Sighișoara is located on the Tarnava River in Mures county, Romania. It is located in the historic region of Transylvania. German craftsmen and merchants, The Transylvanian Saxons, were invited here by the King of Hungary during the 12th century, to settle and defend the frontier. Central Sighișoara has preserved in an exemplary way the features of a small medieval fortified city and it has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Each year a Medieval Festival takes place in the old citadel in July. Sighișoara is a popular tourist destination due to its well preserved walled old town. The landmark of the city is The Clock Tower, a 64 meter high tower build in 1556. It is presently a Museum of History.
- Sighișoara Railway Station (Gara Sighișoara). There are direct connections from and to Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Arad, Brașov, Sibiu etc. a few times a day. International direct links exist from Vienna, and Budapest daily. From further away, it's possible to catch a train from Prague, and Warsaw with at least a stop over and transfer at Budapest.
Please see Romania Tourism's rail page for more details and schedules . Be aware that coming from Hungary into Romania you will cross a time zone and lose one hour. Adjust your watch or risk missing the stop.
Once you have arrived by train, you can get to the center just walking. Head straight from the train station exit towards the town and cross the river by the Orthodox cathedral, a prominent landmark. Head toward the churches on the hill to reach the medieval town center.
It's such a small town that you will have no problem in going around walking. If you need any suggestion there is a tourist information office inside the Café International and Family Center or the tourist information booth, both located in the main square Piata Cetatii; they will help you reach the fortified churches in the area. For more information see the Do section.
- Sighișoara Citadel. a 12th century Saxon edifice, it is the historic centre of the city. Still inhabited, the citadel is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Inside the Citadel:
- Clock Tower (Turnul cu Ceas). Built in 1360 and standing at 60 meters tall atop the citadel hill. Balcony with a great view on the top.
- History Museum (Muzeul de Istorie) (inside the Clock Tower).
- Monastery Church (Biserica Mănăstirii). Lutheran church in late Gothic style, located next to the Clock Tower, built starting with 1291 by the Dominican Order.
- Medieval Weapon Museum (Muzeul de Arme Medievale) (next to the Clock Tower). Very small, but it contains an interesting selection of medieval weapons (swords, arrows, etc.)
- Covered Staircase (Scara Școlarilor). an old stone staircase with a wooden roof along the whole span. This leads up to the Church on the Hill, the cemetery and the Joseph Haltrich High School (a.k.a. "School from the Hill")
- The Hill Church (Biserica din Deal). Lutheran church in late Gothic style, contains many frescoes and a crypt. Close to the cemetery on the side of the hill, which contains many German tombstones.
- Vlad Dracul House (Casa Vlad Dracul). allegedly the place where Vlad Țepeș "The Impaler" (a.k.a. "Draculea") was born.
- Bust of Vlad Țepeș. located around the corner from his birthplace, within sight of the Clock Tower.
Outside the Citadel:
- Cornești Church (Biserica din Cornești). oldest Orthodox church in town, built in 1797, in the "Corneşti" neighbourhood
- Sighișoara Medieval Festival: During the annual event, the town receives around ~30,000 tourists, doubling its population. Numerous cultural events take place during the 3 days of the festival - theatre, indoor and outdoor music concerts, handicraft demonstrations and exhibitions, painting, sculpture, seminars, film projections etc.
- Pro Etnica. Annual interethnic music and art festival, with indoor and outdoor performances (music, dance, film) of representatives of most ethnic groups living in Romania.
- Sighișoara Blues Festival.
The town in itself is quite small, so one day to visit it is enough. In any case, you can consider staying more to visit the surroundings.
- Hike or cycle up to the great Oak forest on the Breite plateau - a wonderful walk in nature.
- A great picnic location is the hill to the south of the city directly opposite the clock tower (get your bearings from the lookout at the base before you set off). Grab some goodies from a local shop and walk up any road leading to that hill. Just keep going up and, eventually, the road will die out to grass which you can walk over (it's public land) towards the defunct communications tower on the hill. A seat up here will give you a grand view of Sighișoara and the villages beyond.
- A day out on a bike which you can easily rent (€1/hr or €10/day) involves heading south out of town to Soas, then on to Apold where you can see the fortified church. From Apold head left by the church towards Vulcan (signposted). The road becomes a stony track. After a few km, turn left following signs to Vulcan. At Vulcan, bear left over a tiny bridge and then onto a dirt track. Follow this uphill out of Vulcan. At the brow of the hill go straight across and down the valley to Sighisoara. Be aware that if it has rained in the last couple of days or is raining, the track from Vulcan to a few kilometres south of Sighișoara will be a quagmire. It is a very beautiful descent into Sighisoara though. Just be prepared for mud!
- Cross-country farm (Horse riding holidays), Village of Prod (16 km from Sighișoara), ☎ +40 372 772 890. This farm offers short and long horse riding excursions (from two hours to 5 days), as well as wagon rides, under the guidance of proprietor Mihnea Vîrgolici, who was a steward at the Athens Olympics. Rooms have private baths. Beginners and experts welcome. Simple, hearty food, great views, beautiful horses, and WiFi.
- Paintings - local artists will have displays of their works on the sidewalks during tourist season. Many nice watercolors and oil paintings can be purchased in RON, EUR, USD, or HUF.
- Rustic Romanian Restaurant - It looks a bit posh, but the food tastes good.
- Hotel Sighișoara restaurant - Romanian and international cuisine in a medieval atmosphere.
- La Perla - Pizza and other foods, a meeting place for locals, across the post office
- Casa Vlad Dracul - Good soups and traditional Romanian fare. The childhood home of Vlad Țepeș, the inspiration for Dracula, makes it a fun tourist night out. As would be expected, the price is inflated to match the tourist trade.
- Café International and Family Center - Piata Cetatii 8. It is an important resource for a tourist there. It is located in the main square of Sighișoara; if you come inside you'll meet few girls dressed in traditional clothes giving touristic information. On the same floor there is a Café serving sweet cakes or sour pies baked locally with organic ingredients. The juice is organic, too. The prices are higher than normal, but the quality of the food is very good. Very good breakfast sets for up to 15RON. If you go downstairs you will find an Internet point.
- Concordia Pizza and Spaghetti - Italian cuisine, nice terrace, open until late.
- Vila Franka - a restaurant on a hill surveying the Târnava valley, offers an outstanding panorama point. Can be reached by car or on foot (~1 hour walk/hike from the Citadel)
- Burg Hostel. A nice hostel/bar located right in the Citadel, around the corner from the Clock Tower. Nice rooms, and a pub in the basement.
- Nathan's Villa Hostel, Str. Libertatii 8, ☎ +40 265 77-2546. Clean rooms. The focus seems to be on the bar on the first floor. €10.
- Apart-Hotel Sighișoara, Consiliul Europei street, no. 7 (In the center), ☎ +40 265-779432. Check-in: -, check-out: 12. €40.
- Casa Cojo. Spacious self catering apartment with garden in the medieval citadel, sleeps 5, €40 per night, historical house full of old world character.
- Casa Săsească. Guest house right at the Citadel Square
- Casa Legenda. 5 rooms, €33-60/night/room, 2 minutes walking from the Citadel Square
- Casa cu Cerb. 3 star guest house right at the Citadel Square
- Casa Wagner. 3 star guest house right at the Citadel Square
- Hotel Claudiu. 3 star hotel/restaurant/bar in "downtown"
- Dracul, 804 Principala street, ☎ +40 265 772211. Check-in: 12.00, check-out: 12.00. On the Tarnava Mare river banks, in a natural setting, close to the settlement of Danes and few kilometers from the Citadel Accommodation and meals, pool-bar, horseback riding or taking horseback riding lessons at the equestrian and leisure center in the immediate vicinity. €40.
- Hotel Rex.
- Pension Sighișoara, Strada Pastorilor 43 (15 minutes walk from the citadel towards Apold), ☎ +40 265 772754, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 1pm to 10pm (flexible), check-out: 11am (flexible). Cozy family friendly B&B in a quiet part of town, under German management, with inside parking and common garden terrace. €17 p.p. incl. breakfast.
- Fronius Residence, 13 School street, ☎ +40 265 779173. Check-out: m. 5 star luxury pension mixed with 500 years of history in the middle of the Citadel. €100.
- Visit the beautiful fortified churches in the surroundings:
- The fortified church of Biertan has been nominated World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. It is about 30 km away from Sighișoara. There is no public transport going there, you can rent a car or ask somebody to plan the trip for you. Another choice is to go to Dumbraveni by train and continue hitchhiking. For more information, go to the Café International information office. Biertan is a small town that was built next to the church. There is nothing to see there but the church, though. On the way back you can consider stopping at Dumbraveni.
- About 13km away due south is Apold with a fortified church. You can rent bikes and cycle here very easily or get an infrequent local bus. The church is locked and you'll need to request a key. Workers in the garden will let you in on request if there are any. The gate tower can be climbed for free for a great view over the village.
- Saschiz is another UNESCO World Heritage site, with a fortified church and a fortress. It is 20 km away from Sighișoara.