our country.
Sibiu hosts many cultural manifestations attended by tourists from all around the world. The most important is the International Theatre Festival, which usually begins at the end of May and gathers participants from 70 countries. Sibiu is famous for two other festivals, so don’t miss Astra Film Festival and Transylvania International Film Festival.
Sibiu and Surroundings – Recommended itineraries
- Ocna Sibiului is a health spa resort located at only 15km from Sibiu. In this land of salty waters with curative effects you can relax in the Bottomless Lake (”Lacul fară fund”), declared a natural monument, and you can benefit from the therapeutic effects of Lake Brâncoveanu.
- Mărginimea Sibiului, located west of Sibiu, is an ethnographic region unique for its lively folklore. Explore this region, which includes 18 villages that kept the spiritual and ethno-folkloric traditions. Accommodate in the agro-touristic pensions from the region and taste the delicious traditional dishes. You can also visit numerous old churches and museums. Do not miss Sibiel Museum, which holds important collection of glass painted icons.
- Păltiniş, only 35 km from Sibiu, is the ideal destination, being one of the most popular ski resorts. Enjoy the wonderful sceneries, the ozone-filled air and the ski slopes covered in snow for up to four months a year. Take a walk in the Iezerele Cindrelului reservation, to the famous glacial lakes.
- Admire the Saxon fortified churches, concentrated especially in Sibiu’s surrounding area. You can identify them by the defence walls, high towers and imposing bastions. Visit the fortified churches from Biertan, Viscri, Saschiz, Prejmer, Valea Viilor, Calnic and Darjiu, declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.