Exploring Romania: A Journey into Eastern Europe's Hidden Gem

Written by: Better Ask Me



Time to read 8 min

Romania, nestled in the heart of Eastern Europe, is a captivating destination that combines stunning landscapes, rich history, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality. This article serves as your guide to visiting Romania, offering insights into its top attractions, cultural highlights, and practical tips for a memorable journey.

"Romania, a captivating Eastern European country, offers a delightful blend of picturesque landscapes, medieval towns, and cultural treasures waiting to be explored.”


Visiting Romania

The Beauty of Nature:

  • Majestic Carpathian Mountains: Embark on breathtaking hikes, witness pristine landscapes, and discover charming mountain towns like Brasov and Sinaia.
  • Transylvania's Fairytale Castles: Explore the legendary Bran Castle, often associated with the tales of Dracula, and visit enchanting Peles Castle, a masterpiece of Neo-Renaissance architecture.
  • Danube Delta: Immerse yourself in Europe's largest and most biodiverse wetland, home to rare bird species and picturesque river channels.

Cultural and Historical Gems:

  • Bucharest: Discover Romania's capital city, where modern and traditional elements blend seamlessly. Explore historic landmarks like the Palace of the Parliament and the charming Old Town.
  • Painted Monasteries of Bucovina: Marvel at the exquisite frescoes adorning the exterior walls of these UNESCO World Heritage sites, showcasing unique Byzantine artistry.
  • Sibiu and Brasov: Roam through the medieval streets of Sibiu and Brasov, admiring well-preserved architecture, fortified walls, and lively town squares.

Unique Experiences:

  • Traditional Villages: Step back in time by visiting rural villages like Maramures, known for its wooden churches and authentic way of life.
  • Traditional Cuisine: Delight in hearty dishes like sarmale (cabbage rolls), mici (grilled sausages), and mamaliga (cornmeal porridge) while savoring Romania's diverse culinary traditions.
  • Folklore and Festivals: Immerse yourself in Romania's vibrant folklore and join in on colorful celebrations and festivals, such as the famous Merry Cemetery in Sapanta.

Practical Tips:

  • Visa and Currency: Check visa requirements and ensure you have Romanian currency (Leu) for your travels.
  • Transportation: Take advantage of an extensive public transportation network, including trains and buses, to explore different regions.
  • Language and Communication: While Romanian is the official language, many locals speak English, especially in tourist areas.
  • Safety and Etiquette: Romania is generally a safe country, but it's always advisable to take precautions and respect local customs and traditions.

Romania offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, historical richness, and vibrant culture, making it an ideal destination for adventurous travelers. Whether you're exploring ancient castles, hiking in the Carpathian Mountains, or immersing yourself in traditional villages, Romania will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression and create unforgettable memories.

Note: Remember to check travel advisories, stay informed about local regulations and customs, and travel responsibly to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.


Tips for Tourists

1. Plan Your Itinerary:

Research and plan your itinerary in advance to make the most of your time in Romania. Consider the attractions and regions you want to explore, and allocate sufficient time for each.

2. Visit Transylvania:

Transylvania is a must-visit region in Romania. Explore the charming towns of Brasov and Sibiu, visit the legendary Bran Castle, and immerse yourself in the fascinating history and folklore of the region.

3. Explore the Countryside:

Don't miss the opportunity to explore Romania's picturesque countryside. Visit traditional villages in Maramures or Bucovina, where you can witness local customs, authentic craftsmanship, and stunning rural landscapes.

4. Try Traditional Cuisine:

Romanian cuisine is diverse and delicious. Sample local specialties like sarmale, mici, and polenta, and don't forget to try the local wines and palinka, a traditional fruit brandy.

5. Embrace Local Culture:

Interact with locals and embrace their culture and traditions. Attend folk festivals and events, visit local markets, and engage in conversations to gain insights into Romania's rich heritage.

6. Be Mindful of Etiquette:

Respect local customs and traditions. Dress modestly when visiting religious sites, and be polite and considerate towards locals. Learning a few basic Romanian phrases can also go a long way in connecting with the locals.

7. Stay Safe:

Romania is generally a safe country, but it's always advisable to take precautions. Be aware of your surroundings, keep your belongings secure, and use reputable transportation services. Stay informed about any travel advisories and follow local guidelines.

8. Pack Accordingly:

Depending on the season and the regions you plan to visit, pack suitable clothing and footwear. Romania experiences hot summers and cold winters, so be prepared for varying weather conditions.

9. Explore Nature:

Romania is blessed with beautiful landscapes and national parks. Take the opportunity to hike in the Carpathian Mountains, explore the Danube Delta, or go on a scenic road trip through the Transfagarasan or Transalpina highways.

10. Experience Local Festivals:

Check the calendar for local festivals and events happening during your visit. Whether it's the Sighisoara Medieval Festival or the Romanian Peasant Museum Fair, participating in these cultural celebrations can provide a unique and memorable experience.

Remember to always check the latest travel information, respect the local environment and customs, and have an open mind to fully enjoy your time in Romania.


What NOT to do?

While visiting Romania, it's important to be aware of certain things to avoid or be cautious about. Here are some things not to do:

1. Don't Disrespect Religious Sites:

When visiting churches or monasteries, dress appropriately and be respectful of the religious customs and practices. Avoid loud conversations or disruptive behavior that may disturb worshippers.

2. Don't Drink Tap Water:

In Romania, it's advisable to avoid drinking tap water unless it has been properly filtered or boiled. Stick to bottled water to prevent any potential health issues.

3. Don't Use Unlicensed Taxis:

Be cautious when taking taxis, especially in touristy areas. Stick to licensed taxi services or use reputable ride-sharing apps to ensure fair pricing and avoid scams.

4. Don't Flash Valuables:

Avoid displaying expensive jewelry, cameras, or other valuables in public places, as it may attract unwanted attention and increase the risk of theft. Keep your belongings secure and be vigilant in crowded areas.

5. Don't Hike Unprepared:

If you plan to go hiking or exploring the wilderness, make sure to be properly prepared. Inform someone about your plans, carry essential supplies, and be aware of weather conditions and any potential risks.

6. Don't Ignore Traffic Rules:

Follow traffic rules and exercise caution when crossing the streets. Be mindful of drivers, especially in busy city areas, and use designated pedestrian crossings whenever possible.

7. Don't Engage in Illegal Activities:

As with any destination, avoid engaging in any illegal activities while in Romania. Familiarize yourself with the local laws and regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.

8. Don't Overlook Travel Insurance:

It's highly recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or any unforeseen events. This will provide peace of mind and financial protection during your trip.

9. Don't Overlook Local Customs:

Take the time to learn about and respect the local customs and traditions. For example, it's considered impolite to refuse food or drink when offered in Romanian homes, so it's best to accept graciously.

10. Don't Forget to Explore Beyond Bucharest:

While Bucharest is the capital city and has its own charm, don't limit your visit to just one location. Romania offers a diverse range of attractions, so make sure to explore other regions and experience the country's natural beauty, historical sites, and cultural heritage.

By being mindful of these tips, you can enhance your travel experience in Romania and ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.


Websites that assist tourists in the country:

When visiting Romania, there are several helpful websites that can assist tourists in planning their trip and accessing relevant information. Here are some websites that can be useful:

1. Romanian National Tourist Office (www.romaniatourism.com): The official website of the Romanian National Tourist Office provides comprehensive information about tourist attractions, accommodations, events, and travel tips in Romania.

2. Visit Romania (www.visitromania.com): This website offers detailed information about various destinations in Romania, including popular cities, landmarks, outdoor activities, and cultural experiences.

3. Romania Insider (www.romania-insider.com): Romania Insider is an online news portal that covers a wide range of topics, including travel and tourism. It provides articles, guides, and insights about different aspects of Romania, including travel destinations, local culture, and events.

4. TripAdvisor (www.tripadvisor.com): TripAdvisor is a popular travel website that provides reviews, ratings, and recommendations for accommodations, restaurants, attractions, and activities in Romania. It can be a valuable resource for planning your itinerary and reading feedback from fellow travelers.

5. Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com): Lonely Planet offers comprehensive travel guides for different countries, including Romania. Their website provides detailed information about attractions, accommodations, transportation, and local customs, helping you make informed decisions during your trip.

6. Romania Travel (www.romania.travel): Romania Travel is an official website supported by the Ministry of Tourism in Romania. It offers insights into the country's culture, history, natural beauty, and tourism-related information.

7. Romanian Railway Company (www.cfrcalatori.ro): If you plan to use the train system in Romania, the website of the Romanian Railway Company provides schedules, ticket prices, and other important information for train travel within the country.

8. Romanian Airports (https://www.bucharestairports.ro/en): For information about airports in Romania, flight schedules, and airport services, the Romanian Airports website provides up-to-date details to assist with your travel plans.

These websites can provide valuable resources for tourists visiting Romania, offering insights, recommendations, and practical information to make your trip more enjoyable and hassle-free.


Cost of travel:

The cost of travel in Romania can vary depending on various factors such as the duration of your stay, accommodation choices, dining preferences, transportation options, and activities you plan to engage in. Here is a general overview of the cost of travel in Romania:

1. Accommodation:

The cost of accommodation in Romania can range from budget-friendly options such as hostels and guesthouses to higher-end hotels. On average, you can expect to spend around $30 to $100 per night for mid-range accommodation. However, prices may vary in popular tourist destinations like Bucharest or coastal cities.

2. Transportation:

Public transportation in Romania, including buses, trains, and metros, is relatively affordable. The cost of a one-way ticket for local transport within cities is around $0.50 to $1. For longer distances, train fares can range from $5 to $30, depending on the distance and class of travel.

3. Food and Dining:

Dining out in Romania can be quite affordable, especially if you opt for local eateries and traditional Romanian cuisine. A meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost around $10 to $20 per person, while street food and fast food options are even more budget-friendly.

4. Sightseeing and Activities:

Entrance fees to museums, historical sites, and attractions in Romania can vary. On average, expect to pay around $5 to $15 per person for most attractions. Some popular tourist sites may have higher entrance fees.

5. Shopping:

The cost of shopping in Romania will depend on your preferences and the items you wish to purchase. Traditional handicrafts, souvenirs, and locally made products can be reasonably priced, while branded and imported goods may be more expensive.

It's important to note that these are approximate costs and can vary based on personal preferences, travel style, and the specific locations you visit in Romania. It's recommended to plan and budget accordingly to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip within your means.


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