Is this your first time in Sighişoara or are you returning for more? Either way, this travel guide is what you need to navigate the old fortress-town and make sure to do and see all the things you should when visiting.
Located in Mures County, in the heart of Transylvania and central Romania, Sighisoara is one of the last inhabited citadels around the world.
First things first: Where to stay?
Sighisoara welcomes its visitors coming either by car, bus, or train. There are plenty of chic places to stay overnight and good places to eat. Local’s tip? Go for a bed & breakfast found within the old walls – or ‘the citadel’ as it is called.
My top choice would be Casa cu Cerb (click here to check prices) which is located in one of the oldest buildings in Sighisoara. Check it out below:
Also, you won’t go wrong if you choose the popular Casa Wagner (click here to see prices for your dates). Just look at its location:
Both places offer great rooms that have been redecorated to offer modern amenities. You have free WiFi, great service and an overall amazing feeling knowing that you spend – even a night – in such history-filled places.
Things to see in Sighisoara
Even though this is a really small town and you can tick all attractions off the list in one day, you will never be disappointed if you choose to visit. So let’s see the things you should see once you get here!
The Clock Tower [Turnul cu Ceas]
This is the symbol of Sighisoara. You will always notice it and it will help you find your way around town.
Getting to its top (64 meters high) is a very interesting endeavor. Read the plates, enjoy the view, and let the history of the place get into your heart!
The construction of the tower began in the 13th century. It then served as the town hall until 1556. There are many symbols connected to Sighisoara’s Clock Tower, so keep an eye on it.
It will be easy to do so if you choose your accommodation at one of the two recommended places above – it’s basically ’round the corner from Casa cu Cerb.
The Covered Stairway [Scara Şcolarilor]
If you love covered bridges or staircases, climb the 175 steps (originally 300) of Scara Şcolarilor (meaning the Stairway of the Students)
Completed in 1642, it was covered to protect the children heading to school. Playing with shadows and light, you’ll feel like a schoolboy/schoolgirl again. And it will be a good exercise for all the delicious food you’ll eat – but more on that later!
The Church on the Hill [Biserica din Deal]
By climbing the Covered Staircase, you reach the Evangelical Church completed in 1525, after several construction stages. It is simply known as the “Church on the Hill”.
Dealul Şcolii (The School’s Hill) and Schulberg are two of the names given to the hill where the church is found. It offers a beautiful view over Sighişoara in all seasons.
The Church on the Hill is the fourth Gothic church in terms of size in Transylvania. Old sources also suggest that it was built where a former 13th-century fortress stood.
You can book a 2-hour walking tour in Sighisoara here – it will take you to all the attractions mentioned above and you will also learn a thing or two about this town’s history. Plus, you’ll support the local community!
Things to do in Sighisoara
As you will see, simply walking around the town is the best approach when visiting. If you don’t want to take the recommended walking tour above, you can still enjoy the town at your own pace.
Here are some other things that I recommend doing after you just take a break, look around, breathe in the fresh air and enjoy this beautiful medieval town in Romania.
Walk around town
If you also believe that the easiest way to discover a place is by walking, Sighisoara is a walker’s paradise. Mysterious corners, quirky alleys, and dark passageways wait to be explored and find a soft spot in your heart.
Trust me when I say that a new amazing view awaits after each corner and you will love every step of this journey!
Stop for dessert and enjoy people-watching
There are some mean desserts to savor in Sighisoara! My favorite traditional dessert whenever in the area is lichiu or hencleş. Butter and sour cream are two of its main ingredients. Simple, yet delicious. You can check it out here on Youtube.
Rest assured that traditional baking is still a big thing in Transylvania. Local organic ingredients are used, which give bakes an unforgettable taste and flavor.
Going back to the recommendation, get your dessert, sit down, relax, and start people-watching. At times, simply taking things in and enjoying the silence can be an adventure in itself.
Have a picnic
Buy local products specific to the season when you’re visiting Sighişoara. Pack them in a basket or a backpack and head out in nature.
A beautiful option is climbing the steps to the bellevue point called La Observator from the Old Town. Sunset watching there can be a lovely experience.
Hike or pedal
Bring your hiking boots and/or your bicycle. Rent one if you don’t have it with you. There are so many trails around Sighisoara!
You’re surrounded by the great outdoors, in the end! Not only can you visit neighboring Saxon villages by crossing woods and hills, but here are two places that will recharge you.
One is Breite, home to many ancient oak trees. You can get there from the Old Town or there is another trail heading there right before reaching Daneş, on the left.
Another place is Masa lui Boţ. You can reach it by going up Barbu Ștefănescu Delavrancea Street and then continuing through the forest. The view at the endpoint seems to gather the essence of Transylvania before your eyes.
Befriend a horse and go for a ride
You may have to head to Daneş to do that. The good part? It is only 6 km away from Sighisoara, there is a manège for beginners and there are many trails on the hills around Daneş for the more experienced riders.
There is something magical about getting to know the surroundings on top of a horse.
Things to know about Sighisoara
13th-century manuscripts show settlers coming to the area, allegedly to defend Transylvania’s borders.
Many of them were of Saxon origin, which explains why German is still widely spoken here and a German-language high school serves the community.
However, archaeological evidence points to the fact that the area around Sighidoara had been inhabited since the Bronze Age.
Guilds appeared in Sighidoara at the end of the 14th century.
As the trading importance of the town grew, these structures (about 19) became essential in the organization of daily life and the development of the citadel.
You can still see the symbols and houses of the former guilds while walking inside Sighidoara’s walls.
There is an annual Medieval Festival taking place in Sighişoara in July. Expect colors, art, and double the people you’d normally see around town on a regular day.
It is wise to book your accommodation ahead if you wish to attend. Make sure to book your stay via Booking.com (but do have in mind my top two recommendations above).
How much time should you spend in Sighisoara?
While you may fall in love with the town and never want to leave, I think that spending one night here will be enough for most travelers.
You can easily see most of what Sighosoara has to offer in as little as 4-5 hours (including time for a meal), but I recommend you to take it slowly and spend the night over.
Sighisoara looks great at night too and the simple fact that you’re not in a rush will make the experience even more enjoyable. Plus, you’ll be able to brag that you slept in a building dating back from medieval times!
Sighişoara is a place to love and discover slowly. It can rapidly enter your heart but you’ll build your relationship over time because there are so many sides to it. They will unfold if you return and let them surprise you.
But, even if you visit just once, you will be left with amazing memories. And now you know what to do and see in Sighisoara. Have fun!