Sighisoara: Explore the Beautiful Medieval Town in Transylvania

Transylvania is famous for its mysterious castles and breathtaking natural vistas, but one of the region’s most charming and historic cities is Sighisoara – the only fortified citadel still inhabited in Romania. Founded in the 12th century as a Saxon settlement, the town is full of cobbled lanes and colourful architecture that are steeped in history and culture. 

Sighisoara is often referred to as ‘the pearl of Transylvania’, and it’s easy to see why. The old-world charm of the city has attracted millions of visitors from all over the world, and it’s no surprise that it’s become one of the most popular tourist destinations in Romania.

This guide will take you through the history and attractions of the city, so you can decide if Sighisoara is right for your travels.

History of Sighisoara

The history of Sighisoara dates back to the 12th century, when Transylvania was settled by German settlers known as Saxons. The city served as an important trading site in the region and was fortified in the 14th century – the walls of the citadel remain standing today.

The city is also closely associated with one of the most infamous figures in Romanian history – Vlad Dracula. Born in the city in 1431, the prince later became known as the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. Today, you can visit the house where Vlad was born, as well as a statue commemorating the infamous prince.

Things to See and Do in Sighisoara

Sighisoara is a gorgeous city that’s perfect for exploring. Here are some of the best things to see and do in the city:

  1. Explore the Citadel

The old city of Sighisoara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to several important sites and monuments. At the center of the city is the Clock Tower, which has stood since the 16th century and offers panoramic views across the city. It’s also home to the Church on the Hill, the oldest Lutheran Church in Romania, and the History Museum which has a fantastic collection of artifacts and artworks.

  1. Visit the Houses of the Craftsmen

Near the Citadel is the neighborhood of the craftsmen, where you can find the old workshops of shoemakers, tailors, potters, and other tradesmen. This area is full of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque-style houses and stairs, and it’s a great place to wander and explore.

  1. Visit Dracula’s Dungeon

The ruins of the Bastion Tower – otherwise known as Dracula’s Dungeon – is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Built in the 14th century, the dungeon was once home to Vlad Dracula himself. Today, visitors can wander around the ruins and explore the stories that the walls tell.

  1. Have a Traditional Meal

Sighisoara is home to a number of fantastic restaurants, so make sure you take the time to sample some of the local cuisine. The city is known for its hearty dishes such as mămăligă (a type of cornmeal porridge) and sarmale (cabbage rolls). For dessert, try the traditional papanasi – a sweet pastry made with fruit and cheese.

  1. Relax in the Town Square

St. Martin Square is the main public square in Sighisoara, and it’s the perfect place to relax and people-watch. The square is home to the City Hall and the Palace of the Tailors, and it’s a great spot for a cup of coffee or a spot of lunch.

  1. Explore the Natural Wonders

The countryside surrounding Sighisoara is full of lush forests, rolling hills and winding rivers that are perfect for exploring. From the picturesque Peştera Valley to the mountain peaks of Piatra Craiului, there’s plenty of stunning places to explore. You can even take a boat tour of the Danube Delta or take a tour of the fortresses of Sibiu and Săcele.

Getting to Sighisoara

Sighisoara is easily accessible, with flights and buses running to the city from all over Romania. The best way to get around the city is by foot, and there are plenty of sites to explore. If you find yourself needing transport, there are a number of affordable cab companies operating in the city.

Sighisoara is a beautiful, historic city that offers a glimpse into a bygone era. From the cobbled streets of the Citadel to the ruins of Dracula’s Dungeon, there’s no shortage of stunning sites and attractions for visitors to explore. Whether you want to immerse yourself in Romanian history or just relax and take in the city’s charm, Sighisoara is definitely worth a visit.