Brasov was our first stop in Romania after Bulgaria.
After a 17 hour train ride from Varna, Bulgaria (including 3 trains and 5 hour stop-over in the middle of the night at the Bulgaria-Romania border), we arrived to a overcast and rainy Brasov, Romania (fitting for a town in Transylvania, no?)
Through the wet windows on the 10 min taxi ride from the train station to the hostel, we got an eyeful of colourful exteriors, the famous Black Church and even the Brasov “Hollywood” sign.
It ended up raining the entire first day. The second day continued to be cloudy, about 18C, but the weather was pleasant enough to spend the day exploring the Old Town, including the charming town square, photographing beautiful exteriors and even going up the hill that’s 400m above town for a panorama view of the city.
From the town square, you can see the Brasov “Hollywood” sign looking over the town. I later took a cable car up to the viewpoint for 15 lei, about $5, for a round trip (or free if you hike up for 40 min).
Going up to the hill “Tampa Panoramic” to the Brasov “Hollywood” sign, I got a full view of the town below. In this zoomed in photo, you can see the town square, the White Tower and the Black Church (to the left the city square).
Coming back down the hill, two enthusiastic school kids on a field trip asked me in English to take a photo of them and even gave me his email to ask if I could tag them on Facebook. (It seems that Turkish, Bulgarian and Romanian locals like having their photos taken – we’ve had requests on numerous occasions by strangers for us to take their photos when they see us with our DSLR cameras, which is something I didn’t experience in Southeast Asia at all).
At late afternoon, the sky was still grey but the town square continued to be filled with families taking walks with kids, friends socializing over drinks, and even with street musicians.
Despite the grey weather, the charm of the colourful buildings, busy cafes, relaxed locals really shone through. I find this town captivating and laid back with a great vibe; and it also helps that prices are budget-friendly (see sample costs below).
For more daily ad-hoc travel photos, see my Facebook page.
- Similar to Plovdiv and Varna in Bulgaria, there seems to be any hardly any tourists in Brasov. My travel companion pointed it it could be because the nearest airport to Brasov is 3 hours away in Bucharest and the airport isn’t serviced by major discount airlines like Ryan Air (a major low-cost airline in Europe).
- Seeing an Asian person must be unusual. In both Bulgaria and here, I’ve caught a number of people taking photos of me. It’s a bit odd to see people sneaking in photos of me, but I assume it’s out of curiosity so I usually just smile at them :)
Travel tips for Brasov
Getting in by train:
View Larger Map
- Train ticket from Varna, Bulgaria to Brasov was 43 Bulgarian levs ($31 CAD) – although we have our Eurail passes, we haven’t started using them yet and are saving them for when train costs become higher
- The journey consisted of 3 trains: a 3 hour 200km from Varna to Ruse (town at the border of Bulgaria and Romania), a 3 hour 75km from Ruse to Bucharest, and 3.5hr 170km from Bucharest to Brasov.
- Train left at 5:40pm from Varna, Bulgaria, included a 5 hour stop-over in Ruse, Bulgaria and arrived at 10:40am in Brasov.
Sample costs in Brasov:
- Taxi from Brasov train station to Old Town Brasov, 8.5 lei ($2.75 CAD)
- Old Town Hostel Brasov, 8 bed dorm with shared bathroom, 8 Euros ($12 CAD) – includes WiFi, towel/lines, cereal/toast breakfast, tea and coffee all day.
- Large load of laundry washed and folded, 15 lei ($5 CAD)
- Groceries to cook pasta dinner for 2 with leftovers, 18 lei ($6 CAD or $3/person) – includes pasta, sauce, cheese, onion, 100g cheese, 100g smoked meat.
- Large pizza and large tiramisu cake from “Andos” Pizzeria, 17.9 lei ($6 CAD) – Large “kebab” pizza with chicken, onion, olives, peppers (free beer), free delivery with order over 29 lei ($10 CAD)
More resources on Brasov and Transylvania
- Brasov on Wikitravel
- Romania 101 on Wikitravel
- Bran castle aka “Dracula’s castle”
- Brasov images via Google Images
>> Does Brasov look like somewhere you’d like to visit? I’m finding the Old Town of Brasov very charming, what kind of places do you find charming? Leave your comments below!
Other articles you may like
- Greetings from Heavenly Koh Tao Island, Thailand
- 26 Highlights from 26 Days in Incredible India
- Kuala Lumpur: 3-Day Vacation from Travel
- How to Declutter and Move Forward
- Leaving a Job, Travelling Solo – Highs and Lows of An Unforgettable Year