It’s safe to think that you are here because you have decided to visit Romania. And may we just say… Great decision! We are aware that when you decide to go on a trip to a place you’ve never visited before can be tricky. Therefore we have put together essential information meant to ease your planning as much as possible. Questions such as Is Romania safe to visit? or Is Romania expensive to visit? and many more will be answered here.
With no further introductions, let’s see what is there to visit in Romania:
Romania travel: What is Romania famous for?
Romania’s fame has known its ups and downs throughout history. And whilst Transylvania, the biggest region of Romania seems to be even more famous, we should look at the entire country, as a whole.
History has left a brilliantly beautiful mark over Romania, centuries of well-being have led to stunning architecture and cultural diversity proof from the earliest times.
Here is what you should know about Romania and landmarks not to be missed:
Breathtaking Castles: Corvin, Bran, Peles
There are dozens of beautiful castles all across Romania. Some are standing tall and beautiful, and some are in ruin (and even these are great to visit). So keep in mind to put at least these 3 castles on your list, when you decide to visit Romania:
1. Corvin Castle
Located in the southwest part of Transylvania, and close to the city of Hunedoara, Corvin Castle (visit the official website here: link) is a gothic masterpiece of the 15th century. It was transformed into a castle on the remains of a former citadel by the former voivode, Iancu de Hunedoara. It was included on the list of Best European Castles.
Be prepared to learn about legends, including one according to which Dracula was held hostage in the dungeon for 7 years. Corvin Castle is also a place chosen by many movie directors; movies such as Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, or Cursed Kings were shot here.
- Opening hours: Monday from 12-18, Tuesday to Sunday from 09-18
- Entrance fee: 35 RON for adults, 7 RON for students and pupils (must present proof), 17 RON for elderly
We have written an entire article on Corvin Castle, and you can read it here.
2. Peles Castle
Peles Castle was the most important monument during monarchy times. It was built by King Carol in the 19th century, located in the mountains, in the famous mountain resort Sinaia. Even though it’s not as visited as Bran Castle, you should make time. It is considered by most people the most beautiful neo-renaissance-style castle in Romania. Find out more on their official website: link.
- Opening hours: Monday closed, Tuesday to Sunday from 09:15-17:15
- Entrance fee: 40 RON for adults, 10 RON for students and pupils (must present proof), 20 RON for elderly
If you are interested in learning more about Peles Castle, you can read our article here.
3. Bran Castle
A huge point of interest, because of the legends surrounding it. Also known as Dracula’s Castle, Bran is by far the most visited tourist attraction in Romania. It was built by the Teutonic Knights in 1211. Surrounded by mystery, fog, and tales, you will inevitably take a look at Bran Castle when you visit Romania.
- Opening hours: Monday from 12-16, Tuesday to Sunday from 09-16
- Entrance fee: 45 RON for adults, 25 RON for students, and 10 RON for children (must present proof), 25 RON for elderly
Medieval Towns: Sighisoara, Brasov
Visting Romania comes together with a lot of medieval sites. Most of them are located in the Transylvania region, where there are plenty of UNESCO World Heritage Sites too. Tourism in Romania is specially developed around medieval citadels, which are today charming small towns.
Hence, you should be prepared for a lot of walking and exploring.
Sighisoara is one of the most famous and appreciated medieval towns in Romania. Located in Mures County, in Transylvania, Sighisoara was long inhabited by the Saxons. Thus the many Saxon heritage edifices.
The citadel is the largest inhabited medieval citadel in south-eastern Europe and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here are a few landmarks of Sighisoara that you should not miss:
- Vlad Dracul House: aka Dracula’s house. The building that now serves as an amazing restaurant, is Vlad the Impaler’s birth house. And finding it will be easy, as it’s in the citadel’s main square.
- The Clock Tower: Sighisoara’s main landmark, and visible from all corners of the city. An imposing 64 meters high edifice looking over the entire city, and the main entrance to the citadel, built in the 14th century. In the 17th century, the clock was mounted onto the tower. Limewood figurines were provided as decorative elements that change every midnight. The statuettes represent weekdays embodied by gods: Diana, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, the Sun.
- Students’ Stairway: a 172 steps trip high. Otherwise known as the pathway to the school near the Fortress Church.
- The Stag House: a beautiful 17th-century building now serving the Romanian-German Cultural Center.
- The Blacksmiths’ Tower
- The Ropemakers’ Tower
- The Butchers’ Tower
- The Tailors’ Tower
- The Furriers’ Tower
- The Shoemakers’ Tower
- The Tinsmiths’ Tower
- The Tanners’ Tower
Brasov is a must-visit when you travel to Romania. It is special by its geographical position, rich Saxon history, picturesque streets, mountains surrounding it, and clean, fresh air all year round. The city and nearby area are full of sights and beautiful medieval landmarks:
- The Black Church: Brasov’s landmark the most visited sight. It is one of the largest churches built in Gothic style in Eastern Europe. Its construction dates back to the 14th century and it stands tall and imposing in the middle of Council Square.
- The Council Square: is the very core of Brasov’s old town. Just like any other main square of medieval times, the Council Square was where fairs were held, where executions were made, where people socialize. If you are lucky enough, you can witness all sorts of fairs that are held throughout the year.
- Mount Tampa: is the mountain overlooking the city, with a Hollywood-like sign with the name Brasov. Get up there and enjoy a breathtaking view of the city. Hence, we must say there are a lot of stairs- about 1 hour of hiking, or just take the cable car for the fast and pain-free way.
We have put together an article with our finest tours of Brasov. Have a look over here before planning anything.
Stunning countryside: Viscri, Maramures
Maybe you had no idea, but this a good time to find out. Romanian countryside, especially in Transylvania region is something of a fairytale. It has long attracted some fine visitors.
Romanian countryside remained untouched for most parts, preserving traditions and culture just like a time machine. So, when you visit Romania, should you need a little space, take some time for the stunning countryside.
The small village nearby Sighisoara has gained worldwide fame when Prince Charles of Great Britain discovered it and bought a house there. Since then the tourism has flourished. The Viscri Fortified Church and Fortress is a part of UNESCO World Heritage since 1999 and it is the most visited spot in Viscri. And if there is more time on your hands, you can also have some extra activities in Viscri:
- Check the landscapes
- See the Felt makers
- Have a walk through the village
- Spend the night in an old Saxon house
- Eat some slow-cooked traditional food
- Go for an off-road bike experience
Interested in having deeper knowledge about the village of Viscri? Then read this article and see what the fuss is all about.
Romania travel should necessarily include places that make the country unique. Therefore we want to mention Maramures, in particular. This place has carefully kept traditions, the culture, and the lifestyle of peasants who lived bygone ages.
And not that many customs have changed in the past few centuries in this region. The craftsmanship and traditions are being transmitted from one generation to the next. The architecture is one of the most original and beautiful in South-Eastern Europe.
Hence you should keep an eye open for:
- The churches: main characteristics are the high tower, which can be as high as 50 meters, and the gothic motif. The wooden churches are included in the UNESCO sites in Romania.
- The gates: have become famous due to their dimensions and ornaments. People used to believe that the gate acts as a barrier against evil, and it settled the boundaries to their universe.
- The houses: are made out of wooden girders placed horizontally. Also, people used only two types of wood: oak and timber
Maramures is stunning. Therefore we highly recommend reading more about it, by clicking this link.
3. Carpathian Mountains
Another thing you should know about Romania is that it has the most beautiful part of the Carpathian Mountains. Should we listen to Top Gear, the mountains here have the perfect road- aka Transfagarasan. Therefore you might want to consider visiting Romania by car or at least rent one for a trip to the mountains.
The highest point of the Carpathian Mountains in Romania is Mount Moldoveanu, with a peak of 2544 meters high. Besides breathtaking views, and stunning roads through the mountains, suck as Tranfagarasan or Transalpina, you will also find a great number of lakes and hiking spots. Read more about mountain tourism in Romania by reading this article.
So, better pack some hiking shoes if you are a nature lover because you are in for a treat. Here are some spots that you cannot miss when visiting the Carpathian Mountains:
- Prislop Pass
- Tihuța Pass
- Bicaz Canyon
- Ghimeș Pass
- Buzău Pass
- Predeal Pass
When visiting Romania, adding the Danube Delta would make a bonus. The great river that leaves the Black Forest mountains in Germany, meets the Black Sea on the Romanian shore.
Danube Delta is the second largest in Europe and the best-preserved one. The surface area of the delta is approximately 4,152 km2.
The Danube branches into three main distributaries: Chilia, Sulina, and Sfântul Gheorghe (Saint George). It is believed that the delta as we see it today was formed in the past 1000 years. Thus it continues to expand.
About: introduction to the history of Romania
The history of Romania, just the history of any other country can be long and rather boring unless you are a history fanatic. So we have prepared a summary of the most important (and interesting) facts throughout history:
Dacian and Dacian-Roman Empire
Early written evidence of people living in the territory of present-day Romania comes from Herodotus in c. 440 BC. The Dacians were a branch of Thracians who inhabited Dacia, which corresponds with modern Romania, Moldova, northern Bulgaria, and surrounding areas.
The Dacian kingdom reached its maximum expansion during the reign of King Burebista between 82 BC and 44 BC, and it became a powerful state that threatened the regional interests of the Romans. Therefore, the Romans had a special interest in conquering Dacia.
The Romans colonized Dacia and began a period of intense romanization, during which the language Vulgar Latin merged into the Proto-Romanian language. (source: wikipedia.com)
Early Modern Age
By the mid 16th century, Moldavia, Wallachia, and Transylvania came under Ottoman suzerainty but remained fully autonomous and until the 18th century. However, 2 centuries later, the Russian Empire appeared to become the political and military power the threatened the Romanian principalities.
Following the war between the Ottomans and Russians, Romanian lands came under Russian occupation. During his rule, the local boyars enacted the first Romanian constitution. (source: wikipedia.com)
Kingdom of Romania
In an 1866 coup d’état, Cuza- the ruler who managed to unify Moldavia and Wallachia was exiled and replaced with Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen. Romania declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire after the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878).
On the 1st December, the Deputies of the Romanians from Transylvania voted to unite Transylvania, Banat, Crișana, and Maramureș with Romania by the Proclamation of Union of Alba Iulia.
Therefore, most regions with clear Romanian majorities were merged into a single state. It also led to the inclusion of minorities, including Magyars, Germans, Jews, Ukrainians, and Bulgarians- roughly 28% of the country’s population
Romanians today celebrate this as the Great Union Day, that is a national holiday.
Entering Romania: Passport and visa requirements
When planning to visit Romania, take a second to have a look on visa requirement and regulations.
EU/ EEA passport holders and other exceptions that DO NOT require a visa:
- New Zealand,
- Venezuela and many others
However, for some of these countries, there is a limit of 30-90 days that you can spend in the country. Nonetheless, you should check the official MAE website by clicking here and see where you at.
Should you arrive in Romania from Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Kenya, Turkey, Thailand, and others you will either need a regular visa or an online visa. Check the list of countries on the official MAE website and get ready to travel.
Currency, exchange, and card payments
The national currency of Romania is RON or LEU. Just so you can have an idea, 1 euro is about 4,8 RON, and 1 US dollar is about 4 RON. In case you were wondering, no, you cannot make payments in euros (not yet, anyway), and although prices for rents or cars are calculated in euros.
Before embarking on your means of transportation to visit Romania, make sure you have either Euros, US dollars, UK Pounds, or Swiss francs. Keep in mind to go for exchange bureaus- which can be found in hypermarkets, shopping malls, or on the street. They usually offer better rates than banks.
Card payments are common and safe to use in Romania. This applies to the urban areas, whereas in the countryside cash is your safest option. Visa, Maestro, Mastercard are accepted and the most common. Beware if you hold an American Express card- it most likely won’t work.
Best time to visit Romania – Climate and seasons
Tourism in Romania can be a great experience regardless of the time you choose to visit. The climate is temperate-continental, which translates into 4 seasons; with chilly winters and hot summers.
The good thing is, whenever you want to visit Romania, you will have something to do. Here is the season breakdown:
- Spring: March to May (fairly mild temperatures)
- Summer: June to August (hot and dry)
- Fall: September to November (rainy and humid)
- Winter: December to February (cold and dry)
The good part is, there are things to visit for every season. So don’t get too worked up if you didn’t make it during the spring. However, you should keep in mind that the different areas of Romania have slightly different temperatures.
Whilst the Transylvanian plateau might be chillier during winter, the south (including the capital Bucharest) will be the hottest during summer.
Romanian language and how to get along
We know it’s important to know what to expect when you are headed for a new country. Therefore you should know that the Romanian language is a Romance/Latin language (93%), with Slavic influences (7%).
Chances are if you understand any of the other Romance languages (especially Italian or Spanish) you would understand what people are talking about. Here are some common words that could come in handy when doing tourism in Romania:
- Salut! Ce faci?- Hello! How are you?
- Unde este gara/stația de metrou?- Where is the train station/metro station?
- Înainte/la dreapta/la stânga- Straight ahead/to the right/to the left
- Unde găsesc un resurant?- Where can I find a restaurant?
- Mulțumesc/ Merci- Thank you/ Thanks
- La revedere/ Pa- Bye
How to plan your trip to Romania?
Now that you know a thing or two about Romania and tourism in Romania, let’s give you a few tips and tricks on how to plan your trip. In case you want to be the architect of your vacation. Before moving along, we feel obligated to answer a frequently asked question:
Is Romania safe? Romania remains one of the safest countries in Central- Eastern Europe. And the crime rate is way below the average European rate. Also, Romania is rated as one of the most threat-free countries in the world.
Of course, you should watch your wallet and pockets when in crowded places, but that applies to every destination. So you should not be doing anything extra. Hence the only thing you should do is keep a good eye on your belongings when you travel ANYWHERE.
So YES, Romania is safe.
Moving forward, let’s see how can you create the perfect Romanian getaway.
Where you should search for a flight to Romania, what airport do you need?
Unless you choose a travel agency to organize your trip for you, there are plenty of booking websites that are safe. Here are three booking websites that you can check out when searching for a flight to Romania:
- Momondo: www.momondo.ro You can book flights, hotels, cars, and travel insurance.
So, what about your destination airport? Of course, that would depend on what you want to visit.
However, we do recommend choosing Bucharest Henry Coanda Otopeni Airport OTP (the biggest airport in Romania). The reason for that is simple. You will have a lot more options, more frequent flights, more destinations. And starting your trip in Bucharest will give you even more options on your further destinations in Romania.
Transfers from airport to hotel in Bucharest
There are quite a few options. Unless you are going for a rent-a-car, taxi, Uber or Bolt (if you are not familiar with Bolt, know that it is an app similar to Uber, and a bit cheaper) you can:
- Take a bus: lines 780 and 783 will take you to the city center
- Take a train: the special line taking you to the North Railway Station
- Transfer by Travel Maker: we offer pick-ups and drop-offs for 29 Euros/standard car and 39 Euros minivan
Romania tourism: Tours to Romania
Here is something else you should know about Romania: it has a lot (like a lot-lot) to offer. Therefore ideally you would spend at least a week exploring it. Not to worry though. We, at Travel Maker, have tours prepared for both adventurers, and for those short on time.
If you are short on time: Two Castles in One Day Tour
The tour departs from Bucharest and lasts for 12 hours. And it can be taken from January 2nd to December 30th. The tour is perfect for small groups who are short on time. You will visit one of the most looked-for castles in Romania: Bran and Peles. You will be mesmerized by the beauty of the Carpathians, you will love the walk-in Brasov, and a delicious Romanian traditional lunch. Check the availability and prices by clicking here.
If you have more time: Maramures, Bucovina& Danube Delta, Magic Transylvania Tour
Maramures, Bucovina& Danube Delta Tour departs from Bucharest and lasts for 5 days. You will see and enjoy some of Romania’s most exciting attractions and stunning nature. Your trip will include riding through legendary Transylvania‘s up to the north, in Maramures.
From here we will move towards Bucovina where. we will visit painted monasteries, and finally Danube Delta, the best-preserved delta in Europe, and a UNESCO heritage site.
Magic Transylvania Tour departs from Bucharest and lasts for 4 days. Walk through transylvanian cities: Brasov, Sighisoara (UNESCO Heritage site ), and Sibiu. After this, we will visit Alba Iulia – Apulum or „The City Of Gold”, where the Great Unification of Romania happened a century ago.
We will not miss the beautiful castles of Peles, Corvin Castle, the Gothic masterpiece of Transylvania. Visit Turda Salt Mine – one of the oldest salt mines in the world with an underground amusement park built deep inside.
These were only two examples of long tours. But we have prepared a lot more. Find the one that suits you by clicking here.
Bucharest, Capital of Romania
Now that you have a clear image on what Romania has to offer, we should with our attention to the capital Bucharest. A frequent mistake made by tourists, artists (and many throughout the recent years) was to call it Budapest. Which is the capital of Hungary.
While some may think it’s a bit funny, Romanians don’t (ha-ha, joke!) When you visitromania you simply have to take a day or two to explore Bucharest. Bucharest has a unique culture that must be experienced in order to be appreciated.
Bucharest hotels and where to find accommodation
Tourism in Romania means alternatives. And not a few of them. There are options for places to stay in Bucharest for every pocket. Keep in mind that a good location means less money spent on transportation, so when you draw the line you could easily go for a hotel in a central location and end up saving.
You can use any booking platform that work internationally, including AirBnb, if what you want is an apartment. Here are some hotel suggestions:
If you don’t manage to find something to your liking, we are more than happy to assist you. Contact us if you need accommodation and we will strive to offer you alternatives and the best prices.
Things to do in Bucharest
My oh my, where should we begin? Bucharest has a lot to offer: whether you want to spend the day shopping, in nature, at cafes and bars, museums or sightseeing. We will give you some Bucharest travel tips, and some tour offers as well.
Private Full-Day Sightseeing Tour of Bucharest: an 8 hour long way to discover some of Bucharest’s finest attractions. Visit the Parliament Palace (the House of Ceausescu or the House of People), Cotroceni Palace (the residence of the Romanian Presidency), and the Village Museum – the impressive open-air collection of traditional houses brought from the various regions of Romania.
The tour will only be finished after a delish traditional lunch. Read more about the tour and get to know the details by clicking here.
Private Half-Day City Tour of Bucharest: if you are shorter on time, this 5 hour tour is for you. You will get a panoramic city tour of Bucharest and learn about the main attractions. We will then have 60 minutes to see the largest Parliament building in the world. Finally we will visit the Village Museum – the iconic open-air museum of Bucharest.
Read more about the tour and get to know the details by clicking here.
Other things to do in Bucharest
Moving forward we have some niched tours that might be to your liking. And other recommendations and travel tips. Here they are:
- Last Days of Communism Tour: a tour mentioned by CNN Travel. Learn about the end of an era. And walk the streets of the formal communist rulers of Romania. See more details about the tour here.
- 72 Hours in Bucharest: a self-guided itinerary made for you. Learn how to maximize your time in Bucharest with a consistent agenda. See more details about the tour here.
- Taste some traditional Romanian food and desserts: there are so many great restaurants in Bucharest. We heart warmly recommend Casa Doina, Caru cu Bere, Pescarus, Hanu lui Manuc. Or, have a look at our tour by clicking here.
- Spend your evening on a rooftop: rooftop bars and restaurants are very popular in Romania. And some of the finest are in Bucharest. Therefore we have some recommendations: Linea, Nomad, 18 Lounge.
- Visit Carturesti Library: make no mistake, this is no ordinary library. It’s an experience of the senses. Hence, this is a place for books, coffee, tea, films, music, and good vibes.
- Wine tasting: a very special wine tasting tour in Bucharest was made for all the wine lovers visiting. Check it out here. Therefore, if you fall in love with Romanian wine, here is a tour that will make your stay, click here.
This was it for our introductory article on why should you visit Romania. Therefore, we just have to say we hope you are now convinced.
Feel free to let us know if there is anything else you would like to know about Transylvania.
Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +40 735 525 710.