White-washed castles with coral-colored tiles on all the rooftops, and home to a Prince’s summer home — How could you not love this place?
You might not think it, but Romania is the European country totally filled with what could be the most charming places around. Between the emerald countryside and towering mountains here you’ll find gems like the cute-as-can-be village of Viscri. Luckily for you, this place is easily reached if you’re an ILP volunteer.
Want to spend time making a difference and traveling around?
See what volunteering in an orphanage is all about.
ILP volunteers have weekends off and vacation days to get some serious exploring in, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore Romania. And luckily for you, Viscri is already on the way to a must-see vacation spot (Brasov), so here’s your guide to planning a trip to see both — you’ll want to stop off in the tiny village of Viscri if you want to peek into quiet churches and visit where the British royals vacation in the summer time.
- What You Have To See In Viscri
- Tips For Visiting
- Getting Here
What You Have To See In Viscri
The Oldest Church
The White Church in Viscri is supposedly the oldest in Transylvania and is totally stunning. It’s more like a castle than a church, with fortified walls and towers that the village would go inside of when the village was attacked. It’s been around since the 12th century or so, and is the main pull for coming to Viscri.
You can head inside the main chapel which is starkly beautiful (and still in use today, so be mindful of any services) but at the rear of the church you can climb up some stoney steps cut into the stone walls up to the bell tower and get a view of the red-tile roof’s the village below you.
Cost: 5 Lei
Hours: 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, then 3:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Stay In A Royal’s Summer Home
Prince Charles has a vacation home in Viscri, and you can even stay there overnight when he’s not in town. While we recommend Viscri as a day trip, it would be pretty rad to say you rented out the summer home of Prince Charles. It’s a little pricey starting at 90 Euros a night, but that’s not too terrible considering that where royalty stays when they are on vacation.
You can get pictures and more information here like how to book a bear-watching tour or to see what the meals are like: it’s old school hospitality here, with the chefs cooking from local ingredients to make Transylvanian dishes that you’ll eat all together, family style.
Step Back In History
This village is the definition of charming. It’s rural and quiet — you’ll find uneven stone streets with chickens strutting about, cow crossings, rambling green hills dotted with tiny farmhouses and homes complete with farmers who still get around in a horse and cart. You can even peek into smitheries and bakeries where bread is still baked in traditional ovens. Time kind of stands still here and we love it.
So much of the local charm is just walking around the small village, so don’t cut that out of your itinerary. There are also little settlements outside of Viscri tucked away in the hills that are even more remote than Viscri: the whole area just feels like a chapter of history right in front of you.
Tips For Visiting
How Long To Stay
It’s a short day trip, especially if you’re traveling there from Sighisoara and Brasov. In fact, Viscri is on the way between these two popular vacation spots so you can easily budget a day to stop in Viscri if you’ll be visiting both.
However, we think you’ll love the chance to stay overnight at the royal residence if you’d like to stay longer.
What To Expect
An old style Saxon village — it’s slightly tricky to get to thanks to it’s remote location, so you won’t see flocks of tourists. It helps to preserve its charm, so expect a picturesque village with quiet streets and souvenirs like hand-knitted socks or mittens sold on the street corners.
Take a train to the city of Rupea (which boasts its own impressive fortress) then take a taxi to the city of Viscri. It’s about a $4 train ride that takes two hours, then the taxi from Rupea to Viscri is about 20 minutes and you can bargain to get a fare to $10 to $13, split with whomever you’re traveling with.
You’ll want to visit Brasov the minute you read this post.
Best reached by a taxi. It’s about a 40 minute drive and shouldn’t cost more than $10 or $15 for a one way drive out there, which isn’t bad split with a couple others in your ILP group. You’ll want to make sure your taxi can hang out and wait for you for the day, or arrange a way to call a cab to take you back to Sighisoara, or to the train station in Rupea — you won’t be able to find one driving around the small village of Viscri.
A Little Suggestion
Brasov and Sighisoara are two cities totally worth seeing, so we suggest heading in to Brasov, then taking a day trip out to Viscri on your way over to Sighisoara. That way you get to see all three!
Romania's waiting for you
Charming villages, castles-galore, some of the best hiking in Europe, and more ancient churches than you can count. Volunteers with ILP are living in Romania to explore all of this while you spend time during the week helping out in an orphanage.