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7 Inspiring Places to Visit in Romania

Romania is home to beautiful nature, fascinating medieval history and a rich wildlife unlike anywhere else in Europe. You might have heard about Dracula’s Castle being in Romania but the country has plenty of other attractions worth visiting.

So Why visit Romania? Because of the wonderful Black Seas beaches, the UNESCO Danube Delta reserve, the amazing Carpathian Mountains and the charming cities and castles. And thanks to the country’s home-grown food, medieval architecture and friendly locals, you will have a good time on your holiday.

So here are some of the best places you can visit in this lesser known tourist destination.

1. Bucharest, an eclectic city

Bucharest is the capital city and obviously the best place to start. It has an eclectic spirit coming from an exciting mix of past and modern styles due to historical events, multi-cultural architecture and lively nightlife. Many interesting tourist areas too.

The first ‘must see’ location is the Palace of Parliament, the second-largest administrative building in the world. The majestic marble construction also has impressive crystals and candelabras, and the outside of steel and basalt will impress you—a standard touring ticket costs about $13.

Plenty of museums are worth visiting, such as the National Museum of Art, the National Museum of the Village “Dimitrie Gusti” and the Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History. Among the top travelers’ choices is the Ceaușescu Mansion, a luxurious palace of the most known Romanian President in history, Nicolae Ceaușescu.

If you want to be one with nature, the Herăstrau Park is the largest in Bucharest and the most prominent European park built within a city. And for nightlife just head over to the Old Town area any day of the week – you’ll be amazed!

2. Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania’s unofficial capital

Considered the city of high-tech and student life, Cluj-Napoca is the unofficial capital of Transylvania. It also has a nickname, the treasure city, given by the historical wealth of 16th-century residents. Curiously, Cluj-Napoca remained wealthy up to this day as it’s considered the most expensive city in Romania.

The city is the perfect place if you want a city break. Besides visiting the beautiful parks of Simion Bărnuțiu and the botanical garden of Alexandru Borza, restaurants in Cluj will exceed your expectations, from five-star Japanese restaurants to the finest international cuisines. As the city embraces everyone and everything, there are options for vegetarians, vegans and even gluten-free foods.

The average cost of an exclusive dinner go up to $90 for 2 people and 3 courses, but you can also have lunch at a nice place for $7. On the other hand, accommodation at exquisite hotels can get around $75, but you’ll get free breakfast, free parking and also workout rooms.

One of the best things to do in Cluj is go on day trips to explore the region of Transylvania and popular sights such as Turda Salt Mine or the UNESCO Sighisoara Citadel. Or maybe you’d like to go hiking in the Carpathian Mountains?

I hope by now you see how Romania has many interesting places to visit that showcase the rich history of the country. The contrast between medieval and modern towns with communist architecture in the background is impressive.

3. The bohemian Sibiu

Sibiu is another medieval city with even more impressive views than Brasov and is popular for its iconic medieval houses with eyes spying your every move! It’s one of the best-preserved fortified cities in Romania making Sibiu a favorite for its impressive historical center and squares combining Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

Besides the beautiful buildings and large squares filled with cafes and restaurants, the museums in Sibiu will amaze you, such as the Astra Museum, the largest European open-air museum with traditional architecture and exhibitions, as well as more than 400 wood buildings that show you the way of living back in the day.

The Brukenthal Museum has various art exhibitions and since the owner of the building was the richest man in Transylvania in the 19th century. He was also a freemason and if you’re interested in that you can visit his house to find out more about their meetings.

Close to Sibiu is one of the cutest castles in the country called Valley of Fairies built entirely from clay, stone and straws. The tiny houses are perfect for a night or two in the Porumbacu de Sus village but even if you’re not planning to spend the night you can still visit the site.

4. The Medieval Sighișoara Citadel

Sighișoara Citadel is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known as an open-air medieval museum. Only two hours away from Sibiu or Brasov by car, you can visit either city and the citadel in one day for a complete Romanian experience.

The town was built almost 700 years ago and its well preserved atmosphere will take you back in time when Transylvanian Saxons who built it, alongside Romanians and Hungarians, defended these lands against foreign invaders.

When here you must visit the Historical Center, the Clock Tower and the History Museum. For a thrilling experience, go to the Dracula Investigation art gallery, where you can learn more about Transylvanian history in shadow rooms, multimedia projections and art installations. Given that Sighișoara is the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, you’ll discover plenty about his life, conquers and history.

5. Enjoy the Black Sea in Mamaia

Mamaia is the country’s most popular resort on the Romanian Black Sea shore. It’s one of the places where you’ll have the most fun, as the resort is filled with restaurants, clubs and beach bars tourists enjoy during Summer. Mamaia is the perfect place if you want to enjoy the Romanian way of having fun by the sea, with luxurious drinks and good music.

But if you want some sightseeing head over to the adjacent city of Constanta, the largest here. You must visit the famous art nouveau casino which is the coast’s landmark. Mosques, cathedrals and other religious sites can also be found around the city. The Tomis harbor is excellent for a stroll on a sunny day, which makes Constanța the best vacation location.

6. The spectacular Danube Delta

The Danube Delta is Europe’s largest and most well-preserved delta, located only two hours away from Constanța by car or four hours from Bucharest. The Danube Delta is a great place if you love fishing or wildlife-viewing since it holds one of the most varied biodiversity in Europe.

 The White and Dalmatian pelicans are the landmark of this region. But you can also notice eagles, harriers, herons, ducks and much more roaming around the waters.

Strolling around the Danube Delta can be pretty pricey, but it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. An essential tour on a boat cruise can cost around $140, but you can safely see the mainland covered by oak and wild lianas. The tour lasts around 4 hours, and you’re provided with drinks and snacks to keep you full while enjoying the scenery. Of course, in case of bad weather, the boats have closed salons with bathrooms from where you can still see the surroundings.

7. Charming Brasov

Brașov is 3 hours away from Bucharest and is surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains which is why the city has one of the most beautiful mountain resorts adjacent to the city with impressive skiing and ice-skating facilities.

However, Brașov’s Old Town is the real hotspot in the city. The Black Church is an essential landmark and is known as the largest European Gothic church. At the same time, the oldest church in town, Saint Nicholas, has interesting baroque architecture and nearby is the first Romanian school, now a museum. And an photo on Rope Street, the narrowest in Europe, will be a hit on your Instagram!

But one of the most popular things to do in the city is to go on a day trip to Bran Castle, known as Dracula’s Castle. The legend of this place is linked to a Romanian medieval ruler, Vlad the Impaler, whose popularity spread because of the cruel punishments he inflicted on criminals and his opponents. He was the inspiration for Bran Stoker’s Dracula!

The magnificent castle is 30 minutes away from Brasov by car and tickets for visiting the castle start from $10.

The best time to visit Romania is during April – October. And the affordable prices and friendly locals will make you want to return many times!

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