Top 10 Reasons to Visit Romania
Romania is a country of legends and fairy tales sustained by epic scenery and natural wonders, probably one of the most exciting countries in Europe. There are lots of reasons to visit Romania, from its best-preserved Delta on the continent to the vast woods and medieval fortified villages and rich flavoured food. We’ve gathered a list of the most authentic experiences the country has to offer for a once in a lifetime experience.
It’s the most bio-geographically diverse country in Europe with spectacular wildlife and natural wonders
According to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Romania is the most bio-geographically diverse country in the European Union. This translates into a wide variety of landforms like high mountains with amazing views, low hills invaded by history and thick forests, home to fairytales and folklore.
Romania is home to the largest population of brown bears in Europe and its forests are house to lynx, wolves, deer, chamois, badgers and more. The Danube Delta is the ultimate birdwatcher’s paradise – and the bison reservations are a must-visit for any wildlife lover.
Also, Romania has Scărișoara Glacier, Europe’s second-biggest underground glacier, the Berca mud volcanoes, Bigar waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the continent, the living fires of Buzău, the Bear Cave, created by water running through calcar, Turda salt mine, home to the only underground amusement park in the world and many other.
Romania’s Transylvanian villages are living history
Transylvanian fortified villages offer a vivid image of the cultural landscape that makes the region a wild and mysterious place with a complex history. Founded by Saxons, they are distinguishable by the specific land-use system, settlement pattern and organization of the family farmstead that have been preserved since the late Middle Ages. Apart from legends gone worldwide like Count Dracula, these settlements offer a glimpse of Romania’s culture and set of beliefs.
Bucharest has a stunning architecture
Romania is full of architectural surprises. Specifically, Bucharest offers an unusual and sometimes uneasy mix of styles that combines the charming and almost organic shapes of XIXth century architecture with the solid lines of the Stalinist architecture. The House of Parliament is the second-largest building in the world, the Old Town is living proof of the past social life and most houses and museums in the centre were built in a unique style called Brancovenesc, from Constantin Brancoveanu, an important figure in the past days of Bucharest’s aristocracy.
Roads cut through mountains and offer amazing scenery
For fans of beautiful landscapes, there is the famous Transfagarasan – one of the most popular routes in Romania due to its height, gorgeous sights and numerous steep curves. Cutting through Fagaras Mountains and 152 km long, it connects Romania’s historic regions of Muntenia and Transylvania. If adventure and Alpine scenery sound alluring, the Transalpina Road offers an ideal mix of the two with breathtaking views together with lots of driving excitement.Transalpina is the highest road in Romania from the entire Carpathian chain, reaching a maximum height of 2.145m. Located in the Meridional Carpathians, and cutting through Parang Mountains from N to S, the road goes parallel with Olt River Valley and Jiu River Valley.
Seaside offer both sandy beaches but also wild nature in the Danube Delta
The Black Sea coast stretches over a distance of 244 km and is among the most important tourist areas of Romania. Mamaia is the most popular beach resort, known for the nightlife and clubs. The rest of the resorts offer a wide variety of activities: from long sunny beaches to balneo and thermal therapies, they are well suited for all age types. Into the north, Gura Portitei is a lagoon known for isolation and relaxation in nature while the Danube Delta is a wildlife paradise. The best-preserved delta in Europe, its intertwined waterways form a vast network of canals you can navigate if you’re looking for an immersion into deep nature.
The Romanian traditional food is mouth-watering
Romanian cuisine is rich in flavours and consists of large portions of food that will surely kill your hunger with the strong taste of the unmistakably homemade feel.
They enjoy meat and a variety of products and meat recipes, but our advice is to try the organic vegetables and fruits, the cheese specialities, the herbs and the local sweets. For the best gastronomic experience, traditional restaurants, especially those in mountain resorts and cottages are the best places to go to. You should definitely try mici (fried meat rolls), sarmale (cooked meat rolls in cabbage leaves), tocanita (stew), papanasi (dumplings with jam and sour cream).
Legends, customs and folklore are part of everyday life
Romania’s culture includes legends and customs which are alive and take a significant part in Romanians’ lives; mostly created around religious celebrations. From carols sung at Christmas to painted eggs at Easter and red-white small tokens at the arrival of spring, all year round there are festivities creating spectacular scenery. Local crafting includes painted pottery, wood sculptures and, most distinctive, Romanian traditional clothing with its very popular blouse called “ie”, a fashion statement borrowed even by big international design houses.
Romania houses some of the most beautiful castles in Europe and inspiring World Heritage Sites
Bran or Dracula’s Castle is the most emblematic one of them all, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s book called Dracula but also to many films and legends. Peles Castle, also nested at the foot of the Carpathians is a reminder of the Romanian Royal family with unique architecture. Corvin Castle in the West is a renaissance- gothic masterpiece with tall towers and stone carving served once as a fortress and also Neamt Citadel in North was Stephen the IIIrd of Moldavia’s defence system against enemies, tucked away in the mountains are just a few of them worth visiting.
World Heritage Sites in Romania are waiting to be explores: the painted churches of Moldavia in the north are testimony of the powerful religious inheritance, the Dacian archaeological site of Sarmisegetuza, the historic centre of Sighisoara, the Danube Delta, the Monastery of Horezu, the fortified villages of Transylvania and the Wooden Churches of Maramures, the Merry Cemetery and the limestone caves are just a couple to start with.
Some of the coolest music festivals in Europe are held in Romania
The international music festivals have recently put Romania in the international spotlight for fans of concerts and techno music. From Untold Festival, one of the largest electronic music festival in the country to Neversea, during summer at the seaside to Electric Castle near Cluj to the classical music of the well-established George Enescu Festival, one of the biggest classical music events in Europe Romania’s cultural scene is becoming a travel destination by itself.
Romania’s one of the most affordable travel destinations in Europe
The beautiful scenery and interesting cities are offered by Romania at affordable prices, especially if you book your trip in advance. There are plenty of direct flights from Bucharest to the rest of Europe and plenty also offer the low-cost option. Accommodation in Romania is also affordable in most of the country with big cities being a bit more expensive than the rest but still under the European average. Besides, there are numerous guesthouses, cottages, hostels and hotels to accommodate everyone covering a vast range of expectations. The delicious traditional food is also quite affordable and the street food is a quick and easy alternative.
Covering activities for every season and with a unique mix of history, spectacular nature and charming medieval towns up to castles with surprising architecture, Romania is one of the most exciting destinations in Europe. You can be sure you’ll need more time to spend here and want to come back as there are simply too many things to see and experiences that await you.