Maria Petreanu brings us a culture guide to her hometown, offering all the insider information you’d need for an affordable city-break get away.
The first thing people usually mention when I say I was born in the Transylvanian part of Romania is, of course, Dracula. However, something not many will know about my hometown of Brasov is that it is, in fact, a charming medieval-style town with a lot of heart. Whether you love winter sports, sightseeing, shopping or heart-warming food, Brasov has got something for everyone and makes for a lovely affordable city-break destination.
Culture lovers will find Brasov the perfect place to learn more about Romanian history, exploring the cobbled streets of the old town. The city centre offers a lovely high-street with shops and cafés of all sizes, as well as many popular tourist attractions. Whilst in the area, walk to the buzzing Council Square – home to one of Romania’s best Christmas markets, and visit the grandiose Black Church for some Gothic architecture inspiration.
Venture off to the infamous Rope Street – one of the narrowest streets in Europe – to admire the breath-taking views off the top of Mount Tampa, situated only a 10-minute walk away from the centre. If you’re one for fun activities, why not give skiing a go in the tourists’ favourite resort – Poiana Brasov? On top of that, Brasov is also the host of Eastern Europe’s biggest Adventure Park, where you can spend a whole day jumping from tree to tree and zip-lining above the Noua Lake.
To recharge your batteries, find Croitoria de Cafea, a beloved coffee shop offering amazing artisan coffee and tasty banana bread. For a more filling dinner and an experience into traditional Romanian cuisine, pop over to La Ceaun, a popular restaurant serving delicious meals such as soups and stews, all freshly cooked with local ingredients. If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, order traditional Romanian dish with cabbage rolls, polenta and sour cream, followed by jam ‘papanasi’ dessert!
Surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains and filled with historical treasures, Brasov is not only one of Europe’s winter tourist hotspots, but an all-year-round welcoming destination with a lot to offer. Only a pleasant train journey away from capital Bucharest, this medieval town is guaranteed to make you fall in love with its relaxed atmosphere and breath-taking landscape.