The city of Rasnov is a quiet little provincial town, with not much going on but still with enough things to do for a few days. While the city makes a great one day trip from Brasov, I would highly recommend renting a car in Brasov and driving the 15 kilometres. Spend a couple of days in Rasnov and check all the 5 things to do in Rasnov from this article.
The city has a few pretty streets with colourful houses so take a short walking tour of the old town. Stay at the fancy Radsor Hotel and admire the Hollywood sign at the top of the hill. Hike to the Citadel and admire the views over the city. Have some fun at Dino Park and discover the Valea Cetatii Cave. Drive to Zarnesti town and learn more about the rescued bears from Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti.
1. STAY AT RADSOR HOTEL
This fancy-looking hotel in the centre of the town is the perfect choice for spending a couple of nights in Rasnov. It is modern and chic, well maintained and very welcoming. Check out the accommodation here!
Appreciate the silence, the hospitality of the hotel and enjoy the spectacular view over the Citadel. At the on-site restaurant, you can try delicious traditional dishes and taste some Romanian wine. Try the homemade PAPANASI (a Romanian traditional fried pastry, doughnut-shaped, served with sour cream and jam topping).
TIP: The on-site pastry shop has a variety of tasty sweets, tee and coffee. Try some artisanal ice cream! It’s simply incredible!
2. ENJOY THE PANORAMIC VIEW OVER THE CITY FROM THE RASNOV CITADEL
The Rasnov Citadel is an impressive thirteenth-century fortress built on the top of a mountain at 200 meters above the town. It dominates Rasnov’s skyline, being a great example of a fort made to protect the community at times of invasion.
At the base of the hill, there is a funicular that takes you to the Citadel. For those who want to hike to the Citadel, there is a path on the right-hand side of the funicular. It’s quite an easy hike so don’t waste your money on the funicular, unless you really can’t walk.
Once at the top, follow the path to the entrance and ticket office. It is a self-guided walk through the outer wall and gates and into the inner courtyard area. You can let your mind go free and imagine how people lived when the Citadel was operational. It is a reasonably well-preserved site with some small souvenir shops and a beautiful panoramic view of Rasnov and the surrounding mountains.
Note: The Rasnov Citadel is going through renovation works throughout 2020 and 2021 so you can’t go inside, but a hike up to the fortress and a walk outside the walls is still a good idea.
3. HAVE FUN AT DINO PARK
The best place to spend an exciting day with your children is Dino Park, the largest dinosaur theme park in East Europe. Children and adults walk through a beautiful forest on a historical route where they encounter more than 100 dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals that lived on this territory. By encounter, I mean dinosaurs reproduced in original size, on a 1 to 1 scale. And they also meet Seismosaurus, the biggest dinosaur that ever lived on our planet.
The walk takes around one hour and can be entertaining for children and adults as well. You can spend more time in the park since there is also an entertaining area with cinemas, a playground for kids, a small volcano that simulates a small earthquake, a gift shop, a zip line and a museum.
4. DISCOVER THE VALEA CETATII CAVE
Not many tourists know about this hidden gem outside Rasnov. Only 1.5 kilometres away from the city, this cave is a small but interesting one.
Park your car near the road and walk 400 meters, about 20 minutes, on a marked path through an old forest. At the cave entry, buy your ticket for the 30 minutes guided tour. The entrance is permitted only with a guide, twice an hour, so you’ll have to wait until one is available. Although the tour is offered in the Romanian language, the guide will take the time to translate it to English and answer everyone’s questions.
The cave allows a short tourist route, clear and easy to access. Inside you will be amazed by the beautiful calcite formations and white arches. When you reach the Big Room, a 20 meters high and 2.500 square meters room, the guide will turn off the lights to experience absolute darkness.
5. VISIT the LIBEARTY BEAR SANCTUARY ZARNESTI, the largest brown bear sanctuary in the world
Libearty Bear Sanctuary is the largest brown bear sanctuary in the world. This sanctuary gathers a lot of bears saved from captivity from different zoos or private places all over Romania. Libearty Bear Sanctuary is home to 100 bears who roam freely on 70 hectares of oak and hazel forest.
The sanctuary is only open for visitors from Tuesday to Sunday and the guided tours are conducted both in Romanian and English. There are only two guided tours per day, and only 50 visitors per visit are allowed. Remember! The place is not a zoo: you can see the bears sometimes, other times you won’t.
On the guided tour, you’ll learn more about this place, who made everything possible and you’ll listen to unfortunate stories about those poor bears lives and why and how they ended up in this sanctuary. The sanctuary is also home to other abandoned or abused animals like wolves, donkeys or dogs.
The entry price ticket might seem expensive, but after realizing the price is a contribution to ease the pain of the bears, to provide food and medicine, you will consider it as an opportunity to help them. Those bears need donations so make additional contributions and purchase stuff from the small shop to help them.
RELATED: Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti: http://bearsanctuary.com/libearty-bear-sanctuary or https://millionsoffriends.org/en/libearty/visit-the-sanctuary
What else could you do in the area? Drive the Transfagarasan Road, one of the most amazing roads in the world. Or if you are more adventurous, go for a hike to the Roof of Romania, Moldoveanu Peak, in the Carpathians Mountains, only 130km from Rasnov City. Find out more on this article: Moldoveanu Peak, One Day Hike From Balea Lake!