|Monthly Pass (local transport)||$30.85|
|Chicken breasts at the market||$3.08|
|Water bottle (0.33 liter)||$0.62|
|1 Pair of men leather shoes||$53.99|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) outside of centre||$370.19|
|Loaf of white bread||$0.62|
|Milk (1 liter)||$1.00|
Bistrita, situated at the Bargau Mountains’ foot in the proximity of the Borgo Pass that connects the Transylvania and Bucovina regions, is one of Romania’s most ancient towns. The town gets its name from “bystrica’, the origin of the naming of Bistrita River that literally translates to “serene river” in Slavic. The town today is a preferred tourist destination for its charming relaxed medieval atmosphere, thanks to the remains of a 13th century fortress and residences of merchants dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries. With the airport at Targu Mures barely 55 miles distant, there are quite a few cheap flights to Bistrita.
Coopers’ Tower is the sole surviving tower of the 18 that were part of the defence mechanism of the three-level medieval fortress erected between 1465 and 1575. Some remains of the once-grand fortress walls can also be seen. The Galeria de Mastisi Papusi, a gallery in the tower, has a charming collection of masks and puppets used for recounting folk tales. The 13th century Orthodox Church has some superb examples of stone carvings that display early Gothic style architecture; the interiors sport Baroque-style décor and a few murals from the 14th century. The Saxon Evangelical Church, which took hundred years to make from the 1470's, features a 246 feet-high steeple that makes it the tallest Romanian stone tower. The interiors house treasures such as 23 flags of various crafts guilds, renaissance-style pews and a five-century old organ. Opposite the Church is the Sugalete row of merchants’ houses dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries; the 13 houses are connected with each other with 20 archways. There are a number of art galleries here. The Silversmith’s House sports impressive facades with beautiful Renaissance-style stone carvings; contained within are the town’s schools for Fine Arts, Folk Dance and Music. The County Museum has an interesting collection of art, weaponry, tools and implements, jewellery, pottery and other ancient artefacts. Stay back for a few days in one of the hotels in Bistrita to truly appreciate the regional heritage. If you are a history buff, consider booking any of the cheap flights to Bistrita for your next holiday.