Braşov is a mountain resort city in Transylvania, Romania.
Braşov (pronounced Bra-SHOV), known as Kronstadt in German or Brassó in Hungarian has a population of 283,901 and is the 7th largest city in Romania. It is located almost in the center of the country and surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains. The city provides a mix of wonderful mountain scenery in the nearby Poiana Braşov and medieval history with German influences in the old town. The city is 176 km from Bucharest.
Braşov is up there with Sinaia and the surrounding mountain resorts as the most visited city in Transylvania, Romania, and this is something that's not in vain. Braşov boasts everything from dynamic modern life city life to old world charm and fascinating scenery. Also, it's pleasant to have some of the extras as well, including some of the best cleanliness records in the country, great transport and great food. Even though it's a bit overpriced for Romanian standards, especially in the high season, Braşov is definitely worth it. As some people say, "Why bother coming to Romania if you're not going to see Braşov?"
The Braşov county is one of the most visited by tourists. Other than Braşov city and its immediate attractions, the resorts of Poiana Brasov (12 km west) and Predeal (27 km south), which also offer great tourism too. Other places and tourist attractions of the county: Bran, Moeciu, Rasnov, Fagaras, Prejmer, Zarnesti, Sambata (at the foot of Fagaras Mountains).
Braşov has relatively cold and wet weather, especially at night. This region of Romania enjoys four seasons (i.e. spring and autumn as well as winter and summer). The average temperature is 7.6°C only, even though in summer temperatures may reach up to 35°C.
Due to fairly large minority populations, Hungarian and German are also spoken in addition to Romanian. Many locals also speak English.
Currently Brasov has no civilian airport but plans exist for an airport to be operational by 2012, built by IntelCan and operated by Ottawa International Airport. Bucureşti Otopeni Airport is 3 hours away by car south, the same as Sibiu airport west.
Getting to Braşov is very easy, due to the fact that it is a major Romanian railway hub. Between Bucharest, the capital, there are 19 trains daily, and there are also frequent trains from other Romanian cities as well as a daily connection to Budapest, Hungary (via Oradea) and a EuroNight (fast night train) connection to Budapest via Arad.There are daily trains from Wien,Krakow,Prague. Also due to its affordability and comfort, train is the best way of reaching Braşov. Even though all Romanian trains are increasingly comfortable, try to take the InterCity (IC) trains, of which there are three per day. These are very modern and comfortable, as they are an initiative of the state railways to reinvigorate Romania's transport sector. "Rapid" trains are also comfortable and almost as fast as InterCities. "Accelerat" trains are also a fast alternative, lacking the kind of comfort an InterCity or Rapid train would provide. Do not, however, take trains labeled as Personal (or abbreviated as P before their route number) to Braşov. There are 4 of these per day, and, besides the fact that some of them are quite low on comfort, they take nearly twice the time to get there, since they stop at every stop. If you really are forced to take them (even though there are Rapid and IC trains at very accessible times all day), at least buy a first-class ticket.
Aside from the train, car is one of the most popular ways of reaching Braşov, due to its fairly good road connections. Road E60 will be the main road to use in and out or Braşov, because this European Road links Braşov to Bucharest in the south, as well as Cluj-Napoca, Oradea and Budapest, Hungary in the west. Road E68 will take you to Sibiu and further onwards to Arad and Timisoara. Road E574 takes you into the north, to the Moldavia region and the Painted Monasteries and Iasi. The nearest airport to Braşov is Bucharest Otopeni, which is 166 km away and accessible directly by road E60. A highway is also being built that, by 2007, will link Bucharest to Braşov and Braşov to Cluj-Napoca and Oradea.
Parking can be difficult in Brasov, specially due to the fact that coins are scarce after the new lei has been introduced. Do as the brasovians, park where you find a free spot. The police don't seem to bother much with such a small crime...
Recently, there are quite a few intercity bus operators, but these aren't as comfortable and reliable as the train. Braşov does not have an airport yet (one is in being built), due to its proximity to Bucharest and Sibiu, which both do. Consequently, you will need to take land transport if you're flying in to Bucharest. All coaches stop in the city center, and so do trains, due to the fact that the railway station is very central.
Transport in Braşov is very extensive, around 40 lines that run within the whole city in a convenient way.
Schedule: Weekdays: 5.30 - 23.30/24; Weekends: 6.30 - 22.30/23; Night: no service.
Tickets valid for all lines, except line 20: 1 trip - ticket/1.5 lei (approx. 0.5E); 2 trip - ticket/3 lei (approx. 1E).
Tickets valid for line 20: 1 trip - ticket/3.5 lei (approx. 1E);
Passes: 1 day nominal pass valid for all lines, except line 20: 5 lei (approx. 1.5E); 1 week nominal pass valid for all lines, except line 20: 25 lei (approx. 7E); 10 days nominal pass valid for all lines, except line 20: 35 lei (approx. 10E). Please always have ID with when using these passes.
-Notes: These are the most important tickets. There are also other types, please check the link at the bottom of the page. Tickets must be punched when getting on the bus. Passes must always be accompanied by ID, since they are nominal. You have to buy the ticket before and validate it on board. Travelling without tickets/passes, or with the wrong tickets/passes, is liable for paying a fine between 100-200 lei (25-50E).
Ticket sales: There are special kiosks with the sign Bilete si abonamente transport public (Public transport tickets) which are also accompanied by the sign RAT. However they are not present in all bus stops and their opening hours might be different. Then, you must look for the nearest super/mini market, or newspaper vending kiosk, since they will most likely sell tickets too. If they do, they usually have a sign saying "bilete" (tickets). The most important ticket vending kiosk is in the Gara (Train Station) busstop, which is open from 5.00-24.00.
The most important tourist lines are:
line 4: Gara (Train Station) to the Centre (Livada Postei);
line 51: Gara (Train Station) to the Centre (Piata Sfatului - The Council Square) - it stops 1 minute away from the Black Church. This line also takes you to the Union Square (Piata Unirii) another important site to be seen.
line 50: Centre (Livada Postei) to Union Square (Piata Unirii), ring-line. It is nice to take it as a tour line of the citadel and some of its surroundings. Please note that it can be crowded and sometimes miss the schedule.
line 50B (barat): Centre (Livada Postei) to Pietrele lui Solomon, a wonderful nature site.
line 31: Centre (Livada Postei) to Valea Cetatii district. This here is a residential area, but it is woth visiting for its nature surroundings.
For those whose accommodations are located on Str. Lunga or Str. De Mijloc, a handful of lines are available to get to the Centre:
lines 5, 15, 28 take you from all stops on Str. Lunga to the Centre (Livada Postei) and back. To go to Str. De Mijloc, you stop on Str. Lunga and then walk 5-6 min. to Str. De Mijloc. For those who want to travel to Bran, Moeciu, Rasnov and other directions, by bus, you can take them from either Autogara 2 (Busstation 2) or Bartolomeu area or Stadionul Municipal bus-station, there are lines that take you from the train station/centre to these particular places.
line 23, 23B: Train Station (Gara) - Stad. Municipal via Stad. Tineretului (Autogara 2) and Bartolomeu area.
line 16: Autogara 2 - Citycenter
line 12: Centre (Livada Postei) - Stad Tineretului (Autogara 2).
line 5: from the Primarie bus stop (New City Hall - 4 min walk from the Livada Postei busstation through the Park) - Stad Municipal via Str Lunga and Bartolomeu.
For an exciting tour of the City, a new open double-deck bus has been introduced (May 15th, 2008). More details, soon. For those who want to reach the beautiful and fancy Poiana Brasov ski resort/spa:
line 20 Centre (Livada Postei) - Poiana Brasov. Please mention when you buy the ticket that you want trips for line 20! The clerks will give you the appropriate ticket (please read the ticket part of this post).
Busses/trolleys/shuttles: They are fairly new, as RAT is undergoing a major renewal program and the overwhelming majority of (long) buses/trolleys/shuttles are in very good shape.
Signaling: All the stops have the timetables of the lines stopping there, presented.
URL: For more information about the lines and their timetables, as well as a detailed map of the public transport in Brasov, please check the website (in Romanian). Please note that changes might apply, so check the website for updated information.
Dictionary: Gara = Train station; Bilet = Ticket (plural: bilete); Autogara = busstation.
Taxis are a faster and more comfortable way to get around town than public transportation. Taxis are also relatively cheap. Most taxis have meters and drivers are usually friendly. There's never a shortage of cabs within city limits at any given hour, but it is a good idea to have one called, rather than going looking for one. By law, all the taxies must have the price/km put in a visible place (usually outside, on the side doors). Anyway, you should ask the approximate fare in advance and always make sure the driver uses the meter from the start, or agree on a fixed amount for the ride. Though rare, there have been cases when foreign tourists have been asked to pay enormous amounts. It is OK and always a good idea to ask for an estimate in advance, even when the cab is using a meter. Taxis are usually parked in designated areas along the curb, which are in the proximity of bus stations or other busy spots. When traveling outside city limits you may be asked to pay double fare per kilometer (it is considered acceptable), or you could agree on a fixed amount in advance. Tipping taxi drivers is not very common, but it's always appreciated. If you find a reliable and trustworthy driver that you feel comfortable with, you could ask if he is willing to serve you for the remainder of your stay in Brasov. Most likely, he will be happy to give you his cell number or car number so you can call dispatch and ask for him. This way you will avoid having to continually switch drivers. Never get into a taxi that doesn't have a sign with the company name on top of it, you may get ripped off.
For a tour on foot of the center of Brasov see the Brasov cultural itinerary.
Old Town including the Black Church and main square or Council Square (Piata Sfatului). Features medieval buildings in different architectural styles. Everything is situated around the main square (Piata Sfatului). The picturesque pedestrian-only Republicii street, the Black Church, former Council House, indoor and outdoor terraces and restaurants, the Orthodox Cathedral, Muresenilor House, the Hirscher House, the Schei Gate and the Ecaterina Gate.
The Black Church
Town Museum - located in the town hall, has some interesting exhibits from the stone age to the present day.
Panoramic Tâmpa - Beautiful view of the old city and the surrounding nature from 900 meters above sea-level. Tâmpa is the mountain that you see from any point in Brasov, with a large TV transmitter antenna on top. The antenna building also houses a restaurant and a cable car station. Accessible on foot (1h hike, sometimes steep, but low difficulty level nonetheless, recommended in snow-less seasons only) and also by cable car (called Telecabinã).
The Brasov Citadel (aka Cetatea Brasov) - Situated atop the Citadel Hill (Dealul Cetatii). An16th Century fortress-like citadel. A long trek up a hill, there is one bar.
Strada Sforii (Rope Street) - Narrowest street in Europe, around 1.3 metres (4 ft) wide. Renovated in 2003.
The Schei district - outside the citadel is the first Romanian site, surrounding the fortress. Main attractions: Biserica Sf. Nicolae (St. Nicholas church) - orthodox, situated in Piata Unirii (the Union Square); Prima Scoala Romaneasca (The First Romanian Elementary School) - 400 years old, located in the yard of St. Nicholas Church; many religious monuments along the narrow and very beautiful streets of the district. A natural main wonderful attraction is Pietrele lui Solomon (the Solomon rocks) located at the very end of the district.
St. Bartholomew Church (Biserica Sf. Bartolomeu) - located in the Old Brasov (Brasovul vechi) is the oldest church of these sites.
Valea Cetatii district also known as Racadau district is a residential area, but has an outstanding natural landscape. This new (built in the 80's) neighbourhood is located at the foot of Tampa mountain on the eastern part of it. One can easily make a walking course between this district and the old citadel, either by surrounding the mountain (aorund 1h.45min walking) or cross the mountain (approx. 1h.15min walking). This is recommended only in summertime and usually in groups with a guide.
Rasnov town and fortress - an old Saxon town, also home to an interesting citadel. There are good bus and train. connections. Inside the citadel you can find an interesting museum, archery, a cafe/tavern, and some excellent views of the city and surrounding mountains. You can also see old Saxon houses and churches. Near Rasnov you can do paragliding and bungee-jump, as well as horse riding, hiking, and alpinism. Cabana MALAIESTI 1720 m- the most beautiful scenary in Bucegi mountains. Is the only cottage reachable only by foot in Bucegi. Accomodation- 100 places. 20 RON/ person/ night(5 euro) Contact : +40741074884
Poiana Braşov - The place to ski in Romania.
Bran Castle - nearby, also called Dracula's Castle. It is in a town called Bran, that is very small and just grew up around the castle. The best way to get there is by bus. The bus for Bran leaves from the Autogara II (the second bus station) about every half hour for the whole day. You have to buy the ticket on board and it costs 4.00 RON each way (as of 11.06.2008). You can arrive to the Autogara II from the center, you can take the bus 12 from Teutrul Dramatic (as of 11.06.2008), or from the Autogara I (the bus station in front of the train station) by bus dashed 23 (it has a 23 written on in, with a dash on the number). Once you are in Bran follow the tourists through a street full of stands selling things for tourists to the Bran museum, where there is the castle and a small countryside museum; you can go walking all the time because the town is very small. As of 21 Nov 2007, the entrance fee was 12 RON for an adult and an additional 10 RON for a camera (although if you do not make your camera visible, you can likely get away with not paying the extra 10 RON).
UNESCO World Heritage sites: the villages Prejmer and Viscri with fortified churches.
Hoghiz with several historical buildings
Sambata de Sus fortress
Zilele Brasovului (The Feast Days of Brasov) - usually take place within the week proceeding the Orthodox Easter Holidays. It has several fairs of craftsman, wine, food, etc. It is a feast of joy and fun. These celebrations are ended with the Parades of Juni, a very old preserved tradition. The end is on the so called Duminica Tomii (the first Sunday of Easter).
Cerbul de Aur annual music festival, usually held in August-September. On one hand, it brings hundreds of pop artists and musicians, contestants and big-name modern and classic stars. On the other, it clutters the best spot in the city (main square) with tons of heavy iron scaffoldings, for a large part of summer and fall.
The Beer Festival (Festivalul Berii) - is smaller and more popular with the locals and tourists. Usually held in the fall. Dozens of tents from several beer companies offer their products. Also, you will be able to get a taste of mici (Romanian grilled sausages) and other traditional foods. Local and national bands and artists of all persuasions take the stage.
Climb around in the climbing park Aventura . Tracks range from very easy to very difficult and the entrance fee is about 30 lei for one person. You can get there with several buses: line 17 (city center), line 35 (trainstation) and line 21.
Hiking and trekking - Brasov is the place to start for most people who visit Romania with a mind for mountain adventure.
Ski - According to Eastern Euro Tours on the Gold Coast, Romania is the place to ski in Eastern Europe. And the crown jewel of the Romanian ski resorts is Poiana Brasov, 12 km (8 mi) away from Brasov's city center. Set in the pine forests of the Carpathian arch, at around 1700 m (5000 ft) altitude, with 19 marked runs and 35 km of unmarked runs, Poiana Brasov has its slopes designated with different difficulty levels, making it easy for beginners and advanced skiers to choose. Part of Transylvania, it is 18 km (11 mi) away from Bran Castle, also named Dracula Castle. A six-day ski pass costs less than $200.
Since there are lots of tourists, the city is full of good quality but expensive restaurants (compared to the other Romanian cities). You have to look around very carefully to find something cheap.
Ando's - On 15 noiembre street, close to the centre. Ando's is a fastfood restaurant, that offers menus and sandwiches (chicken and fish) at very low prices.
Panini - Also on 15 noiembre (nr. 35) is a 24/7 fastfood restaurant, with great sandwiches for incredibly low prices. Tip: Right in the city center is a food supermarket, "Hard Discount" opened non-stop. Cheap and good food there. Also, nearby and and around the corner is Kebab House, serving doner kebap non-stop. Ask locals for other non-stop food stores.
La Republique - Str. Republicii No. 33. It's a nice French-themed pub serving a wide range of crepes, both sweet and sour. It's a chain, so you might find it somewhere else. It's the cheapest way to eat something good in the historical center.
Bistro de l'Arte - Piata George Enescu No. 11 (right in the city center). A rather classy restaurant with dining rooms which reminiscence wine cellars. Many paintings by local artists can be seen on the walls. The menu is very rich, with a mostly French cuisine.
Sura Dacilor - Poiana Brasov (right off the main road in the resort when coming from Brasov). The interior is richly decorated with furs and other Dacian stuff. The menu features "Urs la tava", i.e. bear.
King's Pub , +40 (0) 726 774 796, Str. Avram Iancu 76, The largest and most crowded disco pub in town. Offers a relaxing karaoke night on Mondays and crowed club atmosphere on Saturdays. Fridays are dedicated to oldies music while Tuesdays and Thursdays to students parties with drinks at reduced prices. Sunday is Latino night full of salsa grooves.
Auld Scot's Pub - Located on Hirscher, opposite to the "Reduta" Cultural Centre. It is a Scottish themed pub. Very nice atmosphere, rugs covering everything. It has darts and a big plasma TV set for football games (soccer). There are many different types of beer available and they also serve breakfast.
Dean's - Irish pub is on the main street(Republicii). Prices are getting steep because of the country's acension to the EU, but the surroundings make up for it. Hayden Dean from Holywood, Co. Down, Northern Ireland owns the place. You can get Guinness as well as a host of Irish coffees and an Ulster Fry!
Bavaria - This pub is situated in a huge cellar in Sadoveanu street (annexed to Republicii St.). Although it is supposed to represent a German (Bavarian) pub, they sell Dutch beer and play mainly English music. Still it's a nice place to have a drink, or watch a football match.
Groove Garden - This Karaoke bar is situated in a cellar on Republicii street.
As soon as you arrive at the train station a lot of people will come to you offering an accommodation. If you accept, they might offer you to plan a trip in the surroundings. When you look for a room, don't forget to ask whether they provide hot running water: it's not something obvious in Brasov.
Accommodation in private apartments self catering, Old City Center, Piata Sfatului, +40722445865, . Accommodation in private apartments and studios at a 3 star standard is an alternative for the classic means of accommodation. More spacious and comfortable, fully furnished, located in the central area of Brasov, it is a bargain stay considering the offered services, easy access and lodging standards.
Rolling Stone Hostel - is a family run place, not far from the heart of Brasov, old city center, that offer both dorms or privates. Cheapest bed is €10 with all that you need included (kitchen access, clean sheets, towels, laundry, internet WIFI). Tours available for all surrounding sights. Highly recommended! (Piatra Mare 2A street, +4 0268 513965)
Beke Guesthouse, Str. Cerbului 32. The owner is a nice woman living there; she rents some rooms. The toilet is shared but clean, the minimum price is €10 per person (you can pay in euro). It is in the center of the city, next to Porta Schei.
Hotel Aro Sport, Str. Sfântul Ioan 3, (+40 268) 142 840. By name, Aro Sport seems like the logical lower-class equivalent of the four-star Hotel Aro. In many ways, it is, even though it doesn't near the standard of the luxurious Aro. Other than that, Aro Sport is a highly recommended stay for those on a tight budget. Although the rooms are small and minimally furnished, they include a sink and are usually very clean. There are shared bathrooms, and the hotel is very clean and modern.
Hotel Camping Darste, Calea Bucuresti 285, (+40 268) 315 863. If you want only a place to sleep and that's all, Camping Darste does its job fairly well. Other than that, it's a lot better to choose a more central hotel with better facilities.
Hotel Postavarul, 2 Politehnicii Phone: +40-268-144330. The Postavarul is a separate wing of the Coroana hotel entrance and bookings are made through that hotel. All of the immaculate rooms have washbasins, but some share a shower and toilet. For sheer location and spot-on service, this is the best value hotel in town.
Kismet Dao Hostel, Str. Democratiei 2, (+40 268) 514 296. Complimentary beer, internet access, laundry, and tour information make this a great value. €12 gets you a dorm, €26 gets you a private room. Check out their website for more details. This hostel has a great staff and is blast to stay at. The staff regularly hosts barbecues. Highly recommended! One drawback is the neighbor's dog, which barks a lot.
Guest House Gina & Mihai Bolia Address: Str. Dealu Melcilor Nr. 1. Phone: (+40) 0740 19 45 80; (+40) 0268 537 110. Friendly and helpful staff.
Transylvania Holiday Homes, Avantgarden, Brasov. Only £15 per person per night. A luxury comfortable self catering holiday home at a Budget Price would suit a family looking to explore Brasov. The holiday home is situated in the newly built Avantgarden area of Brasov. The home offers 3 large bedrooms, fully equiped kitchen, large living area, 2 toilets/bathrooms and a balcony. The home was only built in 2008 and the managers of property offer an excellent helpful service. They also offer pickups from the Bucharest and Cluj airports at a reasonable price.Highly recommended!
Villa Casa Olandeza is a private mountain villa, nicely situated on a hillside with splendid views of the Carpathian Mountains. The house has 4 double, en-suite bedrooms to host up to 10 people, a large living room, fully equipped kitchen, a relaxation room and spacious gardens and terraces to enjoy the fresh mountain air. Rental periods are possible from long weekends to several weeks. Have a dream holiday. Bring you family, friends and children to enjoy skiing, hiking and culture in one of the finest parts of Romania!
Reservations by phone at 031 226 3033, by mail: Reservations or via our site:
Accommodation in luxury apartments and villas in Brasov or near Brasov from €35/night/apartment, Reservations by phone at 0726453335, by mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or directly on our presentation site: . Near the economical - business and historical center of Brasov, suitable for leisure and business trips also. Every apartment has brand new furniture and appliances including:
cable TV (60 channels),
wireless broadband internet,
bathroom with bathtub,
central heating system,
metal front door,
video - inter phone,*
elevator.* Services included: once a week total house cleaning and towel/bed sheets changing, pick-up from railway station (by request), information services. We invite you to discover the facilities offered by our apartments and our special deals.
Accommodation in private apartmens, self catering. Phone +40722445865, . An apart-hotel provides space and intimacy for your business or leisure trip. Choose our offer and we guarantee you will benefit from an elegant and comfortable accommodation that offers own living-room, fully equipped kitchen and bathroom. The rental rates for private apartments are lower by 50% than hotel and boarding house rates you will find in Brasov. The apartments are safe, the interior is fully furnished and equipped with cable TV, gas cooker, refrigerator, coffee maker, all with a view to offer you the comfort of your own home.
Hotel Ambient, Str. Aninoasa 5, (+40 268) 470 856. This three-star hotel is one of the best choices if you're in Braşov and looking for a personal yet comfortable stay. The Hotel Ambient is a short way away from the Old Town, and offers very friendly service. All rooms have showers, minibar, international telephone, as well as some which have very nice balconies. If you want to splurge, there are some high-range apartments with all the amenities including jacuzzis.
Hotel Capitol * * *, 19 Eroilor, Phone: +40-268-418920. Situated in the old center of Braşov, the "Capitol" is a three star hotel with 184 double rooms that are modern and comfortably furnished (color T.V., phone, fridge, etc.). It has 184 double rooms comfortably and modernly furnished, with color TV - sets, phone, and fridge. When staying at it hotel provide the following services: Restaurant - 1st category with excellent cuisine, lounge for conference, receptions, banquets, and individual breakfast choice The other supplementary services are available: room service, safe for personal belongings services, currency exchange, and courier service.
Hotel Coroana * *, 62 Republicii, Phone: +40-268-144330. Coroana is situated in the historical center of Braşov being the oldest hotel of the town, built in a an impressive baroque style Facilities: extensive reception area, "Braserie" restaurant day, breakfast lounge, conference a hall, currency exchange office Two star hotel has 155 beds in 2 suite, 2 singles and 69 doubles furnished in classical style having telephone, TV - set, fridge, radio.
Hotel Helis * * *, 29 Memorandului, Phone: +40-268-410223. Its immediate neighbourhood is not so enticing, but the Helis is a pleasant place to pitch up with nice wooden furniture, clean while decor and crisp white linen to match. Breakfast is included in the price, and the staff speak a variety of languages. The tasteful, spacious rooms come with TV, and the bathrooms are in good condition.
* * *, 2A Stejeris, Phone: +40-268-472731. Braşov's best accommodation is signposted road up towards Poiana Braşov. The modern (painted green) overlooks the centre of town and has a great terrace. Rooms are spacious and modern with TV and shower (those with balconies cost morel and there's a large shared living room. The pension has guarded parking and a cardphone in the lobby.
Hotel Silvania * * *, 27 Caprioarei, Phone: +40-268-415556. Silvania Villa is one of the most outstanding villas in Braşov since it combines a relaxed, friendly atmosphere with impressive and modern facilities. Peaceful, stylish yet natural décor creates a calm, warm, welcoming ambience, making it hard to believe you are virtually close to the heart of the city.
Hotel Tampa * *, 68 Matei Basarab, Phone: +40-268-415180. Located almost on the mountain, but approached from a ragged part of town, at first sight the Tampa is a forbidding concrete monolith, albeit a forbidding concrete monolith that's surrounded by trees and bird song. Inside, it's not as bad as you might think, with parquet floors, Persian-style rugs and a marble staircase. All rooms have TV and phone with a big size bath and shower.
Hotel Trifan * * *, 1A bis Grivitei, Phone: +40-268-418893. Just out of town on the road to Sighisoara, Trifan is more of a motel than a hotel, useful to atop over after a long drive. Rooms have shared bathrooms, pay more if you want your own shower.
For fancy shopping there are a lot of opportunities, some of them located in the Centre (more precisely in the Citadel part) and others in several Malls, e.g. Eliana Mall (www.elianamall.ro), Macromall. However they are highly expensive. Still, Eliana Mall contains a Go Multiplex cinema which is quite comfortable. For food and regular shopping the hypermarkets (Carrefour, Metro, Selgros, Kaufland) are a good solution. Most of them are concentrated on the entrance/exit from/to Bucharest. To get there from the City Centre (Livada Postei) use the RAT line 17 (8-12 minutes) and from the Train Station, RAT line 35 (10-15 minutes). For natural, Romanian typical and healthy (ecological) food, the markets are a great option. A highly recommended place is Astra Market (Piata Astra). There are 2 types of food sold here: imported and produced by peasants from the countryside. The latter is a bit more expensive than tha former, but it is of great quality. To get there use the RAT Line 6 from the Centre (Livada Postei). It is a 7-8 minute ride. Since you are here, you can also visit the Orizont 3000 commercial centre. It consists of small shops with all kinds of goods of different needs and quality.
Brasov is generally safe for tourists and police presence is very noticeable, especially in places frequented by tourists. Usually the main risk is getting pick pocketed (such as, on buses from the train station to the city center) or scammed through various "techniques", all of which can be avoided. For more safety tips see Romania and Transylvania, and especially read about the "maradona" technique.
In the past few years, bears have started to come and feed from the dumpsters. They're not too aggressive when in the city, though (needless to mention the forests at night are a different story). Still, don't do anything stupid like trying to feed them or getting too close. Also, if you're taking a hike through the forests, make noise. Chat with your friends, swish passing branches, step on twigs etc. Most wild animals try to keep away from humans and only attack them when they're cornered, so letting them know you're there will keep you safe.
Exchanging money can be a demanding process. If it must be done, try to do it at a major bank, such as the BCR, BNR, BT, or Raiffeisen Bank. These banks accept major currencies (Euro, American Dollars, Canadian Dollars, British Pounds, etc.) and are very friendly. You will need to bring a passport with you when exchanging money at banks so that there is a paper trail for them.
If you cannot make it to a bank, use an exchange office, but be very careful about everything that goes on. Make sure you double-check with the teller about the rate, and confirm it by looking at the sheet of paper which must be posted at a visible distance. This sheet of paper contains the rates for major currencies. If you are not using USD, GBP, or EUR, make sure you double check the currency with other exchange offices or banks, and ensure the buy and sell rates are not drastically different. Usually, for less used currencies such as the Canadian Dollar, most Exchange Offices will freeze the buy rate at a very low amount, while having a normal Sell rate.
Furthermore, you should shop around when exchanging money, and check for things like Commission. Usually, most rates will fluctuate between places, and you could earn up to 20-30RON (~7-10EUR) when you shop around.
ATMs can be found almost everywhere in Brasov, however, some scrutiny must be completed before using an ATM. First of all, try to use an ATM that is by a bank, and use it during the bank's regular business hours. If something goes wrong, like it swallows your card, or doesn't produce cash, you can easily go inside and get it fixed. Secondly, before entering a PIN, a message will show, usually in Romanian and English. This message will have a phone number on it, which corresponds to an ATM Support/Fraud line for the bank in question. It's important to note this number down, just in case something happens.
Finally, try to use a Credit Card to withdraw cash in foreign countries in general. Visa has a Plus network, and MasterCard has the Cirrus and Maestro networks, both in use around the world. These networks allow you to withdraw cash for nominal (~ $2) fees. Using a credit card means that if your card is stolen, a worldwide support line is available to help you dispute charges, and, under certain circumstances, get a new card to you within a business week. A debit card doesn't have any of these features, and disputing charges can be much harder.
Getting out with the family or friends means a lot, since the average Brasov family only gets out 3-5 times per 1-2 months. In the summer, friends or family would go to a water park or a swimming pool (Such as Aqua Magic). In Winter,the family might ski the slopes of Poiana. The slope is not artificial. In Late Summer or Fall, the family might go to Central,and go to the music contest,mentioned earlier in this page, Cerbul de Aur. (The Golden Stag in English) In the spring, most kids would already have started school, so the adults would go to work and there would be too little time to go out.
Rasnov, with its great fortress and abundant history is only 10km away. It can be reached by bus from the Codreanu Autostation, by train from the mainstation, by car towards Bran/Pitesti, or by hitchhiking.
Chisinau, can be reached by two daily buses from Brasov. The buses leave at 11:59 a.m. and at 7 p.m. from Autogara 2, also known as Autogara Codreanu. It is next to the stadium.
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