9 Reasons You Must Visit Romania

9 Reasons You Must Visit Romania

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When you think of traveling Europe, Romania probably isn’t in the top five (or even 10) places you think of visiting. However, in our humble opinion, it should be!

1. There’s Something For Everyone!

No matter what you love, you’ll find something in Romania that’ll make a visit worth your while. It’s considered the most biogeographically diverse country within the European Union and Romania can rightfully claim that it has the largest undisturbed forest area in Europe. It’s home to 10,000 known caves, the River Danube runs through and connects to the Black Sea, and it’s home to the second largest wetlands in Europe. If you like to hike, kayak, ski, or bird watch, then Romania has what you need: mountains, hills and plateaus, plains and meadows, flowers and fauna, a vast network of rivers, and migrating birds.

 

Romania has something to offer everyone! Clockwise (from the top): A passageway in Sighisoara that looks down the valley from the top of the Citadel, colorful umbrellas hanging above Pasajul Victoria, the Dambovita River runs through the center of Bucharest, Drumul Taberei Park is a relaxing excape from the bustle of Bucharest. 

 

2. One of The Greatest Roads in the World: Transfagarasan Highway

Romania has one of the most amazing roads in the world, the Transfagarasan Highway (National Road C7 (Drumul National DC7), also known as ‘the Road to the Sky’, or ‘the Road to the Clouds’. It’s over 150 kilometers (93 miles) of winding and twisting road through the Fagaras Mountains of Romania. It’s notoriety as a popular tourist destination increased notably after it was featured on the BBC’s Top Gear. If you’re interested in driving it keep in mind that it’s only open June through October, so plan accordingly. Furthermore, be sure to plan a full day for this drive as you’ll want to take it slow and safe! Also, be sure and check the Romanian Tourism website for any possible closures on the DNC7/Transfagarasan Highway.

 

The Transfagarasan Highway was a 'once in a lifetime' road trip! The winding and twisting road isn't just all you'll see on this road trip. The waterfalls, sheer rock mountain sides, flowing creeks, tunnels, and bridges that surround this highway make the drive fantastic!

 

3. It’s Outside of Schengen

If you’re traveling within Europe for more than 90 days, Romania is a great place to visit because it’s outside of the Schengen Area.

4. Financial Arbitrage

Your money goes further here. Not only are relatively inexpensive flights to Bucharest and Cluj Napoca available through low cost carriers such as Wizz Air and Blue Air, but the cost of living is inexpensive as well. During our visit, the US Dollar was worth four RON (the abbreviation for the Romanian currency, Lei). At farmers markets we purchased local cherries for $0.50 a pound and got a 20 pound watermelon for $2.58! We rented a studio apartment in downtown for a month at only $14.30 a night, on Airbnb (use our link and get $40 off your first stay!). A day pass on the metro, valid for one day of unlimited journeys was only $2.00 at the time of our visit and eating at a typical middle of the road restaurant, that isn’t too fancy, will run between $7 and $10 per person. On the other hand ‘street food’ such as pastries, can be as low as $0.25 cents!

5. It’s ‘Undiscovered’

It’s not (yet!) a common tourist destination. If you’re like us, you’ll enjoy visiting landmarks and walking through side streets without having to contend with tour groups and high-priced tourist traps.

 

There are so many places in Romania that seemed to be off the beaten path. Visitors can choose to explore the traditional and rural part of Romania that will give them a glimpse into the lives and history of Romanians.

 

6. Explore the Traditional and the Rural

In 1989, the country had a revolution which ended the communist era, but many areas are still rural and untouched by modernization. You can travel the countryside and experience what some say is like walking through a time warp. You can visit walled cities, fortresses, monasteries, and small villages. Much of the land in the countryside is untouched, being ideal for hikers and explorers alike. Traveling through the country will undoubtedly give you a peak into traditional Romanian life.

7. Enjoy History Through the Architecture

Larger cities are modernizing, although you can still see the history of the country through the architecture. In just a couple of blocks of walking throughout city center Bucharest, the capital of Romania, you can see grand palaces, medieval buildings with spires and intricate tile roofs, communist era dormitory buildings, and modern marvels.

 

We found, that throughout the parts of Romania we traveled, the architecture was unique and beautiful!

 

8. Home of Count Dracula

Transylvania, a central region in Romania, is synonymous with Count Dracula. Hopefully we aren’t spoiling anything for you, but Dracula comes from Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel, Dracula, and is a fictional character inspired by Vlad the Impaler. It’s easy to get caught up in vampire stories as you traverse forests, villages, and mountain passes. You can walk in the shoes of Dracula and make a tour to Transylvania complete with a visit to Vlad’s childhood home in Sighisoara, to Peonari Fortress, and to Bran Castle (both debated to be Dracula’s castle). Finally, be sure and visit Snagov Monastery, where legend has it Vlad was buried (although it’s also thought that he may have been buried at Comana Monastery).

Even if you’re not a fan of vampire tales, Transylvania is a romantic, rural, and beautiful place to visit. Castles, horse-drawn carts, and sheepherders are common sights. Keep in mind though, you’ll be best served if your interpretations of romantic and rural remain realistic; dirt roads are still made of dirt, and rural means a less developed infrastructure, so expect a slower pace of life.

 

The Transylvania region of Romania is full of Dracula lore! Even those visitors that aren't huge vampire enthusiasts will find their interests peaked just a bit, since Vlad Dracula is more than a character in a novel, he's a historical figure and ruler in Romanian history.

 

9. Most People Speak English

The national language is Romanian, a language that has its roots in Latin. However, when visiting larger cities, you’ll have no problem finding people who speak English. Do keep in mind that when visiting smaller villages and rural areas that have less outside influence, you may have a harder time finding people who speak English.

Final Thoughts

Romania is a beautiful country that has so much to offer visitors. Whether you're into nature or cities, architecture or lakes, long stays or short vacations, Romania has a corner just for you!

 

Romania is full of treasures and sights that aren't to be missed! Clockwise (from the top): The entrance to Antim Monastery in Bucharest, the courtyard of Stavropoleos Monastery Church in Bucharest, the view from the top of the Clock Tower in Sighisoara, the interior of the Holy Trinity Church in Sighisoara, the courtyard of the AFI Business Park, looking up at Domnita Balsa Orthodox Church in Bucharest.

 
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