As I’ve indicated previously, Brasov is a great base from which one can explore Romania, especially Transylvania. There are plenty of day trips that are easy to do from here. We recently visited nearby Rasnov and had so much fun I wanted to make sure to write about it.
Fellow travel bloggers Travis and Calli of Have Blog Will Travel joined us on our trip. It’s always more fun to do things with people whose company you enjoy.
There are a few options for getting to Rasnov. To me the easiest is to catch the train (operated by Regiotrans, a private company). The fare is 4 RON per person (about $1.22 USD) each way. When you enter the gara, or train station, you will find their ticket window on your left in the corner closest to you. Trains run almost every hour, and the ride only lasts about 28 minutes.
Alternatively, you can also take the bus from autogara 2. The fare is about 2.70 RON. This isn’t as convenient an option as you will most likely need to take 2 different public buses to get to this station.
Personally, I’d take the train.
You can also take a taxi, which will cost you at least 40 RON. Make sure to settle on a rate before you leave. If you are charged more than the meter, it is standard as you have to pay for the taxi’s return to Brasov.
Things to do
Rasnov is really quite a cool little town. It has a very different feel and vibe to it than its larger neighbor. The city is growing as it is cheaper than the county seat and is still quite easy and cheap to commute to and from. It is also very close to the larger mountain ranges.
There are plenty of wooded trails easily accessible from the train station. The mountains are absolutely gorgeous, and the woods are quite inviting. Judging from the trails we saw, I’d also say that some are going to give you a very good workout.
Rasnov Fortress (Cetatea Rasnov)
The citadel is believed to have been built early in the 13th century. In its history, it was only conquered once, in 1612. When you see the hill it sits upon, it isn’t hard to imagine that it would have presented a formidable challenge to any invading force.
There is a tractor-pulled wagon “train” that leads you up the long hill climb to the fortress. You’re welcome to walk, of course, but the train is 4 RON if you decide to spare your knees.
Admission to the fortress is 10 RON for adults (about $3 USD) and students/children receive a 50% discount.
The fortress closes at 5 PM, so you’ll want to arrive early enough to explore it. The fortress can be adequately explored within 30 minutes, but you might want more to time to enjoy the surroundings and visit the shops.
Make sure to bring your camera. There are some astounding views from the citadel.
You can also try your hand at archery while at the citadel.
The fortress is a decent walk from the train station (about 40 minutes). A taxi will charge about 7 RON.
Up the road from the fortress you’ll find Pestera Valea Cetatii. This is a rather small cave found inside the mountain. The walk up to the cave is a decent challenge. It is quite steep in parts. When you get to the fork allowing you to follow the pathway or go up the stairs onto a wooden platform, I’d recommend the platform. It’s a lot less steep.
Admission is 15 RON for adults and 10 for students/children. You are accompanied by a guide (they do have English speakers), and the tour is really quite short.
Frankly, if you’ve seen other caves, I wouldn’t bother with this one. Although, they do have a fun zip line which is only 10 RON.
However, they do have concerts from the philharmonic and other classical musicians from time to time, and that might be a pretty cool experience. The admission for that is quite a bit more at 40 RON. (Keep in mind really good seats at the philharmonic in Brasnov cost 20 RON.)
There are some absolutely beautiful places when the weather is right.
There are 3 ski jumps if you’re crazy and/or brave. Although, you’re welcome to just hang out and watch competitors practice. There are also some really great areas for cross country skiing. In fact, the winter European Youth Olympics were held in Rasnov.
We’ll definitely be going back to explore it more. When you plan your visit to Brasov, I highly recommend planning at least a day to check out Rasnov. It’s definitely worth a visit.