AIR CANADA / LUFTHANSA
When looking for a flight to Sibiu to attend the 9th annual VT Meet, we were told by our organizer Codrutz that there was good connections from Munich, Germany. So that's what we did. We booked AIR CANADA / LUFTHANSA leaving Sunday, June 16 and returning Thursday June 27 - Toronto - Munich - Sibiu. The price was $1,189.46 CDN each.and we booked through EXPEDIA.
Our departure from Toronto was delayed for almost two hours as there was a maintenance problem with the bathrooms. But overall the flight was good and the meals just OK.
Really liked Munich Airport which is very user friendly. Some good restaurants and a "Comfort Lounge" where you can sit and put your feet up.
The flight from Munich to Sibiu was with Lufthansa CityLine and that was good and very short - one hour & 45 minutes.
We arrived in Sibiu Monday, June 17 around 5:00 p.m. After collecting our luggage, we walked outside the airport and got a "Yellow Taxi". As I didn't have any Romanian currency yet, I offered the driver 5 Euros to take us to our hotel. He was OK with that as it was more than if the meter was on.
On the return to Sibiu Airport, the Hotel called a taxi for us. The taxi picked us up just behind the hotel, as the main street is pedestrianized. The fare came to 12 lei or about $4.00 CDN.
Flying to Sibiu
There are no direct flights from London to Sibiu, but that doesn't mean that it is difficult to get to. There are several options, and I chose to fly with Lufthansa via Munich, as the timings suited me best and I could fly from my nearest airport, London Heathrow.
Three weeks previously I had been at Heathrow Airport to catch a plane to Ancona in Italy, and on this occasion to Sibiu in Romania. But both journeys started the same way, with a Lufthansa flight to Munich. As before the flight was good and uneventful, and we were served with a drink and light breakfast (a cheese and ham hot roll). I arrived in Munich on time and with two hours before the flight to Sibiu - enough for a leisurely coffee before meeting up with fellow travellers Alyson and Teresa.
The flight to Sibiu also passed smoothly and again we were served with a drink and small snack – this time, apple cake. As we came into land I got my first look at the scenery around the town, which seemed very pretty - forested hills and small red-roofed villages, each with a church at its centre.
The airport in Sibiu is very small so we were soon through customs. I changed some money at the efficient ATM machine and we then caught a taxi into the centre. It was quite a short ride, and as we went our friendly lady driver pointed out a couple of sights. We were dropped off in the Small Square and walked a short distance from there to the hotel, as the area around it is pedestrianised.
My return flight allowed me much less time to connect at Munich. I had gambled on the Sibiu flight being on time but storms meant that it took slightly longer than scheduled, and I had to run to make my flight. Another time I would choose a later flight rather than have such a rush.
Next tip: Taking a taxi
Taking a taxi
Sibiu is a compact city, or at least the historical and most interesting part is very much so. But if you want to go a bit further afield you will find the taxis efficient and very reasonably priced, although the charges did seem to be a bit erratic, especially for travel to and from the airport.
When we arrived at the airport Alyson, Teresa and I caught a taxi into the centre which cost 21 LEI. We thought this very reasonable, especially shared between three, but on our return Teresa and I paid only half of that so realised we had perhaps been over-charged on our arrival. On the plus side, our lady driver was friendly and pointed out a couple of sights.
The other occasion on which we caught a taxi was to go to and from our Sunday dinner at the Golden Tulip Hotel. This was a short distance (we could have walked it in 20 minutes but were finding the heat draining) and the charge of about 5 LEI was a bargain.
You’ll find taxis at stands in key places such as the car park just south of the city walls near the Philharmonic Theatre, or like us you can ask your hotel to call one for you. On both occasions when we did this we only waited a minute or so. Note that if you’re in part of the pedestrianised area you will have to walk a short distance to a place where the driver can pick you up.
Next tip: my stay at the Imperatul Romanilor
Finding your way
Sibiu, or at least the historic part where most of the main sights are to be found, is a compact, walkable city – indeed, some parts are restricted only to pedestrians (like Strada Nicholae Balcescu and the Large Square). Armed with a map you will soon get your bearings, and if not, the streets are all marked with their name, with some attractive street signs such as these.
And when you find something of interest, there is a good chance that there will be information about it nearby. Even the most humble of old houses has a plaque giving its age, and on more noteworthy buildings these also give further details such as the name (see photo three for an example).
Next tip: the so-called eyes of the city
Travelling to and from Sibiu by train.
Sibiu is served by quite a few trains from other parts of Romania aswell as having one daily train to and from Budapest.
When i left Sibiu i took the Budapest train but decided to travel only to Arad in northern Romania where i stayed the night.
The Budapest train left in the morning and it was a very nice train with comfortable seats and a nice little dining car where i sat for a while for a coffee and a read in my book.
Sibiu has several trains a day to Bucharest so if you are coming from that direction then connecting by train should be quite easy.
The train station in Sibiu is just outside the old part of town andfrom the main square it should take you around 15 minutes to walk there.
- Budget Travel
City Bicycle Rental
We rented a couple of bikes from the City sponsored kiosk at the South East side of the main pedestrian drag. Big yellow, steel frame clunkers complete with fenders and a basket. They were perfect for cruising through the City streets and bike paths. We took them on an east ride to the Astra Park. They rent for 5 lei an hour or 15 lei (about $5) for the day.
- Arts and Culture
- Historical Travel
By train from Sibiu to Sighisoara
There are 3 direct trains per day from Sibiu to Sighisoara (7.30, 12.06 and 19.35), 2.30 hours, you buy the tickets for these trains from the conductor in the train. There are also some more train connetions with a change in Copsa Mica.
- Budget Travel
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
Walk in Sibiu
You shouldn't worry about transportation in Sibiu as all points of interests are in walking distance. Choose a hotel in walking distance of Piata Mare (see my accommodation tips) and you not need public transport.
Further away is only the Astra Romanian Folk Civilization Museum for which you need to take a taxi (as they are around 5km from city center) - estimated ride cost is RON 30 (2x15) that is about €7 (2x3,5).
Also the only 5* hotel - the Hilton - is located in Dumbrava forest some 5 km from city center and for which you have to take a taxi.
Getting to Sibiu by plane
Direct flights to Sibiu are from Munich (Lufthansa) and Vienna (Austrian). Two more direct links are from Madrid and Stuttgart, with the Romanian low-cost airline Blue Air.
One stop flights can be made trough Bucharest and Timisoara.
Flying direct to Bucharest is easy from almost every European capital plus Tel Aviv, Moscow, Istanbul, Kiev, Chisinau, Doha, Dubai - then to Sibiu with Tarom (Romanian national airline)
Flying direct to Timisoara is available with Carpatair (private Romanian airline) from cities in Italy, Germany, Ukraine and Moldova - then to Sibiu with Carpatair.
For finding a route from your city (or close airport) I recommend using www.kayak.com or www.skyscanner.com or the Tarom webpage
Bucharest-Sibiu by bus
For this trip, we decided to use the bus instead of the train for two reasons: it's cheaper and the timetable suited better for our plans.
We took the Dacos bus from Militari Bus Station situated on 141 Iuliu Maniu Bvd. You can reach it by subway (Pacii Station) or by busses 61, 62, 136, 137, 150, 236, 421.
Bookings: Make sure you book you seat in advance by calling one of the numbers below (opperating daiy between 7:00 and 23:00) and that you arrive at the station 30 min before your scheduled departure so as to pay for your ticket in the small building situated at the entrance in the Bus Station. If you don't pay 15 mins before departure, you lose your booking. Ask about "Bilete Dacos".
Supposedly, you can also book your ticket via their website but I haven't used this system.
Prices: we were lucky and found a special offer: RON 30 (approx. EUR 7,5) for a one way ticket but I understand the normal price is of RON 48 (EUR 12) for one way and RON 86 (EUR 22) for a round trip.
Schedule (for direct routes):
(Departure from Bucharest - Arrival Sibiu):
09:00 - 14:18
12:00 - 17:18
13:45 - 19:13
Arrival: the bus will drop you at Q7 Bus Stop: 5A Scoala de Inot Str.
- Budget Travel
Sibiu by Bike
Cycling to the Sibiu Village Museum (Astra Museum) was, without a doubt, the highlight of our recent two days trip for the annual International Theatre Festival Which takes place in Sibiu.
Though not entirely bikers-friendly, the city provides good routes to certain sightseeing musts: to the Village Museum, around the old fortress and in the pedestrian city center.
About our adventure:
We rented bikes from Kultours (situated in 16 Piata Mica, within the Casa Louxembourg Hotel) for a whole day for about RON 35 (aprox. 8,5 euros). The lady there was kind enough to give us a map and show us the route to the museum: basically, you need to reach the Subarini Park, cross it and then follow the bikers path. This leaves you about 300m away from the museum entrance (it is situated at the exit from the city).
It shouldn't take you more than 45 min to get there (slow pace).
I advise you to call in advance for bookings.
- Family Travel
By direct train from Budapest to Sibiu
Although I haven't taken this train, it passes my house everyday.This is the only train that goes direct without having to change.All trains to Romania do take a long time, doesn't matter where you are going. Anyway it can be a relaxing way to travel and let the train take the strain. If your coming from any western European city by train, then you will probably end up taking a train through Budapest.The IC 373 / EN 373 train leaves Budapest-Keleti pu (Budapest Eastern
Railway Station) everyday 11:13 a.m. and arriving at Sibiu Train Station (Gara Sibiu) at 21:10.p.m. The 10 hour and 430 Kilometre train journey takes you through the Hungarian towns of Szolnok, Mezötur, Gyoma, Mezöbereny, Bekescsaba then the Hungarian border town of Lököshaza.
Continuing on after a 15 minute stop the Romanian cities and towns of Curtici,Arad, Deva, Simeria, Vintu de Jos, Sebes Alba then pulls into Sibiu just after a quarter past nine in the evening, if being the summertime, a little daylight remains so avoid wearing necklaces of garlic and clutching a large silver cross and a perfume a la Holy Water to keep of any vampires..he he
Days of operation: daily
Comments: Subject to compulsory reservation
Sleeping-car (Curtici --> Sibiu)
Couchettes (Curtici --> Sibiu)
Traveling by train through Transylvania
In april of 2002 I traveled by train through Transylvania. Trains are not as frequent as in Western Europe, but it is a good and fast way to enjoy the landscape and meet people. Be careful for the exceptions in the timetable. Some trains don't go in weekends or holidays, others only in the weekends etc. Sometimes it is better to hitchhike. Many people hitchhike, so nobody will be surprised. And don't forget to give the driver some money. That's what they expect. Check out my website that I made about my trip.
By train: There are many...
By train: There are many trains from Brasov, Bucuresti,...For Sighisoara you'll have to change trains at either Copsa Mica or Medias
Get around on foot. The center is rather compact and the train station is only 2 minutes from the center. Easy!!
The Liar's Bridge
A view of the Liar's Bridge--so-called because the very short iron bridge is supposed to collapse if anyone standing on it ever tells a lie. It got that reputation because when new, merchants often met there to transact business. Unfortunately, Ceausescu gave a speech from the bridge and it's still standing!
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