RESTAURANTS & CAFES CAFES CEAI ET CAETERA Just like taking tea at your favourite aunt’s house. A great place to spend your time. Tucked away on Castelului, this tea house/cafe has tea - as you would imagine - in abundance, as well as all sorts of things to make you feel at home, such as a book shelf packed with readable tomes, art, gifts, souvenirs and all sorts. Et caetera, basically.QA-6, Str. Latina 15, tel. (+4) 0724 30 27 37, www.ceaietc.ro. Open 14:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 13:00 - 23:00. GSW COLAJ CAFE One of our favourite places in Brasov. A great little cafe and bar where the eclectic furniture - no two chairs appear to be the same - is matched by the quirkily eclectic crowd that gathers here. Add in comfy sofas, coffee and tea from around the world, cocktails and a decent wine list and you will see why it is so popular. Kind of place you could easily make your local.QB-5, Str. Apollonia Hirscher 2, tel. (+) (+4) 0737 98 56 85. Open 10:00 - 24:00. ESW DR. JEKELIUS - PHARMACY CAFE Just about the most original place to open in Brasov for some time. Looks from the outside like an old-fashioned chemist, while inside is a charming recreation of a pharmacy: much of the decor was brought from a 19th century chemist in Sibiu. Instead of glasses you get your drink in a (large) test tube, and besides cocktails there is a good selection of tea (some with alcohol) and coffee. There are cakes too: all very good, and if you can’t decide what to drink ask the barman to simply create something for you.QB-5, Str. Michael Weiss 13, tel. (+4) 0758 62 47 81. Open 08:00 - 24:00. W Heading for Bucharest? Make sure you pick up a copy of Bucharest In Your Pocket RESTAURANTS & CAFES RESTAURANTS & CAFES than 10 champagnes on the wine list (including La Grande Dame), occasional live music and all in gorgeous surroundings. It’s very, very good.QB-5, Str. Poarta Schei 4, tel. (+4) 0743 23 67 33/(+4) 0268 51 18 38, www.poartaschei4. ro. Open 12:00 - 24:00. PVESW (potato soup): you will not taste any as good anywhere else in Transylvania. Find it at the rear of the Cerbul Carpatin building.QB-5, Piata Sfatului 12-14 (Str. Apollonia Hirscher), tel. (+4) 0268 41 05 33, www.casahirscher.ro. Open 09:00-24:00. PVESW HUNGARIAN FESTIVAL 39 Perhaps the most famous bar ever to open in Brasov, now in an improved location on Republicii (it used to be on Strada Muresenilor). What’s more it is bigger and better than ever and is no more a mere bar: the usual mix of cocktails and coffee is now accompanied by fine food too (the ciolan de purcelus - piglet knuckle - is terrific). You could spend all day in here in fact, from breakfast to nightcap.QB-5, Str. Republicii 62, tel. (+4) 0268 47 86 64/(+4) 0743 33 99 09, www.festival39.com. Open 07:00 - 24:00. PESW PILVAX A genuine Hungarian vendeglo, the likes of which we have been waiting to open in Brasov for some time. Our pick is the exemplary goulash (available as a soup/starter or as a main course), the Hortobagy pancakes and for dessert gesztenyepure (sweet chestnuts with whipped cream). There are wines from all the top Hungarian vineyards: Tokaji, Szekszárd, Eger, Villány. Prices are good and the atmosphere terrific: very Budapest coffee house.QB-5, Str. Michael Weiss 16, tel. (+4) 0268 47 58 29, www.pilvax.ro. Open 08:00 - 22:00, Mon 13:00 - 22:00. PSW INDIAN TAJ MAHAL The first real Indian restaurant to open in Brasov and it is very good. The menu is packed with all your favourites, including no fewer than six lamb dishes and loads for vegetarians. If you want your curry extra hot just ask the waiter to get the chef to spice it up. The Punjabi Thali set menu for two is a good way to try out a number of different dishes. Nice setting too, with views from the rear towards the White Tower.QB-5, Str. Muresenilor 3, tel. (+4) 0720 01 39 44. Open 12:00 - 24:00. VENBSW LA REPUBLIQUE This place sticks to the old mantra ‘do one thing, and do it very well.’ At La Republique that one thing is pancakes. There are more varieties than you could care to ever eat, and they are all cooked fresh. There’s coffee and juice to go with them.QB-5, Str. Republicii 33, tel. (+4) 0744 35 16 68. Open 09:00 - 24:00. B TIPOGRAFIA Brasov’s newest cafe, which has immediately become one of its best. In fact, it's far more than a cafe: it is a cafe, bar and given there is tasty bar food you could even stretch to calling it a bistro. It is also all things to all people: a laid-back cafe perfect for families during the day, a rather more lively place serving cocktails and such like - with some good sounds thrown in - once the sun has gone down.QB-5, Str. Postavarului 1, tel. (+4) 0722 37 30 90, www.tipo-grafia.ro. Open 08:00 - 23:00, Fri 08:00-01:00, Sat 09:00 - 01:00, Sun 09:00 - 23:00. PEW WALDO CAFE Quiet cafe distinguished by an enormous picture of Brasov which takes up almost an entire wall. Good coffee and very good cakes, made on the premises. Friendly staff and a decent place to wile away an afternoon.QB-4, Str. Sf. Ioan 11, tel. (+4) (+4) 0268 41 56 78. Open 10:00 - 24:00. EW CAKE SHOPS CHEZ MANU Cakes ready to go or made to order from Brasov’s leading bakery. It’s madness in here on a Saturday morning as half the city comes to collect its wedding cakes: each higher and more impressive than the other. QC-4, Str. 15 Noiembrie 52, tel. (+4) 0268 47 09 17/(+4) 0724 89 46 43, www.chezmanu.ro. Open 10:00 - 20:00, Mon 12:00 - 20:00. Closed Sun VSW FRENCH POARTA SCHEI 4 Wow. French and then some. If you want rabbit with rhubarb or duck with cherries in Brasov then you best get yourself here. No fewer PUBS, BARS & CLUBS DEANE’S IRISH PUB & GRILL With some kind of event on almost every night of the week, be it the all-conquering karaoke night, or live music from people who can actually sing, Deane’s is a one-stop shop for food, drink and good times. Sensational bistro food, including a couple of great curries, will ensure you are well fed, while to drink there is (besides much else) what we and many others consider to be the city’s very best Guinness.QB-5, Str. Republicii 19, tel. (+4) 0268 41 64 78, www.deanes.ro. 10:00 - 03:00. PEKSW FORMULA PUB In a cellar underneath the city’s main university, this place is popular with students. It’s been given a bit of refit of late and is looking better than ever. QB-4, B-dul Eroilor 29, tel. (+4) 0268 41 41 13, www.formulapub.ro. Open 11:30 24:00, Fri, Sat 10:30 - 01:00, Sun 10:30 - 23:00. PBSW GREEN SALOON PUB & GRILL From live music and karaoke to football on television and darts, Green Saloon is a decent pub and grill serving plenty of draught beer and some good food. Open from ten in the morning for breakfast, there is always a good lunch deal on too. Top marks for the bar which is a wonder of wood and really looks the part.QB-5, Str. Muresenilor 11-13, tel. (+4) 0268 47 73 17, www.greensaloon. ro. Open 10:00 - 24:00, Fri, Sat 10:00 - 02:00, Sun 10:00 - 24:00. PBSW SEVEN POTS PUB Fabulous pub, an amazing cellar space that has been transformed into one of the most unique venues in the city. A lively place there are regular events held here, from live music to tango evenings. Guinness, Tuborg, Holsten and Carlsberg on tap, alongside much else. Well worth seeking out.QB-4/5, Str. Mihail Sadoveanu 1, tel. (+4) 0745 32 11 73/(+4) 0744 63 53 21, www.sevenpots.ro. Open 17:00 - 24:00. PSW STUDIO 80 So called because what you are going to hear in this place is music primarily from the 1980s. The decor (including the fantastic DJ booth) is also straight out of the 1980s, while the crowd is a pleasant mix of ages that comes to dance to the 1980s hits. Cocktails are good and all priced from 14-18 lei.QB-5, Str. Muresenilor 11-13, tel. (+4) 0743 58 94 33, www.studio80.ro. Open 22:00 03:00, Fri, Sat 23:00 - 05:00. Closed Mon, Sun. PNW THE VINTAGE PUB Big pub and club in an imposing location a short walk from the main part of the Old Town. Set over two levels there is something for everyone here, from karaoke with amateurs to live music from professionals and DJ nights.QB-4, Str. Livada Postei 1, tel. (+4) 0745 05 04 87. Open 09:00 - 02:00. PLBSW TIMES PUB The city’s top live music venue. There’s a big bar which means getting served never takes too long, and the crowd that comes here is a mix of all sorts: young and old, rich and students. Besides the good local bands who play here there’s a regular and very popular karaoke night, as well as regular stand-up comedy, theatre evenings and all sorts of cultural goings on.QB-4, B-dul Eroilor 17, tel. (+4) 0736 73 73 73, www.bestpubintown.ro. Open 22:00 - 05:00, Tue 20:00 - 05:00. PEW INTERNATIONAL AMBASADOR Stylish place on Str. Republicii trying to stand out from the crowd with its red-liveried tablecloths and classily attired waiters. The menu is fairly standard, international cuisine, but it is well done and there is a good wine list. It is not a cheap eat though.QB-5, Str. Republicii 60, tel. (+4) 0722 51 44 50/(+4) 0268 41 49 71, www.restaurant-ambasador.com. Open 08:00 -24:00. PLVBSW BISTRO ALBERT This is the restaurant at the rather lovely Casa Albert hotel, right in Strada Republicii and perfect for fine food and wine. Indeed, the wine list - featuring a variety of grape from around the world - is one of the city;s best. The food is ace too, featuring a whole host of dishes made primarily from fresh, locally-sourced ingredients showcasing the best of the region.QB-5, Str. Republicii 38, tel. (+4) 0722 88 60 54, www.casa-albert.ro. Open 09:00 22:00. EBSW BISTRO DE L’ARTE A legend in these parts, Bistro de l’Arte has been going since 2000, a lifetime in Brasov, and still pulls in the punters. Serving good bistro food (the menu changes daily) there is more than grub on offer: the place serves as something of an arts centre and puts on exhibitions, hosts book launches and even the occasional concert in the evenings. Good lemonade and free Wifi are bonuses.QB-5, P-ta George Enescu 11 bis, tel. (+4) 0720 53 55 66, www.bistrodelarte.ro. Open 09:00 - 01:00, Sun 12:00-01:00. PESW CASA HIRSCHER The food here is in fact brilliantly simple, making use of local, fresh ingredients but doing so with real aplomb. Try the supa de cartofi WHERE TO STAY PRATO The best Italian restaurant in Brasov. Fine food served in superb surroundings on Str. Michael Weiss. The menu is extensive, and includes plenty of genuine Italian dishes, such as the trout with artichokes, or beef in balsamic vinegar. The lunchtime buffet is somewhat irresistible.QB-5, Str. Michael Weiss 11, tel. (+4) 0268 47 33 67/(+4) 0720 44 44 22, [email protected], www.prato.ro. Open 12:00 - 24:00. PVSW VINO E SAPORI A proper little Italian bistro where everything is made using only the best original produce. All of the many cheeses and hams are brought fresh from Italy and it’s easy to see why many locals have made this place a regular haunt. The food is fabulous, so is the coffee and they serve a wide range of Italian wines by the glass. There is a good value set-lunch menu and in the evenings a wine happy hour from 16:00-20:00.QStr. George Baritiu 13, tel. (+4) 0368 46 85 93. Open 11:00-24:00, Sun 12:00 - 24:00. PW JAPANESE SUSHI YA Brasov’s first proper Japanese restaurant is a lot more than just sushi. There’s sashimi too. The miso soup was tremendously good. There are international dishes for the less adventurous, and for dessert you can try the banana tempura. Something new and different in Brasov: go there! Oh, and we should mention that they deliver too.QB-5, Piata Sfatului 27, tel. (+4) 0756 836 238/ (+4) 0724 636 292, www.sushi-ya.ro. Open 12:00 - 22:00. VSW PENSIONS BRASOVU’ VECHI QA-6, Str. Constantin Lacea 12, tel. (+4) 0368 44 60 16. CASA ALBERT QB-5, Str. Republicii 38, tel. (+4) 0722 88 60 54. CASA CRANTA QB/C-4, Str. Mr. Cranta 3A, tel./fax (+4) 0268 47 69 92. OLD CITY QA-6, Piata Unirii 12 bis, tel. (+4) 0731 31 40 14. PENSIUNEA DA VINCI QB-5, Str. Apollonia Hirscher 4, tel. (+4) 0268 41 55 30. PENSIUNEA ITALIANA QA-3, Str. Lunga 70, tel./fax (+4) 0268 47 60 01. PENSIUNEA NATURAL QB-5, Str. Castelului 58, tel. (+4) 0744 32 12 73. PENSIUNEA NOEMI QB-4, Str. Sfantul Ioan 2, tel./fax (+4) 0268 47 71 74. RESIDENCE HIRSCHER QB-5, Str. Apollonia Hirscher 14, tel. (+4) 0368 40 12 12. VILLA PRATO QA-4, Str. Stefan Octavian Iosif 2, tel. (+4) 0268 47 33 71, (+4) 0733 55 32 61. SENSIBLU Friendly, modern chemists. Staff quite literally fell over to help us when we visited.QB-5, B-dul Republicii 58, tel. (+4) 0268 47 44 39, www. sensiblu.com. Open 08:00-22:00, Sat, Sun 10:30-18:30. Also at Calea Bucuresti 19, Calea Bucuresti 112, (B-5) Str. Nicolae Balcescu 69 and many other locations around the city. SPITALUL CLINIC DE URGENTA (EMERGENCY HOSPITAL) Brasov’s main emergency hospital.QCalea Bucuresti 25-27, tel. (+4) 0268 32 00 22, www.hospbv.ro. Open 24hrs. TOURIST INFORMATION SHORT TERM RENTAL APARTHOTEL PILVAX QB-5, Str. Michael Weiss 16, tel. (+4) 0268 47 58 29. LEBANESE AMASI Probably the best Lebanese restaurant ever to open in Brasov. You will find all your Lebanese favourites on the menu, including excellent hummus: as good as we’ve eaten anywhere in Romania. The place itself is bright and colourful, and a nice change from some of the more dowdy and old fashioned restaurants of Old Town.QC-3, Str. Mihai Viteazul 1, tel. (+4) (+4) 0368 45 40 33, www.amasi.ro. Open 09:00 - 24:00. PLVBSW ROMANIAN CASA MURESAN Fine, fresh and surprisingly inventive food served with a smile in bright, airy surroundings by the good people at the Casa Muresan hotel. If you are in Brasov and stuck for ideas it is well worth a try. The breakfast is open to all comers not always the case in this town and worthy of commendation. A wedding and christening favourite.QA-3/B-2, Str. Nicopole 54, tel. (+4) 0268 41 43 73, www.casamuresan.ro. Open 07:00 - 22:00. PLESW CASA PADURARULUI So well hidden is this place that you get the impression it does not want to be found. It is behind the Bastionul Tesatorilor, in a leafy setting amongst the trees on the lower slopes of Mount Tampa. Speciality of the house is venison and the setting alone makes it a good choice, especially if you want a secret lunch with someone you shouldn’t be seen with. Inside the walls are packed with hunting memorabilia and trophies, and loads of animal skins. Despite that, they serve a number of vegetarian dishes.QB-6, Aleea Tiberiu Brediceanu 2, tel. (+4) 0268 41 56 19. Open 13:00 - 21:00. LBS ICE SKATING RINK (PATINOAR OLIMPIC BRASOV) Romania’s only modern ice rink (it opened in 2010) is just behind Brasov station and is usually open to the public every evening, and all day at weekends. It also serves as the home of Brasov’s ice hockey team, second only to the legendary Sport Club Miercurea Ciuc as Romania’s best.QD-1, Strada Turnului 5, Parcul Sportiv Brasov, tel. (+4) 0368 44 22 41. Open 20:00-21:30, Sat, Sun 10:00-20:30. Opening hours are subject to change at short notice however to accommodate ice hockey matches and training sessions. Phone ahead to check. Entrance 10 lei, skate hire is also 10 lei. PARADISUL ACVATIC The best aquapark in Romania. Open year-round around Paradisul Acvatic offers big pools, slides of varying scariness, a proper Olympic-sized pool for serious swimmers, diving boards, saunas, steam rooms and Turkish baths: and all for one entrance fee and all under one enormous glass dome. You can swim while admiring the spectacular mountain scenery.QB-dul Grivitei 2F, tel. (+4) 0268 44 00 70, www.paradisulacvatic.ro. Open 10:0022:00, Mon 14:00-22:00. Admission 30 lei/2hours, 55 lei/whole day; children (under 1.30m) 25 lei. Children under two free. PARC AVENTURA Set over two and a half acres of forest on the outskirts of the city, this year-round adventure park is the answer to all your ‘what shall we do with the kids today’ prayers. There are trees to climb, tree houses to explore, daredevil swings and slides, tunnels, assault courses and all sorts of other activities for grown-ups and kids. In all there are more than 100 activities and 14 different trails (some of which welcome children as young as four years old). You will find it opposite the zoo (follow the signs for the zoo from Calea Bucuresti). The turn-off is just past Metro if you are coming from the city. QStr. Paltinului 16 bis, tel. (+4) 0755 08 55 55, www.parc-aventura.ro. Open 10:00-16:30. Closed Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu. Admission (valid for 3hrs) adults 40 lei, students 35 lei, children 4-11 years 30 lei. Reductions available for families and groups. BRAN CASTLE (DRACULA’S CASTLE) Brasov In Your Pocket IYP Romania Srl Str. Stefan Burileanu 1-3 Bl. 21E, Sc. 1, Ap. 8, Bucuresti 014191, Romania Tel. (+4) 021 321 44 18 [email protected] E S S E N TI A L C I TY G U I D E S IYP Romania Srl is a member of the Romanian Audit Bureau of Circulation (BRAT). Project Manager Remus Mesar Editor Craig Turp Cover photo © Bogdan Carstina @ Dreamstime. All other photography by and © Craig Turp unless otherwise stated. Copyright notice © Text, photos and maps © IYP Romania Srl 1999-2015 unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, except brief extracts for the purpose of its review, without written permission from the copyright owner. The trademark In Your Pocket is used under license from UAB In Your Pocket (Bernadinu g. 9-4, Vilnius, Lithuania tel. (+370-5) 212 29 76). RESTAURANT CASA ROMANEASCA If you have had enough of Piata Sfatului, then the quieter, more serene charms of Piata Unirii await. The Casa Romaneasca - which stands right on the square - is a great place to eat, offering good local food in a wonderful, classic Brasov house. The interior courtyard is fabulous and the place is traditional without ever over-doing it. Well worth taking into consideration when planning dinner. QA-6, Piata Unirii 15, tel. (+4) 0268 51 38 77, [email protected] com. Open 12:00 - 24:00. PLEBSW SERGIANA If you are looking for traditional Transylvanian food (as opposed to more general Romanian food) then this is about the best place in the city. A vast cellar packed with a number of different dining rooms, the food is simple and tasty. Expect loads of stews, sweet ciorbe and a great ciolan cu fasole. Good selection of local wines too.QB-4, Str. Muresenilor 28, tel. (+4) 0268 41 97 75/(+4) 0723 29 49 23, www.sergianagrup.ro. Open 11:00 - 01:00. PSW SERBIAN TAVERNA SARBULUI The first restaurant (beyond McDonald’s) you hit when approaching Republicii from the south, you can save yourself a walk by simply stopping and dining here. The food is a decent mix of local and the Serbian, the meatballs in particular are a good mix of tangy and tasty.QB-4, Str. Republicii 55, tel. (+4) 0268 41 02 22, www.tavernasarbului.ro. Open 12:00 - 24:00. EBSW GUSTARI Situated on Brasov’s main square, Sirena Gustari - as it is officially called offers good cheap Romanian food. The atmosphere inside is cosy, so make yourself at home and tuck into one of the specials, such as the pastrama de TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRE Inside the Old Town Hall building on Piata Sfatului (turn right as you go in, to the left is the History Musuem) Brasov’s main Tourist Information Centre (TIC) is friendly and efficient. Two lovely girls will answer all your questions, hand out maps and generally do their best to help. There’s also a TIC kiosk at the station, and at the News Cafe on the edge of Parcul Central.QB-5, P-ta Sfatului 30. Open 10:00-18:00, Closed Sat, Sun. HOSTELS KISMET DAO QC-4, Str. Neagoe Basarab 8, tel. (+4) 0268 51 42 96. LIBERTY VILLA QA-6, Str.Democratiei 2B, tel. (+4) 0736 86 64 38. OLD TOWN HOSTEL BRASOV QA-6, Str. Prundului 39, tel. (+4) 0743 56 45 69. OLD CENTER BISTRO Set in a small cellar near the Star department store, the Old Centre Bistro has a simple menu, colourful atmosphere and unpretentious staff. If you are looking for something a little less fitze than what’s on offer further towards the city centre it is a good place to start.QC-4, Str. Nicolae Balcescu 67, tel. (+4) 0268 41 91 00, www.oldcenterbistro.ro. Open 08:00 - 23:00, Sat, Sun 10:30 - 22:00. PBSW ACTIVE BRASOV DIRECTORY HELP NET Modern chemist on Brasov’s main square.QB-5, P-ta Sfatului 7, tel. (+4) 0368 45 60 89, www.helpnet.ro. Open 08:00 - 21:00. Also at (B5) Str. Republicii 18, (B-4) Str. Muresenilor 18 and many other locations around the city. APOLLONIA QC-4, Str. Neagoe Basarab 7, tel. (+4) 0268 47 61 63. ARMATTI QB-4, Str. Lunga 5, tel. (+4) 0368 44 32 00. ARO PALACEQB-4, B-dul Eroilor 27, tel. (+4) 0268 47 88 00. BELLA MUZICA QB-5, Piata Sfatului 19, tel./fax (+4) 0268 47 79 56. CAPITOL QB-5, B-dul Eroilor 19, tel. (+4) 0268 41 89 20. CASA MURESAN QB-2, Str. Nicopole 54, tel. (+4) 0268 41 43 73. CASA WAGNER QB-5, Piata Sfatului 5, tel. (+4) 0268 41 12 53. COROANA QB-5/4, Str. Republicii 62, tel. (+4) 0268 47 74 48. COROANA BRASOVULUI QA-6, Str. Vasile Saftu Protopop 1, tel. (+4) 0268 51 38 66. GOTT QB-5, Str. Johann Gott 2, tel. (+4) 0268 47 22 03. HOTEL AMBIENTQC-4, B-dul Iuliu Maniu 27, tel. (+4) 0268 47 17 47. HOTEL CITY CENTER QC-4, Str. Traian Grozavescu 4, tel. (+4) 0268 41 75 83. HOTEL PANTEX QC-5, Str. Dobrogeanu Gherea 4C, tel. (+4) 0733 00 76 76. POSTAVARUL QB-5, Str. Politehnicii 2, tel. (+4) 0268 47 74 48. LA BUCATARUL VESEL The name means Happy Cook, though we aren’t sure the accountant will be too happy given the stupidly cheap prices for big portions of great homecooked food. Good deep fried chicken wings, perfect ceafa de porc, and a brilliant ciorba de legume. The interior is welcoming if plain and the staff terrific. Value for money like this is rare in Romania.QB-5, Str. Michael Weiss 33, tel. (+4) 0268 41 88 93, www.bucatarulvesel.ro. Open 11:00 - 24:00. BS ITALIAN ERA ORA Dining in Brasov just got better. A superb Italian eatery at the Gott Hotel where there are so many tables next to the big windows that you should always be able to get one. The food is the work of a fantastic resident chef who has added a very personal touch to the menu. Great wine list and prices more than reasonable.QB-5, Str. Johann Gott 2, tel. (+4) 0268 47 22 03/(+4) 0762 24 80 88, www.hotelgott.ro. Open 10:00 - 23:00. PESW RESTAURANTS & CAFES oaie (mutton marinated in a home made sauce). Good, tasty, sweet desserts, and it all costs a fraction of a few other places on the piata we could mention. QB-5, Piata Sfatului 14, tel./fax (+4) 0268 47 53 65, tel. (+4) 0723 15 99 91. Open 08:30 - 22:30. PNSW RESTAURANT BELVEDERE By common consent, the best restaurant in Brasov. Found in the Belvedere hotel, in an enviable location above the city, the food here is truly exceptional. The inventive menu, featuring treats such as lamb encrusted with caremelized nuts or the duck with shaved almonds, is well priced given how good the food is. Add in a great view, silver service and great wines and you quickly see why it is the best of the best.QA-4, Str. Stejerisului 11, tel. (+4) 0268 41 55 75, www. restaurantbelvedere.ro. Open 12:00 - 24:00. PLSW HEALTH & PHARMACIES HOTELS RESTAURANTS & CAFES Perched on a rock, strategically overlooking one of the most important mediaeval trading routes in this part of Europe, Bran is certainly impressive - even scary - from afar. The castle was constructed in 1377 to guard the mountain pass and to levy a tax on all merchants passing through. The castle was for a long time the property of the city of Brasov, but in 1921 it was offered as a summer residence to Romania’s Queen Marie. She loved the place, and planted the apple trees in the field below the castle, as well as a flower garden. Inside the castle you can today wander through the intriguing maze of corridors, staircases and explore many of the fascinating rooms. Mind your head!QStr. Traian Mosoiu 24, Bran, tel. (+4) 0268 23 77 00, www.bran-castle.com. Open 09:00 - 16:00, Mon 12:00 - 16:00. Admission 25 lei (photography fee included), senior citizens 15 lei, students 5-10 lei, filming 20 lei. There is a regular (hourly) bus service to Bran from Brasov’s Autogara No. 2 (A-1). Tickets cost 7 lei and can be bought on board. A taxi will cost around 50 lei. POIANA BRASOV Romanias best-known ski resort, Poiana Brasov has recently seen some serious investment in its skiing infrastructure, and things have changed hugely for the better. New pistes have been created and existing ones extended, while two new chair-lifts have helped shorten some of the peak-time queues and ease congestion on the busy slopes. The resort’s administrators have also invested in snow making equipment and piste-maintenance machines in order to keep the pistes in better shape. There are now 23km of pistes in Poiana, enough to keep a good skier happy for a day or two at a time. Though none of the runs are particularly difficult (the one black run, Lupului, will pose no major problems to a decent skier) some are quite steep, and given that the snow at Poiana can often be very icy, skiing here can sometimes offer something of a challenge. It is beginners who have the best of things at Poiana however, with a long, wide nursery slope, and a long easy blue run that descends from the very top of the resort to the bottom. There are also a couple of excellent ski schools. Lift passes remain relatively inexpensive (140 lei per day for adults, 80 lei for children). You can buy them at the gondola station or at the cable car. As with previous years, our advice for getting the best out of Poiana is to avoid the weekends: Monday-Thursday here can be bliss, especially after new snow, as there are few other skiers. Weekends can be hellish. You have been warned. To hire skis, the best place is the Club Rossignol, opposite the gondola entrance. Expect to pay from 50 Lei upwards for a day’s hire, depending on the quality and age of the kit. There is another hire store underneath the gondola lift entrance. To get to Poiana from Brasov, either take bus No. 20 from Livada Postei, or a taxi, which will cost around 25 lei from the city centre. RESTAURANTS Home to a couple of Romania’s best restaurants, you will never be hungry for too long in Poiana Brasov. COLIBA HAIDUCILOR A must on any trip to Poiana, Coliba - opened in 1967 - serves traditional Romanian food in a gorgeous building close to the ski slopes. Sit at one of the long wooden tables and have a second look at the decoration: guns, dried peppers and cobs of corn and lots of skins (boars, sheep, wolves and one bear). The food is fantastic - from the ciorbas and soups to the huge portions of meat, all of which come served on wooden boards. The Coliba’s cartofi taranesti (potatoes with onion and bacon) are a Romanian legend. Impressively, there is a fully no-smoking room for families with children. Wherever you want to sit, you will need a reservation.QTel. (+4) 0268 26 21 37/(+4) 0268 26 24 31, www. colibahaiducilor.com. Open 12:00 - 24:00. Closed Mon. LEGSW SURA DACILOR Furs and dried herbs adorn the walls as you sit on a block of wood covered in a sheepskin: far more comfortable than it sounds. You’ll find the usual typical local dishes here, all well cooked and served by staff in rather fetching leather waistcoats. As at Coliba Haiducilor, a wandering taraf band will usually come and serenade your table at some stage: it is considered good sport to tip them.QTel. (+4) 0268 26 23 27, www.suradacilor.ro. Open 11:00 - 24:00. PLEBSW VÂNÃTORUL There’s some pretty upmarket food to be had at this place, which sits proudly at the foot of the mountains. The interior has a rustic-modern feel the way that some Romanian restaurants can get away with. Dishes include sausages made from wild boar and bear meat.QTel. (+4) 0268 26 23 54, www.restaurantvanatorul.ro. Open 10:00 - 24:00. PLESW AROUND BRASOV CRISTIAN Saxon settlers first built a church in Cristian in 1270, and many Gothic elements survive, from the rose window above the main portal (itself modelled on the orginal Gothic design) to the interior galleries. The modern church is mainly, however a neo-renaissance structure, dating from the early 19th century. The interior, in contrast to most of the other fortified churches, is somewhat spartan, but is dominated by a gorgeous neo-classical altar. Eight towers - all in relatively good shape - along the walls defended the church during attacks, and the fine interior courtyard is one of the best kept in the region.Q Cristian is served by minibuses from Brasov’s Autogara 2. which leave on the hour throughout the day. HARMAN The church tower of Harman, 12km north of Brasov, is visible for kilometres around on the windswept plain; four small turrets warn visitors that the authorities were allowed to sentence criminals to death. Seven towers dot the 12m high ring wall, and one boasts valuable medieval frescoes. Inside the church, the elaborate altar was donated by Swedish king Karl XII in the 17th century, who took refuge here with his soldiers during a chase through Europe after a lost battle in Russia. The shelters for the local nobility and their families (mayor, priest, doctor, notary) are perched on the walls of the church itself.Q. Open 10:00 - 16:00, Sun 09:00 - 15:00. Closed Mon. Harman is served by minibuses from Autogara Vest (at the far end of Strada Lunga): all minibuses to Sfantu Gheorghe pass through here. PREJMER One of Eastern Europe’s best preserved fortified (and UNESCO listed) churches lies 16km northeast of Brasov. Surrounding a cross-shaped church (originally built by the Teutonic knights) are walls 12m high and 4m thick that protected the church and Prejmer’s inhabitants during times of war, when each family would retreat into its own room. Wheat and smoked hams - stored in the towers - were sufficient to support the whole village during long sieges. The entrance is a separate fortress with portcullis, complete with holes once used for pouring boiling tar on would be invaders. A deep moat and drawbridge once surrounded the fortress. Prejmer was often the front-line, it being the most north-eastern Saxon settlement, but although Prejmer was attacked more than 50 times by Mongols, Turks, Tartars, Cossacks and Moldavians, the fortified church was overwhelmed only once. The fortress is today home to an interesting museum displaying Saxon artefacts.QPrejmer. Tel. (+4) 0268 36 20 52. Open 09:00 - 17:00, Sat 09:00 - 15:00. Closed Sun, Mon. There are six trains a day from Brasov to Prejmer (take any train heading for Intorsura Buzaului), the journey taking 20 minutes. A taxi from Brasov to Prejmer costs from 30-40 lei. Prejmer is also served by minibuses from Autogara Vest (at the far end of Strada Lunga): all minibuses to Sfantu Gheorghe pass through here. RASNOV FORTRESS Approximately halfway between Brasov and Bran, Rasnov’s impressive fortress - it really does look the part, although the kitsch, Hollywood-style Rasnov sign in front of it somewhat dampens its dramatic impact - was built in the 14th century. During periods of war, the townsfolk would pick up their cattle and retreat into the fortress. After two sieges ended in surrender because of a lack of water, a 174m deep well was dug by two Turkish prisoners: it took them 17 years but the pair were rewarded with their freedom on completion. In 1658, the Rosenauers had to retreat here for three years while war raged on the plains below. The last siege took place in 1690 (Turks again; they lost), after which the fortress was severely damaged by fire (1718), rebuilt (1719) and partially levelled by an earthquake (1802). The last use of the fortress as a refuge was during the revolutions of 1821 and 1848. The views from the top of the fortress over the plains and mountains are magnificent. As we went to press, the finishing touches were being put on a funicular which will transport tourists from the town of Rasnov up to the fortress. Expect it to be fully operational by mid-January 2015. QCetate, Rasnov. Open 09:00-19:00. Admission 10 lei. To get to Rasnov by public transport the best way is by minibus: these leave every hour or so from Brasov’s Autogara 2. The journey takes about 30 minutes. INTRODUCING BRASOV ARRIVING & TRANSPORT inyourpocket.com Brasov’s train station is not half as bad as many others in the country. In the main hall you will find ATMs, a press store, a Wasteels ticket office and even a chemist. Outside, taxis and buses await. A taxi to the city centre will cost around 9-10 lei. Just make sure the taxi displays the name of a trusted Brasov taxi company, such as Bratax. Else take bus No. 4 into the city centre: buy tickets (2 lei each) from the RAT kiosk or vending machine next to the bus stops. No. 4 leaves from platform three. It takes around 10 minutes to get to Livada Postei, the main bus stop in the city centre. Bus No. 51 to the Black Church is another option. THE LAND OF DRACULA First class tours of both Brasov and the surrounding area, including a Land of Dracula tour which includes Bran, Rasnov and Peles Castles. You can also take a trip to Sighisoara and Viscri, as well as Sibiu and the Transfagarasan Highway. Tours can be customised and a hotel/pension pick-up service is offered free of charge.QStr .Fundatura Harmanului 2, (Complexul Comercial Duplex 2), tel. (+4) 0724 31 01 75, www. thelandofdracula.com. Open 09:00 - 18:00, Sat 10:00 - 13:00. Closed Sun. BRASOV TRAIN SCHEDULE PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN BRASOV What’s better than Brasov in the summer? Brasov in the winter. Seriously, few places in Romania can compete. For if Brasov can be described as picture perfect in high summer, then it’s difficult to know exactly what superlatives to use for the place in deep winter. Covered in a thick blanket of snow Brasov’s Old Town and Schei neighbourhoods appear to have leapt directly out of a fairytale. Yes people, you’re in luck, for you have picked the very best time to visit this fantastic city. (We know we said that in the last issue as well... but this time we mean it. Really). Framed by the white stuff Brasov is a city whose streets cry out to be explored. There is something quite special about walking along Strada Republicii, the dull crunch of fresh snow sounding underfoot, before enjoying a mulled wine from one of the little huts on Piata Sfatului. Then find yourself a warm cellar somewhere serving hot ciorba and steaming plates of tocaniţa, and you’re all set. It’s what winter holidays are all about. For livelier winter pursuits, you need only jump in a cab (or jump on the bus) up to Poiana Brasov, Romania’s top ski resort (though do remember: everything is relative). You can ski, snowboard, sledge, skate, slip, slide and do whatever else you feel obliged to get up to in the snow. We welcome all correspondence (whether you agree with us or not), so please let us know what you think of Brasov. Drop us a line at [email protected] Meantime, enjoy Brasov! BRASOV SIGHTSEEING ARRIVING & TRANSPORT If you keep to the main tourist area of Brasov the only bus route of any interest will be the No. 51 - Gara and the Black Church to Piaţa Unirii and Pe Tocile (returning via Strada Nicolae Balcescu). Of note too is the No. 20, which serves Poiana Brasov from Livada Postei, and the No. 12 from Livada Postei to Autogara No. 2 (for coaches to Bran). Tickets (2 lei) for Brasov’s buses must be bought from an RAT kiosk before boarding, and stamped in the little machines once on board. There is a fine of 50 lei if you are caught with no ticket, or an unstamped ticket. Taxis are cheap in Brasov and better than buses for longer distances. Just make sure you take a taxi belonging to a trusted Brasov taxi company such as Bratax (tel. 0268 948). TOURS & EXCURSIONS ACTIVE TRAVEL Recommended not only by us, but by our friends at Lonely Planet Active Travel is a local expert provider of private city and adventure tours, castle tours - Rasnov, Bran, Sinaia; a fortified Saxon churches tour - Sighisoara, Viscri, Prejmer; as well as the Transfagarasan highway and the Poienari fortress. There are Danube Delta and Maramures trips, hiking, trekking, biking and photo hunting tours on the Piatra Craiului, Bucegi and Fagaras mountains as well as brown bear watching in the wild. Rafting, self guided tours and rent a bike also available.QC-4, Str. Toamnei 2, tel. (+4) 0728 80 49 52/(+4) 0268 32 15 15, www.activetravel.ro. Open 09:30 17:30, Sat 10:00 - 13:00, Closed Sun. A set tour of Brasov, Bran Castle and Rasnov Fortress. The cost is €25 per person, €50 if you are single. From BRASOV To BRASOV Dep. Arr. Dep. Arr. 07:30 10:26 BUCHAREST 07:00 09:40 08:44 11:20 BUCHAREST 08:20 11:00 09:30 12:00 BUCHAREST 10:00 12:46 13:48 16:15 BUCHAREST 11:15 14:00 17:15 19:55 BUCHAREST 14:00 16:32 18:08 20:56 BUCHAREST 15:35 18:13 20:38 23:18 BUCHAREST 17:35 20:08 06:00 08:28 SIBIU 06:29 09:17 13:00 15:40 SIBIU 11:01 13:36 16:52 19:18 SIBIU 15:05 17:54 20:20 22:52 SIBIU 20:15 22:45 08:45 11:14 SIGHISOARA 02:39 05:07 16:40 19:08 SIGHISOARA 13:54 16:25 21:30 23:58 SIGHISOARA 18:07 20:31 Verified 08.12.2014. The full Romanian railway schedule is online at: cfrcalatori.ro. ESSENTIAL BRASOV Our suggestion for attacking Brasov is to start off by taking a walk around the old city walls. It is probably best to start your tour of the fortifications at Strada Dupa Ziduri (at the city’s main central bus stop, Livada Postei) and walk around the walls in an anti-clockwise direction. On the way around you will see most of the city’s major sights, before ending up at the Bastionul Postavarilor. From there you can head up Strada Republicii into the heart of the Old Town and tick off the remaining essential sights, such as Strada Sforii, Piata Sfatului and the Black Church. BRASOV SIGHTSEEING unless you are feeling extremely fit and agile. There are more steps when you actually get to the tower, but the views from the top are fantastic. The White Tower is open 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Follow the path between the wall and the canal (yes, it is a canal) a little further and you will see an old blue sign pointing the way to the Black Tower (Turnul Negru). You will notice immediately that the tower (which you can see by glancing up to your right) is in fact white. A steep path (but no steps!) leads up to it. The deck in front of it is a great location for photos. Follow the walls as they veer to the left, and look out for the almost fairy-tale Catherine’s Gate (Poarta Ecaterina), built in 1559 and once the main entrance to medieval Kronstadt. It is the only original city gate to have survived. A little further on is the classicist Poarta Schei gate, which was built much later, in 1827. (For decades Poarta Schei was the only gate Romanians could use to enter and exit Brasov). Passing by an athletics stadium (which is part of Brasov’s exceptional sports high school), the vaguely gothic-looking building which rears up, overlooking the tennis courts, is known as the Olimpia complex, originally built almost entirely of wood in 1894. It has been recently renovated and is home to a restaurant, as well as an ice rink at this time of year. BRASOV FORTIFICATIONS Ever since the Saxon settlers arrived in the early 12th century, invading Mongols, Turks and others gave them a tough time, repeatedly destroying the old settlements of Bartholoma and Corona. When they had quite enough of it all, the Saxons set themselves to build fortifications around their town, first consisting of earthen walls and wooden barriers, later reinforced with stones. Most work was done between 1400 and 1650, when outer and inner walls were erected, together with massive defence towers and gates. Southern Fortifications The walls along the foot of the Tampa Mountain were once 12 metres high and two metres thick. Over the past few years almost all of the wall on this side - along Aleea Tiberiu Bradiceanu - has been rebuilt, and wooden walkways placed on top so that you can climb up and take some terrific photos of the city. Where there are no walkways you can stroll along the quiet path next to the wall. A number of the original guard towers on this side of Brasov’s fortifications have survived remarkably well, and the first you will come to is the imposing Weavers’ Bastion next to the Olimpia building. The best preserved part of Brasov’s fortifications, the bastion (Bastionul Tesatorilor) houses a small but impressive museum (with some English captions) showing photographs of long-gone bastions, impressive weapons decorated with Arabic inscriptions (once used by the Turks to bash Saxons) and some huge guns. Most impressive of all is the large model of Brasov in 1600, made in 1896 for the Millenium Exhibition in Budapest (in those days Brasso was part of Hungary). When Nicolae Ceausescu visited the museum in 1968, a bright and shiny model of the Schei district was added to the old, depicting Schei circa 1850. (The bastion is open 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission 7 lei; children, students 1.50 lei). There are five more towers and bastions on this side of the wall, known as, in order, Turnul Artelor, Turnul Funarilor, Turnul Vanatorilor, Turnul Lemnarului and Bastionul Postavarilor. All have been restored and three (Turnul Artelor, Turnul Vanatorilor and Bastionul Postavarilor) are open to the public, usually from 09:00-18:00. Entrance to all is free. While the Bastionul Postavarilor is the most impressive (outside and in), it is the upper floors (mind the steep ladders) of the Turnul Vanatorilor that offers the best views of the city. The cable car up to the top of the Tampa is found a short walk uphill from the Turnul Vanatorilor; next to it is the Casa Padurarilor restaurant. A number of walking routes up the Tampa also begin here. The newest construction in the area is the Tampa complex, which has an indoor swimming pool (open 08:00-21:00, day tickets 40 lei adults, 20 lei children) which really does offer a swim with a view.QB/C-5; A-4/5, Aleea Tiberiu Brediceanu; Str. Dupa Ziduri. Northern Fortifications The best place to start a tour of fortifications is on the northern side, at Strada Dupa Ziduri (which translates as Street Behind the Walls). You will find it just north of the Livada Postei bus stop, to the right (face on) of the taxi rank. The street starts out inauspiciously - as a car park - but soon gives way to a relatively nice walk alongside the old, high city walls. You will pass under the Bastionul Graft, a wonderful 15th century relic, well preserved and housing the usual museum of medieval weaponry and suchlike. Above it is the White Tower (Turnul Alb), which you can climb up to via some very steep steps - do not try it PARC CENTRAL & PIATA REVOLUTIEI Brasov is blessed with a large, well-tended park in the very heart of the city. In summer, when the flowers are in full bloom it really is a picture postcard kind of place, and is mercifully free of the dogs which blight Bucharest’s parks. There is a good children’s playground, complete with bouncy slides and bouncy castles, there is an area where old men get together for serious games of chess (don’t even think about challenging them to a game unless you are very, very good). There are two buildings of note on the edge of the park, both masterpieces which date to the end of the 19th century, when the Hungarians ruled these lands. The first, the cream and BRASOV SIGHTSEEING BRASOV SIGHTSEEING BRASOV CITADEL (CETATEA BRASOV) Strategically overlooking the town and the plains to north, the citadel is part of Brasov’s outer fortification system. In 1524 the first wooden defence walls were erected, replaced between 1554 and 1690 by the four massive stone bastions you see now. The citadel was abandoned in the 17th century, after technological innovations made cannons stronger than the building. The Citadel has in recent years hosted a restaurant, cafe and nightclub amongst other things, never fulfilling its real potential. It is, however, gorgeously lit at night.QB-4, Dealul Cetatii. BRASOV SIGHTSEEING BRASOV SHOPPING IDEAS GREVE If James Bond lived in Romania he would buy his shoes here. Incredibly smart bespoke and off-the-rack shoes for men and women. The made-to-measure variety can be ready in ten days, and Greve will take care of shipping if you are leaving town before then. Go on, treat yourself. QD-3, B-dul 15 Noiembrie 80, tel. (+4) 0368 88 41 05, www.greve.ro. Open 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Sun. BARRIQUE Superb wine merchant which offers a wide selection of Romania’s finest wines, as well as a more than decent selection of international wine. Also stocks Cuban cigars and high-end spirits from around the world.QB-5, Str. George Baritiu 7, tel. (+4) 0768 19 11 96, www.vinbrasov.ro. Open 11:00 - 23:00. yellow building opposite the Capitol hotel, is the neoclassical Town Hall (Primaria), built from 1897-8 while the second, next to it, is the sensational Secessionist Post Office, spoilt only by the ugly Posta Romana logo that adorns the façade. On the other side of Piata Revolutiei (where a major anti-Ceausescu demonstration in November 1987 – considered the first of a chain of events that would eventually bring the dictator down, two years later – was held) is another masterpiece, the Prefecture, home to Brasov County Council.QB/C-4. PIATA SFATULUI & HISTORY MUSEUM Brasov’s showpiece Piata Sfatului (Council Square), once known to the Saxon population as the Marktplatz, is one of the most beautiful main squares of Romania. Fully pedestrianised, the square was refurbished in 1988 and again a couple of years ago. It has never looked better. All around the square are sturdy houses with high lofts for storing goods, though few - if any - are still lived in. In the middle of the square is the Old City Hall, dating from 1420, and now home to both Brasov’s History Museum (Open 09:00-17:00. Closed Mon; Admission 7 lei adults, 1.50 lei children) and the excellent Tourist Information Centre (Open 09:00-17:00. Closed Sat, Sun). The city hall’s tower is in fact much older than the building itself, and was once a watchtower for approaching barbarians before being incorporated into the main building. Elsewhere in Piata Sfatului you will find a number of places to eat and drink, and the startling Romanian Orthodox Cathedral at No. 3.QB-5. SCHEI & THE JUNII You shouldn’t leave Brasov without a stroll through Schei, the district where for centuries Romanians were forced to live, as only Saxons could live within the city walls. Walk up Strada Prundului to Piata Unirii and the beautiful Sf. Nicolae church and wander around the small curving December 2014 - March 2015 N° 23 Mini-Guide Brasov Restaurants Cafes Bars Sights Hotels Maps streets that gradually slope upwards against the hill. The church (at Piata Unirii 1-2) was originally built in 1521 in Romanian-Byzantine style and considerably expanded in the 18th century, the church with its slender main tower and four corner towers now looks more like a Transylvanian German church. The building actually holds four churches, as the main tower and the two wings each have a chapel inside. Behind the church you’ll find the grave of Nicolae Titulescu (1882-1941), finance minister, foreign minister and president of the League of Nations. He died in exile in Switzerland, was buried in Cannes and was only reburied in Romania in 1990. The monument near his grave quotes a line from his will: ‘I wish to be buried in Transylvania. My friends will know to find a place according to my wish.’ On the same site is the First Romanian School Museum (Piata Unirii 2-3; open 09:00-17:00, Admission 5.00 lei, children 3.00 lei), for centuries a centre for Romanian teaching and book printing. The small museum houses countless Romanian ‘firsts’: the oldest Romanian bible (printed on goats’ skin), the oldest letter written in Romanian using the Latin alphabet (previously, Romanian was written with Cyrillic letters), a page from an 11th century schoolbook and much more. The printing press itself printed only 39 books, taking 20 workers and eight translators months to finish just one book. No wonder a book was worth 12 oxen in those days. Also here is the tiny Museum of the Junii (Muzeul Junilor), showing the seven different traditional costumes the Schei men wore; Schei women had only one. Each Spring the Junii hold a massive party up at Salomon Rocks (Pietrele lui Salomon, one hour’s walk from Piata Unirii).QA-6. STRADA REPUBLICII Brasov’s picture-postcard main street leads from Piata Eroilor up to Piata Sfatului, with a number of colourful buildings on either side (not all of which are in the best of shape: that is slowly changing, however). Fully pedestrianised, Republicii is packed with courtyards, many of which hide little shops, bars and restaurants.QB-4/5. STRADA SFORII (ROPE STREET) Heading into Brasov through Poarta Schei, the third street on your right is Strada Sforii, allegedly the narrowest street in Europe. It dates from the 18th century and, less than a metre wide, is perhaps the only street in Romania where you can touch both sides with your hands at the same time.QA-5. TAMPA MOUNTAIN Ascend Mount Tampa by cable car (tickets 16 lei) to an altitude of 940m. From the upper cable car station walk five minutes (not 15 as indicated) along the path behind the Brasov sign to the rocky summit (at 955m) for the best views of the town.QA/C-5, Telecabina Tampa, Str. Brediceanu. Open 09:30 - 17:00. Closed Mon. THE BLACK CHURCH (BISERICA NEAGRA) Brasov’s most important landmark, apparently the largest church between Vienna and Istanbul, towers over Piata Sfatului and the old town. The Black Church has a turbulent history: built between 1385 and 1477 on the site of an earlier church (destroyed by Mongol invasions in 1242), the construction of the Marienkirche was hampered by extensive damage caused by Turkish raids in 1421. The church was given its new name after disaster stuck again in 1689, when the ‘Great Fire’ levelled most of the town, blackening the walls of the church. Restoration took almost 100 years. Of two towers planned, only one (65.6m high) was finished. The original Gothic interior has suffered under the restorations, and the lofty, light space you see nowadays is mostly Baroque. Humanist Johannes Honterus, whose 101-year-old statue can be seen next to the tower, became Stadtpfarrer (priest) a few years after bringing Lutheranism to Brasov in 1542. Listen to the impressive 4000-pipe organ dating from 1839 during the concerts held at least once a week. Best of all however are the fabulous Anatolian carpets on display. The rugs were donated by German merchants in the 17th and 18th century. The collection is the largest of its kind in Europe. The church holds organ concerts every Tuesday at 18:00.QB-5, Curtea Johannes Honterus 2, Mwww.bisericaneagra.ro, tel. (+4) 0268 51 18 24. Open 10:00 - 15:00, Sun 12:00 - 15:00. Closed Mon. Admission 8 lei; students 5 lei; children 3 lei. Tickets for the organ concerts cost 10 lei. Admission 8 lei; students 5 lei; children 3 lei. HISTORIC CHURCHES HOLY TRINITY CHURCH Built in the late 18th century and hidden in a courtyard, this ornately decorated church is well worth a visit. After viewing the main hall proceed to the candle room and exit into the courtyard cemetery which contains crypts from the past two centuries. From there you can observe the two surviving western fortress towers.QA/B-5, Str. Baritiu 12. ROMANIAN ORTHODOX CATHEDRAL (CATEDRALA ORTODOXA SFANTA ADORMIRE A MAICII DOMNULUI) Built in a glaring Byzantine style, this church (or rather, the portal) sticks out between the subdued merchants’ houses on Piata Sfatului. The orthodox cathedral was built in 1896, and is worth entering for the frescoes and the impressive decorations. On Saturdays, brides and grooms wait in line outside to get married here.QB-5, Piata Sfatului 3. SF. PETER & PAUL’S ROMAN-CATHOLIC CHURCH Brasov’s only Baroque church was built in 1782 with financial help from Maria Theresia. Peek at the impressive interior.QB-5/4, Str. Muresenilor 19-21, tel. (+4) 0268 47 54 84/(+4) 0268 47 71 78. Baiulescu Gh. A-5/B-6 BalcescuB-5/C-4 BaleaA-6 Barbusse Henri A-6 Baritiu Gheorghe A/B-5 B-dul 15 Noiembrie C-4 B-dul Eroilor B-4/C-5 B-dul Muncii D-5 Blaga Lucian C/D-4 Brancoveanu Cons. A-5-6 BuzoianuB/C-4 Calea Poienii A-4/5 Cantacuzino Ion C-4/3 CastanilorC-4 CasteluluiB-6/C-5 CerbuluiB-5 CetatuieiB/C-4 CibinuluiA-4/5 ColineiB-4 Coresi Diaconul B-5 Cosbuc Gheorghe B-5/6 Cranta Ion B-3/C-4 Curtea H. Johannes B-5 Cuza A.I. B-3/C-4 DemocratieiA-6 Dinicu Grigoras B-5 DorobantilorD-4 Dupa Ziduri A-5/B-4 Eminescu Mihai B-3/4 Fantana Rosie A-6/5 Gott Johann B-5 GradinarilorC-4 HarghitaA-6 Hirscher Apollonia B-5 Iorga Nicolae B/C-4 IosifA/B-4 Izorul Rece C/D-4 LungaA-2/B-4 LupeniB-4 MalaiestiA/B-6 Matei Basarab C/D-4 MuresenilorB-5/4 Neagoe Basrab C-4 NegoiuC-4 Nicolae Titulescu D-4 Nisipului de Jos/Sus A-5 OlarilorC-5/D-4 PajisteiA-6 Pann Anton A-6 Penes Curcanul B-5 Petofi Alexandru A/B-6 Piaţa Enescu, GheorgheB-5 Piaţa Sfatului B-5 Piaţa Unirii A-6 PietiiC-4/5 Poarta Schei A-5 PodagruA-6 PolitehniciiB/C-5 Pop Pictor C-5/D-4 PostavaruluiB-5/C-4 PrunduluiA-6/5 RepubliciiB-5/4 RetezatA-6 Richter Paul A-5/6 RomanaD-4 Romer Julius B-5 Roth Stefan Ludwig B-5 Russo Alecu B-5 Saftu Vasile A-6 SemeniculuiA-6 Sirul Plaiesilor B-6 StejerisuluiA-5 TampeiD-5 TrotusA-5/6 Varful cu Dor D-5 Vlad Tepes C-4 Vuia Traian D-4 Wagner Valentin B-5/4 WartheA-4 Weiss Michael B-4/5 SYNAGOGUE Jews have been in Brasov since 1807, when Aron Ben Jehuda was given permission by the until then restrictive Saxons to live in the city. The Jewish Community of Brasov was officially founded 19 years later, followed by the first Jewish school in 1864 and building of the synagogue in 1901. The Jewish population of Brasov expanded rapidly to 1280 in 1910 and 4,000 in 1940. Today the community has about 230 members.QA/B-5, Str. Poarta Schei 27, tel. (+4) 0268 51 18 67. Open 09:00-16:00. Closed Sat, Sun. Admission 5.00 lei. BRASOV MUSEUMS ART MUSEUM (MUZEUL DE ARTA BRASOV) One of Romania’s best art museums, and well worth the cheap admission price. The upper floor is a who’s who of Romanian 20th century painting, with all the big names, including Theodor Pallady, Nicolae Grigorescu, Stefan Luchian and Horia Bernea well represented. Climb down into the cellar and view beautiful European crystal and porcelain as well as a large collection of Oriental vases and statuettes from China, Tibet and Old Persia.QB-4, B-dul Eroilor 21, tel. (+4) 0268 47 72 86, www.muzeulartabv.ro. Open 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission 5.00 lei, pensioners 2.50 lei, children and students 1 leu. CASA MURESENILOR Quirky and charming would well describe this unusual family museum situated across from Brasov’s central square. The Casa Muresenilor is a memorial to the talented family of Iacob Muresianu, a teacher and member of the Romanian Academy who in 1850 became founding editor of the newspaper Gazeta Transilvaniei, which was a leading force in campaigning for the civil rights of Romanians in Transylvania. Muresianu’s cousin, Andrei, was the editor of the newspaper’s literary supplement, and is best known as the authour of Romania’s national anthem, Desteapta-te Romane. The museum is housed in the family’s dynastic home, and features thousands of pieces of family memorabilia, from letters and photographs to heirlooms and keepsakes. Much has immense historical value. All of the captions are in English and Romanian, and their are also guided tours in both languages.QB-5, Piata Sfatului 25, tel. (+4) 0268 47 78 64, www.muzeulmuresenilor.ro. Open 09:00 - 17:00, Mon, Sat 10:00-17:00. Closed Sun. At Strada Gheorghe Baiulescu 9 (A-6) you can find the literary section of the museum, dedicated to poet Stefan Baciu. Admission 5 lei, pensioners 3 lei, students and children 2 lei. ETHNOGRAPHIC MUSEUM (MUZEUL DE ETNOGRAFIE BRASOV) Step back into the past and view Romanian folk costumes accompanied by black and white photographs which illustrate exactly how they were worn and by whom. The museum also shows the evolution of weaving from an old spinning wheel to a mechanised loom which is still operational. Authentic Romanian crafts such as hand carved crosses and emroidered shirts are on sale in the lobby. QB-4, B-dul Eroilor 21A, tel. (+4) 0268 47 62 43, www.etnobrasov.ro. Open 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission 5.00 lei, students and children 1.50 lei. MUSEUM OF URBAN CIVILISATION (MUZEUL CIVILIZAȚIEI URBANE) A fascinating look at the history of urban civilisation from the 17th century onwards, with the focus being on Brasov itself, and its role as a meeting point of east and west in its Saxon heyday. Set over four levels in a fantastic building dating from the 1600s (and which, lovingly renovated, is worth the entrance fee on its own) the exhibition boasts captions in four languages, as well as knowledgeable, approachable and multi-lingual staff happy to answer any questions and fill in any gaps. It is a joy to visit.QB-5, Piata Sfatului 15-16, tel. (+4) 0268 47 55 65. Open 09:00-17:00. Closed Mon. Admission 7.00 lei, pensioners 3 lei and students 1.50 lei. STUDIO 109 HAIR DESIGN & SPA Exclusive hair and beauty salon offering a full range of treatments... and then some. From professional make-up to massages and manicures, this is where to come in Brasov for serious pampering.QStr. De Mijloc 109, tel. (+4) 0724 21 26 97, (+4) 0268 47 65 65. Open 09:00-21:00, Sat 09:00-18:00. Closed Sun.
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