best time to visit transylvania

Transylvania landscape with wooden cottage on a hill in the mountains with lush green grass and cloudy skies.

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The Romanian region of Transylvania truly has something for everyone, particularly in regard to seasonal offerings! The question of the ‘best time to visit Transylvania’ is entirely dependent on your activities and personal interests. In this post we’ll break down the different seasons and what they have to offer, so brush up on your Romanian travel phrases and start packing.

what is the weather like in transylvania?

On the Transylvanian Plateau, west of the Carpathian Mountains, the climate is on average a little cooler than the rest of the country due to its altitude (average 400m above sea level). Winter gets very cold, and the summers tend to be a little cooler in Transylvania than elsewhere in Romania. There are still four distinct seasons in a year, each of which has plenty to do to enjoy the bounty of nature that Transylvania has to offer.


average temperature & precipitation by month

monthly averages (farenheit / customary)

MonthHighLowPrecipitation (in)
January37.326.60.5
February39.527.80.9
March50.334.91.3
April58.2421.4
May67.852.14.6
June7557.54.8
July8061.22.1
August80.860.53.2
September72.655.43.2
October59.544.91.7
November49.538.51.2
December38.3310.9

monthly averages (celsius / metric)

MonthHighLowPrecipitation (cm)
January2.9-31.3
February4.2-2.32.3
March10.21.63.3
April14.65.63.6
May19.911.211.7
June23.914.212.2
July26.716.25.3
August27.115.88.1
September22.6138.1
October15.37.24.3
November9.73.63
December3.5-0.62.3


transylvanian seasons

spring

Transylvania landscape with purple wildflowers covering the ground, mountains in the background.

Spring in Transylvania consists of the months March, April, and May. As is common elsewhere in the world, spring tends to be pretty wet, particularly May. Because of the different mountain ranges that traverse the region, some cities and towns will see days on end filled with rain. In 2020, the entire months of May and June saw rain in Sibiu and Cluj-Napoca.

Still, with the start of warmer weather and leaves appearing on trees, flower buds beginning to sprout, spring is a beautiful time to visit. If you’re willing to brave the rain, most Transylvanian cities are nothing short of stunning when vibrant colors begin to replace the gray dreariness of winter.

Spring is also a great time to visit the region to explore the many Transylvanian Castles!

Spring is the best time to visit Transylvania if you are hoping to avoid the crowds while still enjoying warmer weather.

holidays, observances, & events in spring transylvania

On National Holidays, expect things such as shops, banks, restaurants, etc., to be closed. On observances, most things operate normal business hours.

NameDateType of Event
MărțișorMarch 1 Observance of the start of spring. Exchanging red and white strings is common, the recipient of the string will enjoy a prosperous and healthy year.
International Women’s DayMarch 8Observance
Orthodox Easter VariesNational Holiday – Celebrated from Orthodox Good Friday to the following Monday
Junii Brasovului Parade 1st Sunday after EasterEvent – Annual parade in Brașov marking the start of a new cycle of life and regrowth and the beginning of spring. It’s also a celebration of the New Year of the Dacians, ancient Romanians.
EasterVariesObservance – while most things will be open, the Reformed Hungarian church observes this Easter, so Hungarian-owned businesses may be closed
Labor Day / May Day May 1National Holiday
Mother’s DayFirst Sunday in May Observance
Father’s DaySecond Sunday in May Observance
Monarchy DayMay 10Observance


summer

Sun setting behind the green hills of Transylvania with a small tree in the foreground.

During the summer months, June through August, many Transylvanians will escape the heat by vacationing to the mountains or to the Black Sea coast. While the climate is somewhat cooler in Transylvania due to its higher altitude, the city heat can still be stifling, particularly in larger cities such as Cluj-Napoca.

If you are renting an apartment, it may not have air conditioning, but a fan is usually sufficient. Most hotels will offer air conditioning.

There are no convenient ways to reach the Black Sea coast, though there are some overnight trains to Constanța, as well as an airport. Driving from Cluj-Napoca to Vama Veche takes us about 10-11 hours, depending on how often we stop.

If you opt to stay in Transylvania during the summer, there are plenty of things to do. Locals love going fishing, camping, swimming in local lakes, hiking the Transylvanian mountains, and taking road trips throughout the region. Romanians love to barbecue in the summer, so expect to be invited and try some traditional Romanian foods.

If you’re into big festivals and celebrations, summer will be the best time to visit Transylvania.

holidays, observances, & events in summer transylvania

NameDateType of Event
Children’s DayJune 1Observance
Orthodox PentecostVariesNational Holiday
Orthodox Pentecost MondayVariesNational Holiday
Flag DayJune 26Observance
St. Mary’s DayAugust 15National Holiday
TIFF (Transylvania International Film Festival)VariesMulti-Day Event, held annually in Sibiu and Cluj-Napoca.
UntoldVariesFestival – Electronic Music Festival held annually in Cluj-Napoca
Electric CastleVariesFestival – Internationally-recognized music festival held annually in Cluj-Napoca
Lavanda LolaVariesFestival – Annual lavender festival in Bonțida
Sighișoara Medieval FestivalVariesFestival – One of the biggest and most well-attended events in Sighișoara!
Full Moon FestivalVariesFestival – Held in Biertan, this is an interesting horror movie festival that takes place each summer.
Sus pe Muntele din JinaLate July Festival – in Jina (Sibiu county), the annual celebration of local folk and traditional culture complete with extravagant meal preparations, dancing, music, and local crafts.
Beer Craft FestivalEarly August Festival – Annual celebration of all things craft beer. The festival is held in the Astra Park in Sibiu, nestled in the Dumbrava Forest. Expect to also sample plenty of grilled meats for the occasion!
Transylvania Saxons Festival AugustThe Transylvanian Saxons Festival, aka Haferland Week, is when Saxons who lived in the region to come together for a reunion, for locals and tourists to learn more about the history and traditions of the Saxon community, and the opportunity to follow the festival through many Saxon villages in Transylvania.


fall

Transylvania landscape in autumn with colorful trees, rolling hills, and a few evergreens.

Fall is an excellent time of year to visit Transylvania, particularly if you plan on driving between towns and taking some photos en route! The mountains look absolutely magical painted in the varying shades of autumn.

Fall is the time of year when locals are busy preparing for winter, pickling, canning, preserving anything you can think of. Local villages often have celebrations to end the pastoral year.

Given the relatively spooky time of year, this is also when there are many Dracula-oriented events and festivals taking place in Sighișoara and Bran. Those who really love getting in to the Halloween spirit tend to think fall is the best time to visit Transylvania.

If nature photography, spooky vibes, and sweater weather spark your interest, fall is the best time to visit Transylvania.

HALLOWEEN PARTY AT BRAN CASTLE

holidays, observances, & events in fall transylvania

NameDateType of Event
HalloweenOctober 31Observance
St. Andrew’s DayNovember 30National Holiday – Honoring the country’s patron saint
Brașov Oktober Fest VariesFestival – Brașov’s take on the Munich classic celebration of beer
Gastronomic Transilvania VariesFestival – Annual food & culture festival taking place in Sibiu
Shepherd’s FestivalLate SeptemberAutumn in Transylvania is celebrated as the end of the pastoral year, when local shepherds come down from the mountains to return home with their flocks. In Tohanu Nou, a village in Brașov county, each year is celebrated with food, dancing, musical performances, and a local dairy market.
Cabbage FestivalEarly October The Cabbage Festival takes place each year during the first weekend in October in the Saxon village of Mosna, in Sibiu County. Come here to enjoy traditional cabbage recipes and a great representation of Romanian cuisine.


winter

Transylvanian town under a blanket of snow with large black spire in the foreground and a fortress on a hill in the background.

There are two key reasons as to why winter is the best time to visit Transylvania – snow sports and Christmas markets! There’s a magical quality to Transylvania that only appears after the first blanket of fresh snow. The gradual appearance of twinkling lights as residents begin to decorate for Christmas only adds to the ambiance.

Aside from the physical beauty of winter in Transylvania, most cities and towns have extravagant Christmas markets to visit throughout the month of December (and sometimes January!). The best Transylvanian Christmas markets are in Sibiu, Brașov, and Timișoara.

To photograph some epic winter scenery, take a day trip from Cluj Napoca and head to Mărișel – you can even enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through the snow in this quintessential Transylvanian village.

For snow sport enthusiasts, the surrounding mountains and cold winter weather make for an excellent location for skiing or snowboarding. There are plenty of ski resorts in Transylvania to choose from. Some of the most popular include Poiana, Straja, Bistrița, Predeal, and Balea Lac. Poiana is a popular (and easy!) day trip from Brașov.

Winter is the best time to visit Transylvania for holiday magic and snow sports.

holidays, observances, & events in winter transylvania

NameDateType of Event
National DayDecember 1 National Holiday – Celebrating the unification of Romanian provinces
Christmas EveDecember 24Observance
Christmas DayDecember 25National Holiday
Second Day of ChristmasDecember 26National Holiday – that’s right, you get two in Romania!
New Year’s EveDecember 31Observance
New Year’s DayJanuary 1National Holiday
Day After New Year’s Day Januaray 2National Holiday – yup, two days off for Christmas and two days off for New Year’s!
Unification DayJanuary 24National Holiday – Celebrating the unification of modern Romania
DragobeteFebruary 24Observance – the Romanian equivalent of Valentine’s Day

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9 thoughts on “best time to visit transylvania”

  1. That was a great post! I like how you gave each season a reason to be the best season to visit. I’m happy to see the temps in October, sad that I’ll miss the Hslloween parties.
    I hope we can all do Christmas Markets together.
    Great job Jade!

  2. Transylvania looks beautiful during all four seasons. I would love to visit in the fall for both the foliage as well as Halloween! It is definitely my goal to explore more of Eastern Europe moving forward. This is a great guide! 🙂

  3. Transylvania is surely breathtaking..thanks for sharing such an informative post .hope to visit someday

  4. When I visited Transylvania it was during the wintertime and I can confirm that the Christmas markets are the best! I visited the one in Brașov which was super fun.

  5. I would love to visit Transylvania! Spring look really nice for all the flowers but also fall for the Halloween and other frightening events. I hope to be able to come soon! Thank you for all the info 🙂

  6. this is such an incredibly helpful guide, i can only imagine how long it took you to get it all together!! i’d love to visit here sometime x

  7. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger.
    I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post.

    Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

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