Things to Do in Sibiu
Bâlea Lake (Lacul Bâlea)is a glacial lake in Romania’s Fagaras Mountains. Sitting at more than 2,000 meters high, it is one of the most popular lakes in Romania. Most visitors are drawn to the lake for the landscape and superb views on the drive there; the water is typically too cold for swimming. Two chalets are open near the lake all year round, but it is most easily accessed in the summer months. In the winter, visitors must ride the cable car from the chalet near the Balea waterfall to get there. In 2006, the first ice hotel in eastern Europe was built nearby using blocks of ice pulled from the frozen lake.
One of three main squares around which Sibiu’s old town is built, Big Square (Piața Mare has been at the heart of city life for centuries, hosting markets, festivals, and even executions. Historic landmarks surround the square, from the 13th-century Tower of the Council (Turnul Sfatului to the baroque-style Brukenthal Palace.
An iconic Sibiu attraction, the Bridge of Lies (Podul Minciunilor dates back several hundred years, though today’s structure was built in 1859 as one of Romania’s first cast-iron bridges. Since then, legends have passed down over generations regarding its mysterious name, while its picture-perfect location makes a city must-see.
Finished in the 14th century, Sibiu’s Lutheran Cathedral (St. Mary's Evangelical Church is one of the city’s most must-see landmarks. Its soaring steeple, pointed turrets, and Gothic facade dominate the city vista, while ancient tombs, sweeping arches, and southeastern Europe’s largest organ furnish the interior.
Influenced by Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia (Aya Sofya, this Byzantine-style basilica—built between 1902 and 1906—is among Romania’s largest Orthodox churches. The striped red and yellow-brick exterior hides a lavish interior where decoration, be it colorful frescoes, mosaics, or gold, covers almost every inch of wall and ceiling space.
Opened in 1817 as Romania’s first museum, the award-winning Brukenthal National Museum (Brukenthal Palace is a Sibiu landmark, celebrating the cultural heritage of both Romania and wider Europe. Home to the European Art Gallery and Brukenthal Library, the ornate palace displays works by masters such as Titian, Rubens, and Grigorescu.