Sighisoara

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Travel Guide Europe Romania Transylvania Sighisoara

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Introduction

Citadel's Tower in Sighisoara

Citadel's Tower in Sighisoara

© All Rights Reserved nicolettta

Sighișoara is a city on the Tarnava River in Mures county, in the historic region of Transylvania. German craftsmen and merchants, The Transylvanian Saxons, were invited here by the King of Hungary during the 12th century, to settle and defend the frontier. Central Sighișoara has preserved in an exemplary way the features of a small medieval fortified city and it has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Each year a Medieval Festival takes place in the old citadel in July. Sighișoara is a popular tourist destination due to its well-preserved walled old town. The landmark of the city is the Clock Tower, a 64-m high tower built in 1556. It is now a museum of history.

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Sights and Activities

Walking around the Historic Centre of Sighisoara is experience enough. All sites can be seen in a few hours, but absorbing the atmosphere (without the tourists which arrive by late morning) may lead you to stay longer. The main entrance to the old town is through a gate under a large clock tower with revolving figures from Saxon mythology. The tower contains an interesting History mueseum with artefacts relating to the history of the town and its various Medieval Guilds. Good views of the town can be seen from the top of the tower. There is also a very missable 'torture museum' beneath the tower (its one room with 3 unexciting exhibits). The house where the infamous Vlad Tepes ('Dracula') was born and lived until he was 5 is situated in the main square - and is now a good value restaurant. A Medieval German Church with a painted wooden altar and Lutheran graveyard stand on a hill to the South West of the central square and are reached by an old covered walkway built between the 14th and 17th centuries.

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Events and Festivals

Sighişoara Medieval Festival

Set in the picturesque medieval town of Sighişoara, this annual July festival is a must for visitors fascinated by Romania’s history. The three-day event is a celebration of the town’s historic lifestyle, beliefs and customs, and includes open-air concerts, costumed parades, street carnivals, jousting contests and craft displays.

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Getting There

By Plane

The nearest airports are Targu Mures (TGM IATA) 48 km away, Sibiu (SBZ IATA) 90 km away, Cluj Napoca (CLJ IATA) 145 km away, and Bucharest Otopeni (OTP IATA) 290 km away - see those pages for flight options. If you fly in and hire a car, none of those transfers are difficult. If you're relying on public transport, you probably need to stay overnight in the city you land in. Romania time is +1 hour on western Europe and +2 hours on UK, Eire and Portugal, so last trains and last buses will leave that much earlier.

By Train

There are 6 direct trains daily from Bucharest, 6 hours; 3 per day from Sibiu usually changing at Medias or Copsa Mica, 3 hours; and 3 from Targu Mures, 5 hours.

From Budapest the best option is the overnight direct train, leaving at 19:00 to arrive 07:00. Destinations further west, e.g. Vienna, Prague and Warsaw, will usually mean a change in Budapest. From Istanbul take the overnight Bosfors Expres and change in Bucharest.

For timetables, the easiest site to navigate is Deutsche Bahn.

The Sighișoara Railway Station is 1 km N of the old centre, next to the bus station. As you exit, zag right then left onto Str Garii/Station Rd, walk south with the citadel in plain view ahead, a jog left then right takes you over the little bridge into the centre.

By Car

Romanian highways are mostly well-signed and in good repair: reckon 8 hours to drive from Budapest. Drive defensively of course, watching especially for horse-drawn carts.

By Bus

Direct buses to Cluj-Napoca (3 hours), Bucuresti (5.5 hours), Otopeni OTP airport (6 hours, 250 lei), Sibiu (3.5 hours) or Targu Mures (1 hour); but the times may be erratic. The 2 Sighișoara Bus Station is near the railway staion. For timeatables check www.autogari.ro.

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Getting Around

It's such a small town that you will have no problem in going around walking. If you need any suggestion there is a tourist information office inside the Café International and Family Center or the tourist information booth, both located in the main square Piata Cetatii; they will help you reach the fortified churches in the area.

By Foot

Old Sighsoara can only be seen by foot: no public transport goes there.

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Eat

Casa Dracula on the main square serves reasonably good value food, some with a Dracula spin (look for the daily specials).

  • Rustic Romanian Restaurant - It looks a bit posh, but the food tastes good.
  • Hotel Sighișoara restaurant - Romanian and international cuisine in a medieval atmosphere.
  • La Perla - Pizza and other foods, a meeting place for locals, across the post office
  • Casa Vlad Dracul - Good soups and traditional Romanian fare. The childhood home of Vlad Țepeș, the inspiration for Dracula, makes it a fun tourist night out. As would be expected, the price is inflated to match the tourist trade.
  • Café International and Family Center - Piata Cetatii 8. It is an important resource for a tourist there. It is located in the main square of Sighișoara; if you come inside you'll meet few girls dressed in traditional clothes giving touristic information. On the same floor there is a café serving sweet cakes or sour pies baked locally with organic ingredients. The juice is organic, too. The prices are higher than normal, but the quality of the food is very good. Very good breakfast sets for up to 15 lei. If you go downstairs you will find an Internet point.
  • Concordia Pizza and Spaghetti - Italian cuisine, nice terrace, open until late.
  • Vila Franka - a restaurant on a hill surveying the Târnava valley, offers an outstanding panorama point. Can be reached by car or on foot (~1 hour walk/hike from the Citadel).

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Drink

Various cafes encircle the main square.

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Sleep

  • Burg Hostel. A nice hostel/bar located right in the Citadel, around the corner from the Clock Tower. Nice rooms, and a pub in the basement.
  • Apart-Hotel Sighișoara, Consiliul Europei street, no. 7 (in the center), ☎ +40 265-779432. Check-in: -, check-out: 12:00. €40.
  • Casa Cojo. Spacious self-catering apartment with garden in the medieval citadel, sleeps 5, €40 per night, historical house full of old world character.
  • Casa Săsească. Guest house right at the Citadel Square.
  • Casa Legenda. 5 rooms, €33-60/night/room, 2 minutes walking from the Citadel Square.
  • Casa cu Cerb. 3-star guest house at the Citadel Square.
  • Casa Wagner. 3-star guest house at the Citadel Square.
  • Hotel Claudiu. 3-star hotel/restaurant/bar in "downtown".
  • Dracl, 804 Principala street, ☎ +40 265 772211. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. On the Tarnava Mare river banks, in a natural setting, close to the settlement of Danes and few kilometers from the Citadel Accommodation and meals, pool-bar, horseback riding or taking horseback riding lessons at the equestrian and leisure center in the immediate vicinity. €40.
  • Hotel Rex.
  • Pension Sighișoara, Strada Pastorilor 43 (15-minute walk from the citadel towards Apold), ☎ +40 265 772754, e-mail: info@pensionsighisoara.com. Check-in: 13:00-22:00 (flexible), check-out: 11:00 (flexible). Cozy family friendly B&B in a quiet part of town, under German management, with inside parking and common garden terrace. €17 p.p. incl. breakfast.
  • Fronius Residence, 13 School street, ☎ +40 265 779173. 5-star luxury pension mixed with 500 years of history in the middle of the Citadel. €100.

View our map of accommodation in Sighisoara or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet cafes exist in most cities and towns. The number of internet cafes seems to be declining in bigger cities recently because of cheap availability of computers and the rising living standard here. Wifi is widely available in University areas, airports, public squares, parks, cafes, hotels and restaurants. Pay-as-you-go Wifi is also available in many venues. If uncertain, look for plazas near the Town Hall, large parks or other important buildings. Most (if not all) McDonald's restaurants and Starbucks in Romania have Wifi access and so do most 3-star (and higher) hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

Romania's country code is +40. To dial to other countries from Romania, dial 00 and then the international number usually without the first 0.
Public phones work well and are available in all areas. You must purchase a phonecard from a kiosk to use them. When dialing within Romania, dial 0 + three digit area code + six digit telephone.

There are five networks - four GSM/3G (Orange Romania, Vodafone, Cosmote and DigiMobil) and one CDMA (Zapp). Orange and Vodafone have almost full national coverage (98-99% of the surface of the country), while the newly-merged Cosmote+Zapp are expanding quickly. Tariffs are average for the European Union (€0.08-0.30/min, €0.04 per SMS). Both pre-paid cards and subscriptions are available, and special options for discounted international calls exist with some pricing plans. Roaming is available but is, like in most of the EU, rather expensive. Pre-paid cards or recharge codes can be bought in almost every shop, either rural or urban.

On prepaid SIMs you can activate extra options ("extraopţiune") starting from €5 (+ 24% VAT) in total = RON27-32, with a validity period of 30 days, containing thousands (200 -3,000) of minutes and SMSs within the same network and up to 100 minutes outside the network, including most European Union fixed land-line networks and two or three mobile networks.

Post

Posta Romana is the national postal service of Romania. Postal services are generally very affordable, reliable and reasonably fast. Post boxes are red and can be found near the post offices, along the street or in main train stations. Post offices can be found in even the smallest towns and the opening hours are generally Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 6:00pm and Saturday 8:00am to 12:00, closed on Sunday. You can buy stamps here or at kiosks. Prices for international mail start at around €0.55 and takes at least 3-5 days to countries within Europe. It's slightly cheaper and faster for domestic mail to be send. Intercontinental post is slightly more expensive but takes much longer. For slightly more expensive but faster and more reliable services you can also try international courier companies like TNT, DHL, FedEx or UPS.

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Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 46.237381
  • Longitude: 24.85416

Accommodation in Sighisoara

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This is version 22. Last edited at 9:15 on Dec 11, 18 by Utrecht. 7 articles link to this page.

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