Paris has the Eiffel Tower, London has Big Ben – but what about Romania? Beyond its breathtaking landscapes, fascinating regions, and awe-inspiring nature, the country boasts a rich architectural heritage. Here’s our pick of Romania‘s most iconic buildings.
Located in Sinaia, in the foothills of the Carpathians, Peleș Castle is one of the architectural wonders of Romania and a symbol of the history of the royal family of Romania. A former summer residence of King Carol I, Peleș Castle is home to extraordinary Neo-Renaissance architecture, as well as some 170 rooms fashioned in an array of architectural styles, from the Art Nouveau to the Moorish.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Palace of Parliament
Bucharest boasts the second largest administrative building in the world, the Palace of Parliament. Built during Ceaușescu’s rule, the building is a symbol of Communist architecture. It has 12 storeys and 1,100 rooms that are home to the headquarters of Parliament and the Contemporary Art Museum of Bucharest.
Palace of Culture, Iași
A must-see when you visit Iași, the Palace of Culture is a magnificent mix of Neo-Gothic, Romantic and Neo-Baroque architecture. The beautiful building features 298 rooms and is home to four major museums of the city that showcase Iași’s history, ethnography and art heritage.
Also called the ‘Sixtine Chapel of the East’, Voroneț is certainly a symbol of the Bucovina region. Famous for its outstanding frescoes depicting traditional interpretations of the Bible, it also showcases a particular shade of blue, known as the ‘blue of Voroneț’, that allegedly changes with every season. Voroneț is part of Unesco World Heritage, together with other seven painted churches, and is remarkable for the extraordinary aesthetic value of its Byzantine-inspired art.
Black Church of Brașov
A majestic Gothic monument, the Black Church is unequalled in Europe, being the biggest Gothic church between Istambul and Vienna. Partially destroyed by the fire in 1689, the church’s walls have blackened, giving the church its name. A visit to this spot offers the chance to take in not just this monumental building and symbol of Brașov, but also the biggest collection of Oriental carpets in Europe.
Saint Michael Church of Cluj
Coming second after the Black Church in terms of scale, the Saint Michael Church of Cluj dominates Union Square and the city centre of Cluj. Built over a period of more than 100 years, the church depicts several stages of Gothic architecture. The interior is adorned with magnificent stained glass and a beautiful Baroque pulpit, as well as a stunning organ that captivates those in church every Saturday during the organ concerts.
As Transylvania’s most iconic building, Bran Castle is home to vampire myths. Strikingly similar to Dracula’s castle as described in Bram Stoker’s novel, Bran Castle is a place filled with legends and horror stories. However, a visit to the castle will uncover its true history and the beautiful story of its former owner, Queen Marie of Romania, who decorated the interiors.
Erected in 1909 in Art Nouveau style, a popular architectural style at that time, the Constanța Casino has become an emblematic building of the city. Located on the seafront, the Casino can be admired while wandering along the city’s promenade route.
Romanian Athenaeum, Bucharest
Another iconic building of Bucharest, the Romanian Athenaeum is an architectural pearl of the 19th century constructed in Neo-Classical style. The monument was built after a long effort of public subscription fundraising, under the slogan ‘Donate un leu for the Ateneu’. Nowadays, the monument houses the George Enescu Philharmonic and is the main concert hall during the George Enescu Festival.
Romanian National Theatre and Opera Building, Cluj
This creative arts house is home to the Romanian National Theatre and Opera of Cluj. A grandiose structure erected in Art Nouveau style at the beginning of the 20th century, it is a cultural symbol of the city. The monument’s Baroque interiors are as impressive as the theatre and opera played on its stage.
Sighișoara’s Clock Tower
Visible from every corner of the city, Sighișoara’s Clock Tower is 64 meters (209 feet) tall, and offers amazing views of the city from its top. Visitors admiring the mechanics of the clock will also be able to admire its colourful statues representing, on one side, the figures of Justice and Righteousness, and on the other side, the days of the week and ancient deities.
Burkenthal Palace, Sibiu
A majestic 18th-century monument erected in Baroque style, this palace is home to the European Art Gallery of the Brukenthal National Museum. The restitution of the 18th- and 19th- century interior creates a charming atmosphere.
Orthodox Unification Cathedral of Alba Iulia
A splendid monument of the 20th century, the Orthodox Unification Cathedral was the place where the first monarchs of the Unified Romania, King Ferdinand I and Queen Marie, were married and crowned in 1922. A few years before, in 1918, the Grand Union of Transylvania with Romania was declared in the Union Hall, a few steps away from the church.
Viscri Fortified Church
Dating from the 12th century, the church in Viscri is a Lutheran Church, part of a whole system of villages with fortified churches, erected by the Saxons in southern Transylvania. The church is protected by an oval fortification of stone walls, with two towers and two bastions guarding the entrance, while the church is adorned with a built-in tower.
Located in the region of Maramureș, a land of forested civilisation, Bârsana Monastery is a spectacular complex built in the local style, following the traditional architecture of Maramureș’s wooden churches. Entering through a typical Maramureș gate, visitors will marvel at the universe of peace and beauty that unveils before their eyes.
A medieval citadel of the Moldova region, Neamț Citadel played a key role in the defence system of Moldova during the Ottoman attacks. Built on the Culmea Pleșului Hill, the citadel is very well preserved and offers visitors not only a striking example of an historic iconic construction, but also a great viewpoint for panoramic views.
Erected in the Gothic-Renaissance style by one of the strongest families in Transylvania, Corvin Castle is one of the largest in Europe, and is allegedly where Vlad the Impaler was imprisoned for several years.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.