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15 Top Tourist Attractions in Romania

By Mike Kaplan · Last updated on April 15, 2024

If you think Romania is just about vampires lurking in dark castles, just waiting to pounce on unsuspecting tourists, think again. Transylvanian vampires loom large, of course, but Romania is so much more than Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula and his Brukenthal Palace. Romania does have its share of medieval castles, but it also has pretty alpine scenery hat offers skiing in winter and hiking in summer. It’s got quaint villages and painted churches that are awesome. Just as awesome are the millions of birds that can be found in the Danube Delta where the river empties into the Black Sea. An overview of the top tourist attractions in Romania:

15. Wooden Churches of Maramures

Wooden Churches of Maramures

When foreign rulers of Maramures refused to let the people build long-lasting stone churches, they turned to wood instead. They built about 300 wood churches over a 200-year period; only about 100 of these churches remain in use today. These Gothic structures are mostly Orthodox but there are a few Greek Catholic churches. The churches, usually with tall, slim bell towers, reflect an advanced degree of carpentry. They are both simple and elegant at the same time. Hand painted murals decorate the inside of many churches.

14. Vaser Valley Forestry Railway

Vaser Valley Forestry Railway

Take a trip back in time as you ride through the forests of the Carpathian Mountains on a steam-powered train. Running along the Vaser River, the Vaser Valley Forestry Railway has been in operation since 1932 when it was used to haul logs from the forest to the mill. Today, it also hauls tourists who like the romance of old, narrow gauge trains traveling through pretty, tree-filled landscapes. The ride stops at Paltin where you have two hours to enjoy the scenery and a picnic lunch.

13. Danube Delta

Danube Delta

If you’re a nature lover, indulge yourself at the Danube Delta, the largest preserved river delta in Europe; the largest part is in Romania. Be sure to bring binoculars with you, as this is a paradise for watching wildlife, especially birds. Birds flock here from as far away as Egypt and China to breed or winter over. The willow-lined canals offer a great environment for the 300 bird species found here. You’ll also find wildlife such as wildcats, wolves and the occasional boar.

12. Poiana Brasov

Poiana Brasov

When you get tired of seeking out vampires, consider Poiana Brasov for a change of pace. It’s the most popular ski resort in Romania that also draws skiers from all over Europe. Located in the Carpathian Mountains, the ski resort has seven slopes that offer a combined 25 km (15 miles) of skiing. The resort also hosts competitive alpine skiing and figure skating events. After a day on the slopes, warm yourself up with a traditional mulled wine or try some tuică, a plum based pepper-spiced drink.

11. Corvin Castle

Corvin Castle

Corvin Castle is an imposing medieval, Gothic structure, considered the most impressive medieval castle in Romania. It also is known as Hunyad Castle after the high-ranking official who built it. Corvin Castle is a fairytale castle that is accessed by a wooden bridge that bears a statue of St. John of Nepomuk, the patron saint of bridges. A raven wearing a gold ring is a symbol of the 15th century castle. See, too, the bear pit and the dungeon where people were tortured.

10. Sucevita Monastery

Sucevita Monastery

The Sucevita Monastery is architecturally unique, no doubt about that. Somehow the blend of the Gothic and Byzantine styles, plus Moldavia’s painted churches comes together in a spectacular building. The front is cylindrical, topped with a conical roof while the back is rectangular and topped with a small tower. Inside, you’ll find painted murals from the early 1600s and tomb covers embroidered with silver thread. The monastery, located in northeast Romania, is considered one of the most important painted churches in Moldavia.

9. Salina Turda

Salina Turda

If you feel like you’re working in a salt mine at home, then you should feel comfortable at Salina Turda. The salt mine, which dates as far back as the 17th century, was used for everything from a cheese storage center to a bomb shelter in WWII after excavations stopped in 1932. Today, it has been transformed into an incredible sci-fi theme park. Located in Ciuj County, Salina Turda has been called one of the coolest underground places in the world. When you visit, you’ll head down about 120 meters (400 feet) before reaching the submerged wonderland. Once inside, you’ll find an amphitheater, a bowling alley, an underground lake with prow boats, and even a Ferris wheel.

8. Transylvanian Alps

Transylvanian Alps

The Transylvanian Alps, also known as the Southern Carpathians, aren’t as high as the Rockies or the Himalayas, usually under 2,000 meters in elevation. The exception is Mount Moldoveanu, at 2,544 meters (8,346 feet), the highest point in Romania. The rugged mountains, dotted with sheep-filled meadows with wildflowers, offer some pretty good hiking in the summer and skiing in the winter. Couch potatoes can visit a mist-shrouded Gothic castle instead as they hunt for legendary vampires on their own turf.

7. Biertan Fortified Church

Biertan Fortified Church

Biertan Fortified Church stands head and shoulders above the other buildings in Biertan, It was originally a Catholic church built when the region belonged to Hungary. It became a Lutheran church after the Reformation. Rather than build a fortress to defend against Ottoman invaders, townspeople fortified the church. Built in Late Gothic style, it is one of the largest fortified churches in Romania. The church is noted for its towers, including one used to store food during sieges and another to imprison husbands who wanted a divorce.

6. Piata Mare

Piata Mare

Surrounded by medieval buildings, the Plata Mare, or Big Square as it’s known in English, is a must-see sight in the Transylvanian city of Sibiu. The square had its beginning as a cereal market in the early 15th century. A few decades later, the Tailors’ Guild building went up. It was followed by houses, a Jesuit church and Brukenthal Palace. Big Square was a place for public gatherings, including festivals and beheadings. It was place to see troublemakers as they were displayed in the “lunatic’s cage.”

5. Merry Cemetery

Merry Cemetery

Merry Cemetery in the town of Sapanta isn’t your ordinary run-of-the-mill cemetery. It’s more like a folk art gallery, with colorful tombstones, crosses and statuary celebrating the lives of the deceased. This colorful tradition began with a 14-year-old boy who began carving crosses in 1908. He added poems and painted a portrait of the deceased on the cross; sometimes he even painted how they died. And thus a tradition was born. The background on everything is deep blue, with other colors symbolizing life, death and fertility.

4. Peles Castle

Peles Castle

Peles Castle doesn’t have a history of sieges and warfare but it does have something other European castles don’t: spectacular beauty, sitting as it does on a Carpathian hillside. This Neo-Renaissance castle was built by King Carol I who vacationed here in the 1860s. Fairytale-like in appearance, it’s considered one of the most stunning castles in Europe. A 4,000-piece weapons collection reflects the king’s military interests, while a movie room decorated with frescoes reflects the queen’s artistic interests. The first movie shown in Romania aired here.

3. Palace of Parliament

Palace of Parliament

In a country where medieval buildings abound, there’s nothing medieval about the Palace of Parliament in the capital Bucharest . It is a thoroughly modern complex that is considered the largest administrative building in the world. It took 20,000 workers, working around the clock, 13 years to build it. It is an architectural wonder involving 700 architects and design specialists. The palace is a popular tourist attraction with foreigners, but not so much with the locals since it was built by Romania’s hated leader, Nicolae Ceaușescu.

2. Sighisoara Historic Center

Sighisoara Historic Center

If you have preconceived notions of what medieval life was like, Sighisoara Historic Center will certainly fulfill them. Old Town Sighisoara is definitely medieval at its finest. Found by 12th century Transylvanian Saxons, Sighisoara is a great example of a fortified medieval town. It has the traditional narrow streets flanked by colorful stone buildings. It is the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Sighisoara celebrates its medievalness every July with a festival that includes rock bands.

1. Bran Castle

Bran Castle

Bran Castle is often associated with Dracula as his home, though there’s no indication that author Bram Stoker even knew of this medieval castle. The castle, a Romanian landmark, has a fairy tale quality, peeking out from forested a hillside near Brasov in Transylvania. With roots dating to the 13th century, this medieval castle today is a museum showcasing art and furniture collected by Queen Maria. It also is home to an open-air museum featuring Romanian peasant buildings from around the country.

Map of Tourist Attractions in Romania

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Reader interactions.

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June 14, 2019 at 6:49 am

Unlike historic monuments, the Danube valley to the south west of Romania is just stunning. With rugged valleys cris crossed by the beautiful Danube river , it’s a revival for the soul.

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October 7, 2018 at 10:47 pm

You should defenitely visit tirgu mures in the centre of Romania,it has the palace of culture,the medieval fortress and many beautiful places.

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February 5, 2018 at 3:07 pm

We invite you to visit The Other Capital of Romania ! Alba Iulia represents the charming mirror in which all the ethnic groups of Transylvania can discover their vigor or their traditions. The heart of Alba Iulia is Alba Carolina Citadel. Alba Carolina, the most representative bastion fortress in Romania and Southeast Europe, built upon the initiative of Emperor Charles the VIth of Habsburg.

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21 Beautiful Places in Romania

By Caitlin Morton

Image may contain Walkway Path Sidewalk Pavement Flagstone Roof and Cobblestone

This small, medieval town in Transylvania has a UNESCO-protected historic center and charming streets lined with colorful houses. But beware: It's also the the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, and is considered one of the world's most haunted cities .

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Lacul Roșu (Red Lake)

Located in the Eastern Carpathians, Lacul Roșu doesn't exactly look reddish in color, but you'll be too busy admiring the stunning mountain views and evergreen trees reflecting in the waters to care about semantics.

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Bran Castle

Located in Romania's Carpathian Mountains on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia, this national landmark is also known as "Dracula's Castle" , due to its similarity to the fortress described in Bram Stoker's novel.

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The Transfăgărășan

With extra-long S-shaped curves weaving through the southern Carpathians, it's no wonder the Transfăgărășan is regarded as one of the most thrilling highways in the world.

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Salina Turda

Not all beauty is found above ground, as proven by Salina Turda, a unique theme park that happens to be found in one of the world's oldest salt mines. Visitors head about 400 feet below earth's surface to find a bowling alley, a lake with paddle boats, a mini golf course, and even a Ferris wheel.

Image may contain Grass Plant Tree Outdoors Nature Fir and Abies

Sarmizegetusa Regia

This archeological site is Romania's version of Stonehenge , the remains of ancient Dacia's capital during the first centuries B.C. and A.D. The city was built under the rule of King Decebalus, then was conquered by the Romans at the beginning of the second century A.D. (along with the rest of the Dacian kingdom).

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Statue of King Decebalus

Speaking of King Decebalus, you can find a 131-foot-tall stone rendering of his face along the Romanian side of the Danube . Although it looks like the stuff of ancient myths, it was actually created between 1994 and 2004.

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Culture Palace, Târgu Mureș

Built between 1911 and 1913 at the request of Târgu Mureş's then-mayor György Bernády, the Culture Palace features Art Nouveau architecture, bronze busts of composers, and intricate stained glass . The building has served many purposes over the years, from housing the county library to serving as a school of fine arts.

Image may contain Nature Outdoors Mountain Ice Snow Glacier and Mountain Range

This glacial lake situated 6,673 feet high in central Romania's Făgăraș Mountains is known for its two chalets (open year-round) and accessibility via the Transfăgărășan road.

Image may contain Nature Ice Outdoors Snow Animal Wildlife Bear and Mammal

The Hotel of Ice

One more thing Bâlea Lake is known for: the Hotel of Ice. Built in 2005 and then rebuilt every year using water from the lake, the frozen hotel has an ice restaurant and bar, rooms and igloos with fur blankets, and an adjacent ice church where couples can get married and children can get baptized.

Image may contain Plant Tree Fir Abies Cliff Outdoors Nature and Conifer

Ceahlău Massif

The 6,257-foot-high Ceahlău Massif is one of the most renowned mountains of Romania, featuring beautiful views of the Eastern Carpathians and an incredible concentration of wildlife and plant species.

You'd probably expect a Romanian cemetery to be pretty scary but these skyblue graves with handcarved painted crosses...

Cimitirul Vesel (Merry Cemetery), Săpânţa

You'd probably expect a Romanian cemetery to be pretty scary, but these sky-blue graves with hand-carved, painted crosses are anything but gloomy.

Image may contain Outdoors Nature Land Water Vegetation Plant Tree Grove Woodland Forest Bog Marsh and Swamp

Danube Delta

Formed by the meeting of the Danube and the Black Sea, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to wetland marshes, beautiful beaches, and over 300 species of birds.

Image may contain Castle Architecture Building Steeple Spire Tower Fort and Moat

Corvin Castle

This 15th-century Gothic fortress has enough nightmarish features to rival Bran Castle—think impenetrable walls and a drawbridge on the outside, and a massive dungeon and torture chamber on the inside.

Image may contain Human Person Outdoors Nature Building Shelter Countryside Rural Architecture Corridor and Canopy

Timișoara is the third most populated city in Romania (after Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca), attracting people with its public squares, swanky hotels, and frequent musical and cultural festivals.

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Casino Constanta

Opened as a casino overlooking the Black Sea in 1910, this Art Nouveau masterpiece was used briefly as a hospital during WWII before becoming one of Romania's most beautiful abandoned spots .

Image may contain Water Nature Outdoors River Waterfall Land Vegetation and Plant

Cheile Nerei-Beușnița National Park

Declared a natural protected area in 2000, this 142-square-mile park in southwest Romania is known for its waterfalls and dazzling blue lakes.

Image may contain River Water Outdoors Nature and Dam

Vidraru Dam

Built in 1966 on the bank of the Argeş River, this massive, arched dam created Lake Vidraru (a body of water over six miles long) and has a pretty epic statue of Prometheus erected nearby.

Image may contain Flooring Architecture Building Housing Mansion House Palace Floor Indoors Room and Ballroom

Palace of Parliament, Bucharest

With more than 300 ornately decorated rooms, the Palace of Parliament is the second-largest administrative building in the world (after the Pentagon).

Image may contain Building Tower Architecture Spire and Steeple

Visiting Braşov is like stepping back in time, with medieval clock towers and Gothic churches (like the famous Black Church) defining its skyline.

Sibiu Romania

Sibiu's history dates back to the 12th century, when Saxon settlers made Transylvania their home. The Germanic architecture in the city's old town serves as a reminder of its origins (shown here illuminated by Christmas lights).

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Home » Travel Guides » Romania » 15 Best Places to Visit in Romania

15 Best Places to Visit in Romania

Located in central Europe, Romania is most easily known for its famed Transylvania region.  Second to that are the wonderfully preserved medieval spots like Sighisoara and fortresses like Bran Castles – which is usually associated with Dracula legend.  In just a few hours you can go from the Danube River to the capital city of Bucharest, and then on to the Black Sea. Romania is surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains which attract tourists looking for excellent climbing, trekking, skiing adventures. Romania can be described simply:  natural beauty and a wealth of folk culture. Spend time exploring its architectural gems, vibrant art scene, and pristine landscapes and you’ll see why.

Lets explore the best places to visit in Romania :

1. Bucharest

Bucharest

Romania’s capital and commercial centre has a great energy and the locals know how to have fun. Without doubt, Bucharest’s most iconic landmark is the communist-era Palatul Parlamentului government building.  With 1,100 rooms and its massive blue-print, it’s the second largest building on the planet.

Enjoy everything from the nightlife in the Lipscani district to the 15th-century Curtea Veche palace where Vlad the Impaler once ruled. Must-sees include the Romanian Athenaeum and Cismigiu Garden.

The city is a combination of modern capitalism and remnants of the communist era, but tucked away in surprising pockets are graceful villas, 17th century churches, lovely parks, and trendy cafes.

Brasov

Located in Transylvania and ringed by the Carpathian Mountains, Brasov is one of the most visited tourist locations in Romania. Home to the towering Black Church with its 4,000 pipe organ (13th century), it’s definitely worth your time.  It combines city life and old world charm with stunning landscapes and rich history.

You’ll want to see Piata Sfatului (Council Square) and the Casa Sfatului (local museum).  But the real reason to visit is Bran Castle – otherwise known as Dracula’s Castle.

There’s a ton of myth to sort through, but Bran the setting of Bram Stokers Dracula and is now a museum open to tourists. You’ll love strolling through Brasov’s maze of streets, boho cafes, and real life gingerbread houses.

Sibiu

A couple hours north of Bucharest is Sibiu , situated on the Cibin River in Transylvania. Considered a cultural gem, the baroque squares and quaint cobblestone streets have a unique appeal.

Voted the European Capital of Culture in 2007, Sibiu created the countries first library, pharmacy, and hospital. There’s a large handful of “must visit places,” but the top of the list includes the Brukenthal National Museum, the Gothic church with 6,002 pipes and a dizzying church tower you can climb, the tomb of Prince Mihnea the Bad, who was murdered in front of the church, and the ASTRA National Museum Complex.

Sibiu has more festivals than any other city in Romania – not to mention plenty of theatre, opera, and exhibitions.

4. Sighisoara

Sighisoara

Step back in time in Sighisoara , a 12th century Transylvania-Saxon town; perhaps the best preserved medieval town in all of Europe.

This UNESCO World Heritage site is a completely intact gem dating from the 16th century.  With nine towers, burgher houses, cobbled streets, and stunning churches, it’s drenched in ambiance and atmosphere.

There’s more to discover about the Dracula legend here – it’s the birthplace of Vlad Dracula, a.k.a. Vlad the Impaler.  Vlad ruled during the 15th century and is Bram Stokers inspiration for the fictional Count Dracula. Visitors can stop by his home as well as the Church on the hill, the Dominican Monastery, and the Venetian House.

Sulina

If you’re looking for a sleepy fishing port to put your feet up for a bit, then Sulina, and its tranquil beach, is just the place.

The town is Romania’s easternmost point and possibly the loveliest stopping point on any Danube journey. Most tourists use Sulina as their home base for deeper explorations into the delta and along the Black Sea.

Explore the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, visit Argamum and Enisala, medieval fortresses, and discover Saon and Celic Dere, two orthodox monasteries. No matter what, you’ll be amazed at the diversity of wildlife and the beauty of this tiny town.

Deva

The standout attraction in Deva is Citadel Hill, a nature reserve being protected because of the rare floral species found there as well as the horned adder. Built in the 13th century, the ruins of the citadel remain on top of the hill – which you can climb or reach by cable car.

For those on their way to Corvin Castle, it’s a perfect overnight stay. You can enjoy the Arts Theatre, Patria Cinema, and the Old Centre.  Some trivia for you: Deva is the gymnastics capital of Romania (remember Nadia Comaneci?)

7. Baile Herculane

Baile Herculane

Archaeological digs confirm that humans have inhabited the area of modern day Baile Herculane since the Palaeolithic period. You can visit Pestera Hotilor (The Cave of Thieves) to see proof for yourself.

The town is now famous for its luxurious thermal springs.  Legend holds that Hercules himself once stopped here to bathe and rest.  The city is so fond of its famous visitor that no less than six statues of him have been discovered here.

Since WWII, people have come for the healing properties of the hot springs.  Baile Herculane is a funny mix of senior citizens enjoying their retirement and the university crowd, looking for a great holiday.

8. Cluj-Napoca

Cluj-Napoca

The unofficial capital of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca is a vibrant university town. It boasts an energetic nightlight as well as historical landmarks dating back to Saxon rule.

Everyone will tell you, this is a town that’s big on charm.  It serves as the film capital of Romania and each May the Transylvania International Film Festival is held here.

Visit Piata Unirii, a Gothic-style church, the baroque-era Bánffy Palace, now home to a Romanian art museum, and a dramatic statue of King Matthais Corvinus (15th century). Cluj often serves as a launching point for trips to the Apuseni Maramures mountain ranges.

Suceava

Suceava is considered the gateway into all things cultural, historical, and natural in the Bucovina region.  It’s also home to the Painted Monasteries.

Once the capital of Moldavia, the city has some incredible landmarks, including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Saint George’s Church, the Buconvina Ethnographic Museum, and the Princely Court.

At first glance, this is a pretty unassuming town. However, it makes a perfect base camp for visiting the many fortresses in the area. Plus, it’s a great place to return to every night as the food here is phenomenal and the laid-back nightlife enjoyable.

10. Timisoara

Timisoara

Timisoara is the main social and cultural centre in western Romania. It’s a popular destination among urbanites who love its diversity. Often called Primul Oras Liber (First Free Town), the first anti- Ceausescu protests broke out here and ultimately led to the demise of Ceausescu and his wife in 1989.

City planning dates back to the 13th century and over the years the Romans, Turks, and Serbs, and Austrians have laid claim to the place.

With such a unique history, Timisoara’s public squares, gorgeous parks, neighbourhoods, and beautiful gardens have incredible cultural influences. The city’s second nickname is “Little Vienna,” because of the year-round music festivals, theatre, art exhibitions, and museums.

11. Vama Veche

Vama Veche

Near the border of Bulgaria and sitting right on the coast of the Black Sea is Vama Veche.  This city knows what its word is, and that word is: Party! (Exclamation point required!).

All summer long you’ll find enticing beach-front bars, restaurants, and clubs with non-stop 24/7 service. Thousands of people flock here at the end of the work week to let loose on the beach. Grand opening weekend is always May 1st weekend and the season closes with the Stuff Stock Music Festival at the end of August.

Swim in the Black Sea, fall in love with the Boho free spirit attitude, and soak up as much sun as you want.

12. Maramures

Maramures

Travel to Maramures, a mountain region in northern Romania in order to relax and take a long deep breath of fresh air.  The region is famous for its wooden churches, most of which are several hundred years old.

The place to be in Maramures is Baia Mare, the capital. For over 2,000 years, people have been mining for silver, gold, and other metals in this traditional Romanian town.

Much of its medieval past has been preserved in the main square, Piata Libertatii. Baia Mare is the best place to get a taste of traditional Romanian life. While there visit Piata Izvoarelor, the open air food market, and Butcher’s Tower.

13. Hunedoara

Hunedoara

Ask any Romanian and they’ll tell you that, hands down, the best castle in the country is Corvin Castle, found in Hunedoara.  Located in Transylvania in the Poiana Rusca Mountains, the city is a mix of Romanians, Hungarians, and Germans.

Lush trees flank the streets making it an idyllic setting as you make your way to the castle. Also known as Hunyadi Castle, it’s one of the largest in Europe and for those that love visiting European castles, this one is always at the top of the lists.

Don’t let the castle blind you, there is plenty to see and do in Hunedoara.  Cinci Lake is nearby, as are Nandru Cave, the Furnace of Govajdia, and St. Nicholas Church.  Many tourists also use the city as a staging point for trips into the Poiana Rusca Mountains.

Peles Castle, Romania

Sinaia is named for Mount Sinai and high above the town, you can see a cross on the mountain, placed there by a nobleman in 1965 who later went on to found Sinaia monastery there.

This mountain resort has a number of things to attract the average tourist, not the least of which is Peles Castle; dating from 1883, it’s an extraordinary site and home of Romania’s first king. It’s filled with hidden passages to tease the imagination.

Sinaia is situated in a small valley filled with marvellous fir-trees.  It’s a quaint town that fills with hikers each summer and skiers each winter.  Set against the breath-taking crags of the Bucegi Mountains, many tourists come just for the dramatic day hikes.

Salina Turda

Ranked as one of the top 22 spectacular tourist destinations, Salina Turda is a salt mine in Durgau-Valea Sarata that’s been open to tourists since 1992.

Roughly two million tourists find their way there each year to see the eclectic coloured Hapsburg facades of the village. Visit the Turda Gorge and the eerie, yet still awesome, salt mine. Strangely, there are some 1000 varieties of plant and animal species in this small area, some of which are quiet rare or endangered.

Just an hour outside of Cluj-Napoca, it makes a great day excursion.

15 Best Places to Visit in Romania:

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  • Cluj-Napoca

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updated 04.01.2023

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It’s not possible to see everything Romania has to offer in one trip – and we don’t suggest you try. What follows, in no particular order, is a selective and subjective taste of the best things to do in Romania: outstanding architecture, natural wonders, spectacular hikes and unforgettable festivals.

1. Take a tour of Peleş Castle in Sinaia

2. immerse yourself in romanian capital life in bucharest, 3. floating down the danube delta - one of the exciting things to do in romania, 4. lounge in the sunshine on the black sea coast, 5. take a sightseeing tour of romanian fortified churches, 6. enjoy the architectural monuments created by constantin brâncuşi, 7. go skiing in poiana braşov, 8. stay at sibiu, 9. take a walk in bucovina hills, 10. visit braşov, 11. take a train ride in vişeu de sus, 12. go bear-watching, 13. attend the measurement of the milk festival, 14. walk around the merry cemetery in săpânţa, 15. try a rural retreat in the local villages, 16. appreciate the cultural heritage of wooden churches of maramureş, 17. discover the beauty of timişoara, 18. try sheep’s cheese, 19. explore the street of sighişoara, 20. hiking the făgăraş mountain - one of the breathtaking things to do in romania, 21. immerse yourself in the mysterious legends of dracula, 22. visit painted monasteries, 23. listen to folk and romani music, 24. explore the vast surroundings of the carpathian range, 25. climb towers of corvin castle, 26. see the chambers of turda salt mine, 27. have a taste of traditional romanian food, 28. marvel at the one-of-a-kind mud volcanoes in buzau county, 29. visit the national museum of natural history in bucharest.

The information in this article is inspired by The Rough Guide to Romania , your essential guide for visiting Romania .

Travel ideas for Romania, created by local experts

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Once a refuge for Ceauşescu and visiting dignitaries, Peleş remains the country’s most opulent palace. Set in a large English style park, the castle outwardly resembles a Bavarian Schloss and visiting it is one of the best things to do in Romania.

Built in 1875–83 for Carol I, and largely decorated by his eccentric wife Elisabeta (better known as the popular novelist Carmen Sylva), it contains 160 rooms. These rooms are richly done out in ebony, mother of pearl, walnut and leather – all totally alien to traditional styles of Romanian art.

Visit Romania's most beautiful castle, Peleș Castle, and learn about its amazing history. Explore the beautiful grounds and admire the Carpathian Mountains, sitting high just behind the castle on the Castle Tour with An Expert Guide .

Where to stay in Sinaia:

  • Best for location: Forest Apartments features mountain views, free WiFi and free private parking, set in Sinaia, less than 1 km from Stirbey Castle.
  • Best for spa: Hotel Sinaia . The centrally-located Hotel Sinaia is right next to the Dimitrie Ghica Park, on the main shopping street. The emblematic hotel offers spa services and features free access to the indoor pool, a sauna and fitness facilities.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Sinaia

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Peleş castle, Romania © cge2010/Shutterstock

Romania’s noisy, chaotic capital boasts a number of terrific museums, remarkable architecture and arguably the best nightlife in the Balkans. The first point of arrival for many visitors is the capital, Bucharest.

While not an easy city to love – its wide nineteenth-century Parisian-style boulevards are choked with traffic, once-grand fin de siècle buildings crumbling and the suburbs dominated by grim apartment blocks – its cultural institutions, abundant greenery and lively Old Town nightlife reward patience.

In recent years, the gastronomic scene has improved beyond recognition, while a wave of artisan coffee joints has revitalized the city’s café culture.

Explore more things to do in Romanian capital with our guide to the Coffee, cocktails and communism in Bucharest .

Where to stay in Bucharest:

  • Best for comfort: Crystal Palace Hotel . Renovated in 2018, Crystal Palace Hotel is conveniently located within walking distance from Promenada Mall and 10 minutes by car from Otopeni International Airport and downtown Bucharest.
  • Best for old town location: Europa Royale Bucharest . Located in a 19th-century building in the very heart of Bucharest’s centre, Europa Royale Bucharest offers air-conditioned rooms and an on-site restaurant serving international menus.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Bucharest

Bucharest © Shutterstock

Revolution Square, Victoria Avenue in Bucharest, Romania © Augustin Lazaroiu/Shutterstock

This remote and beautiful landscape is teeming with fabulous wildlife, and promises some of the finest birdwatching in Europe. The Danube Delta is a paradise for wildlife, and after years of environmental neglect culminating in Ceauşescu’s plan to drain the Delta for agricultural use, it was declared a Biosphere Reserve in 1990, with over 500 square kilometres strictly protected, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site the following year.

The area is particularly important for birds, which pass through during the spring and autumn migrations, or come from Siberia to winter here or from Africa to breed in summer.

Spend 2 days discovering the wonderful Danube Delta. In addition to experiencing this UNESCO World Heritage Site, you’ll visit the ancient port city of Tulcea and the old Roman territory Constanta. Enjoy a boating trip to fish or watch the bird life on the 2-Day Tour from Bucharest .

Find accommodation options to stay in the Danube Delta region

Pelican colony Danube delta, Romania © Calin Stan/Shutterstock

Pelican colony Danube delta, Romania © Calin Stan/Shutterstock

Strewn with lively resorts and sandy beaches, the Black Sea coast offers everything from wakeboarding to kayaking, while Constanţa is a cultural hub with a fine restaurant scene. Romania’s Black Sea coast holds the promise of white beaches, dazzling water and an average of ten to twelve hours of sunshine a day between May and October.

Travelling from Bucharest or the Delta, your first stop on the coast will almost certainly be Constanța, a relaxed seaport-cum-riviera town, dotted with Turkish, Byzantine and Roman remains, which has always seemed to keep a discreet distance from the surrounding resorts.

Spend the day at the coastal city of Constanta and get amazing views of the Black Sea. Learn more about traditional life in Romania and top up your tan at the seaside resort of Mamaia on the Constanta and Mamaia Day Trip .

Where to stay in Constanţa:

  • Best for view: Maritimo Luxury ApartHotel . Located 200 m from Modern Beach and 800 m from Aloha Beach, Maritimo Luxury ApartHotel in Constanţa provides air-conditioned accommodation with views of the sea and free WiFi.
  • Best for sauna: JMR Royal . Situated in Constanţa and with Aloha Beach reachable within 1.7 km, JMR Royal features a bar, allergy-free rooms, free WiFi throughout the property and a garden. Boasting room service, this property also provides guests with a children's playground. The hotel has family rooms.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Constanţa

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Relaxing at the Black sea beach is one of the best things to do in Romania © mandritoiu/Shutterstock

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Scattered among the lush hills of southern Transylvania are dozens of marvellous fortified Saxon churches. Prejmer (Tartlau), 7km east of Hărman has the most comprehensively fortified and perhaps the most spectacular of all the region’s churches – now on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Access is through a 30m-long vaulted gallery with a sliding portcullis in the middle. Built by 1225, the cross-shaped church was taken over by the Cistercians in 1240 and enlarged in their Burgundian early Gothic style. The nave has late Gothic vaulting, and there’s a fine Passion altarpiece (1450–60). There is also a small museum, boasting fine examples of Saxon costume.

Discover two of Eastern Europe’s best preserved fortified churches on a half-day guided tour from Brasov . With your guide, learn about and explore the history-rich Harman and Prejmer churches which date back to the fascinating Saxon era.

Aerial view of Prejmer fortified Church. UNESCO world heritage site, Romania ©  Iulius Agency/Shutterstock

Aerial view of Prejmer fortified Church. UNESCO world heritage site, Romania © Iulius Agency/Shutterstock

Romania’s greatest sculptor has bequeathed an impressive legacy of striking works of art, such as the Endless Column in Târgu Jiu. The most iconic of Brâncuşi’s works is the stunning Coloană Infinita (Endless Column), a vast 30m-high totem pole of seventeen (fifteen whole) smooth rhomboidal blocks, cast in iron and threaded onto a carbon steel post embedded into the ground.

The column’s rippling form is echoed in many of the verandas of the old wooden houses throughout the region. Brâncuşi actually began working on variations of the column in 1918 (the original, oak, one is in the Museum of Modern Art in New York), though this structure wasn’t installed until 1938, following a request from the local authorities to create a memorial for those killed during World War I.

It is, without question, one of the most striking – and recognizable – pieces of architecture not just in Romania, but anywhere in Europe.

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The Endless column in Targu Jiu, Romania© Radu Bercan/Shutterstock

Hit the slopes in Poiana Braşov , or at one of the country’s other popular, good-value centres. Poiana Braşov sits at an altitude of 1000m on a shoulder of the spectacular Mount Postăvaru, 12km south of Braşov. Coming by car, it’s worth stopping at some great viewpoints over the city at km 4.5.

This is Romania’s premier ski resort, and while it’s a great place to learn, with lots of English-speaking instructors, experienced skiers may soon be bored (although some slopes are steep and often icy). It’s crowded at weekends, and it’s no longer cheap, but there has been considerable investment in lifts and new pistes, as well as snow-making and grooming equipment so that the season can extend into late April.

Ski gear can be rented at hotels and the cable car and gondola terminals.

Where to stay around Poiana Braşov:

  • Best for families: Aurelius Imparatul Romanilor . Picturesquely located on the shore of Miorita Lake, in the mountain resort Poiana Brasov, the 4-star Aurelius Imparatul Romanilor hotel offers stylish accommodation. Free WiFi is offered.
  • Best for relaxing: Hotel Escalade . Only 100 m away from the ski slopes and a skating rink in Poiana Brasov, Hotel Escalade offers a spa including an indoor pool and sauna.

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Find accommodation options to stay around Poiana Braşov

Red cable car moving down in Poiana Brasov © Novie Charleen Magne/Shutterstock

Poiana Brasov famous ski resort in Romania © Gaspar Janos/Shutterstock

Beautiful architecture, terrific museums and fabulous festivals make the once great Saxon town of Sibiu one of the alluring things to do in Romania.

Nowadays, the city is surrounded by high-rise suburbs and virtually abandoned by the Saxons themselves, but the Old Town’s brightly painted houses, with “eye” windows to ventilate their attic grain stores, are still startling. Sibiu has many fine old churches and some of Romania’s best museums, as well as the remains of the bastions and fortifications.

Get a perfect introduction to the recently renovated old town of Sibiu and discover one of the cultural capitals of Romania on this Sibiu Sightseeing Tour .

Where to stay in Sibiu:

  • Best for design: Hotel Anastasia . Situated in Sibiu, within 1.5 km of Union Square and 2.3 km of The Stairs Passage, Hotel Anastasia features accommodation with a bar and free WiFi as well as free private parking for guests who drive. This 4-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk and room service. The hotel has family rooms.
  • Best for families: Harteneck Apartment . Apartments Inn Sibiu-The Old Town offers accommodation in Sibiu, offering an apartment with free WiFi and a well-equipped kitchenette. Great Square is 200 m away and the Bridge of Lies is 450 m away.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Sibiu

Cityscape with old house of historical center of Sibiu town Transylvania, Romania ©  Chursina Viktoriia/Shutterstock

Cityscape with old house of historical center of Sibiu town Transylvania, Romania © Chursina Viktoriia/Shutterstock

Cloaked in beech, fir and pine, the gorgeous rolling Bucovina hills are a walker’s paradise. The painted monasteries of Southern Bucovina, in the northwest corner of Moldavia, are rightfully acclaimed as masterpieces of art and architecture, steeped in history and perfectly in harmony with their surroundings.

The monasteries are scattered across a region divided by rolling hills – the obcine or “crests” which branch off the Carpathians – and by the legacy of history. Although settlers from Maramureş arrived here in the mid-fourteenth century, the area remained barely populated for two centuries until Huţul shepherds moved south from the Ukrainian mountains.

They lived in scattered houses in the hills, and the region was a sort of free republic until the Habsburgs annexed northern Moldavia in 1774, calling it Bucovina, a Romanianized version of their description of this beech-covered land (Büchenwald).

Visit five of the most beautiful and representative painted churches in Bucovina on this Private 2-Day Bucovina Monasteries Tour .

Find accommodation options to stay in Bucovina region

Mountain landscape with fog and a haystack, Bukovina, Romania ©  Seqoya/Shutterstock

Mountain landscape with fog and a haystack, Bukovina, Romania © Seqoya/Shutterstock

Shadowed by mountains and boasting a fine Baroque centre, this erstwhile Saxon settlement is one of Transylvania’s most appealing cities. The town’s proximity to a host of attractions – such as the Piatra Craiului mountain range, the alpine resort of Poiana Braşov, the fortified Saxon churches of Hărman and Prejmer, and “Dracula’s Castle” at Bran – makes it an excellent base.

Most visitors make a beeline for the largely Baroque Old Town, around Piaţa Sfatului, a strikingly handsome, quintessentially Germanic square dominated by the Black Church. Nearby, all coiled beneath Mount Tâmpa, are museums, medieval ramparts and the Schei quarter.

In this full-day tour from Brasov , you will discover 3 of the most beautiful and important touristic sights that Romania has to offer. You will encounter Peles Castle, Bran Castle (Dracula's Castle), and the Rasnov Fortress.

Where to stay in Braşov:

  • Best for charming vibes: Casa Mandl is set in the centre of Brasov, in the historic Council Square, and offers stylish accommodation with views of the Black Church and the Tampa Mountain, free WiFi, and public parking 200 m from the building.
  • Best for panoramic view: Belfort Hotel . Located at the foot of Tâmpa mountain, Belfort Hotel enjoys a central location in a tranquil area of Brasov, just a 5-minute walk from the main pedestrian street.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Braşov

Brasov, Romania © emperorcosar/Shutterstock

Brasov, Romania © emperorcosar/Shutterstock

Add to your list of things to do in Romania a ride up the picturesque Vaser valley by early-morning logging train. Just east of Vişeu de Jos is Vişeu de Sus, a logging town that’s growing into a tourist town thanks to the popularity of the steam train from here up the steep Vaser valley.

The narrow-gauge railway up the wild Vaser valley, towards the Ukrainian border, is still used by diesel-hauled logging trains; in addition, tourist trains run as far as Paltin, 21km up the valley. These are hauled by small steam locomotives – known as mocăniţa, meaning “little mountain shepherd” – which have been restored by enthusiasts, the oldest dating from 1910.

There’s a pleasant café in a typical wooden house at the departure point, with a small exhibition on the town’s vanished Jewish community. There are also three preserved steam locomotives here, including a huge standard-gauge beast near the train-hotel.

Enjoy a guided day trip to Maramures Mocanita train from Cluj-Napoca and discover Europe’s last historic forest railway. Learn its history, and admire this spectacular 20th-century working train.

Find accommodation options to stay in Vişeu de Sus

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Steam train, Romania © Andreica Ioan Daniel/Shutterstock

Spend a day trailing Romania’s largest carnivores – if you’re lucky, you may see one of these magnificent creatures up close.

The Piatra Craiului National Park is ideal for all kinds of outdoor pursuits, from observing animals in the wild to guided walks and sporting activities such as climbing and caving. These are organized by various local agencies, mostly members of the Association of Ecotourism in Romania dedicated to nature conservation and sustainable tourism development.

The most popular is bear-watching, which is now offered by dozens of companies, as well as some accommodation providers, though the following come highly recommended: Carpathian Nature Tours or Discover Romania . You’ll typically be taken up to a forest hide at dusk, and although patience is key (which is why it’s unsuitable for young children), there’s about an eighty percent chance of seeing a brown bear in its natural habitat.

Discover the Romanian Carpathian where over 5500 bears roam, on a wildlife watching adventure . Admire species like lynx, wolves, and bear from a special observation hide.

Carpathian brown bear in the wilderness © Angyalosi Beata/Shutterstock

Carpathian brown bear in the wilderness © Angyalosi Beata/Shutterstock

At this enjoyable and unusual spectacle, Transylvanian shepherds vie to see who has the most productive animals.

The practice of shepherds spending summer in the high pastures protecting the flocks from bears and wolves while making cheese gave rise to Measurement of the Milk Festivals (Măşurisul Laptelui). At dawn on the first or second Sunday in May, the flocks are brought to a glade outside the village, where the “measurement” takes place.

The nanny goats are milked by women and the ewes by shepherds – the yield of each family’s animals is measured to determine the share of cheese that they will receive that season. The ritual is followed by much feasting and dancing.

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Buckets of milk, Romania © eugenegurkov/Shutterstock

The Merry Cemetery (Cimitir Vesel) is a forest of beautifully worked, colourfully painted wooden grave markers carved with portraits of the deceased or scenes from their lives, inscribed with witty doggerel (in Romanian).

Some are terse – “who sought money to amass, could not Death escape, alas!”. While a surprising number recall violent deaths, like that of the villager killed by a “bloody Hungarian” during World War II. Or a mother’s final message to her son: “Griga, may you pardoned be, even though you did stab me”.

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Merry Cemetery, Romania © Niall O'Donoghue/Shutterstock

Romania is home to several wonderful rural retreats offering cheap, friendly and relaxing accommodations, and great home-cooked food. Staying in these homestays is one of the best things to do in Romania.

Village homestays (agroturism) – rural farmhousestyle accommodation – offer visitors the opportunity to spend some time with a Romanian family (most of whom won’t speak English) in often lovely surrounds. The downside is that many places are in fairly remote locations, and are therefore difficult to reach without your own transport.

This excellent website lists a number of homestays throughout the country. The official nationwide body for homestays is ANTREC .

The church from Magura village, near Zarnesti city, Brasov county, Transylvania, Romania ©  Iulius Agency/Shutterstock

The church from Magura village, near Zarnesti city, Brasov county, Transylvania, Romania © Iulius Agency/Shutterstock

The beguiling landscape of this isolated region is dominated by marvellous wooden churches.

A swathe of wooden churches stretches across Eastern Europe, from northern Russia to the Adriatic, but in terms of both quality and quantity the richest examples are in Maramureş. From 1278, the Orthodox Romanians were forbidden by their Catholic Hungarian overlords to build churches in stone, and so used wood to ape Gothic developments.

It was long thought that most were rebuilt after the last Tatar raid in 1717, acquiring large porches and tall towers, often with four corner-pinnacles, mimicking the masonry architecture of the Transylvanian cities. However in 1997 a tree-ring study showed that the wood used in many churches – notably those of Corneşti, Breb and Onceşti.

A tour to Rural Romania bringing you to the rural region of Maramureş, a place with beautiful natural landscapes where traditions such as wood carving have been maintained for generations.

Find accommodation options to stay in Maramureş region

Barsana Wooden Monasteries, Maramures, Romania ©  Mikadun/Shutterstock

Barsana Wooden Monasteries, Maramures, Romania © Mikadun/Shutterstock

The crucible of the 1989 revolution, this most cosmopolitan of Romanian cities promises handsome architecture, fine parks and a vibrant arts scene. The engaging city of Timişoara has long been the most prosperous and advanced of the Banat’s cities. It is the first place in Romania to have a public water supply, the first in Europe to have electric streetlighting and one of the first in the world to have horse-drawn trams. It still boasts Romania’s premier technical university.

Close to the borders with Serbia and Hungary, and with flights from all over Europe and Romania, Timişoara is also a major transport hub. The city’s sights are clustered around the two large main squares, Piața Victoriei and Piața Unirii.

Where to stay in Timişoara:

  • Best for deluxe stays: Old Town Hotel . Featuring a bar, shared lounge and views of city, Old Town Hotel is located in Timişoara, 400 m from St. George's Cathedral Timișoara.
  • Best for modern stays: Mercure Timisoara . This 4-star hotel has city views, and guests can enjoy access to a shared lounge and to a terrace.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Timişoara

View of one part at Union Square in Timisoara, Romania, with old buildings and mineral fountain ©  Martina Pellecchia/Shutterstock

View of one part at Union Square in Timisoara, Romania, with old buildings and mineral fountain © Martina Pellecchia/Shutterstock

Fresh from the highland pastures, a sample of tasty sheep’s cheese is a must. Romanian cheese (brânză) is mainly handmade from sheep’s milk by shepherds who spend the summers in the hills with their flocks. The standard hard cheese is known as caşcaval, while caş is a less salty version of feta, and telemea is a soft and creamy white cheese matured in brine.

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Sheep cheese, Romania © Maryna Kovalchuk/Shutterstock

Sighişoara is an atmospheric medieval town with a brooding skyline of ramparts, towers and spires. A forbidding silhouette of battlements and needle spires looms over Sighişoara (Schässburg to Germans and Segesvár to Hungarians); as the sun descends behind the hills of the Târnava Mare valley it seems a fitting birthplace for Vlad Ţepeş, “The Impaler” – the man known to so many as Dracula.

Now on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, Sighişoara makes the perfect introduction to Transylvania. The Old Town or citadel is unmissable, dominating the newer quarters from a rocky massif whose slopes support a jumble of ancient, leaning houses, overlooking the steps leading up from Piaţa Hermann Oberth to the main gateway.

Explore the narrow streets of the only inhabited medieval citadel in Europe and enjoy the history of this UNESCO heritage site as you listen to the stories about the most famous vampire in the world, Dracula on the Sighişoara Tour of Dracula's Home Town .

Where to stay in Sighişoara:

  • Best for unique stays: Casa Savri . Located in a historic building, Casa Savri welcomes its guests with a blend of modern amenities and traditional Transylvanian Saxon architecture and décors. You will find yourselves right next to the inhabited Medieval citadel of Sighişoara.
  • Best for food: Pensiunea Gasthaus Alte Post is located in the historic centre of Sighişoara, just 300 m from the Clock Tower, and offers a restaurant serving local Transylvanian cuisine. Free WiFi access is available in all public areas.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Sighişoara

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Sighişoara, Romania © Cristian Balate/Shutterstock

The spectacular peaks of the Făgăraş provide access to some rewarding hikes. The Făgăraş range, composed mainly of crystalline schists with occasional limestone outcrops, is a series of pyramidal crests, linked by narrow ridges harbouring a score of lakes at heights of 1800 to 2250m. Up to about 2000m the slopes are covered with spruce forests sheltering deer, bears, chamois and other wildlife.

Most hiking routes are well marked and easy to follow with Dimap’s 1:60,000 Munţii Făgăraşului map, which can be bought in Braşov, Bran, Făgăraş or Sibiu, or in the mountain cabanas. It’s useful, but rarely essential, to reserve accommodation. Always carry ample food and water, waterproofs and good boots – the weather is very changeable on the ridge.

 Transfagarasan highway, the most beautiful road in Europe, Romania (Transfagarash), Ridge Fagaras ©  Yevhenii Chulovskyi/Shutterstock

Transfagarasan highway, the most beautiful road in Europe, Romania (Transfagarash), Ridge Fagaras © Yevhenii Chulovskyi/Shutterstock

The Princely Court at Târgovişte is just one of many sites linked to the Dracula legend. Truth, legends and fiction swirl around the figure of Dracula like a cloak, and perceptions of him differ sharply.

In Romania he is renowned as a patriot and a champion of order in lawless times, while the outside world knows him as the vampire count of a thousand cinematic fantasies derived from Bram Stoker’s novel of 1897 – a spoof-figure or a ghoul.

Although the tourist industry focuses on Bran castle in Transylvania, which has almost no connection to the Dracula myth (aside from the fact that he may have attacked it on occasion),Cetatea Poienari (Poienari Castle, aka Dracula’s Castle) was once Vlad the Impaler’s residence, and its location in the foothills of the Făgăraş mountains makes for a wonderfully dramatic setting.

Discover some of the medieval castles of Transylvania on a full-day tour from Bucharest and visit the castle most associated with the legend of Count Dracula. Visit Peleș Castle and take a walking tour of Brașov.

Read more detailed information about one of Romania's symbols in our guide: Visiting Vlad the Impaler .

Bran castle in autumn, Romania ©  Zamfiroiu Dragos Marian/Shutterstock

Bran castle in autumn, Romania © Zamfiroiu Dragos Marian/Shutterstock

The monasteries of southern Bucovina and Moldavia are renowned for their magnificent exterior frescoes. Given that almost everyone comes to Southern Bucovina to visit the painted monasteries but public transport to them is limited, it’s not surprising that many visitors opt for organized tours, which can be arranged either in Suceava or Gura Humorului. .

However, by making the trip independently, you’ll be able to spend more time at each monastery and stay in Bucovina’s charming pensions, many of which serve terrific home-cooked, organic meals. There’s not much choice at Moldoviţa, but plenty at and around the other monasteries.

The Moldovita Monastery, Romania. One of Romanian Orthodox monasteries in southern Bucovina ©  emperorcosar/Shutterstock

The Moldovita Monastery, Romania. One of Romanian Orthodox monasteries in southern Bucovina © emperorcosar/Shutterstock

Don’t miss the fantastic, irrepressible sounds of Romanian folk and Romani music. In recent years Romani music has shown an extraordinary growth in popularity — particularly outside of Romania.

Some 40km southwest of Bucharest is the small village of Clejani, which is renowned throughout the region as a centre for Romani music. This area was home to members of world-famous bands such as Taraf de Haidouks and Mahala Rai Banda. It is also the home of many other talented Romani musicians.

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Romani violin musician © Aleksandar Kamasi/Shutterstock

One of Europe’s least spoiled mountain ranges, full of wildlife and first-class hiking trails. Crisscrossed by an intricate nexus of forestry tracks and waymarked paths, the beautiful and unspoiled Romanian countryside offers some of the most enjoyable hiking anywhere in Europe, with trails to suit all abilities.

Cutting across the country are the sinuous Carpathian mountains – a continuation of the Alps – whose best-known range is the Făgăraş, between Braşov and Sibiu in the south of Transylvania, harbouring more than seventy lakes and Romania’s most elevated peaks, the highest of which is Moldoveanu (2544m).

A beautiful mountain landscape in Carpathian mountains, Romania © Romija/Shutterstock

A beautiful mountain landscape in Carpathian mountains, Romania © Romija/Shutterstock

Hunedoara (Vajdahunyad/Eisenmarkt), 16km south of Deva, would be dismissed as an ugly, run-down industrial town were it not also the site of Corvin Castle, Romania’s greatest fortress. Patrick Leigh Fermor found its appearance “so fantastic and theatrical that, at first glance, it looks totally unreal”.

The castle is an extravaganza of galleries, spiral stairways and Gothic vaulting, most impressively the Knights’ Hall (immediately to the right), with its rose-marble pillars, a display of weaponry and a statue of Iancu. To the southwest a long gallery bridge leads to the isolated Neboisa Tower (from the Serbian nje boisia or “be not afraid”), built by Iancu in 1446–56.

To the east the Council Hall is similar to the Knights Hall, divided by a row of columns. To the north, the Mátyás wing, which sports a fine Renaissance loggia, houses a display of costumes and sixteenth-century Florentine cassone chests. Viewpoints outside the fortifications give views of the fifteenth-century rhomboid pattern on the exterior of the Painted Tower, and of the steeple added in 1873, with a bronze knight on top.

Find accommodation options to stay near the Corvin Castle

Corvin castle, Romania © RossHelen/Shutterstock

Corvin castle, Romania © RossHelen/Shutterstock

The Salina Turda (Turda Salt Mine), the Turda’s main attraction, is on its northern edge in Valea Sărată, where a new entrance allows access by modern panoramic lifts, instead of rickety wooden staircases. Gradually excavated over 240 years, the mine consists of several huge hangar-like chambers, the most impressive being the cavernous Rudolf Mine, some 80m long, 42m high and 50m wide.

It is now a glitzy underground theme park, with a Ferris wheel, bowling, minigolf and table tennis among the many activities, though all of these do cost a little extra. You’ll also pass through the Joseph Mine, known for its twenty or so echoes, and another with an altar sculpted from salt, allowing religious services and prayers before miners began their shifts.

Discover Turda Salt Mine and Corvin Castle, the largest gothic structure in Romania on this day trip from Timisoara . Climb towers, see chambers and descend 120 meters below ground.

Find accommodation options to stay near Turda Salt Mine

Turda salt mine in Romania © FrimuFilms/Shutterstock

Turda salt mine in Romania © FrimuFilms/Shutterstock

Romanian cuisine tends to be filling and wholesome, with menus dominated by meat, in common with the rest of the Balkans.

Perhaps the most authentic Romanian dish is sarmale – cabbage leaves stuffed with rice, meat and herbs, usually served (or sometimes baked) with sour cream or horseradish; they are sometimes also made with vine leaves (sărmălute in foi de viţă).

Stews (tocane) and other dishes often feature a combination of meat and dairy products Muşchi ciobanesc (shepherd’s sirloin) is pork stuffed with ham, covered in cheese and served with mayonnaise, cucumber and herbs, while muşchi poiana (meadow sirloin) is beef stuffed with mushrooms, bacon, pepper and paprika, served in a vegetable purée and tomato sauce.

From the heart of the city to the tastes of the country, this tour takes you on a historical, architectural, and culinary adventure through the many faces (and tastes) of Bucharest!

Meat rolls sarmale in clay bowl, Romanian food © Shutterstock

Sarmale in clay bowl, Romanian food © Shutterstock

Pākelele Marie and Pākelele Michi mud volcanoes are located in the Buzau county of Podkarpackie. These are the only miniature mud volcanoes in Europe whose existence is determined by the eruption of gas from beneath the ground. You can see a real mud volcano erupting in this area.

Among the locals they are known as "pacla" (Romanian for "fog") and their similarity to real volcanoes is remarkable. Although the processes involved in these small volcanoes are similar to their majestic counterparts, what sets them apart is what they spew to the surface. Instead of bubbling lava, these little gurgles bring mud and water to the surface.

Explore the largest salt mine in Europe, Slanic Prahova, and the botanical reservation of the Berca Muddy Volcanoes. Enjoy a private and guided tour from Bucharest .

Find accommodation options to stay in Buzau County

Erupting mud volcanoes in Buzau, Romania © Shutterstock

Erupting mud volcanoes in Buzau, Romania © Shutterstock

One squarely for the kids, the Muzeul de Istorie Naturală Grigore Antipa (Natural History Museum) is named after the noted conservationist and founder of Romanian ichthyology. Indeed, Antipa (1867–1944) was the museum’s director for more than half a century.

The museum’s centrepiece is Deinotherium gigantissimus, a 4.5m-high fossil elephant from the late Miocene period unearthed in Vaslui County, Moldavia, in 1890 and believed to be the largest of its kind in the world.

The basement covers Romania’s wonderfully diverse geographical regions, from the Delta and Black Sea Coast to the Carpathians, while the ground floor is devoted to world fauna; among the obligatory selection of stuffed animals, keep your eyes peeled for some rather gruesome-looking reptilia, like the hellbender salamander and the saw-scaled viper.

Choose the best option to travel on a budget among the various destinations in Europe with our guide to 20 best places to visit in Europe on a budget .

If you prefer to plan and book your trip to Romania without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.

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23 Things to Do in Romania in 2024: Popular, Cool and Unique!

23 Things to Do in Romania in 2024: Popular, Cool and Unique!

There are so many things to do in Romania and places to visit - but most tourists have no idea where to start! Most people come with low or no expectations about our country because it's still one of the lesser-known tourist destinations in Eastern Europe.

But they soon realize it’s a beautiful holiday destination with friendly people, lots of tourist attractions and cool things to do! So put Romania on your 2024 bucket list and use this article for inspiration! What is Romania known for? In this article we'll look at:

  • famous tourist cities such as Bucharest, Brasov or Sibiu
  • popular attractions such as the Palace of Parliament, Bran Castle, Corvin Castle, Peleş Castle, Transfagarasan Highway and UNESCO World Heritage sites
  • tourist regions known for their cultural heritage: Transylvania, Maramures and Bucovina

But besides the usual touristy places to visit, we’re also going to tell you where to go and what to do so you have an authentic local experience of Romanian culture, for example:

  • how to experience the traditional rural life our country is famous for
  • why our wooden churches, painted monasteries and fortified churches are more than spiritual places
  • best places to try local cuisine
  • why a visiting a merry cemetery is a good idea

And, finally, there are some unique things to do in Romania such as:

  • seeing wild animals and brown bears... in the wild!
  • visiting a haunted forest filled with mysterious legends
  • exploring the incredible Danube Delta

The list is long because our country is BIG with many things to do :) but if you're wondering - our personal favourites are 5, 8, 12, 14, 17 and 19.

Before we start, if you're looking for practical info check our guide on how to visit Romania for the first time or the best time to visit .

Table of contents

  • 1. Visit Dracula's Castle aka Bran Castle
  • 2. Romania's most beautiful castle: Peleș Castle

3. A Gothic Masterpiece in Brasov: The Black Church

4. discover the cultural heritage of sibiu, 5. go hiking in the wild carpathian mountains, 6. romania’s most famous natural site: the danube delta, 7. discover how good romanian wines are, 8. watch brown bears... in the wild, 9. admire the 500 years old painted monasteries of bucovina, 10. go on a slow and picturesque steam train ride, 11. a famous unesco world heritage site: sighișoara citadel.

  • 12. Try traditional Romanian food & tasty vegetables

13. Visit Merry Cemetery... wait, what?

14. ride an underground ferris wheel in turda salt mine, 15. visit europe’s biggest building: palace of parliament in bucharest, 16. a famous tourist attraction: transfăgărășan highway.

  • 17. Go out in Bucharest's Old Town

18. See the Romanian Sphinx in Bucegi Mountains

19. experience authentic romanian village life, 20. visit romania’s haunted forest - for real, 21. cantacuzino castle of the richest romanian family, 22. best among medieval castles: corvin castle, 23. poenari castle - the real dracula castle.

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1. Visit Dracula's Castle aka Bran Castle

Of all the remarkable places to visit in Romania, Bran Castle remains the most popular with international tourists and by far one of the most famous castles in our country. Although this Transylvanian castle was an important medieval fortress and home to Romania's Queen Marie, it's far better known for one fictional resident: the vampire Count Dracula .

Honestly, nobody's sure how much Bram Stoker was inspired by Bran Castle or Vlad the Impaler who is one of the most famous people from Romania … but that hasn't stopped Hollywood movie fans and tourists renaming it to "Dracula's Castle."

This is the #1 tourist attraction in Romania so brace yourself for crowds of tourists... Bran Castle turned into a tacky place with cheap Dracula souvenirs, low-quality wines, chocolate and so on.

Lots of tours and non-Romanian travel guides will give you made-up Dracula stories too. But if you’re looking for the real history of the castle, Vlad the Impaler's life and even info about Poenari Castle - then our guides will do that.

Bran Castle Tours

Bran Castle Tours

Dating back to the 13th century, Bran Castle was built to protect the nearby city of Brașov and the Carpathian crossing into Transylvania from foreign invaders. There are four floors and 57 rooms tourists can explore. Each room is full of historic furniture, armour and clothing - so anyone passionate about medieval history will have a good time here!

romania tourist places

2. Romania's most beautiful castle: Peleș Castle

If Bran Castle speaks of Romania's medieval heritage, then Peles Castle in Sinaia is a symbol of our short-lived royal family. It was built in the late 19th century at the orders of King Carol, the first Romanian king, to serve as summer residence for Romania's royal family.

The castle was built in neo-Renaissance architecture with beautiful stained glass windows and was considered an engineering masterpiece for its time. There are 160 rooms in total for guests to explore over 2 floors, with art works you'd find in art galleries, impressive crystal chandeliers and an armoury with pieces dating back to the 15h century.

During the communist regime (1947-1989) it was untouched which means it's well preserved - and worth adding to your plan. Be sure to check out Pelisor Castle nearby, the little brother.

Peles Castle Tours

Peles Castle Tours

A personal favorite of ours, Peleş castle is one of the best castles in Romania . A good guide can tell you how in the span of 100 years 3 distinct principalities under foreign domination united into a democratic, flourishing monarchy that was eventually overthrown by communist dictatorship in 1944.

romania tourist places

If you’re planning to visit Bran Castle - a stop in Brasov's Old Town is a must. The city is one of the most popular tourist places to visit in Romania. It's famous for its charming, well-preserved medieval atmosphere surrounded by mountains.

The city’s iconic landmark is the Black Church which is also a great example of medieval German-Saxon architecture. This imposing Gothic church finished in 1477 is not just one of Romania's top attractions but it also serves as the largest place of worship for Lutherans.

The Black Church is hard to miss on a walking tour through the Old Town area of Brasov. Towering over the main square and imposing from afar, inside you'll find many impressive Romanian artifacts including a huge mechanical organ, a wide array of Oriental carpets, and an intricately carved pulpit dating back to the late 1600s.

There are lots of things to do in Brasov , arguably one of the most visited cities in Southeastern Europe and known as Romania's 'darling city'.

There are lots of things to do in Brasov county: medieval castles in Romania (Bran Castle, Rasnov Fortress [currently closed for restoration], Peles Castle, Rupea Fortress, Sighisoara Citadel), go hiking or on wildlife trips. It’s a great city to use as a base for 3 days during your trip to Romania.

Tours & Day Trips in Brasov

Tours & Day Trips in Brasov

romania tourist places

One of the best things to do in Transylvania is to visit the famous city of Sibiu.

With significant Saxon influences, an aristocratic air to it and a vibrant cultural scene, Sibiu competes with Brasov as Romania's top tourist destination. Even if I've been in both many times, it's hard to pick my favorite :)

Sibiu's Old Town with its Lower Town and Upper Town is an architectural delight with many cultural sights, artisan shops and chic cafes. Make sure you have enough time to walk - or get lost - on its streets!

The Brukenthal National Museum is housed in an elegant building in the Large Square, the heart of its Old Town. Originally the residence of an 18th century aristocrat of Saxon descent (and rich art collector) named Samuel von Brukenthal who lived in Sibiu.

Brukenthal opened the doors to his home in the early 1800s to share his art collection with the community as he was a big fan of educating the masses. Today the Brukenthal National Museum in the city center is an important tourist attraction in Romania and cultural hotspot.

In contrast, the open-air museum Astra Traditional Folk and Civilisation Museum received 3 Michelin stars for the amazing cultural experience it offers as an ethnographic museum. Over 400 houses from all over Romania and "rural technology" will show you why the Romanian village is at the heart of our culture, literature and national spirit.

Tours & Day Trips in Sibiu

Tours & Day Trips in Sibiu

With an airport served by many low cost flights from all over Europe and conveniently located in the heart of the country, there are lots things to do in Sibiu . Popular attractions such as Corvin Castle, Sighisoara Citadel and the fortified churches of Transylvania, or Transfagarasan Highway are nearby so this is a perfect place for a city break in Romania. Now, let's switch gears:

55% of Romania's territory is occupied by the Carpathian Mountains starting from foothills of 800m high and reaching 2,554m at their highest point called Moldoveanu Peak. So our country is not only an amazing - and undiscovered - hiking destination but also a great place for mountaineering adventures, wildlife watching and all outdoor activities (MTB, via ferrata, enduro trails, camping, canyoning).

The Romanian Carpathians offer a wide variety of trails for everyone, from city folk looking to be out in nature, to amateur hikers and experienced mountaineers looking for a challenge.

Lots of natural attractions too: the Babele and Sphinx in Bucegi Mountains, Zarnesti Gorges, Turda Gorges, Fundatura Ponorului, 7 Stairs Canyon, as well as many waterfalls, glacial lakes and caves. And 12 peaks over 2,500m waiting to be summited :)

Best part? You'll discover untouched sceneries and traditional mountain villages untouched by civilization. You'll disconnect fully - which is why I think it's one of the best things to do in Romania and one of my favourites :)

Hiking & Trekking Trips

Hiking & Trekking Trips

But because Romania's Carpathian Mountains are so wild and undiscovered - tourist hiking infrastructure is severely underdeveloped and unfriendly even for locals! Check our guide for hiking in Romania to find out how to plan your trip, why you should hire a licensed mountain guide to stay safe and where to go.

romania tourist places

OK - every country has castles, churches and Old Towns. But how many countries with a Delta do you know of?

A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Danube Delta is an amazing place to see in Romania as long as you don't underestimate its logistics

The Delta formed where the Danube river flows into the Black Sea and it's the 2nd largest in Europe and has the 3rd largest biodiversity in the world exceeded only by the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Galapagos Archipelago in Ecuador.

The Danube Delta is considered one of the largest and best preserved deltas worldwide. In addition to its picturesque canals, numerous lakes and soft marshes, it is home to over 3,450 animal species which includes over 300 species of birds, 1,700 of plants, many fish and animals, including wild horses in the sub-tropical Letea Forest.

A natural reserve unlike anything else in Europe The Danube Delta is one of the best places to visit in Romania if you're into wild natural sceneries and have an interest in birdwatching and enjoy scenic boat trips. And the sunsets in the Delta offer breathtaking views - pure magic!

This combo makes it a perfect destination for those who appreciate the beauty of Mother Nature, photographers and, of course, wildlife conservation enthusiasts :)

If you want to visit the Romanian Delta then hiring a local tour guide to take you on a boat ride is a must because the region is impossible to navigate on your own without local knowledge and... a boat! There's no public transport in the Delta and few locals speak English.

So if you want to experience the best of the Delta and do birdwatching you'll need a knowledgeable guide with a specialized boat. Beware - speed boats scare animals! That's why we created an amazing 4-day itinerary and organise small group tours. You'll visit the Delta the right way while protecting nature and giving back to the community.

Danube Delta tour

4-Day Danube Delta: Birds, Letea Village & Lakes [Group Trip]

Start from: Tulcea

The Delta is a 4h drive from Bucharest and you'll need 2-3 days to actually see something in the region because of its complicated logistics.

boat tour

2-Day Danube Delta & Birdwatching Tour from Bucharest

Start from: Bucharest

Oh, and the Danube Delta is also known for its unique fish cuisine (hint: it's not grilled fish!) so this is a great spot to discover new recipes.

romania tourist places

You’ll be surprised to know that Romania is Europe’s 5th largest wine producer! With vast hills bathed in Sun and moderate weather, our country's geography is ideal for vineyards. And Romanians love to socialise over a glass, or two, or three... :)

In the last 15 years the quality and variety of our wines and the culture surrounding wine drinking has exploded. Besides popular large-scale producers who go for the whole spectrum of wines, there are many craft, artisan small wine makers who focus on 2-3 types which are exceptional. This will be a great souvenir from Romania to surprise those back home.

Just 1h away from Bucharest is the Dealu Mare region, famous for its vineyards and premium producers. Some are also in Transylvania though less accessible. Most of them are housed in aristocratic 18th century villas overlooking picturesque vineyards.

Oh, and the wines have amazing value(taste)-for-money, comparable to what you’ll find in France or Italy. So you know what this means, right? A wine tasting is one of the most underrated things to do in Romania!

Wine tasting tour in Romania

The Wine Tradition of Romania: Premium Wine Tasting in Dealu Mare

ready to ride

Bike & Wine Tasting Trip in Bucharest Countryside

Start from: Dealu Mare wine area (or Bucharest)

Unfortunately due to high demand and low capacity, most wineries organise wine tastings only for groups of 4 people or more. So if 2 people show up it’s unlikely they’ll take them. But luckily for you we developed strong partnerships with some premium wineries so if you want a Romanian wine tasting paired with local cheeses for two - we can arrange that!

Let’s go back to the mountains! One of the more unique things you to do in Romania is wildlife watching - especially brown bears of which we have the largest population in Europe!

As many areas in the Carpathian Mts. are untouched and wild, lots of animals roam these lands freely: bears, deer, lynx, bisons, boars, wolves and many more. Romania is known as Europe’s last wilderness reserve with two documentaries about this: Wild Carpathia and Untamed Romania.

And that's part of the reason why it may be dangerous for hikers to go on their own.

But if you want to see wild animals in their natural habitat while staying safe we have a selection of wildlife tours most of which take place in Brasov county. Our specialist wildlife guides will take you deep in the mountains.

85-100% chances of seeing bears on this tour:

wild bear watching at the hide

Short Bear Watching Experience from Brasov

Start from: Brasov

60-80% chances of seeing bears and other animals on this tour:

Bear Safari Transylvania

Bear Watching Safari in the Wild

70-100% chances of seeing animals on this unique trip in Romania's wildest area run by a conservation non-profit:

Our luxury mountain lodge

3-Day Hiking & Wildlife Trip at an Eco-Luxury Private Cabin in Fagaras Mts

Start from: Rucar, Arges county

Please note - these tours are NOT regular hiking trip: you will go on unmarked trails or difficult terrain to high-altitude observation points. Difficulty is higher, logistics complex and prices reflect that.

Here's how animals have fun in Piatra Craiului National Park

Remember - Mother Nature can't be controlled or predicted, so seeing animals is not guaranteed. But our wildlife guides are experts with a good sense for animal movement. They will do their best to increase the chances of you seeing them and will give you a live lesson about tracking animals their natural habitat. So this is a great way way to learn about Mother Nature - especially for teenagers and young people!

Birdwatching can also be done in some forests close to Brasov where our specialist bird guides can take you on a private trip. Or in one of the many national parks in Romania .

Seeing wild animals is definitely a unique activity in Romania - but you can also see friendly animals such as sheep and cows during a hike in Piatra Craiului National Park (close to Brasov) or Apuseni Natural Park (close to Cluj-Napoca). You'll probably go hiking in traditional villages and try local specialty cheeses cold cuts and homegrown vegetables from the villagers.

romania tourist places

Ok - back to culture! There are many beautiful churches in Romania tourists can visit because spirituality plays an important role in our culture and life. But among them the Painted Monasteries of Bukovina definitely stand out.

Built between the 15th and 16th centuries, these monasteries are known for their impressive exterior frescoes which depict scenes from the bible and are incredibly well preserved despite their age - almost by miracle!

So vivid and unique these paintings are that they are part of World Heritage . There are 6 painted monasteries to visit each located in small villages in the Bucovina region: Voronet, Humor, Moldovita, Pataruti, Probota, Suceava, and Sucevita.

Each of the monasteries’ frescoes use different colours to depict saints, major Biblical scenes and local legends. The quality and style of these paintings is truly impressive considering how old they are. And because they're so well preserved with only minor works carried out over hundreds of years, religious people believe these churches have significant spiritual power and meaning.

A great place to start visiting the Romanian painted monasteries is the UNESCO world heritage site of Voronet which is the most famous among them for its unique 400-year old unchanged blue nuance that depicts Judgement Day in an impressive frescoe.

The region of Bukovina

5-Day Complete Tour of Traditional Maramures & Bucovina

Start from: Cluj-Napoca

Even though the monasteries are among Romania's most famous tourist attractions, please keep in mind they are also active religious sites served by monks and nuns who live there. Romanians are very religious people so visiting these sights require that you be respectful of local customs and not use selfie sticks or act like an ignorant tourist.

Finally, the logistics of visiting the churches is a bit more complex too: you'll need at least 3 full days to travel to Bucovina region from Bucharest and have enough time to visit the monasteries and other attractions in the area, of which there are plenty. You may want to check our guide for public transport in Romania to understand why we keep saying logistics are complicated... :)

romania tourist places

The Semering Oravita-Anina train in Timisoara

The best way to enjoy Romania’s natural beauty is through slow travel. Hiking or going by car on countryside roads may be what comes to mind - but there’s a better alternative: old steam trains moving at 50 km/h through beautiful natural areas not accessible any other way! How cool is this?

The Mocanita Steam Train in the North-Western Maramures region is probably the most famous.

A 3-hour long ride (with multiple stops) through valleys, hills and woodlands will make you appreciate nature’s simple beauty - best enjoyed slow, of course! This narrow railway was originally used for forest exploitation activities and the Mocanita (name of the train) is the only one capable of navigating it.

Guided tour in Maramures

2 or 3 Days in Maramures: Wooden Churches, Traditions & Village Life

A similar steam train ride can be found in the neighbouring region of Bucovina and is called Hutulca.

Bigar Waterfall

Hotspots around Timisoara: Bigar Waterfall & Oravita-Anina Steam Train

Start from: Timisoara

But my favourite train ride is lesser known – and more beautiful – the Oravita-Anina Semering train, South of Timisoara (pictured above). The Semering (name of the train) will take you on a route where picturesque scenery with mid-level mountains and open valleys dotted by traditional villages.

  • Pro tip: the best time I like to go on these train rides is during mid-September - late October when the autumn foliage offer spectacular views!

romania tourist places

Sighișoara is a small city in the heart of Transylvania where you'll find one of the most culturally significant and popular tourist places to visit in Romania: Sighisoara Citadel another UNESCO heritage site with a long history to tell.

Situated on a small hill overlooking the plains of Transylvania, this fortified citadel from the Middle Ages was built in the 12th century by German Saxon merchants to protect their trading routes. It's one of the best-preserved medieval citadels in Europe and once you see the Clock Tower you'll understand why.

One of the best things to do in Romania is to get lost on a walking tour of the cobbled streets in Sighisoara Citadel. Oh, I forgot to mention: in these medieval houses people still live! My favorite time to visit this place is during winter in Romania when the cold air, snow-covered streets and few tourists create a magical medieval atmosphere.

Besides the many photos you'll take, make sure to check the seven figurines of the Clock Tower the main attraction in Sighisoara Citadel, which represent the days of the week - but who are those figurines? Go with a guide, there is much history to learn here :)

Conveniently located in the heart of Transylvania, we have day trips that will take you on a guided tour to Sighisoara from every city.

romania tourist places

12. Try traditional Romanian food & tasty vegetables

When people think of things to do in Romania they tend to think of castles (and vampires), communist architecture and... who knows what else! While the typical tourist attractions are undeniably awesome, what most travelers don’t know about is just how tasty Romanian food is. Why?

Bucharest street food tour

Bucharest Street Food Tour: Farmers' Markets & Hidden Streets

Start from: University Square

Because Romanian cuisine is a unique mix - a reflection of our agrarian roots and self-sustainable households at the intersection of Turkish/Balkan, Austro-Hungarian and Russian influences. Our traditional dishes have surprising, delicious flavours reminiscent of grandma's comfort food.

  • Pro tip: if you're a vegetarian or vegan - you're in luck! Thanks to the long Orthodox Lent (fasting) periods which some Romanians strictly observe, there are lots of recipes without meat or any animal products. just ask for mancare de post or religious fasting foods and you'll enjoy filling, nutritious and delicious recipes!

Romanian local food (especially outside major cities) is wildly appreciated by Western visitors who've had enough of processed and tasteless industrialised food. They are delighted by the delicious taste of simple, organic ingredients (a label that doesn't exist in the countryside!) like eggs, milk, veggies, honey or meat from household animals. Hand-to-mouth farming is widely practiced in traditional regions such as Transylvania, Maramures or Apuseni.

In simpler terms - if you want to know the real taste of an unsprinkled tomato or let your kids discover the flavours of freshly picked veggies or fruits from a farmer's garden - come to Romania!

Food & Wine Tours

Food & Wine Tours

Authentic Romanian dishes you should try include sarmale, mici and ciorba (sour vegetable broth), mamaliga (polenta) with shepherd's cheese and sour cream, or stuffed peppers. That is if our appetizers (vegan-friendly) such as eggplant salad, zacusca or baked beans paste won't already fill you up! And then you get to ciorba a vegetable sour broth, with or without meat, that's so filling and will warm you up on the inside!

And, like all agrarian people, there's a variety of cheese (white/fresh, aged or smoked), cured meats and sausages to discover, usually served with seasonal veggies! And leave room for desert: papanasi, sweet cheese pies or homemade sweet bread (cozonac) filled with nuts, poppy seeds or Turkish delight.

We've got food tours in all major cities where our guides will take you to farmer's markets where, besides the cultural shock, you'll also get to try authentic Romanian food. And if you're looking to experience more of Romanian cuisine - go in the countryside! Few restaurants in the cities can compete with that!

Our mission is to support responsible tourism in Romania and that's why most our trips include home-cooked meals which is, for me, arguably the most interesting thing I want to experience when visiting a country besides typical tourist sightseeing.

And to top it off -- since 2010 specialty coffee culture and consumption boomed in Romania. Check our list with the best coffee shops in Romania so you finish your meal in style - like Romanians do!

romania tourist places

One of the more unusual things to do in Romania is to visit a cemetery with a happy and funny view on death: the Sapanta Merry Cemetery is like an open-air museum in the village of Săpânța, Maramures region. Unlike the usual sombre and grey cemeteries, the Merry Cemetery is filled with colorful tombstones where the story of the deceased is told in a humorous way - with life lessons that will make you think!

  • Pro tip: the stories are written in Romanian so without a local guide to translate there's really no point in visiting

Started in the 1960s the Merry Cemetery is a unique tourist attraction in Romania and Europe for its unorthodox approach despite being located in one of the most religious regions of Romania.

For context: on Sundays people in Maramures wear their best folk costumes to attend service in their UNESCO wooden churches.

There’s an interesting reason this 'happy' cemetery exits. And if you visit with our guide , a native of Maramures, he'll tell you what that is and also take you to the local artisan who makes these crosses. Though the merry cemetery is an interesting place for tourists to visit in Romania, don't forget that, well - you’re in a cemetery! - so be respectful of the dead.

romania tourist places

40 minutes South of Cluj-Napoca in the city of Turda is one the most popular and interesting tourist attractions in Romania: Salina Turda as the locals call it, a salt mine dating from Roman times that now houses an insane, unexpected amusement park! So this day trip is one of the many things to do in Cluj you should put on your list!

In this huge underground complex you'll discover impressive caverns and corridors carved in salt where carefully-placed lighting installations create a magical feeling! In addition to its famed Ferris wheel, this underground amusement park has a bowling alley, a mini golf course and even an underground lake where you enjoy a unique boat trip... underground! So this is a perfect place to visit on a family holiday in Romania .

Turda Salt Mine Tours

Turda Salt Mine Tours

If this wasn’t enough to convince you to visit Turda Salt Mine, you should know that breathing salty air is good for your lungs and prescribed as treatment for people with any kind of respiratory issues. So spending 3 hours in this popular place will be one of the best things to do in Romania for your health!

Bonus: go on a boat trip in the underground like, a unique thing to do in Romania and in the world!

romania tourist places

When travelers start searching for places to visit in Romania, images of the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest inevitably show up. This national monument was the most ambitious and infamous megalomanic dream of communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu - that's why it's commonly referred to as Ceaușescu’s Palace or House of People.

An entire neighbourhood was razed and huge human, material and financial sacrifices were made over the course of 6 years in the 1980s to make space for it. And Romanians are still divided on the value and importance of this most famous attraction...

The building houses Romania’s democratically elected Parliament. With over 1,000 rooms, 4,500 chandeliers and 12 stories high - only the US Pentagon building has a larger on-the-ground footprint than the Palace of Parliament! And the inside is beyond impressive. Undoubtedly this is one of Romania's most famous tourist attraction, so it's a must see even if only from the outside.

Tours inside are led by official staff but they'll only tell you facts about the building - nothing about the communist regime or Ceausescu. So read our blog about communist Romania if you want to find out more historical facts, communist attractions to visit (e.g. Palace Square where the 1989 revolution started!) or go on our dedicated communist tour to get the 'real deal:'

house of people

Complete Bucharest Communism Tour: Palace of Parliament & Ceausescu's Home

Or visit this unique time-bubble communist apartment to feel what it was like to live in communist Romania:

Bucharest communism museum

Museum of Communism: A Time-Capsule of Ordinary Lives

And in case you're wondering is Bucharest worth visiting? the short answer is - YES. For the long one - read our city guide on the many things to do in Bucharest and decide for yourself.

The capital of Romania is by far the largest city and is worth visiting even if only to see go for a short walk in the city centre, for example in University Square and then on Calea Victoriei Boulevard to see some of the most beautiful buildings in Romania such as the Romanian Athenaeum. You can also visit the Village Museum - one of the best Romanian museums - in case you don't have enough time to go in the country.

The ultimate sightseeing – and driving – experience in Romania is a road trip on Transfăgărășan Highway - I know, a mouthful to pronounce! :)

3 hours drive from Bucharest or 1h30 from Sibiu or Brasov, this 150 km scenic road crossing Fagaras Mountains was built during communist years for military purposes using approx. 6,000 tons of dynamite - and much, much effort.

Transfagarasan highway is one of the main tourist places to visit in Romania thanks to an episode of the popular BBC show Top Gear when Jeremy Clarkson named it the best road in the world! Driving enthusiasts will absolutely adore the many twists and turns of this incredible drive - even if someone else is driving! - and everyone will enjoy the jaw-dropping sights of Fagaras Mts. the wildest and tallest in Romania!

Transfagarasan Road Tours

Transfagarasan Road Tours

The road ends at the glacial Balea Lake reaching 2,200m altitudes and offers breathtaking views of Transylvania’s plains in the far distance - in contrast with the nearby peaks over 2,500m altitude. This is also the starting point for many hiking routes into Fagaras Mts. so it tends to get very crowded. Keep in mind the road is open for driving only from 1 July - 30 October. Outside this period it can be visited only coming from Sibiu or Brasov and taking a cable car over it - if weather permits - to the glacial lake Balea.

  • Local tip: less famous but equally spectacular are Transalpina and Transbucegi roads - two other high-altitude driving roads that offer more than just a driving experience!

romania tourist places

17. Go out in Bucharest's Old Town

Another unique thing to do in Romania is to experience Bucharest's diverse and intense nightlife. The trendiest area with today's youth is (ironically!) the Old Town area in the city center.

On Lipscani Street you will see both locals and tourists hopping from bar to bar since there are over 50 in the area. Stag and bachelorette groups from all over Europe come here to party for good reason: Romanians love going out!

But even if you're not a big fan of clubbing - there are many beautiful restaurants, hip bars and cosy wine bars in Bucharest. And during Summer months most of them turn into beautiful urban gardens! And you'll probably go out for dinner anyway - so why not go for drinks after in a different place? You'll see Romanian local life at its best!

Bucharest nightlife tour

Bucharest Nightlife Tour: Craft Beer & Hip Bars

Bucharest Pub Crawls

Pub Crawling & Bar Hopping in Bucharest Old Town

Start from: Lipscani street

If the Old Town is for everyone and tourists - for a luxury clubbing head to the Northern part of Bucharest. In clubs such as Fratelli, Gaia or on the shores of Herestrau Lake, you’d better dress well to not feel out of place. Local tip: the real Bucharest nightlife starts after 11-12 pm - read our post on places to go out in Bucharest to find out more!

  • Pro tip: during Summer months Bucharest's nightlife scene moves to the Black Sea resorts ! In Mamaia beach resort you'll find the posh clubs by the beach while in the hippie resort of Vama Veche people go just to party all day, night and weekend long!
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The Sphinx is a mysterious natural rock formation located high up in Bucegi Mountains . It's accessible via cable car from the small town of Busteni or on our hiking tours.

Local legends claim the rock represents a god who was worshiped long ago by our ancestors the Dacians before the Romans conquered these lands. There are also stories that link the rock to aliens! In any case, many believe the location possesses a special energy and so there are always lots visitors to this unique attraction in Romania's mountains.

The Romanian Sphinx is also the subject of folklore and conspiracy theories that make it incredibly intriguing. So, if you are into paranormal activity or just want to see what all the fuss is about - this popular tourist attraction should be on your list of things to do in Romania!

Nearby are also the Babele rock formations and on a 4h hike (one way) you can reach Omu Peak the 7th highest in Romania at 2,505m altitude.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Romanian Friend (@romanian_friend) on Jun 27, 2017 at 6:06am PDT

You haven’t experienced authentic Romanian culture until you spend a couple of days in the countryside, a real life village museum. You'll disconnect from civilisation, slow down and reconnect with living in tune with nature's rhythm.

Villagers in some areas have preserved their ancestral way of life, customs and values - which is why the Romanian village represents the heart of our culture.

Believe it or not, life in the small traditional village is one of the things Romania is so famous for - even if it's not your typical popular tourist destination. It's not 'a place to go' - it's something to experience! It's why King Charles owns 3 restored village houses Viscri, Breb and Valea Zalanului. Going into traditional regions such as Transylvania, Maramures and Bucovina, or in the mountains in Apuseni (close to Cluj-Napoca), in Marginimea Sibiului (close to Sibiu) or the mountain villages of Magura, Pestera and Sirnea (in Brasov county) is a favorite holiday activity for locals. And it should be for you as well!

Sibiu Countryside tour

Day Trip: Village Life in Sibiu Countryside

Start from: Sibiu

Hiking trip in Apuseni Carpathians

2 Day Hiking in Apuseni Natural Park: Culture & Local Life

Start from: Cluj-Napoca or Sibiu

Some small villages in these areas are true time-capsule even if you have all the modern amenities: shepherds will greet you, roosters and cows will wake you up, and public transport is reduced to horse drawn carts with locals are happy to give you a ride. All this against a backdrop of fortified churches...

Fresh vegetables and fruits from people's gardens and 'in-house' animal products will create simple, delicious meals. And - best of all – this is the perfect place for you to slow down, relax and enjoy a quiet, peaceful life with beautiful scenery.

Agrotourism in Transylvania stay

2-days of Agro-Tourism in Transylvania at a Local Farm

Start from: Cobor or Brasov

Day tour in Romanian mountain villages

Day Trip to Traditional Mountain Villages: Magura & Pestera

Rural regions of Romania may look poor or underdeveloped from the outside but that's part of their charm and - to your surprise - you'll see locals are much happier, welcoming and authentic than city folks. Untouched by consumerism or the business of our modern, tech-heavy society, their way of life is the purest example of resourcefulness and enjoying the simple pleasures of life.

Local folklore, crafts and traditions handed down from one generation to another are well preserved especially in the regions of Maramures and Bucovina. If you're looking for authentic Romanian culture these are the best places to visit for this, especially around Easter or Christmas in Romania .

However, once again, there's no tourism infrastructure for non-locals: few people speak English, no public transport, cash is king and without a local guide with connections in local villages, it's harder to experience the beauty of these place. It's like going into the mountains of Morocco to see berber tribes, the remote villages or Vietnam or in the Amazonian jungles without a guide...

That's why we support inclusive tourism in Romania by including local services, meals and visits in our trips, so local communities benefit too while you have an authentic Romanian experience.

romania tourist places

Let’s close the list with one of the most unique places to visit in Romania: Hoia Baciu forest near Cluj-Napoca. The forest was named after a shepherd and his entire flock of sheep went missing without an explanation! In 1968 the forest gained even more popularity when a military technician claimed he saw a UFO flying over the forest. And there are plenty of other stories and myths in local folklore which our guide knows.

Hoia Baciu Haunted Forest Tour

A Night Tour of Haunted Hoia Baciu Forest

Start from: Cluj - Napoca

What also makes this place unique is the unusual shape of trees and weird natural layout you don't normally see in a forest. One of the strangest spots is a clearing, a perfectly round-shaped patch of land in the middle of the forest (!) where not a single ounce of vegetation grows - without any human intervention! Many locals are truly afraid to go into the forest and some have said voices and sounds can be heard at night. Hence the ‘haunted forest of Romania’ title.

To be honest the first time I heard about this "tourist attraction" I was skeptical. Until I went on a tour in the haunted forest of Romania with a "show me what you've got!" attitude with our guide who is truly passionate about this unique attraction in Romania.

It was unlike any other night-walk I've ever been on, with an eerie feeling to it. Besides hearing the stories about the Hoia Baciu forest and seeing trees like nowhere else, our guide will also give you special measurement equipment for paranormal activity - so you'll see for yourself! Whether you’re superstitious or not - this is definitely one of the most unique things to do in Romania!

romania tourist places

Not too far from Peleș Castle is the lesser-known Cantacuzino Castle . It belonged to Prince George Cantacuzino considered to be the richest person in Romania in the late 19th century and part of a famous political dynasty.

He built Cantacuzino Castle in the unique Romanian architectural style known as Brancovenesc (or Wallachian Reinassance for connaisseurs). The castle has now become an international sensation thanks to another Hollywood hit: it was featured in the popular Netflix series Wednesday directed by Tim Burton.

romania tourist places

Corvin Castle, also known as Hunyadi Castle, stands as a striking example of Gothic-Renaissance architecture in South-Western Transylvania.

It belonged to John Hunyade, a military ruler of Transylvania and father of the king of Hungary whose statue you can admire in the city of Cluj-Napoca.

Corvin Castle is one of Europe's largest castles and best preserved, with a history filled with mysterious legends. Besides it being stunning, I think it's better than its famous rival from Brasov county, Bran Castle.

Corvin (Hunyadi) Castle Tours

Corvin (Hunyadi) Castle Tours

Visitors can explore the impressive structure and learn about its transformation from a military fortress to a noble residence. The castle's rich history, coupled with its stunning architecture, many rooms, tall columns and defense towers, makes it a must-visit attraction in Romania.

romania tourist places

Perhaps lesser known among so many medieval castles, Poenari Castle is still famous thanks to its real connection with Vlad Tepes.

Perched atop a cliff on the road leading to Transfagarasan Highway, it offers a rich glimpse into Romania's medieval history. It was the stronghold of Vlad the Impaler which is why it's called the real Dracula's Castle.

The ruins of Poenari Castle offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes if you're ready to climb the 1480 steps there!

Whoa, that’s a long list!

And even if we haven’t mentioned other tourist attractions in Romania (like or , the Mud Volcanoes , Dacian Ruins ) or great things to do for outdoor adventure fans: (rock-climbing, local craft workshops, caving, MTB or via ferrata).

I think this should be enough to get you started with planning your trip to Romania.

On our website you'll find lots of resources, articles and tours and if you need help with your itinerary send us a message – happy to help!

Your Romanian Friend

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My Path in the World

50 Best Places to Visit in Romania, Europe’s Underrated Gem

I don’t know why I waited such a long time to share a list of the best places to visit in Romania.

Not only do I love this country because that’s where my grandparents were born but also because it’s an underrated beautiful destination and one of the cheapest countries to visit in the world .

If you’re a first-time visitor to Romania , you’ll see that it’s full of surprises, from medieval cities and villages to jaw-dropping natural landscapes to the most unique historical landmarks .

On my Romania road trip , I obviously only got to see some of them, so I’ve gathered the recommendations of a few more bloggers to create this awesome Romania bucket list just for you.

* This post may contain affiliate links from which I earn a commission (for more info, read my disclosure ). As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

* I try to keep the information on this blog as updated as possible, but I still recommend consulting the latest prices, opening hours, and other details on the official website of each site, hotel, and tour, as well as checking the updated public transport routes and timetables.

Romania travel guide: beautiful places in Romania, travel tips, and more.

Table of Contents

Historical Landmarks and Unique Points of Interest

Castelul de lut.

Contributed by Rachelle from  Adventure is Never Far Away

Tucked away in the Transylvanian countryside of Romania lies the Castelul de Lut Valea Zanelor, translated to “Clay Castle of the Valley of Fairies.”

This quirky, soon-to-be-open hotel is made entirely of clay, straw, and sand, with all 10 rooms having their own unique style. The structure itself was built by the craftsmen from Maramures, a region in Transylvania known for beautiful wooden churches.

Castelul de Lut is set in a picturesque location within sight of the mighty Carpathian mountain range. Local legend says that fairies still roam there, protecting the magical area.

For just 5 Lei a person, you can wander the grounds, check out each room, take all the pictures you want, and relax in the fairy garden by the babbling brook nearby!

Best places to visit in Romania - Castelul de Lut

Painted Monasteries of Bucovina

Contributed by Kristin from  Adventures with Ensuite

In the northeast of Romania, close to the border with Ukraine, lies Bucovina. It is nearly six hours by car from the capital Bucharest, but it is worth it to see the eight UNESCO-listed painted churches and monasteries from the 15-16th centuries.

From the outside, the churches look like forts, surrounded by heavy defense walls and towers. However, the interior and exterior walls of the churches are covered in mural paintings, depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments.

The churches are spread over a relatively large area with limited public transport, so renting a car is the best way to get around. If you don’t have time to see all eight, make sure you include Voronet, Moldovita, and Sucevita in your itinerary.

During winter, there is a lot of snow, so the best time to travel is from mid-April to mid-October.

Monastery in Bucovina

Corvin Castle

Contributed by Odette from Omnivagant

Located on the edges of Transylvania, you will find one of Romania’s most beautiful castles:  Corvin Castle .

The history of this castle dates back as far as the 14th century, and visiting this place will almost feel like you are stepping into a fairytale, or a Harry Potter Movie.

To access this castle, you will have to walk across a beautiful wooden bridge through the ports of the castle until you reach the courtyard.

From here, you can visit various sections, such as the knights’ hall, the towers, and plenty of rooms that have been filled with original and replica furniture to give you a better idea of what Corvin Castle truly looked like back in the day.

Visiting the Corvin Castle is one of the best things to do in Romania – it’s a magical experience, one that undoubtedly deserves a spot on anyone’s Romania itinerary.

Corvin Castle

Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Zarnesti

Spreading across 70 hectares (160 acres) of forested area, this incredible, unique sanctuary is the home of dozens of rescued bears (and also wolves and deers).

Hearing their heartbreaking stories yet seeing them so free and content, I couldn’t help but feel sad and happy both at the same time.

It is, without a doubt, one of the best places to see in Romania – it was one of the highlights of my trip, and it must be on your Romania bucket list!

Libearty Bear Sanctuary

Ruins of the Carta Monastery

Located near the city of Sibiu, this abbey is assumed to be founded by Cistercian monks in the 13th century. It is the only Cistercian monastery in Romania, and I’m certain you’ll want to see its fairytale-like remains.

Turda Salt Mine

Contributed by Nicky from That Anxious Traveller

Turda Salt Mine is one of the most extraordinary things to see in Romania! Easily accessible from the  pretty town of Cluj-Napoca , you might think that this is going to be your standard historical sight – but you’d be wrong.

Enter the mine, walking through increasingly chilly rooms, and you’ll certainly see mines with ye olde excavating equipment.

But the big surprise comes when you descend to the Rudolf Mine – and discover that here, hundreds of meters below ground level, is a fully functioning theme park and recreation area!

Take your pick of activities under the stalactites hanging from the cavern’s roof – there’s ping pong, a basketball court, an auditten-pinor concerts, ten pin bowling… oh, and your standard boating lake (saltwater, of course), and a Ferris wheel. Yes, seriously.

Turda salt mine

Dumbrava Sibiului Natural Park and the Astra Museum Complex

Just outside Sibiu’s city center, you’ll find a natural park that houses one of the largest outdoor museums in the world and one of the most amazing points of interest in Romania.

The park is a protected area, home to hundreds of flora and fauna species, and the museum complex is located in its forest area – the Dumbrava Forest.

The open-air complex consists of four ethnology and history museums, including the unmissable Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization, which showcases the way of life in different parts of Romania before the industrial era.

From houses and windmills to workshops and fairs, this place makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

ASTRA Museum

Bran Castle

Who hasn’t heard of the infamous Bran Castle ? Often known as ‘Dracula’s Castle,’ it is one of the biggest attractions in Romania. I have to admit that there was something creepy about this place, but I couldn’t leave Romania without visiting it.

When learning about its history, the actual connection between the castle itself, Dracula’s author (Bram Stoker), and his alleged inspiration (Vlad the Impaler) remains unclear, but everybody likes good old European myths and legends , which are the reason why it’s such a popular sight.

Transfagarasan Road

Contributed by Kat from Wandering Bird

If you’re heading to Romania, make sure you add the  T ransfagarasan Road  to your itinerary. This is the road made famous by the car show Top Gear in 2009 – and thousands visit every year to experience it for themselves.

The road winds through the Carpathian mountains and rises to 2042 meters at its highest point- making it the second-highest paved road in Romania.

The entire road is about 90 km long and takes a couple of hours to drive – unless you choose to stop for photos! 

There aren’t many facilities along the way, so be sure to bring some food and drinks with you – a picnic is perfect and a great excuse to enjoy the incredible views.

If you’re not keen on driving in Romania, you can also book a Transfagarasan Road tour .

Transfagarasen road

Sarmizegetusa Regia

Seeing photos of this intriguing place, you’ll probably think you’re looking at ancient ruins in South or Central America, but no – this surprising spot is one of the top sights in Romania!

Sarmizegetusa Regia was the capital of the ancient Dacian Empire, and the elaborate archaeological works that took place here revealed three areas – the fortifications, the sacred zone, and the residential zone.

Just one glance at them explains why this place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and why you must visit this Romanian hidden gem.

Wooden Churches of Maramureș

The wooden churches of the region of Maramureș totally deserve to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Well, only eight out of almost a hundred surviving churches are listed by UNESCO, but they all should be appreciated.

Dating back to the 17th-19th centuries, they were created as a response to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire’s prohibition to build churches with durable materials like stone.

These uniquely beautiful structures will surely make you feel like you’ve been transported to the past, and you can find them in the villages of Barsana, Desesti, Surdesti, Ieud, Budesti, Rogoz, Plopis, and Poienile Izei.

Wooden Churches of Maramures

Fortress of Suceava

If there aren’t enough medieval landmarks on this list, I’m adding the Fortress of Suceava, a 14th-century citadel that was built to defend Suceava, the capital city of the former Principality of Moldavia.

Today, it also houses a medieval history museum, including some amazing multimedia exhibits.

Baile Romane (Roman Baths) of Geoagiu-Bai

Do you want to visit a unique archeological site in Romania?

Head to the tiny village of Geoagiu-Bai to see its ancient thermal baths, preserved in almost the same shape as in antiquity. While there, be sure to also visit the Clocota Fall, a thermal waterfall created by 16 natural springs.

Rock Sculpture of Decebalus

If you love hidden gems and quirky places (like I do), this one will knock your socks off.

Imagine this: you’re taking a boat tour on the Danube, enjoying the views, and suddenly, there it is in front of you – a giant face carved in the rock overlooking the river.

So who is so important that people would make such an effort to commemorate him? Meet Decebalus, the last king of the ancient kingdom of Dacia, who fought against the Roman Empire multiple times and is considered a hero in Romania.

How to get there: This landmark is located in the Porțile de Fier Natural Park, where you’ll find many other points of interest and accommodation options.   Not too far from the sculpture (on the road alongside the river), you’ll find quite a few companies that operate boat tours to see it.

Things to do in Romania - Rock of Decebalus

Fagaras Fortress

There’s no shortage of beautiful fortresses in Romania, and the Fagaras Fortress has to be one of the best-preserved.

Dating back to the 14th century, it was one of the strongest fortifications in Transylvania, and today, it houses the Fagaras County Museum.

Densus Church

Though you’ve probably never heard of the Densus Church (Biserica Sfântul Nicolae din Densuș), many consider it the oldest church in Romania (and Southeastern Europe!).

The stone structure standing today dates back to the 13th century, but it is believed that it was built on a 4th-century temple, making it a must-see place in Romania for history lovers.

Rupea Citadel

The Rupea Citadel is an extremely important historical landmark.

Not only was the area already inhabited by humans in the era of 5500 BC–3500 BC, but a local legend also says that the citadel is the place where the last Dacian King, Decebalus, took his own life instead of being captured by the Romans.

Today, this hilltop fortress is open to the public and occasionally even hosts different cultural events.

Rupea Citadel

Feldioara Fortress

Built in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights, this is the oldest fortress in Brasov County.

After a few years of restoration that was meant to preserve its remains and give it the shape and appearance it had in the 17th century, the fortress is now reopened to the public.

Curtea de Argeș Monastery

Located in one of the oldest towns in the region of Wallachia, this 16th-century cathedral is a Byzantine-style masterpiece and the burial place of many Romanian kings and queens.

With legends and myths regarding its construction and unique architectural style, it’s no wonder why it is one of the most famous, most important monasteries in Romania.

Horezu Monastery

Contributed by Stephanie from Sofia Adventures

An often overlooked place to visit in Romania is Horezu Monastery. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located in southwest Romania in the southern Carpathian Mountains of the Walachia region.

Founded in the 17th century by Prince Constantin Brâncoveanu, it is one of the country’s best examples of the Brancovan style of monastic architecture.

Horezu is still a working monastery. The town is also famous for its Horezu pottery, which makes a great souvenir from Romania to bring home with you.

While there aren’t many tours that run here, you can easily get here by renting a car and driving or by hiring a private driver through a rideshare app. It makes a great  day trip from Bucharest  since getting here takes about three hours each way.

Horezu Monastery

Cantacuzino Castle

There’s always room for one more castle on this Romania bucket list, and the Cantacuzino Castle should have it. This little beauty was built in the 20th century by the order of Prince George Grigore Cantacuzino and is now open to the public.

To tour the castle itself, you’ll need to join a guided tour in Romanian (English tours must be requested in advance), but you can also purchase a ticket to the castle’s park.

It includes access to places like the interior courtyard and hunting tower, and of course, you can also enjoy the castle’s photogenic exteriors.

Rasnov Fortress

Built by knights (how cool is that?), this 13th-century hilltop fortress was also a place of refuge for the local community, though it was abandoned in the 19th century.

Today, it’s restored, and you can visit the citadel’s remains as well as a small museum.

Do you love knight history? You should visit Malta and Portugal !

Merry Cemetery

Visiting a cemetery doesn’t sound particularly tempting, I know. But some cemeteries around the world have legitimately become highly-visited tourist attractions.

In Romania, close to the border with Ukraine, you’ll find the Merry Cemetery (Cimitirul Vesel), known for its colorful tombstones created by the artist Ioan Stan Patras.

It may sound weird to us, but it’s assumed that the unusual vividness of this place comes from the Dacian belief that death is a joyful moment because the soul continues on to find a better life.

Merry Cemetry, Romania

Want to see more of Europe’s underrated countries? Here are the best cities to visit in Poland and Hungary !

Best Places to Visit in Romania: Cities, Towns, and Villages

The Romanian capital holds a special place in my heart because that’s where my grandfather was born. I have to admit that I don’t think it’s the highlight of this list, but it’s still worth spending 2 or 3 days in Bucharest .

Planning your itinerary, don’t miss landmarks like the Palace of the Parliament (an architectural masterpiece and the second-largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon), the Romanian Athenaeum, and the National Museum of Art of Romania.

For something more relaxing, stroll around the old town, grab a drink at a rooftop bar, or wander through beautiful parks like Herăstrău Park and Cișmigiu Park.

There’s plenty more to see and do, including enjoying Bucharest’s nightlife and culinary scenes, so this is just a taste of what this city has to offer.

If it’s not the first post you’re reading here, you probably already know how much I love roaming the streets of beautiful towns, and medieval Sibiu is one of them.

The colorful buildings of the old town (most of which were built by German settlers), the iconic eye-shaped dormers on their roofs (also called the Eyes of Sibiu), the little cozy cafes, and the medieval vibe – doesn’t that sound dreamy?

If you want to go sightseeing in Romania’s cutest town, some of its points of interest include the 14th-century Sibiu Lutheran Cathedral, the Altemberger House (Sibiu History Museum), the Potter’s Tower, and the Brukenthal National Museum (locates in Piata Mare, one of the prettiest European squares ) .

best cities to visit in Romania - Sibiu

Contributed by Arnav from Eat | Travel | Live | Repeat

Frequently referred to as ‘Little Vienna ‘, Timișoara is known for its secessionist architecture. It is the country’s most cosmopolitan city, as well as the third-largest city and the social and cultural capital of  Romania .

Fun Fact – it was in Timișoara, that the Romanian Revolution of 1989 took birth, which ultimately ended Ceauşescu’s dictatorship, making Timisoara quite an important city in Romania’s history.

When it comes to recommending things to do in Timisoara, the majority of attractions are found in the Old Town.

Iconic sights and attractions in Timisoara such as the Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, Opera House, Strada Alba Iulia (Umbrella Street), the Roman Catholic Cathedral, and Piata Libertatii – all will be covered along if one starts at Piata Victoriei and walks all the way to Piata Unirii.

It’s no wonder why Brasov is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Romania.

With a mix of architectural styles, a well-preserved fortification system, and the fact that it was founded by knights – who can resist such a fascinating place?

Apart from the fortified medieval towers, gates, and bastions, you should also check out Council Square, the Black Church, Rope Street (the narrowest street in Romania), the Beth Israel Synagogue, and the Brasov History Museum.

If you want to visit in winter, the nearby Poiana Brașov is a highly popular ski resort.

Brasov, Romania

If you’re looking for an offbeat weekend getaway in Europe, Craiova can be a great option. It is not a super touristy city, yet it offers enough to fill up a laid-back two-day itinerary.

Its must-see spots are the Madona Dudu Church, the Cosuna Monastery, the Craiova Art Museum, the Oltenia Museum, the Botanical Garden, and the Nicolae Romanescu Park, but you can also take a day trip to the city of Targu Jiu.

Sinaia (Peles Castle)

The town of Sinaia is mostly known for the Peles Castle, an architectural stunner, which was a royal summer residence up until 1947. A few fun facts about it:

  • It was the first European castle to have electricity.
  • It has 30 bathrooms (because why not?).
  • It houses a collection of thousands of pieces like paintings, armors, porcelain, tapestries, and more.

But this little beauty is not the only building worth seeing in Sinaia. Be sure to also check out the Pelisor Castle, the Sinaia Monastery, the Stirbey Castle, the Sinaia Casino, and the St. Elias Church.

If you’re an architecture lover, you’ll be gawking at these buildings for hours.

Another medieval city waiting to be explored by you is Sighisoara. A few fun facts about it:

  • The origins of Sighisoara go back to Roman times.
  • Thanks to its intact nine-tower citadel, its old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • It’s the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler (aka the possible inspiration for Dracula).

Apart from the citadel’s towers and Vlad’s birth house, there are plenty of things to see in Sighisoara like the Venetian House, the Stag House, the wooden Scholars’ Stairs, many beautiful churches, and of course – the old town’s enchanting colorful streets.

Sighisoara

Cluj-Napoca

Contributed by Cass from Cassie the Hag

Cluj-Napoca is the most populous city in Romania. It has an aesthetic that makes itself known as both a lively, university city and a former medieval old town filled with beautiful historic buildings, including many houses painted in bright colors.

This city has trendy cafes and bars a stone’s throw away from the gothic architecture, which the  Transylvania region , for which Cluj-Napoca is the unofficial capital, is most famous. St Michael’s Church and the Reformed Church are impressive examples.

Alongside a great foodie scene and nightlife, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Cluj-Napoca . There’s a large variety of museums and gardens all being walking distance from each other.

Popular day trips include castle and fortress tours, the Turda Gorge, and the unique underground amusement park at Turda Salt Mine.

Targu Mures

The underrated Targu Mures is one of the best cities to visit in Romania and should not be overlooked.

You’d be surprised to know that almost half of its population is actually Hungarian and that it’s home to some of Romania’s most amazing landmarks.

These include a medieval fortress, the impressive Status Quo Synagogue, churches and museums, and the Culture Palace, a stunning early-20th-century building (that should be seen on the inside as well).

Contributed by Mario from Rest and Recuperation

There is one place that I really loved during my trip to  Romania: Viscri .

This little village in the middle of Transylvania is out of the usual tourist routes because you need to take a long detour from the main attractions (I highly suggest renting a car to get there).

The region is famous for Dracula, of course, but also for its Saxon villages and their stunning fortified medieval churches.

Viscri is probably the most beautiful for its location, lost between fields. The village is very small and there are almost no cars, as most people get around with horse carts.

If you want to see more UNESCO listed fortified churches in Transylvania, head to the villages of Biertan, Calnic, Dârjiu, Prejmer, Saschiz, and Valea Viilor.

Viscri

Contributed by Anda from  Travel for a while

Alba Iulia is one of the oldest settlements in Transylvania. A Dacic fort existed here even before the Romans conquered the region. During the Roman occupation, they extended the fort to a Roman Castrum and named it Apulum.

Modern Alba Iulia played a major role in the Romanian Union of 1918. The final act of Transylvania’s unification with the rest of Romania happened in Alba Iulia in 1918. You can now visit Union Hall, where the final vote took place.

Other places you need to visit are the 18th-century Alba Carolina Fortress and the Coronation Cathedral, where King Ferdinand and Queen Mary were sworn in as monarchs in 1922.

The star-shaped citadel is also a must-see. It features Baroque gates, museums, bastions, and restaurants (my favorites are the bronze statues). Also, don’t miss the guard-change ceremony at 11:50 AM every day.

Contributed by Kami from My Wanderlust

Located right at the border with Hungary,  Oradea  is like a hidden gem of Romania. The city was founded in the 11th century and for years has been an important center in the region. At some point, Oradea was even a burial place for Hungarian kings!

The biggest development of the city took place in the 18th century, and that’s when most of the buildings you can admire now were built.

Oradea is a great place for fans of art nouveau architecture. You can find many stunning buildings, but the most impressive one is the “Vulturul Negru” Palace (“Black Eagle” Complex) from the beginning of the 20th century with two symmetrical parts and a beautiful passage in the middle.

The whole center of Oradea is such a lovely place and wandering around is pure pleasure.

Oradea

Contributed by Arabela from The Spicy Travel Girl

The combination of a romantic cityscape full of ancient Roman relics and a beautiful coastline with clear water and a vibrant party scene makes Constanța a perfect Romanian destination for couples,  solo travelers , and families alike.

Enjoy a romantic evening strolling through the old city center and watching the sunset from the minaret of the Carol I Mosque or spend a fun day swimming in the Black Sea and dancing the night away in the Mamaia Beach Promenade.

Besides all that, you can enjoy delicious Romanian cuisine in traditional restaurants, Autoservire canteens, or through inexpensive street food stalls right next to the water.

For history buffs, Constanța not only houses impressive Roman mosaics and other ruins but was also the very place in the Roman Empire where the poet Ovid spent his last days. Doesn’t that make it even more romantic?

Last but not least, Constanța is also a great base to explore other coastal towns and villages in the area like Vama Veche, Mangalia, and Neptun.

Székelyudvarhely (RO: Odorheiul Secuiesc)

Contributed by Helga from  ShegoWandering

Székelyudvarhely is one of the most charming towns at the feet of the mountains of the Eastern Carpathians.

The town is mostly populated by Hungarian Székelys, who have a long history in the area. The town is famous for its charm, great traditional restaurants, and the beautiful nature surrounding it.

While here, you must see the 300+ years old churches, such as the Protestant church on the north side of the town center.

Visit the park of statues on the east side, where you’ll see sculptures of all the famous figures from Hungarian history, as well as the Catholic and Protestant schools which have lovely architecture!

Take a walk in the town center and admire the rose gardens, then, make sure you visit the famous Alexandra pastry shop! It’s the best in the region! Outside the town, visit Szejke, with the must-see 14 gates going up on the hill!

Szekelyudvarhely

Contributed by Sean from Living Out Lau

One of the most charming features of Romania is its wide stretches of pristine countryside and rustic traditional villages.

Because of the lack of transportation in these areas, most travelers don’t get to see the beauty of these places unless they are going on a  Romania road trip .

One of the most idyllic villages is Rimetea, a small hamlet of about 1000 inhabitants located an hour away from Cluj-Napoca, the unofficial capital city of Transylvania. Because of almost 1000 years of Hungarian rule, most of the villagers are still Hungarian and speak Hungarian.

Strolling on the gravel-stoned roads and exploring the simple way of life is a great experience in Rimetea.

Another popular activity is hiking the Piatra Secuiului – at 480 meters above the town, the views up there are surely breathtaking!

If you’re already road-tripping through the region of Maramureș, add a short stop at Baia Mare to your itinerary.

This city has been an important mining center for thousands of years, and you can visit the Museum of Mineralogy and marvel at its unique mineral collection.

Although Medias is the second-largest city in Sibiu county, it seems a lot more like a medieval village. It’s home to one of the best-preserved historical centers in the country and is such an enchanting place, yet you’re likely to be the only tourist there.

It’s definitely worth dedicating a few hours to explore its old town and see the 15th-century St. Margaret’s Church, as well as the fortified Trumpeters’ Tower.

Best Places in Romania for Nature Lovers

Ceahlău national park.

Contributed by Audrey from That Backpacker

Ceahlău National Park is a hiker’s paradise! Located in Neamt County in Romania’s Eastern Carpathians, this park is bounded by Lake Bicaz to the east and the Bicaz River to the south.

What makes this place a must-visit destination in Romania is its natural beauty. Picture dense forests that offer a cool canopy to hike under, fossil limestone peaks that tower on the horizon, and rolling clouds that play hide-and-seek, surprising you with majestic vistas when they finally blow over.

This group of mountains known as Ceahlău Massif is often nicknamed the Mount Olympus of Romania, and there are ancient legends of Dacian gods that trace their origins thousands of years back to these very mountains.

The two main peaks in the  Ceahlău National Park  are Ocolaşul Mare (1907m) and Toaca (1904m).

For anyone looking to spend the night atop the mountain, there is a hikers’ cabin (Cabana Dochia) and a campsite (Camping Ceahlău). If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, this is a destination you won’t want to miss in Romania!

Ceahlau National Park

Piatra Craiului National Park

Contributed by Daniela from Grumpy Camel

Romania’s Carpathian Mountains are possibly Europe’s last true wilderness. The mountain range is home to ancient unspoiled forests, as well as several wildlife species, including brown bears, wolves, and lynx.

If you want to go  hiking in Romania , spend a few days exploring Piatra Craiului National Park in Transylvania.

Forming part of the Southern Carpathians, the park offers several hiking trails through remote mountain villages and deep gorges, with views of sweeping meadows and an impressive limestone ridge that stretches for over 15 miles and rises up to a height of 6560 feet.

The town of Zarnesti is a great base if you want to hike Piatra Craiului. Make sure you hire an experienced guide, as the park is inhabited by brown bears and it’s easy to get disoriented in bad weather.

There are several attractions close by, including Libearty Bear Sanctuary, Bran Castle, and the colorful city of Brasov.

Piatra Craiului National Park

Danube Delta

Danube Delta – Europe’s second-largest river delta, is one of Romania’s hidden gems.

After meandering through 10 countries, the Danube River splits into three main distributaries in the delta, namely Chilia (120 km long), Sulina (64 km long), and Sfântul Gheorghe (70 km long), before emptying into the Black Sea.

Fun Fact – the Danube Delta, which is home to 250+ bird species, is the third-largest biodiversity hotspot in the world and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site back in 1991.

I highly recommend you spend 2-3 days in the Danube Delta on your next trip to Romania, visit during the summer months, and go on a bird-watching boat trip.

If you’re looking for accommodations, one of the best places to stay during your  weekend in the Danube Delta  is Green Village Resort – a luxurious Oasis surrounded by nature.

Danube Delta

Trovanti Museum Natural Reserve

Romania is home to some pretty curious places, and the Trovanti Museum Natural Reserve (Muzeul Trovanților) is definitely one of them.

Home to unusual geological formations, also known as the “growing stones,” this is where you’ll find rocks that literally get bigger with time. Bizarrely resembling the trolls from Frozen, you don’t want to miss this quirky natural phenomenon.

Sphinx Natural Monument

Situated in the Bucegi Natural Park (and accessed with the Busteni Cable Car), the Sphinx is one of the most unique rock formations in Romania.

You can guess that the name derives from its resemblance to the Great Sphinx of Egypt, though it’s not certain whether it was created naturally or by humans.

Along with the adjacent Babele rock formation, it is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Romania, and it’s even said that it has “a special mysterious energy.”

Situated in the Făgăraș Mountains, this glacier lake and its surroundings provide some of the most gorgeous natural landscapes in Romania.

You can simply enjoy the views or hike to either Balea Waterfall or Capra Lake. If you also want to wake up to this scenery, book a night at one of the chalets sitting on the lake.

How to get there: I visited it in summer when it was accessible by car. In winter, this area becomes a paradise for skiers, but it is only reachable by cable car or a day tour .

Balea Lake

Berca Mud Volcanoes Reserve

Lunar landscapes and bubbling mud volcanoes? Are you sure this is Romania?

Probably one of the most unusual natural phenomena you’ll see in the continent of Europe, it derives from gas erupting through salty mud, creating little volcano-shaped natural structures.

If you’re looking for out-of-this-world scenery and love offbeat gems, this reservation, which is reachable by car, must be on your itinerary.

Tip: Be sure to bring appropriate footwear and avoid visiting on rainy days.

BERCA MUD VOLCANOES RESERVATION

Nerei-BeușNița Ravine National Park

For relatively easy (yet not necessarily short) hikes, add this national park to your bucket list.

Here, you’ll find spectacular waterfalls (like Bigar, Vaioaga, and Beusnita), caves, gorges, and the famous turquoise Devil’s Lake and Ochiul Beiului Lake.

You can check out the full list of hikes on the park’s official website (use Google Translate).

Contributed by Stella Jane from  Around the World in 24 Hours

Tulcea, Romania is one of the best places to visit if you want to truly appreciate Romania’s natural beauty. That’s because Tulcea is the perfect base for exploring the extraordinary Danube Delta.

Several tour companies leave from the Tulcea Harbour and take visitors on either all-day or half-day boat trips around the Danube Delta. This is one of the most biodiverse regions in the entire world, and you can see many different unusual birds and over 1000 plant types here. 

Back in Tulcea, you can also learn more about the Danube Delta by visiting the Danube Delta Eco-Tourism Museum Center, which includes a fascinating aquarium.

By the end of your trip, you’ll be an expert on the Danube Delta. Tulcea is about 5 hours away from Bucharest by either bus or train.

Retezat National Park

With mountainous landscapes dotted with dozens of glacial lakes, the Retezat National Park is an avid hiker’s heaven. It’s also home to thousands of flora and fauna species and is a UNESCO Reserve of the Biosphere.

Some of its most popular hikes are Bucura Lake, Retezat Peak, Peleaga Peak, and Păpușa Peak, but I’d say this is a destination for adventurers rather than newbie hikers, and a trip to this remote area requires careful planning.

Pin these Romanian travel destinations for later using the share icon on the right bottom corner!

About Or Amir

Hey, I'm Or! I'm a passionate traveler with a severe coffee, chocolate, and pastry addiction (or any other carb for that matter). I'm always planning my next trip to Spain, Italy, or any other country in Europe, and my goal is to help you make the most of each destination.

18 thoughts on “50 Best Places to Visit in Romania, Europe’s Underrated Gem”

We spent a week in Romania about 6 years ago. I am itching to go back. It was truly amazing. One thing we did, which I didn’t see mentioned was the “Seven Ladders Canyon”. Anyone with a little adventure would spend a day in the forest to accomplish this task. At the time, we took 21 Zip Lines back down the mountain – it was AMAZING! So memorable. Some day we will return to see this spectacular Country! Thanks for the write-up!

Thanks for the recommendation!

As a local, my top 3 places in Romania are Transylvania, the Carpathian mountains and the Danube’s Delta. And Sibiu is my city of choice since I live there 🙂

I loved Transylvania too 🙂

Ahhh! I made it to a few of these – Brasov, Peles Castle, and Bran Castle, but I want to go to all of them! Romania is definitely way underrated.

Yeah, there’s a lot more to it than the popular touristic spots 🙂

Wow! Romania looks incredible. I’ve been interested in visiting for a while but other than Bucharest I don’t know very much about the country. I’m definitely going to check out some of these places when I eventually get around to planning a trip there in the future though. The national parks in particular look incredible! Thanks for sharing this.

I’m happy this post inspired you, Stuart! I love introducing new places to others, and I hope you get to visit soon!

You shared so many interesting places! I would love to see all those cool and beautiful spots in Romania!

Thanks, Ophelie! TBH, while creating this post, I myself felt the urge to go back to Romania – it’s really beautiful and special!

The most comprehensive Romania bucket list on the internet!

Aww, thank you, Arabela! That was the goal 🙂

I was in Romania just over a year ago a d you brought back some wonderful memories. Loved your photos too. Thanks for the inspiration, Or! 🙂

Always happy to inspire others 🙂 Thanks for reading!

Romania seriously looks like my fairytale dream! Love this comprehensive post – just pinned it for future inspiration!

It’s filled with fairytale places, so it’s the perfect destination for you, Elena 🙂

Amazing guide, love the detail! I visited just before covid and really loved it, esp Peles Castle. But it seems there is so much more to see!

There’s plenty to see 🙂 I feel like even this list might not be long enough 😛

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Hi, I'm Or!

I'm a passionate traveler obsessed with traveling in Europe and discovering hidden gems in each place I visit. For me, it's not about ticking destinations off the bucket list but experiencing each one of them to the fullest. Read more about me and my story.

romania tourist places

Inspired By Maps

50 Of The Best Places To Visit In Romania On One Epic Road Trip!

Posted on Last updated: December 15, 2023

Categories Romania

50 Of The Best Places To Visit In Romania On One Epic Road Trip!

Expert travel storyteller Jordan Adkins, founder of InspiredByMaps.com, brings a decade of adventures across 101 countries and 450+ UNESCO sites into rich, off-the-beaten-path narratives, melding ecological expertise with genuine, seasoned travel insights. His full bio can be found here.

Don’t know anything about Romania beyond Dracula and a national love of stuffed cabbage leaves?

That’s OK! We are going to introduce you to 50 of the Best Places to Visit in Romania and convince you this incredible country should be top of your bucket list! With a fairytale landscape, fortified churches, and painted monasteries, there is a lot to love in this mountainous nation.

A strong yet mysterious country that is full of contrasts with vibrant western cities and villages that seem stuck in a wonderfully nostalgic time warp. Dacia’s rule the road here and dense primeval forests provide shelter for the wolves and bears, which call the Carpathian mountains home.

There is so much to discover here, so book your flight now, sort out your rent a car Romania and get planning your visit to Romania – You won’t regret it!

Romania Tourism in a Snapshot

Page Contents

#2. Râșnov Citadel

#3. peștera valea cetății, #4. zărnești libearty bear sanctuary, #5. bran castle, #6. curtea de argeș monastery, #7. palace of the parliament, #8. the middle of romania, #9. densus church, #10. transfăgărășan highway, #11. corvin castle, #12. lacul roșu (red lake), #13. merry cemetery, #15. transalpina road, #16. bicaz gorge, #17. biertan, #18. han pescăresc, #19. praid salt mines, #20. pelisor castle  and peles castles, #21.saschiz, #22. pensiunea agroturistica casa coliniţa, #23. mănăstirea corbii de piatră, #24. horezu monastery, #25. targu jiu, #26. pensiunea muntele alb, #27. wooden gates of bârsana, #28. sarmizegetusa regia, #29. salina turda, #30. cluj-napoca, #31: wooden churches of maramures, #32. borgo pass, #33. ciocănești, #34. churches of moldavia, #35. viscri village, #36. transrarau pass, #37. mausoleum of mărășești, #38. danube delta, #39. letea forest, #40. lake vidraru dam, #41. constanta casino, #42. moldovița mountains, #43. romanian bonfire, #45. sunflower farms, #46.  transbucegi, #47. maramures hostel, #48. bâlea lake, #49. hay stacks, #50. bucharest.

Wander around a medieval town preserved in time at the base of the Carpathians. And of course, stay in the charming hotels in Brasov.

The 7th most populous city in Romania, Brasov was formed in 1211 when King Andrew II of Hungary ordered the Teutonic Knights to fortify the borders of what was then the Kingdom of Hungary .  The knights today are long gone, but thanks to the cities position as a significant hub on the trade roads between East and West, Brasov continued to grow.

Today Brasov is filled with gothic, baroque, and renaissance architecture and plenty of curious historical attractions – like the Black Church, the largest gothic church between Vienna and Istanbul . Like stepping back time, the medieval vibes exuded here make Brasov an intoxicating and not to be missed attraction in Transylvania

Brasov Romania

Climb up to one of Europe’s best-preserved Citadel, which still keeps a watchful gaze over the plains below.

A grand mountain fort built to protect the outer borders of the historic Hungarian empire, Râșnov Citadel has a long and intriguing history just begging to be explored. Its location at the mouth of the Bran Pass was chosen as invading armies had to pass through Râșnov before heading west – and over the years, it was besieged by the Tatar , the Ottoman, Hungarian revolutionaries, and the Austrian imperial troops – just to name a few.

As a result, it is probably no surprise that the people of Râșnov and the nearby villages grew weary of continually leaving their homes to be ransacked and so simply turned the Râșnov Citadel into their long-term home for decades – meaning there is now an entire village within the fortification left to explore. There is also a museum worth visiting with exhibits, including weapons and period objects worth exploring.

Rasnov Cathedral Romania Tourism

Climb into a huge limestone cave carved out by water and time under the mountains.

The Valea Cetăţii Cave and surrounding natural protected area are all exceptional beautiful – however, the standout highlight has to be the jaw-dropping Cathedral Hall reached through a short walk through an ancient forest. Within this 30,000 cubic meter cave are small pools of water that perfectly mirror the extraordinary calcite formations and white arches that hang from above.

A rare chance to get up close to this natural geological formations – and without undertaking a claustrophobic expedition of abseiling as in many other places. It is conveniently located only a few kilometers from the city of Râşnov, though for some reason international tourists have yet to discover the Valea Cetăţii Cave – meaning a more enriching experience for those who wind up at this magical place!

Peștera Valea Cetății - Romania Tourism

Come face to face with nature in this safe space for the rescued brown bears of Eastern Europe .

A beautiful bear sanctuary hidden in the historic oak forests above the town of Zarnesti in Transylvania is now open to guests. The Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti was founded in 1998 by a Romanian woman, Cristina Lapis after she witnessed three bears in a small cage in a restaurant being used to attract customers. Sadly, in the past, this practice was all too popular. She then made it her personal mission to rescue bears who were languishing in small and rusted cages at restaurants and petrol stations and create a sanctum for them. Thus Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti was born.

Only open in the mornings, onsite guides take you around the sanctum informing you of each of their personal stories – and giving you a unique opportunity to see over 50 rescued bears. Be warned. Some of their accounts are very sad, but supporting this shelter helps to ensure the remainder of their life is as peaceful as possible.

Zărnești LiBEARty Bear Sanctuary - Romania Travel Ideas

Get goosebumps exploring the famous castle-keep that didn’t actually inspire Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula.’

One of the most famous castles in Romania – if not the world, initially built-in 1212 and destroyed just a few decades later in 1242 by Mongols. It was rebuilt and destroyed many times over the centuries taking its dramatic form we see today in the 14th-century.

Commonly known outside Romania as ‘The Real Dracula’s Castle,’ Bran Castle is frequently alleged as the inspiration for the famous Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s famous book. However, in reality, the description of Dracula’s crumbling fictional CastleCastle bears almost no resemblance to the immaculate Bran Castle, and there are only tenuous associations with Vlad the Impaler, the presumed inspiration for Dracula. In fact, there is no evidence at all that Bram Stoker was even aware of the existence of this castle.

Still, this association was one that the Communist Party of Romania used in tourism in the 1970s to encourage tourism as they sought to develop a closer relationship to the West. Today, Bran Castle’s private owners are happy to keep playing this up to keep tourists flowing in. Regardless of this, the medieval dramatic architecture, intriguing history, and a well-stocked museum displaying art and furniture collected by Queen Marie mean Bran Castle is not to be missed on any Romanian road trip. There is also a cute little open-air museum displaying classic Romanian peasant structures such as cottages and barns, which is worth a look in.

Wondering the best film to see before you travel to Romania? You guessed it, the 1991 movie Dracula where Gary Oldman and Winona Ryder star in a tortured tale of a charismatic vampire, based on the tale of the Prince of Darkness.

bram stoker's castle dracula - Romania Travel

Marvel at this Tentative UNESCO site and one of Romania’s most important churches where the royals are buried.

Built in the early 16th century, this Romanian Orthodox cathedral is dedicated to Dormition of the Mother of God and is regarded as one of Romania’s most prestigious religious sights. The cathedral boasted a pastel grey limestone exterior while the interior is of brick, covered, and embellished with sublimes frescoes. Much of the marble and tiles used in its construct hail from Constantinople, resulting in Curtea de Argeş Cathedral resembling a mosque more than a conventional Orthodox church.

The site also houses a grand Neo-Romanian style Royal Palace and a necropolis – the final resting place of many medieval princes and royal family members of the centuries, including most recently in 2017, when King Michael I was buried here with a full state funeral.

Curtea de Argeș Monastery - Tentative UNESCO Site

Feel tiny standing in front of one of the world’s biggest buildings, which consumes as much electricity as a medium city!

The Palace of the Parliament is the current seat of the Parliament of Romania, found in the capital, Bucharest. Built over 13 years from 1984 to 1997, this grand moment to socialist realist and modernist neoclassical architecture was ordered by Nicolae Ceaușescu, the dictator of Communist Romania and designed by a team of approximately 700 architects. Today it is still the world’s largest civilian building with an administrative function, as well as being the heaviest and most expensive building.

Its interior constitutes 23 orant sections, and today has been repurposed to house the two houses of the Parliament of Romania: the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. In addition, there is also an international conference center and three museums, including the  National Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Communist Totalitarianism, and the Museum of the Palace. Even with these extraordinary uses, 70% of the building still remains empty.

Beautiful Places in Romania - Parliament of the People

Find your way into the middle of nowhere and the middle of Romania at 45°59′06.81″N 24°41′09.87″E

Ok – We are not going to say this is one of the top Romania tourist attractions, but if you are on a road trip, chances are you will pass close by, so why not make the stop. Located in complete obscurity, there is a small sign to mark the spot – and plenty of gorgeous countryside around. And we will bet you a good meal there won’t be another tourist, or soul, around for miles.

Sighișoara is probably the closest large town in Romania you are likely to visit – but mark the spot on the map, and you never know when you’ll be nearby. It is all part of the adventure, after all!

Absolute Middle of Romnia

Tune into your spirituality in the oldest church in Romania, most of which are still standing.

Another idiosyncratic spot for those wondering what to see in Romania without being swarmed by tourists. Legend has it that the Densus Church started life as a Roman pagan temple in the 4th century – which makes sense given the hodgepodge of architectural styles present here, including Byzantine design mixed with Roman columns.

Proving great things come in small packages, the importance of this church’s story was acknowledged as far back as the Hungarian Empire when Densus Church was afforded traditional protection. This ensured it was not destroyed to build a more lavish and grand church – as was standard at the time. Even today, religious services are still held regularly here as they have been for over 700 years.

Densus Church UNESCO Site

Be transfixed by this seemingly impossible highway, which was gouged out in the steep mountains through the sheer folly of Nicolae Ceaușescu.

One of the most famous places to visit in Romania, in large part thanks to a specific Top Gear episode, the Transfăgărășan Highway is unlike any other road on earth.  Built-in the early 1970s as a strategic military route ( in case of a Soviet invasion) the construction of this paved mountain road crossing the southern section of the Carpathian Mountains was once thought impossible due to its extreme alpine environment. Turns out, it was possible – however its creation came at a high financial and human cost, including hundreds of lives, and over six million kilograms of dynamite.

Even today, the Transfăgărășan is only traversable during the summer months and average speeds are around 40 km/h. Expect plenty of winding road, abrupt hairpin turns, long S-curves, and sharp descents – though this may be the attraction for many motorists, including Top Gear Host Jeremy Clarkson who blazoned it the “best road in the world.” For others, the jaw-dropping scenery and history are the allure. No matter your interest, the Transfăgărășan will not disappoint.

This trip is only possible with a car… Take a look now at the best rental car prices in Romania so you can compare and save!

Transfăgărășan Highway Romania

If this were a Top Ten Places To Visit in Romania, we would be done now, but luckily it’s not, and we have another 40 b eautiful places in Romania to explore…

Relive your childhood at this fairytale fortified castle protecting the Western Carpathians. Yes – The Corvin Castle is also the closest you will get in real life to living out your Hogwarts dreams.

Initially constructed in the 14th century, with its fourth and final phase of construction being complete in the 19th century, the Corvin Castle , stands as a Gothic-Renaissance masterpiece that was worth waiting for. Today is has stood the test of time and is still standing amongst the largest castles in Europe, in large part thanks to a recent (fancifully) restoration effort after a calamitous fire and decades of neglect.

Despite being besieged by modern steel mills and industrial buildings, Corvin Castle still offers a spellbinding attraction from its fairytale location atop a rocky bluff connected by only a thin bridge for access. Like seemingly every castle in Romania, some legends associate this place with Vlad the Impaler – but the elaborate architecture and endless rooms and courtyards to explore ensure Corvin Castle is one of the best places to visit In Romania.

Corvin Castle Travel Romania

Feel time slow here at this picturesque holiday spot high in the mountains, popular with families and hikers.

A large natural dam lake formed by an earthquake in 1838. Today the Red Lake and surrounding area are known for its temperate microclimate that encourages health tourism. Everything from physical and mental exhaustion to insomnia and neurasthenia is said to be helped here.

The clean air in the valley is likely to aid in relaxation, especially as many of its visitors are escaping the crowded and polluted air of Bucharest. Either way, this is a tranquil location worthy of exploring for a few days if you have time – and offers a chance to experience Romania as Romanians do.

Lacul Roșu (Red Lake) - Romania Vacation Spots

Ponder this colorful and humorous reinterpretation of life and death in a small rural cemetery.

An open-air museum and a national tourist attraction that has somewhat recently rose to prominence due to one specific unusual feature of this cemetery. The Merry Cemetary, as the name suggests, does not treat death as something indelibly solemn but instead that death should be a moment overflowing with joy and expectation of a better life.

This belief is connected with the local Dacian culture and results here in bright illustrations and dark humor being exhibited on gravestones. “Underneath this heavy cross. Lies my mother in law poor… Try not to wake her up. For if she comes back home. She’ll bite my head off.”

The Merry Cemetery in Maramures Romania

Soak in the vibes of this bustling city in the heart of Transylvania with cobbled streets and imposing churches still protected by a grand city wall.

One of the most important artistic centers of Romania, the medieval city of Sibiu today, has successfully reinvented itself as a livable home for beatnik artists and those who what the culture of Bucharest without the fast-pace of life (and sprawling traffic jams).

Indulge in the cities growing coffee culture, wander historic plazas, explore art in baroque palaces, or be reinvigorated by the unbridled creativity of its residents. A fusion of old and new Romania, it is no wonder the cosmopolitan Sibiu is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Plan to stay at least a few days to take in its highlights, or use it as a great jumping-off base for exploring the surrounding region of Transylvania.

Sibiu in Romania

Traverse the highest mountain pass in Romania where you touch the clouds and follow in the footsteps of a 13th century noble and traders.

While the Transfăgărășan Pass might be the most famous Romanian Road – the  Transalpina or DN67C is actually the highest road in the country with an elevation is 2,145m above sea level. And yes, it is equally exciting. While a mountain path at this spot in the Carpathian Mountains is said to have existed for millennia, it was the Germans during WW2 who initially turned it into a road for military reasons. However, it took until 2007 for the modern ‘Transalpina’  to develop after an enormous project, which was a 148 km dirty road transformed into a modern highway.

In many ways, the Transalpina is more majestic in terms of sheer natural beauty and allows tourists a peek into landscapes untouched by technological advances. The journey across its Urdele Pass plateau is particularly impressive – where you are quite often driving above a sea of clouds. It would be impossible for us to chose a favorite amongst the (many) mountain pass roads of Romania, so all we can do is suggest you visit them all. Yes, there are more coming up!

Transalpina Road Trip Romania

Feel smaller than an ant in this deep valley gorge that weaves its way between ancient boulders and sheer cliffs.

Yet another magnificent road that adds to the appeal of Romania as an exemplary road trip destination, the Bicaz Gorge serves as a (narrow) passageway between the provinces of Moldova (not the nearby country of Moldova) and Transylvania. The Bicaz Gorge allows access to the famous Red Lake as noted above, into which the Bicaz River discharges.

Created by the torrid waters of the below, the 8-kilometer road here winds through steep canyons and ravines with 300m-high limestone rocks towering on one idea and precipitous drops on the other. Not for the faint of heart, this dramatic drive also offers a peerless view of the Ceahlau Mountains.

Bicaz Gorge - Romania Travel Guide

Marvel at the fortified church keep which protected its villagers from pillaging invaders over the centuries.

Charming Biertan , one of Transylvania seven villages with Fortified Churches protected by UNESCO, feels lost in time. Horse-drawn carriages, a mess of Saxon-style buildings, a looming fortified church, and cute medieval inns are all found here. With three tiers of 35-foot-high defensive walls and an intricate system of towers and gates, it should come as no surprise that Beritan was never conquered in medieval times. As a result, the village remains to give a striking and authentic picture of the cultural landscape of southern Transylvania.

The village is also famous for another reason, there was only one divorce amongst its residents for over 300 years. This is because inside the fortified church was a ‘marital prison’ where couples were locking to divorced for six weeks were locked up to solve their issues. To find out more, visit the phenomenal museum onside.

Biertan Fortified Church Romania

Catch your own fish or enjoy a traditional meal with a stunning view in this small Transylvanian-Hungarian community.

A quaint fishing inn in the heart of the picturesque mountain village in central Romania, perfect for lunch or an overnight stay. The basic idea of the Han Pescaresc Inn is fish-farming using the knowledge from several generations of the same family who have lived here. This means you can hire a fishing net and all you need for fishing.

Still, we recommend going more for the unique gastronomic experience that is oh-so-typically Romanian. Enjoy a freshly roasted trout caught in the lake right in front of the restaurant, and then grab a beer or explore the picturesque grounds further. Another hidden gem most popular with locals, making it even more worthy of a spot on your Romanian road trip itinerary.

Han Pescăresc - Small Town Romania

 Escape the heat and enjoy the healing abilities of this vast abandoned mine.

Romania isn’t just all mountain passes, castles, and medieval villages – there are also underground salt mines. And boy, are they popular – in large part due to the unique microclimate that is said to help with different diseases. And one of the most famous is the Praid Salt Mine , home to one of the largest salt reserves in Romania.

Hop on one of their shuttle basses and head down to “Level 50” – 120 m below the surface where you will find… basically a small underground village? It’s weird. Really weird. And that’s why we love the Praid Salt Mines. The salt deposits here have been exploited since Roman times, but today its offering is slightly different. Light shows, Wi-Fi, television, playgrounds, amusement rides, 3D Cinema, a coffee shop, and a naturist drugstore can all be found down here. There is also a restaurant and wine tasting program. Because, why not?

The average annually underground temperature is 16 degrees Celsius, and during the summer months, around 3000 people visit per day. Yes, Praid Salt Mines is wildly popular – and one visit there, you will see why. There is (almost) nothing else like it…

Praid Salt Mines Romania

Explore one of Romania’s most beautiful castles, which are still home to their royal family today!

Constructed built between 1873 and 1914, by order of King Carol I, under whose reign the country gained its independence, after visiting the adjacent town of Sinaia and falling in love with the magnificent mountain scenery. The more immense Neo-Renaissance Peleș Castle was constructed first, later followed by Pelisor Castle, which is a glorious example of Art Nouveau style combined with Byzantine and Celtic elements.

Peleș Castle was nationalized after King Michael was forced to abdicate and fled the communist government in 1947. It was returned to the Royal Family in 1997, along with many other properties. Still, it was then subject to a decade-long court case. Today, both are accessible to the public through onsite museums but are also occasionally used events organized by the former royal family.

Interestingly, Romania is one of the few countries in the world actively considering restoring its monarchy with recent polls showing half of the population believes monarchy to be a better organizational form than a republic. For now, the Royal house here is exceedingly popular, yet have no position in government. Not that that should preclude Pelisor Castle from being one of the best places to visit in Romania.

Pelisor Castle Romania

With so many beautiful places to see in Romania, how can you be expected to find them all on yourself? You can’t, of course, but this list will help, and so does the Romania Lonely Planet. Get it now in print or on a PDF for your phone, so you are never stuck on the road in Romania… Now 30 more to go!

Discover a traditional village watched over by a crumbling church.

Another of the seven villages with fortified churches in Transylvania protected by UNESCO, though Saschiz literally stands out. The sheer size of the church ensures its attracts attention even amongst this venerable group, and is worth a visit alone to marvel at its immense arches, extensive buttresses, and ornamental stone and brick aspects.

Located very close to Sighisoara, this towering defensive outpost is not the only reason to visit Saschiz however. The town is also famed as a center of carpentry and wood-painting. Take some time to try the local cheese, explore artisan shops, wander the cobblestone streets, and enjoy the picturesque view of the village from the hill above.

Saschiz UNESCO World Heritage Site in Romania

Experience life as a traditional farmer in this secluded valley with evening cow milking and farm-fresh gastronomy.

The farm complex Pensiunea Agroturistica Casa Coliniţa is located in the hills outside of Vatra Moldoviţei and offers home-made products and demonstrations of the farm activities. All rooms feature traditional Romanian decor and furniture, but thankfully WiFi is also offered. Meals prepared with the own farm products are on offer – and should not be missed. It would not be an exaggeration to describe dinners here – and our entire stay in genera – as a highlight of Romania.

The ideal place to go to see and encounter rural Romania, where dazzling landscapes and ancient traditions combine to create something utterly magical. Owned and managed by Loba Ion and his mum, you will immediately feel at home here and are guaranteed an experience like no other. If you are lucky, you’ll be offered an adventure like picking mushroom, wandering the hills to milk show, or listening to the bellowing of the deer stag at nights. If you are, “Yes, please!” is the only acceptable answer.

Pensiunea Agroturistica Casa Coliniţa

Find this ancient church perfectly hidden in a rock face to protect worshippers from nosey pagans.

Translated as the Stone Ravens Monastery, this miniature ancient place is exceptionally peaceful and mysterious – even if you don’t need to stay long. In dire need of repair, this Monastery was first documented in 1512. Still, the style of the carving on the wall gives a clue of its actual age, with art harking back to the 10th century Byzantine Empire.

It might even date back to one millennium early to the 2nd century due to its camouflaged hatch entry popular with persecuted Christians of the time. There is also evidence that it was used as a point of worship of the Dacians, the original people who occupied this region. Much like Easter Island or Tikal , we may never get answers. Still, a visit here is undeniably moving and intriguing – and you are likely to enjoy this enigmatic place all to yourself.

Mănăstirea Corbii de Piatră Travel Romania

Discover a hidden monastery tucked into the foothills of the Carpathians.

Established in 1690 by Prince Constantine Brancovan, the monastery of Horezu is a masterpiece of the ‘Brancovan’ style. As such, it has been recognized as one of the 25 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Romania. The Brâncovenesc style is the only authentic and original Romanian style to ever develop. It formed as a result of the constant tug-of-wall between world powers in the surrounding area and a desire to put cultural development of the country above everything else.

Horezu is renowned for its bounty of sculptural detail, its committed portraits, and its painted decorative works – as well as its architectural purity. The school of mural painting instituted here in the 18th century made it famous throughout the Balkan region.

Horezu Monastery UNESCO Site

View the artworks of Constantin Brâncuși, which are influenced by geometrical designs and representational art.

While there is plenty to discover in the town, Târgu Jiu is famous as the home of Constantin Brâncuși, a pioneer of modernism and one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th-century. The apex of  Constantin Brâncuși’s career was when he commissioned to contribute to a memorial monument to the fighters of World War 1 in Târgu Jiu.

The result, completed in 1938, was called Calea Eroilor, “Heroes’ Street,” which is a series of sculptures now famed throughout the world: The Table of Silence, Stool Alley, The Gate of the Kiss, and The Endless Column. In the 1950s, the Communist mayor proposed to destroy Brâncuși’s “bourgeois” art. However, thankfully he was unsuccessful, and they are still here and free for you to enjoy. Of course, Targu Jiu has more to offer than this – but I’ll let you discover them for yourself!

Targu Jiu Romania

Bath in a panoramic visit like no other while you enjoy traditional Romanian hospitality at this wonderful guesthouse.

Breathtaking views, great rooms, and outstanding service – what more could you ask for? After adventuring up 13km of paved road, you are rewarded with mountain top tranquility, starry skies, unbelievable vistas, and smiling hosts. All at over 1650 m altitude…

At night, there are communal areas to cook food and a fireplace to meet other guests around. Another authentically Romanian experience, this guest house is popular with locals with love to get away and enjoy nature – along with the hearty food on offer here.

Pensiunea Muntele Alb Romanian Hillside

Wander around a village unchanged by the modern world and marvel at the wooden craftsmanship on display.

Located in the Maramures region, often referred to as the ‘land of wood,’ a visit to rustic Bârsana promises verdant green landscapes, a slow-paced atmosphere, and, most famously, glorious wooden oak gates. Proudly crafted by generations of inhabitants, the gates are said to help connect with a different world, a realm hidden from all that is evil. Thus behind these guardian gates carved with pre-Christian pagan motifs full of deep meanings, the house and its inhabitants are protected.

The Bârsana gates are often much larger than the property behind; providing a defensive wall that cannot be bypassed and passing beneath it is a ritual act of purification. Historically gates were reserved for noblemen, but today they are raised as a sign of wealth and pride across the entire Maramures region. Still, in  Bârsana, their crafted beauty and prominence are particularly majestic.

Bârsana Wooden Gates in Maramures Romania

Step back in time and unravel the secrets of the ancient Dacian people and their hilltop fortress, often described as the Machu Picchu  of Europe. Yes – Sarmizegetusa Regia is as ancient as it is mysterious!

Concealed in the impenetrable forests of the Carpathians, Sarmizegetusa Regia is one of the most magnificent and enigmatic sites in Romania. Founded on top of a 1200 m high mountain, the fortress, containing six citadels, was the capital and the most important religious, military, and political center of the Dacians – before the Roman conquest in the 2nd century AD.

Its location, even today, remains difficult to access, which explains how the comprehensive and well-preserved remains which stand in magnificent natural surroundings have lasted into the modern era. An exceptional wonder that gives a dramatic picture of an innovative civilization from the classical world / late European Iron Age. If you have time, check into a local guesthouse and spend a few days hiking in the surrounding Gradistea Muncelului-Cioclovina Nature Park within its glorious vistas and various other Dacian ruins. You are likely to have these awe-inspiring and powerful spaces all to yourself.

Sarmizegetusa Regia UNESCO Site Romania

Eschew sunlight and fresh air for this subterranean labyrinth complete with a sci-fi theme park, health spa, and Ferris wheel.

Another salt mine in Romania that should not be missed. Salina Turda bills itself as a  halotherapy center and well as a veritable destination to discover the (surprisingly fascinating) history of salt mining. But it is so much more than that. Located 120 meters below the ground, this is one of the oldest salt mines known to man and today houses a futuristic modern art theme park complete with an underground lake with rowboats, spa treatment rooms, a bowling alley, and mini-golf.

We have no idea who came up with this bizarre concept. Still, with over 500,000 people visiting annually, it is fair to say the modernization and reinvention of Salina Turda has been a resounding success. With five cavernous mines to explore, swimming pools and more –  Salina Turda is most assuredly one of the most astonishing places found on or IN the planet. Don’t miss it.

Salina Turda Salt Mines Romania

Delight in the historical and culinary highlights of this cosmopolitan city with far more than meets the eye.

The unofficial ‘capital’ of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca , has a considerable student population leading to its arty vibe, uninhabited nightlife, and some of Europe’s best-loved electronic music festivals. The second most populous city in Romania is also blessed with a cornucopia of primarily Renaissance, Baroque and Gothic architecture and a remarkable set of mid-century styles buildings that make wandering its neighborhoods even more appealing.

While there are pockets of utilitarian Communist-era architecture, there is far less than other urban centers in Romania. Add to this the lively old town, peaceful green areas, modern cafes, and long-list of cultural institutions, and you have a vibrant destination worthy of at least a few day’s investigations. Most travelers lament not allowing enough time to explore Cluj-Napoca fully – don’t be one of them!

Cluj-Napoca Travel Guide

It’s impossible to choose the b est places in Romania to visit…But you have to try, right! Even narrowing it down to 50 was tough! Twenty more to go…

 Look on with wonderment at these ornately crafted Wooden churches with have survived unchanged for centuries. But be warned – the distance Maramures region is even more mysterious than Transylvania … 

There are almost one hundred Orthodox churches, and a few Greek-Catholic ones, wooden churches in this remote region of Romania. While each is worth visiting, eight have been selected as leading examples that showcase the diverse range of architectural solutions using to build these churches. You would be hard-pressed not to see at least one while exploring this region, as these high timber constructions are characteristically tall and tower over the fields and small villages in which they are found.

The entire Maramureș region has been semi-autonomous since the Middle Ages, meaning the people have their own traditions and way of life of here. This distinct way of life has also been ensured in the modern era due to its remote location in a mountainous area of northern Romania and a general lack of visitors. Besides the iconic churches, the Maramureș boasts well-preserved wooden villages and a visibly traditional lifestyle. This, along with the colorful outfit many locals still proudly wear, ensure the Maramureș is often referred to as a living museum of Old Europe. 

Wooden Church's of Maramures UNESCO Site

Follow in the footsteps of Stokers Dracula and transverse the scenic mountain pass between Transylvania with Bukovina.

At this point, you’ll probably be getting a sense of just how epic the roads and highway passes of Romania are. And this spot is no exception. This “Borgo Pass” was made popular thanks to a reference in Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula as the entrance to the domain of Count Dracula. However, as we saw previously, Bram never actually visited the area and presumably found the name on a map.

For the record, the pass is officially known as the  Tihuța Pass – but its literary claim to fame does not mean its sheer natural brilliance should be underestimated. Located at an elevation of 1,116 m, the pass reveals excellent unspoiled views of the Carpathian mountains and the traditional villages that dot the hillside here. The pass is also home to the Hotel “Castel Dracula,” built-in 1974 in a medieval castle-type style and a popular place to stay the night for true fans of Romania’s most famous novel.

Borgo Pass

Enjoy a coffee in this quaint town renowned for its individually decorated houses and valley setting.

While it might not be the most spectacular highlight of Romania, the charming village of Ciocanesti is worth stopping at as your route towards the Maramures on the other side of the Eastern Carpathians will undoubtedly take you nearby. The 500 or so houses of Ciocanesti form something of an outdoor museum as the walls of each is painted in traditional motifs, similar to those you would normally find on Easter Eggs. This is no coincidence as in the 1950’s one imaginative owner thought to brighten things up to attract people to this small town by painting her entire house. In time others would note her success and join in. Today the local authorities coordinate and finance all these artworks.

Every motif is said to reflect the personality of the house’s inhabitants – so we will leave you to guess what some of those colors and shapes say about the occupants. The aesthetic transformation village of Ciocanesti is nothing short of astonishing and has ensured its place as a pearl of the region of Bukovina that no tourists should miss.

Ciocănești Painted House in Romania

Gaze upon the timeless frescos and colorful churches of the Moldavia region, a World Heritage Site.

A set of eight churches in northern Moldavia designated as UNESCO World Heritage in Romania. Constructed in the late 15th and 16th centuries, they are remarkable due to their external walls being blanketed in unusual Byzantine-style fresco paintings. Yes, the outside! Far from being minor wall decorations, the compositions create a methodical covering on all the facades and outline complete religious themes and ideas dominant at the time.

Their outstanding construction, the balance of the characters, and the arrangement of the colors mingle perfectly with the surrounding countryside. More in common with the majestic yet simple churches hidden in the countryside of Georgia and Armenia than the dominating cathedrals of Copenhagen and Lisbon , the Churches of Moldavia are essential sightseeing for even the most ‘church’d out’ of European travelers.

Just to be clear, we are talking about the Romanian region of Moldova. Not the country next doo r – which is worthy of a visit in and of itself (just be careful as most rental cars and some insurance policies will not cover you if you cross the border!).

Colourful Churches of Moldavia UNESCO Site in Romania

Follow in Prince Charles’s footsteps and explore every inch of this exemplary fortified church, which is protected by UNESCO.  Viscri has strong Saxon roots, and if you’re lucky, the Prince of Wales may be visiting his house here!

Yes, the Prince Charles of Wales did indeed buy a house here, but there is plenty of reasons to visit even for non-Royalists. The exalted fortified church, the adorable local guesthouses, and the famous barn restaurant serving traditional Romanian specialties all spring to mind. You can also hike or bike the many paths around the town, which give sweeping landscape views of the 13th-century village surrounded by green pastures and dense oak forests.

If you decide to stay the night in Viscri , don’t miss the evening ‘cow parade’ where the 300 cows return from the surrounding fields in which they graze. This is about as local as it gets!

Viscri Fortified Church in Romania

Breath in crisp Mountain air and survey this untouched TransRarau alpine environment from above. New infrastructure development here ensures that while the TransRarau maybe is less popular than other passes in Romania, it will not stay that way for long!

TransRarau , yet another gorgeous high altitude alpine road in Romania that crosses the Rarau Mountains. Famed as the third most beautiful road in Romania, though in all honesty, the passes here are each so exceptional we gave up trying to rank them. Just incorporate them all into your road trip! Also known as Treasure Road or, more simply DJ175B, this crossing is 26 km long, reaches an elevation of 1,400m, and connects the village of Chiril and Pojorata. In the past, the road was narrow and filled with pothole but has recently been renewed at great expensive – and ensuring an easygoing drive for you. Just pay attention to the curves!

Much less popular than all other Romanian mountain passes we visited, the entire trip is full of jaw-dropping panoramas – though annoyingly with a distinct lack of parking places to enjoy them. One place, however, you will want to stop for a photo is the ‘Lady’s Stones,’ a famous natural rock monument with unmistakable silhouettes – and thankfully, there are a few safe places to park here.

TransRarau Mountain Pass Romania

Pay your respects to Romania’s fallen from the first World War, located near the battlefield of Mărășești in which Romania achieved its first decisive victory.

It might not be one of our favorite Romania tourist attractions – but being found in Mărășești in Vrancea County makes this site a great way to break up a long stretch of rather boring driving as you head back to Bucharest or to the Black Sea. The Battle of Mărășești was a battle fought during World War I between Germany and Romania in which German attempt to crush the last Romanian army failed, but the Romanians also failed to regain their territory.

Sadly Romania lost over 27,000 men, though the tenacity of their spirit was also shown as Germany lost almost twice as many soldiers (47,000). The motto of the Romanian Army during the battle was “Pe aici nu se trece” (“They shall not pass”) – which we would also apply to this moment today as it sits conveniently on the side of a major highway. The memorial took 15 years to build and was unveiled on 18 September 1938 by King Carol II, just in time for WW2.

Nation's Heroes Mausoleum Romania

Test your ornithologist skills in Europe’s largest protected wildlife zone, with over 5,500 species

Romania isn’t just all mountain passes and unique churches; there are also almost unbelievable natural landscapes to be discovered here – including the exceptionally underrated Danube Delta.

The waters of the Danube, which flow into the Black Sea, form the largest and best-preserved of Europe’s deltas. Located on significant migratory routes and providing sufficient conditions for nesting and hatching, the Danube Delta is a sanctuary for birds from six major ecoregions of the world, including the Mongolian, Arctic and Siberian

. Over 320 species of birds can be spotted in the Delta during summer, of which 166 are hatching species, and 159 are migratory – and over one million individual birds winter here. While most international tourists head to Transylvania or the beach resort towns south of the Delta, the Danube Delta shouldn’t be overlooked by bird lovers or those who have an interest in exploring one of Europe’s last remaining expanses of pristine nature.

Danube Delta Romania Travel

Wander around this bizarre forest, which springs out of a  rolling dune system.

Letea Forest is the oldest natural reservation in Romania, established back in 1938, and is famous for its 500-year old oaks, wild horses, sand dunes, tropical creeping ivy, and abundance of birds. With a different feel to the rivers and islands of the delta, there is also a small restaurant in a village here served delicious trout.

Yes, it is technically located within the Danube Delta, but worthy of its own spot on this list of things to see in Romania.

Letea Forest Romania Travel

Pack a picnic and enjoy this stunning dam set high in the Carpathians.

Created in 1965 as a result of the construction of the  Vidraru Dam  on the Argeș River, which at times was the fifth largest dam in Europe and 9th in the world. It is hard to convey the true magnitude of this project at the time as 40,000 toiled over six years to mammoth construction, a first of its kind in Romania, and as much of a monument to the countries communist past as the Palace of Parliament in Bucharest or the Transfagarasan Highway. Today this achievement is still marked by the communist  ‘Energia’ statue, representing Prometheus with lightning in his hand, which can be spotted standing guard here.

If the community history, unnatural beauty of the location, and picnicking aren’t enough, you can go for a swim, though even in the summer months, the water is only ever between 5°C to 15°C. There is also small boat rides possible – and for bunging jumping off the 166m dam face for those who are braver.

Lake Vidraru Dam Romania Tourism

On the home stretch now of the top 50 most b eautiful places in Romania. Stay with us now. We promise you we have saved some of the best for last!

Admire Romania’s crumbling ghost, once known as the Monte Carlo of the east!

 Once considered Romania’s Monte Carlo and a symbol of the city of Constanța , the most-recent and modern version of the now-defunct casino was built in Art Nouveau style and inaugurated in 1910. It was in operation for 38 years, with interruptions and bombings during the wars, until in 1948, it was taken over by the Communist government.

It was abandoned in 1990 due to large operational expenses and remained to this day a haunting sight on the seafront. Numerous plans have been floated for its redevelopment over the year, but litigation and political frenzy have so far ensured no project has ever progressed beyond the drawing board.

Constanta Casino Romania Travel Sights

Commune with nature and the shepherds as you enjoy a day hiking between picturesque villages.

The countryside in Romania enchants tourists from all over the world with its fairytale landscapes, Saxon villages, fortified churches, and rural life. Competition is fierce between regions but Moldovița, in the north-east of the country, might be the best place to escape for a few days, live like a local, fully relax and indulge yourself with ancestral food.

A truly Romanian experience in slow living – Moldovița has only four villages: Argel, Demăcușa, Moldovița, and Rașca, but plenty of gorgeous mountains, cute hikes, hospitable locals and a ‘Land That Time Forgot’ quality. For countryside will take your breath away, unblemished mountain scenery and fascinating traditional villages located in valleys and on green hills –  Moldovița is where you should go.

Moldovița Mountains

Dance the night away around a Bonfire with folk dancing and plenty of music.

Ok, not technically a place in Romania – but an experience you should seek out. Romania is one of the poorest countries in Europe, meaning when you are on holiday here you will often be sharing accommodation and guest houses with locals as well as international travelers – because, for Romanians, the cost of traveling abroad is simply too exorbitant.

While recognizing this is is a sad situation, it means as a traveler you have even more opportunities to interact with locals. We would encourage you to use it. On our travelers here we meant many Romanian families, couples, and solo travelers who invited us to enjoy drinks with them, visit their towns and join for meals and dancing around more the bonfire on more that one occasion. The hospitality and charm of the Romanian people is infectious – and a large part of why we loved visiting Romanian. A smile and a friendly hello will go a long way.

Romania Places To Visit - Romania Bonfire

Admire the beauty of this small village, which looks like it was transported from the Mediterranean. Kind of.

A small commune in Sibiu County only  40 km west of the county capital Sibiu, Jina sites on the edge of the Cindrel Mountains and sprawling farmland below. There is nothing exceptionally extraordinary about this city, but its location and lack of tourists make it a great spot for photos and a picnic on your Romanian road trip.

Again – on the greatest joying of exploring this mysterious country is taking the road-less-traveled and discovering your own hidden gems. For us, Jina was exactly this sort of discovery.

Romania Places To Visit - Jina Romania

Bask in summers warm embrace and admire the fields upon fields of sunflowers that cover the countryside.

Again, not an exact place in Romania, but on your road trip here, you are bound to notice an unusual abundance of sunflower farms dotting the roadside. This is because Romania is the largest producer of sunflowers in Europe, with around 1 million hectares sown, although interesting Romania also has some of the least productive farms in Europe.

They are everywhere – but life is short, so don’t forget to slow down and smell the …sunflowers. In travel, it is often the little things you remember anyway.

Romania Places To Visit - Romanian Sunflowers

Take in a new vista at every turn on this windy TransBucegi mountain pass through rural villages and traditional farmscapes. The TransBucegi is one trip you will never forget!

The last of the great Romanian highway passes, you should add to your bucket list but by no means the least impressive. Positioned in the south-central part of the country, the TransBucegi, well – traverses – the Bucegi Natural Park offering crisp mountain air, extensive vistas, and the chance for wildlife spotting if you are lucky. The road is 20 km long filled with bends and hairpin curves, and plenty of hiking trails should you wish to take a break and get even closer to nature.

The third highest altitude road in Romania, after the Transfăgărăşan and Transalpina, the construct of the highway only began in 2010 -meaning it hasn’t yet reached the fame of other highways in the country. Linking Sinaia with the Bucegi Mountains Plateau, ensure time to make stops at the  “The Old Dames” (Babele) and the “Sphinx” (Sfinxul) rock formations, and for a short visit to the Caraiman Heroes Monument.

Beautiful Places in Romania - TransBucegi Mountain Pass

 Rest your head in a converted barn set on a traditional farm in the middle of this mysterious region.

A new campsite and hostel in the beautiful village of Breb in the hills of Maramures in northern Romania that was one of our favorite accommodations … in the world!  Babou Maramures is a small-scale rural hostel located in the traditional barn with as little changes made as possible. The only big change made was on the roof, which was renovated with thin pieces of wood -11,000 in total- according to the traditions of the region and the inside decorated with a mix of the local traditions and our owner’s own touches.

Inside is common areas, dormitories, and bathrooms. There is also an extensive garden, of which parts are used as a campsite where you will find chairs, hammocks, and places to enjoy a fire at night.  Rustic and homely, Babou Maramures is the perfect place for travelers full of energy, lovers of activities, and hiking to experience the wild nature of historic Maramures.

Beautiful Places in Romania - Maramures Hotel

Take a moment to enjoy your surroundings, and a hot drink, at the serene Bâlea Lake below the highest mountain in Romania. Or in winter, enjoy the Frozen Bâlea Lake Ice Hotel! 

Yet another of Romania’s astonishing natural wonders,  Bâlea Lake  is a magnificent, must-see landmark – even if it might be just a little too cold for swimming. The glacier lake is carved 2,034 meters up near the peak of the Făgăraș Mountains, aka ‘Transylvanian Alps.’

Its location in the Făgăraș Mountains means you’ll pass it if you take the TransFăgăraș Highway, but Bâlea Lake is worthy of a spot on this list in its own right. In the winter there is a ski resort next to the lake, but in the summer it is a great spot for hiking. There are a few hikes, but our favorite is the 10-kilometer route between Bâlea Lake to Bâlea Waterfall peppered with breathtaking scenery.

Ensure you have the right gear and checked the weather conditions before heading out. Or you can always just take a picnic lunch and enjoy its peaceful tranquility without the physical exertion.

Bâlea Lake Ice Hotel

Be transported back in time as you amble around the countryside and are transported back to a pre-industrial way of life.

Another weird and wonderful attraction of Romania is the seemingly endless fields of haystacks. But not just any haystacks. Romanian haystacks – yes, they are different! Over the centuries, this unique method of haystack building has become a bit of an art, meaning that haystacks of Romania have their own individual characteristics and are found nowhere else on earth. In the cold Romanian winter, animals and people would die if these haystacks didn’t survive, so great care is taken in constructing these stacks – some of which tower over four meters in height. They may look haphazard, but the methodology is very meticulous, and you can read about it here.

Seriously, it is fascinating, and these haystacks are a bit of an unsung hero, having embedded themselves deeply into Romanian culture. The 1989 demonstrations against Nicolae Ceausescu with led to bloody revolution, are referred to as the spark over a very dry haystack, and in the past, freedom fighters would hide in the haystacks to escape Turkish forces. It is also said that farmers had to be careful what their daughters got up to with the hired help, and suspicious fathers would often pitchfork the stacks to ensure their daughters’, ahem, modesty remained intact. Therefore many young men in the past bore a scar known as the love fork.

Beautiful Places in Romania

Tie up your shoelaces and get exploring the old town of Bucharest – one of the most liberal cities in Romania with a growing gay scene. 

No guide to visiting Romania could be complete without mentioning it’s dynamic capital – though its suitability for a road trip is debatable.

For those who are less confident driving in hectic streets, use either pick up or drop off your rental car for your Romanian road trip in Bucharest and explore the metropolis on foot. We could produce an entire article on the highlights of Bucharest alone but suffice to say there are trendy cafes, grand villas, communist scars, and museums to keep you occupied for a few days.

A long way off the almost Disneyland-esque appeal post-communist capitals like Tallinn and Prague , the grit of Bucharest adds to its appeal and ensures its pockets of hidden glory are only found my the deserving. A mix of old and new, with art aplenty and a growing foodie scene – Bucharest is one of the last cities in Europe you can enjoy without hoards of tour groups spoiling it for everyone.

Romania Places To Visit in Bucharest - Palatul C.E.C

So there you have it – 50 of the Best Places to Visit in Romania! Perfect for a road trip and a few weeks of nature-loving. If you loved this, you might also like:

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Let us know what you think and the most b eautiful places in Romania  – We could easily have made this list Top 100! This is a place where you are going to want to take your time to enjoy an epic Romania Road Trip (and sort your rent a car Romania) – and we know you are going to love it as much as we did!

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15 best places to visit in romania in 2024 (after a 3 week trip).

Cazzy Magennis

In 2021, Bradley and I road tripped through Europe in our campervan and spent around 3 weeks in the wonderful country of Romania!

We fell in love with the country, and 3 weeks was a great amount of time to see all the best attractions that Romania has to offer.

Romania is a fantastic country that offers something for every type of traveller.

It’s bursting with culture, history, and castles. 

The people are friendly, the mountains are fresh, and you might even see a bear on your travels! 

This is also a perfect place for those wanting to visit a country in Europe that's budget friendly, we found Romania to be super cheap, and didn't feel like we had to miss out on any activities or experiences due to prices!

So we thought it would be a great idea to showcase all the best places to visit in Romania.

Along with a few added travel tips and tricks to help make the most of your time here.

Before we get stuck into the details, I thought I'd round up my ultimate top 5 places to visit in Romania (just in case you're short on time! ;) )

  • The home of Dracula:  Bran Castle- seriously one of the coolest things about Romania is all the castles, and you can't miss Dracula's! 
  • Peles Castle:  yes another castle, but serioulsy beautiful! 
  • Transfăgărășan Highway : one of my favourite drives in all of EUROPE! Chance to see bears and experience snow in November! 
  • Liberty Bear Sanctuary: a bear rescues sanctuary which is super informative.
  • Salina Turda : without doubt, one of the most unique and coolest places in all of Europe.

Now that's done,

Let’s get stuck in …

Travellerspoint

15 Best Places To Visit In Romania

1. discover the capital of bucharest.

Bucharest

Bradley and I have been to Bucharest not once, but twice!

And both times, we loved it!

The second time was actually for Bradley's 30ths birthday celebrations with lots of friends, so it was also great that they got to witness the sights of Bucharest too.

Not only is Bucharest Romania’s capital, but it’s also the largest city in the country and studies have suggested it’s going to become Europe’s richest city by 2050. 

Situated on the Dâmbovița River, Bucharest is a scenic city that offers plenty to tourists. 

Some of the most popular places to visit in Bucharest include exploring the city’s old town, the National Museum of Romanian History and the Romanian Athenaeum which is the city’s most prestigious concert hall. 

Before WWII, the capitals’ nickname was ‘Paris of the East’ due to its similar architecture and Art Nouveau palaces.

If you want to get a feel of this part of the city, then head to the Arc de Triomphe, the beautiful gardens or the quaint streets lined with restaurants. 

The Palace of Parliament is also found within the city centre and is the world's largest Parliament building. The building consists of over 1,000 rooms and guided tours are available. 

If you are planning to visit Bucharest, you won’t be disappointed.

It’s one of the best places to visit in Romania and should be at the top of your itinerary. 

I can also say that it's a really great party destination if you're hoping to meet some locals, fellow travelers and have a few drinks!

We took a private bar crawl with Buchaest2night and it was awesome, they even arranged a limo rental which was special.

2. Visit Bran Castle: The home of Dracula

bran castle

I'll admit it, Bradley and I are vampire fans, and by that I mean, we like the Twilight movies, it's our guilty pleasure, which is why when I knew were going to visit the home of Count Dracula himself, I was super excited...

Bran Castle is a landmark and National Monument in Transylvania and is known as Dracula’s Castle. 

Fun fact, even though the castle is often linked with Bram Stokers ‘Count Dracula’ although the author never actually visited Transylvania. However, he depicts the scenes in his book so well, that you would never realise. 

The surrounding villages believe in the existence of evil spirits, ghosts or ‘strigoi’, and until half a century ago thought these individuals were living among them.

A strigoi is someone that leads a normal life in the day, until their souls leave their bodies at night and they come out to hunt their prey. 

Today, the castle is a museum that has been dedicated to displaying furniture and art pieces collected by Queen Maria, who was the castle's previous royal resident.

Along with her exhibitions, and her husband King Ferdinand's room, the castle also has exhibits about Romanian vampire lore, Vlad the Impaler and Bram Stoker. 

Bran Castle is one of the most popular Romanian tourist attractions and is a must-visit.

It won't take you too long to wander around, and afterwards you can grab some Dracula theme souvenirs, including little Dracula dolls, and Dracula wine (Romanian wine is pretty nice btw!)

3. Explore the beauty of Peles Castle

Peles Castle

Peles Castle is located in the charming town of Sinaia, nestled at the foot of the Bucegi Mountains. 

It’s a Neo-Renaissance castle with intricate and wonderful architecture and is recognised by many as one of the most beautiful castles in Europe.

Peles Castle was commissioned by King Carol I in 1873, and after it was built served as the summer residence of the royal family until 1947. 

The king spared no expense, and Peles was the first castle in Europe to have electricity.

It even had its own power plant, along with 160 rooms which are full of European art, crystal chandeliers and German stained glass windows. 

During communist Romania, the castle became national property and many of the items were transferred to the National Arts Museum in Bucharest. 

Peles Castle is one of the most beautiful places in Romania, due to its scenic surroundings and its stunning interior. 

4. Drive the famous Transfăgărășan Highway

Transfăgărășan Highway

If you are heading out on a road trip in Romania, then driving the Transfăgărășan Highway is a must. 

This is regarded as one of the best road trips in the world!

And we can confirm, it's cool!

The highway was built in the early 1970s as a strategic route to cross the Fagara Mountains if Romania were to be invaded by the USSR. 

Transfăgărășan highway is over 150km in length, and its highest point is at 2,042m so as you can imagine the views are spectacular. 

Thanks to its appearance on BBC’s Top Gear, the highway has now become one of the most popular attractions in Romania. 

However, it’s only fully open from June to October as the road is dangerous during the winter conditions due to ice and snow. 

Although a spectacular road, this drive isn’t for the faint-hearted.

With large sections of road without barriers and sheer drop-offs of over 1,000 ft, this isn’t a journey you want to do if you aren’t a confident driver. 

When we visited, we actually didn't get to do *all* of the drive, because it was still wintery and they had not fully opened the road yet.

However, we have full intentions of returning and completing the drive! 

5. Climb 1480 steps to Poenari Citadel

poenari citidel

Poenari Citadel (or Poenari Castle) is one of the most well-known places in Romania, as it was home to the famous Vlad the Impaler. 

Vlad the Impaler was an important prince of Wallachia and is recognised as a national hero of Romania.

However, he was best known for his cruelty and wickedness when it came to punishing his enemies. 

Poenari is located high on a cliff edge near the Făgăraş Mountains, and in its day was one of the most impenetrable fortresses in the country. 

In 1888 a landslide brought down part of the citadel, but otherwise, Poenari is quite well maintained and is one of the best places to visit in Romania. 

Climbing up to the top of Poenari Citadel is no easy feat with 1480 steps to climb, but the views are worth it. 

If you are planning to drive the Transfăgărășan highway, then you can combine the two sites as the citadel is located at the start of the mountain road. 

I'll be totally honest with you, we didn't climb the steps....but we did fly our drone for a closer look!

Again it was closed due to the time of year we visited.

6. Visit the Historic town of Râșnov

romania tourist places

Râșnov is located in the Carpathian Mountains, within the region of Transylvania. It’s thought to have been built in the Thracian-Roman times although it’s most famous for its fortress.

Râşnov Fortress is found on a rocky hilltop 650ft above the town and was built by the Saxons to protect the town from invaders. 

There is a legend attached to the fortress about two captured Turkish soldiers. As the citizens were concerned about the availability of drinking water, the soldiers were set to work digging a well. 

They were assured of their freedom if they were to complete the task, and according to local legends, it took them 17 years to finish.

However, even after being promised their freedom, the soldiers were killed anyway and the famous well is still found within Râșnov Fortress.

Currently, the fortress is undergoing restoration works, so unfortunately entrance inside isn’t permitted, but people can still access the grounds and view the fortress from outside. 

Other popular attractions in Râșnov include the old Saxon houses, the old Evangelical Church and the old Orthodox Church. 

7. Visit the Liberty Bear Sanctuary

liberty bear sanctuary

The Liberty Bear Sanctuary is one of the best places to visit in Romania if you love animals. 

In the 1990s it was common to see bears sitting in small cages outside of restaurants.

They were used to attract customers, and unfortunately, it was a frequent sight throughout Romania.

However, one woman named Christina Lapis wanted to rescue these distressed animals and change the public's attitude towards these beautiful creatures. She wanted to stop this cruel and illegal exploitation and give these bears a new life. 

Today her dream has come true, with the Liberty Bear Sanctuary now being home to over 100 bears enjoying their freedom over 69 hectares of land. 

Most of the bears here were found in tiny cages up and down the country where they had been used as pets or public attractions. However, Betsy was the first bear to be transported overseas from the United States after spending her life as a circus bear. 

The bears were all caught from the wild as cubs and had lived their whole life in a cage. However, today these bears have the chance to climb trees, swim in the pools and explore to their heart's content. 

8. Explore the city of Brașov

brasov

Brașov is often known as the gateway into Transylvania and is located about 166 km (103 miles) from the capital of Bucharest. 

It’s one of the most visited cities in Romania and that's due to its picturesque location, beautiful architecture and relaxing atmosphere.

Some of the most popular places to visit in Brașov include the Piața Sfatului (the council square), the Biserica Negara and Catherine's Tower. 

Make sure you also wander down Strada Republicii which is the city's lively main street.

However, one of the most popular things to do is to take the cable car or hike up to Mount Tâmpa.

The most famous hiking route up is the ‘the Knight's Road’ which dates back to the days of the citadel making it the oldest route to the summit.

Not only is there a Hollywood-like ‘BRASOV’ sign at the top, but Mount Tâmpa is also home to golden eagles, grey wolves, brown bears and Eurasian lynxes. 

9. Venture back in time at Cetatea Făgărașului

It’s thought that Cetatea Făgărașului began as a wooden fortification in the 12th century, until it was destroyed. 

Then throughout the 15th century, Cetatea Făgărașului took on the form of a walled fortress to protect from invaders. 

The fortress's position was incredibly strategic, as it was located halfway along the trade route between Sibiu and Braşov, and also within the vicinity of Wallachia. 

It has also had several uses over the years varying from a garrison for the Romanian army, a camp for white Russians and a prison for political prisoners. 

Today, Cetatea Făgărașului is a museum that houses interesting exhibitions, and various artefacts including roman items, folk art and medieval weapons. It’s a great spot to visit if you are interested in learning about Romania's history.

10. Visit the traditional, authentic village of Viscri 

Viscri

Viscri is a very well preserved Saxon village located in the centre of Transylvania. 

Some of the popular things to do in Viscri include eating traditional dishes, staying in an old Saxon house and making the most of the cycling trails that run around the village. 

However, the most famous attraction in the village is the Viscri Fortified Church.

The church forms part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is named ‘villages with fortified churches in Transylvania’. The church is the most popular attraction in the village, with plenty of iconic areas to see.

Viscri Fortified Church.

While visiting Viscri Church, make sure you head to the Holy Font, the Church Museum and the Tower which gives an amazing view of the village.

If you are wondering where to go in Romania, then make sure Viscri is on your list. 

11. Take a trip to the Sighişoara Citadel

Sighişoara Citadel

Sighişoara Citadel is the only inhabited medieval fortress in Southeast Europe, and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site ‘ the Historic centre of Sighişoara ’.  

It’s one of only seven Saxon walled cities in Romania, which were all built at a similar time during the 12th century. 

There is a lot of history located within this spot, as the citadel has experienced many tragic moments throughout time. This includes the Mongal invasion, various fires, rebellions, witch trials and executions. 

Today, however, Sighişoara Citadel is a place full of charm, colour and beauty. Once you step through the gates and wander down the cobbled streets you will be transported back in time. 

There are plenty of incredible sights to see here including the famous clock tower, the Scholars Stairs, the torture museum and the ‘alleged’ birthplace of Vlad the Impaler. 

Sighişoara is one of the best places in Romania to visit and is a must whilst travelling through the country. 

12. Discover an underground funfair in a salt mine: Salina Turda

romania tourist places

Salina Turda is the world’s most spectacular underground formation that has been shaped by people. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Romania, and upon entering it isn’t hard to see why. 

It’s thought that salt was first extracted here during the Middle Ages from 1075 to the early 20th century. 

However, one of the most interesting facts about this place? It’s estimated that salt from the turda salt mine could cover the salt required for the entire planet for the next 60 years! 

After opening to the public in 1992, Salina Turda now attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year for a very unique reason.

There is an underground funfair located within the salt mine, that has mini golf, ping pong tables and a bowling alley.

It’s also possible to hire a boat to go round the underground lake, sit on a ferris wheel or visit the amphitheatre.

boat hire at salina turda

Due to its unique geographical setting, the beautiful salt formations and clean, purified air, it’s no wonder so many people love this site.

When it comes to hidden beautiful places in Romania, Salina Turda is right at the top of the list. 

13. Scărişoara Glacier Cave

Scărişoara Ice Cave is home to the biggest underground glacier in Romania and the second biggest in Southeastern Europe. 

It’s considered to be one of the natural wonders in Romania and was first mentioned in 1863 by Austrian Geographer Arnold Schmidl.

The Scărişoara Ice Cave is estimated to have formed around 3,500 years ago when this area was covered by glaciers.

What’s even more interesting is that although the cave was first mentioned in 1863, the exact date when the cave was first discovered by humans is unknown meaning it could have been discovered centuries before. 

Only certain parts of the cave are open to tourists and that includes the Big Hall, the Church and the entrance shaft. Access to the other chambers is reserved for scientists only. 

14. Bánffy Castle

Bánffy Castle has many architectural features including Renaissance, Baroque, Neoclassical and Gothic styles. The castle has undergone many different construction phases and is owned by the Banffy family. 

Between the years 1437 and 1543, the Banffy family built this castle and lived here up until 1944. At this point, they were evacuated by the Germans who turned it into a military hospital. 

Towards the end of the war, the castle was burned by retreating German troops, and then suffered neglect after the war when it was looted for building materials, and vandalised. 

However, Bánffy Castle has been included on the World Monuments Watch and it’s expected that the castle complex will be completely restored by 2026. 

In 2012, the Transylvania Trust established the Electric Castle Music Festival, where some of the revenue helps to support the conservation work. 

15. Admire the beauty and backdrop of Sibiu

romania tourist places

The city of Sibiu dates back to the 12th century and is nicknamed ‘the city of eyes’, due to the roofs here which look like they have multiple eyes. 

There looks to be a clear division in Sibiu, and that is down to the Saxon history of the city. The Saxons made a division between the lower town and the upper town, based on the citizens class.

The upper town would be for more affluent citizens and the elite, while the lower town would be for merchants and peasants.

Connecting the two are a labyrinth of stairways, passages and alleys.

Some of the most popular attractions in Sibiu include the ASTRA Museum of Traditional Folk Civilisation, the Sibiu Lutheran Cathedral and the Catholica Basilica. 

Simply wandering around this magical city is a must. Allow yourself to get lost in its picturesque streets and narrow alleyways. 

When is the best time to visit Romania?

romania tourist places

Romania is a great country to visit, no matter which time you choose to visit. However, the climate varies throughout the year and the best time to visit will depend on what you're hoping to do in the country. 

In springtime, the temperatures start to warm up, although May is notorious for having lots of rainfall so it’s important to be well prepared. 

The summer months of June, July and August attract plenty of crowds as temperatures can reach up to 29ºC.

However, the popular tourist spots can get incredibly busy during this period. 

Autumn in Romania is beautiful with bright fall colours, warm temperatures and fewer crowds. 

The winter season in Romania can be incredibly chilly depending on which area you visit. Some regions can experience temperatures of around -6ºC, and plenty of snow. This is of course perfect if you want to get involved with winter sports. 

In general, the best time to visit Romania is between September and October.

This is when the crowds are thinner, temperatures are milder but still warm and the fall colours are beautiful at this time of year. 

Getting around Romania

romania tourist places

Getting around Romania is incredibly simple due to their extensive and reliable public transport network. 

Travelling by train is one of the most popular options as every major city or town in Romania has a train station.

The trains travel long distances across the country, and there is the option of taking overnight sleeper trains depending on your destination. 

Buses are a great choice if you are travelling within cities, but a lot of routes don’t cover inter-city travel. This is where Maxi-taxis come in. They are small bus-like vehicles that are independently operated and are used to travel outside of the city and to other areas. 

Whilst exploring Bucharest, you will also have the pleasure of taking the metro. It makes getting around the city very easy and is extremely cheap. 

In our opinion, if you want to make the most of travelling to this beautiful country, then we would recommend hiring a campervan. 

OR convert your own like we did and travel around in it!

There are plenty of campsites to choose from across Romania but something even better?

Wild camping and standing free with a motorhome are legal, which will save you plenty of money on the road and you'll be able to stay in some amazing locations.

There's also the option to hire a car in Romania !

How long do you need to visit Romania?

There are so many incredible places in Romania to visit, that we would recommend a minimum of 10 days.

However, the country is incredibly large and even 10 days would mean rushing your time. 

If you want to see the best this country has to offer, we would recommend spending between 2 to 3 weeks exploring Romania.

That allows you to visit a variety of destinations, whilst also being able to take your time in each place. 

Final thoughts

If you are planning to visit Romania, you won’t be disappointed.

There are so many incredible things to do in this country like visiting 12th century Saxon villages, driving the Transfăgărășan Highway and exploring Bran Stoker's famous Dracula's Castle.

If you aren’t sure of the best way to get around, we always recommend hiring a campervan if that’s possible for you.

It’s one of the best and cheapest ways to see a country, and you aren’t restricted to public transport timetables.

It means you truly get to see the best of Romania.

If you're interested in seeing more areas of Eastern Europe, then check out Montenegro for some more amazing sites.

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13 Top-Rated Attractions & Things to Do in Bucharest

Written by Diana Bocco Updated Dec 24, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Once known as "Little Paris" for its elegant architecture, Romania's capital of Bucharest is rich with a storied history that merges with its modern identity.

The confluence of architecture is dizzying yet fascinating. Its Byzantine buildings; 16th-, 17th-, and 18th-century churches; Art Nouveau mansions; and spectacular Neoclassical facades have survived earthquakes, war, and later, communism – and they all mix together to create a breathtaking urban display.

During that dark political era, somber block panel masonry left its imprint, as well as the gargantuan Palace of the Parliament, the prized creation of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.

The charm of Bucharest is revealed by exploring its sprawling city parks, admiring the works of art and exhibits at its excellent museums, and getting lost in the gritty yet charming lanes that weave through the Old Town.

A stroll down Calea Victoriei , arguably one of the prettiest places to visit in the city, is an encounter with the country's grandest buildings and most meaningful monuments, all a testament to times gone by.

Exploring Bucharest is about understanding a complex past that is giving way to its modern sensibility as a booming European capital. Discover the best places to visit in this dynamic city with our list of the top attractions and things to do in Bucharest.

1. The Old Town

2. palace of the parliament, 3. romanian athenaeum, 4. stavropoleos church, 5. curtea veche: the old princely court, 6. revolution square, 7. arcul de triumf, 8. national museum of art of romania, 9. dimitrie gusti national village museum, 10. national museum of romanian history, 11. bucharest parks, 12. carturesti carusel, 13. day trip to bran castle, where to stay in bucharest for sightseeing, map of attractions & things to do in bucharest.

The Old Town

The Old Town is one of Bucharest's earliest settlements, where structures date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. Over the centuries, it has been the seat of Romanian princes, a center for trade, a place to worship, and a crossroads for travelers.

It also managed to survive Ceausescu's 1980s razing of one-fifth of the city to build his vision of a new Socialist capital. After spending decades as a slum, much of the Old Town has been gentrified and renovated since the fall of communism.

Yet while many historic buildings have been gallantly restored, still other properties await their facelift. This contrast gives that much more charm to the Old Town's pedestrian lanes and cobbled streets lined with bookshops, theaters, restaurants, and cafés.

Popular things to do here include visiting Curtea Veche , an open-air museum built on the site of the Old Princely Court, once home to Vlad the Impaler, and the National Museum of Romanian History with its fine collections of religious and royal treasures.

Palace of the Parliament

The Palace of the Parliament (Palatul Parlamentului) is one of the top tourist attractions in Bucharest. It is the world's second-largest administrative building (after the Pentagon), an architectural colossus that also claims the title as the heaviest building in the world.

Boasting more than 3,000 rooms over 330,000 square meters and constructed with marble and steel, it was originally called the People's House by its visionary, the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, who used it as his family's residence and as the seat of his government.

To complete it, Ceausescu razed places of worship, workshops, factories, parks, part of the Old Town, and entire neighborhoods. More than 20,000 workers and 700 architects worked on the opulent Neoclassical-style palace over a span of 13 years, from 1985 to 1997, during which time the majority of Romanians faced poverty.

Still unfinished, today a small portion houses Romania's parliamentary headquarters and the National Museum of Contemporary Art . Scheduled tours bring visitors up close to its vastness, the kitsch, and the outrageous luxury Ceausescu would have continued to experience had he not been overthrown in a coup d'état.

Address: Strada Izvor 2-4, Bucharest

Romanian Athenaeum

Home to the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra , the stately Romanian Athenaeum (Ateneul Român) is the city's most prestigious concert hall. The 19th-century building, designed by French architect Albert Galleron, resembles an ancient Greek temple with a 41-meter-high dome and a peristyle of six Ionic columns.

The interiors feature a lobby of intricately painted gold-leaf ceilings, cascading balconies, and spiral marbled staircases. The 652-seat auditorium is known for its excellent acoustics and its fine art. A 70-meter-long and three-meter-high fresco that winds its way around the circular hall proudly depicts scenes from Romania's history.

Address: Strada Benjamin Franklin 1-3, Bucharest

Official site: www.fge.org.ro/en

Stavropoleos Church

Tiny, peaceful, and beautiful, the Stavropoleos Church (Manastirea Stavropoleos) was built in 1724 by a Greek monk, Ioanikie Stratonikeas . With its intricately carved entrance lined with columns, this Brâncovenesc-style church stands apart as a unique landmark in Bucharest.

The Orthodox church features fine stone and wood carvings and a combination of Romanian and Byzantine elements. It is surrounded by a garden courtyard filled with 18th-century tombstones.

Inside, several frescoes and wood icons can be admired. The church complex once included an inn and a monastery but both were destroyed. The church itself was restored several times after damage from earthquakes, and is noted for its unique library that houses a large collection of books related to Byzantine music.

Be sure to check the church's websites for news of concerts and other events, which are available to the public.

Address: Strada Stavropoleos 4, Bucharest

Old Princely Court and Old Princely Court Church

Located in the heart of the Old City, the Old Princely Court (Curtea Veche) was the palatial residence of Wallachian princes. Perhaps its best-known occupant was Vlad Tepes, otherwise known as Vlad the Impaler, who inspired Bram Stoker's tale of Dracula. A statue of the infamous Romanian prince stands among what's left from the past, including the court's walls, several arches, and columns.

A 16th-century prince, Mircea Ciobanul, repaired the palace after Vlad the Impaler's rule, and he grew the surrounding Lipscani area as the trading core of Bucharest by establishing a community of skilled craftsmen.

In 1559, Ciobanul built the Old Princely Court Church next to the palace. For the two centuries that followed, it was the place for succeeding Romanian princes to be coronated.

Also worthy of a visit is the Old Court Museum, which features pottery and artifacts found during an archaeological dig around the ruins.

Address: Strada Franceza 25-31, Bucharest

Revolution Square

Revolution Square (Piata Revolutiei) earned its name after setting the scene of dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's final minutes of power in Romania. On December 21, 1989, a coup d'état ensued here with the help of a crowd of more than 100,000, forcing the leader of the communist party to flee and changing the course of the country's history.

Until that date, the central square was known as Palace Square, due to its proximity to the Royal Palace, which is the current home to the National Museum of Art .

Other historic buildings stand nearby, including the Senate Palace , the Romanian Athenaeum , and the Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest .

Revolution Square is also known for the dramatic Monument of Rebirth . Erected in 2005, it includes the names of the 1,058 victims of the bloody revolution and a bronze statue of Iuliu Maniu, the Romanian prime minister imprisoned by the communist party.

Address: Calea Victoriei Boulevard, Bucharest

The Arch of Triumph

Finished in 1878, Bucharest's first Arch of Triumph (Arcul de Triumf) was made from wood and dedicated to the Romanian soldiers who fought in World War I. In 1936, it was reconstructed in granite and designed by architect Petre Antonescu at a height of 27 meters. The arch is adorned with sculptures created by the most notable Romanian sculptors, including Ion Jalea and Dimitrie Paciurea.

To this day it continues to serve its purpose of being the central point for military parades. Romanian soldiers march beneath it for big events, including each December 1st, which is the country's national holiday.

Address: Kiseleff Road, Bucharest

National Museum of Art

Housed in the former Royal Palace, the National Museum of Art of Romania (Muzeul National de Arta al României) is the country's leading art museum and houses the world's most complete collection of Romanian art, including medieval and modern art.

Established in 1948, the museum is also where the Royal Collection , including Romanian and European art dating back to the 15th century, can be admired. More than 100,000 works are in the various halls, including paintings by the country's most celebrated artists, Theodor Aman, Nicolae Grigorescu, and Gheorghe Tattarescu.

The modern Romanian collection features sculptures by Milita Petrascu and Dimitrie Paciurea. One room is dedicated to Constantin Brancusi, one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century. The European Gallery next door has 15 rooms including works by El Greco, Monet, Rembrandt, Renoir, and Rubens.

Address: Calea Victoriei 49-53, Bucharest

Official site: www.mnar.arts.ro/en/

Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum

Founded in 1936, the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum – usually shortened to simply the "Village Museum" ( Muzeul Satului ) – is a unique open-air museum that stretches through leafy Herastrau Park and depicts the traditional way of life in Romania.

Visitors can wander through 300 traditional buildings, including peasant homes with steep roofs, thatched barns, heavy log cabins, various types of churches, workshops, and mills – all of which have been transported from towns across every region of Romania.

Each building was carefully taken apart, shipped to the museum, and rebuilt to be part of the walkable village-like setting in the park. The Village Museum also displays artifacts and pottery, as well as other traditional items hailing from around the country.

Address: Sos. Kiseleff 28-30, Herastrau Park, Bucharest

National Museum of Romanian History

The National Museum of Romanian History (Muzeul National de Istorie a României) is set in an attractive Neoclassical building originally built for the Romanian postal service. Since 1970, the museum's 60 rooms have displayed the country's most fascinating historical exhibits dating from prehistoric to modern times.

The biggest permanent exhibit is a huge replica of the 2nd-century Trajan's Column , built in honor of the conquering Roman emperor Trajan, who defeated Romania's ancient Dacian tribes.

Thousands of gold items and Neolithic artifacts, including jewelry dating to the time of the Geto-Dacians, can be found in the Romanian Treasury. On permanent display are the Romanian Crown Jewels , including stunning emerald pieces made for Queen Marie, who was the wife of Romanian King Ferdinand.

Also here are gold artifacts from the 4th-century Pietroasele Treasures . It was once considered the most valuable treasure collection in the world before Tutankhamen's tomb was unearthed.

The Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History (Muzeul National de Istorie Naturala Grigore Antipa) – usually referred to simply as the Antipa Museum – should also be included in your list of Bucharest places to visit. Recently refurbished, it houses everything from interactive exhibits to traditional displays of animal species from around the world.

Address: Calea Victoriei 12, Bucharest

Cismigiu Garden

Bucharest is swathed in beautiful parks that are frequented by locals year-round. The oldest city park, designed in the mid-19th century, is Cismigiu Gardens . Renting rowboats is one of the most popular things to do here in the summer, and the ice rink is popular in winter.

German landscape architect Carl Meyer designed the park, which opened in 1860, bringing in 30,000 trees and plants from the Romanian mountains and greenery from botanical gardens in Vienna.

Spread over 400 acres, King Michael I Park is home to the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum , an open-air theater, sports club, and an old-fashioned amusement park. At its lake, boat rentals are available to the public every summer. Bordering the park, 19th- and 20th-century villas are the homes of Bucharest's elite.

Designed by French landscape artist Eduard Redont and completed in 1906, Carol Park is considered one of the most beautiful parks in the capital. Romania's Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is located here as well as a Roman-era styled open-air theater called Arenele Romane, which is popular for summer concerts.

Also worth exploring, the Bucharest Botanical Garden (Gradina Botanica din Bucuresti) was established in 1860. It is spread across 17 hectares and boasts more than 10,000 different species of plants. Highlights include its numerous greenhouses, an informative museum, and plenty of flower beds to enjoy.

Carturesti Carusel

Set inside a beautifully restored 19th-century building in the center of the Old Town is the city's most impressive bookshop, Carturesti Carusel . This 1,000-square-meter shop is spread across six floors, with shelves stocked with more than 10,000 books, as well as 5,000 albums and DVDs.

Its design is impressively minimal, playing with light that filters through a central skylight, creating an atmosphere that is like a moving carousel, hence its name, which literally translates to " Carousel of Light ."

The bookshop is a local hub, not only for reading and browsing through books, but for art and relaxing. Carturesti Carusel is also frequented for its changing contemporary art displays, media center presentations, and welcoming top-floor bistro café.

Address: Strada Lipscani 55, Bucharest

Bran Castle

Bucharest is the starting point for one of the most popular day trips from Bucharest: Bran Castle. Better known internationally as Dracula's Castle, this national monument was built in the 14th century and likely had nothing to do with the fictional Bram Stoker character. In fact, there's no evidence that Stoker even knew the castle existed – or proof that Vlad the Impaler (the inspiration for Dracula) ever visited the castle.

Still, the dramatic and haunting castle – which sits on a hill against thick forests often enveloped in fog – remains one of the most iconic visual representations of Romania, and it's well worth a visit. Now a museum displaying period furniture and objects that once belonged to Queen Marie, the castle also tells visitors about Vlad the Impaler and offers access to towers, narrow passageways, and spooky staircases.

The 14th-century Rasnov Fortress is just minutes away from the castle and is a masterwork of engineering, featuring nine towers, over 30 houses, a chapel, and many other buildings.

Visitors can also make their way to the nearby open-air Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania, featuring 90 buildings reflecting the lifestyle of rural Transylvania. These include everything from mills to wooden churches.

Luxury Hotels :

  • The highly rated, 5-star Epoque Hotel should certainly be at the top of your list of luxury hotels in Bucharest. An easy walk from things to do, such as taking in an opera or classical concert at the Romanian Athenaeum and popular city parks, the Art Nouveau design of the building adds to the hotel's chic appeal. A variety of room options are available, including spacious suites with separate living rooms, kitchenettes, and balconies or terraces.
  • The luxurious JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel is another 5-star offering to check out (and into). Located close to top city attractions, including the opulent Palace of the Parliament, this luxury hotel features classy rooms with separate seating areas and posh marble bathrooms, with an option to upgrade to larger suites with pullout couches. Amenities include a choice of five restaurants plus a café, outdoor dining, an indoor pool, and spa.
  • The modern-looking InterContinental Bucharest is another contender. Close to many of the city's top tourist attractions, the InterContinental's largest suites come with big bathrooms, with whirlpool tubs, and living rooms. Notable amenities include on-site dining, a spa, fitness center, and indoor swimming pool overlooking Bucharest.

Mid-Range Hotels :

  • The Hilton Garden Inn Bucharest Old Town is at the high-end of the mid-range hotel category. Highlights of the hotel's accommodation choices include modern rooms and suites, some with pullout couches, within an easy walk of the city's top attractions. On-site things to do include dining and working out in the fitness center.
  • Popular for its proximity to city transit, Athina Suites Hotel features spacious one- and two-bedroom units with balconies and bright, modern décor. Guests are treated to a great breakfast buffet in the on-site restaurant.
  • Hotel Christina also comes highly recommended. Situated near good restaurants, cafés, and entertainment options, the casual rooms are clean and comfortable and come with coffee machines and free Wi-Fi (be sure to request a room with a balcony if available). A buffet-style breakfast is included with your stay.

Budget Hotels :

  • A quirky budget accommodation set in an old home, Good Living Bucharest Hotel consists of just six units – three double rooms and three apartment-style suites. In addition to its shared kitchen, guests also have access to shared living areas. The hotel is also popular for its proximity to the historic Old Town area, just a 15-minute walk away.
  • The Little Bucharest Old Town Hostel is a great choice for those on a tight budget who don't mind sharing. Centrally located in the historic Old Town sector of the city, rooms are mixed-gender and come with linens and lockers. A number of private rooms are also available and come with their own bathrooms. A kitchen and lounge area is available for guests to use.
  • Also fun for backpackers, the cool Podstel Bucharest features great shared rooms (plus one private room) close to the city's top attractions. Laundry service is available, along with luggage storage, and free parking.

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Exploring Eastern Europe : Beautiful Bucharest makes for an excellent jumping-off point for other equally attractive city destinations in Eastern Europe. The Hungarian capital of Budapest is among the most visited cities in Europe, and offers plenty to do, from enjoying its tourist attractions to relaxing in the spas built upon its thermal springs. One of the top places to visit here is Castle Hill , which dominates Buda Old Town and offers superb views over the Danube. Then, of course, there's magnificent Prague , a "city of a thousand spires" that also makes a great jumping-off point to explore other areas of the Czech Republic .

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Must-see attractions in Bucharest

romania tourist places

Palace of Parliament

The Palace of Parliament is the world’s second-largest administrative building (after the Pentagon) and former dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu’s most infamous…

romania tourist places

Romanian Athenaeum

The exquisite Athenaeum is the majestic heart of Romania’s classical-music tradition. Scenes from Romanian history are featured on the interior fresco…

romania tourist places

Former Ceauşescu Residence

This restored villa is the former main residence of Nicolae and Elena Ceauşescu, who lived here for around two decades up until the end in 1989…

romania tourist places

Grigore Antipa Natural History Museum

One of the few attractions in Bucharest aimed squarely at kids, this natural-history museum, showing off Romania's plant and animal life, has been…

Colorful Garden

Cişmigiu Garden

West of Calea Victoriei is the locally beloved Cişmigiu Garden, with shady walks, a lake, cafes and a ridiculous number of benches on which to sit and…

View of Snagov Monastery near Bucharest, Romania

Snagov Monastery

Tiny Snagov Island, at the northern end of Snagov Lake, is home to Snagov Monastery and Vlad Ţepeş' alleged final resting place. The small stone church…

romania tourist places

Museum of the Romanian Peasant

The collection of peasant bric-a-brac, costumes, icons and partially restored houses makes this one of the most popular museums in the city. There’s not…

Vacaresti Nature Park in Bucharest, Romania.

Văcărești Nature Park

What was supposed to be a 6km-long dam during the communist era, left abandoned after the 1989 Revolution, turned over 22 years into a vast urban delta…

romania tourist places

Bellu Cemetery

The city’s most prestigious burial ground houses the tombs of many notable Romanian writers – a map inside the gate points out locations. Many Romanians…

Stavropoleos church

Stavropoleos Church

The tiny and lovely Stavropoleos Church, which dates from 1724, perches a bit oddly a block over from some of Bucharest's craziest Old Town carousing. It…

romania tourist places

Theodor Aman Museum

This is the lovingly restored residence and studio of 19th-century Romanian painter Theodor Aman. Aman's skill was in small, finely rendered oil paintings…

romania tourist places

National Village Museum

On the shores of Herăstrău Lake, this museum is a terrific open-air collection of several dozen homesteads, churches, mills and windmills relocated from…

romania tourist places

National Art Museum

Housed in the 19th-century Royal Palace, this massive, multipart museum – all signed in English – houses two permanent galleries: one for National Art and…

Great Synagogue

This important synagogue dates from the mid-19th century and was established by migrating Polish Jews; entry is free, but a donation (10 lei) is expected…

Herăstrău Park

Sprawling over a large area north of Piaţa Victoriei, this 200-hectare park surrounding a large lake is (arguably) Bucharest’s nicest park, with plenty of…

Cotroceni Palace

Elegant Cotroceni Palace dates from the late 19th century and is the official residence of the Romanian president. Many rooms are open to visitors, but…

romania tourist places

Creţulescu Church

The modest Creţulescu Church stands in repose near the far larger and more dramatic Royal Palace. Look for the original paintings near the door to the…

romania tourist places

National Museum of Contemporary Art

The Palace of Parliament houses a superb art gallery, which displays temporary, ever-changing exhibitions of eclectic installations and video art. Check…

romania tourist places

Athénée Palace

Just to the north of the National Art Museum is the Athénée Palace, so evocatively captured in its postrevolutionary, prostitute-teeming state by Robert…

romania tourist places

Jewish History Museum

The Jewish History Museum is housed in a colourful synagogue that dates from 1836 (rebuilt in 1910). Exhibits (in English and Romanian) outline Jewish…

romania tourist places

National History Museum

Hardly a 'national' museum of history, given the rather small collection of maps, statues and jewels on display. The museum is strong, however, on the…

romania tourist places

Choral Temple

The Choral Temple, built in 1857, is the city's main working synagogue and is visually stunning inside. You'll need your passport to enter. A memorial to…

romania tourist places

George Enescu Museum

A few blocks south of Piaţa Victoriei is this museum dedicated to national composer George Enescu (1881–1955). The real lure is the chance to peek inside…

romania tourist places

Theodor Pallady Museum

The Theodor Pallady Museum is housed inside the exquisite early-18th-century Casa Melik, a former merchant's house. It contains the private art collection…

romania tourist places

Schitul Dârvari

This pretty monastery, surrounded by a lush walled garden, dates from the mid-19th century and was once the property of the private Dârvari family.

romania tourist places

Antim Monastery

This beautiful walled complex was built in 1715 by the metropolitan bishop Antim Ivireanu. Today it's hidden by communist-era housing blocks.

Zambaccian Museum

Tricky to find, the little Zambaccian Museum is in a restored villa between B-dul Aviatorilor and Calea Dorobanţilor (just north of Piaţa Dorobanţilor)…

Sephardic Jewish Cemetery

The Sephardic Jewish Cemetery lies opposite Bellu Cemetery in the south of the city. Two rows of graves dated 21 to 23 January 1941 mark the Iron Guard's…

New St George's Church

The New St George’s Church dates from 1699 and is significant primarily as the burial place of Wallachian prince Constantin Brâncoveanu (r 1688–1714)…

Old Princely Court Church

The Old Princely Court Church, built 1546–59 during the reign of Mircea Ciobanul (Mircea the Shepherd), is considered to be Bucharest’s oldest church. The…

Prince Mihai Monastery

The former symbol of Bucharest, the 16th-century Prince Mihai Monastery was built from 1589 to 1591 under the orders of Mihai Viteazul (r 1593–1601)…

Art Collection Museum

A grab bag of several dozen private collections, particularly strong on folk and religious art and Romanian painting from the 19th and early 20th…

romania tourist places

Patriarchal Cathedral

From the centre of Piaţa Unirii, look southwest to the Patriarchal Cathedral, the centre of Romanian Orthodox faith, built between 1656 and 1658. It…

romania tourist places

Triumphal Arch

About halfway up Şos Kiseleff you'll find the 27m Triumphal Arch. Based on Paris’ namesake monument, it was built in 1935 to commemorate the reunification…

romania tourist places

Rebirth Memorial

This striking memorial, respected and reviled in equal measure, marks the dramatic events of 1989, when many people died in this area for their opposition…

romania tourist places

Holocaust Memorial

West of Calea Victoriei is the country's formal memorial to Romanian Jews and Roma who died in the Holocaust. The monument, the shape vaguely recalling a…

romania tourist places

Central Committee of the Communist Party Building

The scene of Ceauşescu's infamous last speech was the balcony of the former Central Committee of the Communist Party building, on 21 December 1989…

Ghencea Civil Cemetery

A 45-minute walk west of the Palace of Parliament (or take bus 385 from outside the Parliament ticket office on B-dul Naţiunile Unite) leads to Ghencea…

Carol I Park

About 1km southwest of Piaţa Unirii, Carol I Park was inaugurated in 1906. The main sights here are an eternal flame burning for an unknown soldier and a…

National Military Museum

The National Military Museum doubles nicely as a Romanian history museum, with its chronological rundown of how the country defended itself. In the museum…

Vidnoye - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

  • (0.41 mi) Zhili-Byli
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THE 10 BEST Things to Do in Elektrostal

Things to do in elektrostal.

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1. Electrostal History and Art Museum

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3. Park of Culture and Leisure

4. museum and exhibition center.

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5. Museum of Labor Glory

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7. Galereya Kino

8. viki cinema, 9. smokygrove.

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10. Gandikap

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