London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
Last couple of summers we were lucky enough to spend 5 weeks in Brasov with kids. The city got quite sophisticated in the last 10 years since I visited properly: gourmet and sophisticated restaurants in Brasov and around and many children friendly; well maintained charming German looking centre town with cobbled streets and colourful houses; beautiful mountains with so many treks to be explored; medieval fortresses and towers and century old churches, many playgrounds and mostly well maintained. My childhood hometown so I am biased, but Brasov is delightful. So here our top things to do in Brasov with kids or without: from fun day trips to restaurants, cultural gems, active mornings or chilled evenings.
The Black Church is the most associated image with Brasov, a great starting point for exploring and a cultural highlight for our eldest. It must be the history of fire (1689) that excited his imagination or may be the Gothic architecture that delighted his eye since he was 3 years old.
We are talking regularly about it as well as Turnul Alb and Turnul Negru.
The main square and various strolls around Poarta Ecaterina, Schei and Parcul Central Nicolae Titulescu filled many fun days of playing and sightseeing.
Surrounding mountains are no less than 5 (Bucegi, Piatra Craiului, Postăvaru, Ciucaș, Piatra Mare), so one should not really miss out of the top things to do in Brasov, some hiking rails. With young kids or simply easy treks we recommend Tampa and Curvy Road Trail (Serpentinelor) that takes less than an hour or simply the cable car ride. To quote the young explorers and our grannies: ‘Greu pe munte’/ Difficult trekking & climbing. Luckily around we found lots of pebbles, flowers, sticks and other distractions. Another option from Poiana Brasov is Postavaru (1799m) and for young the little trek from the Cable car to the top would do. Our 3 years old young explorer was less enthusiastic about the scenery in the summer and rather overwhelmed by the hike; luckily the next year and ski season was way better.
For nature lovers and active souls, Parc Aventura is a wonderful option just by Noua lake and park. It could be a full adventurous day out and we found that even our almost 4 years old fell in love with the aerial treks and tricks. Sadly we found it terribly popular August 2018 and impossible to get in on 3 consecutive days.
Poiana Brasov is always stunning and fun and summer adventures have to include trampoline, playgrounds and running around.
Horseriding just before Poiana Brasov with Spiritul Cailor is a delightful option both summers and winters.
Yaz is a great low key chilled day by the water – wakeboarding, SUP and kayaking or simply lieing on big pillows, soaking in some great views and an aperol – Harman based (20min drive from Brasov city centre and delightful.
There are some good food options but one is also close by Fish 4 Life – further 7 minutes drive for a proper fish feast. But by far our kids favourite spot has been Dinoparc, Rasnov. Natural History Museum in London is cool, but Rasnov is at a different level. Outdoors, in a beautiful forest and on a top of a hill. A short trip with a little train, also very exciting. There’s also a chilled coffee place & restaurant serving good wine and salads with chill out music and beautiful views over the forest – much appreciated after a fast paced, intense and fun day in here.
The restaurants we are fond of in Brasov, no particular order:
Kasho lounge, next to the playground in Livada. Good pizzas, salads, soups, aperols & frapucinnos. Next to the playground, so you could keep an eye on the kids playing and next to beautiful trees.
Trattoria Dei Frati, Piata Enescu. If Piata Sfatului/ Cetral square feels touristy, this little mews is nice, airy even when there’s over 30 C degrees. Good salads, pasta, lemonade.
Trattorian Artisan Food. Next door to Dei Fratti, great pizza and bites, nice terrace and funky inside.
Bistro del Arte. Same little mews, French cuisine. Amazing duck and good aperols.
Bistro Ma Cocotte. Playing area next to the terrace.
Le Sommelier for a great selection of sophisticated fine Romanian wines on lovely pedestrian cobbled street Diaconu Coresi.
Recommended hotel? We tested in February 2021 Belvedere for 1 night: stunning views over Schei and the old city, generous suite, good cuisine but perhaps slightly overcomplicated. Wine, service, hotel and swimming pool very nice though!
We liked less in terms of activities – Paradisul Acvatic. The big swimming pool felt very busy and grounds very crowded. Especially for myself with the 2 little monkeys, felt very outnumbered. The slides and the inside bits not quite appropriate as well for a 3 years old. So not quite the paradise claimed or advertised.
The restaurants we really liked nearby Brasov, in order of proximity:
Dambu Morii. Swimming pool, playground and soft play area. River and green lovely grounds as well.
Sura Dacilor, Poiana Brasov. Rustic and lovely as many years ago.
Coliba Haiducilor, Poiana Brasov. An institution when it comes to traditional Romanian food and kind personnel.
Fish for life has next door a working farm: geese and ducks, goats, sheep and chicken that our boys loved feedings. Next door there are 2 trampolines, swings and a pond – our kids have been so mesmerized for few hours. The food is great – best tarama salad; trout baked in maize, fish soup.
Zabola Estate: a gorgeous piece of royal Transylvania: our friends raved about its wine, ghosts and bears; we loved its authenticity, Sunday long lunch and stroll around its frozen lake.
For more about Brasov fresh powder and skiing – check out our article on Romania ski holidays and 7 reasons to go for it . For more on Romania travel check our post on Road trip Romania : 10 days itinerary. Looking forward to going back and exploring further this summer!
Covid 19 adjustments and considerations: In the brave new world of 2021, Romania dropped 14 days mandatory quaranteeining for vaccinated travellers (with 2 doses) as well as ‘lucky’ travellers with positive COVID 19 tests more than 14 days and less than 90 days since the confirmation of the test results. We were in second ‘lucky’ cathegory in February 2021 and family circumstances required us spending 3 weeks in Romania, both Bucharest and Brasov. We found life close to normal and Police re-assuringly enforcing the masks everywhere in the public spaces, outside included. We made it safely to restaurants, theatre, skiing, hairdressers and even the spa! The cases have been under control for the last 6 months and Romania somehow managed to find a balanced and reasonable approach to keeping the economy open safely, with vaccins overall on track and rights and freedom relatively unscathed.