Romania

Quick guide to Romania areas and traveling tips and tricks

Situated in South East Central Europe, Romania is one of the largest countries in Europe, with a population of 19 million inhabitants. The predominant religion is orthodox, but you will also find other communions: catholic, protestant, evangelic.

The official language is the Romanian language. Romanians trace their ancestry back to the Romans and have a noticeable Latin character – warm, spontaneous, anarchic, and appreciative of style and life´s pleasures.

The constitution sets in place a parliamentary system of government, elected every four years, with the prime minister at its head and the president head of the state.

Since the 1st of January 2007 Romania is member of the European Union. Along with Romanians, the Hungarian, German and Serb communities, live together.

Romania’s international airports are: Bucharest, Constanta, Timisoara, Cluj Napoca, Sibiu, Iasi and Targu Mures. The cheap air carriers Blue Air, Wizzair, Ryan Air, Tarom, Sky-Europe and Germanwings are flying from a lot of European airports to Romania.

The official currency in Romania is the Romanian "leu or RON" – 1 leu = app. 0.25 €. Payments can be made either with credit cards, or cash; for payments in cash, only the “leu” is accepted.

Closed to the public for more than 40 years due to the communist regime, Romania has finally revealed its genuine treasures, tourism being one of the fastest growing sectors of the Romanian economy, due to the richness of the country in mountain, coastal and health spa resorts.

As fascinating as the major cities are – such as Bucharest, Brasov, Cluj, Timisoara – Romania´s charm lies mostly in the remote, less visited regions. Almost any exploration of the villages of rural Romania will be rewarding.

The best of Romania, nevertheless, is its countryside, and in particular the wonderful mountain scenery. The wild Carpathians, which form the frontier between Transylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia, shelter bears, stags, chamois and eagles. The Bucegi, Retezat, Fagaras and the Padis plateau offer some of the most quiet and spectacular hiking opportunities in Europe.

Transylvania

The gateway to Transylvania is Brasov, whose medieval old town is a good introduction to the Saxon architecture of the region. 

The area of Transylvania reaches its peak in the fortified towns of Sibiu and Sighisoara, Romania´s most middle age like town and the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, Romania´s most famous historical figure, also known as Vlad Tepes or, more familiarly, as Dracula. Further north and west, the great Magyar cities of Targu Mures, Cluj and Oradea have retained a wealth of medieval churches and streets, as well as impressive Baroque and Secession edifices. To the southwest of the country, near the border with Serbia, is Timisoara, source of the 1989 Revolution and a fine place to spend a few days. 

Major cities: Brasov, SibiuAlba Iulia, Hunedoara, Cluj-Napoca

Best known for

medieval castles and churches, food, village life, hiking and mountain biking, festivals and cultural events

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Bucovina Region

Settled in the northwestern corner of Moldavia, Bucovina is a fairytale land. The scenery is wonderful, with misty valleys and rivers spilling down from rocky shoulders, heaving up a cloak of beech and fir. The best time of the year to admire the woods are May and October.

On the hills of Bucovina you will find its Painted Monasteries, an UNESCO heritage site, whose specimens of religious art are amongst some of the most outstanding in Europe. Probably the best of these are to be found at Voronet, Sucevita and Moldovita.

In Bucovina people are so warm and welcoming. Spending at least one night in one of the many charming guesthouses is a must-do in Bucovina.

Major cities: Suceava, Gura Humorului

Best known for

medieval painted monasteries, hospitality at its best, food and plenty of tradition

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Danube Delta

The Danube Delta is a place set apart from the rest of the country, where life has hardly changed for centuries and where boats are the only way to reach many of the settlements. During spring and autumn, thousands of species of birds from all over the world, travel through this area in their great migration, or come to breed.

Near Tulcea, the river Danube splits into three branches, dividing the Delta into more than 4000 square kilometres of reeds and mars.

One of the highlights of the Delta is the fresh fish. All over the Delta, meals consist of the day’s haul: carp, pike or catfish, usually served with juicy tomatoes from local gardens.

Major cities: Tulcea, Sulina, Sfântu Gheorghe

Best known for

birdwatching, fishing, fresh fish best meals, fishermen village life and architecture

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Western Romania - Banat and Crisana

With its largely featureless scenery, great rivers, historical sites and intermingled ethnic groups, the Banat has much in common with its neighbours, Hungary’s Great Plain and Serbia’s Vojvodina region.

Key attractions are the cities of Oradea, Arad and Timisoara. Timisoara in particular is hugely enjoyable, and the city not to miss should you have to choose just one in the region. It is the birthplace of the 1989 revolution and a vibrant and engaging city, characterized by colourful squares, green and lively nightlife. 

There are also rural temptations aplenty, such as the western ranges of the Apuseni Mountains, with their stalactite caves and wooden churches and the spas at Baile Herculane and Baile Felix.

Major cities: Timișoara, Oradea, Arad

Best known for

spa, nightlife, festivals and culture, art nouveau architecture, hiking and caving

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Northern Romania - Maramures

The northern region of Maramures, bordering the Ukraine, retains an almost medieval-like feel, with its villages renowned for their fabulous wooden churches. 

The highlight of Maramures is its villages, with the superb wooden houses and traditional way of life. Every family occupies a compound with its livestock, fenced with timber and entered via a beamed gateway, the size of which indicates the family’s status and prosperity. 

It’s particularly worth seeing in Maramures the towering wooden church at Surdesti, the church paintings at Barsana, Rogoz and Desesti, the frescoes and icons of Calinesti and Budesti, the superb prison museum in Sighet and the quirky Merry Cemetery at Sapanta.

Major cities: Satu Mare, Baia Mare, Sighetu Marmației

Best known for

traditions, wooden churches, hospitality and village life, food, wood carving

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Moldavia Region

The history of Moldavia is tightly bounded to its main city, Iasi. Iasi is the capital city of Moldavia and one of the country’s most appealing destinations, with numerous churches and monasteries retained from its heyday as the Moldavian capital, and a strong cultural scene. 

The countryside of Moldavia looks fantastic, with picturesque villages dwarfed by the flanks of the Carpathians. Just over halfway to Suceava, Neamt county’s main towns are Piatra Neamt and Targu Neamt which serve as bases for Moldavia’s historic convents, Neamt, Agapia and Varatec and the weirdly shaped Ceahlau massif, whose magnificent views make one of Romania’s most dramatic hiking spots.

Major cities: Iasi, Suceava, Neamt

Best known for

churches and museums, hiking, hospitality and village life

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South Region - Wallachia

The southern part of Romania, known as well as Wallachia or Tara Romaneasca is mainly comprised of flat and featureless agricultural land, interspersed with grimy industrial centers, though it is home to the nation’s capital, Bucharest. 

The most rewarding part of Wallachia is its western half, known as Oltenia. Here, the foothills of the Carpathians are largely scenic and unspoiled, with very interesting towns, such as Curtea de Arges, north of which is Poienari Castle.

The most worthwhile of the three major towns surrounding Bucharest is Targoviste, the old capital of Wallachia.

Major cities: Bucharest, Targoviste, Craiova, Targu Jiu

Best known for

churches and museums, nightlife, history, hospitality and village life

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South East Region

To the south, Romania’s Black Sea coast is blessed with abundant sunshine, warm water and sandy beaches. There are several sea side famous resorts, like: Mamaia, Venus, Neptun, Vama Veche or 2 Mai. For a drop of culture amid all this sea and sand, the port city of Constanta offers a splendid array of museums and historical riches, particularly throughout its atmospheric old quarter.

Mamaia, 6 km from Constanta, is Romania’s best-known coastal resort and the place where the majority of package tourists end up. 

Tulcea, the main port city at the Danube has been tagged the „Treshold of the Delta” ever since ancient Greek traders established a port here. Nowadays, the largely systematized town center has enough attractions to fill a few hours. Moreover, there’s plenty of accommodation here, should you wish to stay before heading on to the Delta.

Major cities: Constanta, Tulcea

Best known for

Black Sea, seaside resorts, fishing, fish gastronomy, nightlife

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Why visit Romania

There are plenty of reasons to visit Romania, but the most significant ones are:

The Medieval Castles, Hundreds of Years Old and the Story Behind Them

The Medieval Castles, Hundreds of Years Old and the Story Behind Them

Three castles attract the visitor’s look, when coming to Romania. The first one is a medieval fortress that has been transformed into castle by the royal family of Romania. It is namely, the Bran Castle. The second one is a piece of art and architecture and one of the most beautiful castles in Europe, the Peles Castle. The third one is Corvin Castle, a majestic 15th century gothic style building, belonging to one of the rulers, of Transylvania.
The Culture is Well Preserved and Unique Worldwide

The Culture is Well Preserved and Unique Worldwide

Romania has a very twisted history,being marked by its geographical settlement. It has always been regarded as the entrance gate to Europe from the Eastern side of the continent. You will find here influences from the romans to hungarians, germans, ottomans, russians and austrians. Romania is often regarded as the meeting point of three cultures coming from three different regions: Eastern Europe, Central Europe and the Balkans.
The People are so Friendly that you will consider them brothers and sisters

The People are so Friendly that you will consider them brothers and sisters

The outgoing friendliness of the romanian people is very much renowned. Romanians are very warm and open people, willing to help and share and they strive to give the best they have for their guests to feel good. The hospitality and warmth of the Romanian people goes back in time with testimonies of people who were always welcomed with fresh water, bread and free shelter when visiting Romania.
Mouth-pleasing local gastronomy and breathtaking scenery worth seeing

Mouth-pleasing local gastronomy and breathtaking scenery worth seeing

Local gastronomy is based on homegrown and homemade products. If you are a foodie, you are bound to enjoy Romanian cuisine! If you were to understand what a Romanian typically likes to eat, you would need to think of the taste of hot bread from the oven, with a piece of smoked bacon and an onion, washed down later with a glass of palinca (home made plum brandy).

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