Here are the top 10 amazing things to do in Romania that will make you want to come back for more!
I’m very happy to have you here and show you all the amazing things my country has to offer!
There are so many incredible places to discover in Romania, this gorgeous (and unfortunately underrated) country on the South-Eastern side of Europe.
Nature is truly spectacular with high mountains, deep forests, and crystal clear rivers. The cities are packed with history and culture which comes across through their architecture, style, and events.
But one of the most beautiful things to experience in Romania is the warm hospitality of its people. We will always do our best for our guests to feel the most welcomed and comfortable possible.
10 Best Things To Do In Romania. A Local’s Guide
Even though I live in the Netherlands now, I still go back to Romania several times a year to visit my family and friends.
I have also spent my entire childhood there exploring all the beautiful corners of the country together with my family, so I feel like I’m in the best position to give you the best tips on how to have an unforgettable trip to Romania.
And even though you might not be planning a visit right now or in the near future, I hope that this article will at least excite and inspire your future travels, expanding your horizons a little further.
Now let’s dive into the best things to do during a trip to Romania.
1. Drive the Transfagarasan
“The best road in the world” (Top Gear)
Called “The best road in the world” by Top Gear, Transfagarasan is Romania’s most well know and spectacular driving road, 2nd highest in the country after Transalpina. Due to heavy snow and high altitude, it is only open a few months per year between July and October. So plan your trip wisely. 😉
Its long S-curves and sharp edges make it an incredible adventure for drivers, cyclists, and motorcycle enthusiasts. But don’t take my word for it, come and experience it for yourself! (and please drive carefully!)
Transfagarasan starts from Balea Cascada (The Balea Waterfalls) and goes all the way up to Balea Lake, at over 2.000m altitude.
You can reach it in about an hour’s drive from Sibiu or Brasov, the biggest cities nearby.
2. Visit Bran Castle
Walk on Dracula’s footsteps
Be prepared to walk through the secret, narrow staircases of the Bran Castle, in the footsteps of the famous Vlad The Impaler, ruler of Wallachia.
Bran is probably one of the most well knows landmarks of Transylvania (and Romania) all around the Globe and attracts many tourists each year.
Skip the line and purchase your tickets upfront for a faster, smoother experience.
3. Take a road trip through Transylvania
One of the best things to do during your stay in Romania
A road trip through Transylvania is one of the top things I’d recommend you to do when you are visiting Romania, especially if you are traveling for the first time.
You will be impressed by the beautiful nature (the highest section of the Carpathians is here – the Fagaras mountains), picturesque cities, fortified churches, and much more.
You can start in Sibiu, a gorgeous medieval city and Europe’s Capital of Culture in 2007. Spend a few days here to see the town and the surrounding area (Balea Lake, Transfagarasan, Paltinis). Then continue your journey to Brasov, another beautiful medieval city (you can include here Bran Castle and Rasnov fortress).
Cluj-Napoca and Sighisoara are also 2 very beautiful Transylvanian cities that are worth visiting during your trip here.
(Check out these 43 road trip essentials for packing like a pro )
There is SO much to do in Transylvania, that I’m considering dedicating a whole blog post just for it. To follow soon. 😉
4. See the Sphinx of Bucegi
Hike in the Carpathian mountains
The Sphinx is a nature-created rock formation, which has been transformed over the years into a sphinx face by the strong winds at the top of the Bucegi Mountains.
It lies at 2.216m and you can reach it via a cable car from Busteni, the nearby ski resort. The ride takes approximately 10 minutes. Do make sure to check the timetable for the last one down so you don’t get stuck on the mountain.
From here you can also hike down if you’re in good shape, there are plenty of beautiful sights in the Bucegi Mountains.
5. Visit Peles Castle
The impressive summer residence of the royal family
Peles Castle is by far the biggest and the most impressive castle in Romania. It was built in new-Renaissance style in 1883 for King Carol I and served as the summer residence of the royal family until 1947. Fun fact: it was the first European castle to have electricity and even its own power plant.
HERE you can find all the information on opening hours and tickets. The best is to book online and avoid the lines as it can get very crowded during the summer months.
6. Experience the old, traditional way of living
Maramures, Apuseni Mountains or Marginimea Sibiului
Experiencing the old, traditional way of living can be such a cool thing to do. You will enjoy fairytale scenery and delicious traditional foods in the Maramures or Apuseni regions of Romania, as well as close by Sibiu.
Here life takes a slower, calmer pace, in tune with nature and local traditions.
If this sounds exciting, check out Raven’s Nest.
5. See the Fairytale Corvin Castle
Castelul Huniazilor or Hundedoara Castle
If you ask me, this is Romania’s most spectacular medieval castle and so impressive to see! It’s also one of the largest castles in Europe and often included in the top 10 fairytale places to visit.
Built in a Gothic and Renaissance style the castle holds many legends and myths of times long passed.
8. Visit Romania’s capital – Bucharest
Step inside the 2nd largest building in the world
Of course, Romania’s capital could not miss this list of the best things to do in Romania. A walk through its old historic center, on Lipscani street and next to our own Arc de Triomphe, will show you why Bucharest used to be called “The Little Paris” back in the 20th century.
An impressive sight is also the People’s House, currently the Palace of Parliament, the 2nd largest building in the world after the Pentagon and even visible from space.
9. See the Danube Delta
Cruise through the winding canals of the delta
The Danube is the 2nd biggest river in Europe and Romania hosts the largest part of its delta as it flows into the Black Sea. A UNESCO World Heritage, it is home to over 300 species of birds and 45 freshwater fish species.
The Danube delta attracts many visitors, especially during the summer months, but if I were you I’d avoid them due to the strong heat. The best would be to visit during spring or early autumn.
HERE you can find more information on exciting things to do in the delta and book your boat trip.
10. Visit Sarmisegetusa Regia
Discover the Dacians’ hystory and their fortress
I’m sure not many of you know that the Dacians were the initial inhabitants of what we now call Romania, many centuries ago. After fighting several wars with the Roman Empire, Dacia was conquered and colonized in 106 by the emperor Trajan.
This is the reason that, despite our location in Sout-Eastern Europe and proximity to Slavic countries, our language is part of the “romantic / Latin” family and is very similar to Italian or Spanish.
A trip to Sarmisegetusa Regia, the ancient capital of Dacia is truly impressive. As the religious, political, and military center of the Dacians, it still holds many ruins of their life back then. You will be able to see a solar disk, a circular sanctuary, or an impressively well-paved Dacian road.
All are surrounded by beautiful mountains and forests.
You can reach Sarmisegetusa Regia in a short drive from Orastie.
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So I hope you found my top 10 things to do in Romania exciting and hopefully I’ve managed to inspire your next trip to my beautiful country!
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