Sibiu is a beautiful city with a laid back atmosphere that is infectious. Since being named a European capital of culture, it has steadily become more popular with travellers, yet is still a place where you can escape the crowds. Surrounded by stunning mountain scenery, with an envious location, the city itself has cobbled streets linking the three main squares. Cafe life is in full force, while eye shaped windows dot the orange roofed buildings to give Sibiu a unique and pleasant feel.
The most expensive places to eat out are around the main square, so budget hunters should stick to the smaller cafes. Light meals such as soup or traditional Romanian rolls can be bought for around €2. A main course and a drink start from €5 in most eateries.
A bus ride within the city limits is cheap – less than half a Euro per journey. Buy a ticket before you board… Mr ticket inspector can be nasty! The bus and train station are next to each other, with the main square only a few minutes away. Pretty much all the city is easily walked. Sibiu is connected to Brasov and Bucharest by train and bus, journey times are similar whichever option you choose. An international train also goes to Budapest.
• Visit the Brukenthal Palace – Situated in ‘Grand Square’, the National Art Gallery and the Brukenthal Library are inside. Probably the most famous old building in the city, it’s a good way to find out a little more about Sibiu and Romania.
• Do some Square hopping – As well as the Palace, Grand Square is also home to the striking Council Tower, where you can climb the stairs and admire the view. A short walk away, Small Square is a nice place to hang out, grab a coffee and see the Liars Bridge and the nearby winding streets. Huet Square is the least extravagant but the oldest (12th century) ; the Lutheran Cathedral is its biggest draw.
• Explore the Cindrel Mountains – About 15 miles away from Sibiu, they make a nice area to escape to nature. The Paltinis Resort is an organised Ski area but is good for summer walking or mountain biking too. There’s plenty of shops and cafes to relax in.
• Go to the Traditional Folk Museum – Part of the series of Astra Museums in the city, this open air museum is the best one to visit. Set amongst forests, it’s like a little ancient village which shows how Romanians used to live and work. The lake, forests and small houses make a good excursion and are easy to get to ; a couple of km’s away from Sibiu in Dumbrava Forest.
• See the Walled Citadel at Cisnadie – this fortified church protected the town against Ottoman invaders and has been well maintained. You can climb to the top of the bell tower for a view of the surrounding countryside. Still a practising church, it is a short 10km journey from Sibiu.
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