Alba Iulia is a very important city for the Romanian people: it is the city where the Great Union happened. In Alba Iulia, it was signed, on the 1st of December, 1918, the document that was unifying Transylvania and Romania.
Its citadel is one of the biggest in southeastern Europe. The citadel dates back in XVIII century. It was built by the Habsburg Empire in order to consolidate its authority and to protect themselves from the Ottoman Empire.
I have always wanted to visit Alba Iulia but I’ve never had the chance to do so… until this February! Being in Sibiu for 3 days, I decided to visit Alba Iulia. It was a very cold day and the wind was blowing making the temperatures even more dramatic. The good part was the empty citadel and the beautiful shots taken (with my hands almost frozen).
Even if the citadel is really amazing, the city was way below expectations: while I was getting off the bus, I had the impression that I was in the wrong city. Near bus/train station there were some abandoned buildings giving the impression that you have arrived in a very poor city, also the sidewalks were deteriorated, the bus stop is located in front of the train station but it does not have a specific station, so on and so forth.
Well, a bit disappointed, we got on the bus and spoke with the driver:
I was shocked because the kindness and the courtesy of the people from Transylvania are famous (and real!) and this guy was so unpleasant!
After the first impressions and interaction with local people, all I wanted was to come back to my beautiful Sibiu. I was thinking that at least the bus route will reveal some interesting views and I was looking forward to changing my first impression. Well, I was not paying attention to the stops so we missed ours and we waited for the city center stop but as we did not see it, we got off the bus …. at the train station! Then, just tired of everything, we walked by foot 25 minutes until the first gate of the citadel. The Citadel is beautiful and one day should be enough for visiting it.
How to get there (from Sibiu)
If you are traveling from Sibiu to Alba Iulia, the best option is the bus. There are regular courses to Alba Iulia and the duration is 1h and a half. Depending on the bus` company, the price varies from 18 RON– Transmixt to 23 RON – Fany. The conditions are similar.
How to move in Alba Iulia
From the bus station/train station, you can get to the citadel by foot (approximately 25 minutes) or by bus (15 minutes). The bus stop is some minutes away from the citadel. You can take the bus 103 until P-ta Alessandria (the closest stop to the citadel) The cost is 2,5 RON/one way.
The gates are really amazing, with lots of ornaments and statues.