Where You Should Go in Romania, Based on Your Interests
Landscapes of Romania © danfador / Pixabay
One thing that is absolutely great about Romania is that the country is a natural and cultural wonder. The Carpathians, the Black Sea, the Danube Delta, Transylvania, Cluj, Bucharest, you’ve certainly heard about all this, but have you visited? We know that picking one particular place in Romania for your holiday might not be too easy in a country where there is so much to see and do. So we’ve put together an interest-based guide of the places not to miss.
The Carpathians offer breathtaking landscapes and amazing views, and if you love hiking, exploring and getting lost in the middle of nature, there is one place where you should definitely go: the Apuseni Mountains. One of the highlights of the area is Marisel village, an authentic Romanian village where you will discover the Romanian hospitality and enjoy a 360-view of strikingly beautiful scenery. Technology hasn’t reached up there, at 1,200 meters (3,937-feet) high.
Deeper in the mountains, the Scarisoara Cave awaits you with the biggest subterranean glacier of Romania. But the spot where you can uncover nature at its best is the Padis Plateau: steep slopes, mysterious caves, monumental gorges and stunning meadows that will leave you in awe.
Apuseni landscapes | © Buvrix27 / Pixabay
For winter sports addicts
If you love skiing, snowboarding or even sleigh riding, you should go straight to the Brasov area. Surrounded by mountains, forests, ski slopes and astonishing views, Brasov can be your departure point for a winter adventure. At just 15 kilometres from the city, in the winter resort Poiana Brasov, a 23-kilometre-long (14 miles) slope lures winter sports passionates from all over the world.
In the last years, Romania has caught the world’s attention thanks to its emerging contemporary art scene. Cluj-Napoca has been included into Phaidon’s Art Cities of the Future book as one of the cities that will shake the art world. And there are some good reasons for that, as Cluj is home to the biggest and most remarkable artistic project in the country, the Paintbrush Factory, an old factory converted into an independent cultural space. Moreover, the city boasts art galleries, street art, quirky pubs; creativity is to be found on every street corner.
Street Art in Cluj | © Cristian Bortes / Flickr
If you are a crazy about parties and dancing all night long, Bucharest is perfect to have a great time. The bars, pubs and clubs in the capital can be original, quirky, classy, crazy. In Bucharest, during the night you unleash the party animal within you and dance to the latest beats.
Start your evening with a unique cocktail at Fix me a drink or go straight to the Old Centre if you are in for all-night-long madness. For live concerts and Romanian music, Expirat is the place where you can get familiar with Romanian artists and see how locals party; but if you want to get crazy with them, go to Gaia Boutique Club for the most insane themed parties.
Live Concert Landscapes of Romania
For authenticity seekers
In Romania, going to the countryside is discovering another world, a land where centuries-old customs and traditions still guide the locals’ life. The rural, authentic Romania is to be discovered in its villages, exploring, tasting, listening.
The Maramures region stands witness to the ancestral way of living. There is nothing unusual to see horse-drawn carriages transporting people or hay, seeing people dressed in the traditional costumes and going to church every Sunday at Barsana Monastery, attending a pig slaughter or seeing the villagers wearing bear costumes and dancing in the streets around Christmas. It’s just traditional and genuine.
Do you want to discover the Romanian version of the ‘god’s drink’ but you don’t know where to start? Dealu Mare region is certainly a good option. In Dealu Mare, the grapevines stretch over 15,000 acres and count eight wine centres that are AOC attested. The grape varieties are very wide, including local ones like Feteasca Alba, Feteasca Regala and Feteasca Neagra and international varieties like Merlot and Petit Verdot. You can visit some of the wineries, but generally, you have to make a reservation before. Once on the spot, wine tasting, winery and vineyards visits are available. Enjoy your glass!
Wine tasting | © Kumweni/Flickr
History is to be found in every city, village, street and building of Romania. But there is a particular region where the history of several peoples built its present: Transylvania. A multicultural land, Transylvania is home to Romanians, Hungarians, Saxons and Szeklers. For several centuries, Transylvania belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire or was under the control of the Ottoman Empire. Today, the region is flourishing thanks to its rich heritage. Visit the Saxon Fortified Churches in south Transylvania, the Calata Region for its Hungarian culture, the Rimetea village for the Szekler heritage and the city of Alba Iulia for a sneak peek of Romanian history.
Alba Iulia | © Remus Pereni / Flickr
While Romanian food is great all over the country, there is a region where gastronomy is celebrated all year long. In the Sibiu region, you can discover the local plates through gastronomical events. The association My Transylvania promotes local communities and dishes prepared by the locals with ingredients from their own garden. Taking part in events like ‘Flavours and Sounds of Transylvania’, ‘Transylvanian Brunch’ or ‘Dinner in Nature’ equals eating great food while discovering the Transylvanian villages and local heritage. Take a look at their calendar and subscribe for a wonderful culinary experience.
Flavours and Sounds of Transylvania | Courtesy of Emil Mesesan
There is one place in Romania where cormorants, pelicans, egrets, flamingos, swans and 345 other species of birds gather from April to September at the birdwatchers and photographers’ delight: the Danube Delta. A natural paradise, the Danube Delta is one of Romania’s jewels, a place of beauty with remote villages, lovely channels and surprising forests. You can rent a boat and book a guide to take on the Delta’s channels and unveil the secret places where the birds are hiding, so you can take stunning photos. And if you wake up early in the morning, you will enjoy the most beautiful sunrise you have ever seen.
Pelicans in Danube Delta | © Georg Scholz / Flickr
Craving adrenaline? In Romania, that’s something you won’t miss. While you could hike in the mountains on unmarked trails and some brown bear might give you the quiver of your life, there are other, safer fun options like rafting, canyoning, river tubing, paragliding, aerial rope-slipe or abseiling to give you chills. All these activities can be practised in the southern area of Romania, but you can go to Bucharest and start your adventure from there. The adrenaline addicts of Green Adventure will help you get your daily dose.
Rafting | © julianomarini / Pixabay