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Visit Sibiu Romania: top 10 attractions (+ bonus)

Need to know

Closest airport: Sibiu International Airport (SBZ), located on national road DN1, 6 km from the city.
How to get there by car: E81 from Bucharest (around 41/2 h drive)
Population: 148,000
County/Area: capital of Sibiu county/central Romania, Transylvania

Visit Sibiu Romania!!! No, this is not a travel agency slogan.

Sibiu is not just any town in Romania.

I remember I first visited Sibiu many years ago and I liked it. It lived up to its reputation. But in 2021 when I revisited it, it looked absolutely blossoming, like a friend you haven’t met in a while and the time apart only highlighted their natural beauty.

Despite its average size, Sibiu has special energy, tumultuous cultural life, multicultural environment, and beautiful surroundings. It has a dose of grand architecture combined with Saxon history that emanate from the beautiful buildings, city walls, coat of arms or narrow alleys.

Travel to Sibiu! This charming city in Romania has so much to offer! From former capital of culture to kept traditions, from fabulous surroundings to pleasant cafes, or from a history lesson to embracing a proud present!

Taste the tradition! Do not miss on Sibiu cheese or on the famous salami that bears the name of the city! But also try out as many authentic dishes as you can!

Feel the beauty of the city and region! It would be a pity to visit Sibiu and overlook the neighboring villages or landscapes! Feel the hospitality of the people!

view over Sibiu Romania
View over Sibiu, the 8th most idyllic place to live in Europe (Forbes)

The town has a medieval charm, and its inhabitants are justly proud of their city’s multicultural history that brought many of the country’s premieres to Sibiu Romania. Today, the town continues the cultural tradition, hosting festivals of theatre, music, opera, and jazz.

Romantic street in Sibiu Romania
One of the many romantic streets Sibiu has to offer; photo: Ioana Berbec


A bit of history/ Good to know
Tourist attractions
The Great Square
The Brukenthal Museum
The Stairs Passage
The Evangelical Cathedral
The Bridge of Lies
The Museum of Pharmacy
The Small Square
The Council Tower
The Orthodox Cathedral
The Towers of Sibiu
Open-air ASTRA Museum Complex

A bit of history/ Good to know

The history of Sibiu (Hermannstadt in German) goes hand in hand with the Saxons who lived in Transylvania and erected many fortifications throughout southern Transylvania. But the true craftsmanship of their art is mainly revealed in the seven citadels (Siebenburgen), which developed as trade centres between the east and the west. Sibiu Romania is one of the citadels that flourished under Saxon influence, the remains of which proved beneficial for the city.

(The other 6 citadels are: Bistrita, Brasov, Cluj, Medias, Sebes and Sighisoara).

Curious to find out more? Check the post on best places to visit in Romania and the must-see of Transylvania!

Sibiu’s medieval period is highlighted by the prosperous activity of the guilds who manufactured objects for living. It was by that time that, in order to protect the riches of the town, four layers of fortification were built to protect the town between the 13th and 15th centuries.

Great Square in Sibiu Romania
The Great Square

Sibiu was a powerful political and cultural centre; it was the headquarters of the Saxon University, and even the capital of Principality of Transylvania. The tremendous burgeoning of Sibiu was stopped by the two world wars. In 1945, the communists deported lots of Saxons to Siberia and confiscated their goods and properties. After the fall of communism, the other family members left mainly for Germany, so that today, the initial inhabitants of Sibiu Romania are mainly gone. Still, Saxon origins are visible.

Colorful houses in Sibiu Romania
Colourful houses in Sibiu…
interesting shops in Sibiu Romania
…and shops full of creativity: I think about her … all the time

Sibiu, city of premieres

Before visiting a place, I like to discover things that differentiate it from others, so this is what I found about Sibiu; it is the town of many premieres in Romania, but not only:

  • The first hospital in Romania (1292);
  • The first library on Romanian territory;
  • The first pharmacy in the country (1494);
  • Chemist Franz-Joseph Müller discovers in Sibiu tellurium chemical element (1782);
  • Samuel von Hahnemann opened in Sibiu the world’s first homeopathic laboratory;
  • Brukenthal Museum is opened as the first museum in Romania;
  • Sibiu becomes European Capital of Culture (2007), the first Romanian town to get this title;
  • Sibiu is ranked the 8th most “idyllic place to live in Europe” by Forbes magazine (2008).

Before visiting, it’s good to know that Sibiu’s main visiting parts are divided between the Upper Town (traditionally wealthier and more commercial) and the Lower Town (used to be the manufacturing area). The Upper town is house to the most important sights of the city, while the Lower one is paved with cobblestone and has many colourful houses, being bounded by fortifications.

downtown view of Sibiu Romania
Downtown view; photo: Ionut Todinca

Tourist attractions

When I visited, TIFF (Transylvania International Film Festival) was ongoing, so the Great Square (along with other locations) was filled with chairs to enjoy a movie night out.

It was a tremendous change after the trip to authentic villages, Transylvanian fortified churches (Biertan, Viscri or Crit), and cosy accommodation, but cultural life was welcome, and Sibiu Romania offers the visitor the necessary infusion into the artistic.

Though I spent two days and a half in Sibiu, you can take the pulse of the city in one day, but the pleasant streets and atmosphere will make you want to spend more time or return.

So, don’t hesitate, visit the main attractions in Sibiu Romania! Here’s a list of top 10 places to visit, and a bonus, right at the end.

visit Sibiu and its squares
One of Sibiu’s squares with the Evangelical Church in the back; photo: @magictransylvania

The Great Square

If you wonder where to start, The Great Square (Piata Mare), the main place of social gathering in Sibiu, can only be a wise choice. Nowadays a downtown walk comes in handy, but centuries ago, this square served as the place for economic activities, social gatherings, even public executions. It features many famous buildings and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage. The square gets very lively in the evening, as there are many restaurants and terraces, as well as some cultural event, like it happened with the film festival.

If you feel like a coffee, why not stop, and grab one at one of the inviting terraces from the square? You need energy for the day…

Great Square in Sibiu Romania
Great Square

Brukenthal Museum

As I appreciate art, I couldn’t miss Brukenthal Museum, situated in a building from the square (admission charge).

Part of the Brukenthal Palace, the museum was founded by baron Samuel von Brukenthal, governor of the province, whose collection of fine arts was the nucleus of today’s museum. The oldest and one of the most appreciated museums in Romania, it boasts paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck and Teniers, as well as works of German, Austrian and Romanian masters. We saw an exhibition with modern art graphics, such as Magritte, Dali , Picasso or Egon Schiele, etc.

Updated and sanitized for COVID-19, Brukenthal Museum
Updated and sanitized for COVID-19, Brukenthal Museum
Me after seeing the current exhibition in the garden of the museum
Me after seeing the current exhibition in the garden of the museum

The Stairs Passage

Visit Sibiu the romantic! A stroll in the city must include The Stairs Passage (Pasajul Scarilor), a picturesque place that makes the connection between the Upper and Lower towns. Otherwise, it is hard to miss if you walk through the town. Its history goes back to the 12th century when the inhabitants built fortification walls to protect the city from the Tatar invasion.  This passage is not the only one serving the purpose but is the most famous one. If you think you could spare some energy, have a break at Café Wien, situated in a totally beautiful spot and enjoy the view!

The Evangelical Cathedral

Energized, you can continue with Huet square, situated very close to the Stairs Passage, a place with gothic buildings. The Evangelical Cathedral dominates not only the square, but also part of Sibiu skyline, with its first stone being set in the 12th century.

The actual monument dates from the 16th century, and it is based on the renovation of the former Roman church. It is a pure representation of the Gothic with arched vaults and houses the biggest organ from South-East Europe. Behind the organ lies the tomb of Vlad Tepes’ son, murdered in front of the church in 1510. The four corners of the church indicate the city’s right to apply death penalty centuries ago. In 2020, the church entered an ample process of renovation, but is now visitable again.

Evangelical church in Sibiu Romania
The Evangelical Church
renovated Evangelical church
The beautifully restored Evangelical Church; photo: Ana Partene

The Bridge of Lies

Time to take your picture on the Bridge of Lies (Podul minciunilor), the first forged iron bridge in Romania (another premiere!) and the second in Europe. Although the legends circulating around it are famous, the story that gave its name isn’t, so I wanted to discover it.

The truth behind its name is that in German dialect it was called “the Lying bridge” as it had no support pillars, and in German the word is the same for lie. Hence the confusion!

This is one of the main objectives that attracts thousands of visitors every year, partly due to its numerous legends. The most common says that the bridge has ears and whenever it hears a lie, it gets so angry that it collapses. (There are other versions as well referring to young girls swearing their virginity or couples their love).

bridge of lies in Sibiu Romania
Would you lie to me? … on the Bridge of lies
bridge of lies
Under the bridge; photo: Bogdan Mustatea

Museum of Pharmacy

Sibiu had been the leader in pharmacy, so no surprise there is a Museum of Pharmacy. (admission charge).

The country’s first apothecary opened in Sibiu Romania back in 1494, and this particular pharmacy operated as the third of its kind in the town. The museum showcases around 6600 items such as microscopes, mortars and pestles, pills, powders and surgical kits. There are some displays about homeopathy, as the father of homeopathy lived in Sibiu for a while, being the doctor of governor Brukenthal.

The Small square

Squares in Sibiu give you the perfect vibe and a good feeling of vacation, at least this is how it happened to me. The small square (Piata mica) is one of them, a magical place with cafés and houses “looking” at you.

The “houses with eyes”, a trademark when you visit Sibiu and a rare element of medieval architecture, have always fascinated me and I wanted to find out their role. The eyes are the “lungs” of historical houses responsible with their breathing, as, back then food couldn’t be preserved due to moisture.

To me, this square was perfect, as this one had the right size and amount of privacy, not too big, not too small. It is also a delightful spot of the town crammed with small cafés and restaurants, such as Atrium Bistro.

Visit Sibiu! look up to observe the houses with eyes!
Houses with eyes … a trademark of Sibiu
Sibiu has many bars and pubs
If you are tired of exploring, find a table …and regret nothing!
a piano and a glass of wine
Enjoying every bit while listening to the gentleman who plays the piano in the background

The Council Tower

It is a must when you visit Sibiu Romania. It lies at the crossroads between the Great Square and the Small Square. Originally built in the 12th century, it underwent many changes until the actual look. It was used as entrance gate to the second row of fortified walls built around Sibiu. Throughout the centuries, the Council Tower served as a wheat storage or as an observation point in case of fire, even a temporary prison. It would be a pity not to see the whole town from above as on the top floor, an observation deck allows a bird’s-eye view of the historic town and the Fagaras Mountains beyond.

Council Tower in Sibiu Romania
Don’t miss the view from the Council Tower
Bird's eye view
Bird’s eye view from the tower with Fagaras mountains beyond.

The Orthodox Cathedral

Every Romanian city boasts some famous churches, so here we are at the Orthodox Cathedral/ The Holy Trinity Cathedral (Catedrala mitropolitana ortodoxa), another landmark from our top 10 places to visit in Sibiu. It was built in Byzantine style based on the model of Saint Sofia from Istanbul, with the main spires influenced by Transylvanian church architecture. It was completed in 1904.

Close to the church you’ll discover another characteristic of the town, the House with Caryatides (Casa cu cariatide) (13, Mitropoliei str), a famous building that belongs to the late baroque. Trust me, you will want to take a picture here! I particularly loved it!

Orthodox cathedral
The Orthodox Cathedral; photo fb Catedrala Mitropolitana Sibiu
House with Caryatides
Beautiful façade of the House with Caryatides

The Towers of Sibiu

The inhabitants of Sibiu have always been proud of their “properly” built fortress, as it couldn’t be invaded for a long time. The city walls and towers witness the presence of a military masterpiece whose remains are scarce. Initially, the fortress had around 40 defensive towers that got their names according to the guild they belonged to. Mainly built in the 15th and 16th centuries, they withstood the test of time. Most of the best-preserved towers are southeast as the attacks mainly came from that part, the towers underwent several reinforcements.

You should check the Carpenters’ Tower (Turnul Dulgherilor), go past the Potters’ Tower (Turnul Olarilor), and finally observe the Harquebusiers’ Tower (Turnul Archebuzierilor).

If you spared some energy, end the evening with a good festival in the Great Square.

Fortification and tower in Sibiu Romania
Fortification and Tower in Sibiu: photo:

As mentioned in the title, besides the top 10 attractions, I saved you a bonus. You cannot visit Sibiu and miss this objective!

Open-air ASTRA Museum Complex

If you have one extra day and prefer to remain close to Sibiu, you should visit the Open-air ASTRA Museum Complex (Muzeul ASTRA) (str Padurea Dumbrava, admission charge), the largest open-air museum in Europe, spread over 10 km and featuring a big lake. It is 4 km south from Sibiu, in the Dumbrava forest.

The mission of the museum is to promote and preserve authentic and traditional values. In reality, it is so much more than just an ethnographic museum; it delves into the ancient life of the community and tries to improve its cultural life. It is an excellent destination for families.

You can see over 300 buildings, as well as old mills, water wheels, an old wooden ferry, gigantic presses for wine and oil, and other traditional buildings from all parts of Romania that are fascinating. In summer, fairs of authentic art and other festivals are held regularly.

Astra museum in Sibiu Romania
Astra museum
Astra museum
Authentic Romania …in ASTRA museum
Photo source:

Recommended by TTF:

  • The city of numerous Romanian premieres and the heart of Transylvania, Sibiu doesn’t deceive its visitors.
  • A charming and idyllic city, with plenty of spots to wander and enjoy narrow medieval streets
  • Strong fortress walls, standing towers and stairs for a picturesque view of Sibiu
  • A city of festivals all year round: music, film, theatre, jazz, gastronomy
  • Lots of places to explore around Sibiu: Clay Castle In The Valley of Fairies, Transfagarasan, Saxon fortified churches, Rasinari and Marginimea Sibiului, Sighisoara. etc

City essentials

For public transportation access

Taxi companies

Taxis are relatively inexpensive and widely available.
Taxi 924 –  +40269 924/+40269 444444 /+40721 924924 (available in playstore)
Taxi 953 – +40735 539953
Taxi 963 – +40269 963/+4074 0000963

Sibiu Tourist Information Centre
(Centrul de Informare Turistica) – Downtown
Str. Samuel von Brukenthal nr. 2

4 Responses

    1. Thank you so much, adriana! Indeed, Sibiu is a city worth visiting. If you pass by, tell me your impression!

  1. Andrea!
    What a flair you have for writing! I have not tromped the streets of Sibiu yet, but I already feel I will not have enough time to enjoy all Sibiu’s delights! I could remain seated To enjoy your blog on other cities, but Sibiu awaits! Thank you for sharing your passion with such enthusiasm and clarity!!

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