Places to Visit in Romania

Monday, January 29, 2018

Romania is an Eastern Europe country able to fill a journey with everything you need. History and catchy stories, the Carpathians mountains, the Black Sea, the unique Danube Delta, and medieval cities are just some extraordinary places to visit in Romania.

The story of Romania started more than 2,000 years ago. This was Dacia’s territory. The Roman Empire, migratory peoples, Ottomans, the Austro-Hungarian Empire tried for centuries to conquer this rich region and left a mark on local culture and lifestyle. Romania was always a rich land, called “the granary of Europe” before the World War II.

Various relief forms and a temperate climate built a tradition in agriculture. For a traveler, this is a blessed region. The Carpathians offer endless landscapes, castles, and hiking paths. Summer or winter, autumn or spring, the mountains are a special destination. The Black Sea has here some of the most famous resorts, both for entertainment lovers and for peace and tranquility fans.

The Danube Delta is an oasis, unique in Europe, home for many species of birds and animals. You won't get bored here, there are plenty exquisite places to visit in Romania. Here is a short list.

Bucharest

Places to visit in Romania

The list of places to visit in Romania starts naturally with its capital, Bucharest. The largest city in the country, Bucharest is a cosmopolite city, with a mix of old and new architecture, the center of economy and business. Once called “the little Paris”, the city evolved into a metropolis and still attracts people from all over the country. Can be crowded and very hot during summers, but here you can find some of the best landmarks of Romania.

The Palace of Parliament is one of them. Built by the dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu in the 1980s, the Palace of Parliament is the heaviest building in the world and the second largest administrative one after the Pentagon building. Today, it hosts the Parliament of Romania, a conference center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Don't miss a glimpse to old architecture: the Royal Palace (today an art museum), the Arch of Triumph, Calea Victoriei (one of the oldest and most beautiful boulevards in the city), the George Enescu Museum, and many others. Bucharest is also a cultural hub and if you are a fan of classical music plan a trip during George Enescu Festival that takes place every two years. Is one of the most important music festivals in Europe.

For an overview of Romanian life and traditions, visit Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum, an outdoor museum where you can see traditional Romania houses brought from all over the country. Craft and musical festivals are taking place here every summer.

Bran Castle

Bran castle

Bran Castle was built by the Saxons of Transylvania in the XIVth century and functioned as customs of Transylvania. For centuries, the castle had an important military and commercial role. The excellent position, with a large view over the territories around it, made the Bran Castle desired by foreign kings and local princes. In 1920, the community offered the castle to Queen Maria of Romania, as a present, and it was transformed into a royal summer residence.

Today, Bran Castle is a museum. Its fame is more linked to the Dracula story written by Bram Stoker as it is to the real history of the castle. But just because an American author localized his story here doesn't mean that the castle has something to do with it. There is no connection between the castle and vampires. There is also no connection between the Romanian prince Vlad Țepeș and Dracula.

Visit the Bran Castle and learn about its true history. It is a breathtaking stone castle, with a splendid view, situated in a wooded region.

Peleș Castle

Peles Castle

In Sinaia, in the heart of the Carpathians, there is Peleș Castle, another royal residence. The Grand Orient Express stops here. Completed in 1883, the castle was a Romanian royal family residence until 1947. It has 160 rooms decorated with European art, Murano crystal chandeliers, and gifts received by royalties. A music room, a Turkish room, a Theater Hall, and the queen's boudoir make the attractions of the castle.

Brașov

If you like a trip in the mountains, you should choose Brașov from the list of places to visit in Romania. A modern ski resort, biking and trekking paths, climbing routes, medieval architecture, and a city full of life and adventure is what best describes Brașov. One of the most touristic cities in the country, Brașov offers so many diverse activities that it is hard to choose.

A strong Saxon Community gives the city a German air. Great Romanian food, local beer, and the finest Transylvanian wines will remember you where you are. Visit Piața Sfatului, the center of the city, where the Black Church will give you a glimpse at local Baroque architecture. Don't miss the White and the Black Towers remains of the old city fortifications.

Vama Veche

Vama Veche

For a perfect summer holiday, there is one special place on the list of places to visit in Romania. It is called Vama Veche (“The Old Customs”) and it is situated just 30 km away from the border with Bulgaria. Some time ago, this village was a seaside oasis for young and free people, folk music, tent holidays, and fish based food.

Today it is far more modern than that, but it still has that air of freedom. People are still sleeping in tents installed on the beach. They are still playing guitar in the night, enjoying life night and day. In Vama Veche, nobody sleeps was a real fact. Nowadays is just a myth because fancy hotels and guest houses appeared everywhere. Eat gobies and clams, drink local beer, enjoy the music and the spirit. Everybody is young in Vama Veche.

Romania is a surprising country. When you think you saw them all something new comes along. Romania has princes and royalties, but also a dictator and some fake vampires’ stories. It has many great places to visit, seaside and mountains, excellent wines and after all a good vibe.

Don't forget to check the postcards from my amazing journey through Romania!

Monica Radulescu a freelance writer for aSabbatical.com
Travelling is a joy. It's a way to become a better and wiser person. Mountain paths and road trips are my favourites.

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