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There comes a time when every seasoned traveller likes to be surprised. With a mix of unique history, spectacular nature, charming medieval cities and castles and surprising architecture, Romania is absolutely worth a visit. Here are our 12 reasons why you should make this beautiful country your next destination.
Due to its varied landscape, Romania is the most biogeographically diverse country in the European Union. With snow-capped mountains, green hills covered in forests and vineyards, sandy Black Sea beaches and Europe’s largest and best-preserved delta, Romania has something for everyone.
Romania is one of the best places in Europe to go wildlife watching. Home to the largest population of brown bears in the EU, its forests are also a prime habitat for lynx, wolves, deer, chamois, badgers and more. The Danube Delta – the ultimate birdwatcher’s paradise – and the bison reservations are a must-visit for any wildlife lover.
There’s no better way to discover theCarpathian mountains than through hikes. Regardless of whether you choose a beginners’ walk on the saddle of the mountain or an advanced hike, you will enter a wild space so vast that you’ll see nature in a whole new light.
Romania is home to Scărișoara Glacier, Europe’s second biggest underground glacier, the Berca mud volcanoes, Bigăr waterfall, one of the most beautiful waterfalls on the continent, the living fires of Buzău and Turda salt mine, home to the only underground amusement park in the world.
Romania has been inhabited since prehistoric times – the 34,950-year-old human remains found in Caraș-Severin in 2002 are among the oldest ever found in Europe. In modern times, the country’s history was shaped by major ideologies and conflicts that swept through Europe, leaving behind a unique mix of collective experiences and values.
Romania is full of architectural treasures. In particular, Bucharest offers an unusual and sometimes uneasy mix of styles that combines the charming and almost organic shapes of 19th century architecture with the rigid lines of the Stalinist architecture.
Romanian cuisine is built around hearty, high calorie dishes designed to be the ultimate comfort food. With a strong focus on taste and quality of ingredients, it will win you over with its unfussy, unmistakably homemade feel.
Festivals are the liveliest and most exciting side of Romanian culture. From local festivals that gather the whole village in celebration of a local flower or fruit, to electronic music and music festivals and week-long classical music celebrations, Romania will surprise you with the variety of its culture.
Romania is home to no less than eight World Heritage Sites just waiting to be explored: the painted churches of Moldavia, the Dacian fortresses of the Orăştie Mountains, the historic centre of Sighișoara, the Danube Delta, the Primeval Beech Forests of the Carpathians and other regions of Europe (shared), the Monastery of Horezu, the Villages with fortified churches in Transylvania and the Wooden Churches of Maramureș.
In Romania, legends and customs are still alive and occupy a significant part of Romanians’ lives, particularly around religious feasts. Nearly everyone will receive caroller at Christmas, paint eggs red and knock them on Easter and smear their door and window sills with garlic on St. Andrew to keep the evil spirits at bay.
Romanian folk culture has experienced a revival in recent years and is constantly being rediscovered and reinterpreted by local designers and craftsmen. In particular, the traditional Romanian blouse, ie, is worn by women of all ages and celebrated via an annual festival organised by a local NGO.
You will make more of your dollar or euro in Romania, a country constantly rated among the cheapest destinations in Europe – perfect for budget travellers and those wanting to make the most of their time away.