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Chances are you’ve probably never heard of Sighisoara, Romania. Am I right? Now let me ask you, have you ever heard of Transylvania? I thought Transylvania was a make-believe place dreamt up by the creative cartoon makers. Transylvania is real, it’s a large region in Romania. And one of those towns within the region is Sighisoara! Sighisoara is a teeny tiny village town, and creepy as hell. For all you thrill-seeking, vampire chasers, here are the 7 spooky things to do in Sighisoara!
Most Important Things to Know for Sighisoara
Currency: RON Romanian Leu
Average Summer Temperatures: 26 / 12 degrees Celsius
Average Winter Temperatures: 1 / -7 degrees Celcius
Language Spoken: Romanian
Closest Airport: Sibiu ( 1 1/2 hours)
Crime Report: according to Numbeo
7 Spooky Things To Do in Sighisoara
#1. Visit the birthplace of Dracula, aka, Vlad the Impaler.
Vlad III was born in the year 1431 and died in 1477. Ruler of Wallachia between years of 1448 and 1477, and died in battle. The reputation for Vlad’s cruel and torturing punishments earned him the name vampire count Dracula. According to Wikipedia, this did not serve as the inspiration for the novel Dracula, by Bram Stoker in 1897. In other theories, the inspiration was drawn from Irish mythology pointing to a character named Abhartach.
Today you can visit the childhood home of Vlad III in the center of the old town in Sighisoara. Visiting this house is very poorly reviewed on TripAdvisor. And I would have to agree. The experience could be vastly improved. There is a restaurant on-site and upstairs, a room decorated in red curtains and an empty coffin. And that’s it!
As cheesy and lame as it is, you still have to go. My hope is over time, and when tourism increases, more attention will be paid to upgrading this exhibit.
#2. Climb the Sighisoara Clock Tower
I have been fortunate in my life to have traveled to numerous places. The clock tower in Sighisoara was one of the most impressive sites I have ever seen. It has a very distinctive look that goes along with the overall spooky vibe of the town.
Once you see it for yourself, you will understand why it’s one of the most popular things to do in Sighisoara. There is a minimal entrance fee to climb the old wooden stairs to the peak of this clock tower. At the top, you will have sweeping views of the town and the Romanian countryside.
Built-in the 14th century, this tower was once the entry point to the citadel. In 1964 the clock underwent restorations and functions to this day. In 1999 the whole area was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
#3. Visit the Church on the Hill
This church, as in the name, is on a hill. To get there, you will climb the “covered stairs.” The covered stairs, also as it sounds, is a massive tunneled staircase. The journey to the church will take some of your energy for sure, but it’s worth it.
When you step into this Romanian church, you feel like you are walking into a piece of history. The Gothic church formerly replaced the Romanesque basilica between the 14th and 15th centuries. It became a Lutheran church in 1547, serving the German Saxon inhabitants.
The cemetery contains tombstones from the 1600 and 1700s of the mayors, friars, and guild masters. If you visit in October, it will be as equally spooky as you would expect it to be.
#4. Citadel Sighisoara
This collection of medieval buildings are all within the walls of the citadel, Sighisoara. There are several towers, such as the Bootmakers Tower, Tailors Tower, Blacksmith Tower, Tinsmiths Tower.
There are a couple of ways to see this citadel. You can self-tour buying tickets directly on-site, or you can join a tour. I would recommend joining a group tour, as it’s a great way to meet other travelers. Also, you get an in-depth history lesson from a local.
Visiting in October set the mood for me. During the days, it was a bit cloudy, adding a layer of gloom. The nights were fresh and crisp, smelling of wood-burning stoves. In my opinion, there is no better time to visit Transylvania than in the autumn!
(Disclaimer: Some links in this post may be affiliate links, meaning if you click on the link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission. This is at no extra cost to you and you may even receive a small discount. See disclosure for more information.)
5. Shop The Local Shops
Sure, this isn’t exactly a “spooky” thing to do. But I added to the list of 7 spooky things to do in Sighisoara because I like to shop! What will scare you is just how CHEAP everything is!
In the streets of the old town, you can find little shops selling everything from Dracula themed gifts to high-quality goods. I bought some of the most beautiful handmade pottery from Sighisoara. The prices in Romania are simply unbeatable.
Since the country has been benefiting more and more each year by tourism, I do expect prices will increase. As of today, it remains one of the least expensive places I have ever visited. If you are looking to go somewhere to stretch your dollar, then Romania is the place for you.
#6. City Walking Tour & Dracula Home Visit
If you are only visiting Sighisoara for a few hours, this tour is perfect for you. Embrace the history of this spooky village and join this city walking tour & Dracula home visit.
This is the fastest way to see all the main attractions, with a knowledgable guide! The entrance fees are covered within the cost of this tour. See all 7 spooky things to do in Sighisoara in one shot!
Other Things to Do Outside Sighisoara
#7. Visit the Viscri Fortified Church
The previous six activities are the most popular things to do when visiting Sighisoara. If you have a car or have time to do a day tour, here is an idea for outside Sighisoara. Visit the Viscri Fortified Church.
If you plan to travel by car it takes just under 1 hour to reach the church. At the time of my visit, I didn’t see any public transit options. It is worth researching this further closer to your arrival.
I didn’t have enough time to see this place in person, and definitely regret it.
Where Should You Stay in Sighisoara
As I mentioned, Romania is cheap! I stayed in the most delightful boutique-style hotel in the center of the old town for less than $100 a night! If you are looking to treat yourself, you should consider staying at Fronius Residence!
The hotel serves a delicious breakfast, included in the room price. A special thanks to the staff at the hotel, they were exceptional! The staff member knew I needed help getting to the bus station. She not only offered to drive me but helped me buy the ticket.
Is Sighisoara Safe for Solo Female Travelers?
I often felt safe when traveling solo all over Romania. The language barrier can be an issue, though. Not everyone will speak English, which can sometimes make some aspects of the journey frustrating.
I did not experience any theft or shady people trying to take advantage of me as a tourist. If you search online, you find that it does happen, but evil people are everywhere. Just consider your surroundings, act appropriately, and you will be fine.
Leave your flashy expensive purses at home. The advice I give to all travelers is just to blend in. My travel style is plain Jane, boring black clothes, and comfortable shoes. If you are walking around with a Fendi bag, making it evident that you a tourist, you can attract attention. When I am solo traveling, I want to avoid that.
Transportation To and From Sighisoara
I am going to be real honest with you here. The transportation in this country is far from convenient, or somewhat function-able. Be prepared to deal with many inconveniences when it comes to public transit.
There was no reasonable train transit option from Sighisoara to Sibiu, but there was a “bus.” I have the bus in quotations, as it was not a bus, but an oversized minivan.
Right before the “bus” arrived, people started to swarm in a little circle and started getting pushy. Once the door to the van opened, we all crammed in. It was like riding in a tight sardine can that smelled of cigarettes and stale beer.
It was an awkward ride, and there was not any place for luggage. My carry on suitcase sat on my lap for about 2 1/2 hours. The trip itself was pretty chill, driving through the countryside. There is little chance of traffic unless there is an accident.
The drive was reasonably picturesque with lots of green valleys and small villages in the distance. If I were to make this trip all over again, I would rent a car. Hands down, definitely look into it.
Where Else To Go From Sighisoara
Now that you have seen all 7 spooky things to do in Sighisoara, it’s time to move on! As I mentioned, I traveled from Sighisoara to Sibiu. Sibiu is also in the Transylvania region of Romania, and I would highly recommend it! By car, you can reach Sibiu from Sighisoara in about an hour and a half.
What I loved so much about Sibiu was that it had a city vibe but in a village setting. Sibiu only has a population of about 147,000 people and located 171 miles (275 km) northwest of Bucharest. I found a couple of great places to eat. You can expect a hearty and potato heavy style cuisine. If you are searching for vegan food, it is a little more complicated. But, not hard to find some vegetarian.
Sibiu has cool craft bars and cute artesian coffee shops. I would suggest you plan to stay no more than three nights here. In that amount of time, you will have pretty much done it all.
Just like in Sighisoara, everything is very affordable. I chose to stay in an Airbnb. It was wildly stylish and crazy affordable. My nightly rate was $45, by far the cheapest accommodation on the whole trip.
Spooky Things to Do in Sibiu
Scary Tower Climb At Saint John’s Church
The most memorable and somewhat terrifying experience I had was climbing the church tower. Everything started fine, climbing stairs, enclosed in a stone column. Being surround by the wall, you feel safe from danger. But, once you emerge out of this stairwell and into the large open room, you are looking at climbing a rickety old staircase.
My palms start to sweat even at the thought of reliving this experience. The staircase seemed sturdy enough. However, it is all out in the open. I feared I would somehow get dizzy, miss a step, and fall viciously to my death.
Alast I made it to the top, soaked in a layer of fear sweat, but all in one piece. It was rewarding to see these fantastic views of Sibiu. So if aerial overview city shots are your thing, this is the climb for you.
*The four corner towers seen here on the top of the church steeple meant the death penalty was allowed. Of course, it was centuries ago, but a neat fact to point out.
Crossing The Unforgiving Liars Bridge
Sibiu is home to the famous, The Bridge of Lies. A few urban legends are surrounding this bridge. The most commonly told tale is called The Lie Detector Test.
According to the urban legend, if someone tells you a lie while crossing this bridge, the bridge will tell you! Look out for strange noises of the bridge about to break. That is your indication the statement is, in fact, a lie!
It has also been said to be a place where empty promises are made! So if your significant other is making a promise to you when crossing this bridge, you may want to think twice!
This final tall tale is something much darker. Legendary stories had been told to warn women never to lie. If any woman had been caught lying about their virginity, they would be thrown from the bridge to their death.
Visit the Fortified Towers
Romania remains one of the most exciting places to wander around and explore. This country has such significant preservation of its old fortified cities.
I recommended in the 7 spooky things to do in Sighisoara, here are a few in Sibiu.
Remaining Fortress Towers
Fortress Street contains the last of the four remaining standing towers. The towers left are The Thick Tower, The Carpenters’ Tower, The Potters’ Tower, and the Gunsmiths’ Tower.
Though these towers are restored, you can see they have been preserved with their original structural integrity. You can get a real feeling for what the city must have looked like in medieval times.
Where To Go From Sibiu
My journey through Romania continued from Sibiu to the capital city of Bucharest. I took the train from the central station in Sibiu direct to Bucharest. The train itself was pretty run down, and it moved VERY slowly! The total transit time was a little over 3 hours. Driving would be much faster and is recommended if possible.
If you want to continue exploring more Romanian villages, then visit Brasov! Here are 16 fun things to do in Brasov! From here it is easy to visit Bran Castle & Peles Castle! Bran Castle is the castle in which Bram Stroker’s Dracula movie was filmed. Peles Castle reminded me of something out of a fairytale!
I started my Romanian journey in Brasov before traveling to Sighisoara. There is so much to see in Brasov and Bucharest that I am creating a separate post. So, if you like 7 spooky things to do in Sighisoara, be sure to follow the blog for the next post!
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