The town was first mentioned in a letter written in 1420 by King Sigismund of Luxembourg. He advised the Ghimbavians to join their forces together with the people living in neighboring villages (Sânpetru, Hărman, Bod) and contribute to the construction of the stone fortress of Braşov.
The Ottomans invaded Ghimbav in 1422. In 1469 a major fire damaged the town. In 1611 the Hungarian prince Gabriel Báthory set fire to several villages in Burzenland (Ţara Bârsei); Ghimbav was one of them.
The local church and the bell tower were built around 1300. In the 15th century a fortress was built around the church. It was hit by lightning in 1642 and suffered major damages. In 1666 the city hall was moved inside the fortress as well as several other houses. These houses were demolished in 1940. The defensive walls were ruined in the 20th century.
IAR, a Romanian builder of helicopters and small planes, is located in Ghimbav. Among other aircraft, it builds the Eurocopter/IAR Puma military transport helicopter.