Category Archives: Romania

Things to do in Romania and the best attractions in Romania.

10 Things to Do in Romania

Romania is an exciting travel destination with plenty to see; you can literally go from the mountains to the sea and find all kinds of different destinations along the way – and of course it’s famous as the home of Dracula, too! Here are our travel tips on what to do in Romania outside the capital city of Bucharest.

Admire the Wooden Churches

In northern Transylvania, the Maramures region is particularly well-known for its architecturally unique Orthodox churches. In the 17th century stone churches were banned and so the wooden churches began and the surviving structures are incredible – eight of them are World Heritage listed.

romanian wooden churches

Barsana wooden churches by premus

Seek Dracula at Bran Castle

One of the most visited Romanian tourist attractions outside of Bucharest Bran Castle, near Brasov. It dates back around 800 years and is well-visited because it’s got the reputation of being the home of Dracula – curiously, though, there’s actually no evidence that this is the place Bram Stoker was thinking of, but it’s marketed that way and that seems to work! Dracula or not, it’s an impressive place.

what to do Romania

Bran Castle by jtriefen

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Bucharest or Budapest: Spot the difference

Budapest, the capital of Hungary is one of the top choices for budget travellers from the UK and US. It offers a winning combination of beautiful architecture and low prices.

Szechenyi Chain Bridge, Budapest, Hungary

Szechenyi Chain Bridge, Budapest by SF Brit

However it’s emerged that many British visitors are not sure of the difference between Budapest and the Romanian capital of Bucharest. I’d think that Bucharest would be still be a good choice for budget travellers.

Bucharest

CEC Palace, Bucharest, Romania by dan..’s

I say why not visit them both, as you can take an overnight sleeping car train between the cities which costs from £69 per person in a 6 berth couchette up to £91 per person in a 2 bed sleeper.

Have you visited Budapest and/or Bucharest, what did you like and dislike about them?

Oradea, Transylvania, Romania

This guest post describing the Romanian city of Oradea is written by New World Yankee who authors the Yankee in a New World blog which aims to help other American expats adapt to living in Europe.

“Did you see any vampires?”

When I told people I went to Romania, this was the first question I was asked, followed by self indulgent chuckle at their reference to Dracula’s home. Though I was in Transylvania, I went not to his castle, but to a burgeoning city right across the border from Hungary, Oradea or Nagyvárad.

Oradea-Nagyvarad River, Orecda copyright of NewWorldYankee

Crisul Repede River, Oradea copyright of NewWorldYankee

This city of 250.000 people is going through a period of renaissance and reconstruction. Everywhere you look is new construction, refurbishing, and modernization all tucked into ancient turrets and churches older than the country itself. Tourism is only starting to grow in Oradea, so it is undiscovered treasure and un-traveled by most. It was passed back and forth between Hungary and Romania many times during its history, so has an incredible blend of both cultures.

But I have to say, I wish I lived there. I was able to use my Spanish, since Romanian is a Latin tongue and a lot of the words are similar. Many locals also knew English, German, Italian, or French, so most people are bound to be able to communicate. Of course the main aim in speaking is to shop in Oradea. Shopping there is extremely affordable and many of the local specialties of ceramics and shoe making are evident. The Strata Republicii is the main street of Oradea, and touted to be one of the most beautiful streets in Transylvania. It is here that reconstruction is fully evident.

We decided to not hit the tourist locations, but to simply wander through out the city and see what struck us as click worthy. This way, it is a pleasant surprise when what you find beautiful and what others want us to see collides. We passed through the famous Pasajul Vulturul Negru, or the Black Eagle Passage, an area full of stained glass ceilings that inspire the eye. Stop in the many cafés located within and appreciate them for all their glory.

Black Eagle Passage copyright of NewWorldYankee

Black Eagle Passage copyright of NewWorldYankee

Also worth a mention is CriÅŸul Repede, the rushing river that runs through the center of the city, and paints a scenic background to the rushing passersby. The city is also famous for its health spas, having natural thermal springs. The most famous of which is the Baile Felix, located just outside the city and accessible by bus. Lastly, the famous pentagonal citadel, Cetatea Oradea is a sight to behold. It has 2500 steps on the outside, and was blessed by the Catholic Church in the 12th century. The fact that is it still standing with all the conflict and wars fought in the area is a testament in itself.

All in all, a trip definitely worth making. And if you go, tell me if you run into any vampires, because we missed out.