The medieval city of Sibiu in the Transylvania region of Romania has been a centre for culture for hundreds of years and was even named by Forbes in 2008 as Europe's 8th most idyllic place to live. With its vibrant coffee culture, characterful German feel and multiple yearly arts festivals, it's easy to see why.
Sibiu (or Hermannstadt in German) was first colonised by the Saxons in the 12th century. In the 1600's, it became the capital of Transylvania back when the principality was part of the Habsburg Empire. These days, Sibiu's fascinating history can be seen in the medieval walls surrounding the city, and it is a point of pride for locals. Be sure to include an afternoon at the Brukenthal National Museum, the oldest museum in the country, in your Sibiu trip itinerary.
The city of Sibiu hosts several important annual festivals that draw thousands of visitors to this part of Romania. These festivals include the Sibiu International Theatre Festival, a ten-day event that takes place at the end of May, and the Astra Film Festival. During this October festival, performers and spectators from all over the world come to watch documentary films and from up-and-coming filmmakers.
If you visit Sibiu in August, you just might catch the Medieval Festival, which celebrates the medieval history and culture of the Transylvanian region. And the Sibiu Jazz Festival, the oldest of its kind in the country, takes over the city in mid-May.
With the Sibiu International Airport located just three kilometres west of the city, Sibiu is very easily reached from the UK and multiple other European countries including Spain and Germany.