best places to visit in Romania

Romania has undergone profound political and economic changes since the 1989 revolution, but continues in a period of economic transition. While many tourist facilities are being upgraded or improved. most have not yet reached Western European standards.

Romania possesses an inviting geography endowed with some of the most beautiful countryside in Eastern Europe. Its access to the Black Sea, Carpathian Mountains, and the Transylvania countryside create the potential for interesting vacations: however, the potential of the attractions has not been realized and “tourist” Romania is not yet quite ready for prime time.  At least, not if you are unwilling to be prepared for some trekking.

If you are interested in visiting Romania, we suggest that you do so as a member of tour group arranged through a reputable travel service. Individual travel, and car-based touring in Romania are not for the faint of heart. (Read our article on How to evaluate tour operators for some tips on what you should look for in a company providing tours.)

Many tourists see Romania on the popular Danube River cruises.  Usually the itinerary will include several countries and features stops at small villages and major cities along the way.  Most cruises through the Romanian section of the Danube feature visits to Bucharest and, less often, Constanta, as well as sampling of a few “country” villages.

    • Bucharest, Romania
      Bucharest, Romania

      Bucharest

      • Romania’s capital is known for its mix of architectures: the French influence from the 19th century dramatically clashes with the stern utilitarianism of the communist era edifices. Bucharest has many attractive sights and several good quality museums.
      • See the city’s official tourism website  for more details on attractions in Bucharest.
  • Black Sea Coast

    • Once winter departs, the Black Sea Coast is an idyllic location. When the good weather hits, the areas’ beaches, resorts, and casinos fill rapidly.
    • Most visitors to the Black Sea Coast focus on Constanta, which is Romania’s largest seaport, has an impressive heritage, some fine roman mosaics and several notable museums.
      • its modern name derives from the Roman Emperor Constantine who renamed the city after his sister Constantiana.  From mythology, we find that the original city was believed to have been visited by Jason and the Argonauts after they had acquired the Golden Fleece.
    • For more information on what to see and do in Constanta, see the city’s official website.
    • Bran Castle, Romania
      Bran Castle, Romania

      Transylvania

      • The search for Dracula continues to grow in popularity and Transylvania is the prime crime scene.  If you want to visit this area, consider Brasov or Sinaia as base locations.
      • Brasov is a well-preserved medieval town and good winter recreation area.  See the town’s official tourism website for details on visiting.
        • Bran Castle is relatively nearby and often “represented” to  unsuspecting tourist as Dracula’s Castle, which it is not.
      • Vlad the Impaler, regarded by many as the role model for the “real” Dracula, was a guest at Bran Castle, which is a well preserved fortress from the Middle Ages.
        • The castle regarded as the “real” Dracula Castle is an out of the way ruin that does not attract many visitors (perhaps for obvious reasons).
      • Sinaia is a mountain resort, complete with a casino,  that offers skiing in the winter and enjoyable  hiking in the summer. Peles Castle dating from the late 19th century, is well-preserved,  quite beautiful, decked-out with “gingerbread” and should be visited, if you are in the area.

Additional Resources

If you are interested in Romania, click on the links along the bottom of this section for more information.

Although we have cited it above, the official website for Romania tourism is a great resource that you should use if you are planning to visit Romania.

If you are interested in Brasov or Sinaia, be sure to visit the Brasov Travel Guide , which while not an official guide, is packed with useful information about this interesting area.

For country facts on Romania, as well as travel information related to visas, driving rules, safety, medical conditions, visas and other travel-related information, see this page on Romania Travel from the Bureau of Consular Affairs of the U.S. State Department.  Regardless of your home country, we think you will find the information provided to be useful when planning a trip to Romania.