Brasov to Chisinau via the Transfagarasan Road and Pele’s Castle

A visit to the points of interest of Brasov including Council Square (Brasov Central Square), Black Church (Biserica Neagra), Saint Nicholas Church, Rasnov Citadel and Dino Parc, Strada Sforii (narrowest street in Brasov), Brasov New Town Hall, Day trip to the Transfagarasan road, Day trip to Pele's Castle, Day trip to Bran Castle (Dracula's Castle) before taking the minivan to Chisinau, Moldova

What to see in and around Brasov

Brasov is the main tourist city of Transylvania, Romania.  It’s surrounded by many of Romania’s top sites including;

  • Council Square (Brasov Central Square)
  • Black Church (Biserica Neagra)
  • Saint Nicholas Church
  • Rasnov Citadel and Dino Parc
  • Rope Street (narrowest street in Europe)
  • Brasov New Town Hall
  • Day trip to the Transfagarasan road
  • Day trip to Pele’s Castle
  • Day trip to Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle)

As Brasov is a tourist hotspot there are many hotels.  These hotels can be cheap especially if you travel off season.

Council Square (Brasov Central Square)

Council Square (Brasov Central Square)

Council Square is located in the center of downtown Brasov.  You’ll find lots of very colorful and Instagrammable houses as well as churches in the square.  The showpiece of the square is the Brasov town hall which is unique looking as it used to be a watchtower.  The 2 churches located on the central square are the Black Church and the Amazing Grace Church.  There are lots of the restaurants and bars around the square and the pedestrianized Republic Street which leads up to it.

Brasov is a walled city and you see many historic gates as you pass in and out of the center.

Black Church (Biserica Neagra)

Biserica Neagra church spire, Brasov, Romania

The 65 meter tall Black Church is located close to Council Square.  It is the most significant Gothic building in Romania.  There is a rumor about a young German boy being buried in the foundations of the church.  Whilst this church was being built in the 14th century he was winding up the builders by saying the walls weren’t straight.  One of the annoyed builders then pushed him off killing him before hiding his corpse in the construction of the church.  There is a museum located inside the church.

Saint Nicholas Church

If you didn’t or couldn’t go to Suceava in the north to see the painted monasteries there is one in Brasov.  It’s not painted on the outside but there are frescoes inside.  It’s a 15 minute walk from the Black Church.

Rasnov Citadel and Dino Parc

Rasnov Citadel, Brasov, Romania

A short ride from Brasov you’ll find the village of Rasnov.  Located on a hill above the village is Rasnov fortified church.  The citidel was built to defend the nearby towns.  In the end it was used as a hiding place for villagers from passing armies because if the villagers had stayed in the village they would have been killed.

When I visited the citadel there were hundreds of people dressed up re-acting the old war days, I felt like I was in the Martin Lawrence movie Black Knight.

Located close to the Citadel is Dino Parc.  Dino Parc is perfect for those traveling with kids as you’ll find dinosaur statues and a kids play area.

Rope Street (Strada Sforii)

Rope Street, Strada Sforii (narrowest street in Brasov)

Whilst exploring Brasov you’ll come across lots of narrow streets (above).  In fact Brasov is home to the narrowest street in Europe.  This street is called Rope Street or Strada Sforii in Romanian.  Brasov would be the perfect location for a chase scene in a Bond movie.  One action movie that was filmed in Brasov is the Dolph Lungren and Cuba Gooding Junior movie One in the Chamber.

Brasov New Town Hall

New Town Hall, Brasov, Romania

In the new town of Brasov you’ll find administrative and university buildings as well as museums.  These are very Instagrammable buildings especially the New Town Hall (above).  There is a park closeby called Nicolae Titulescu which is good for kids.

Day trip to Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle)

Bran Castle, Romania

You can easily organize a day trip to Bran Castle in Brasov or take the bus there independently.  Bran Castle is a medieval castle and fortress that dates back to the 13th century.  It’s possible to visit the interior of the castle for a small fee (above).  I believe the view of the castle is better from a distance although it’s interesting to go inside.  Outside the castle there are lots of souvenir and overpriced snack stores.  An interesting souvenir you can buy is red wine labeled as Dracula juice!

Although marketed as Dracula’s Castle, this is not the real one.  The Real Dracula’s Castle, Poenari Castle can be found west of the Transfagarasan Road.

Day trip to the Transfagarasan Road

The Transfagarasan Road, Transylvania, Romania

Like the Palace of the Parliament, the Transfagarasan road was built under Ceausescu rule.  In the 60’s, Ceausescu wanted quick access to the mountains due to the threat of a Soviet invasion.  The road was built by soldiers of the Romanian army and completed in 1974.  Nowadays it’s a scenic route through Romania that tourists like to take.  There are many interesting landmarks on the route including winding roads, Balea Lake, tunnels, Poenari Castle (The real Dracula’s castle) and the Vidraru Dam.

The Romanian equivalent to the Tour de France cycling often passes through the Transfagarasan road.  The road was also featured in a Top Gear special where Jeremy Clarkson claimed it was the worlds best road trip.

Day trip to Pele’s Castle

Pele's Castle, Sinaia, Romania

Peles Castle was built at the start of the 20th century and is located a short walk from the ski resort town of Sinaia.  You can get to Peles Castle on the train / bus from Brasov or by taxi / car.  If you went by car on the Transfagarasan road afterwards you can loop around to Sinaia before returning to Brasov.

To visit the Transfagarasan road and Peles Castle I used an unofficial taxi driver I met at Brasov train station.  It was a bit of a risk but cheap at €40 for the whole trip.  The driver told me how to take the minibus to Chisinau, Moldova which was my next destination.

Brasov to Chisinau by Minibus

If you ask around at Brasov train station about a minibus to Chisinau someone will be able to help you find the right person.  It should be easy to find out where they leave from and what time.  I recommend checking and booking your space a day in advance.  For crossing the border into Moldova you shouldn’t need a visa but remember it’s not part of the EU or Schengen community.

Chisinau to Odessa

2017-09-03T20:06:26+00:00 August 27th, 2017|Eastern Europe, Romania|31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Lisa August 27, 2017 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    I never knew Brasov was the most touristy town in Transylvannia, it’s really interesting. I like the story of the black church, in your photo it does seem the church is dark than the usual! Good to know about the narrow streets there, and that the real Dracula castle isn’t what everyone thinks it is. A great post, and really informative.

  2. Natalie August 28, 2017 at 12:37 am - Reply

    That road!! Oh, my goodness what fun on a motorbike! We would just HAVE to rent one while there. I love the narrow streets, too. We don’t have anything like that anywhere in the US and it is just so cool.

  3. Lyf&Spice August 28, 2017 at 3:23 am - Reply

    Black Church piques my attention. Moreover, I had no clue that Brasov has the narrowest street in Europe. It is exactly the kind of place I would like to go to. I love strolling along narrow streets, exploring alleys and finding some random corners to click pictures, observe the people or get some good food. Cheers!!

  4. John August 28, 2017 at 8:10 am - Reply

    Brasov is a destination I had never considered to go to, I haven’t read much about Romania. I love the architecture of Peles Castle, it’s so unique. The narrow little colorful streets of Brasov look fun to explore too. That’s an interesting fact about Dracula’s Castle.

  5. Bee August 28, 2017 at 8:53 am - Reply

    I love this post! it reminds me so much of my own trip to Brasov and Dracula’s Castle in Transylvania. I love your pictures and you really captured this vibrant little town to its best!

  6. Abigail Sinsona August 28, 2017 at 9:49 am - Reply

    You have found many Instagram-worthy spots, James. Council Square is just beautiful and a great place to eat and people-watch it seems. I’d love to walk down Rope Street see how narrow it actually is!

  7. Rachelle August 28, 2017 at 12:21 pm - Reply

    I love your pictures! Word of caution with the minibus to Chisinau…it’s not very reliable. Sometimes it doesn’t run if the driver isn’t feeling up to it. My friend was serving in the Peace Corps in Chisinau and was often stranded. Gotta love it, right? But seriously, who wouldn’t want to visit Dracula’s Castle of the Black Church? So full of history!

  8. Umberta August 28, 2017 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    I would love to visit the Dracula castle! I heard the surrounding mountains are beautiful too, and so it seems from your pictures of Transfagarasan road. Also i find the narrowest street fun! Definitely I should plan a visit to Romania!

  9. Jennifer August 28, 2017 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    I love how the citadel sits on top of the hill. And the colours of Rope St are brilliant! Would definitely have to make a visit to Dracula’s castle.

  10. Danik August 28, 2017 at 4:05 pm - Reply

    That is one part of Romania I haven’t done, the road. I did all my travel by train but so want to go back here as soon as possible. The photos brought back so many memories of my trips there in 2008 and 2009

  11. Jamie August 28, 2017 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    Transfagarasan Road – wow! That would be a fun adventure! The buildings and street you have listed here would be amazing to photograph.

  12. My Travelogue by Bhushavali August 29, 2017 at 8:24 am - Reply

    That’s such a painful story behind Black Church! Reminds me of a very similar story when building the Tower of London.
    Its actually awesome way to experience the history of the citadel when there are people enacting the same! Fun way to learn history!
    Cycling on Transfagarasan road would be one heck of an experience. Its so gorgeous!

  13. Jaypee August 29, 2017 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    Thanks for a very detailed blog. Romania is one of the countries that I can visit without a Visa and has been on my bucket list for a long time. I will definitely visit soon and use this as a reference. BTW, great pictures! 😀

  14. The Travel Ninjas August 29, 2017 at 10:33 pm - Reply

    It was interesting to learn that the most significant Gothic building is actually a church! I wonder of the rumor is true. Would love to visit Dracula’s Castle (both the “fake” one and the “real” one) especially at the end of October (Halloween). Why do they call the “fake” one Dracula’s Castle? Does it look cooler than the actual one? Riding on the Transfagarasan Road would be an awesome experience.

  15. Cat August 30, 2017 at 12:10 am - Reply

    That’s a sad story (if it is true) behind the Black Church! I would be pretty scared to go there at night. Peles Castle looks stunning and would love to visit there as I’ve never been to a real castle!

  16. Archana Singh August 30, 2017 at 2:36 am - Reply

    This place looks so good. I had no clue Brasov is home to the narrowest street in Europe. The name Rope Street is so apt. And I really loved Transfagarasan road image.We have a similar one on the old silk route in India too.

  17. Parnashree Devi August 30, 2017 at 7:46 am - Reply

    Brasov seems to be a great place for photographers. I loved the Council Square because of the surrounding architectures. The story of Black Church is quite interesting though. My favorite is Rope Street. I haven’t seen such narrow street till now. I loved your post.

  18. Swayam Tiwari August 30, 2017 at 10:12 am - Reply

    All the photos are Instagrammable. One aim in my life is to travel to Transylvania and that is not because of Dracula. It is simply that I find Central Europe pretty. I have grown up hearing stories about the lovely countrysides of Romania and other countries in the vicinity.
    I just cannot wait to explore the lovely, sharp -pointed spires of Pele’s Castle, they seem so enchanting.
    Please use bigger pictures for enhanced effects.

  19. ada August 31, 2017 at 10:18 am - Reply

    I actually never heard about Brasov, Ive always knew Transylvania is a region of Romania but I never looked for cities. Its looks really interesting tho! That Transfagarasan road looks so spectacular ! I would love to drive there one day!

  20. Piyush Rai August 31, 2017 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    Wow learned about a new place today Brasov . I knew about Transylvania because of horror novel Dracula. 🙂 This place looks so gorgeous. I personally feel, these places have more to offer then well established tourist spot in European country. Perfect pics too !!
    Thanks for sharing this wonderful itinerary. I hope someday I’ll be able to visit these beautiful places.

  21. Christie Sultemeier September 1, 2017 at 8:09 pm - Reply

    Wow this place looks awesome! Rope Street is right up my alley… I love colorful streets, especially when there’s cobblestone involved. And Transfagarasan Road looks TO DIE FOR! I would love to photograph that. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Chiera September 2, 2017 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    Awesome! this is the region on Romania I was in and I absolutely loved it! I thought I would much prefer Bran castle, but Peles was so beautiful!

  23. Mark Ramone September 3, 2017 at 1:29 pm - Reply

    Wow. Another new place I learned today just by reading this blog post. Brasov looks like a lovely and quiet town with lots of picturesque scenery. I’d love to take the trip out to the Transfagarasan Road!

  24. yukti September 5, 2017 at 3:14 pm - Reply

    Brasov is beautiful city with lots of historical and quaint buildings surrounded by natural landscapes. Council Square looks lively and stunning. Driving on Transfagarasan Road must be the most beautiful drive. Day trip to Pele castle is thing I would love to do. This place is so photogenic.

  25. California Globetrotter September 22, 2017 at 11:54 am - Reply

    I wish we had had time for Brasov and the Transfagarasan Road while we were in Romania! We were able to visit Bran & Peles Castles, and more! #feetdotravel

  26. SamH Travels September 24, 2017 at 4:52 pm - Reply

    Romania has so many fascinating things to see. I would love to visit Peles Castle and that road looks amazing !

  27. Stephanie (1AdventureTraveler) September 26, 2017 at 12:39 pm - Reply

    Awesome! You have found me another new place to visit. Romania has lots of fascinating places to visit. I would love to see the Black Church, Rasnov Citadel, and the narrow street. I pinned this for later. #feetdotravel

  28. Shona @ paraphernalia.co September 27, 2017 at 10:49 am - Reply

    There’s some pretty spectacular architecture in Brasov. I love that narrow street and the scenic road. That pic is particularly beautiful. Not so sure about Dracula’s blood, I’d be frightened it would turn me off red wine forever! 😉

  29. Carmen Baguio September 27, 2017 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    As much as I love the history of the middle ages, I must plan a trip to eastern Europe. The cobble stone street and architecture look amazing!

  30. Tracy September 28, 2017 at 2:17 am - Reply

    That road looks amazing! You have visited some quite fabulous places – great to find about so many places I haven’t heard of but now have added to my must visit list in the future!! #feetdotravel

  31. Marcelle September 28, 2017 at 6:01 am - Reply

    I’ve been in Romania on a study trip of University many years ago. It was most interesting. Only there were too many churches on our tour. I haven’t been in the mountains though which would be a thing to do next time. The Transfagarasan road and Bran Castle would be on my list. That one of the narrowest street in Europe has to be proofed – coming from Switzerland I don’t believe that one 😉

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