first class around the world leading luxury travel magazine on the internet

logo travelfirst

Protected by the Carpathian Mountain, Brasov is one of our preferred travel spots in Romania. It hasn’t changed that much since between our first visit in 1982, and 2022 when we visited that captivating city with much excitement. A trove of historical treasures and architectural splendors, this Transylvanian gem weaves together centuries of history, religious devotion, and artistic expression, inviting travelers on a journey through time.

The heart of Brasov, its medieval Old Town, presents an enchanting mosaic of cobblestone streets, pastel-hued façades, and age-old landmarks. As one traverses these labyrinthine lanes, a vivid narrative of Brasov's rich past unfolds. Strada Republicii, the city's main artery, is a veritable open-air museum, with buildings dating back to the Renaissance era and exquisitely ornate storefronts that beckon passersby.

The Black Church (Biserica Neagră), the city's most imposing edifice, stands stoically as a sentinel of resilience. This Gothic marvel, with its colossal blackened spires, survived a catastrophic fire and, in the wake of destruction, became a symbol of endurance and rebirth. The interior reveals a trove of artistic treasures, including a grand organ, intricate stained glass windows, and a collection of Anatolian carpets, a testament to the city's historical connections to trade routes. This is the largest Gothic church between Vienna and Istanbul

Brasov's ecclesiastical heritage is a sublime tapestry woven with threads of devotion and architectural prowess. The St. Nicholas Church, an exquisite example of Gothic architecture, enchants visitors with its intricately carved wooden altarpiece, a masterpiece of medieval craftsmanship. The First Romanian School, adjacent to the church, bears witness to the city's role in the development of Romanian literature and culture.

The thriving marketplaces of Brasov are a mecca for those seeking to imbibe the city's pulsating energy. The Central Market Hall, a neo-baroque masterpiece, is the ideal venue to partake in local gastronomic delights, from hearty stews to artisanal cheeses. This bustling hub exemplifies the mingling of tradition and modernity that defines Brasov, offering a delightful culinary journey.

Strada Republicii, lined with cafés and boutiques, epitomizes Brasov's contemporary flair. It is an excellent locale for a leisurely promenade, sipping on a robust Romanian coffee, and indulging in people-watching. The street's architecture showcases diverse influences, including Baroque and Renaissance styles, presenting a striking contrast to the medieval Old Town.

The Carpathian Mountains, a ceaseless guardian of Brasov, provide a majestic backdrop to the city. Among these peaks, Postavarul Mountain reigns supreme. In winter, it transforms into a skier's paradise, with pristine slopes, state-of-the-art lifts, and panoramic vistas. Whether a seasoned enthusiast or a novice, easy to access by telepheric departing from the Old Town, Postavarul offers exhilarating experiences for all.

Summertime unveils the mountain's verdant treasures. Hiking trails meander through forests adorned with wildflowers and enchanting clearings, leading to awe-inspiring views of the surrounding landscapes. An adventure on Postavarul's craggy slopes is rewarded with breath-stealing panoramas and a sense of communion with nature.

This might be as anecdotic as scarry: wild bears regularly do the trip from the mountains to find food in the city center. This is quite common to see some of them by night, when the city sleeps, picking up their dinner from the restaurants garbage containers… Be aware if you want to enjoy the (rare) night clubs and pubs still open after midnight !

For the discerning traveler, Brasov offers a choice of exquisite accommodations. Two of the city's finest hotels are Hotel Aro Palace and Kronwell Hotel.

Hotel Aro Palace, an architectural masterpiece, elegantly combines the grandeur of yesteryears with modern amenities. Its opulent suites offer unparalleled views of the city, and the on-site dining options are quite OK, if not actually «gourmet». The hotel itself is a bit too much dedicated to mass tourism, and we prefer the Kronwell Hotel. With its sleek contemporary design, it presents a stark contrast to the city's medieval charms. It boasts an array of lavish amenities, including an indulgent spa, rooftop bar, and an outdoor pool with panoramic vistas. We liked the comfort and style, making Kronwell a beacon of modern luxury in Brasov, though the location, close to the railways station, is quite far from the main tourists areas.

Brasov's culinary scene is a journey into the region's rich gastronomic heritage. Here, you'll find flavors as diverse as the landscape itself. While there are many culinary delights to explore, three standout restaurants which we like are:

Sergiana: An enchanting restaurant that offers a culinary exploration of Transylvanian cuisine. Dishes like creamy polenta and cabbage rolls take center stage. The ambience of Sergiana is warm and welcoming, providing an authentic Romanian experience.

La Ceaun: Nestled in a charming courtyard, this rustic gem is known for its hearty stews and other traditional Romanian dishes. The atmosphere is delightful, with live music adding to the ambiance. We’d like to laud the authenticity of the cuisine and the cozy setting.

Social Bistro Albert: A delightful blend of Romanian and international cuisine, Bistro Albert entices with its innovative dishes and extensive wine list. The atmosphere is chic and modern, providing a unique dining experience. We appreciate the culinary creativity and impeccable service in this restaurant.

Our last visit dates back from 2022. The so atmospheric Cerbul Carpatin, once the number one restaurant in all Transylvania, with folkloric music animating its well frequented
«Cramă» (wine cellar), has been unfortunately closed post COVID, like too many restaurants in the region. It is still in Autumn 2023. We hope a quick reopening, as the oldest restaurant in Brasov was really worth the visit. It had clients from around the world, including many celebrities.

A mere 12 kilometers from the city by cheap taxi or direct bus, Poiana Brasov is a winter wonderland and a summer paradise, nestled amidst the Carpathian Mountains. This Alpine jewel boasts an array of activities, from skiing and snowboarding in the winter to hiking, mountain biking, and horseback riding in the warmer months.

The picturesque Poiana Brasov is adorned with quaint chalets and luxurious resorts, promising a serene escape from the bustling city life. For winter sports enthusiasts, the Postavarul Ski Slope is a prime destination. It offers impeccable skiing conditions, with modern ski lifts ensuring a hassle-free experience. The slope's pristine white mantle invites beginners and experts alike to carve through the snow-covered slopes.

In summer, which is our favourite season to visit the resort, the area transforms into a lush haven for nature lovers. The Carpathian Mountains unveil countless hiking trails, leading to panoramic vistas, serene lakes, and lush meadows. Equestrian enthusiasts can explore the surrounding countryside on horseback, while cyclists can pedal through winding mountain paths.

Poiana Brasov has many restaurants. The best is located in the four star Teleferic Grand Hotel. We also like, for their atmosphere, two picturesque Transylvanian restaurants, Coliba Haiducilor and Sura Dacilor, with their thatched roof and timbered walls, serving up hearty morsels of traditional creamy «mămăligă» (Transylvanian polenta) paired with sizzling «sarmale» (stuffed cabbage) or crispy «mititei» (grilled minced meat with herbs), and also spicy «tocanita de ciuperci» (mushroom stew) culminating in a culinary sojourn that is as poetic as the verdant setting. The bill remains astonishingly modest for such a touristic resort.




contact travelfirst

gulf air business class falcon review


copyright first class around the world gilles malaise 2023