A lovely day in a fairy tale city…..the medieval Citadel of Alba IuliaLots of friends told me to go to Alba, but I’ve been to Transylvania many times before…I’ve been to Sibiu, Brasov or Sighisoara, all of them fantastic cities. How could Alba Iulia be more beautiful than the others? Probably it’s a city with a few restored ruins, I was telling myself. “Go to Alba, Ana! It’s wow as you like it!” my good friend Julia told me.” And if you go, book your accommodation inside the Citadel to feel the atmosphere of old times!”. “Go visit Alba Iulia, Ana!”, my long time business partner Sebastian told me one day. I was there on business and it’s amazing!So I followed the recommendations of my trusted friends and we left Bucharest, Romania’s capital, to go to Transylvania’s medieval capital – Alba Carolina (or Alba Iulia Citadel). As soon as I entered the city, I started to smile and I couldn’t stop myself. It happened to me before when I visited Disneyland a few years ago. But now it was not the child’s smile, but an optimistic smile of hope…if Alba Iulia is looking like this, pretty soon most of Romania’s cities will look amazing … I’ve visited lots of old cities around the world, but Alba Iulia beats everything…Don’t believe me? Keep on reading!Let’s get back to my story, or better said to my “medieval soldier”. Why does he want to help us with the luggage? Oh, it’s the bellboy of the hotel located right in the fortress. Ok, lets’ go the reception to check in and meet a princess ??? All right, I was not expecting a vacation with medieval aroma but I love it. It feels like I’m on a movie set. Everything it’s decorated to preserve the old times flavor but within a confort of a 5* hotel. OK, I admit, my friends were right … Alba Iulia Citadel is different. And as we were very tired, we went to sleep, eagerly waiting for the next day to discover how different this city really is.
And we woke up in the morning with a dream view from our window … .Wow, the film was not over… We were still in the wonderful fortress … .A charming prince served us an excellent breakfast and then we headed to see the citadel, wandered around the gardens among other soldiers and statues.
We had a history lesson at Saxon Bastion..and found out that Alba Iulia fortress was built in three historical periods: Roman, Medieval and Habsburg. Wow, it’s really old!
And then we went to see the Changing of the Guard. Don’t miss it! It’s every day at 12 o’clock! You will see soldiers dressed in authentic uniforms, beautiful horses and a wow show !
Then we visited the Catholic and Orthodox cathedrals, one more beautiful than the other.
And at one point we met a small car that was making tours inside Walls area. Sounds exciting, so let’s go! Because we liked the tour so much we wanted to do it also by bike. And we got one with 4 seats, a la Flintstones family kind of bike to wander around the citadel! We took pictures with all possible statues, all very beautiful!At one point, we wanted to eat and looked for a restaurant . We chose Pub13 , a really medieval restaurant from decoration to menu! Go inside for a full experience, don’t sit on the terrace! Even on the plate mats you can read the history of this amazing place while waiting for food! I chose a bean soup in bread and a medieval salad and we returned back to the hotel!
But what a wonderful surprise … It was already night outside and it felt like we were in another place, as wonderful as the one admired during the day!If you have only one day to spend in Transylvania, choose Alba Iulia Citadel! It’s WOW! Hats off, Alba! I’m impressed!