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Why Romania Should Be On Your Travel Bucket List


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Mada Bly



When it comes to planning your next travel adventure, Europe offers a plethora of incredible destinations to choose from. From the iconic cities of Paris and Rome to the breathtaking landscapes of Switzerland and Iceland, there’s something for every type of traveler. However, if you’re looking for a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience, consider adding Romania to your travel bucket list.


Located in Eastern Europe, Romania may not be as well-known as some of its Western European counterparts, but it is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With its rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and vibrant culture, Romania has plenty to offer adventurous travelers seeking a truly authentic experience.


From the moment you step foot in Romania, you’ll be captivated by its charm and beauty. Whether you’re exploring the medieval towns of Transylvania, immersing yourself in the vibrant capital city of Bucharest, or indulging in mouthwatering Romanian cuisine, you’ll find that Romania has a lot to offer in terms of both cultural and natural attractions.


What sets Romania apart from other European destinations is its untouched beauty and unique blend of influences from various civilizations. The country’s history dates back thousands of years, and evidence of its past can be found in its historic landmarks, traditional villages, and centuries-old traditions.


Rich History and Culture

Romania boasts a rich and diverse history that spans thousands of years. From ancient civilizations to medieval kingdoms, the country has been shaped by numerous influences, making it a fascinating destination for history buffs.


One of the most notable aspects of Romanian history is its connection to the ancient Roman Empire. The country derives its name from this powerful civilization, and remnants of Roman influence can still be seen today. The city of Constanta, for example, is home to the ruins of Tomis, an ancient Roman city that dates back to the 6th century BC.


During the medieval period, Romania was divided into several small kingdoms, each with its own unique culture and traditions. Transylvania, in particular, is renowned for its rich heritage. This region is famously associated with the legend of Count Dracula, which has sparked intrigue and curiosity among visitors from around the world.


But Romania’s cultural heritage goes beyond Dracula. Traditional Romanian folk music, dance, and literature have played a vital role in shaping the national identity. Folklore and legends form an integral part of the country’s cultural fabric and can be experienced through traditional festivals and celebrations that take place throughout the year.


In addition to its historical and cultural attractions, Romania is home to an impressive collection of museums and art galleries. The National Museum of Romanian History in Bucharest houses artifacts and exhibitions that trace the country’s history from prehistoric times to the present day. The Village Museum, also located in Bucharest, offers visitors a glimpse into traditional Romanian village life through its collection of authentic houses and buildings.


By exploring Romania’s historical sites, engaging with its vibrant culture, and immersing yourself in its rich heritage, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for the country’s unique identity and the stories it holds.


Stunning Natural Landscapes

When it comes to natural beauty, Romania is a country that will take your breath away. From majestic mountains to tranquil lakes and expansive forests, the country is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.


One of the most iconic natural landmarks in Romania is the Carpathian Mountains. This mountain range stretches across the country and offers stunning vistas, picturesque hiking trails, and opportunities for wildlife spotting. The Bucegi Mountains and the Fagaras Mountains are particularly popular among adventurers and offer breathtaking views from their peaks.


In addition to the mountains, Romania is home to an abundance of national parks and protected areas. The Danube Delta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a sprawling wetland paradise that is home to over 300 species of birds, making it a must-visit destination for birdwatchers. The Retezat National Park, with its crystal-clear alpine lakes and diverse flora and fauna, is a paradise for hikers and nature enthusiasts.


For those seeking tranquility and relaxation, Romania offers a variety of stunning lakes. Whether it’s the turquoise waters of Lake Balea or the serene atmosphere of Lake Sfanta Ana, these natural wonders provide the perfect backdrop for a peaceful getaway.


But it’s not just the mountains and lakes that make Romania’s natural landscapes remarkable. The country is also home to several unique geological formations. The UNESCO-listed “Scarisoara Ice Cave” is the largest underground glacier in Romania, while the “Muddy Volcanoes” near Berca are a surreal phenomenon created by escaping natural gases.


Whether you’re an avid hiker, a wildlife enthusiast, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of nature, Romania offers a plethora of natural landscapes that will leave you awe-inspired.


Transylvania: A Land of Legends

When you think of Transylvania, chances are the first thing that comes to mind is Count Dracula. While the tale of the vampire may be the region’s most famous legend, Transylvania offers so much more than a fictional character.


Located in the heart of Romania, Transylvania is a land of enchantment and mystique. Its picturesque landscapes, medieval towns, and captivating folklore have made it a favorite destination for travelers seeking a taste of the extraordinary.


One of the highlights of Transylvania is its stunning castles and fortresses. The most famous of them all is Bran Castle, often referred to as Dracula’s Castle. This imposing fortress perched on a hilltop is a must-visit attraction, offering panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. Another notable castle is Peleș Castle, a masterpiece of Neo-Renaissance architecture that exudes royal splendor.


Aside from its castles, Transylvania is home to several charming medieval towns that seem frozen in time. The city of Sibiu, with its cobblestone streets and pastel-colored buildings, transports visitors back to the Middle Ages. Brasov, another popular destination, boasts a well-preserved historic center and the iconic Black Church.


But Transylvania’s allure doesn’t stop at its architectural wonders. The region is known for its folk traditions and customs, which are kept alive through festivals and events. Whether it’s the lively Masked Parade in Sighisoara during the Carnival season or the Transylvanian Folk Music Festival in Cluj-Napoca, visitors have the opportunity to experience the vibrant cultural heritage of the region.


For outdoor enthusiasts, Transylvania offers ample opportunities for adventure. The Carpathian Mountains provide a stunning backdrop for hiking, biking, and even wildlife watching. The Piatra Craiului National Park, with its rugged limestone peaks and diverse flora and fauna, is a haven for nature lovers.


Whether you’re drawn to Transylvania by its legends, its history, or its natural beauty, one thing is certain: this region will captivate you and leave you with lasting memories.


Bucharest: The Captivating Capital

Bucharest, the vibrant capital city of Romania, is a fascinating blend of old-world charm and modernity. With its stunning architecture, rich history, and dynamic cultural scene, Bucharest offers visitors a captivating experience.


One of the highlights of Bucharest is its architectural diversity. The city is known for its mix of architectural styles, ranging from elegant Belle Époque buildings to imposing Communist-era structures. The Romanian Athenaeum, an iconic concert hall with neoclassical elements, is a must-visit for music lovers. The Palace of the Parliament, the second-largest administrative building in the world, is an impressive feat of engineering and a testament to Romania’s communist past.


Bucharest is also home to numerous parks and green spaces, providing a welcome escape from the city’s bustling streets. Herăstrău Park, the largest park in Bucharest, offers beautiful lakes, walking trails, and even a traditional village museum. The Cismigiu Gardens, located in the city center, is a peaceful oasis where visitors can relax and enjoy the serene atmosphere.


For history enthusiasts, Bucharest has plenty to offer. The city’s historical landmarks, such as the Stavropoleos Monastery and the Revolution Square, are reminders of Romania’s tumultuous past. The Village Museum, an open-air ethnographic museum, provides a glimpse into traditional Romanian village life and showcases the country’s rural heritage.


In recent years, Bucharest has also emerged as a vibrant cultural hub. The city is home to a thriving arts scene, with numerous galleries, theaters, and music venues. Visitors can enjoy classical concerts, contemporary art exhibitions, and theatrical performances throughout the year.


When it comes to cuisine, Bucharest offers a diverse range of options to tantalize your taste buds. From traditional Romanian dishes, such as sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls) and mici (grilled minced meat rolls), to international cuisine, there’s something for every palate. The city also boasts a vibrant nightlife, with a variety of bars, clubs, and music venues to explore.


Whether you’re interested in history, architecture, arts, or simply enjoying the lively atmosphere, Bucharest is a city that will leave a lasting impression on visitors. Its unique blend of old and new, combined with its warm and welcoming ambiance, make it a captivating capital worth exploring.


Charming Medieval Towns

One of the highlights of Romania is its collection of charming medieval towns that transport visitors back in time. These well-preserved towns are not only visually captivating but also offer a glimpse into Romania’s rich history and cultural heritage.


One such town is Sighisoara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. Known for its colorful houses, cobblestone streets, and a beautifully preserved 14th-century citadel, Sighisoara feels like something straight out of a fairytale. The town is also notable as the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.


Another gem is Brasov, a town nestled at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. With its well-preserved medieval walls, Gothic-style Black Church, and charming Old Town, it’s easy to get lost in the timeless atmosphere of this enchanting town. Brasov also serves as a gateway to the nearby Bran Castle, often linked to the legend of Dracula.


Located in the heart of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca is another medieval town worth exploring. Boasting a mix of architectural styles, Cluj-Napoca offers a vibrant atmosphere with its bustling squares, colorful buildings, and lively cultural scene. The town hosts numerous festivals and events throughout the year, including the Transylvania International Film Festival.


Visiting the town of Sibiu is like stepping into a medieval wonderland. The historic center features cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and well-preserved fortifications. The town is also known for its vibrant cultural scene, with art galleries, museums, and theaters showcasing local and international talent.


One cannot overlook the allure of Alba Iulia, a town that played a significant role in Romania’s history. The Alba Carolina Fortress, with its imposing walls and star-shaped layout, is a magnificent sight to behold. Inside the fortress, visitors can explore the Orthodox Cathedral, the Roman Catholic Cathedral, and the National Union Museum.


These medieval towns not only offer a visual feast for the eyes but also provide insight into Romania’s past. Exploring their narrow streets, visiting historical landmarks, and experiencing the local culture is like taking a step back in time.


Mouthwatering Romanian Cuisine

When it comes to culinary delights, Romania has a rich and diverse cuisine that will tantalize your taste buds. Influenced by its geography, history, and neighboring cultures, Romanian cuisine offers a unique blend of flavors and traditional dishes worth exploring.


One of the most iconic Romanian dishes is sarmale, cabbage rolls stuffed with a flavorful mixture of ground meat, rice, and spices. Served with polenta and sour cream, sarmale is a staple of Romanian cuisine and a must-try for visitors. Another traditional dish is mici, grilled minced meat rolls seasoned with garlic, herbs, and spices. These delicious bites are often enjoyed with mustard and fresh bread.


For soup lovers, a bowl of ciorba de burta is a must-try. This tangy and hearty soup is made with beef tripe, mixed vegetables, and a touch of sour cream. Another popular soup is ciorba taraneasca, a vegetable soup with a rich and savory flavor.


When it comes to desserts, Romania does not disappoint. Try the traditional cozonac, a sweet bread filled with nuts, raisins, and a hint of cocoa, typically enjoyed during holidays and special occasions. Papanasi, a fried or boiled doughnut-like pastry topped with sour cream and jam, is another delicious treat that shouldn’t be missed.


Romania is also known for its cheese, and branza de burduf, a robust and savory sheep’s milk cheese, is a true delicacy. Paired with fresh bread, it’s a perfect appetizer or accompaniment to a traditional Romanian meal.


To wash down these flavorful dishes, indulge in the local drinks. Romania boasts excellent wines, with regions such as Transylvania and Moldova producing a variety of red, white, and rosé wines. Tuica, a strong plum brandy, is the national spirit and is often enjoyed as an aperitif or digestif.


Visiting traditional markets is a great way to experience the authentic flavors of Romanian cuisine. Here, you’ll find a wide range of fresh produce, regional specialties, and homemade goodies. It’s also an opportunity to meet local farmers and artisans who are passionate about preserving traditional culinary techniques.


Whether you’re a food enthusiast or simply looking to tantalize your taste buds, Romanian cuisine offers a delightful journey through its flavorful dishes, unique ingredients, and rich culinary traditions.


Affordable Travel Destination

Traveling can be an expensive endeavor, but Romania offers a wonderful exception to the rule. As an affordable travel destination, Romania allows you to experience the beauty and charm of Europe without breaking the bank.


Accommodation options in Romania cater to a range of budgets, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly guesthouses and hostels. Whether you choose to stay in a charming countryside inn or a centrally located hotel in Bucharest, you’ll find that prices are significantly more reasonable compared to other European destinations.


Transportation within Romania is also affordable. Public transportation, such as buses and trains, offers convenient and cost-effective ways to explore the country. Trains, in particular, are a great way to traverse Romania’s picturesque landscapes while keeping your travel expenses in check.


Food and dining in Romania are remarkably affordable, allowing you to taste the local cuisine without straining your wallet. Traditional Romanian restaurants, known as “mese,” offer hearty and delicious meals at reasonable prices. Street food stalls and local markets are also great options to sample authentic dishes without spending a fortune.


Entry fees to tourist attractions in Romania are generally affordable as well. Whether you’re visiting historical landmarks, museums, or natural sites, you’ll find that the entrance fees are reasonable, making it easier to explore and experience the country’s rich cultural and natural heritage without blowing your budget.


Furthermore, Romania offers a variety of free or low-cost activities for travelers to enjoy. From hiking in the Carpathian Mountains to exploring the charming streets of medieval towns, you can find numerous opportunities for entertainment and exploration without spending a dime.


Another cost-saving aspect of Romania is its shopping opportunities. Local markets and street vendors offer a wide range of unique and handmade items, including traditional crafts and textiles, at affordable prices. Bargaining is also part of the Romanian shopping culture, allowing you to potentially snag great deals.


Overall, Romania’s affordability as a travel destination makes it an attractive choice for budget-conscious travelers. With reasonable prices for accommodation, transportation, food, and activities, you can experience the wonders of this beautiful country without straining your finances.


Hospitable Locals

One of the greatest assets of Romania as a travel destination is its warm and welcoming locals. Romanians are known for their hospitality and genuine friendliness, making visitors feel right at home in this beautiful country.


The locals in Romania take pride in sharing their culture, traditions, and history with visitors. They are eager to engage in conversations, offer recommendations, and provide insights into their way of life. Whether you’re exploring a small village or wandering the streets of a bustling city, you’ll often find the locals approachable and willing to help.


When dining in a traditional Romanian restaurant or visiting a local market, the locals will go out of their way to ensure you have a memorable experience. They are often enthusiastic about introducing you to the authentic flavors of Romanian cuisine, sharing stories behind regional dishes, and recommending local specialties.


Should you find yourself lost or in need of directions, don’t hesitate to ask a local for help. They will likely guide you with a smile and may even go the extra mile to ensure you reach your destination. Romanians take pride in their country and are genuinely pleased to see visitors appreciating all that it has to offer.


It’s not uncommon for locals to invite you into their homes, especially in rural areas, to experience their way of life firsthand. From participating in traditional celebrations to learning traditional crafts or farming techniques, these interactions allow you to go beyond being a tourist and forge meaningful connections with the local community.


Romanians also have a strong sense of community, which extends to their visitors. You may find yourself being invited to join in on local events, such as festivals, concerts, or religious celebrations. These experiences offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture and create lasting memories.


It is this genuine warmth and hospitality that leave a lasting impression on visitors to Romania. The locals’ openness, kindness, and willingness to share their country and culture make the travel experience all the more enriching and memorable.



Romania is a country that truly has it all. From its rich history and culture to its stunning natural landscapes and charming medieval towns, Romania offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience. Whether you’re exploring the vibrant capital city of Bucharest, immersing yourself in the legends of Transylvania, or indulging in mouthwatering Romanian cuisine, every step of the journey will be filled with wonder and discovery.


What sets Romania apart from other European destinations is its affordability. Travelers can explore the country without breaking the bank, with reasonably priced accommodation, transportation, and dining options. This, paired with the warmth and hospitality of the locals, creates an inviting and welcoming environment that makes visitors feel embraced by Romanian culture.


As you travel through Romania, you’ll discover a country that has managed to preserve its rich history and traditions while embracing modernity. Whether you’re a history buff, nature enthusiast, food lover, or simply seeking a unique and off-the-beaten-path adventure, Romania has something to offer everyone.


So, consider adding Romania to your travel bucket list. Embark on a journey of discovery and indulge in the captivating beauty, culture, and experiences that await you in this enchanting European country. Whether you’re drawn to its rich history, stunning landscapes, or warm-hearted locals, Romania is sure to leave a lasting impression and create memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.