Looking to go on a day trip from Brasov, Romania? Just a short ride out of the historic city is the perfect place for anyone who simultaneously wants to get a taste of the Romanian countryside and wants to support some adorable animals — the Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti!
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One of the most unique sanctuaries in the world, the Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti is nestled in the Romanian countryside just outside of the historic city of Brasov.
And holy moly, it has become one of my favorite places in the world.
I mean, hello! Who can say no to adorable, rescued brown bears, amirite?
Even cooler, this place doesn’t just have rescued Romanian bears, it also has rescued wolves and rescued deer!
OMG. Could this place get any better?
(In case you were wondering, that’s a no. 😉)
Table of Contents
- 1 VISITING THE LIBEARTY BEAR SANCTUARY IN ZARNESTI
- 1.1 The Libearty Bear Sanctuary Experience
- 1.2 Cool Facts About the Libearty Bear Sanctuary
- 1.3 How to Get to the Bear Sanctuary from Brasov
- 1.4 Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti FAQs
VISITING THE LIBEARTY BEAR SANCTUARY IN ZARNESTI
The Libearty Bear Sanctuary Experience
To be completely honest with you… I totally cried and laughed while visiting the Libearty Bear Sanctuary.
This place hits you right in the feels, as the kids these days would say!
Hearing all about the hellish lives these bears lived before they were rescued and taken to the sanctuary is both infuriating and heartbreaking.
For example, while on the Libearty Bear Sanctuary tour, we learned about one bear — Max — who has a story that’ll make any grown man cry.
Captured in the wild as a mere cub and kept in a cage all his life to entertain tourists, he was blinded as a young bear to keep him from reacting to the flashes of cameras (OMG — I’m going to cry typing this!).
Even more harrowing, he also had his canines ripped out and his claws cut off, mandating him to a life of being crippled.
But, fortunately, after a life filled with torture and pain, Max found a slice of happiness at the Libearty Bear Sanctuary until November 2018, when the 22 year old bear passed away with his bear friends and family around him!
Although, it’s not only Max who found a safe home at Libearty. All of the 116 bears that have been rescued have found refuge here, escaping their abusive nightmare lives.
And you can totally see it in their adorable little faces when visiting! The happiness they radiate is bright as the sun — they’ve found their forever home.
Let’s not forget about the other rescues this sanctuary took in! Not only have the incredible people who make this place possible changed the lives of hundreds of Romanian brown bears, they’ve also rescued wolves and spotted deer.
If you’re looking for a unique experience while in Romania, don’t miss out on visiting the Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Zarnesti. It’s the perfect day trip from Brasov!
Cool Facts About the Libearty Bear Sanctuary
It was so freakin’ cool to visit this place but it was even cooler to find out that this is the largest brown bear sanctuary in the world!
The Zarnesti bear sanctuary has rescued 116 bears and currently is home to 100 bears.
And throughout the entire sanctuary they have 70 hectares of oak forest and pools where they can climb trees, splash around, and play with friends. Talk about heaven on earth for these awesome bears!
How to Get to the Bear Sanctuary from Brasov
The easiest way to visit this sanctuary — which is located in Zarnesti, a small Romanian village — is going on a day trip from Brasov, which is located just 45 minutes away!
When Dan and I visited, we ended up hiring a private driver for the day and it was SO worth it! Our driver was awesome and took us to Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle), a historic Romanian village museum, and an incredible viewpoint in addition to the Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti.
If you’re not wanting to hire a private driver, here are your options on how to get to the Libearty Bear Sanctuary:
1. Rent a Car
This is probably the easiest and most affordable option, as you can rent a car for as little as $35/day!
Plus, if you decide to go with this option, you can venture out even further and discover more of what the countryside around Brasov has to offer.
2. Grab an Uber
Uber is extremely cheap in Romania and grabbing a ride from the center of Brasov to the Zarnesti bear sanctuary shouldn’t be more than $30 USD one-way.
Just make sure to keep your driver around once you arrive! As there’s no guarantee there will be another Uber around after the tour is over.
I frequently do this with Uber drivers if I’m taking one to an out of the way destination. I’ll just ask them to stick around for a little bit more than what I’d pay for the way back! Easy peasy.
(Psst, you can also do this with just a regular taxi! But it’s typically cheaper to go with Uber.)
3. Public Transportation
If you want to have a go at public transportation, you have the option to grab a bus from Brasov to Rașnov and then a taxi once you’re in Rașnov.
If you want to learn more about this option, check out this post.
4. Go on a Day Tour
Okay, okay, so I said renting a car was the easiest option but that was a lie! Heading out on a day tour to the Libearty Bear Sanctuary with a designated tour guide is most definitely the easiest option, as you don’t have to plan a thing!
Check out this Brasov day trip, which includes visiting the Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Zarnesti and Bran Castle!
Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti FAQs
How much does the sanctuary tour cost?
The sanctuary tour price can cost anywhere from 50 RON to 75 RON for adults ($12 USD to $18 USD), depending on the season and weekday.
It’s cheaper to go in the fall and winter, as well as between Tuesday and Friday.
Here’s a few screenshots of the prices and opening times:
Is there an age restriction?
Yes! Children under 5 aren’t allowed in the sanctuary for safety reasons — for both the tourists and bears. Additionally, making sure children a bit older helps to keep the tours running smoothly.
Are there any extra fees you should know about?
You bet — since this is a sanctuary and they need all the extra funds they can get (for good reason!), there’s a 50 RON fee to bring any type of photo camera in.
Can you buy tickets ahead of time?
Sure! Buying tickets ahead of time guarantees your entrance, as during popular times tickets can sometimes sell out.
Is there a limit on the number of tourists?
Yes! To keep things sane and not overwhelming for the bears, each tour is limited to a max of 50 people — which is why you should buy your tickets early if your visiting during popular times.
No doubt, doing a day trip to the Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti from Brasov was a highlight of our time in Romania. Seeing these rescued bears and hearing their stories just opens your eyes to the horrors animals undergo every day.
It’s up to us to make a difference — which is why I also put together a huge list of unethical animal encounters you should never participate in if you love animals! Definitely check that blog post out next.
So, are you considering doing a day trip to the Libearty Bear Sanctuary? Or just like hearing about these types of attractions? Let me know in the comments!
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