Sibiu is a town in southern Transylvania, Romania, 280 km by road from Bucharest. The old town centre is very attractive. Sibiu is also a good base for exploring elsewhere in Transylvania.


Sibiu "Piata Mica"

Known in German as Hermannstadt and in Hungarian as Nagyszeben, Sibiu has been the centre of Transylvania's German minority since medieval times. Even today, it contains Romania's largest German community, and due to initiatives by the local government, the Germanic feel of the area has been maintained. Sibiu also has a Hungarian minority, remnants of Transylvania's past as part of the Hungarian Empire and, later, Austria-Hungary. Despite this, Sibiu is also distinctly Romanian (95% of the population today are ethnic Romanians) and manages to fuse these three cultures, as well as smaller minorities of Roma, Slovaks and Ukrainians into a city that is as wonderful as it is vibrant.

Today, Sibiu is one of Romania's cultural and tourism landmarks, attracting tourists due to its wonderful medieval charm, excellent views of the surrounding landscapes, great food, and stunning parkland. Sibiu today is also doing excellently economically, having an income per capita higher than the Romanian average.

Much of the city was reconstructed in preparation for being the European Capital of Culture in 2007. The people in Sibiu are much more relaxed and friendly than in Bucharest, and much of the city is pedestrian-friendly.

Get in


By train

  • 1 Sibiu Central (Gara Mare) (500 m NE of city centre and next to the bus station). For current timetable the easiest website is DB. Sibiu railway station (Q7507116) on Wikidata Sibiu railway station on Wikipedia

There are three trains a day from Bucharest, taking 5–6 hr. From Budapest there are two direct trains, departing around 09:00 and 22:30 taking 10 hr, plus indirect services taking 16 hr. It is about 5 hr by train from Sighișoara with a change at Mediaș (12.50 lei, Sep 2018).

By bus

  • 2 Autogara Transmixt. Gara CFR Sibiu, Piața 1 Decembrie 1918 (next to the train station).

Sibiu has buses to Bucharest (hourly, 5 hr, 50 lei) and Cluj-Napoca (hourly, 4 hr, 30 lei). There is also at least one direct bus per day to Budapest (11 hr, 150 lei). The main operators are Dacos, Fany and Transmixt—check times and prices on The buses are reliable, comfortable and cheap. As of October 2023, the bus from Bucharest to Sibiu operated by Fany costs 101 lei per person for a single ticket.

By plane


By road


Romanian highways are mostly well-signed and in good repair—reckon 7 hours to drive from Budapest. Drive defensively of course, watching especially for horse-drawn carts—but the lunatic driver quotient is probably lower here than elsewhere in South Europe. Your main difficulty will be finding your way through the old town one-way system to your hotel, ask ahead for precise directions.

Get around

Lutheran Cathedral of Sibiu

You need a bicycle (hire available), (rental) car (compare online!) or bus to reach the ASTRA outdoor folk museum (bus #13), listed below, or the Transylvanian villages. Also, booking a tour is an option.

By bus


Sibiu is one of the few cities in Romania where card payment is accepted for public buses. Just tap your contactless-enabled credit or debit card to the card reader on board, and it will print you a ticket. Visa and MasterCard are accepted.

A route planner[dead link] for public transport is available online.

Sibiu’s network of trams and trolley-buses was ripped out in the 2010s, just as other cities were expensively re-installing theirs.

On foot


The city is large, but almost all the sights of interest are within the compact old centre, much of it pedestrianised. You can hire a guide via the TIC or main hotels, but wandering at random among the cobbled alleys is half the fun.

By bicycle


The fascinating Transylvanian villages (e.g. Biertan) are within cycling range but the main roads are busy and not much fun by bike, though bike-on-train to Medias is an option.

By train


The only other excursion for which you might take the train is to Sighisoara. Reckon 2½ hours, it’s an infrequent service, but the bus connections are worse.

By taxi


Sibiu taxi drivers are generally decent, and switch on the meter without being nagged. But if you are silly drunk and wearing a “Please rob me” T-shirt, you will have to bear the consequences.


Interior of the Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral

The Old Town is beautiful. It was mostly built in the late medieval period by the German merchants who were encouraged to settle in and around Sibiu. It’s in excellent condition, having escaped modern encroachments, and having been thoroughly renovated to be European Capital of Culture in 2007. (Standards were maintained in the following decade, in spite of economic woes.) Within Old Town, the Upper Town, containing most of the historic sights, is ranged around three squares: Piate Mare the Great Square, dominated by the RC Cathedral, Piata Mica the Little Square has most of the bars and cafés, and Piata Huet is an attractive Gothic conglomeration around the Lutheran Cathedral. The Lower Town is home to many charming buildings and cobbled squares.

Piata Mare and Piata Mica are linked by a passageway, above which stands the “Council Tower” or Turnul Sfatului.

  • 1 The Great Square (Piața Mare). Grand Square (Q6675722) on Wikidata Piața Mare on Wikipedia
  • 2 Huet Square (Piața Huet). (Q55831446) on Wikidata
  • 3 Turnul Sfatului. Climb the tower and get a panoramic view of Sibiu. 2 lei entry as of October 2023. Council tower of sibiu (Q30675330) on Wikidata Council Tower of Sibiu on Wikipedia

Multiple routes connect the Upper and Lower Towns, the two best being Pasajul Scărilor – the stairway from Piata Huet down into Str Turnului, and alternative cobbled ramp – and down Str Ocnei from Piata Mica under the Iron Bridge. This, being the traditional rendezvous of merchants and of lovers, is better known as “The Bridge of Liars”. About 200 m south of Piata Mare, paralleling Str Cetatii, is the surviving section of the Citadel Walls, with a series of towers and bastions. Beyond this hurries the traffic of the sprawling modern town: the spell is broken.

Churches of interest include:

  • the Roman Catholic Cathedral on Piata Mare,
  • St Mary's Lutheran Cathedral, on Piata Huet. The church is mostly closed for renovations in 2018 and 2019, but you can still see its excellent collection of medieval tomb covers, including that of Vlad the Impaler's son, Vlad III, who is said to have been murdered by his enemies outside the church after an Easter Sunday service. The tower gives you the highest lookout over the city, and is reached via a series of steep wooden and stone staircases -- this is not for those with mobility or heart problems. Adults 10 lei.
  • St Ursuline’s, Str General Magheru.
  • 4 Orthodox Holy Trinity Cathedral (Catedrala Ortodoxă Sfânta Treime), Str Mitropol. Stunning.

The only museum that ranks as “must-see” is the skansen, the outdoor ASTRA Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization (Muzeul Civilizației Populare Tradiționale) 5 km south of the centre, and listed below. Sibiu’s other museums and galleries are important in a local context, for a nation that is not well endowed – where else could a Romanian go to see a genuine Egyptian mummy, or a Brueghel painting, without leaving the country? But Westerners have huge multicultural riches on their own doorsteps. See the other museums here if time and interest allow, but not through “fear of missing out”.

  • 5 Brukenthal National Museum (Muzeul Național Brukenthal) (western corner of Piata Mare). Named for Samuel Brukenthal, 18th-century governor of Transylvania. Paintings from the Dutch and Flemish schools, Italian schools and, of course German, Austrian and Romanian collections. Also displays Brukenthal's personal collection dating from the 15–18th centuries. Brukenthal National Museum (Q850207) on Wikidata Brukenthal National Museum on Wikipedia
  • 6 "Franz Binder" World Ethnography Museum (Muzeul de Etnografie Universala "Franz Binder") (on Piata Mica). Curios that Binder and colleagues collected on their global travels. Franz Binder museum in Sibiu (Q18542204) on Wikidata
  • 7 ASTRA Museum of Transylvanian Civilisation (Muzeul Civilizației Transilvane "ASTRA") (on Piata Mica by the Iron Bridge). Small exhibition space. In April 2017 it displayed 19th-century and modern icons. (Q12736074) on Wikidata
  • 8 Steam Locomotives Museum (Muzeul locomotivelor cu abur). Decaying locomotives near the railway station.
  • 9 ASTRA Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization (Muzeul Civilizației Populare Tradiționale "ASTRA") (5 km south, bus 13 runs here. By car follow signs for Rasinari and Paltinis past the cemetery and zoo. The map on this wiki page is correct: ignore Google Map, which will try to take you to the other Astra museums in city centre.). Daily 09:00-18:00. Huge outdoor collection of traditional farmsteads, waterwheels, mills, labourers’ cottages, churches and so on, picturesquely ranged around a lake in Dumbrava Forest. Pick a fine day, but the circuit track is tarmac so it is okay when wet. Allow 3 hours to stroll round. 35 lei adult, 15 lei concessions. (Q15107077) on Wikidata


  • Football: FC Hermannstadt play soccer in Liga 1, the top tier. Their Sibiu Municipal Stadium (capacity 12,300) is 1 km south of old town centre.
  • After visiting ASTRA, continue driving south through the village of Rasinari, to see that charming rural Romania isn’t just in a museum. From there continue up to the road end at the ski resort of Paltinis. Or turn east for more village scenery via Cisnadioara and Cisnadie, till you loop back to Sibiu via the main north-south highway.
  • Ocna Sibiului – A bathing resort some 15 km NE of Sibiu. The lakes are salt, formed by the flooding of ancient salt mines. In some, the waters are utterly black and opaque. Enticing, yes?
  • Hike Fagaras Mountains and Cindrel Mountains.
  • Guided bike tours around Sibiu.
  • Guided enduro trips in the mountains, riding levels from tourist to hard.
  • Go on the Transfăgărășan road, crossing the Fagaras mountains with dramatic views. Or 4 Transalpina. Transalpina (Q3123382) on Wikidata Transalpina_(DN67C) on Wikipedia, an even higher road.
  • Sibiu Music Festival. 2nd weekend in Sep. Stages in each of the piatas and near the old city walls.


  • Lots of souvenir and craft shops, especially on Piata Mica.
  • German language book, incl. history and calenders, at the market square
  • Local beer in 2½ L bottles.
  • Second hand from rest of Europe



You won’t go hungry. Food & drink here is to a good standard, and cheap by West European standards – reckon €30 for two people with two courses and drinks. The main concentration of restaurants, cafes and pubs is in and around Piata Mica. Hearty Transylvanian fare includes "ciorbă" (sour soup with various meat or veg), “sarmale” (stuffed cabbage leaves), stews and grills, often with mamaliga (polenta). Vegetarians and vegans shouldn’t starve but will need to enquire carefully. Also lots of fast food from familiar chains, but you can do better.

  • Crama Sibiu Vechi (The Old Sibiu Restaurant), Str Papiu Ilarian 3, +40 269-210461. noon-midnight. Excellent cellar restaurant offering traditional Romanian cuisine at reasonable prices.
  • 1 La Cuptor, 9 Mai 7, +40 742 396 696. Daily 13:00-23:00. Good food at reasonable prices.
  • Butoiul de Aur (Golden Barrel), Pasajul Scărilor (foot of stairway down to Str Turnului), +40 746 779 283. Daily 11:00-23:00. Long-established atmospheric place, good food.



A local speciality is a "meter" of beer served in pubs.

  • Liquid The Club, Strada Someșului 19. A night club which plays mainstream music. The audience is about 50% tourists/locals.




  • Centrum Hostel, Str Gheorghe Lazar 6 (100 m from Piata Mare), +40 747 534 998. Formerly "Flying Time Hostel", no reviews since change. Beds for 35 lei.
  • Old Town Hostel, Piata Mica 26, +40 269 216 445. In a 450-year-old building looking onto the Small Square. Breakfast is not included but you can use the kitchen all you want. Laundry is available for €2. Dorms have about 10 beds per room. Rooms from 50 lei.


  • Zanzi, Str Constitutiei 1, +40 724 528 348. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Small pension near railway station. €22.
  • Hotel Apollo Hermannstadt, Str Nicolae Teclu 14, +40 269 212 465. Comfortable and modern hotel. Internet is available in rooms. Rooms start at €56.
  • Hotel Continental Forum, Piata Unirii, +40 372 692 692. This modern 13 floor, 182-room hotel is plain but well maintained. Its rooms often have nice views. Often accommodates tour groups. At the edge of the pedestrianised centre of Old Town. Street parking outside is vigorously policed, get permit at reception for checking in, take their advice on medium-stay parking. €60.
  • Hotel Imparatul Romanilor, Str Nicolae Balescu 2-4 (just off main square, taxis drop off at end of Str Xenopol 50 metres away), +40 269 216 500. Grand 18th-century pile, very central, atmospheric but in need of sprucing up.
  • Noblesse Boutique Hotel, Str Blanilor 17 (200 m from railway station), +49 369 418 000. Friendly pleasant place just E of old town, close to railway & bus stations. €60.
  • Villa Santa Maria, Str Livezii 43 (3 km west of centre, off highway to airport), +40 269 224 451. Cosy 3-star, rooms are well equipped and well kept. Breakfast is included. Free wireless Internet available. English-speaking owners. €40.
  • Ana Airport Hotel, Soseaua Alba Iulia 120 (On main hwy 1 km east of terminal, 3 km west of old centre), +4 269 228 875. Simple 3-star near airport.



Sibiu and its approach roads have 4G from all Romanian carriers. As of Aug 2022, 5G has not reached this area.

Go next

  • Medieval fortified churches – You will need your own transport. The Saxon settlements of Transylvania came under attack in the 15th and 16th centuries, but instead of erecting castles, they fortified the churches with walls and lookout towers. Many are clustered around Medias, the best being the UNESCO World Heritage sites of Biertan and Valea Viilor.
  • Sighisoara – This town has an attractive old citadel. Other notable old towns include Cluj-Napoca, Targu Mures, and Brașov.
  • Curtea de Argeș – Further south, into Wallachia, this is an old fortress city in the Muntenia region.
  • Bucharest – Try to visit it before Transylvania. It is interesting but far from pretty, and it is going to look especially drab after seeing Sibiu.

This city travel guide to Sibiu is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.