Train to Sibiu

Eurail Adventure: Sighisoara to Sibiu

Derek Romania 11 Comments

Train to Sibiu
Saying goodbye to the town of Sighisoara was not so easy. Despite barely surviving my wander around a graveyard on Halloween night, this is the kind of town that really appeals to me. It’s small, it’s peaceful, laid-back and as far as medieval, fortified towns are concerned, Sighisoara is as perfectly preserved (and renovated) as they come.

What more does a traveler need than a hilltop citadel, complete with Clock Tower, pastel colored homes and 500 year old cellars that produce award-winning local tuica (plum alcohol similar to palinka)?

But even with such an ideal setting, there are always new adventures ahead and so the traveler must pack up his or her bag eventually and move on. So that is what I did, with my next destination being the town of Sibiu.

And, opting to travel by train of course, I was quite happy to learn that this would actually be my shortest train ride so far, with only a mere two hours and twenty minutes needed to cover the 97 kilometer distance between Sighisoara and Sibiu. I know, I know, 140 minutes to cover 97 kilometers? As crazy as it may sound, that’s actually quite the norm for trains in Romania.

With that said, and despite the average speed barely exceeding 40 kilometers per hour (24 mph) on many routes, there are still some great benefits to train travel in this country. The main benefit is that there really aren’t many buses here and so quite often, the train is your only option. So if you want to get around Romania, use of the train system will most likely be required.

But hey, just because a train is slow doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy the experience.

Train to Sibiu, Transylvania

And when I boarded the train to Sibiu, I literally threw my hands up in celebration because this local train was not only spotless but it was almost completely empty as well, with only two other people, a mother and her baby, in the same car. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a somewhat social individual but due to the reasons that I talked about in my last post, I wasn’t feeling too social at this particular time. Hence the reason why I was so happy to have a train car practically to myself.

The train left Sighisoara right on time and as we chugged along, there I sat, staring out the window, listening to some music and occasionally making faces at the baby that kept looking at me from four rows away. And between the silly faces and watching the Transylvanian countryside pass by, a countryside full of medieval villages that often appear not to have changed for many a century, the two hours and twenty minutes disappeared almost too quickly.

It seemed that the journey ended only a few minutes after it began.

When we pulled into the Sibiu station, I took my time gathering my stuff and putting on my extra layers to face the cold outside. I then took a deep breath, slung my backpack onto my back, jumped down onto the platform and adjusted my winter hat. And then I wandered off into the city of Sibiu…

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Comments 11

  1. Alejandra

    Hey, I know this is a little dated.. but I’m going to Romania in a couple of weeks and trying to get everything sort of organized, since I don’t wanna run too many risks being a solo female traveler. I was wondering if you just show up to the station in Sighisoara and buy the ticket for the next available train to Sibiu? I can’t seem to find connections on the Romanian website :(. My plan is to roll into Sighisoara from Brasov in the morning, leave my backpack at the station, stroll around town and then head to Sibiu to spend the night as it’s cheaper, do you think that’s possible?? Thanks for your help!!

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  2. ayngelina

    I am constantly amazed at how fast the trains are. Here in Spain they are 300km/hour so you can get anywhere in a few hours. In some ways I am disappointed because I miss my 20 hour bus rides in South America.

    I can never just be happy!

    1. Earl

      Hey Ayngelina – Ha! I never experienced one that fast on my trip but I certainly have no complaints at all. It is funny though how we can miss those longer, painful journeys when things are suddenly working so efficiently!

  3. Phil

    There are actually quite a few buses/minibuses in Romania, and many people prefer them as they are normally cheaper and faster than the trains. The problem is that it can be hard to find out details, particularly if you´re visiting, because there are lots of different operators – Bucharest for example has several bus stations. It´s a shame because the tracks run all over the country. They just need a bit of money and attention, and the former is not in great supply at the moment.

    1. Earl

      Hey Phil – That’s interesting about the buses. I had heard about the minibuses but my local friends told me that they were usually more expensive than the trains and much less comfortable. But either way, the train system, despite its slowness, works well and does get you anywhere you may need, eventually! And it looked like they were working on switching out the tracks in many places so I think the trains will start to move faster quite soon….

    1. Earl

      Hey Jackie – I think the trains are quite good now. Apparently they have switched out most of the older trains for newer ones now so the days of super uncomfortable journeys just might be over in Romania!

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