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Romania is an ideal destination for adventurous tourists looking to explore a unique and highly diverse country. From the Danube River to capital Bucharest and medieval towns, Romania offers an array of experiences that will make your holiday one to remember. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what you need to know before planning your trip.
Best Time To Visit
The best time to visit Romania depends on your interests. For sightseeing, come anytime between April and October when the weather is fair and days are longer. If you’re looking for winter activities like skiing or snowboarding, then December through February is the best time to visit.
When it comes to must-see places in Romania, there are plenty of options. From attractions to historic buildings and a stunning countryside you have a lot of exploring to do.
Start with Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, where you can find a mix of old and new architecture along with vibrant nightlife. Bucharest is a vibrant city full of culture and history. From the iconic Arcul de Triumf to Revolution Square and the Old City, there are plenty of sights to explore.
The National Museum of Art of Romania is a great place to discover Romanian arts, while the villa where former head of state Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena lived in luxury from 1965 can be visited as well. For those who want to experience Bucharest’s nightlife, there are plenty of bars and clubs around the city. No matter what you’re looking for, Bucharest has something for pretty much everyone.
One you have completed touring the capital, head over to Transylvania. Nestled in the heart of Romania, Transylvania is a land steeped in history, myth, and natural beauty. A visit to this enchanting region will transport you back in time as you explore medieval castles, fortified churches, and charming villages that have remained largely unchanged for centuries. One of the most iconic attractions in Transylvania is Bran Castle, commonly known as Dracula’s Castle. While its connection to the infamous vampire is tenuous at best, this imposing fortress still captivates visitors with its dramatic architecture and stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
In addition to its rich cultural heritage, Transylvania offers an abundance of outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. The Carpathian Mountains provide a picturesque backdrop for hiking, mountain biking, and wildlife spotting, with opportunities to see bears, wolves, and lynx in their natural habitat. For a more leisurely experience, take a stroll through the vibrant, well-preserved city of Sibiu, which boasts colorful baroque buildings, cobblestone streets, and lively squares.
Brasov is another remarkable city to visit not only for the ski resorts but also for the beautiful square and lively nightlife. Don’t forget about the Danube Delta – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – where you can spot some incredible wildlife like pelicans and wild horses.
Constanța, Romania’s oldest continuously inhabited city and the largest port on the Black Sea, offers a unique blend of ancient history, vibrant culture, and sun-soaked beach life. The beach life in Constanța is famous and it is the most sought after beach resort for Romanians. It is very busy though. Make sure to book early.
A holiday in Constanța is also an opportunity to explore its rich past through archaeological sites such as the ancient Greek colony of Histria or the well-preserved Roman mosaics at the Museum of National History and Archaeology. The city’s architectural gems, including the iconic Casino building and the stunning St. Peter & Paul Orthodox Cathedral, provide a fascinating glimpse into its diverse heritage.
As you wander through the bustling Old Town, indulge in the local cuisine at one of the many charming restaurants or cafes. When it’s time to unwind, head to the nearby seaside resort of Mamaia, where pristine sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters await. With its lively beach clubs, water sports, and family-friendly attractions, Mamaia provides the perfect setting for a memorable holiday on the shores of the captivating Black Sea.
Accommodation in Romania ranges from budget-friendly hostels to luxury hotels. In cities like Bucharest, there are plenty of Airbnb options available too if you prefer more privacy during your stay. If you’re looking for something unique, consider staying at a rural guesthouse or traditional homestay in Transylvania or Maramures for an authentic experience.
Food & Nightlife
Romanian cuisine is hearty and flavorful with dishes like sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls) and mămăligă (cornmeal porridge). You can also find plenty of international restaurants in major cities like Bucharest if you want something different from local fare. As far as nightlife goes, there are plenty of bars and clubs in Bucharest that stay open until late at night – perfect for those who want to experience the city’s vibrant nightlife scene!
Top 5 Dining Experiences in Romania
- Caru’ cu Bere, Bucharest: A visit to Romania’s capital city is incomplete without dining at the legendary Caru’ cu Bere. Established in 1879, this historic beer hall and restaurant is renowned for its stunning neo-gothic architecture, lively atmosphere, and authentic Romanian cuisine. Indulge in traditional dishes such as sarmale, mici, and ciorba, all while enjoying live folk music and dance performances.
- The Artist, Bucharest: For a contemporary take on Romanian gastronomy, head to The Artist, a fine-dining establishment that creatively combines local ingredients with modern culinary techniques. Helmed by acclaimed Chef Paul Oppenkamp, the restaurant offers a seasonal tasting menu that showcases the best of Romania’s flavors in innovative, beautifully presented dishes.
- Casa Terra, Brasov: Nestled in the picturesque city of Brasov, Casa Terra is a charming restaurant housed in a beautifully restored 15th-century building. With a focus on farm-to-table dining, the menu features an array of delicious, locally sourced dishes, including wild mushroom risotto, grilled trout, and slow-cooked pork shoulder. The cozy, rustic atmosphere makes it the perfect spot for a romantic dinner or a leisurely meal with friends.
- Klausen Burger, Cluj-Napoca: Located in the vibrant city of Cluj-Napoca, Klausen Burger offers a unique dining experience for burger lovers. This popular eatery serves up a variety of mouthwatering gourmet burgers, each inspired by different regions of Romania. Pair your burger with a cold craft beer from their extensive selection, and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere and quirky décor that pays homage to the city’s history.
- Sibiu Culinary Tour, Sibiu: To truly immerse yourself in Romania’s diverse culinary landscape, embark on a guided food tour in the enchanting city of Sibiu. The Sibiu Culinary Tour takes you on a gastronomic journey through the city’s historic streets, stopping at local markets, artisanal shops, and family-owned eateries. Sample traditional dishes, regional specialties, and delectable street food while learning about the history and culture of this charming Transylvanian destination.
Public Transport & Local Customs
Public transport in Romania includes buses, trams, trolleybuses, taxis, and trains – all relatively affordable options depending on where you’re going. When it comes to local customs, be aware that Romanians tend to be quite formal in their interactions so dress appropriately when visiting churches or other religious sites out of respect for local culture. Additionally, tipping is not expected but appreciated if service was good!
If you want an unusual travel experience while visiting Romania, consider exploring some lesser-known spots off the beaten path. Head over to Turda Salt Mine near Cluj Napoca – an old salt mine turned amusement park complete with mini golf courses and ferris wheels inside its chambers! Or take a day trip from Bucharest out into the countryside where you can find traditional villages full of friendly locals who will welcome you with open arms.