Sighisoara, Romania

Ancient churches, a walled town center, thousands of years of history…

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Sighisoara is a small city in the Transylvania region of Romania, with a history dating back to the 1100s. Back then, the Hungarian king was begging Saxons to move to this part of the world in order to help defend his borders. German craftsmen and artisans took him up on it, and what resulted is today a fairy-tale-like fortified city in the heart of Romania.

It’s no wonder this whole place is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

With cobbled streets, colorful buildings, and a pedestrian-friendly Old Town, it’s difficult not to fall in love with Sighisoara. Yes, it’s a touristy place. And yes, it can feel a bit crowded in the summer. But it’s still well worth a visit.

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Sighisoara is INCREDIBLY colorful. It’s like a box of tropical-colored crayons just exploded all over  
thetown, with bright oranges and yellows and pinks standing out on every street.   
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Sighisoara’s walled Old Town consists of roughly 3 main streets — meaning you can easily explore the whole place in an afternoon without any trouble.
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Along with being an old Saxon city, Sighisoara also has another claim to fame: being the birthplace of Vlad III (also known as Vlad Tepes, Vlad the Impaler, and Vlad Dracula). Vlad’s father was ruler of nearby Wallachia, but was in exile in Transylvania when Vlad was born. Vlad’s birthplace is still there, marked with a placard and now home to a very kitschy restaurant called “Casa Dracula.”
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Sighisoara also has a handful of really good museums dedicated to its history, which include the museum in the Clock Tower, and a torture museum right next door.
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Sighisoara IS a touristy town. Meaning you’ll find plenty of kitschy tourist shops all selling the same magnets and Dracula t-shirts. But, if you dig a little deeper, you CAN find some wonderful gems here. If it’s hand-made crafts you’re looking for, check out the gallery inside the International Cafe. Here, a family of woodworkers and their friends produce and sell hand-carved wooden products and unique ceramics.
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