Cali Girl Travels World standing at the top of the council tower in Sighisoara, Translyvania, Romania, a UNESCO world heritage site

Sighisoara, Romania: 20+ Photos That Tell Its Story

The quaint, colorful and charming town­ of Sighisoara sits atop a hill behind solid walls and towers still standing watch all these centuries later.

Sighisoara today is an almost perfectly intact relic of the 1500’s. Nine of the original defense towers still standnamed after the craftsmen’s guilds that defended them. 

This citadel is one of the most well-preserved medieval cities in Europe which is why it’s now a UNESCO world heritage site.

The beautiful cobbled streets are lined with brightly painted houses, art galleries, restaurants, and churches. You may be able to see every street and historical site you’re interested in within 3 hours, but we spent a full day exploring to soak in the charm of these antique streets.

This picturesque little town was the birthplace of the most famous Romanian of all time, Vlad Dracula, the inspiration for the myth of the famous vampire. He was the prince of Wallachia, and known for brutally killing his enemies slowly on a long spike. There are estimates that he impaled over 20,000 people on a single day and over 100,000 people total. The prince was known as Vlad the Impaler and was despised as a blood thirsty mass murderer.

There are many buildings in town designated for vampire-enthusiasts, with Dracula-themed restaurants, souvenir shops and little hotels.

During the peak hours this town can feel like a tourist trap, with the foreigners outnumbering the residents. However, by the afternoon, tourist spots begin to shut down leaving only the locals and this walled city becomes another charming, little, sleepy town of the Transylvanian countryside, steeped in legends and ancient history to discover.

Standing at a view point looking out from the walled citadel of Sighisoara, Transylvania within Romania.
Entering the walled gateway of the citadel of Sighisoara, Transylvania, Romania.
Colorful homes of a medieval cobbled street in Sighisoara, Romania, Transylvania.
Two women walking along a quaint medieval street in Sighisoara, Transylvania, Romania.

In the 1200’s, German immigrants began building the fortress of Sighisoara. Every defense tower was constructed and defended by one of Sighisoara’s 20 craftsmen’s guilds.

Back in those days, these German craftsmen dominated the Transylvanian economy and society. Only the Germans and other wealthy families lived within the walled city, while Romanian and Hungarian peasants lived in the unprotected Lower Town by the river.

The main square in the UNESCO site of Sighisoara, Transylvania, Romania.
Colorful Buildings on a cloudy day in Sighisoara
Council Tower of Sighisoara, Transylvania.

Walking through the arches of Sighisoara, Romania

Sighisoara’s signature landmark, the Council Tower, defended the city’s main gate. It also held the town’s treasures and today it serves as the city’s museum. You can climb up the steep stairs, past relics and artifacts, to the top for a breathtaking view over the ancient fortifications.

Hanging out the council tower for the best view in Sighisoara, Transylvania, Romania Cali Girl Travels World.
A view of buidings and a tower on a hilltop in Sighisoara, Romania.
Pretty View overlooking the citadel of Sighisoara and all it's colorful european buildings.
Female Travel Blogger looking out over the city with the council tower and churches of Sighisoara below.

Sighisoara is a living piece of history. When it was built in the Middle Ages, Transylvania was part of the Kingdom of Hungary. The Hungarian King enticed Germans to immigrate and settle in this area with tax incentives. He wanted them there to act as a buffer to protect his kingdom from being pillaged by enemies to the east.

Sighisoara was one of the 7 citadels built by these German settlers, which became the power centers of Transylvania for centuries to come.

A street of resturants and shops in Sighisoara, Transylvania, Romania some have stayed in this old city for generations.
Down a backstreet of Sighisoara Romania at a little ice cream shop with home made gelato.
A courtyard between historical houses within the city of Sighisoara, Romania.
A historic home in Sighisoara, Romania with their shutters open and flower pots in the window.

Many of the charming, pastel-colored houses that line these cobblestone lanes are over 300 years old. Some of the homes are still occupied by the same families that built them.

You’ll find souvenir shops, restaurants, accommodation, or art galleries on just about every street. There’s plenty of beautiful, traditional artwork created by the local artists, carrying on the traditions of the German craftsmen.

Female blonde traveler walking up a staircase through a tunnel in Sighisoara, Translyvania, Romania.
Entering one of the church on the hill in Sighisoara, Romania.

The church on the hill in Sighisoara.
Walking through a church to the entryway to a tomb in Sighisoara, Romania.
Entering a tomb underneath a church in Sighisoara, Romania.
Looking at a statue within a church in the historic city of Sighisoara.

The soul of Sighisoara is the Church on the Hill, connected to the citadel by a long, tunnel staircase. This was the most important structure in the citadel and the last defensible refuge if the city was attacked. Every family in Sighisoara had a chest of supplies stored in the church in case they were trapped there by invaders.

Can you believe some of the murals in here are over 500 years old?  

Cali Girl Travels World walking through a passageway in Sighisoara, Romania.
Female blonde traveler walking up stairs to enter historic tower in Sighisoara, Translyvania, Romania a UNESCO world heritage site.

A car driving down a historic street in Sighisoara, Romania with colorful houses and a tower in the background.
A cute little Cafe in Sighisoara, Romania, with green shutters, looks like quintessential Europe.
A photo of Dracula painting inside a resturant in Sighisoara where Vlad iii, the impaler was born.

Sighisoara’s main claim to fame is the legend of the Vampire, Count Dracula. 

The real Dracula was a merciless military commander, so feared for his cruelty, that a tale grew over the centuries that he was a vampire. Dracula’s father, Vlad Dracul (Dracul means “The Dragon,” and Dracula means “Son of the Dragon”), was a ruler of neighboring Wallachia. He was living in Sighisoara when Dracula was born. The actual house Dracula was born in is gone, but there’s a plaque to mark the spot.

Today, you can find kitschy vampire souvenirs at almost any shop in the city, but don’t let that distract you from the rich history that Sighisoara has to offer.

A female traveler in a tiny doorway of Sighisoara, Romania holding an umbrella.

An uphill street lined with brightly colored house in Sighisoara, Translyvania, Romania.
Photos of a few colorful resturants in Sighisoara, Transylvania including a pizzeria.
Colorful quaint street with a spire at the end.
Looking out from the fortress of Sighisoara, Transylvania.
Walking down the colorful picturesque European streets of Sighisoara, Transylvania, Romania, a world heritage site.

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Walking through the medieval walled city of Sighisoara, Translyvania, a UNESCO site.

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Hi, I’m Brit!

I'm from California, but I don't live anywhere. I've lived out of a suitcase for 5 years among exactly 50 countries, and I don't ever plan to stop. Come travel with me around the world at

Hi, I’m Brit!

I'm from California, but I don't live anywhere. I've lived out of a suitcase for 5 years among exactly 50 countries, and I don't ever plan to stop. Come travel with me around the world at


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