221km (137 miles) NW of Bucharest

Medieval Sighisoara is the only inhabited citadel of its kind in Europe; remarkably preserved, it's earned its place on UNESCO's World Heritage list. Of course, there's also plenty of hype around the fact that Vlad Tepes (aka Count Dracula) was born here, but that's not the reason to make this excursion. Built in the 15th century, this hilltop fortress town is a gorgeous, tiny jumble of cobbled streets lined with medieval houses and towers jutting menacingly from the battlements -- compact, yet with myriad ancient nooks and crannies, this is a wonderful place to explore, and easily better than the more popular Bran Castle.