This 8 day tour offers you the opportunity to enjoy and explore some of the most significant monuments representative of medieval culture that Romania has to offer.
Bucharest – Horezu – Targu Jiu – Hunedoara – Sibiu – Biertan – Sighisoara – Brasov – Sinaia - Bucharest
Day 1 – Arrival in Bucharest, pick-up from the airport and transfer to Hotel, followed by City Tour. O/N in Bucharest
Day 2 – Drive toward Tirgu Jiu, on the way visit the Horezu Monastery, afternoon arrival in Tirgu Jiu visit the Brancusi sculptures. O/N in Tirgu Jiu
Day 3 – Drive towards Hunedoara, on the way visit the Densusi Church, upon arrival in Hunedoara visit the Corvin Castle. O/N in Hunedoara
Day 4 – Drive towards Sibiu, on the way visit the Fortified Church of Calnic (UNESCO World Heritage), in the afternoon stop for a visit at the Icon Museum in Sibiel. O/N in Sibiu
Day 5 – Walking tour of Sibiu Old Center, afterward drive to Sighisoara, on the way make a visit at Biertan Fortified Church. Walking tour of Sighisoara. O/N in Sighisoara
Day 6 – Drive towards Brasov on the way stop for a visit at Bran Castle (aka Dracula Castle) walking tour of Brasov upon arrival. O/N in Brasov
Day 7 – Drive back to Bucharest; Stop for a visit at Peles Castle the summer residence of the Romanian royal family, afterward short visit at Snagov Monastery the resting place of Vlad the Impaler.
Day 8 – Transfer to airport.
Day 1 – Bucharest
Upon arrival at the Henri Coanda Airport you are going to be met by their English speaking guide/driver and transferred to a 3 or 4* hotel in the center of Bucharest. After a short time to rest we will continue with the city tour of Bucharest an opportunity to explore the city formerly known as “Little Paris” capital of the Socialist Republic of Romania for almost half of century, a city still struggling on its way to capitalism and true democracy. The city tour will give you the opportunity to admire some of the landmarks of Bucharest, such as the Arch of Triumph, the Athenaeum, the Revolution Square, the Romanian Patriarch’s Church, the Palace of Parliament the second largest building in the world.
Accommodation in Bucharest at a 3*, 4* or 5*Hotel.
Day 2 – Bucharest – Horezu – Tirgu Jiu- approx. 291 km/ 182 miles
We depart from Bucharest early in the morning and start making our way west towards Tirgu Jiu on the way stop for a visit at 17th century Horezu Monastery (UNESCO World Heritage Site) considered to be the masterpiece of the “Brancovenesc” style, in the afternoon we will arrive in Tirgu Jiu, the birthplace of the famous Romanian sculptor Constantin Brancusi, the city has an impressive collection of original sculptures by Brancusi.
Accommodation in Targu Jiu at a 3* or 4* Hotel.
Day 3 – Targu Jiu – Densus – Hunedoara- approx. 145 Km/ 85 miles
We will begin our third day by drive towards Hunedoara following a the scenic route through the Jiu Gorge, on the way we stop for a visit at the Densus Church one of the oldest Romanian churches dating from the 7th century with additions in the 13th century, continue the day with a visit at the Corvin Castle aka Hunyad Castle in Hunedoara from the 15th century considered to be one of the most beautiful castles in Romania.
Accommodation in Hunedoara at a 3* or 4* Hotel.
Day 4 – Hunedoara – Orastie – Sibiel – Sibiu- approx. 135 km/ 81 miles
After breakfast we drive towards the Orastie Mountains to visit the Calnic Fortified Church (UNESCO World Heritage) dating from the 13th century, in the afternoon on our way to Sibiu we will make a short detour and stop for a visit at the Glass Painted Icons Museum in Sibiel, displaying almost 600 icons from different areas of Romania. We will stop for the night in the old center of Sibiu.
Accommodation in Sibiu at a 3*, 4* or 5* Hotel.
Day 5 – Sibiu – Biertan – Sighisoara- approx. 105 Km/ 65 miles
We begin the day with a walking tour of Sibiu Historical Center, a European cultural Capital in 2007; we will be exploring places such as the Large Square (UNESCO World Heritage), Little Square, the Catholic Church, and Liars’ Bridge. We continue our trip, driving towards Sighisoara, on the way making a visit at Biertan Fortified Church (UNESCO World Heritage) built in the 16th century in Gothic style, the seat of the Archbishop of Transylvania for almost three centuries. In the afternoon we will arrive in Sighisoara (UNESCO World Heritage) one of the best preserved Medieval Citadels in Europe dating from the 13th century, guided walk of Sighisoara.
Accommodation in Sighisoara at a 3* or 4* Hotel.
Day 6 – Sighisoara – Bran – Brasov- approx. 170 Km/ 105 miles
Leaving Sighisoara behind we will start making our way towards Bran Castle, also known as Dracula`s Castle, a medieval stronghold built in the 14th century, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Romania.
In the second part of the day we will be visiting Brasov a wonderful Medieval City founded by the German colonists in the 13th century. On our tour we will see some of its landmarks such as the Black Church the most representative Gothic monument in South-Eastern Europe, and Piata Sfatului where the Golden Stag (Cerbul de Aur) International Music Festival is hosted.
Accommodation in Brasov at a 3*, 4* or 5* Hotel.
Day 7 – Brasov – Sinaia – Snagov – Bucharest- approx. 170 Km/ 105 miles
We begin our last day with a visit at the Peles Castle the summer residence of the kings of Romania. Built in the 19th century by the Royal family in Neo-Renaissance style it is one of the most beautiful castles in south-east Europe. Driving back to Bucharest we will stop for a visit at Snagov Monastery a 15th century monument believed to be the resting place of Vlad the Impaler.
Accommodation in Bucharest at a 3*, 4* or 5*Hotel.
Day 8 – Transfer to airport
Today you will say goodbye to Romania, and the friends you made here. Your private guide will escort you to the airport for your departure.
* 7 nights in 3, 4 or 5 star hotels with breakfast included;
* air conditioned car for the above mentioned route, gasoline price and parking fees;
* guided tours and entrance fees for the sights included in the itinerary;
* a professional private English speaking guide/driver, at your disposal throughout the trip;
* guide’s expenses;
* all transfers;
* VAT and local tax;
* map of Romania;
* meals other than the ones included in the program;
* individual travel insurance;
* photo and video fees;
Arch of Triumph
Initially built of wood in 1922 to honor the bravery of Romanian soldiers who fought in World War I, Bucharest's very own Arc de Triumph was finished in Deva granite in 1936. Designed by the architect, Petre Antonescu, the Arc stands 85 feet high. An interior staircase allows visitors to climb to the top for a panoramic view of the city. The sculptures decorating the structure were created by leading Romanian artists.
Athenaeum in Bucharest
The work of French architect Albert Galleron, who also designed the National Bank of Romania, the Athenaeum was completed in 1888, financed almost entirely with money donated by the general public. One of the preeminent public fundraising campaigns ever in Romania, the "Give a penny for the Athenaeum" campaign saved the project after the original patrons ran out of funds. With its high dome and Doric columns, the Athenaeum resembles an ancient temple.
Biertan Fortified Church
The 15th century fortified church at Biertan (UNESCO World Heritage Site) is perched high on a hill in the middle of the village. Three tiers of 35-foot-high defensive walls, connected by towers and gates, encircled the complex, making the church impossible to conquer during medieval times.
Featuring late-gothic architecture with heavy doors and double exterior walls, the church boasts the largest Transylvanian multi-paneled wooden altar and a remarkable wooden door which once protected the treasures in the sacristy.
Built between 1385 and 1477 on the site of an earlier church (destroyed by Mongol invasions in 1242), the construction of the Marienkirche, as it was known in German, was hampered by extensive damage caused by Turkish raids in 1421. The church was given its new name after disaster struck again in 1689, when the Great Fire leveled most of the town, blackening the walls of the church. Restoration took almost 100 years. Of two towers planned, only one was finished.
The Black Church is the largest gothic church between Vienna and Istanbul.
Built on the site of a Teutonic Knights stronghold dating from 1212, the castle was first documented in an act issued by Louis I of Hungary on November 19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt (Brasov) the privilege to build the Citadel.
Although Stoker never visited Transylvania, the Irish author relied on research and his vivid imagination to create the dark and intimidating stomping ground of Count Dracula, leading to persistent myths that it was once the home of Vlad Tepes, ruler of Walachia.
Fringed by the peaks of the Carpathian Mountains and resplendent with Gothic, baroque and renaissance architecture, as well as a wealth of historical attractions, the medieval city of Brasov, located just three hours north of Bucharest, provides a great introduction to the region. Among Brasov’s best know historical and cultural attractions are the Council Square, the beautiful St. Nicholas Church, the Black Church – the largest Gothic church east of Vienna.
Facing west of the square is the stunning Brukenthal Palace, built between 1778-1785 by a Viennese architect in a refined late-baroque style. It is now the home of the Brukenthal Museum, the oldest and one of the finest art museums in the country. The palace was built by Baron Samuel von Brukenthal to serve as his official residence and house his collections of Romanian and Western art, 16th – 18th century religious sculptures and icons, stamps and coins, as well as an impressive library.
Calnic Fortified Church
Built in the 13th century by Count Chyl de Kelling, the Fortified Church at Calnic (German: Kelling) is one of the most imposing defensive structures in Transylvania. First mentioned in a 1269 document, the fortress served as a residence for Saxon nobility until 1430, when it was sold to the peasant community of Calnic.
Church on the Hill
To the north of the Clock Tower stands one of the most representative gothic-style structures in Transylvania, the Church on the Hill - so called because of its location on the School Hill (1,373 ft high). First mentioned in a document in 1345 and superposed on a former Roman basilica, its construction lasted almost 200 years.
(February 19, 1876 – March 16, 1957) was a Romanian-born sculptor who made his career in France. Famous Brâncuşi works include the Sleeping Muse (1908), The Kiss (1908), Prometheus (1911), Mademoiselle Pogany (1913), The Newborn (1915), Bird in Space (1919) and The Column of the Infinite (Coloana infinitului), popularly known as The Endless Column (1938). Considered the pioneer of modernism Brâncuşi is called the Patriarch of Modern Sculpture.
Located at the heart of old medieval Brasov and lined with beautiful red-roofed merchant houses, the Council Square, known to the Saxon population as the Marktplatz, is a nice place to rest and soak in the beautiful scenery.
In the center of the square stands the Old Town Hall, now home to Brasov's History Museum, while the southeast corner is dominated by the town's most famous landmark, the Black Church.
First mentioned in 1411 as a grain market, the Great Square – the largest square in the city, has been throughout the centuries a quiet witness to the town’s lively merchant activity, assemblies and even public executions. Located in the heart of the old walled city, the square was designated an architectural monument by UNESCO and features some of the most impressive buildings in Sibiu.
The Monastery of Horezu was founded in 1690 by Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu in the town of Horezu, Wallachia, Romania. It is considered to be a masterpiece of "Brâncovenesc style", known for its architectural purity and balance, the richness of its sculpted detail, its treatment of religious compositions, its votive portraits, and its painted decorative works.
Huet Square is home to a mix of Gothic buildings dominated by the Evangelical Cathedral (Biserica Evangelica). This impressive structure, featuring five pointed towers, was built in 1520 on the site of an old Roman basilica. The simple, stark interior is in total contrast to that of the Catholic Church.
Here, you can also find the city's only fully German school, the Samuel von Brukenthal Gymnasium, which exemplifies the city's proud German heritage
Several steep streets and stairways lead from the upper to the lower town. One of them passes beneath the iron Bridge of Lies. Built in 1859 by Fredericus Hutte, this was the first wrought iron bridge in Romania.
From the Great Square, walk through one of two tunnels under the arches of the Council Tower to arrive at the Little Square. This second fortified square was home to the town’s most prestigious master craftsmen, who lived in rows of arcaded houses along the north and east sides. Today, small shops, cafes and businesses line the square.
Museum of Painted Glass Icons
The Museum of Painted Glass Icons Painting on glass has been a tradition for 200 years in the villages around Sibiu. In 1968, the founder of the museum, priest Zosim Oancea, started to collect 18th and 19th century icons richly painted on glass. Today, the museum exhibits the largest collection of painted glass icons in Europe - more than 700, as well as furniture and ceramics.
Museum of the Romanian Peasant
Opened in 1906, the museum features the richest folk art collection in Romania, with over 90,000 artifacts that trace the colorful and diverse cultural life of the Romanian people. The displays dip into all aspects of life in the Romanian countryside. Exhibits of agricultural tools, carpets, icons, furniture, photographs and films build up a complete picture of Romanian folk culture. In 1996, the museum was named European Museum of the Year.
National Art Museum
Located in the neoclassical former Royal Palace, set amid a wealth of historic buildings such as the Romanian Athenaeum, Kretzulescu Church and the Hotel Athenee Palace-Hilton, the museum currently exhibits over 100,000 works divided into two major sections. Its National Gallery features the works of major Romanian artists, including Grigorescu, Aman and Andreescu. There is also a roomful of early Brancusi sculpture.
Built by Communist Party leader, Nicolae Ceausescu, the colossal Parliament Palace (formerly known as the People's Palace) is the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon.
-It is the world's second-largest office building in surface (after the Pentagon) and the third largest in volume (after Cape Canaveral in the U.S. and the Great Pyramid in Egypt)
- The crystal chandelier in the Human Rights Hall weighs 2.5 tons
- Some of the chandeliers have as many as 7,000 light bulbs.
Peles Castle a masterpiece of German new-Renaissance architecture, considered by many one of the most stunning castles in Europe.
Commissioned by King Carol I in 1873 and completed in 1883, the castle served as the summer residence of the royal family until 1947. Its 160 rooms are adorned with the finest examples of European art, Murano crystal chandeliers, German stained-glass windows and Cordoba leather-covered walls.
Savings Bank Palace
Boasting one of the most impressive neoclassical facades in the city, this structure was built in the 19th century to the design of French architect Paul Gottereanu (who between 1875 and 1900 designed more than 50 buildings in the city, to house the first Romanian Savings Bank. The square-shaped palace has a large central dome with metallic ribs separated by glass, which allows natural light to come in; there are also four smaller domes.
Located at the end of School Street and connecting the Citadel Square with the Church on the Hill, the Scholars' Stairs, or Schoolboys' Stairs, as it was also known, makes for an interesting piece of medieval architecture. Built in 1642, the covered stair-passage was meant to facilitate and protect schoolchildren and churchgoers on their climb to the school and church during wintertime. Originally, the stairs had 300 steps, but after 1849, their number was reduced to 175.
Designated European Capital of Culture in 2007, Sibiu retains the grandeur of its earlier days when rich and powerful guilds dominated regional trade. Explore the old city center with its upper town, home to most of Sibiu's historic sites, and lower town, lined with colorful houses on cobblestone streets and bounded by imposing city walls and defense towers overlooking the river Cibin. Sibiu makes an ideal base for the exploration of the nearby countryside and villages.
The medieval town of Sighisoara, a perfectly intact 15th century gem with nine towers, narrow passageways and cobbled streets, burgher houses and ornate churches. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Sighisoara is also the birthplace of Vlad Draculea, nicknamed Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes), ruler of Walachia from 1456 to 1462. It was Vlad who inspired Bram Stoker’s fictional creation, Count Dracula. His house is just one of many attractions here.
Sighisoara Clock Tower
Sighisoara's main point of attraction is the Clock Tower, also known as the Council Tower, built in the second half of the 14th century and expanded in the 16th century. In the 17th century, a two-plate clock, with figurines carved from linden wood, was set at the top of the tower, with one dial looking over the Lower Town, and the other facing the citadel. This intricate two-plate clock has been working continuously since the Middle Ages.
The Village Museum was founded by royal decree in 1936, this fascinating outdoor museum, the largest in Europe, covers some 30 acres on the shores of Lake Herastrau in Herestrau Park. It features a collection of 50 buildings representing the history and design of Romania's rural architecture. Steep-roofed peasant homes, thatched barns, log cabins, churches and watermills from all regions of the country were carefully taken apart, shipped to the museum and rebuilt in order to recreate the village setting.
Vlad Dracul’s House
Vlad Dracul's House is located in the Citadel Square of Sighisoara, close to the Clock Tower. This ocher-colored house is the place where Vlad Tepes, the inspiration for Bram Stoker's famous Dracula, was born in 1431 and lived with his father, Vlad Dracul, until 1435 when they moved to Targoviste.
The ground floor of the house serves as a pastry shop while the upstairs is a restaurant.