When visiting Transylvania in Romania, Brasov is the perfect city to stay while touring the surrounding area. It is only a few hours by train from the capital of Bucharest and the people are friendly, there are plenty of local restaurants, and the town has a few wonderful sightseeing options. Although we visited in the winter, it is perfect place to go during the summer when you can go hiking in the surrounding mountains. One of our favorite things about Brasov is the unique architecture that you can find throughout the historic city. Whether it is the town hall, the Black Church, the White Tower, or Saint Nicholas Church, it is almost as if you can find a different architectural style around every corner.
The hotel that we stayed at during our visit was located right in the central square where the town hall is located. We arrived just shortly after Christmas and the market had just ended, but the large tree in the square was still lit at night creating an almost magical atmosphere. The Biserica Neagră, or Black Church, dominates the skyline of the town and is definitely not your typical gothic cathedral. Built in the 14th century by the German community that lived in the area at the time, it is one of the largest churches in the country. Most striking is the bell tower with colorful clocks on two of its sides.
To see some truly interesting architecture, you should definitely go to Catherine’s Gate and Saint Nicholas Church. Catherine’s Gate was built as part of the town’s fortification in 1559 after the original gate was destroyed by a flood in 1529. It is named after a monastery that existed in the area and is one of the many medieval structures that still exist in Brasov today. Although not as large as the Black Church, Saint Nicholas Church is truly fascinating to see. Built in the 15th century and then later decorated in the Baroque style, it looks as if it could have come directly out of a fairy tale.
In addition to enjoying the charm of Brasov, there are plenty of things to do in the surrounding area. From Bran Castle, which is reportedly associated with Vlad the Impaler, to the Church Fortifications, and the mountain resorts with skiing and hiking, Brasov is the perfect location to use to explore Transylvania. Be sure to go to a local restaurant and enjoy some of the cabbage rolls that the region is known for. Our time in Brasov was definitely the highlight of our trip to Romania.