A Black Sea hotspot, Constanța is a lively city and the departure point for further seaside resorts stretching along the coastline’s sandy beaches. In summer, the city is filled with tourists who come to enjoy its beaches, parks and lakes, not to mention the fresh breeze. Here are the best attractions in Constanta.
Encompassing a seaport, a river port and a touristic harbour, Constanța‘s port is the biggest one in the Black Sea’s basin and the main seaport in Romania. Serving as a trade centre used by the Greeks, the Romans, and later by the Venetians, the Genovese and the Turks, the actual port was opened at the end of the 19th century by King Carol I.
Sited on Constanța’s seafront, the casino building is an architectural pearl built in the Art Nouveau style. Just before World War II, it served as a residence for the Russian imperial family during their visit to Constanța. Considered a symbol of the city, the casino is one of the most iconic buildings in Romania.
Opposite to the majestic casino building lies the aquarium, the first one of its kind in the country. More than 100 species of aquatic flora and fauna are displayed throughout its exhibitions, from fishes living in the Danube Delta’s waters to eye-catching exotic species.
The Dolphinarium is a space dedicated to the study and species conservation of dolphins. The Black Sea is home to three dolphin species that have all been studied by the museum’s specialists. In summer, you can participate in dolphins and seal demonstrations.
Inside Constanța’s planetarium, new horizons open before your eyes. Opened in 1969, the year when man stepped onto the moon for the first time, a visit to the planetarium takes the visitor on a journey through the skies. Perfect for the curious-minded, it unveils a multitude of stars, planets, meteors otherwise out of reach beyond the planetarium’s interior.
While most people visit Constanța for its urban landmarks, the city boasts several sandy beaches. Quieter and less touristic than the ones in the seaside resort Mamaia, Constanța’s beaches – namely Modern, 3 Papuci and Tataia – are ideal if you want to spend a tranquil day at the seaside.
The Roman Mosaic Edifice
As old as the 4th century, this Roman mosaic edifice belonged to the ancient citadel of Tomis, part of a complex that connected the old port with the city. Formerly adorned with 2,000 square meters (21,527 square feet) of mosaics, of which less than half currently remain, the edifice truly is an ancient wonder.
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The Grand Mosque
Built at the beginning of the 20th century, the Grand Mosque was erected under the rule of King Carol I for the Muslim communities living in the city. The monumental Mauresque monument boasts an exquisite mural painting and houses a 200-year-old Oriental carpet that once belonged to the Turkish sultan Abdul Hamid.
The Museum of National History and Archeology
With a history of over 100 years, the Museum of National History and Archeology showcases Dobrogea’s old days through sculptures, pieces of jewellery, old coins and documents, in one of the richest museum collections in the country. While visiting, don’t miss the Glykon Snake, an unparalleled statue, unique in the world.
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The Romanian Navy Museum
The history of the Romanian navy is unveiled in the Romanian Navy Museum, the biggest one of its kind in the country. From ancient sailing boats to the first Romanian modern ships, the museum’s collections display the evolution of navigation vessels, including some impressive guns and tools used during the two world wars.
The Art Museum
With exhibitions dedicated to the Romanian artists, the Art Museum is a must for art lovers. The oeuvre of national painters like Nicolae Grigorescu, Ioan Andreescu, Theodor Aman, Ștefan Luchian are exhibited in the two buildings of the museum, displaying works spanning more than a hundred years of Romanian art.
The Genovese Lighthouse
A symbol of Medieval times when Constanța used to be one of the main markets for the Genoese merchants, the Genovese Lighthouse used to guide the foreign ships towards the port of Constanta. The actual lighthouse was built in the 19th century, over the foundation of the 14th century monument.
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Great for a relaxing walk in Constanța’s green oasis, Tăbăcăriei Lake is located inside a sea bay, offering lovely views. In its heyday, the lake was surrounded by beautiful gardens and was a very important source for fishing. Nowadays, Tăbăcăriei Park next to the lake stretches over 100 hectares, and is dotted with small lakes and an amusement park for children.
Also known as Mamaia Lake, Siutghiol Firth extends over 1,900 hectares used for water sports as water skiing and yachting. The small island of Ovidiu on the lake lures locals and tourists alike, who enjoy boat rides from Mamaia to Ovidiu, where the poet Publius Ovidius Naso wrote his poems in the first century after being exiled by Emperor Augustus.
The Folk Art Museum
A place to discover the traditional art and architecture of the region, the Folk Art Museum exhibits Dobrogea’s rich folk patrimony. Several ceramics, wood and glass icons, traditional costumes, ornaments are presented in the magnificent building dating from the 19th century.