Romania Travel Tips
People think of Romania as the land of gypsies and Dracula but there is much more the country than that. I found Romania to be far more wonderful than I ever imagined. I love the food, the architecture, the people, and the beautiful countryside. Romania is filled with beautiful, medivel cities, wonderful castles, and great picturesque farm land. There’s no Dracula tourism in this country so don’t expect to visit and find lots of tourism. However, for some weird reason, there isn’t much of a tourist trail here so you’ll be able to explore this great country without the crowds.
- Accommodation: Most dorm rooms cost around $8 USD per night in a hostel. A double room in a hotel with cost from $20 for a cheap, two star hotel.
- Food: Food is very cheap in Romania and most small meals cost around $5. In major tourist cities like Brasov or Sighisoara, meals with drinks at restaurants can cost around $25. Groceries will cost around $40 for a week’s worth of food.
- Transportation: City buses and trains cost about $1 for a single journey ticket. Intercity trains and buses begin at $10 but are rarely more than $20 for a second class ticket.
- Activities: Most museums and attractions cost between $5-10 USD.
Money Saving Tips
I didn’t find that Romania offered any amazing ways to save. There wasn’t really any one thing that I found and was like, “Wow! This is going to be great! My budget is saved!” Outside the generic couchsurfing/cook/eat local money saving tips, the country is cheap enough. You don’t really need to do anything special to save money.
Top Things to See and Do
- Alexandru Borza Botanic Gardens – Located in Cluj Napoca, this is a massive garden with rolling green hills, an observation tower, a rose garden, and even a Japanese garden.
- Maramures – If you are ready for a blast into the past, this medieval town is likely to fulfill your expectations. Peasant culture is still thriving, there is an interesting blend of traditional music, hand carved/built wooden structures, and colorful textiles to experience.
- Mount Tampa – Towering above Brasov, this is one mountain that is riddled with interesting history. It’s easy to hop on a cable car and check out the view from the top, along with the defensive fortress. Many people like to go hiking here and visit the Brasov sign.
- Romanian Patriarchal Cathedral – As one of the most religious countries in Europe, it should be no surprise that there is a mass of churches, cathedrals, and monasteries everywhere, many of which, date back to several centuries ago. This particular cathedral found in Bucharest still has all of its original interior paintings and icons in addition to some beautiful frescoes.
- Bucharest – With several centuries of work having been put into this city, there is a really interesting display of old and new. There are plenty of museums, cemeteries, historical sites, shopping centers, and architectural sights to check out here.
- Northern Dobrogea – Here there are tons of wildlife and exotic birds to see, but you still have a bit of the city to keep from being entirely secluded. There is a decent selection of restaurants and entertainment spots, including theater and opera houses.
- Traditional Crafts Fair – Every year, during the month of June, there is a huge craft fair held in Bucharest. People come from all over Romania to offer and see demonstrations. You can see pottery molding, woodcarving, glass blowing, rug and textile weaving, embroidery, and egg painting.
- Danube Delta – Flowing over 1,700 miles from its source, this is Europe’s second largest and most well preserved delta. There is so much wildlife to see here. The hiking here is amazing and surreal. You can go bird watching and fishing as well.
- Brasov – My favorite place in Romania, this historic city is the launching pad for trips to “Dracula’s castle.” There’s great hiking around here, a beautiful historic center, and beautiful medieval streets.
- Explore the Fagaras Mountains – For those of you that are major hiking enthusiasts, this is one of those awesome multi-day hiking experiences. Taking you along the main ridge of the Fagaras, this is one of the longest, continuous high mountain traverses in Europe. It takes you over Moldoveanu, Negoiu, and Vista Mare—three of Romania’s highest peaks.
- Hora de la Prislop – Held every August, this festival is a celebration that brings together Transylvania, Moldova, and Maramures. Known more commonly as the Dance at Prislop, you can probably guess that there is lots of traditional dancing and singing, beautiful costumes, parading, and awesome feasting.
- Baia Mare – If you are wanting to check out a bunch of the traditional villages, this a a good place to start. It is easy to access many of the famous valleys from here, including: Iza, Viseu, Cosau, and Mara – all of which are riddled with interesting villages.
- Sighisoara – Founded during the 12th century, this town is one of the most beautiful and best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. A world heritage site, there is a mass of towers, ornate churches, and burgher houses to see, throughout the cobbled streets. This is also the birthplace of Vlad Tepes, otherwise more commonly known as Dracula.