7 Days in Transylvania – 1 Week itinerary
Do you love castles, mountains, and charming walkable cities? Do you want to embark on a week-long trip somewhere in Europe but don’t want the crowds of Ireland or the expense of Switzerland?
7 days in Transylvania is the perfect alternative. It’s a little off the beaten path so you won’t need to fight your way through other tourists to explore any of the top landmarks. Plus, it’s an affordable place for most travellers to visit.
Seven days in Transylvania is the perfect amount of time to explore and get a taster of this region. This 1-week Transylvania itinerary will cover when to visit Transylvania and how to get around.
It will also include a day-by-day breakdown of all the top things to do in Transylvania, where to stay, and the best tours in Transylvania to ensure you have an amazing trip to Transylvania, Romania.
Wondering where is Transylvania located anyway? It’s one of the largest regions in Romania, a Balkan country in Eastern Europe on the edge of the Carpathian Mountains.
It’s most famous for Bran Castle, the supposed home of the legendary vampire Dracula. You’ll also find many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, multicultural cities, and quaint towns and villages.
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The Best Time to Visit Transylvania
Due to its location in a mountainous region, Transylvania is one of the coldest areas in Romania. The hottest month is July with an average temperature of 20°C (68°F) and the coldest month is January with an average temperature of -2°C (28°F).
Winter is a great time to visit if you love winter sports. The Transylvanian Alps are a fantastic place to go skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing and the snow. But it does get pretty cold, so it’s not ideal if you want to explore cities, though the Christmas markets in November and December make the region look cheerful and festive.
Spring (April and May) is the best time to visit Transylvania for a balance of few crowds, pleasant weather, and affordable accommodation. You’ll also visit just before most of the rain hits in June. September is also a great time to visit for warm weather and to miss the peak summer crowds.
But if you do visit in summer, you’ll get the best weather (the cities of Brașov and Sibiu get very hot) and the Transfăgărășan Highway will be open. This is one of the best roads in the world though it’s usually closed because the snowy weather makes this mountain pass impossible to drive through during most of the year.
Aside from summer, the most popular time to visit Transylvania is autumn, specifically October, due to the region’s connections with Count Dracula. The autumn colours also make it a photogenic time to visit.
How to Get Around Transylvania
When planning 7 days in Transylvania, you’ll quickly realise that you cannot stay in one city and take day trips if you want to explore as much of the region as you can. You will either need to rent a car or take public transport to hop from city to city.
But Romania’s public transport system leaves a lot to be desired. The train network is still quite old and rickety and many buses don’t reach the smaller towns. So, the best way to get around Transylvania is to drive.
When figuring out how to get to Transylvania, you’ll probably find out that flying into Romania’s capital city of Bucharest on the Danube Delta is the most affordable and most convenient option. You’ll be able to rent a car and then drive a few hours north into the region you want to explore.
7 Days in Transylvania: 1 Week itinerary
Day 1 – Bucharest to Sibiu
Start your 1 week in Transylvania by arriving in Bucharest and driving to Sibiu. It should take around four and a half hours because it’s 281 km. If you are a confident driver and you are travelling to Transylvania in the height of summer, then the Transfăgărășan Highway will be open. Definitely don’t miss this stunning, winding mountain road!
Set off early so you have time to explore Sibiu when you arrive. It’s one of the most-visited cities in Transylvania and it’s known for its 12th-century Saxon settlers and Germanic architecture.
Check out the Bridge of Lies, the 13th-century Council Tower and the medieval city walls in the Old Town or you could see them on a walking tour with a local guide. Make time to visit the ASTRA museum as it’s the largest ethnographic museum in Europe.
You might be surprised, but Sibiu is in a European Region of Gastronomy. There are so many acclaimed chefs working here and the cuisine is a balanced mix of old and new. Eat at one of the top restaurants like Kombinat Gastro-Brewery, Urban Food, or Plai Restaurant.
Where To Stay in Sibiu
If you’re travelling on a budget, opt for Hostel PanGeea. For an affordable option, choose a three-star central hotel like Casa Luxemburg. And if you want to splash out on luxury accommodation, stay in Imparatul Romanilor Hotel.
Tours in Sibiu
- Medieval Sibiu: “The 7 Towers” Old Town Exploration Game
- Private Walking Tour of Sibiu
- Exclusive Tour: Corvin Castle, Alba Iulia and traditional villages from Sibiu
Day 2 – Sibiu to Cluj-Napoca
The cool, student city of Cluj-Napoca is around two hours (175 km) north of Sibiu. But there are plenty of places to explore en route!
The first stop on your road trip should be the fortified church of Câlnic which is a short detour from the main road. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of seven fortified churches of Transylvania that make up the site.
The others are Biertan Fortified Church, Dârjiu Fortified Church, Prejmer Fortified Church, Saschiz Fortified Church, Valea Viilor Fortified Church and Viscri Fortified Church.
If you’re an early bird and managed to set off early from Sibiu, turn left to visit Corvins’ Castle also known as Castelul Corvinilor. It’s one of the largest castles in Europe and one of the Seven Wonders of Romania. This Gothic-Reinassaince castle is in a picturesque location on the edge of the mountains and is well worth a visit.
Continue on to the city of Alba Iulia, the ancient starred city (literally – the medieval citadel walls are in the shape of a star!) in the centre of Transylvania. It’s home to Unification Hall where modern-day Romania was born around a century ago. You can also do a Transylvania tour to Corvins’ Castle and Alba Lulia from Sibiu on an organised group day trip!
One of the best things about Cluj-Napoca is the nightlife. Check out some bars and clubs like Caro Vintage Club and After Eight Nightclub.
Where To Stay in Cluj-Napoca
Retro Hostel is ideal for travellers looking for a cheap place to stay. If you’re travelling as a couple or family then Hotel Victoria is affordable and in a great location but if you want a five-star experience then book DoubleTree by Hilton Cluj – City Plaza.
Tours in Cluj-Napoca
- Private Day Tour to Alba Iulia, Salt Mine Turda & Cluj Napoca from Sibiu
- Tour to Corvin Castle in Hunedoara & Alba Iulia
Day 3 – Cluj-Napoca to Sighișoara
It takes around two hours and 30 minutes to drive to Sighișoara (155 km) so there’s plenty of time to explore Cluj-Napoca and enjoy a couple of stop-offs!
Check out the Steampunk Transylvania Museum which displays quirky modern art and Cetățuia Park for a gorgeous panoramic view of the city.
Next, head to the Salina Turda Salt Mine which was an underground mine but now hosts tours and events. You might think it sounds a little dull but the amphitheatre, mini golf, Ferris wheel, and boat rides will prove you wrong! It’s one of the best places to visit in Transylvania. You can easily visit the Turda Salt Mine on a half-day tour from Cluj-Napoca if you are staying longer in the city.
Continue on your journey and stop off at the city of Târgu Mureș. It’s a bilingual and bicultural city as it was once Hungarian, and the area is still disputed between Romania and Hungary. Visit the Târgu Mureș Palace of Culture which has the most colourful, ornate interior decor.
Continue on to Sighișoara which is one of the most popular cities in Transylvania. Its entire Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its well-preserved medieval city walls and buildings.
Where To Stay in Sighișoara
Backpackers and budget travellers should check out the lively Burg Hostel. Hotel Sighișoara is a great affordable, central mid-range hotel. And for a comfortable and luxurious stay, book the four-star Savri House.
Tours in Sighișoara
- Medieval Sighisoara: “Defend the Fortress” Exploration Game
- Sighisoara walking tour or the real house of Dracula -Outdoor experience
- Turda salt mine (4h, from Cluj)
Day 4 – Sighișoara to Brașov
Before driving from Sighișoara to the region’s capital city Brașov (a 117 km journey that takes less than two hours to drive), explore Sighișoara. This is the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler and the inspiration behind Count Dracula.
You can take a city tour of Sighișoara with a knowledgeable, local guide or you can take a self-guided tour. Make sure you visit the Clock Tower and the Covered Stairway as you take a stroll through the Old Town.
While driving from Sighișoara to Brașov, there are a couple of places you should visit if you have time and they are all short detours from the main highway. The first is Saschiz and then Viscri. Both of these towns have fortified churches that are part of the Transylvania UNESCO World Heritage Site. Biertan is the most popular for visitors and you might have time to visit if you set off a little earlier.
Where To Stay in Brașov
There are lots of hostels in Brașov for budget travellers, but SECRET Boutique Hostel is one of the nicest while still being cheap. Main Square Hotel offers affordable rooms and suites for couples and families staying in the centre of the city. And you can stay in a five-star hotel like Hotel Aro Palace for around €150 per night.
Tours in Sighișoara and Brașov
Day 5 – Explore Brașov
For the next two days, you’ll be exploring Brașov and the areas around Brașov before heading back to Bucharest.
One of the top things to do in Brașov is to check out The Black Church. It’s a Gothic structure with carpeting from the Ottoman empire that got its name from a huge fire in the 1600s. The Main Square is also beautiful and where you’ll find the Christmas markets during the festive season.
You should also take the cable car up Tampa Mountains to see the Brașov sign, which is a quirky copy of the Hollywood sign. If you’d rather let someone else research the top locations to visit in Brașov then join a city walking tour.
If you are visiting during the winter, you must head to the Poiana Brașov ski resort. It’s just on the edge of the city on the outskirts of the Carpathian Mountain range. It also has ice skating, tubing, and luging. It’s also a great place to hike in the warmer months along trails like the Poiana Ruia or Valea Hoților. If you love animals, you could alternatively take a half-day trip to spot bears in the wild!
Aside from Sibiu, some of the best food you’ll eat in Transylvania will be in Brașov. Check out Zorba the Greek, Sub Tâmpa, and Chef’s Boutique Restaurant.
Tours in Brașov
- Ski / Snowboard Lessons on the Slopes of Poiana Brasov
- Brasov City Guided Walking Tour for Small Group
- Bear watching experience near Brasov
Day 6 – Brașov Castle Day Trip
Today’s the day you visit the places that are likely behind the whole reason you are in Transylvania! You’re going to take a full-day trip to visit Bran Castle, Peles Castle, and Râșnov Citadel. You can either book a tour to visit all three of these locations or you can drive yourself.
Bran Castle is a dramatic 14th-century castle and former royal residence that would be worth visiting even without the legends of vampires and monsters attached to it. They host Halloween parties in October and November so it’s well worth visiting the castle during those months.
Peles Castle doesn’t get as much attention as Bran Castle, but it should. It’s a neo-renaissance castle and the former summer residence of King Charles I. Today, it houses lots of historic artefacts and art of national importance. It’s a beautiful castle with pretty manicured lawns too.
Finally, Râșnov Citadel doesn’t look as picturesque as the other two castles as it was built for military purposes, but it’s still an impressive sight perched on top of a hill with miles and miles of mountain views.
Castle Tours in Brașov
- Bran Castle and Rasnov Fortress Tour from Brasov with Optional Peles Castle Visit
- Castles Tours from Brasov
- Peles Castle , Bran Castle , Rasnov Fortress,Sinaia Monastery Tour from Brasov
- Halloween at Dracula’s Castle
Day 7 – Brașov to Bucharest
It’s the last day of your 7 days in Transylvania! You should have time to finish exploring Brașov if there is anything you missed. If you do have extra time, consider booking a Romanian wine tasting, a traditional cooking class, or joining a food walking tour.
Bucharest is around 180 km south of Brașov which is a three-hour drive. Leave within good time of your car rental drop-off time and you’ll have an enjoyable, smooth road trip in Transylvania!
Hopefully this one week Transylvania itinerary has been super helpful in making your trip smooth and stress free.
Food and wine tours
- Romanian wine tasting, heart of old town
- Cooking Class with Mama Maradin
- The Romanian Food Experience – Food Walking Tour