Do you want to visit Sibiu but don’t know which are the most beautiful places to see in this superb city in Transylvania? In this article, you’ll find the main tourist attractions in Sibiu that you should definitely visit if you happen to be in this beautiful medieval city.
Sibiu is a very beautiful city in Transylvania with a wonderful medieval charm. Its towers, stairs, fortified churches, centuries-old buildings, narrow passages, and colorful houses will make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time during your stay here.
Sibiu will enchant its visitors from the very first encounter with its medieval appearance, inviting you to make the most beautiful discoveries, regardless of the season. With its fabulous old-world atmosphere, Sibiu is like an open-air museum with houses dating back to as early as 1380 on its narrow streets, its stairs descending towards the old town, and its most impressive buildings and squares.
Also known as Hermannstadt, Sibiu is one of the seven citadels built by German colonists in Transylvania in the 12th century. By the 14th century, it was already an important commercial center and has long been the most significant citadel in Transylvania. In 1366, the citadel was declared a city.
Although it’s a medium-sized city, Sibiu has a lot of tourist attractions. Here are the most beautiful tourist destinations in Sibiu.
Piața Mare and Brukenthal Palace
What to visit first in Sibiu? You can start by exploring Piața Mare, where you’ll find Brukenthal Palace, which houses one of the most impressive art collections in Romania. But it’s not just that. It’s a place where art, medicine, history, and hunting are all brought together. It’s also a unique Baroque monument in Romania, the residence of the governor of the same name. With over 1,000 paintings in its main collection, it’s a must-visit for art enthusiasts. It also features other exhibitions dedicated to hunting, natural history, and pharmacies. Piața Mare became the city center in the 16th century and has a predominantly Baroque style. In addition to Brukenthal Palace, it also houses the Catholic Church. The Council Tower is what connects Piața Mare to Piața Mică and, in a way, unifies this place.
The Bridge of Lies in Sibiu
Another tourist attraction in Sibiu is the Bridge of Lies, the oldest cast-iron bridge in Romania that is still in use and a true symbol of the city. Surrounded by two very old buildings, it has become very popular among tourists, especially due to the legends that surround it. Legends say that if a person tells a lie while on the bridge, it might make the bridge crack.
The city center is divided into the Upper Town, the old or medieval town, and the Lower Town. The Upper Town comprises most of the attractions, such as Piața Mare, the Council Tower, and Brukenthal Palace. So, in Sibiu, you’ll deal with two distinct entities, with different atmospheres, coexisting within the same city: the Upper Town and the Lower Town.
Piața Huet in Sibiu
Piața Huet, the original nucleus of the city, is home to the Evangelical Church. Piața Mică has a semi-circular shape and is dominated by the Museum of Universal Ethnography and the Luxemburg House. It’s a stone symbol of the connection between the two European capitals of culture in 2007. Here, you’ll also find the Stairs Tower, one of the oldest surviving constructions. It’s quite an impressive structure, and from there, you can access the stairs that connect the Upper Town to the Lower Town.
9 Mai Street in the Lower Town
9 Mai Street in the Lower Town is the oldest street in Sibiu. Formerly known as Elisabethgasse, it has seven historical landmark buildings. Number 43 features a house from the 16th century, and there’s even a Gothic-style house from the 15th century. Walking along this street, you can reach the Dragoner Market, the oldest market here. The market is at the intersection with Ocnei Street, another very old street. The Goldsmiths’ Passage connects the square of the same name to the Small Square.
St. Michael’s Church in Sibiu
St. Michael’s Church, a beautiful church that has stood the test of time. Near Sibiu, there’s Cisnădie, with its fortified church, which is easy to recognize due to its tower, which is over 100 meters tall.
Sibiu’s ruins, an impressive legacy of medieval conflicts. The medieval fortress was built in the 12th century by Saxon colonists brought by the Hungarians to protect the area. But today, only its remnants can be admired, offering a walk through the old town.
ASTRA Traditional Folk Civilization Museum
The ASTRA Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization is undoubtedly the most popular open-air attraction and an ideal place to discover traditional Romanian cottages while enjoying a beautiful outdoor walk. The museum houses the most beautiful open-air ethnography exhibition in Europe, allowing you to see old mills, wooden churches, and traditional cottages. It’s a true witness to our Romanian past. ASTRA is even more magical as it’s located in the heart of Dumbrava Forest, where the cottages are arranged like a village. You’ll truly feel like you’re traveling back in time.
For those looking for the most relaxing walk, you can visit Sub Arini Park, a place frequented by tourists all year round. Sibiu residents come here to escape the summer heat and admire the floral arrangements.
The Houses with Eyes
These „eyes” that observe tourists and residents from the roofs of the houses have become a true trademark of the city and one of its main attractions. They certainly appear in all the photos taken by tourists because it’s impossible not to notice them and wonder about their story. Some might get the impression that Big Brother is watching from everywhere, but these „eyes” actually have a more practical function. They are simply ventilation windows for the attics of the houses. However, during the communist era, some say these „eyes” were built to make locals fear them and believe they were being watched.
Orthodox Cathedral in Sibiu
Over 90% of the population here is Orthodox. The beauty of the cathedral serves as a testimony to the most beautiful Christian heritage. It was designed by Bishop Andrei Șaguna and built between 1902 and 1905, thanks to donations from the Austrian Emperor and the Governor of Transylvania.
You’ll surely fall under the charm of Sibiu, a tourist destination with a flourishing culture that has managed to create a unique identity over the centuries. It’s a city with a wonderful medieval scent and is certainly one of the most beautiful places in Romania. Sibiu is a must-visit city in Romania if you’re a passionate traveler, and you’ll instantly and irrevocably fall in love with it.