Sighisoara Romania, Things to Do, Where to Stay

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Sighisoara is a stunning, and surprisingly tiny, medieval citadel in Transylvania, central Romania. Its story-book looks alone will blow you away with picture postcards buildings, both grand and humble.

Add history and cultural appeal to the visual and you’ve got a must-visit global destination.

Unsurprisingly, Sighisoara is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe, so, things to do and what to see in Sighisoara, along with ideas on where to stay.

We visited Sighisoara as part of a Romania road trip (with kids), from Bucharest in the south, through Transylvania, and up into Maramures County, where time stands still.  It’s a journey we took many times during our 3 years living in Romania.

A trip like this is well worth doing to really discover the hidden treasures of Romania. More details are at the bottom of the page.

Clock tower ancient citadel of Sighisoara, Transylvania, Romania
The ancient clock tower that dominates the Sighisoara skyline. The citadel is pedestrianised and can get busy when coach parties roll into town. We suggest staying overnight in Sighisoara to really appreciate it.

Sighisoara Romania, Things to Do, Where to Stay, Blog & Travel Guide

The old town is mostly pedestrianised, permit holders only can bring their vehicles inside the walls ( although we drove in, no problems), so we, the tourists can stroll around snapping pictures of colourful old buildings, pavement cafes and delicious old churches without being mown down.

The citadel itself is tiny, just a handful of streets, but we very much enjoyed our two-day stay here in an incredible old building converted to a fabulous, spacious Casa Mador apartment  (highly recommended, see below). Yes,the town can get busy with tourists, but all the best places do.

The History of The Citadel

Construction of the citadel, ( or Castrum Sex, Fort Six) began in the 1100 s and continued into the 1500 s. The Transylvanian Saxons built it on the ruins of a Roman fortress. Saxon tradesmen turned Sighisoara into a strong defensive construction, with towers and guns overlooking the valley and the 14th century clock tower controlling the main gateway, walls and approach.

9 of the 14 original towers survive today, along with 2 bastions.

Sighisoara is one of seven Saxon Transylvania walled citadels, the others were Bistrita, Brasov, Cluj, Medias, Sebes and Sibiu.

Things To Do in Sighisoara

Ancient architecture of Sighisoara,Transylvania
If these walls could talk! Small museums are hidden away in the medieval fortifications and a hidden staircase lets you climb to the clock tower.

Just Look!

The town is so incredibly pretty, if you’ve visited Antigua Guatemala and are familiar with the candy-box colours of that old town, you’ll maybe see a similarity here. Walls, windows, doors and window boxes make this town glow with colour. Ancient architectural appeal and the amazingly coloured tiles on the roof of the clock tower enhance the picture further, it really is like something out of a fairy tale, an expression used often in Romania. The citadel square is a lovely centerpiece and used to be used for witch trials and public executions ( among other things.)

 Streets of Sighisoara, inside the citadel

Climb The Clock Tower.

For amazing views and the small History Museum at the top, this 14th century tower made an excellent defensive look-out tower back when it was a built. Combined tickets are available for this museum and the two below.

Climb the Hill to The Church Through the Spooky Covered Stairway.

My boys insist this is best done at midnight.

The stairway was originally built to protect children climbing the hill to school. It’s blackened oak beams are very atmospheric and very Romanian. Very spooky!

Browse the Shops and Street Stalls

Sighisoara Transylvania Romania shopping

You will find gloriously tacky Dracula related trinkets, antiques, fabrics, costumes and some great local crafts.

The Church of the Dominican Monastery.

The church is known for its Transylvanian renaissance carved altarpiece, Oriental carpets, beautiful baroque altar and  functional, huge 17th century organ. A statue of Vlad Dracul stands just next to it.

The Torture Museum and Medieval Arms Museum

A tiny museum of torture implements. It’s beneath the clock tower.

Visit The Birthplace of Vlad Dracul

 Birthplace of Vlad Dracul Dracula Romania Sighisoara

Sighisoara is the birthplace of Vlad Dracul. History , legend and story are confusing here, was Vlad Dracul the Impaler, or his father? Different versions appear wherever you look. Vlad Tepes is Vlad the Impaler, Tepes means the Impaler. Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula is thought to have been based on Vlad Tepes, whose father was ruler of Walachia in the mid 1400s. The dates are right for the son to be born here, not the father. I’ve researched this thoroughly, you can find more on the origins of Dracula in Romania in this post. A lot of people get it wrong and the castles in Romania were never “Dracula’s” castle, it was a fictional building, although they still warrant a visit. You can, of course, visit the former residences of the real life Vlads.

Eat and Drink

The citadel’s main square ( Piata Cetatii ) has pavement cafes to enjoy. We also recommend the pub to the left of the covered staircase ( no food). You can even dine in the building where Dracula was born, it’s a restaurant now serving bowls of vampire soup and dracula wine.

Where to Stay in Sighisoara?

Ancient architecture of Sighisoara,Transylvania
We were delighted with our private apartment, Casa Mador, inside the citadel. We were able to take our car inside the walls, had a spacious 2 bedroom apartment in a vintage building, with unlimited coffee and washing machine.

We stayed right inside the citadel at Casa Mador apartment , just steps from the covered stairway. We honestly can’t recommend this apartment highly enough for location, spaciousness, luxury and facilities. It even comes with an espresso machine, an outdoor courtyard and unlimited use of a washing machine, perfect! We find that accommodation in Romania is generally good, spacious and highly affordable.

Check rooms, prices and availability for Casa Mador on HERE. It’s ranking is an incredible 9.8. If it’s not available (and it fills up fast) try the deals available below in Sighisoara.

We have been basing ourselves in a remote village in Romania for a couple of years, learning every day , mostly by watching, as we slowly pick up the language. It’s been a fascinating experience. Look out for more Romania blog content coming soon, on travel to Romania, things to see, things to do and places to stay, along with glimpses into history from our village where time stands still. Back to our main Romania travel page. Thanks for being interested in travelling to Sighisoara and we hope you find our things to do and where to stay Sighisoara travel guide useful.

If you'd like to hire a car during your stay, use this car rental comparison tool to find the best deal!

We also suggest you take a look at this company to get a quote for all kinds of the more tricky adventure or extended travel insurance.

Try Stayz / VRBO for an alternative way to find rentals on homes/apartments/condos in any country!

About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

3 thoughts on “Sighisoara Romania, Things to Do, Where to Stay”

  1. Thanks for this post!
    We’re in Sigisoara for a couple of days before we head back to Bucharest and on to Greece.


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