This morning your guide will take you on an overview walking tour of Sibiu’s Old Town. Known also as Hermannstadt, the city has been the center of Romania's German minority since medieval times. Even today, it contains Romania's largest German community and the Germanic feel of the area has been well maintained.
During the 18th and 19th Centuries, Sibiu became the second and later the first most important city of Transylvania. After the Romanian Orthodox Church was granted independence from the Habsburg Empire in the 1860s, Sibiu became the Metropolitan seat. After the First World War, when the Austro-Hungarian Empire was dissolved, Sibiu became part of Romania and the majority of its German population migrated to Germany.
You will have a walk around the Lower City and explore the rather wide medieval streets and the small, tucked-away squares. Sibiu’s architecture is rather rustic, consisting typically of two-story houses with tall roofs and gates opening passages to inner courtyards. In this part of town you will also see Sibiu’s oldest church, dating back to 1386.
You will also see the Council Tower, one of the city's symbols. This former fortification tower from the 14th Century was successively rebuilt over the years. Later today, you will also walk to the Small Square to see the first bridge in Romania to have been cast in iron in the 19th Century. It was nicknamed ‘the Liar's Bridge’ after the tricky merchants who met here to trade. Just to the right of the bridge is another symbol of the city - the House of the Arts, an arched building which once belonged to the Butchers' Guild. On the left side of the bridge is the Luxemburg House, a Baroque four-story building, the former seat of the Goldsmiths' Guild.
You will continue your tour with the exploration of the Large Square, which has been the city’s focal point since the 16th Century. On the corner of the square, you will visit the Brukenthal Palace, one of the most important Baroque monuments in Romania, built in the end of the 19th Century as the main residence for the Governor of Transylvania Samuel von Brukenthal. Nowadays it houses the main part of the National Brukenthal Museum, opened in 1817. Next to the palace is the Blue House - an 18th Century Baroque house bearing the old coat of arms of Sibiu on its façade.
Your driver and guide will also take you a couple of miles out of the city to the Dumbrava Forest, where the ASTRA National Museum Complex is located. This open-air museum incorporates the four ethnology and civilization museums in the city, as well as a series of laboratories for conservation and research, and a documentation center. Focusing on preserving the Romanian folk heritage, the museum features a variety of authentic rural buildings including water mills and wind mills, which have been brought in from all corners of the country to create an open-air ethnographic complex.
Later this afternoon, you will continue east and to Sighișoara - the birthplace of the infamous Vlad Tepes and one of the most charming and historic towns in the whole of Transylvania. Upon arrival, you will check-in at your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure.