Sibiu is one of my favorite cities in Romania, and it just may be the most photogenic of all the places in Transylvania – a high honor, given how beautiful this region is.
What can I say about Sibiu? It’s a city that’s so easy to fall for. I love the pastel-colored walls and the strange slit-windowed architecture which makes the entire city look like its squinting at you. I love the town squares which buzz with life, surrounded by buildings older than anything I’m used to seeing back home in the U.S. I love the historical towers and churches you can climb for a stunning view.
Sibiu is also a great base for a road trip through Romania which allows you to see some of the country’s best sights all within around two hours’ driving distance from the city, so I’ve listed some of those at the end as well.
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The 10 Best Instagram Spots in Sibiu
View from the Lutheran Cathedral Belltower
The Lutheran Cathedral offers one of the best views over the city of Sibiu. The rooftops are especially beautiful when Sibiu has been hit with a dusting of snow, which is the way I fell in love with Sibiu and the way I’ll always feel it looks best.
To get to the top, you’ll have to ascend the slightly scary steep steps up to the bell tower – and there are way more of them than you think. Trust me, you will end up winded! But it will be worth it (and the 8 lei/~$2 USD entry fee) when you get to the top and see these stunning views.
Lutheran Cathedral (Interior)
A lot of fuss is made of the view from the Lutheran Cathedral Belltower, which obviously is one of the top Instagram spots in Sibiu, but not as much hype surrounds the interior of the Lutheran Cathedral, which I think is a shame!
This building is beautiful, with a criss-cross buttress pattern on the roof that reminds me of churches you’d find in France and Rome. The look is very simple but beautiful, and you really should take the time when exploring Sibiu to spend a few minutes inside the cathedral proper.
Lutheran Cathedral (Exterior)
The Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary can be quite hard to photograph from the exterior due to its size and position within the city.
You’ll have to get a little creative when it comes to picking the right angle to photograph it! Be sure to straighten out its lines in Lightroom or Snapseed
Here’s another great view of it, which you can find in the area around Strada Centumvirilor (bring a good zoom lens!).
One can’t-miss place in Sibiu is its main plaza, Piata Mare, which is in the heart of the city center.
Grab a gelato, throw it against a backdrop of a typical European plaza, and bam, Instagram gold.
One of my favorite streets in Sibiu, Strada Centumvirilor, has some great views of not only the Lutheran
The fact that the street is angled downwards means that you can get a lot of the city in your photo and play with perspective and compression in lots of interesting ways, particularly if you have a telephoto lens.
Bridge of Lies
Here’s one of my favorite shots from my trip to Romania: me standing on the Bridge of Lies, which I got a friend to shoot from the street adjacent to the bridge.
This is one Sibiu Instagram photo that would be a little hard to pull off solo (with just a tripod) because you’d have to be quite far from your camera to get this exact shot. While I feel like Romania is very safe, I generally like to be close to my camera, and this would be a bit of a test of my comfort!
The Street Below the Bridge of Lies
The Bridge of Lies is beautiful, and there are a lot of fun angles you can capture it from in order to have more versatile photos that you can use in the future to illustrate your time in Sibiu.
I particularly like these photos that are taken from the street beneath the Bridge of Lies in Sibiu and think a better Instagrammer than I could have a field day with this brick wall, wrought-iron bridge, and pastel-house backdrop!
Kleines Café Alley
The alleyway on which you’ll find the entrance to Kleines Café, right off of Piata Huet, is one of my favorite of Sibiu’s many scenic alleys. Kleines Café means “small café” in German and it’s pretty dead on as this is supposedly the smallest café in all of Sibiu!
It’s small inside, but it’s a great place to warm up for a bit if you happen to be visiting Sibiu during the pretty but bitterly cold winter (get a hot chocolate here, it’s delicious!).
Eyes of Sibiu
One of the quintessential photos of Sibiu is a shot of the famous “Sibiu eyes” that this city is known for.
This shot is of the Old Town Hostel in Piata Mica, but you’ll find them all over the city. Zoom in and frame it tight for a unique, detailed photo.
ASTRA National Museum Complex
Sibiu has an open air museum similar to many other Eastern European cities like Tallinn and Bucharest, and it’s really stunning! It’s close to Sibiu’s city center, just 4 kilometers, so it’s definitely an easy side trip while you’re visiting Sibiu.
You’ll find a variety of museums on topics related to Romanian ethnology and folk life in this museum complex, which also is home to traditional village houses (300 of them!), artificial lakes, and artifacts such as typical textiles and pottery.
7 Instagrammable Places Near Sibiu
Castelul de Lut Valea Zanelor (much simpler to call it Clay Castle) is an eco-hotel-to-be, which you can visit while they finish up construction. They have a tiny coffee stand with some outdoor seating that you can visit in the meantime, and you can pay a small fee to visit and take photos.
It’s located about 50 kilometers outside of Sibiu without any public transportation options that I’m aware of, so it’s not a place you can easily get to on a whim. However, if you are doing a road trip through Transylvania and have access to a car, I highly recommend adding this to your Transylvania itinerary.
100 kilometers away from Sibiu, but easily accessed via public transportation, if you’re an Instagrammer visiting Sibiu you seriously need to make sure you can squeeze in at least a day trip to Sighisoara!
Unfortunately, I only got to spend about two hours here but it was easily one of the most beautiful places I visited on my entire Romania trip. Don’t miss a day trip there if you’re in Sibiu!
About 87 kilometers from Sibiu is the fortified church of Biertan, one of the most beautiful places in Romania.
Again, this is a place that’s best to visit on either a guided day trip or if you have a car as public transportation between Sibiu and Biertan is limited at best. I recommend this guided tour that includes both Biertan and Sighisoara, two of the most beautiful Instagram spots in Romania, which you can learn more about here.
One of the most beautiful castles in Transylvania, Corvin Castle is located just an hour and a half’s drive away from the city of Sibiu.
It looks strikingly similar to how I’d imagine Hogwarts looks, don’t you? Between this and Clay Castle, there are so many fairy-tale places in Romania to discover!
The most famous highway in Romania, frequently named one of the best roads in the world, you simply can’t miss driving on the Transfagarasan if you’re visiting Romania in the right season (keeping in mind that it can get closed in bad weather).
Having your own car is best, obviously, but if you can’t do that or don’t want to then there are day trips which will take you from Sibiu to Balea Lake via the beautiful Transfagarasan (you can learn more and book here).
An hour and a half away from Sibiu, you’ll find one of the most gorgeous lakes in Romania at Lake Balea.
It’s best visited in the summer when you can see the beautiful lake in all its glory (and also to be able to drive here rather than having to take the cable car in, as the road is inaccessible during the winter).
While Balea Lake is relatively well-known, fewer people know that
Don’t Leave Without Travel Insurance!
Finally, make sure you always travel to Romania with a valid travel insurance policy. Transylvania is a very safe place to travel, but accidents or theft can easily ruin your trip if you don’t have the travel insurance coverage to recover the losses. Recently my aunt fell on a train in France and needed surgery, but luckily her travel insurance covered the costs in full. Thank goodness!
For travel insurance, I use World Nomads.I’ve been a happy customer of theirs for almost three years, and I’ve never had an issue when making a claim. I’m happy to refer them to anyone I meet.
Originally from California, Allison has been living in Bulgaria for the last two years and is obsessed with traveling around the Balkans. She has been published in National Geographic, CNN Arabic, Matador Network, and the Huffington Post. She loves befriending dogs, drinking coffee, geeking out about wine, and cooking food from around the world.