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A Complete Guide to Visiting Transylvania in Romania

  • Post last modified:October 27, 2023
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Welcome to the land of Dracula, a place full of gorgeous castles, surrounded by jaw-dropping landscapes and picturesque towns. This is Transylvania in Romania, one of the most underrated locations in Europe.

There is so much to know about visiting this outstanding region. That's why we've completed a full guide for you to have all the information possible to have the most epic trip possible.

In this guide we're going to cover the best things to do, how to get around, where to stay, and so much more. So without further ado, here's everything you need to know about visiting Transylvania in Romania.

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Where is Transylvania in Romania?

Transylvania is not a country, but is in fact located inside of Romania. Situated in the central area of the country, Transylvania covers an area of 39,704 square miles. As the largest historical area of Romania, its natural border is the Carpathian Mountains to the south and east, and the Apuseni Mountains to the west. 

where is Transylvania in Romania

Transylvania is the biggest region in Romania.

How to Get to Transylvania in Romania

Transylvania is actually a very big region, and the highlights are spread to cover several cities in Romania. The heart of Transylvania has very small airports like Targu Mures and Sibiu, while the more popular airports you can use are Cluj Napoca and Bucharest.

Flying to Sibiu

Sibiu haș a small airport, but it does also have international flights. Cities that fly direct to Sibiu include Bologna, Brussels, Dortmund, Dublin, Frankfurt, Hurghada, Liverpool, London, Madrid, Memmingen, Munich, Nuremberg, Venice, and Vienna.

Flying to Targu Mures

Targu Mures is another small airport located in the middle of Transylvania. Cities that fly direct here include Budapest, Debrecen, Dortmund, Memmingen, and London.

Flying to Cluj Napoca

Cluj Napoca is much more popular, as it is the third biggest city in Romania. It has both domestic and international flights serving its airport. Cities within Romania that fly to Cluj Napoca include Bucharest and Timisoara. Other European cities that fly direct to Cluj Napoca include Aalborg, Barcelona, Bologna, Budapest, Cologne, Debrecen, Dortmund, Doncaster, Frankfurt, Larnaca, Leicester, London, Lyon, Madrid, Manises (Valencia), Memmingen, Milan, Munich, Nuremberg, Rome, Warsaw, and Zaragoza.

If you fly into Cluj Napoca, you'll start your trip around Transylvania in the most northern part of the region, and then head south from there.

Keep in mind not all routes run every day for. So if you don't see flights for your airport, just try playing with the dates.

Flight Tip: Using Skyscanner you can put from "your city" to "Romania". This way you can see which is the cheapest airport in the area to fly. Also, you can check the calendar to see which are the cheapest dates for your destination!

Search for a flight to Romania:

Driving to Transylvania in Romania

When we did our three month road trip through the Balkans we actually rented a car in Bucharest, starting and finishing our road trip there. We found that driving around Romania was pretty seamless, with so many amazing things to see along the way. So if you are planning on visiting from Transylvania from Bucharest or other surrounding large cities, it could definitely be worth it to drive. We especially love this as you can explore tons of great spots  along the way.

Rent a car in Romania:

Flying into Bucharest

Bucharest is just a couple of hours from Brasov, which is where we started exploring Transylvania in Romania, from south to north. If you'd like to do the same, you can either rent a car once in Bucharest like we did, or take a train or bus to Brasov.

If you want to start your Transylvania trip from Bucharest, you should also check out our full  Bucharest travel guide. 

Other Options for Visiting Transylvania

If you're not into renting a car, and also can't find a super cheap flight then there are plenty of other options! One of them is to take a bus, and another is to take a train. These are definitely some of the most affordable ways to travel in Romania, and there are plenty of bus and train routes that connect to Transylvania from the surrounding major cities.

Book a bus or train to Transylvania:

Another awesome option for visiting Transylvania is to take a Bla Bla Car. This is a popular carpooling app which is used widely throughout Europe. It's amazing because you can search for your route and see which drivers are doing the trip, and at which times throughout the day. Often times Bla Bla Car is even cheaper than traveling by bus, it's more comfortable, and can be a fun opportunity to make friends along the way. Additionally, you're also helping someone pay for the gas used on their trip- so it's a win-win!

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Entry Requirements for Romania

When it comes to traveling somewhere new, it's important to make sure you know the requirements of entry. Here's all you need to know for visiting Romania.

Visa Requirements for Romania

For traveling in Europe, it can get pretty tricky with the Schengen Zone, European Union, Etc. Luckily Romania falls outside the Schengen Zone, so it's a great place to visit if you've already expired your time in the other European countries.

Many countries can enter Romania visa free for up to 90 days, the majority being from the Americas and Europe. There are however some countries that need to obtain a visa to enter Romania, if they don't have a Schengen Visa. Most of these are countries in Africa and Asia, and the full list of countries can be found by checking the official website.

Covid Entry Requirements for Romania

Luckily Covid is now a thing of the past in most European countries, and you no longer need a Covid test or vaccination card to enter Romania. Masks are now also no longer mandatory in public areas like they were when we visited in May.

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Local Adjustments for Transylvania in Romania

Whenever you travel there are things that you may forget about, that could be different from the place you are coming from. Here are a few of the local adjustments to have in mind while traveling to Transylvania in Romania.

What Language is Spoken in Transylvania?

The official language in Transylvania is Romanian. Unlike the nearby Balkan countries, this is the only country in Eastern Europe that has a Latin-based language. 

Romanian has a lot of similarities with languages such as Spanish and Italian. So if you speak one of these then you'll probably be able to pick up a bit of Romanian, as well as understand the basics of signs and menus.

There are plenty of people around Transylvania in Romania that do speak English, but if you are from a country that speaks one of the latin-based languages then you may want to try to communicate in your own language over English.

What Currency is Used in Transylvania?

The currency used in Romania is the Lei. Currently (October 2023) 1 USD or 1 Euro is equal to about 4.86 Romanian Lei. 

Throughout Transylvania you can use credit card for most restaurants, and many hotels. However, we do suggest taking out some cash at an ATM for smaller mom and pop shops, tipping, street vendors, and if you're staying at a budget hostel.

Is it Expensive to Travel to Transylvania?

Transylvania in general is a very budget-friendly destination! You can easily have meals for $10-$15/person, and hotels for $20-30/night.

What Plug Adapter is Needed for Romania?

Romania uses the same plug types as the rest of Europe, which are types C & F. The standard voltage in Romania is 230 V and a standard frequency of 50 Hz.

Is the Water Safe to Drink in Transylvania?

Generally speaking, the tap water in Transylvania and around Romania is completely safe to drink. While many Romanians prefer bottled water, we loved the tap water and found it be super fresh and tasty. Many restaurants will give you bottled water when you order water, as this is typical throughout most of Europe. We suggest bringing a refillable water bottle to use throughout your travels.

Tipping in Transylvania 

The tipping culture in Romania varies depending on the service. We suggest tipping 10% on meals for standard service, and a bit more for great service. This is because servers don't make high salaries, and tipping is very typical in restaurants. Services such as salons we suggest 10-15%, and taxis and hotel staff you can leave 5-10 lei to appreciate their service.

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Things to Do in Transylvania, Romania 

Transylvania was one of our favorite regions we've been to, and has so much to offer! Here are all of the great things to do around Transylvania in Romania.

Visit the Cute Transylvanian Towns

When we first were planning on visiting Transylvania we had no idea just how adorable the towns were! We had come from Bucharest, which was a big city, and although beautiful, it was completely different from what we experienced in the small Transylvanian towns. Here are some of the best spots to check out.


Our first stop was Brasov, which is located just a couple hours north of Bucharest. This city is lined with colorful buildings, and is home to the iconic black church. Brasov also has a funicular that brings you high above the city, giving you sweeping views of Brasov and the surrounding scenery.

Brasov, Transylvania in Romania
Brasov, Transylvania in Romania

Brasov has a colorful center and great views from the top.

Want to book a place in Brasov? Here are the different accommodation options you can check out:


Located just a half hour outside of Brasov is a smaller, but equally beautiful town called Rasnov. This city makes a great stop for a couple hours, as it has a seriously stunning citadel to check out.

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Sibiu is one of the the most popular cities in Transylvania, and with good reason. With big open squares surrounded by colorful buildings, you'll feel as if you just walked into a fairytale. One of the most notable features of Sibiu is the "houses with eyes" that you can find all over the city. Make sure to also climb to the top of the bell tower to get some beautiful views of the streets below!

Want to book a place in Sibiu? Check out the map for the different options:


This was one of our favorite spots in Transylvania. The city center sits at the top of a hill, and winding cobblestone streets lead you to the colorful and vibrant main plaza. With small street vendors and handmade souvenirs, you'll be sure to fall in love with Sighisoara like we did.

Sighisoara, Transylvania in Romania

Sighișoara is one of the cutest towns in Transylvania.

Want to book a place in Sighisoara? Just check the map below for options!


This small village is the perfect day trip from Sibiu. Hosman is located a little over a half hour east of Sibiu. The old traditional town has a beautiful fortified church, and is great for a few hour stop. 


Biertan is another traditional Transylanian village that is a great day trip from Sibiu. It has a beautiful fortified church, cute cobblestone streets, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993.

Explore the Stunning Castles

Romania has some of the most beautiful castles that we've ever seen! Here are the top castles to visit in Transylvania.

Corvins Castle, Transylvania in Romania

Romania has some of the beautiful castles in Europe.

Peles Castle

This is the first castle that we visited in Transylvania, and can actually be done as a day trip from Bucharest. Peles is a Neo-Renaissance castle located near the city of Sinaia, and is absolutely breathtaking. It is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 9:15 am to 5 pm. 

Peles Castle, Transylvania in Romania
Peles Castle, Transylvania in Romania

Want to take a tour from Bucharest? Here are a few different options:

Bran Castle

You may have noticed that some of the tours above include Bran Castle. This is one of the most popular castles in Romania, and is known as the official castle of Dracula. While Dracula never actually resided here, theses where you can learn all about Transylvanian history, and it truly is an incredible place to check out.

Bran Castle, Transylvania in Romania

Bran Castle is one of the top spots in Transylvania.

The entire town of Bran engulfs the vibe of Dracula, and definitely deserved several hours to explore. Bran Castle is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm, the final entrance being at 4 pm, and on Mondays it opens at noon.

Bran Castle, Transylvania in Romania
Bran Castle, Transylvania in Romania
Bran Castle, Transylvania in Romania

Bran Castle is the official castle of Dracula.

Want a tour of Bran Castle? Here are a couple that you can reserve:


This is the house of an aristocratic family with Greek origins. The castle reminds us more of an Italian styled building, surrounded with its manicured gardens. It is open daily from 9 am to 8pm, and the entrance is 30 Lei for a basic ticket, and 40 with the art gallery included.

Corvinilor Castle 

In our opinion, this is the most gorgeous castle in Romania. Despite its slightly inconvenient location, it is definitely worth the time and effort to go there.

Corvins Castle, Transylvania in Romania

Corvinilor is an hour and a half drive west of Sibiu, 2 hours and 15 minutes south of Cluj Napoca, and 2 hours and 15 minutes east of Timisoara. It is open Tuesdays to Sundays from 9 am to 5 pm, and Mondays from noon to 5 pm.

The outside is simply magical with is long bridge and orange roofs, while the inside is super creepy and interesting. We'll let you see that for yourself though!

Corvins Castle, Transylvania in Romania
Corvins Castle, Transylvania in Romania
Corvins Castle, Transylvania in Romania
Corvins Castle, Transylvania in Romania

Corvin's Castle is super interesting from both the inside and out.

Don't have a car and want to visit? Here are a few tours from different cities in the area:

Check Out Castelul de Lut

Despite its name, this isn't actually a real castle, but is one of the cutest places you'll ever see. The name is translated to "Clay Castle of the Valley of the Fairies", and it's seriously fitting to what this attraction is.

Make sure to add this to your Transylvanian itinerary and wander around this cute fairytale setting. You can also grab a bite to eat next to the river, or head across the street to the adorable theme park for kids, Povostea Calendarului.

Castelul de Lut, Transylvania in Romania
Castelul de Lut, Transylvania in Romania
Castelul de Lut, Transylvania in Romania

Castelul de Lut feels like a fairytale village.

Go on a Dracula Tour

Bran Castle is the highlight of Dracula. However, if you want to learn more and really get a great feel for Dracula's presence in the history of Transylvania, then there are a few tours that you can sign up for.

Drive the Transfagarasan

Looking for one of the most picturesque mountain roads? The Transfagarasan (formally the DN7C),  is a curvy road that is located at the bottom of the Carpathian Mountains. This may just be one of the most scenic drives you'll ever do, and also has some great spots to check out along the way.

Note: This road is only open in the summer months.

Hike to Gorgeous Lakes

While Transylvania in Romania is known for its stunning castles and dark history, it also is home to some gorgeous nature! Two lakes that are located just off the side of the Transfagarasan highway are Balea Lake and Lacul Capra. In the summer months you can hike to them, and they are seriously stunning. Unfortunately for us, we visited in the end of May and the highway was closed, so it's definitely added to the list for next time!

Don't have time to read the whole article and want to save it for later? Just pin it!

Transylvania in Romania Pin
Transylvania in Romania Pin
Transylvania in Romania Pin

Chase Waterfalls

While you're checking out these beautiful lakes, there are actually two waterfalls on the way with the same names- Cascadas Balea and Cascadas Capra. Don't miss out on them while in the area!

Do Other Unique Hikes

Want to experience some other great hikes in Transylvania? Here are a few that are also worth mentioning.

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Sfinxul Bucegi

Located in the south of Transylvania, this can also be done as a day trip from Bucharest. Sfinxul Bucegi (the Sphinx) is a natural rock formation in the Bucegi Natural Park, located in the Bucegi Mountains. Situated at a high altitude, there may be snow here until as late as June! Make sure to be well prepared.


Heroe's Cross on Caraiman Peak

This is actually a hike that can be done connected with the Sphinx. This cross sits at an altitude of 2,291 m, and has gorgeous views of the valley below.

Piatra Craiului

This national park is located in the southern carpathian mountain range. This is for those that want more challenging, and breathtaking hikes. There are several trails to choose from, and a few are quite difficult, but extremely rewarding. We didn't get a chance to do any of them last time, but they are definitely on the list for next time!

Visit Lake Vidraru

This is actually an artificial lake with one of the highest dams in Europe. Despite it not being natural, it is a beautiful area to explore. You can find a large statue called Prometheus, small waterfalls, and even bears! This is a great place to also go kayaking, or do other water sports.

Lake Vidraru, Transylvania in Romania
bear, Transylvania in Romania
waterfall at Lake Vidraru, Transylvania in Romania
Lake Vidraru Transylvania in Romania

Lake Vidraru has a dam, waterfalls, and bears.

Stop by Some Monasteries

The castle are of course the main highlights when it comes to architecture in Transylvania. However, along the road there are a few cute monasteries worth stopping by.


If you happen to be visiting Castelul de Lut, this is an adorable monastery located in to town of Carta. You'll need to call them on the number outside for them to let you in, as it is private property.

Carta Monastery, Transylvania

Carta Monastery is a hidden gem of Transylvania.

Curtea de Arges

This is another great spot to simply stop while on the road between destinations in Transylvania. If you plan on driving down the Transfagarasan, then this is the starting point is you are coming from south or east. There is also a great Greek restaurant across the street that we recommend stopping by to break up your trip.

Curtea Monastery, Transylvania
Curtea Monastery, Transylvania

Curtea de Argeș îs the perfect stop to break up your trip.

Explore Romania's Stonehenge

Sarmizegetusa Regia is a set of mysterious ruins located in western Transylvania in Romania. It served as the capital, as well as the most important military, religious, and political center of the Dacians before the wars with the Roman Empire. It is about an hour south east of Castelul Corvinilor, and is open from 9 am to 8 pm Tuesday to Sunday.

Admire the Colors of Rapa Rosie

This valley is the perfect spot to stop on the way to Castelul Corvinor if you are coming from Sibiu or Cluj Napoca. Napa Rosie is a stunning pink valley with folds in it, surrounded by greenery. It is free of charge to visit, and we saw tons of families having picnics here enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Rapa Rosie, Romania

Rapa Rosie is a beautiful spot to stop on the way to Corvin's Castle.

Go Glamping

If you're planning on spending some nights near Cluj Napoca, then you'll be pleased to know that there are some stunning Glamping experiences tucked away in the surrounding mountain areas. Want to know more about them? Make sure to check out our full Cluj Napoca travel guide for the different options.

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Discover an Underground Salt Mine

This is another one of the most unique things to do in Transylvania, Romania. Salina Turda is an underground salt mine that is now a full amusement park. Want to learn more about it? It's also something that we talk about in our Cluj Napoca article.

Salina Turda, things to do in Cluj Napoca
Salina Turda, things to do in Cluj Napoca
things to do in Cluj Napoca

Salina Turda is so much more than a salt mine.

Don't have time to go to Cluj Napoca? You can also take a one day trip here from Brasov:

Climb to the Top of a Giant Jesus Statue

Looking for a serious hidden gem of Romania? The Heart of Jesus Statue is located an hour east of Sighisoara, and is seriously in the middle of nowhere. The 22-meter high stainless steel statue can actually be climbed up, where you will find yourself inside the head! The views are stunning, and it makes for a pretty unique experience in Transylvania.

Heart of Jesus Statue. Transylvania in Romania

The Heart of Jesus is a super unique statue in Transylvania.

Moving Around Transylvania in Romania

If it's one thing that we learned in Transylvania, Romania, is that is is much bigger than we thought. While you can certainly visit certain areas by taking buses, we found that having a car is a must for being able to explore the beautiful nature and hidden gems scattered throughout the region.

We rented our car in Bucharest for 3 months to explore all of the surrounding countries, and absolutely loved them. We do suggest having a 4x4 though, as certain areas can be pretty rough to drive through.

Rent a car in Romania:

driving in Transylvania
house with eyes, Transylvania
driving in Transylvania

Renting a car allows you to really enjoy the landscapes of Romania.

Where to Stay in Transylvania

Being that Transylvania in Romania is so big, we actually spent a few nights in different places. We spent a night in Brasov, a night in Sibiu, a night in Sighisoara, and two nights in Cluj Napoca. We loved staying in each of them, and definitely liked the idea of experiencing at least a night in each. However, if you don't want to move around much, the best location to stay is Sibiu, as it is the most centrally located.

We spent a week around the region of Transylvania in Romania, and found that it was a great amount of time to get a taste for the area. We really packed everything in. It can definitely be done in a week, but if you like a slower pace, then you could definitely use a full two weeks there.

where to stay in Transylvania in Romania

Our accommodation in Brasov

What is Typical Romanian Food?

The food in Romania truly blew us away. Transylvania has super rich and tasty food, with delicious soups, hearty stews, and some of the most tender meats. The cuisine also incorporates a lot of cheese and sour cream. Here are some of the dishes we highly suggest you trying:

  • Ciorba: a traditional soup served with bread and a long spicy pepper. There are different types served such as tripe, pork, or veal (the veal is definitely our favorite!).
  • Mici: a handmade sausage made of ground beef that is heavily seasoned.
  • Sarmale: Cabbage rolls boiled and stuffed with meat
  • Mamiglia: polenta, served with many meals as a side
  • Papanasi: a dessert typical to Transylvania that consists of fried dough, sour cream, and local jams

Is is Safe to Travel to Transylvania in Romania?

While Transylvania is associated with Dracula, and can be thought to have eerie vibes, the safety of the area is quite the opposite! Romania is an extremely safe country with super friendly people. So don't let the stereotypes and assumptions get the best of you, because you'll feel very safe in Transylvania, as well as other areas of the country of Romania.

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Other Things to Know About Visiting Transylvania in Romania

Now you know almost all there is to know about Transylvania in Romania. But here are a few things to keep in mind while visiting.

The Best Time to Visit Transylvania in Romania

The best time to visit Transylvania is definitely in the summer, from June to September. This is because this region is surrounded by mountains, and certain roads are closed for the majority of the year. We visited mid-late May, and there was still snow in certain areas, which limited us to some of the things that we wanted to do.

For perfectly warm temperatures, and the opportunity to do some amazing hikes, you'll definitely want to wait to make it here during the summer time.

Weather & Packing For a Trip to Transylvania in Romania

Transylvania in Romania varied in temperatures, especially from mountain destinations and cities. It was definitely cooler here than other European cities at the time. So it's important to bring layers! Even in summer you may experience cool nights, especially if you plan on hiking. Definitely bring a good pair of hiking boots or sneakers so that you can explore some of the stunning nature that Transylvania in Romania has to offer.

Packing List for Transylvania

  • Sunscreen
  • Reusable Water Bottle (we use this water bottle from Cafago because it holds the temperature)
  • Sneakers/ Hiking Boots (for the hikes)
  • Layers (for the night)
  • Zippered Bag or Backpack - take a look at these backpacks for travelers!
  • Power Bank (we use Anker power banks, as they are super long lasting and sturdy)
  • Drone (We use the Mavic Mini Pro 3 because it's super light and doesn't sacrifice quality)
  • Travel Adapter (we use Tessan travel adapters as they are affordable and reliable)
weather in Transylvania, Romania

The best time to visit Transylvania is starting from June until September.

Transylvania in Romania is a beautiful place, full of colorful towns, stunning castles, and dramatic landscapes. We suggest giving yourself at least 1 week to discover all that it has to offer!

Want to visit other places in Romania? We have a few other Romania Travel Guides for you to check out, as well as plenty of other Eastern Europe Travel Guides.

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