The ASTRA Museum Complex in Sibiu

ASTRA Museum Complex, Sibiu, Romania

Although I’ve visited Sibiu numerous times in the past, I never actually got around to visiting the ASTRA Museum Complex’s Open Air section. Last year, while having a weekend girlfriend getaway, we finally managed to explore it and I was actually disappointed that I didn’t go sooner. The museum offers an insight to rural living across the entire country. It is a perfect destination if you want to see what else Sibiu has to offer besides the must-see tourist attractions and is ideal for a day outside for the entire family.

ASTRA Museum Complex, Sibiu, Romania

Once you enter the ASTRA Museum, you’ll instantly feel like you’ve been transported back in time. Small wooden houses will accompany your every step at the first part of the tour. I thought it was very interesting to see how different regions had totally distinct architectural styles. Maramures is famous for its wooden homes with wooden roofs, while the homes from the Western Carpathians boast tall straw roofs. Some homes in a particular area are famous for using the color blue for their homes.

ASTRA Museum Complex, Sibiu, Romania

ASTRA Museum Complex, Sibiu, RomaniaSome homes had mills attached to them. These houses are usually located next to rivers, where people masterfully harvested the power of the water to use it for their own benefit by grinding flour.ASTRA Museum Complex, Sibiu, Romania

Houses were not the only things put on display. Besides the traditional homesteads, a large number of churches, etnographic heritage objects and a myriad of tools and sheds can also be seen, which all helped the everydays of the rural folk in Romania.

ASTRA Museum Complex, Sibiu, Romania

My personal favorite was the section exhibiting life in the Danube Delta. Knowing that I was soon visiting the Danube Delta from a canoe, I was very excited to see this area, and we saved the best for last. Windmills are scattered along the lakeshore, offering a pretty picturesque view of the whole place. Once I saw it from the other side of the lake, I felt like we weren’t in Romania anymore.

ASTRA Museum Complex, Sibiu, Romania

ASTRA Museum Complex, Sibiu, Romania

The whole concept of the open air museum is fascinating. The homes are all arranged into sections, after region, but all the while it isn’t crowded at all. You can check out the homesteads if you want to, but it’s airy enough to just let you wander around, ride your bicycle or just sit back and enjoy the view (or a book) by the lakeshore.

ASTRA Museum Complex, Sibiu, Romania

At the end of the tour we sat down to admire the windmills one more time before we left. Numerous restaurants and cafes can be found in the ASTRA Museum, however, you are free to bring a picnic if you feel like it. The restaurants serve traditional dishes, so there’s no better time to try some polenta with sour cream or a delicious bean soup served in homemade bread!

ASTRA Museum Complex, Sibiu, Romania

The open-air museum is just one of the many museums of the ASTRA Complex. Throughout the year a huge variety of events are organized both in the outdoor museum (from folk gatherings and handicraft workshops to film festivals) and in the other parts of the complex, so don’t forget to consult their official website to plan your visit accordingly.

Practical Info of the ASTRA Museum Complex:

Address: Pădurea Dumbrava nr. 16-20, Sibiu, Romania

Entrance fee: 17 Ron (3.8 €) for adults / 3.5 Ron (0.7 €) students / 12 Ron/pers (2.7€) for groups

Opening times: 09:00-17:00

Official website

Have you ever been to such an open air museum? Where?

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ASTRA Museum Complex, Sibiu, Romania

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