The Best City To Visit In 2013 Is Sibiu, Romania

April 2, 2013 by Anil Polat  

best city 2013 winner

More than 64 cities, 5 weeks, and 10,000 votes later we finally have a winner, after an all-Romanian The Best City to Visit Travel Tournament Championship: Sibiu. Originally nominated by Adrian (who now has also won $300), Sibiu, the 60th seed in the tournament, came close to being eliminated in the early rounds by Shanghai and Barcelona. However this is a tournament of momentum, and Sibiu certainly had that from the Sweet 16 on as it rolled over Florence, Paris, Dublin, Buenos Aires, and eventually neighbor Bucharest. The Romanian capital fought hard against a determined Granada to reach the final, but being the best city in 2013 wasn’t to be.

The Path To The Final

best city 2013 travel tournament final bracket

kuala lumpur streets at nightNo Best City Tournament Is Predictable

At the end of each annual contest, it’s easy to look back and “see” how a city (e.g. Sibiu) won it all. Yet there’s never been a repeat winner in The Best City to Visit Travel Tournament and when the nominations come in every February, any city can win. Many of you emailed me asking what I thought about an all-Romanian final – I enjoy watching the contest unfold in unexpected ways and highlight cities many of us may not have known about before. The 2013 Best City Tournament is also sending me to a new city this year (a city I’ve visited before has never won) so I’ll see you possibly in June for the Theater Festival, Sibiu.

The Best City To Visit Travel Tournament 2015: Second Round

For those of you who want to get the latest news about the various contests I run throughout the year, sign up to my newsletter and you’ll be the first to know.

Thank You Everyone For The City Support

I want to thank all of you who nominated a city, voted, secretly-stalked-all-the-polls, shared the contest, and supported your favorite cities throughout March. You are what makes the contest so exciting and this blog worth writing. Congratulations again to both Romanian finalists, Bucharest and champion Sibiu on one hell of a race to the end. Sibiu now takes over the title of “Best City to Visit” from Sarajevo, until next year around this time…

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  1. Adrian says:

    Anil, thank you very much for the opportunity this tournament offered to both Romanian cities involved!
    Needless to say how much this kind of media exposure helps local tourism of both cities and, as a Romanian, I couldn’t be happier: the names of Sibiu (the city I recently fell in love with and decided to nominate in this tournament) and Bucharest (my hometown) are now on everyone’s lips.
    A big Thank You goes out to everyone who voted for our cities, to all fellow Romanian bloggers, journalists, VIPs etc who talked about this tournament and made this happen. Love you all!

  2. eliza says:

    Hello, I am so proud you chose Sibiu. I live here and I can tell you , you will fall in love with this town. First of all, the International Theater Festival is simply amazing ! I am not being subjective, you will see. Also I thank Adrian for choosing Sibiu.

  3. Great! We’ll meet in Sibiu then 🙂

  4. Alex says:

    Don’t forget to check Imperium Pub 🙂 !

  5. Aris says:

    You couldn’t have chosen a better time to visit Sibiu. The International Theater Festival is just amazing.
    How long do you intend to stay in Sibiu?
    Have a great visit and take care.

    Welcome to Romania – where the girls are wonderful and the beer is cheap! …. or was it the other way around… ?

  6. Teodora says:

    The picture doesn’t fit… You can see the gallery of Sibiu Tourism or

  7. Mary says:

    Sibiu is a very beautiful city!I’m sure u all will enjoy it!An great international event will take place around the 12th of july 2013 in Sibiu!It will be a great opportunity for everybody to visit during this period of time! P.S. Besides the wonders of the city,you’ll be amazed how hospitable people are! So,have fun!

  8. Paul says:

    What cities are the previous winners? And how long has this competition been going on?

    Romania is a beautiful country, and I was glad to see an All-Romanian final! Thanks for putting this on!

  9. Greetings from Sarajevo says:

    Nice to read about Sibiu’s success! It’s a fine little town.

    I suggest changing the headline photo. Removed from context (and even in context!) it’s gonna create a lot of controversy when/if it gets viral.. Facebook and stuff you know..

  10. Adrian says:

    Thank you. Have a great time visiting Sibiu!

  11. Nisha says:

    Oh I would have never guessed the winner! Congratulations to both .. the city and Adrian for winning the contest.
    I now must plan to visit this city.

  12. Ruxi says:

    I couldn’t help notice that there is no photo of Sibiu in this announce. You’ve got the title over a photo from anouther town. What about really puting one from Sibiu??
    Thank you:)

  13. Gloria says:

    What a great project, this “the best city to visit”! Thanks a lot for creating it. And I am so happy that Sibiu won. Apart from being an outstanding cultural city, Sibiu is the perfect landing hub for seeing other Transylvanian destinations. One recommendation: spend one or two sunmer nights at a B&B in Sibiel, about 10 km away from Sibiu. The peace there and the song of the crickets is soooo relaxing…

  14. Dude,
    change the picture is so misleading, remove Sibiu from that picture or state where is that from.
    I think that’s common sense whatever your opinion is.

  15. I have to say that I’m a little bit “surprised” of the result. My girlfriend is Romanian, and I lived there 1 year out of the last 2 and I visited most of it. Sibiu is a nice city it’s right, I hope my Romanian friends don’t misunderstand me, but it doesn’t deserve to be at the first place. It’s clear that rather than an objective result, the winner was chosen according to the ability to attract votes thorugh social media probably. A clear clue being also Bucharest at the semifinal.

  16. Interesting post – I went to Sibiu for 3 days and I liked it a lot, but not my absolute favourite. I know a lot of folk who’ve been there who quite frankly said they thought it was boring. I disagree. Then again in Romania, I do prefer Targu Mures and Brasov. Anyway, hopefully your post here will encourage more people to go to Romania, it’s a fantastic country full of surprises!

  17. Flaviu says:

    I see that you take in consideration coming in Sibiu in June when the great theater festival takes place. It’s a perfect time, but be careful and plan to book in advance everything (airplane ticks and booking) because in that period all is booked.

  18. Gloria says:

    What a great project, this “the best city to visit”! Thanks a lot for creating it, it helps both travellers and local tourism. And I am so happy that Sibiu won. Apart from being an outstanding cultural city, Sibiu is the perfect landing hub for seeing other Transylvanian destinations. One recommendation: spend one or two sunmer nights at a B&B in Sibiel, about 10 km away from Sibiu. The quite there and the song of the crickets is soooo relaxing…

  19. rscuciu ciprian says:

    tank you Adrian i’am pround whit my town

  20. Adrian says:

    And thank you for the prize, too, Anil! 🙂
    Looking forward to see you in Romania!

  21. Manuela says:

    Please change the picture, because the one you posted is not from Sibiu, and even from Romania. What is written there, on the house is not Romanian. I am from Sibiu, and I know my town!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Cristiana says:

    haha :)) sorry I posted that twice, I didn’t realize. you may delete it :)))

  23. Laura says:

    If you’re going to Sibiu you can visit not only Alba Iulia, as someone has written here but also Sighisoara and Medias. You won’t be sorry. They are beautiful, and not only them…

  24. ludovic says:

    i can’t understand how bucharest reached the final…i’ve been to sibiu a couple of times and it’s a decent city with good culture

  25. Adrian A. says:

    Hope you’ll enjoy Sibiu. Looking forward for your first impression. Maybe we will meet (since I’m spending most of my time here in Sibiu of course).

  26. cristiana says:

    If you visit Sibiu, you should also visit Alba Iulia. It’s a very beautiful, historical city only one hour away.

  27. Mary says:

    *a great 🙂