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- 06 Aug 2021, 3 nights
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Surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains – and within striking distance of Dracula's castle – Brașov is a stunning base for exploring Transylvania. The old town is straight out of a fairytale, with colourful Saxon buildings backed by the tree-covered Mount Tâmpa. The city's Hollywood-inspired sign adds to the other-worldly feel, while buzzing cafés and restaurants on Piața Sfatului (Council Square) provide the perfect setting for people-watching.
Hostels in Brașov often reflect the city's atmospheric feel. Stay in medieval-style buildings with wood-beamed roofs, Saxon homes on the forested slopes of Mount Tâmpa or even a Brașov hostel above a modern Transylvanian pub. Free Wi-Fi is usually available, and some offer free breakfast and happy hour events where you'll meet new travel buddies. Many Brașov hostels have their own bars where you can kick off your night in Transylvania before heading into the old town.
Centrul Vechi (the old centre) of Brașov is where most of the city's shops, restaurants and museums are. This historic district is home to pastel-coloured baroque buildings, pavement cafés and imposing sights like the Black Church. Just outside the citadel walls, the Prund-Şchei neighbourhood has the feel of an old village with its winding cobbled streets, orthodox churches and traditional restaurants. If you want a change from fairytale architecture, wander around Centrul Nou (the new centre) – a business-focused neighbourhood with a more modern vibe.
Brașov has one of Europe's narrowest streets, Strada Sforii (Rope Street), where you can touch both walls as you walk down – always good for a photo opportunity. The peak of Mount Tâmpa offers great views across the city to the Carpathian Mountains, and it's right in the city centre. Hike up the forested trails or take the cable car to the top. Dracula fans flock to Bran Castle, which is about 40 minutes away by car: descriptions of the castle inspired Bram Stoker's novel.
Gara Brașov railway station is on the outskirts of the city, a 10-minute drive from Piața Sfatului, the main square. Three buses run from the station to the city centre – lines 4, 51 and 52. There's also a shuttle bus from Budapest's Henri Coandă International Airport, which takes about two and a half hours. Once you arrive, you'll find Brașov easy to walk around, with most of the city's shops, museums and restaurants concentrated in the streets behind the main square under Mount Tâmpa.