The quaint city of Sighisoara is located in the Transylvania region of Romania with a long history dating back to the 1100s. A fairy-tale-like city in the heart of the country with a charming historic citadel decorated with colorful buildings and houses and filled with exciting sights and attractions.

The city was founded by German craftsmen and merchants known as the Saxons of Transylvania, a fortified medieval town and a highlight in the region. The UNESCO World Heritage Site old town is filled with cute cafes, quaint craft shops, restaurants, and many of the city’s historical attractions. The city is associated with Vlad Tepes, better known as Vlad the Impaler or Dracula attracting horror fans from all over the world.

Sighisoara sits on the banks of the Tarnava Mare River and is a beautiful city to explore with its iconic 209 foot tall Clock Tower and home to many Fortified Towers and churches. Visiting the medieval city is like stepping back in time with its colorful medieval architecture, charming pedestrianized cobblestone streets, colorful squares, and spectacular surrounding scenic views of the hills and forests. There are several events and festivals that take place here annually including the Medieval Festival held in the old citadel in July

Sighisoara is the birthplace of Vlad III (Vlad Tepes, Vlad the Impaler, and Vlad Dracula) and is marked with a placard and now houses the Casa Dracula restaurant. Vlad’s father was the ruler of the nearby Wallachia region. There are many Dracula-themed locations in the city and plenty of Dracula souvenirs to take home.

Things to see and do

Simply strolling through the colorful historic streets of Sighisoara will take you past many charming sights and attractions. Beautifully preserved buildings are painted bright red, green, yellow, and pink and add a vibrant charm to the cobblestone streets. Wind down the narrow alleyways and explore the shops and cafes and absorb the history and laid back atmosphere here.

The colorful burgher-style houses in the city are now home to lovely hotels, fantastic restaurants, cute cafes, and unique shops. They are charming during the day and at night feature a different vibe when the streets are lit up by lamps and people are wandering around and dining in the streets and squares. Entering the main gates to the old town will bring you right to the large clock tower.

The Clock Tower is one of the city’s iconic landmarks, easily spotted in the heart of the citadel standing 209 feet tall it is one of the most popular sights and tourist attractions in Sighisoara. Climb up the spiral staircase to the top, observing the glass box displays belonging to the museum on your way. Take in the breathtaking views over the city from the open-air wrap-around balcony. Visit the small interesting Sighisoara History Museum inside the tower with artifacts that relate to the history of Sighisoara and its Medieval Guild towers. There are various objects on display fashioned by the master craftsmen with information cards in English and Spanish. As you ascend the tower it is possible to see the inner workings of the clock mechanisms and the famous figurines, creepy puppets that rotate on wheels with every new day of the week. (The museum is closed on Mondays).

The 14th-century tower was a lookout defense tower back when it was built. Be sure to look out for the 17th century Stag House on your left as you are approaching the clock tower with antlers poking out from the corner of the building.

There are nine remaining guild towers out of the original 14 that used to line the walls of the citadel. The towers have different names such as the Tinsmiths’ Tower, The Tailors’ Tower, The Bootmakers’ Tower, The Butchers’ Tower, and the Ropemakers' Tower. These towers were once manned and named after the guilds who also built, defended, and maintained them. The Tinsmiths’ Tower is 82 feet tall built in the 13th century featuring a unique shape with a square base and a pentagonal section added during the 16th century and topped with a widened eight-sided section and a hexagonal tiled roof.

Citadel Square or Piata Cetatii is one of the main attractions in the city of Sighisoara set in the heart of the old town. A beautiful and charming little square filled with restaurants, cafes, shops, and colorful buildings and flowers. Many winding streets and alleyways lead off from the square, making it the perfect place to explore, take a break in one of the cafes with a coffee and some people watching, have lunch at one of the many wonderful restaurants, and shop for souvenirs and other items at the outdoor markets. The walls, windows, and flower boxes add an extra charm to the city streets and perfect photo ops. The square is a marvelous centerpiece in town that was once used for witch trials and public executions.

Visit Vlad Dracula’s birthplace, his former residence is located near the clock tower in a bright yellow house. Vlad was born here in 1431 and lived here for 4 years of his life and the house now features a restaurant and a souvenir shop.

The Cross-country farm in the Village of Prod about 10 miles outside of Sighisoara is a great location for a day trip out on the farm. Take a horseback riding excursion or vacation here along with wagon rides in the beautiful verdant valley. There are rooms here with private baths where visitors can stay and take riding excursions for up to 5 days, they serve up hearty food, have wifi, spectacular views, and beautiful horses.


Walk up the Scholar’s Staircase which leads you to the Church on the Hill, or Biserica din Deal. A Lutheran Church built in late Gothic style containing frescoes painted in the 1480s and a crypt. The staircase was originally built to protect the children who climbed the hill to school. There is a Saxon Cemetery nearby on the side of the hill containing many German tombstones. The Church on a Hill stands 1 407 feet tall above Sighisoara and can be spotted from almost everywhere in the city.

Biserica Manastirii also known as the Monastery Church is a Lutheran church built in 1291 featuring late Gothic style architecture located next to the clock tower. The interior features glittering Baroque masterpieces featuring bronze font, and gorgeous windows with oriental carpets that date back to the 16th century. The church is first mentioned in documents from 1298 CE, it underwent many changes and renovations due to a fire.

Lepers’ Church as the outside pulpit was used by the priest to preach to patients in the nearby leapers’ hospital. It was considered the leapers’ church from 1647-1684, but they were not allowed inside due to the fear of leprosy. The church has a small yet very unique history and great significance in the city.

The Holy Trinity Church is the seat of an archpriest situated on the northern bank of the Tarnava Mare River. The church is Romanian Orthodox dating back to the days of WWI, built-in 1934-1937, and dedicated to the Holy Trinity with church bells that chime every morning and evening.

Klosterkirche is a Lutheran Church and architectural delight built-in 1289 with a Gothic style architecture and extravagant baroque interior. Dedicated to St. Nicholas since the late 1800s and has been the main Evangelical gathering place ever since.


There are plenty of shopping options available in Sighisoara with tourist shops dotted around the citadel and all over the city, many selling Dracula memorabilia and other interesting items. Various artists are displaying their work on the sidewalks in the city with watercolors and oil paintings available to purchase at reasonable prices. Romania folk art items are available including traditional wooden spoons, traditionally made icons, embroidered fabrics, and ceramics that make great authentic gifts. Saxon craftsmanship is still present in gift boutiques scattered throughout the city, and a few workshops producing high-quality woodwork, textiles, and ceramics.

Food and Nightlife

There are some wonderful places to eat in Sighisoara, a lot of eateries can be found in the old historic citadel area with charming cafes and restaurants with outdoor terrace seating. The options for food in Sighisoara include traditional hearty Romanian cuisine, German, French, Italian, and International cuisine.

La Perla is a popular Italian restaurant located in the heart of the city serving up delicious pizza and pasta. Casa Cositorarului is a charming cafe in the citadel offering a wide selection of delicious baked goods, desserts, and hot beverages. Casa Vlad Draculis the most famous, most visited restaurant in the city offering excellent traditional hearty Romanian and French fare with popular soups. There are many charming cafes dotted along Piata Cetatii, the main citadel square. Cafe International and Family Center in Piata Cetatii with employees dressed in traditional clothes and the place was filled with plenty of tourist information and serving up sweet cakes, sour pies, organic juices, and baked goods.

There are numerous charming cafes, lively bars, fantastic restaurants, and other nightlife with live music found around the main citadel and other parts of the city. The Train Station Bar is filled with lots of locals serving up cheap beer. Voynich Cafe and Pub is a great local pub with different events from karaoke to quiz nights, serving up a long list of beers, wines, and cocktails with a great atmosphere. The Medieval Café is a very nice bar and cafe located in a medieval basement serving delicious mulled wine, fresh cake, and homemade jams. Korona Pub is a funky bar and club in the city with a modern concept in a medieval space, there are thematic parties held every week and popular DJs perform every week. Culture Pub is a popular place and one of the most crowded in the city with all things from a pub, with great music, great people and lots of drinks.

At 6:00 at night be sure to gather around the clock tower for a magical sight, The Angels of Day and Night switch places on the famous clock tower.

History and Culture

Dacians occupied the area where Sighisoara is situated today as early as the first century CE, they built a fortification called Sandava. Saxons built the current fortress during the 12 century.

The King of Hungary invited German Saxon merchants to settle in Transylvania in the early 12th and 13th centuries, the medieval town of Sighisoara, or “Schaasburg” as the Saxons called it was where they resided. The craftsmen and soldiers built an impressive citadel and 9 towers to guard against invasions from the Turkish. The UNESCO World Heritage site of the modern medieval historical city is still a wonder today.

Turnul cu Ceas, The Citadel’s Clock Tower is the most famous building in the city. Built-in the 17th century and later refined by Austrian craftsmen, the clock tower features allegorical sculptures of Peace, Justice, and Law, as well as Angels of Day and Night, who swap places depending on the time of day.

Festivals and Events

Sighisoara is the host of many exciting festivals and events throughout the year.

The Sighisoara Medieval Festival is held every year in July, attracting some 30,000 tourists and doubling the city’s population. This three-day event features numerous cultural events including theatre, indoor and outdoor music concerts, street musicians, traditional dance performances, film productions, and stunt shows with knights dressed in full armor. The festival has several opportunities to eat and drink. And don’t miss out on a few things the festival is world-famous for; the almost 15-foot tall sword, the biggest sword at any medieval festival, the biggest medieval festival flag measuring 98 feet long and 16 feet wide, and the world’s largest round bagel made with 100 kilograms of flour.

Pro Etnica - Annual interethnic music and arts festival featuring indoor and outdoor performances with music, dance, and film.

Sighisoara Blues Festival - established in 2005 and held annually in the last weekend of March for 2 days with 2 concerts each evening in the Mihai Eminescu Hall of Sighi?oara with a capacity to hold 500 people with great acoustics.

Vampire Festival - Held annually in Sighisoara in the walled citadel and birthplace of Vlad Dracula. A four-day celebration of the dark arts with various programs including horror movie screenings, gothic literature readings, provocative art shows, and a vampire ball.

Halloween in Transylvania - Celebrated all over Romania with shows and parties related to Bram Stoker’s novel character, Count Dracula. There are children’s games, bonfires, ancient rituals to drive away evil spirits, and vampire movies.

Christmas Markets - Held in Sighisoara from the end of November to the middle of January in the medieval citadel and main square.