A city of citadels and cathedrals, Alba Iulia’s rich past and culture are preserved within ancient fortified walls and grand monuments. Art, gourmet dining and theatre shows weave through modern life in the city.
Things to do in Alba Iulia
The star-shaped Alba Carolina Citadel boasts museums, monuments, churches and historic structures within its ancient walls. Between marvelling at architectural treasures, such as Coronation Cathedral, stop for espresso and pastries at one of the small cafes. You can also watch the daily changing of the guard ceremony with uniformed guards on horseback trotting to drum rolls and brass instruments.
At National Union Museum, you can learn about the historic 1918 union between Romania and Transylvania while also enjoying exhibitions featuring regional traditions and art. Visit the Uprising Memorial for commanding hilltop views while honouring the peasant uprising in the late-1700s. For a rewarding view of Alba Iulia’s hills and woodlands, cycle or hike the forested five-kilometre Mamut Hill trail.
St Michael’s Cathedral, built in 1291, is home to royal tombs, including one for Queen Isabella. Roam the halls to see Gothic carvings and pipe organs, then slip into the small Laszai Chapel filled with coats of arms and bas-reliefs depicting classical mythology.
Even drinking holes carry a medieval theme, including Pub 13, which rests within the citadel wall. You can down grog and tuck into hearty fare surrounded by genuine relics and suits of armour.
Getting around Alba Iulia
Sibiu International Airport lies about 73 kilometres away, where you can rent a car or take a shuttle. The city is pedestrian and bike friendly and buses run between the train station, citadel and major attractions.