Welcome to Romania, a country known for its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant culture. Nestled in the heart of Eastern Europe, Romania offers a diverse range of activities that cater to all types of travelers.
Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or a lover of art and cuisine, this captivating country has something for everyone. In this guide, we will explore the top activities to do in Romania, highlighting the must-visit attractions and hidden gems that will make your trip an unforgettable adventure. So pack your bags and get ready to immerse yourself in the wonders of Romania!
In Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, there are various activities and attractions to enjoy. Here are some top activities to do in Bucharest:
- Visit the Palace of the Parliament: Explore the world's heaviest building, the second-largest administrative building globally, and discover its opulent interiors and grand architecture.
- Explore the Old Town (Centrul Vechi): Wander through the narrow streets of the historic Old Town, filled with charming buildings, trendy cafes, restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.
- Visit the Romanian Athenaeum: Attend a classical music concert or admire the stunning architecture of this iconic concert hall, a symbol of Romanian culture.
- Discover the Village Museum (Muzeul Satului): Explore an open-air museum showcasing traditional Romanian village life, with over 200 buildings representing different regions of the country.
- Stroll along Victoriei Avenue: Take a leisurely walk along this bustling boulevard, lined with shops, cafes, and historical landmarks, including the Revolution Square and the Royal Palace.
- Visit the National Museum of Art of Romania: Admire the extensive collection of Romanian and European art, including works by famous painters such as Brancusi, Grigorescu, and El Greco.
- Explore Herastrau Park: Enjoy a relaxing walk or rent a boat to explore the lake in this vast park located around the Herastrau Lake. It also houses the Village Museum.
- Visit the Romanian Peasant Museum: Learn about Romanian folk art, traditions, and rural life through the exhibits at this museum located in a charming historical building.
- Enjoy the Botanical Garden: Take a peaceful stroll through the beautiful gardens, greenhouses, and serene pathways of the Bucharest Botanical Garden.
- Visit the National Museum of Romanian History: Discover the rich history of Romania through the artefacts and exhibits displayed in this museum, including the famous Golden Helmet of Cozia.
- Experience the nightlife: Bucharest has a vibrant nightlife scene, with a wide range of clubs, bars, and live music venues to enjoy, especially in the Old Town and Lipscani area.
- Shop at the Village Museum Market: On weekends, visit the market located near the Village Museum, where you can find traditional crafts, handmade products, and local food items.
- Enjoy Romanian cuisine: Indulge in the delicious Romanian cuisine by trying traditional dishes like sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls), mici (grilled minced meat rolls), and papanasi (fried doughnuts with sour cream and jam).
- Visit the Cotroceni Palace: Explore the official residence of the Romanian president, which also houses the Cotroceni National Museum showcasing the country's history and art.
- Take a tour of the Bucharest underground: Discover the hidden tunnels, bunkers, and historical sites that lie beneath the streets of Bucharest through guided tours like the Underground Bucharest Tour.
These are just a few of the many activities and attractions available in Bucharest. The city offers a mix of historical landmarks, cultural experiences, vibrant nightlife, and culinary delights, making it a fascinating destination to explore.
Bran Castle, also known as "Dracula's Castle," is a famous attraction in Romania and a must-visit destination. Here are some activities you can enjoy at Bran Castle:
- Explore the Castle's History: Learn about the rich history of Bran Castle, which dates back to the 14th century. Discover its connections to the mediaeval ruler Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration behind Bram Stoker's Dracula novel.
- Wander through the Castle's Rooms: Take a self-guided or guided tour through the castle's rooms and corridors. Admire the mediaeval architecture, ancient artefacts, and historical displays that showcase the castle's past.
- Visit the Museum: Inside the castle, you'll find a museum with exhibits that provide insights into the history, legends, and traditions of the area. Learn about the life and legacy of Vlad the Impaler and the castle's role in the region's history.
- Enjoy the Scenic Surroundings: Bran Castle is situated in a picturesque location, surrounded by stunning landscapes and the Carpathian Mountains. Take a moment to appreciate the natural beauty and enjoy the panoramic views.
- Explore the Village of Bran: After visiting the castle, take a stroll through the charming village of Bran. Explore the local shops, restaurants, and traditional houses, and immerse yourself in the local culture.
- Attend Special Events and Festivals: Bran Castle hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including Halloween-themed events, mediaeval reenactments, and cultural celebrations. Check the event calendar to see if any special activities align with your visit.
- Visit the Bran Castle Market: Adjacent to the castle, you'll find a market where you can browse and purchase traditional Romanian crafts, souvenirs, and local products.
- Enjoy Outdoor Activities: The Bran area offers opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and horseback riding. Take advantage of the beautiful natural surroundings and explore the nearby trails and landscapes.
- Taste Local Cuisine: While in the Bran area, indulge in traditional Romanian cuisine at local restaurants and taverns. Try dishes like sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls), mici (grilled minced meat rolls), and various regional specialties.
- Explore Nearby Attractions: Bran Castle is located within reach of other attractions in the region. Consider visiting the nearby Peles Castle in Sinaia or Rasnov Citadel, both of which offer unique historical and architectural experiences.
These activities will enhance your visit to Bran Castle and give you a memorable experience exploring the history, culture, and natural beauty of the area.
Sibiu is a beautiful city in Romania known for its well-preserved mediaeval charm, cultural heritage, and vibrant atmosphere. Here are some top activities to do in Sibiu:
- Explore the Historic Centre: Take a stroll through the historic centre of Sibiu,which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire the mediaeval architecture, colourful buildings, and charming cobblestone streets. Don't miss the Big Square (Piata Mare), Little Square (Piata Mica), and Huet Square, which are the main squares in the city.
- Visit the Brukenthal National Museum: Discover the impressive Brukenthal National Museum, one of Romania's oldest museums. It houses a vast collection of European art, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.
- Climb the Council Tower: Climb the Council Tower (Turnul Sfatului) for panoramic views of the city. It offers a breathtaking view of Sibiu's rooftops, squares, and surrounding landscapes.
- Explore the ASTRA Museum of Traditional Folk Civilization: Located on the outskirts of Sibiu, the ASTRA Museum showcases the traditional Romanian way of life. It features over 300 traditional buildings, including houses, churches, and mills, representing various regions of Romania.
- Visit the Sibiu Lutheran Cathedral: Explore the Sibiu Lutheran Cathedral (Evangelical Cathedral), an impressive Gothic-style church with a tall tower. Step inside to see the beautiful interior and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
- Enjoy Sibiu's Festivals: Sibiu is known for its vibrant cultural scene and hosts various festivals throughout the year. The most famous is the Sibiu International Theatre Festival, which brings together artists from all over the world. Additionally, the Christmas Market and the Jazz Festival are popular events.
- Walk along the Liar's Bridge: Cross the Liar's Bridge (Podul Minciunilor), the oldest cast-iron bridge in Romania. According to legend, the bridge will collapse if someone tells a lie while standing on it.
- Visit the Museum of History: Learn about the history and heritage of Sibiu at the Museum of History. It showcases archaeological artefacts, historical documents, and displays that provide insights into the city's past.
- Discover the Passage of Stairs: Explore the Passage of Stairs (Pasajul ScÄƒrilor), a hidden gem in Sibiu. This narrow passage is filled with colourful houses, cafes, and shops, creating a picturesque and charming atmosphere.
- Enjoy Local Cuisine: Sibiu offers a wide range of culinary delights. Try local specialties such as "mici" (grilled minced meat rolls), "ciorbÄƒ de burta" (tripe soup), and various traditional Romanian dishes at local restaurants and pubs.
These activities will allow you to immerse yourself in the history, culture, and atmosphere of Sibiu, making your visit to the city a memorable experience.
Brasov is a charming city in Romania known for its mediaeval architecture, stunning landscapes, and rich history. Here are some top activities to do in Brasov:
- Visit the Black Church: Explore the iconic Black Church (Biserica Neagra), the largest Gothic church in Romania. Admire its impressive architecture and learn about its history and cultural significance.
- Explore the Council Square: Visit the Council Square (Piata Sfatului), the heart of Brasov. Take in the picturesque surroundings, admire the colourful buildings, and enjoy the lively atmosphere. The square is also home to the Council House and the Black Church.
- Take a walk on the Rope Street: Experience the narrowest street in Europe, the Rope Street (Strada Sforii). Take a stroll through this unique alleyway and capture some memorable photos.
- Discover the Bran Castle: Visit the famous Bran Castle, also known as Dracula's Castle. Explore the mediaeval fortress, learn about its history and legends, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area.
- Explore the Tampa Mountain: Take a cable car or hike up the Tampa Mountain for breathtaking views of Brasov. At the top, you'll find the Brasov sign, where you can capture some stunning photos of the cityscape.
- Wander through the Old Town: Explore the charming streets of Brasov's Old Town. Admire the well-preserved mediaeval buildings, visit local shops, cafes, and restaurants, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere.
- Visit the First Romanian School: Discover the First Romanian School, a historical building where the first Romanian language book was printed. Explore the museum inside and learn about the history of education in Romania.
- Explore the Black Church Museum: Inside the Black Church, you'll find the Black Church Museum, which houses a valuable collection of religious artefacts, including old books, textiles, and mediaeval art.
- Take a day trip to the Rasnov Fortress: Just a short drive from Brasov, you'll find the impressive Rasnov Fortress. Explore the mediaeval fortress, enjoy panoramic views, and learn about its history and significance.
- Enjoy outdoor activities in the Carpathian Mountains: Brasov is surrounded by the beautiful Carpathian Mountains, offering plenty of outdoor activities. Go hiking, skiing, or mountain biking in the nearby Poiana Brasov or venture further to explore the scenic landscapes of the region.
These activities will allow you to experience the rich history, stunning architecture, and natural beauty of Brasov, making your visit to the city a memorable one.
The Transfagarasan Road is one of Romania's most scenic and spectacular driving routes. Here are some top activities and attractions along the Transfagarasan Road:
- Scenic Drive: Enjoy a breathtaking drive along the Transfagarasan Road, which winds its way through the Carpathian Mountains. Marvel at the stunning landscapes, including winding roads, steep cliffs, and picturesque valleys.
- Vidraru Dam: Make a stop at the Vidraru Dam, a massive hydroelectric dam that forms Lake Vidraru. Admire the impressive engineering feat and take in the panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and lake.
- Balea Lake: Visit Balea Lake, a glacial lake located at an elevation of over 2,000 metres. Take a cable car ride to the lake, explore the nearby chalets, and enjoy the stunning alpine scenery.
- Balea Waterfall: Take a short hike from Balea Lake to reach the beautiful Balea Waterfall. Marvel at the cascading water surrounded by lush greenery and enjoy the refreshing mist.
- Poenari Citadel: Make a detour and visit Poenari Citadel, an ancient fortress situated on a hilltop. Climb the 1,480 steps to reach the citadel, which was once home to Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration behind the Dracula legend.
- Curtea de Arges Monastery: Explore the Curtea de Arges Monastery, located near the Transfagarasan Road. Admire the intricate architecture, ornate frescoes, and learn about the monastery's historical and religious significance.
- Outdoor Activities: Take advantage of the natural beauty surrounding the Transfagarasan Road and engage in outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and photography. There are several hiking trails and viewpoints along the route that offer stunning vistas.
- Photography Opportunities: The Transfagarasan Road offers countless opportunities for photography enthusiasts. Capture the sweeping mountain views, winding roads, and picturesque landscapes at various stops along the way.
- Food and Refreshments: Stop at one of the roadside cafes, restaurants, or food stalls to enjoy local Romanian cuisine and traditional dishes. Treat yourself to a hearty meal or sample regional specialties.
- Seasonal Activities: Depending on the time of year, you can engage in additional activities along the Transfagarasan Road. In winter, you can go skiing or snowboarding at the nearby Balea Lac Ski Resort, while in summer, you can go camping or enjoy picnics in the scenic surroundings.
Whether you're an avid driver, nature enthusiast, or adventure seeker, exploring the Transfagarasan Road will provide you with unforgettable experiences and stunning views of the Romanian countryside.
SighiÈ™oara is a charming mediaeval town in Transylvania, Romania, known for its well-preserved historic centre and its association with Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. Here are some top activities and attractions in SighiÈ™oara:
- SighiÈ™oara Citadel: Explore the historic citadel, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and marvel at its well-preserved mediaeval architecture. Walk along the cobbled streets, pass through the fortified towers, and admire the colourful houses and churches.
- Clock Tower: Climb the iconic Clock Tower, which offers panoramic views of the town and surrounding landscapes. Inside the tower, you'll find the Museum of SighiÈ™oara, where you can learn about the town's history and see exhibits related to its mediaeval past.
- SighiÈ™oara Historic Centre: Take a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets of the historic centre, lined with mediaeval houses and buildings. Admire the unique architecture, ornate facades, and charming courtyards.
- Church on the Hill: Visit the Church on the Hill (Biserica din Deal) located atop a hill in SighiÈ™oara. Explore the church and its cemetery, and enjoy the panoramic views of the town from this elevated location.
- Vlad the Impaler's House: Visit the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, also known as Dracula, which is marked with a plaque. Although the house is not open to the public, it is an interesting spot to learn about the town's connection to this historical figure.
- Festival: If you happen to visit during the summer, you may have the chance to attend the Sighisoara Festival. This lively event features reenactments, traditional music and dance performances, craft stalls, and mediaeval-themed activities.
- Stroll through Piata Cetatii: Explore Piata Cetatii, the main square in SighiÈ™oara, and soak in the vibrant atmosphere. The square is surrounded by colourful buildings, cafes, and restaurants, making it a great place to relax and people-watch.
- Covered Staircase: Take a walk up the Covered Staircase, a unique architectural feature that connects the lower and upper parts of the town. The staircase is lined with a roof, protecting visitors from the elements as they ascend or descend.
- Museum of Torture: For a macabre yet intriguing experience, visit the Museum of Torture, located in a building within the citadel. The museum showcases various instruments of torture used throughout history.
- Local Cuisine: Indulge in traditional Romanian cuisine at one of the local restaurants in SighiÈ™oara. Try dishes such as sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls), mici (grilled minced meat rolls), and papanaÈ™i (fried doughnuts topped with sour cream and jam).
SighiÈ™oara's well-preserved mediaeval architecture, rich history, and charming atmosphere make it a must-visit destination in Romania. Whether you're interested in history, architecture, or simply soaking up the ambiance of a mediaeval town, SighiÈ™oara has something to offer.
Cluj-Napoca, often referred to as Cluj, is a vibrant city in the heart of Transylvania, Romania. It is known for its lively cultural scene, historical landmarks, and beautiful architecture. Here are some top activities and attractions in Cluj-Napoca:
- St. Michael's Church: Visit St. Michael's Church, a stunning Gothic-style church located in the central square of Cluj-Napoca. Admire its intricate architecture and take in panoramic views of the city from its tower.
- Cluj-Napoca Central Park: Take a leisurely stroll or rent a bike in the picturesque Central Park, which offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city centre. Enjoy the green spaces, beautiful lake, and various attractions within the park.
- Cluj-Napoca Botanical Garden: Explore the Botanical Garden, home to a diverse range of plant species from around the world. Take a walk through its tranquil pathways, visit the glasshouses, and admire the beautiful landscapes.
- Cluj-Napoca Art Museum: Visit the Cluj-Napoca Art Museum, housed in the Banffy Palace, to see a collection of Romanian and international artworks. The museum showcases a range of styles and periods, providing insight into the local and global art scene.
- Cluj-Napoca Ethnographic Museum: Discover the cultural heritage of the region at the Cluj-Napoca Ethnographic Museum. It showcases traditional costumes, crafts, and artefacts, giving visitors a glimpse into the local traditions and way of life.
- Cluj-Napoca Fortress: Explore the ruins of the Cluj-Napoca Fortress, which dates back to the 14th century. The fortress offers a glimpse into the city's mediaeval past and provides panoramic views of Cluj-Napoca.
- Matthias Corvinus House: Visit the Matthias Corvinus House, a historic building that was once the residence of King Matthias Corvinus. Explore its mediaeval architecture and learn about the life and reign of this influential ruler.
- Cluj-Napoca Tailors' Bastion: Marvel at the Tailors' Bastion, a well-preserved mediaeval fortification that now houses the Cluj-Napoca Pharmacy Museum. Learn about the history of pharmacy and discover ancient medical artefacts.
- Cluj-Napoca National Theatre: Catch a performance at the Cluj-Napoca National Theatre, known for its diverse repertoire of plays, opera, and ballet. The theatre itself is an architectural gem worth admiring.
- Cluj-Napoca Cathedral: Visit the Cluj-Napoca Cathedral, an imposing Orthodox church that stands as a symbol of the city. Admire its beautiful interior adorned with religious icons and frescoes.
- Cluj-Napoca Street Art: Take a walking tour to explore the vibrant street art scene in Cluj-Napoca. The city is adorned with colourful murals and graffiti that add a creative touch to its urban landscape.
- Cluj-Napoca Traditional Markets: Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting traditional markets such as the Central Market or the Antique Market. Explore the stalls selling fresh produce, local crafts, and unique items.
- Cluj-Napoca Music Scene: Enjoy the lively music scene in Cluj-Napoca, known for its festivals, concerts, and vibrant nightlife. Check out local venues and bars that offer live music performances spanning various genres.
- Cluj-Napoca Food and Drink: Sample the local cuisine and indulge in traditional Romanian dishes at restaurants and cafes throughout the city. Don't miss trying specialties like sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls) and mici (grilled minced meat rolls).
- Cluj-Napoca Festivals: Experience the energetic atmosphere of Cluj-Napoca during its numerous festivals. The city hosts events such as the Transylvania International Film Festival (TIFF), Electric Castle music festival, and Jazz in the Park.
Cluj-Napoca's blend of historical landmarks, cultural offerings, and vibrant atmosphere make it a popular destination in Romania. Whether you're interested in history, art, nature, or simply exploring the city's lively streets, Cluj-Napoca has something for everyone.
Painted Monasteries of Bucovina
The Painted Monasteries of Bucovina, located in the northeastern region of Romania, are a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for their unique and vibrant frescoes. These monasteries are known for their exceptional exterior and interior artwork, depicting scenes from the Bible and various religious figures. Here are some key monasteries to visit in Bucovina:
- VoroneÈ› Monastery: Known as the "Sistine Chapel of the East," VoroneÈ› Monastery is famous for its stunning blue exterior frescoes. The vibrant colours and intricate details of the frescoes are particularly remarkable.
- SuceviÈ›a Monastery: SuceviÈ›a Monastery is distinguished by its green-themed frescoes, which depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments. The fortified monastery complex also features impressive architecture and a peaceful courtyard.
- MoldoviÈ›a Monastery: MoldoviÈ›a Monastery is recognized for its predominantly red frescoes and its tall defensive walls. The frescoes portray religious scenes, saints, and a unique depiction of the Tree of Jesse.
- Humour Monastery: Humor Monastery stands out for its predominantly red and ochre frescoes. The scenes depicted include the Last Judgment, the Ladder of Virtues, and various biblical stories.
- Arbore Monastery: Arbore Monastery is renowned for its detailed and well-preserved frescoes. The paintings depict biblical scenes, saints, and local historical figures.
- Putna Monastery: Although not strictly part of the Bucovina region, Putna Monastery is located nearby and is worth a visit. It is the burial place of Stephen the Great, a prominent Moldavian ruler, and features impressive architecture and religious art.
Exploring the Painted Monasteries of Bucovina provides a unique insight into the rich cultural and religious heritage of the region. The intricate frescoes, vibrant colours, and historical significance make them a must-visit destination for art and history enthusiasts.
The Danube Delta is a unique and biodiverse region located in eastern Romania, where the Danube River meets the Black Sea. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of Europe's most important wetlands. Here are some top activities to do in the Danube Delta:
- Boat Tours: Take a boat tour through the intricate network of channels, lakes, and marshes of the Danube Delta. It's the best way to explore the diverse flora and fauna, including over 300 species of birds, rare plant species, and wildlife like pelicans, herons, and wild horses.
- Birdwatching: The Danube Delta is a paradise for birdwatchers. With its rich birdlife, you can spot various species, including white pelicans, cormorants, egrets, swans, and many migratory birds. Don't miss the chance to observe these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat.
- Fishing: The Danube Delta is a popular fishing destination. Join a fishing trip and try your hand at catching species like pike, catfish, carp, and sturgeon. Fishing enthusiasts will appreciate the peaceful surroundings and the opportunity to catch their own dinner.
- Kayaking and Canoeing: Explore the smaller channels and hidden corners of the delta by kayaking or canoeing. Paddle through the tranquil waters, surrounded by lush vegetation and wildlife. It's a great way to immerse yourself in the stunning natural environment.
- Wildlife Photography: Capture the beauty of the Danube Delta's wildlife through your lens. With its diverse flora and fauna, the delta offers endless opportunities for nature and wildlife photography. Keep your camera ready to capture memorable shots of birds, mammals, and breathtaking landscapes.
- Delta Villages: Visit the traditional villages scattered throughout the delta, where you can experience the local way of life and learn about the cultural heritage of the region. Interact with the friendly locals, taste traditional cuisine, and discover the unique customs and traditions of the delta communities.
Exploring the Danube Delta is a remarkable experience that offers a glimpse into a pristine natural ecosystem. Whether you're a nature lover, bird enthusiast, or adventure seeker, the Danube Delta will captivate you with its beauty, serenity, and abundant wildlife.
Peles Castle is a stunning Neo-Renaissance castle located in the Carpathian Mountains near Sinaia, Romania. It is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Europe and a must-visit attraction in Romania. Here are some top activities to do in and around Peles Castle:
- Castle Tour: Take a guided tour inside Peles Castle to explore its magnificent rooms, halls, and chambers. Admire the intricate woodwork, lavish decorations, and impressive architecture of this royal residence. The tour will provide insights into the history, art, and culture of the castle.
- Gardens and Grounds: Explore the beautifully landscaped gardens and park surrounding Peles Castle. Walk along the pathways, enjoy the scenic views, and relax in the peaceful atmosphere. The castle is nestled amidst lush greenery, and the gardens offer a tranquil escape from the bustling city.
- Pelisor Castle: Adjacent to Peles Castle is Pelisor Castle, a smaller royal residence built in Art Nouveau style. Take a tour of Pelisor Castle to appreciate its unique design, artistic interiors, and historic significance. The castle provides a glimpse into the royal lifestyle of the Romanian monarchy.
- Cable Car Ride: Take a cable car ride up to the nearby Bucegi Mountains for panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Enjoy the scenic beauty of the Carpathian Mountains, breathe in the fresh mountain air, and capture memorable photographs of the breathtaking scenery.
- Hiking and Nature Walks: Explore the natural beauty of the Carpathian Mountains by going on hiking or nature walks in the surrounding area. There are various trails and routes that cater to different fitness levels and offer opportunities to discover the flora, fauna, and picturesque landscapes.
- Sinaia Monastery: Visit the Sinaia Monastery, located near Peles Castle. This beautiful Orthodox monastery dates back to the 17th century and is an important religious and cultural site in the region. Admire its architecture, frescoes, and serene atmosphere.
- Sinaia Town: Take a stroll through the charming town of Sinaia, located at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains. Explore the quaint streets, visit local shops and cafes, and soak in the relaxed ambiance of this mountain resort town.
Peles Castle and its surroundings offer a unique blend of history, art, nature, and stunning landscapes. Whether you're interested in architectural marvels, scenic beauty, or cultural experiences, a visit to Peles Castle will leave you enchanted and inspired.