When thinking about Transylvania, usually what comes into a person’s mind are fantasy images and scenes including gothic castles, blood, and, not least, vampires. And we have to admit it – the prestige of Transylvania county comes mainly from the main character of the novel with the same name, “Dracula” by Bram Stoker.
Situated within the Carpathian Circle, the multicellularity of the Transylvanian region consists of a mix of elements from the Romanian traditional manners, old Hungarian post domination, and germanic tribes migration from the 16th century. The etymology of the word “Transylvania” comes from the Latin “terra ultra silvam”, which means “the county from abroad the forest”, which is a very accurate description of the calm vibe and picturesque aesthetics the land has to offer.
Let`s explore together some of the finest places Transylvania has to offer.
Being the second-largest city in Romania, Cluj Napoca is a place that breathes a mix of historic vibes and young fullness.
Having the biggest universitarian importance in the country, the city is the house of 80.000 students. That means that you can find a party any day of the week, as the city is filled with pubs and nightclubs. More than that, Cluj Napoca is the place where 2 important international music festivals are taken place every year: Untold and Electric Castle.
In addition to that, Cluj is filled with cultural attractions for more sophisticated tourists, you can visit the Saint Mihail church, a piece of gothic jewelry certified from the 14-15 century, the Botanical Garden of Cluj-Napoca, a beautiful scientific institution, some museums, such as The Art Museum or Aqua Museum or you can just take a walk downtown to enjoy the vibe of the carefully decorated center of the city.
A small town with the most well-preserved citadel in the country, Alba Iulia is a place that has enormous historic importance for Romania. This is actually the place where The United Kingdom of Romania united with the recently autonomous county of Transylvania in 1918. The event is known as “The Great National Assembly from Alba Iulia”, where the leaders read a Declaration of Principles which is the base of the organization of state to this day.
The citadel is in fact a majestic and coquette construction that hosts between its walls important patrimony sanctuaries such as Saint Mihail Cathedral, the oldest Cathedral in Romania, and Batthyaneum Library, with over 50.000 books on its shelves.
Somewhere in Western Romania, there is a splendid mountain plateau where nature and people seem to be living in perfect symbiosis since forever. This place is called Apuseni National Park and is situated within Apuseni Mountains, also known as Western Carpathians or “mountains at the sunset”.
Apuseni National park is a world unto itself. A large variety of geographical forms is what gives birth a rich fauna of flora, where 1550 plant species and over 1350 animal species live together. That’s why nobody should be surprised if they hear wolves howling at any moment during the day (especially at night) or meet bears looking for food with their calves. Also, lots of extremely rare plant species are one of the main attractions.
Apuseni mountains give possibilities for any tourists interested in nature travel: you can visit various unique caves, such as Bears Cave, Scarisoara Cave or Vartop Ice Cave, climb mountains and enjoy wonderful views or even explore an (almost) lost cultures, such as Motilor Land, which is an isolated group of people living in harmony with nature, far from the ”normal” world, having their specific traditions and rules.
A small town situated in the middle of the country, Sighisoara is a dwelling capable to arouse anyone’s passion for medieval buildings and historic heritage. With colorful houses and extremely narrow streets (not common for Romania), the citadel of Sighisoara is equipped with 9 defense towers and a 64 meters long clock tower decorated with symbolic specific figurines. In other words, we can say that Sighisoara is a living medieval entity, designed for authentic-time travel.
Brașov and Dracula
Brasov is a city situated in the soul of the mountains and touristic attractions that fits perfectly both for summer and winter season. Go for a cool hiking experience during the hot season or ski or explore the ski parties around it during the winter. Also, you can indulge yourself with an outstanding view of the city from the cable chariot all year long. An important attraction of the city is the so-called The Black Church, an 89 meters long edifice loaded with history and legends.
If you think you saw it all, you have to wait. The best is yet to come! The best part is that one of the most recognizable Romanian symbols from across the country is just 40 km away. We are talking about the Bran Castle, an edifice built back in the 14th century in a mountain.