Librăria Humanitas: Classy bookshop
A very inviting bookshop on the city's main street, Nicolae Balcescu, Humanitas Sibiu is one of a national chain. If that sounds rather soulless, then please don't be put off - the shops is housed in a historic building that has been restored to make the ideal space for browsing books, and the staff are helpful without being intrusive.
This is a general bookshop with all the usual subjects covered, but of particular interest to travellers will be the solid selection of books, calendars and other souvenirs relating to Sibiu, Transylvania and Romania on the ground floor, as well as foreign-language books (mainly German and English).
If you want to learn Romanian, there isn't a huge selection (and no phrasebook), but then I don't know if there even are many such publications! Humanitas did have several volumes of a book called "Teach Yourself Romanian!" with a CD included when I visited, which was very reasonable at RON 65 and looks to be a good find. There are also numerous Romanian-foreign language dictionaries.
Other products include audio books, CDs and the usual sort of bookshoppy gifts (bags, bookmarks, etc.), which could make a classy gift. The selection of art and other coffee table books is very good.
What to buy: I was very pleased with my Romanian course (a decent one sets you back a bit in the UK) and also bought an Agatha Christie for just RON 9.99 for when I can read a bit more.
What to pay: Unlike in many European countries, books seem to be reasonably priced in Romania.
Hereus Art Bazaar: Lovely crafts and souvenirs
It was only on my final morning in Sibiu that I found the sort of souvenir of my trip that I had been looking out for. I love to buy local jewellery when on holiday as it is easy to carry home, often distinctive, and brings back happy memories whenever I wear it – as well as often prompting questions and conversations about the place where it was bought.
On this occasion I came across a small shop just off the Small Square (Piaþa Mica), right by the Liars’ Bridge, which had an interesting mix of craft items and some clothing. I quickly decided the painted glass objects were right for me, as, although modern, they reminded me just a little of the painted glass icons we had seen in Sibiel. I was tempted by the small hanging glass pictures but then I saw the necklaces and knew I would look no further. The pretty one I chose was on a ribbon whose colour did not really suit me (a sort of mustard yellow) but the helpful assistant offered to swap it for a brown or grey one and took a lot of trouble to make sure it looked right. And all this for just €5!
They take payment in euros as well as the local currency, but not plastic, by the way. If you don’t like the glass items there are more traditional paintings, decorated eggs, ceramics and more. They also sell postcards, and the aforementioned clothing.
The building that houses the shop is interesting too. It dates from the 16th century and its location right by the steps that lead down to Strada Ocnei have resulted in an unusual configuration – from the front, i.e. the shop entrance, it appears to be single storey, but as you go down the steps you can see it has a lower floor which I think is an apartment rather than part of the shop.
Next tip: the Dracula connection
CIBIN MARKET: SIBIU'S FARMERS' MARKET
The largest fruit and vegetable Market in Sibiu CIBIN MARKET in Piata Cibin which is situated at the end of Turnuiui Street, near the Cibin Bridge.
On Sunday, June 23, Sarah, Teresa, Katherine and I came across the Market on our little outing together. The Market is Huge and has tons of stalls offering many varieties of fruit and vegetables.
Also, surrounding the market are many little shops offering cheeses, meats and sausages.
yellow sweet peppers
Picture #5 shows a bunch of Ladies Bedstraw or Dragaica. In the past the dried plants were used to stuff mattresses, as the coumarin scent of the plants acts as a flea killer.
I saw many Gypsy women selling these fragrant golden yellow flowers. I was told it was a tradition to have these on Fairies' night which was June 24.
BILLA SUPERMARKET: SUPERMARKET
When we arrived in Sibiu Monday around dinner time, I asked the young man at the desk, if there was a supermarket close by, so I could buy a few things. He told me that there was a BILLA not even 50 meters away from the Hotel. So, after dinner, I strolled over to the supermarket, which by the way is a very busy place, and bought some bottled water, Milk, rolls, lunch meat and some snacks. We had a fridge in our room, which was wonderful. The prices were comparable to at home. e.g 1 liter of milk was 2,79 RON - about $1.00 CDN, 2 liter bottled water was ,95 RON - about .30 CDN.
There was so much to choose from - a fresh fruit and vegetable section - milk, cheeses and yogurt - in-store bakery with fresh bread and rolls, including pretzels - a deli section with cold cuts, cheeses, cooked chicken pieces and salads - soft drinks and water section - canned goods - snacks and cookies - Household goods. All in all, most of what you need.
Open Monday - Saturday 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Sunday - 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Shopping in Piata Mica: Painted furniture/miniatures
It is amazing the way those popular artists were painting the furniture.
We found a small shop in Piata Mica where they are selling miniatures in that time when everybody's paying only for the modern "plastic" furniture.
I have promised to myself that sometime 'll buy that kind of furniture, at least for helpimng them to save the tradition.
Rec Play: Glam Underground
Unique Glam underground shop in the city, here youll find all you need to dress casual or if you want to feel nice at the Club. Skunk Funk, Sabbath, Kling, Charito Mucha Marcha... are all waiting for you...
What to buy: Everything is just great... Free gifts for all Customers.
What to pay: As much as you feel
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