Romania: 7 Unique And Fantastic Day Trips From Brasov
My road trip through Romania started in the “Paris of the East”; Bucharest and continued in Transylvania. I settled in Brasov, the heart of Transylvania and explored the city in the daytime, at nighttime, I strolled through the old town, did the walking tour, and went shopping at the mall. Brasov is the heart of the Carpathian Mountains. It is the perfect possibility to discover the surroundings by making some fantastic day trips from Brasov.
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During a journey through Romania, it is a must to explore Transilvania, not only because it is the home of Dracula or, at least, the origin of his legend. It is also a beautiful region, with historic old towns, skiing areas, mountains, castles, and incredible landscapes.
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Unique Day Trips From Brasov
Please note that all the following ideas suggest getting around by car. If you do not have a car, you can hop on the train on the Bucharest-Brasov route and then go around by renting a taxi tour. It brings you to the sites, wait for you, and brings you back to your hotel afterward. Most hotels n Brasov offer such taxi services to the main attractions in that area. But in my opinion, the most convenient way to explore Transylvania is going by car.
First Day Trip From Brasov To Poiana Brasov
Poiana Brasov is the sister city of Brasov. It is located a bit higher than Brasov itself and is perfect for snow and winter sports lovers. It is the top spot for skiing and other winter sports and is also the most popular tourist area in Romania. Only half an hour by car from Brasov you can easily spend the whole day there with skying, snowboarding, back horse riding, or relaxing in one of the day spas. With all those activities it is a great opportunity for a relaxed and/ or fun day and also the closest of these day trips from Brasov.
Short facts: located 30 minutes car ride from Brasov old town, the total length of ski domain is 24.5 km, the best time for winter sports: December-April
Second Day Trip From Brasov To Rasnov and Bran
This day trip is probably the most popular one. When you travel to Transylvania, it is a must to visit the castle in which, so the legend says, Vlad III better known as Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Dracula, lived, at least, for a while; Castle Bran. Bran is about 37 km from Brasov. It is not the farthest attractions but, you will pass some other pretty attractions, so can easily combine it with two more Carpathian attractions.
a. Pestera Valea Cetatii
The next possibility of those day trips from Brasov is visiting Castle Bran. As this is your primary destination for the day, you start your journey driving to Poiana Brasov and follow the road signs to Rasnov. After approx. 20 km you will pass the Pestera Valea Cetatii.
The Valley of the Fortress Cave is one of the most exciting caverns of Romania, not necessarily because of its length, but it impresses with its height. Visitors can explore about 330 meters of the cave, but there is a way to explore the rest of it, ask to book a unique tour for the rest of the cave. The cave administrators provide the equipment and a guide.
Another particular highlight of this cave is, that the acoustics of the main hall is that fantastic, that from time to time concerts takes place here. So look out for this individual program.
Short facts: entrance fee: 15 LEI (about 3€) for an adult, 10 LEI (about 2€) for children; operating hours: Summer (7th Apr 22nd Oct): 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Winter (22nd Oct – 7th Apr): 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Ticket Prices for a concert are usually a bit more expensive, ask at the entrance for more information
b. Rasnov Fortress
After visiting the Valley of the Fortress Cave continue your adventure and follow the road to Rasnov. Just a few minutes of driving and you arrive at the city of Rasnov where you need to follow the road signs to the Citadel.
The Rasnov Citadel is the best preserved rustic citadels from Transylvania and is located on a rocky hilltop in the Carpathian Mountains.
The citadel consists of an external enclosure placed in front of the eastern wall which is surrounded by a fortified wall and equipped with a square-shaped tower and of an internal compound which is surrounded by the walls and the towers of the fortress.
In the inner court, one may see narrow stony paths that wind along through the houses covered with tile. Inside the fortress, you can find the ruins of more than 30 buildings. These ruins served as a sheltered place for the inhabitants and their goods. There is also a museum, where you can find a skeleton buried beneath a glass floor, as well as some other interesting artifacts. The rooms are like a maze, with wooden ladders and secret passages linking them, where you can spend plenty of time exploring these ancient walls.
Short facts: entrance fee: 12 LEI for an adult, 6 LEI for children; operating hours: Mo-Su 9 a.m.-7p.m.
c. Dino Parc Rasnov
Nearby you can also find the Dino Parc Rasnov. The park is a 1,4 acres large areal, hosting over 40 species of dinosaurs. It is one of the largest dinosaur parks in southeastern Europe.
As soon as you enter the park, follow the trail, which leads you through the entire park and the evolution of the dinosaurs, in time. You will find species like Oviraptor, T-rex, Triceratops, Diplodocus and more. If you travel with kids, they will love it.
Short facts: 28 LEI for an adult, 22 LEI for children; operating hours: Mo-Su 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
d. Castle Bran
Castle Bran is probably the most famous attraction in this region. The castle is known as the home of Dracula. But, and please, do not be disappointed, there is no evidence that the Vlad the Impaler lived here. There are a few hints that he stayed here for the one or the other night as a guest. However, the castle with its thick walls, oriels, and towers, looks like, if Dracula has existed, would have lived here.
Short facts: entrance fee: Adults: 40Lei (8.5€), Seniors (65+): 30Lei (6.5€), Students: 25Lei (5.5€), Pupils: 10Lei (2 €), operating hours: High Season (Apr, 1st-Sep, 30th), Mo: 12 p.m.- 6 p.m., Tu-Su: 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.; Low Season (Oct, 1st-Mar, 31st), Mo: 12 p.m.-4 p.m., Tu-Su: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
By the way, a lot of those day trips you can easily book via GetYourGuide, too. Then you do not need to drive everywhere by yourself.
Third Day Trip From Brasov To Sinaia
Another day trip from Brasov is Sinaia. The “Carpathian Pearl” is 48 km away from Brasov. Sinaia is a cozy little town, so stroll the beautifully arranged streets and admire the nature as well as the architecture of the buildings. Sinaia is one of the most famous and oldest mountain resorts in Romania.
a. Peles Castle
Peles Castle was established in 1883 by King Carol I of Romania and is the main attraction of the city. He fell in love with the gorgeous landscapes of Sinaia and chose this place for building a summer residence.
With its Neo-Renaissance architecture style, steep painted roofs, tiny round tiles, and the gingerbread-like look of the exterior walls the castle is one of the most beautiful ones in the world.
Several other buildings, annexed to the castle, were built simultaneously: Pelisor Castle, The Guard’s Chambers, The Economat, The Foisor Hunting House, The Stables, the Electrical Power Plant and the “Sipot” Villa.
Short facts: entrance fees: 20 lei ($5) / first floor/ person, 50 lei ($12) / first + second floor/ person; operating hours: 15 May-15 Sept:, Tu 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; We-Su 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Mo closed, 16 Sept-14 May: We 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Thu-Su 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Mo & Tu closed
b. Other attractions of Sinaia
Although Peles Castle is the highlight of Sinaia, there are a few other locations which are worth to visit. Take a look at the Pelisor Castle, the Sinaia Monastery, the Casino Sinaia, or the George Enescu Museum.
Fourth Day Trip From Brasov To Bușteni
Busteni, which is located in the Prahova Valley, at the foot of the majestic Bucegi Mountains and was my favorite during this journey as you can watch over an incredible width at an unbelievable height. I always have a sort of awestruck feeling which I barely can express, when I am at such a place. The only way up to the top of the Bucegi-Plateau is going by cable car. It brings you up to 2294 m to the top of the plateau.
a. Sfinx and Babele
After an approx. twenty minutes cable car ride to arrive at the very top. From here you can explore the surroundings, take a selfie with the Carpathian Sfinx and wonder about the Babele, a rock formation which got its look from thousands of years of erosion. Be prepared; it is freaking cold atop here! If you prefer walking down the mountains instead of using the lift again, make sure that you have proper shoes, as it is a long way down is steep and rocky.
Short facts: price for cable car ride: 35 LEI each way; operating hours: summer season: Jun, 15th – Sept 15th: 7.30 a.m.-5.45 p.m. (8 p.m.-for cases with many tourists at Babele), winter season: Sept, 16th – Jun, 14th, 8.30 a.m.-3.45 p.m. (last ascent is at 3 p.m.)
Fifth Day Trip From Brasov To Sibiu
After some incredible day trips from Brasov, which are not too far away, here comes one which is a bit farther away but still doable in one day. A trip to Sibiu (Hermannstadt in German)! It is famous for its Germanic architecture and was built in the 12th century by German settlers known as Transylvanian Saxons. If you are here for a day trip from Brasov, only you can easily stroll through the lanes and streets, promenade over the wide-open expanse of Piata Mare, and explore the upper and lower town. Do not forget to try your luck at the “Liars Bridge” and find out who is a liar and who not.
The old town was renovated and ever since it belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is a beautiful town with colorful houses and beautiful decay lining tiny streets.
As there is a lot more to do in Sibiu and the trip is about a two and a half car ride from Brasov (if there is not too much traffic), I would recommend taking Sibiu* as your next travel destination and stay here at least for one night. For more things to do in and around Sibiu, feel free to read the fantastic article from The Globetrotting Teacher. I could not describe the town better.
Sixth Day Trip From Brasov To Sighisoara
Also, about two hours driving from Brasov is Sighisoara*. Similar to Sibiu, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the old consists of well preserved and renovated buildings. Colorful houses, cobbled stone lanes, and the medieval charm of the old town make you feel like in a different world. Same as for Sibiu, you can make a day trip from Brasov, but I once again would suggest to stay overnight and take your time to explore this breathtaking and charming town.
Are you already fall in love with Romania and you are ready for those incredible day trips from Brasov and more?
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