11 Places to Visit in Transylvania that Aren’t Dracula’s Castle

Alba Iulia citadel, Romania
Alba Iulia citadel, Romania | © Remus Pereni/ Flickr
Roxana Coman

While for many tourists, Transylvania is synonymous with Dracula’s myths and Dracula’s castle, the region has much more to offer. From monumental citadels to bucolic villages to idyllic cities, Transylvania is a fairy-tale land filled with marvellous landscapes. So we made a list of the best places to visit that are not vampire-related.

Loved by over 40s

Cluj-Napoca, the city of youth

Cluj-Napoca, the city of youth

European Youth Capital in 2015, Cluj-Napoca is a vivid city mixing Eastern European hospitality with Western European modernity. Filled with creative minds, Cluj-Napoca is nowadays an arts centre, featuring remarkable art projects like the Paintbrush Factory, as well as a city of music and film festivals like the outstanding Transylvania International Film Festival, the exquisite Jazz in the Park Festival or the UNTOLD Festival, winner of the Best Major European Festival award.

Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Discover the fascinating Cluj | © Alex Ionas/Shutterstock

Sibiu, a city of romance

Sibiu, a city of romance

One of the most romantic places in Romania, Sibiu boasts a peculiar ambience that makes you fall in love with it immediately. Its cobbled streets, magnificent squares adorned with beautiful Baroque, Renaissance and Gothic buildings, and its picturesque passageways are great for wandering around and capturing marvellous photos. And if you are a museums fan, in Sibiu you can uncover no less than 10 galleries that exhibit the city’s art, history and crafts.

Sibiu, Romania


Sibiu | © Tudor44/Pixabay | https://pixabay.com/en/sibiu-city-tower-architecture-1540549/

Brașov, the perfect weekend escape


Brașov, the perfect weekend escape

One of Transylvania’s gemstones, Brașov is the ideal city for a weekend escape. Known for its stunning views, fantastic landmarks like the Black Church—the biggest Gothic church between Istanbul and Vienna—or for its monumental citadel, still standing, Brașov boasts a laid-back atmosphere. At just a half-hour by car, you can reach the Carpathians in the Poiana Brașov resort, a great place for skiing, snowboarding, and hiking.

Brașov, Romania

Brașov | © visualpower/Shutterstock

Viscri, a mesmerizing Saxon village

Viscri, a mesmerizing Saxon village

Among Transylvania’s most impressive heritage are the Saxon villages, dotted with impressive fortified churches. One of the most charming is Viscri, a village that has stolen even the heart of The Prince of Wales, who now owns properties in the village that have been converted into guesthouses. A walk in the village will reveal a traditional way of living, beautifully restored Saxon houses as well as a magnificent fortified church.

Viscri, Romania

Biertan fortified church, a UNESCO World Heritage Site


If Viscri is mostly known for its idyllic ambience, Biertan flaunts one of the most splendid fortified churches in Transylvania, featuring a brilliant locking mechanism with 15 bolts that can be simultaneously activated. In the Prison Tower, couples that wanted to divorce were held in a small room for two weeks, sharing everything, in an attempt to get back together. In summer, the village hosts the horror movies festival, Full Moon Festival.

Sarmizegetusa Regia, a mystical place

Sarmizegetusa Regia, a mystical place

The capital of the ancient Dacian Kingdom, Sarmizegetusa Regia is both a UNESCO Wolrd Heritage Site and a mystical place. Situated at 1,200 meters (3,937 feet) high, dotted with columns, a sundial, and remains of the old fortress, Sarmizegetusa Regia stands as a reminder of the glorious history of the Dacians, Romanians’ ancestors.

Sarmizegetusa Regia, Romania

The Clay Castle, a fairy-tale place

The Clay Castle, a fairy-tale place

A mesmerizing place, the Clay Castle looks like the Romanian-version of the small, peculiar hobbit houses that every fan of The Hobbit would adore seeing. Surrounded by awe-inspiring sceneries, the Clay Castle is a fairy-tale place that lures visitors to capture its magic vibe.

The Clay Castle, Romania


Apuseni Mountains, a place of traditional lifestyle


Apuseni Mountains, a place of traditional lifestyle

A hikers’ paradise scattered with bucolic villages, narrow canyons, spectacular caves and pristine forests, the Apuseni Mountains are great for all those who like spending time in nature, hiking, climbing, paragliding, or horseback riding. In the Apuseni Mountains, life has another rhythm other than one that flows in sync with nature and its seasons.

Apuseni Mountains, Romania

Alba Iulia Citadel, a marvellous stronghold

Alba Iulia cetate
© Remus Pereni/ Flickr

Alba Iulia Citadel, a marvellous stronghold

An 18th century star-shaped citadel, the Alba Iulia fortress features astounding Baroque gates and massive bastions, being the biggest of its kind in Romania. The former Austrian citadel shelters a 12th century Romanesque cathedral, a Roman heritage museum, as well as the hall where Transylvania’s union with Romania was declared, and the National Union Museum, considered the spiritual capital of Romania.

Alba Iulia, Romania

Corvin Castle, a nobles’ residence


Corvin Castle, a nobles’ residence
© fusion-of-horizons / Flickr

Corvin Castle, a nobles’ residence

One of Europe’s largest castles, the Corvin Castle in Hunedoara, was erected by one of the most powerful noble families, the Hunyadi family. An iconic building, the castle is set over 7,000 square meters, featuring 42 rooms. Add to that some ghosts and legends, and the castle becomes one of the most haunted places in Romania.

Corvin Castle, Romania

Turda Salt Mine, an underground place filled with wonders

Turda Salt Mine, an underground place filled with wonders

A former pearl of salt-mining in Transylvania, Turda Salt mine is today one of the coolest underground places on Earth. Visitors can travel at 120 meters (400 feet) underground, take a ride on the Ferris wheel, play football or basketball in the underground terrain or take a boat ride on the Ghizela lake.

Turda Salt Mine, Romania

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.