The trains from Sibiu to Sighisoara leave several times a day, but the local trains aren’t possible to reserve online. Buying a ticket was no problem when we showed up at the station, but make sure you have some time if lines are long. The station in Sighisoara is not in the prettiest part of town, but a short walk from there you can take the long and winding stairs up to the old part of town, and once you’re in there, you’ll forget about the rest.
Sighisoara is probably one of the prettier towns I’ve seen. All the little houses are painted in different colors, and it feels like being transported to a different time. It’s quite touristy, but in a controlled way, and most tourists seemed to come in on a daytrip, meaning that in the morning and late afternoon we had the place to ourselves.
What to do in Sighisoara
To be honest, there isn’t so much to do in Sighisoara, which is part of the charm. There is a small tourist office in a basement in the center, but when we went there to inquire about guided tours, we were informed that the guide was away on vacation so no tour could be arranged.
Most of our time was spent just chilling in the square with one of many cups of coffee, enjoying the sunshine and listening to the people chatting away around us. All other activities included climbing hills.
Climb the hill to Vila Franka
The easiest hike out of town is up the hill to the camping and restaurant Vila Franka. You follow the road on the other side of the train tracks, but there is no traffic so it’s still nice. It’s a pretty steep walk up there, but it’s worth it for the views.
We sat down at the outdoor patio of the restaurant, overlooking the village down below. We ordered a coffee and a papanasi, the decadent Romanian dessert that is essentially a fried cheese donut swimming in whipped cream and jam. If that sounds a bit nasty, lemme tell you it’s really not.
Climb the hill to the old graveyard
To get up to the Church on the Hill, Biserica din Deal, you climb the covered, tunnel-like staircase, Scara Şcolarilor, from the old town. From up there you have an okay view over the town, but the trees do cover most of it. The church charges an entrance fee (for real) and we opted out, instead we walked over to the old graveyard on the back of it. That was a really nice place to stroll around, looking at the old headstones, located in the middle of a forest-like area.
Climb the clock tower
Inside the clock tower, by the entrance to the old town, there’s a history museum that I would recommend. From the top of the tower you’ll get a good view over the center of the old town, and every floor has a little exhibition of historical artefacts. It does get quite crowded in there when a busload of tourists drop in, so try and time your visit well.
Where to stay in Sighisoara
We stayed at Pension am Schneiderturm, and if you ask me, so should you. It’s one of the nicest guesthouses we have ever stayed at. The house dates back to the 18th century and is built on the city wall, and in the room we got, the bed was actually built inside the old city wall! Pretty cool. The host told us everything we needed to know about what to see and do around town. In the evening he offered us a glass of local wine before going out to dinner, and we got a shot of palinca that actually didn’t taste so bad. The breakfast was also made up of various local foods, and I think I managed to try all different kinds of cheese even though it was a struggle. We really loved this place!
… and where to eat?
We were told that the restaurants up in the old town are priced for tourists, while the restaurants down the hill are for regular folks, which seemed pretty accurate when we looked at the menus. Just down the hill from the old town there ‘s a small square with several restaurants, offering some traditional Romanian meals but also a lot of pizza and beer. Plus wifi. The vegetarian options were somewhat limited, but hey, it’s countryside Romania, and we did get a fried cheese with fries.