Rural Romania has long been the home of Dracula, doubling as a cheap film set that acts like a European wild west, all sprawling green hills and imposing castles. There are winding country roads hogged by bumbling horse and carts, medieval villages surrounded by vineyards, and the muddy, ‘healthy’ shores of the Black Sea coast.
In capital Bucharest you’ll find Communist vibes galore in the form of statues and grey block buildings, like Europe’s second largest, the Palace of Parliament. The city surprises too, with countless museums, restaurants serving from cellars full of local wine, and a vibrant open-air bar scene filling the imposing squares. Bucharest has something of a bohemian vibe; it’s easy to imagine best-selling novels being written in the cafes, and deep-seated philosophy filling the manicured parks.
Out in the vampire-filled countryside of Transylvania you can hop between towns filled with medieval bells and towering castles, amongst craggy mountains and tiny farms, like at The Arges Valley, home to ‘the real Dracula’s castle’, built into the side of a rocky cliff. Maramures is touted as the rural soul of Romania, home to natives who’ve lived off the land for centuries on end, amongst tiny villages and customs that date back thousands of years. The toxic plum wine on offer here is enough to pop the eyes of even the most hardened of drinkers.
Another countryside must-see is the Danube Delta, desolate and canal-infused, with the occasional empty fishing villages home to the most bizarre of cheap B&Bs. The twisted Bicaz Gorges lead to ‘blood lakes’ and impressive mountain climbs, while Timisoara – starting point of the ’89 anti-Communist revolution – is a lively student spa town.
Romania is vastly culturally and scenically varied, and when you’ve finished exploring cobbled castles and scenic valleys, you’ll find the exuberant locals are pretty entertaining, too. Join them for a bowl of garlicky soup to help keep the vampires away, descend together into an isolated old salt mine, or simply indulge in some good old Romanian hospitality, and imagine you really have gone back in time.
Romania’s capital is a centre of high-class living and artistic license, a reputation that won the city the nickname ‘Little Paris’ almost a century ago, and helps it stand head and sho…
One of the largest cities in Romania, tucked away in the shadows of the Carpathian Mountains, and part of the mythical Transylvania region, Brasov is the capital of Brasov Country, and consid…
The city of Cluj-Napoca is one of the most important academic cultural and industrial centres in Romania. Considered to be the historic capital of Transylvania, the city is located in north-w…
First mentioned as town in 1342... first town in Europe which used electricity for the streets lightening in 1884 and the first European city to introduce horse-drawn trams (in 1869)...
It is one of the most important cultural and religious centres in Romania as well a major transportation hub in central Romania. The city used to be the centre of the Transylvanian Saxons in …
When you say Sinaia, you think Peles Castle and Prahova Valey. The traveller coming to Romania should never miss this. History was written here. They say the ghost of Queen Maria of Romania s…
The city of Constanţa is the fifth largest in Romania. It contains the fourth largest port in Europe. The city dates back 2,500 years. Regional attractions include traditional villages, vine…
The town of Sighisoara is the most enchanting of all the Transylvanian towns. Its medieval buildings, gilded roofs and towers have been unspoiled by war or modern industry. The Citadel, buil…
Dracula is a myth, but his castle stands as testimony over the years in Bran. The village is quiet, although full of tourists. Maybe Dracula is still watching over...
Bran is one of the most…
You can confidently compare Mamaia to the beaches of Cannes or Saint Tropez. Fringed by wild pear trees, and renowned for its fine, soft sand, Mamaia is Romania's oldest resort.
Oradea, one of the beautiful cities of Eastern Europe, is the entrance gate to Romania, on the Western border, and the capital of the Bihor County. Located on the hills between Crisana Plain …
The second largest Romanian city, it is the economic, cultural and academic centre of the Romanian region of Moldavia. The city, home to the oldest Romanian university, accommodates an annual…
Suceava used to be the capital of Moldova from 1388 to 1566 and also an important cultural and commercial centre on the trading route Lwow to Istanbul. 600 years ago, rulers built Orthodox ch…
Bistriţa (German: Bistritz, archaic Nösen, Hungarian: Beszterce) is the capital city of Bistriţa-Năsăud County, Transylvania, Romania. It is situated on the Bistriţa river. The city has…
Tulcea city, southeastern Romania, situated on the St. George arm of the Danube River. Tulcea is an ancient city, founded in the 7th century BC by Greeks from Miletus. The Romans called it Ae…
Retezat National Park and other stunningly beautiful mountain areas make the County of Hunedoara one of the most photographed areas in Romania.
Rich with Dacian and Roman castles and remai…
Sighetu Marmatiei [also Sighet / Sighetul] is a provincial border town in northern Romania. It is a drab kind of place, but very useful as a base for visiting the amazing region of Maramures.…
One of the most accessible and equally interesting castles towering over the Braşov plain is the mighty castle at Raşnov, encompassing about twice the area of Bran Castle.
Râşnov has ab…
The city dates back to the roman period when it was named Potaissa. The ruins of a roman military camp, “The V.th Macedonian Legion” can still be seen today on a hilltop. Famous for its s…
Probably most of you when you hear the name Transylvania you think Dracula.
Beside the very famous Bram Stoker’s vampire legend here are a few things you should know about this place.
Viseu [Viseul] de Sus is an awfully small and dusty town in the north east of Romania. The main drag is the Mocanita [steam train] which departs from an industrial railway station 1 km from t…
Eforie Nord is definately not the place to go if you're young and rowdy. The resort is more suited to people above the age of 40 who go with their children.
Locals frown on people having fun…
The most striking thing about Maramures is that the folk art and the native traditions are extremely well preserved here in their original form: houses, gates in wood, tools, textures, potter…
Vama Veche is an old border-crossing town, hence the name "Vama" (Customs), "Veche" (Old). For a while it has been no more than a deserted beach where people would come to get away from it al…
Beiuş's earliest mention in recorded history was in the year 1263, where it was mentioned as being burned down during a Mongol invasion in 1241. During the time of the Austrian Empire and Au…