Sighisoara is one of the most picturesque medieval towns in all of Romania. With a rich history and Transylvanian heritage, it is the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler or the real-life Dracula. Here is a guide covering the best things to do in Sighisoara, Romania.
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Welcome to Sighisoara: the Prettiest Town in Romania?
Sighisoara is located in the heart of the historical region of Transylvania, more or less halfway between Brasov and Cluj-Napoca. It is a small town with a mere 28k inhabitants, but it’s by no means skippable.
In the Middle Ages, Sighisoara was one of the most thriving craftsmen centers in the region, and the kings who ruled the area invited thousands of German workers. Those Germans became known as “Transylvanian Saxons,” and they left their mark on the region.
Sighisoara is home to some of the best-preserved medieval structures in Romania. Thanks to its architecture and cultural heritage, the old town of Sighisoara is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Here is a guide to the top attractions and things to do in Sighisoara, Romania.
The Best Things to do in Sighisoara
The center of Sighisoara is easily walkable, and the town itself is small. Start your visit on Citadel Square and explore the magnificent Old Town from there.
Sighisoara Old Town (Citadel)
Walking around the picturesque Old Town is undoubtedly among the best things to do in Sighisoara.
Many structures here date from the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries, and they are the result of German engineering and craftsmanship. The Ottoman Empire conducted many attacks and raids on the area, so the various guilds of Sighisoara had to build a defensive structure.
Many buildings in the Old Town still bear the names of the guilds who built them, like the rope makers’ tower, tannery, and tinsmith building.
You’ll find Citadel Square (the main square) as well as most of the top places to visit in Sighisoara here, including restaurants and cafés.
Completed in 1642, the Covered Staircase allows people to walk from the lower part of the Old Town to the top of the hill.
The most fascinating fact about this staircase is that it is enclosed by a timber roof and walls, sheltering the steps from the elements.
Today, the staircase has 176 steps and is one of the top places to visit in Sighisoara.
Sighisoara’s most famous landmark is the 64-meter-high clock tower. Finished in the 13th century, it was the citadel’s primary defensive structure in the Middle Ages. The clock itself was installed in 1600.
Once part of a Dominican monastery, the largest church in central Sighisoara is one of the best-preserved medieval structures in the city.
The monastery itself was built in the 13th century and demolished in 1888. Today the church still has some oriental carpets that came as donations from the city’s various guilds.
St. Nicholas Church on the Hill
After climbing to the top of the hill via the Covered Staircase, you’ll find St. Nicholas Church.
At an elevation of 429 meters, the 15th-century church replaced an earlier Romanesque basilica.
Today, St. Nicholas’ most distinctive feature is the collection of frescoes dating from the 1480s.
Dracula’s Room and Vlad Tepes’ (Dracula) Birthhouse
In the heart of old Sighisoara, you’ll find Dracula’s House. It’s the actual house where Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler, the real-life inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula) was born.
The house has a small museum and “Dracula’s Room,” a tourist set up with a man lying in a coffin. There is also a great restaurant where you can eat in a medieval setting.
Visiting this place is undoubtedly super touristy, but still among the best things to do in Sighisoasa.
The ticket for the Clock Tower also includes the History Museum which is an excellent place to learn about Sighisoara’s fascinating heritage.
There are lots of historical artifacts, a torture room, and a collection of weapons used during the reign of Vlad the Impaler.
Holy Trinity Church
Outside of the old core, you can visit Sighisoara’s Holy Trinity Church. It is the town’s largest Orthodox Church. Completed in 1937, the church should have stood in the historical center, but those plans never came to fruition.
If you have time, head south and visit the city’s only synagogue. The town used to have about 100 Jewish residents, but the last one died a few years ago.
The synagogue hasn’t held services in decades, but the city keeps its Jewish heritage intact and plans to open a new cultural center here.
Where to Stay in Sighisoara
If you’re looking for a place to stay in Sighisoara, the best option is to find a guest house or hotel on the edge of the Old Town.
I stayed at Venesis House, a small but cozy guest house about a five-minute walk from the Citadel. The price/quality ratio was fantastic.
If you want a bit more luxury, the Alte Post (old postal office building) is one of the best hotels in Sighisoara. I had dinner there and it was delicious.
Find more places to stay in Sighisoara here.
Visit Sighisoara: Know Before You Go
To complete our guide to the top attractions in Sighisoara, Romania, here are some FAQs. If you are planning to work remotely in Romania, check out my complete Romania digital guide.
How to Get to Sighisoara
The closest airports are Targu Mures (40 km), Sibiu (72 km), and Cluj-Napoca (105 km). Cluj-Napoca is by far the busiest out of the three, with low-cost flights to European destinations.
Alternatively, you can take buses or trains from Brasov, Sibiu, Cluj, or Bucharest.
From Brasov, the train takes 3-4 hours, about the same as Cluj. Sibiu is a bit closer, and Bucharest is 6-7 hours by train.
Watch my vlog below if you want to see what the experience is like on an old communist train in Romania.
Best Time to Visit Sighisoara
You can visit Sighisoara all year round, but the best time is undoubtedly May to September when the weather is warm and pleasant.
Bottom Line: Is Sighisoara Worth Visiting?
Sighisoara is undoubtedly worth visiting thanks to its unique medieval heritage.
Not many towns in Central and Eastern Europe are as well preserved as Sighisoara, making it a great stop on your adventure in Transylvania. One day is enough for Sighisoara.
At night, you’ll have the town to yourself as all the tour groups leave, warranting an overnight stay.