Romanian cities hide even more intriguing stories. Romania is a mix of cultures, landscapes, and flavors. The vibrant colors of traditional costumes, the lush green meadows, and century-old forests, the smoke of village chimneys in winter, and the hum and buzz of medieval towns with cobbled streets in the summer all makeup what Prince Charles called “a beautiful country with remarkable people”.
Romanian cities are an integral part of this amalgam of beauty, with almost every street, wall, or building hiding a beautiful story that is waiting to be told.
We invite you to discover the story behind five of the most interesting Romanian cities:
One of the oldest known cities in Romania, Brașov is a city of legends and wonders. A pleasure to visit, regardless of the season. Here are a few things that make Brașov one of the greatest Romanian cities.
The legend of Dracula and the medieval city of Brasov
he Dracula myth originates from Saxon merchants of the sixteenth century who were targeted by Vlad the Impaler in southern Transylvania. Upset with tax-evading merchants, Vlad notoriously impaled hundreds. Legend claims he dined amidst the suffering victims, mixing spilled wine with their blood. While historians concur the brutality occurred, the story is often amplified. Yet, who wouldn’t be curious to visit this legendary site?
Things to see and do in Brasov
Brașov offers more than just legends. It houses the massive gothic Black Church and the first Romanian school, with an 18th-century classroom. The school and nearby St. Nicholas’ church initiate the annual Junii Brasovului festivity, a week after Easter. Here, “Juni” men, in vibrant attire, parade on horses, merging pagan and Christian traditions. The parade concludes in a grand feast on the town’s outskirts, open to all.
Experience panoramic city views: either by cable car ride to Tampa Hill, where a Brasov sign resembling Hollywood’s stands, or by trekking for an equally rewarding sight.
The central Council Square charms with its vibrant baroque architecture, offering various dining options. Rope Street, one of Europe’s narrowest, has a 15th-century origin and once aided firefighters. Today, it’s a prime attraction in Brașov.
Lastly, the White and Black Towers, built in 1494 and requiring a climb, offer splendid views of the Old Town and Black Church, respectively.
The following tours operated by TravelMaker include one of the most beautiful Romanian cities, Brasov:
- Two Castles in One Day – Full Day – Shared
- Transylvania Break – 2 days – Shared
- Full-Day Trip to Peles & Bran Castle – Full Day – Private
- Medieval City of Brasov – 2 days – Private
- Bucovina & Transylvania Tour – 3 days – private
- Medieval Transylvania Tour – 3 days
- Magic Transylvania – 4 days – Private
- Romania UNESCO Heritage Tour – 4 days – Private
- Transylvanian Medieval Castles and Fortified Churches Tour
Best places to eat in Brasov
All Romanian cities offer a diverse culinary scene with numerous top-notch dining options, and Brasov is no exception.
La Ceaun is a popular restaurant known for its traditional Romanian cuisine, serving hearty dishes like sarmale and mici.
For a taste of international flavors, Bistro de l’Arte offers a delightful fusion of French and Romanian cuisine in a cozy atmosphere.
Street Food Festival, held annually in Brasov, showcases a wide variety of local and international street food delicacies.
Bella Musica is a charming Italian restaurant that serves authentic pizzas and pastas, accompanied by live classical music performances.
A trip to Brasov is incomplete without visiting Sergiana, a renowned establishment offering exquisite Transylvanian specialties.
The Black Church area boasts several cafes and restaurants, such as Prato Restaurant, serving modern European dishes with a twist.
For a sweet treat, don’t miss Bistro Ma Cocotte, a cozy patisserie that serves mouthwatering pastries and aromatic coffees.
If you want to read more about some of the best places to eat and sleep in Brasov, check out this article.
Travelling between Romanian cities: How from Bucharest to Brasov
Travelling between Romanian cities is quite easy, especially if you manage to dodge the seasonal traffic. Here are some easy ways for you to get to Brasov from Bucharest:
- By Train: The most convenient and popular option is to take a train from Bucharest to Brasov. The journey takes around 2.5 to 3 hours. You can check train schedules and book tickets on the official website of CFR Calatori: www.cfrcalatori.ro
- By Bus: Several bus companies operate regular services between Bucharest and Brasov. One reliable option is Autogari, where you can find schedules, prices, and book tickets: www.autogari.ro
- By Car: If you prefer a self-drive option, you can rent a car in Bucharest and drive to Brasov. The distance is approximately 180 kilometers, and the journey takes around 2.5 to 3 hours, depending on traffic conditions. You can book car rentals through websites like AutoEurope: www.autoeurope.eu
- By Motorcycle: If you’re an avid motorcyclist, you can rent a motorcycle in Bucharest and enjoy a thrilling ride to Brasov through the picturesque Carpathian Mountains. Motorcycle rental services are available through websites like Motorcycle Rentals: www.motorcycle-rentals.ro.
Remember to check the latest schedules, prices, and availability before planning your trip, as these services may have updates or changes.
If you want to read more about ways to get between the two Romanian cities Bucharest to Brasov, read this article.
An all time favorite when it comes to Romanian cities: Sibiu. A two-hour drive westwards from Brașov will take you to another Transylvanian treasure: Sibiu, the former European Capital of Culture in 2007.
With its narrow streets, brightly colored baroque houses, and a multitude of events, from music concerts to theatre festivals and peasants’ markets happening all year round, Sibiu will give you a sense of what authentic culture really looks, sounds, feels and smells like.
The former capital of Transylvania, Sibiu has always been a city of innovation and avant-garde.
Things to see and do in Sibiu – a pearl amongst Romanian cities
Sibiu hosted Romania’s first pharmacy in the fifteenth century, and a sixteenth-century building now showcases a pharmacy history museum with over 6,000 exhibits. Nearby in the city’s main square is the Brukenthal Art Gallery, established in an eighteenth-century governor’s residence, displaying works by Rubens, Tizian, and Pieter Bruegel. It’s considered Central and South-Eastern Europe’s first public art gallery. Furthermore, Sibiu boasts the region’s biggest theatre festival, an international jazz festival, and numerous other events.
Romanian cities are all about the outdoors
Less than 10 km from Sibiu lies one of the largest open-air museums in Europe – the Astra Museum of Rural Civilization. It encompasses over 300 traditional houses, workshops, and barns from the pre-industrial area, linked by over 10 km of walkways that run through patches of forest that run around two beautiful lakes.
What a better way to get to know the local cultural heritage than by actually walking around it and discovering it step by step?
The following tours operated by TravelMaker include the city of Sibiu:
- Medieval City of Sibiu (Hermannstadt) – 2 days
- Medieval Transylvania Tour – 3 days
- Transylvanian Medieval Castles & Fortified Churches – 4 days
- Magic Transylvania – 4 days
Best places to eat in Sibiu
Romanian cities offer great culinary experiences, and Sibiu is on top. Here are a few options for you to chose from:
- Crama Sibiul Vechi: Experience authentic Romanian cuisine at this traditional restaurant, known for its hearty dishes like sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls) and mici (grilled minced meat rolls).
- Hermania: Indulge in a delightful blend of German and Romanian flavors at Hermania, offering mouthwatering schnitzels, sausages, and homemade desserts.
- Max: Enjoy a sophisticated dining experience at Max, where the menu showcases innovative Romanian dishes prepared with seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.
- La Dobrun: This rustic eatery offers a rustic ambiance and specializes in grilled meats, including succulent steaks and grilled sausages, accompanied by traditional Romanian side dishes.
In Sibiu, you’ll find an array of culinary delights to satisfy your taste buds, making it a must-visit destination for food lovers.
Legendary Iasi: Romania’s Historic Gem.
Like Rome, but on smaller scale, Iasi – Eastern Romania’s largest and oldest city – graces seven picturesque hills in Moldova. A legend surrounds a 500-year-old lime tree on Copou hill, believed to be the meeting place of poet Mihai Eminescu and his lover Veronica. Inspiring beautiful poems, the tree stands as a symbol of the city.
Iasi boasts the stunning Palace of Culture, a neo-gothic masterpiece. Once the administrative hub, it now serves as a museum, inviting curious visitors to explore its ornate interiors and rich history.
Unwind in the newly-built English gardens nearby, adorned with fountains, water basins, and lush greenery. Experience a refreshing perspective on vibrant Romanian city life!
The “Capital” of western Romania, Timisoara has always been a city ahead of its time. The city is now the proud owner of several records. It is the first city in Romania with public lighting and home to the second oldest beer factory in the country. Timisoara is also the first city in the former Austrian Empire to host a public lending library and the first Romanian city to install a telegraph and later a telephone line. In 1884, it became the first city with electric public lightning in continental Europe and in 1953 the first European city to host three state theatres in three different languages: Romanian, German and Hungarian. Most importantly, Timisoara was the starting point of the Romanian revolution in 1989 and is therefore seen today as a symbol for freedom and democracy.
The vibrant one of the Romanian cities: Timisoara unveiled
Today, Timisoara is a vibrant centre of culture and arts. It’s a historic centre with colourful baroque two- and three-story houses lead to the city being dubbed „little Wien”. Victory Square, the place in which Timisoara was proclaimed the first Romanian city free from communism is the annual meeting spot of hundreds of jazz enthusiasts taking part in Jazz TM, one of the top jazz festivals in the country.
And if you happen to visit Timisoara outside the summer months, don’t forget that the city’s philharmonic hall – which witnessed interpretations by Franz Liszt, Brahms and George Enescu – still hosts numerous concerts and auditions.
Not surprisingly, Timisoara was also European Capital of Culture in 2021, and also in 2023.
At one time dubbed „Little Paris” due to its beautiful pre-war European classic architecture, Bucharest should be the starting point of every trip to Romania. Said to be founded by a shepherd in the 14th century, the city flourished as a handicraft and trade center, attracting merchants from all over Europe on its narrow cobbled streets. Several centuries later, these streets are still filled with hundreds of foreigners; however, they are here not to sell their staff, but to enjoy themselves in the numerous restaurants, bars, pubs and clubs scattered all across the city’s historic center. In fact, Bucharest is a city that never sleeps, being widely known for its nightlife and for the buzz of its streets.
Despite the fact that it is home to some very beautiful Parisian-inspired buildings, Bucharest also holds bleak remnants of its communist past. The Palace of Parliament built during Ceausescu’s dictatorship is to this day the largest, most expensive, and heaviest civilian building in the world. Twelve-stories high, it encompasses over one thousand rooms with lavish interiors. Tours are organized on a daily basis, as well as various conferences and events. Speaking of events, Romania’s capital city is host to one of the most publicized cultural events in Central and Eastern Europe: the George Enescu Festival, whose last edition brought together over 120.000 classical music lovers from all over the world. If you hadn’t bought tickets, please hurry – Bucharest is waiting for you with open arms and beautiful music!
Related tours from TravelMaker
We are offering the following tours in Bucharest:
- Half-Day Tour of Bucharest – Shared
- Unhealthy Food Tour of Bucharest
- Bucharest by night – 2 hours
- Full-Day Tour of Bucharest (8 hours)
- Bucharest City Tour and Wine Tasting (2.5 hours)
- The Last Days of Communism Tour (4-5 hours)
- Bucharest Evening Tour & Traditional Dinner – 4 hours
Contact us at +40 735 525 710 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to book a tour right away.