Major Tourist Attractions: Bran Castle, Palace of the Parliament, Peles Castle, Corvin Castle, Romanian Athenaeum
When thinking about Romania, likely one thing comes to mind for most people: vampires. But this Eastern European country is about so much more than Dracula.
From mountains to fairytale-like towns to painted churches to the mouth of the Danube, there's plenty to see and do for a traveler in Romania. Whether you want to relax at an outdoor cafe in Brasov, go hiking in the Carpathians, or explore the French influence that earned Bucharest the nickname of “Little Paris,” you can do it here.
Romania's history is an interesting one, with parts of the country having been first settled by the Germanic Saxons. The locals speak Romanian (which is a Romance language and sounds a bit like Italian), but plenty of English is spoken in most major cities, too.
As far as tourism goes, Romania is better equipped than you may think. Yes, trains can be painfully slow, but other infrastructure like hotels, restaurants, and even free wifi is readily available. Food in Romania leans toward the hearty meat and potato variety, and you'll also find cheap beer and tasty (if strong) locally-distilled palinka to wash it down with.
Here's a brief look at the varied things you can see and do in Romania:
- Tour the famous painted monasteries in Bucovina.
- Have dinner at an outdoor cafe in the town of Brasov.
- Visit the castle said to have inspired Dracula: Bran Castle.
- Enjoy the fairytale-feel of colorful Sighisoara.
- Admire the old wooden churches in Maramures.
- Tour the second-largest building in the world (the Palace of Parliament) in Bucharest.
- Visit a fortified church in the Saxon-founded village of Viscri.
- Book a homestay on a rural farm.
- Make a trip to the beautiful Peles Castle in Sinaia.
- Try some palinka, a local double-distilled alcohol made from fermented plums.
- Go bird-watching or fishing in the Danube Delta.
- Visit Merry Cemetery in Sapanta, one of the most unique resting places in the world.
- Go hiking in the Carpathian Mountains.
- Drive the twisting Transfagarasan highway.
- Visit Rasnov Fortress near Brasov, which dates back to the times of the Teutonic Knights.
- Stay at a resort on the Black Sea Coast.
- Look for the buildings with eyes in Sibiu.
- Make a trip to Snagov Monastery, where Vlad the Impaler was allegedly buried.
- See ancient Greek ruins in the port city of Constanta.
Address: Bulevardul Doctor Liviu Librescu 4-6
Phone: 40 21 200 3300