Sibiu, the medieval charm of Transylvania

Also available in Romanian and French

Sibiu always felt like home for me. Last time I got there, I spent three days at Casa Elixia, a very small, cosy hotel that really deserves its name (ro. casa=en. home). Ancient European Capital of Culture in 2007, the town recently went through a huge transformation, a major part of its historical buildings being restored. There are plenty of museums, restaurants, bars and, most importantly,  the city is full of life. Even taxi drivers are nice and professional, and I know what I’m saying…  some of the Romanian taxi drivers, especially from Bucharest, can be really rude sometimes.

Founded by the Saxons (Germans living in Transylvania) in the 12th century, Sibiu’s population remained German until the beginning of the 20th century. After their migration to Germany, in an attempt to escape the communist oppression, the local population became mostly Romanian. Still, Sibiu kept its multicultural  charm.

If you ever get here, you should really visit the Astra Museum of Traditional Folk. Also known as the Village Museum, it’s a very special place, being the biggest outdoors museum in Europe. A simple walk on its 220 acres would take about a week. But any walk on its 10 km of paths network, even a short one, will take you to a long time-gone-fantasy-world, where you’ll discover traditional houses and windmills and of course, the lovely inn where you can enjoy the generous local cuisine. For a really special and romantic discovery of the museum, take one of the available traditional horse carriages. The driver is provided, of course.

Muzeul Astra 1

Muzeul Astra 2

Muzeul Astra 3

Muzeul Astra 4

Muzeul Astra 5

Muzeul Astra 6

Muzeul Astra 7

Muzeul Astra 8

Do not leave Sibiu without visiting its squares or The Bruckental Palace, The Council Tower and Liar’s Bridge. The heart of the town is just nearby a pedestrian area full of bistros, where you can enjoy the best  lemonade ever, or the local pastry specialty, Kürtös Kalács, baked on a tapered cylindrical spit over an open fire. In the evening, the town centre is the place to be, if you want to enjoy its cosmopolite atmosphere.

Turnul Sfatului

Centru istoric Sibiu 2

Centru istoric Sibiu 3

Centru istoric Sibiu 4

Once in Sibiu, you cannot miss a trip to Paltinis! There are regular buses leaving the train station all day long. Sibiu is surrounded by mountains, and up there any negative thought is forbidden. An important tourist attraction in the resort is the Hermitage, a wooden church built in the 3rd decade of the XXh century, where the tomb of Constantin Noica, a romanian philosopher, is situated. Words are not enough to praise the MAN who chose to stay in Romania during the communist regime, and not leave it for an occidental country, like Mircea Eliade did. He was a row model for an entire generation of young intellectuals, the most famous ones being Gabriel Liiceanu, the author of  The Paltinis Diary, and Andrei Plesu.

Paltinis 1

Paltinis 2

Paltinis 3

Paltinis 4

For further information about Sibiu please visit:

    • Most of the shopkeapers speak English and German
    • Airline companies that have regular flights to Sibiu: Lufthansa, Carpatair, Blue Air etc.

Translation: Dana Belea

Another interesting article about Sibiu on Imperator Travel Blog.

Alina crede în potenţialul turistic al ţării ei. De aici secţiunile în engleză şi franceză ale blogului. Una dintre plăcerile ei cele mai mari, atunci când scrie pentru LumeaMare, e să stea de vorbă cu alti călători, pe site sau pe pagina de Facebook LumeaMare. E sociolog şi locuieşte în Paris de câţiva ani.