24 hours in Sibiu: the most photogenic city in Romania?
Sibiu: it’s a photogenic city. Absolutely. But maybe I even dare to call it the most photogenic city of Romania. Nevertheless it’s important to pack your camera if you visit Sibiu, because you’re gonna take a lot of pictures here! In this blog I will share all my tips and photos if you’re 24 hours in Sibiu in Romania.
What to do if you’re 24 hours in Sibiu, Romania?
1. Breakfast in Sibiu
Most coffee places and restaurants open their doors quite late. In the weekend sometimes they open at 9, sometimes even 10. Wanna start your day in a lovely place with nice breakfast? Then go to one of my favorite places.
Option 1: Lili’s Café
Go to Lili’s Café if you love eggs. They have a couple of nice options for omelettes. But also the coffee and the smoothies are great. You can sit outside or inside (downstairs is nice, upstairs is more quiet).
Recommendations: smoothie Detox (14 lei) and the Omleta Harlequin (15 lei)
Address: Piata Mica 30, the small square in Sibiu.
Option 2: Nod Pub
Wait whut? Having breakfast at a pub? Yep, you read it right. I don’t know why they call it a pub, but they are open from morning until midnight. So you can have a nice coffee here during breakfast, but also a glass of wine in the evening. This coffee place has a terrace at Piaca Mica, so you have a lovely view on the buildings and it’s a great place for watching people passing by. The drinks are served on these cute plates, how adorable!
Recommendations: Anna’s smoothie bowl (16 lei) and the French press coffee (15 lei), but the long black coffee (10 lei) is good as well. If you’re not really hungry you can grab a croissant (5 lei).
Address: Piaca Mica 27, also at the small square in Sibiu
2. Climbing Turnul Sfatului for the best view from above
Alright! You had a nice breakfast, now it’s time to lose some calories and climb the Turnul Sfatului – Romanian for the Council Tower! This white tower connects the two important squares Piata Mica and Piata Mare with each other. From the top of this building you have an amazing view over the city center. While you are climbing up you will see a couple of exhibitions from local artists. The stairs are quite small, so sometimes you have to wait for people who are going up/coming down.
Extra tip: the tower is open until 8 in the evening (20.00). So you can even check out the sunset from the top, how amazing is that?
Entrance fee: 2 lei for adults (kids until 3 years old can go for free)
Address: Piata Mica 1, between the big and the small square.
3. Admire Piata Mica, the small square in Sibiu
Your walk will now start from Piata Mica, the small square in Sibiu. I loved this place, because literally every building is beautiful and photogenic. In the middle of this square there are small stands that sell souvenirs.
On Saturdays the city is filled with newlyweds who are busy taking photos. There are photoshoots EVERYWHERE. But what can you do in a photogenic city like Sibiu, right? By the way, the city is filled with monuments. In almost every street you will find a sign with ‘Monument Istoric”: historic buildings.
4. Catedrala Evanghelica Sfanta Maria: the most colourful cathedral of Sibiu
When you’re done admiring Piata Mica you can walk a bit further, towards this cathedral. There are multiple churches in Sibiu, but this one is definitely the most colorful one! From most streets in the city center you can see the colorful towers and roofs of this church.
Transylvania is always been influenced by different countries and cultures. It was an important area for business in Europe: lots of merchants travelled through Transylvania when they came from the Ottoman Empire (Turkey) to Western Europe. Hungary and Germany also have influence in this part of Romania. Germany send a lot of people to help build the citadels in Transylvania, for example. Because of this most cities in Transylvania are divided into a German, a Hungarian and a Romanian part. And every part has their own language, their own school and customs. So it’s not weird at all to hear people talk Hungarian, Romanian and German language in the same place! The cities also have different names. For example, Sibiu is the Romanian name, Nagyszeben is the Hungarian name and Hermannstadt is the German name.
Transylvania was a popular area to live in, back in the days. There was freedom of religion and that was something unusual. Every religion was represented – and so there was a church for everyone as well. Because of this you will see different kind of architecture and styles in the churches in Transylvania. Address: Piata Albert Huet.
5. Daily life and wandering at the Cibin Market
If you have admired the cathedral it’s time to move towards Turnul Scarilor and go down via the stairs. This part of Sibiu is less visited by tourists, but also really enjoyable. If you walk a bit further you will reach the Cibin Market. Every day lots of people come here to buy food and do groceries. The market is mainly focused on food, but some are selling clothes and household items as well. Especially the gypsy (Roma) community is represented on this market.
Address: Piata Cibin, near the river
6. Biggest cathedral in Sibiu: Catedrala Sfanta Treime din Sibiu
It’s only a 10-minute walk to the next sight: the Catedrala Sfanta Treime din Sibiu. After the cathedral in Suceava this is the biggest cathedral in Romania! You don’t realize it when you stand in front of the cathedral. But go inside and you will notice how big it is. On Saturdays the church is mainly used for weddings. If it’s not possible to go inside, walk around the cathedral to see the entire building.
Address: Strada Mitropoliei 33.
7. The old city walls of the citadel at Parcul Cetatii
Sibiu used to be a citadel: so the city center was surrounded and protected by walls. A nice place to give your feet some rest is Parcul Cetatii, the Citadel Park. There are some benches with a nice view on the towers and the old
8. Events at the big square: Piata Mare
From the Citadel Park it’s only a couple of minutes walking to Piata Mare, the big square of Sibiu. Here you can find MORE beautiful buildings, how nice is that? Are you a museum lover – or is it raining? Then the Brukenthal National Museum is a nice option. The entrance fee is 20 lei for adults.
On Piata Mare there are a lot of events, so make sure to check it out before you go. When I was in Sibiu there was a film festival for example. Are you here in winter time? Make sure to visit the cosy Christmas market on Piata Mare!
9. Lunch in Sibiu
Option 1: Pardon Cafe & Bistro
You will find this restaurant in one of the most photogenic and colourful streets of Sibiu. You can sit both inside and outside. Unfortunately there are not a lot of vegetarian options for lunch, but the coffee is nice and they have some nice smoothies. If you’re not a vegetarian the pasta’s and the mussels are recommended by multiple people.
Address: Strada Cetatii, next to the Citadel Park.
Option 2: Café Wien
Not the cheapest place to have lunch, but they for sure have nice things here. I absolutely loved their lava chocolate cake, but the traditional Sacher Torte from Vienna is good as well. You can sit inside, but the terrace outside gives you a nice view over the houses of Sibiu. Have you already noticed the “eyes of Sibiu”? These weird windows were made to air the rooms where cheese and meat is stocked. But because the windows look a lot like eyes you have the feeling someone is watching you. Quite interesting to see from above!
My recommendations: you HAVE TO try the lave cake (18 lei). It’s so yummy! And the traditional Torte Sacher (16 lei) is good as well.
Address: Piata Albert Huet 4, next to the colorful cathedral.
10. Back in time: open air museum ASTRA
A couple of kilometers south of Sibiu you travel back in time at the open air museum ASTRA. This park has a beautiful location with a lake and many buildings and houses that were build in Romania through the ages. I love open air museums: it is so nice to go back in time. You can easily walk around here for 3 hours. My favorite buildings are the blue houses, the wind mills and the wooden church (go inside, there are really old paintings on the walls!).
The ASTRA Open Air Museum is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Entrance fee: 25 lei for adults.
Address: Strada Padurea Dumbrava 16, a couple of kilometers south of Sibiu. You can take bus 13 to the museum. A taxi from the city center to the museum is about 22 lei.
11. Dining in Sibiu
Option 1: Crama Sibiana
For a typical Romanian dish you should go to Crama Sibiana. This is a nice restaurant where you can sith both inside and outside. Sit outside if you wanna enjoy the view over Piata Mica. The portions are quite big and the prices are good. Unfortunately not too many options for vegetarians (Romanians love their meat), but there are some. And try the Romanian dessert papanasi; some kind of donut filled with cheese!
My recommendations: bean soup in a bowl of bread, normally with ham (20 lei) or a vegetarian soup (12 lei), a platter of cheese (35 lei) and the dessert papanasi (15,50 lei). There are also some nice dishes with meat, but as a vegetarian I didn’t try these.
Address: Piata Mica 31.
Option 2: Weinkeller
If you love wine, this is the place to be. This restaurant is a bit hidden, but it’s super cosy and has a nice atmosphere. You actually feel like you’re dining in a cellar (my phone lost connection). It’s the perfect place for a romantic dinner, but there are also a lot of people dining by themselves.
The wine menu is really nice and even explains how to enjoy and taste the wine. Most wines are served per bottle, but some per glass as well (13 lei). The staff knows a lot about wine and can recommend the right wine to combine with your food.
My recommendations: as a vegetarian I had the Weinkeller salad (23 lei) and bread with local dips (18 lei). For meat lovers the goulash soup (17 lei) is a nice option.
Address: Strada Turnului 2, at the tower with the stairs. It’s immediately at the right side.
Moving around in Sibiu
Most sights are within walking distance. The city center of Sibiu is small, so you don’t even have to walk a lot. Besides that it’s not a punishment to explore the photogenic streets of Sibiu.
Left of the train station you will find a bus stop. Here you can buy a ticket at the blue machines as well (2 lei per ticket). Don’t forget to stamp your ticket once you’re in the bus! No time to buy the ticket at the machine? It’s nowadays also possible to pay with your card inside the bus. Ideal!
How can you travel to Sibiu?
Flying to Sibiu
Sibiu has an airport, 7 kilometers west of the city. It’s a tiny airport, so there are not many flights going here. Most of the flights are more expensive than the ones to Cluj, Timisoara and Bucharest. I always check Skyscanner to compare prices for different departure dates. Most flights going to Sibiu are done by WizzAir.
Traveling to Sibiu by car
Sibiu is a nice place for a break if you’re making a road trip in Transylvania. A car is an easy way to move around in Romania. It’s much faster than public transportation and some places are not even accessible by busses and trains. Most people visit Sibiu on their way from Brasov to Hunedoara (where you can find the Corvin Castle). Or when people make the round trip Brasov – Sighisoara – Sibiu.
Traveling by train to Sibiu
I love traveling by train in Romania. The trains are not as bad as some horror stories on the internet will make you believe. I always had enough space to sit and most trains even have power points to charge your phone or laptop. The train ride from Brasov to Sibiu takes between 3 to 4 hours.
So there are different trains in Romania. R-trains are the local ones and they stop EVERYWHERE. It’s cheaper, but it takes you more time to get from A to B. The IR-trains are a bit more comfortable and faster. So if you have the choice: go for the IR-trains.
Traveling to Sibiu by bus
Personally I don’t like busses because I get motion sick really easily in busses. Besides that you don’t have a lot of space. But sometimes the bus schedule is better than the train schedule. And it can be faster as well. Traveling by bus from Sibiu to Brasov only takes 3 hours. I paid 36 lei for the bus ride from Sibiu to Brasov.
The main busstation (Autogara) is next to the train station. Make sure you ask beforehand about the bus schedules. If you try to find them online you may end up disappointed. Make sure you are there at least half an hour beforehand. Full = full. There are only limited amount of places in the bus.
Don’t go to the wrong bus station in Sibiu, because there are 2!
So most busses leave from the Autogara bus station, next to the train station. Then there’s another one west of Sibiu (near the airport): Autogara Vest. The address is Strada Europa Unita 11. Take bus 11 to go here. But only use this bus station if you are taking an international bus ride with Eurolines or Flixbus. Online they say the busses move around in Romania as well, but that’s not true. So don’t bother going here if you want to move by bus in Romania.
Traveling to Sibiu via BlaBlaCar
The last option is BlaBlaCar. This ride sharing app is getting more popular in Romania. For a couple of euros you can drive from A to B with someone. It’s also a nice way to get to know more local people. Unfortunately there are not trips offered every day, but it’s worth checking it out.
So these were my tips if you’re 24 hours in Sibiu in Romania. Do you have any questions about Sibiu or Romania? Or do you wanna share more tips about Sibiu? Let me know in the comments or send me an email!