The history of a medieval city, known for numerous superlatives in domains such as innovation, technique, education and culture, the dynamism of an eclectic city, the values and the diversity promoted are the icons that tourists seek in Sibiu.
The only city in the country that received three Michelin stars in the Green Guide, Sibiu was the Cultural Capital of Europe – together with Luxembourg in 2007. In 2019 Sibiu was elected the European Gastronomy Region.
There’s always something new to see or do in Sibiu! Discover the city’s secrets one by one, step by step, to enjoy them fully. Here are some unbeatable touristic objectives when you arrive in Sibiu, recommended by Happy Day Pension.
Strada Cetății (Cetatii Street)
Somewhere in the middle of the city, there is a street just like a history book, embellished with old houses on one side, and on the other you discover a piece of Romanian history – the fortress and its three towers: Turnul Archebuzierilor (Archers’ Tower), Turnul Olarilor (Potters’ Tower) and Turnul Dulgherilor (Carpenters’ Tower). The street is known to the locals as the most beautiful street in Sibiu. It’s the perfect place for a romantic walk where fairy tales do come true. Or you can sip a glass of good Romanian wine while admiring the State Philharmonic.
Casa Calfelor is part of the first fortification project in Sibiu back in the 13th century.
There is a wooden pillar originally called Stock-im-Eisen with lots of hammered nails. It’s an old tradition of the travelling craftsmen: every young craftsman has to hammer a nail on a special pillar when leaving the city to mark his presence, a gesture meant to bring him good luck.
Did you know that the clothes of the craftsmen have a symbolic number of buttons: the vest has 8 buttons, one for each working hour, the garment has 6 buttons for each working day of the week, and the sleeves have 3 buttons for each year of travel?
House with Caryatides
On 13th Mitropoliei Street, you can discover a beautiful house with an amazing yet less common architecture in Romania. It was built in 1786 in the Baroque style. The columns represent the statues of two women supporting the balcony of the building.
Historians tell that the house was built after the death of Count Gergely Bethlen, the house’s architecture resembles to the Brukenthal Palace’s. For that matter, the house was called the Little Palace. Few know that Count Bethlen’s widow rebuilt and rearranged the whole space giving it the stylish Baroque air.
Did you know that in the 17th century, the medieval house that was there before the Little Palace belonged to a very famous goldsmith, Sebastian Hann?
This is the only street in the world where there are churches belonging to different religions: Orthodox, Reformed and Evangelical, representing the symbol of religious tolerance in Sibiu.
Thus, there are two cathedrals, one of the Romanian Orthodox, the other of the Evangelical Protestant Saxons, the main Hungarian church, the Reformed, a Protestant and a Catholic Church, all at a distance of only a few tens of steps.
The cathedral in Sibiu is unique in Romania, being a smaller copy of Istanbul’s cathedral Hagia Sofia.
Did you know that the first name of the street was Butcher’s Street, because it came from the most important and rich guild of the city?
Steam Engine Museum
Right down 22nd Dorobantilor Street you can see generations of steam locomotives. The once steel monsters are surrounded by a historical nostalgia.
The Steam Engine Museum in Sibiu was inaugurated in 1994 and features 35 steam locomotives, 2 steam cranes and 2 steam pits manufactured between 1885 and 1958 from Resita Domains, 23 August and Malaxa from Romania, Schwartzkopff, Orenstein & Koppel, Borsig from Berlin, Mavag from Budapest, Skoda and many more, including Austria, Poland, Sweden and USA.
If steel monsters remind you of your childhood or you just want to breathe some history, that’s the place to visit. It’s awesome for photo sessions too!
Sibiu Walk of Fame
Inaugurated in 2013 and celebrating the anniversary edition the Sibiu International Theater Festival, the local walk of fame is situated in the Citadel Park, near the State Philharmonic.
Although inspired by the famous Walk of Fame in Hollywood, the project was built as had in mind a celebration of culture and the recognition of unique and amazing personalities that contributed to the development of our city. The multitude of stars gives it its own personality as well as a tourist attraction pointing focusing on the uniqueness of the place.
Did you know that Tim Robbins received a star in 2016?
The Goldsmiths’ Passage
The precious name comes from the goldsmiths who had the workshops in the middle of the city. From the Goldsmith’s Market, you reach the Small Square through a passage of stairs of incredible beauty that maintains its appearance since 1567.
The place where today you can find the Golden Passage with its stairs, back in the 13th century there was a gate that connected the Lower Town to the road that passed near the old fortress. This gate was for pedestrian use only.
Did you know that the gate still exists today as part of the house no.24 situated in the Small Square area?
The coat of arms
The coat of arms of the city consists of an ancient shield. There are two crossed swords, golden bundles, which hold through their guard a gold crown. The shield is stamped by a mural with seven silver towers.
The symbol chosen for this coat of arms is based on a founding myth of the settlement – the landing of two crossed swords. To this symbol is added the symbol of the land resources donated by the King – the leaves, but especially the symbol of the vine, brought by the colonists.
The crown on the coat represents Sibiu as a free city, being directly subject to the King of Hungary, being considered Fundus Regius, which meant royal land.
Dumbrava Sibiului Natural Park
The Natural Park is the favorite place for a long promenade since the 18th century. Located 4 km from the center of Sibiu, along the road to Rasinari, its dimension is overwhelming – over 960 hectares.
The Dumbrava Sibiului Natural Park is famous for Astra National Museum Complex, located in its area. With an area of nearly 100 hectares, the museum is the largest ethnographic exhibition in Europe. You can enjoy the entire open-air museum taking a long walk or you can rent a horse carriage, or in winter, with horse sleigh.
An extra activity is the visit to the Zoo, the oldest in Romania, which is now home for nearly 200 animals from 47 species.