Must do Romania and what you should not miss
Organizing a trip to Romania might seem overwhelming. There are so many things to do and see, so many experiences to try. To make it a little bit easier for you, we made a list of Must do Romania, top experiences one should try when traveling to Romania. These are tours and places that are both exciting, out of the ordinary and also authentic Romanian. Each offers a glimpse into the traditional Romanian spirit and way of life.
Visit the Christmas Market in Sibiu
Christmas in Romania is magical and the Romanian Christmas Markets are rich in local flavor and filled with traditional products. In 2007 Sibiu was the European Capital of Culture and the first city in Romania to organize a Christmas Market. Set in one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Romania, the event is a mix of local flavor, Romanian traditions, and Christmas spirit.
Sibiu can be visited along with other spectacular cities like Sighisoara and Brașov in Transylvania Winter Tour.
Taste traditional Romanian food
Romanian food is a mix of traditional dishes and flavors borrowed from our neighbors. Specific to the Balkans, Romanian food is hearty, savory and satisfies both meat lovers and vegans. Although there are many authentic Romanian restaurants all across the country, the best of the best can be tested in rural areas or at fairs. Mărginimea Sibiului (the outskirts of Sibiu), with villages such as Sibiel, is considered a European Destination of Excellence and an international culinary destination.
Sleep in the ice hotel
This is an experience that you’ll surely have for a lifetime. Every winter, near Balea Lake, the highest point in Transfagarasan alpine road, an ice hotel is being built with ice blocks from the lake. Everything is frozen and even beds and glasses are made out of ice. The spectacular mountain landscape adds to the experience.
You can combine sleeping in the Ice Hotel with visiting beautiful Romanian medieval towns and enjoying the Carpathian Mountains landscape in Romania’s Hotel of Ice Tour from Bucharest.
Drive along the best road in the world
We’re not exaggerating, Top Gear gave Transfagarasan this description. A high alpine road with spectacular mountain views, glacier lakes and mountain huts, Transfagarasan is in itself an experience for nature tours lovers. Moreover, Transfagarasan can be experienced in a one day tour from Bucharest or combined into an extended trip.
The 3 day Transylvania tour offers a glimpse into Romania’s artisan’s life along with a scenic drive on the Transfagarasan.
Visit The Merry Cemetery
Cemeteries aren’t happy places, but the one in Sapanta, Maramures County, begs to differ. This is definitely an experience to add to the must do Romania list. An array of colored crosses with lively and somewhat funny poems about the life and death of the deceased make this place one of a kind. Furthermore, Maramures and Bucovina villages are famous for their wooden churches included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
A Transylvania Maramures and Bucovina Tour will transport you into the fascinating world of rural Romania along with its traditions, beautiful landscape and one of a kind architecture.
Meet the famous Dracula
Forget all about Twilight and other things that Hollywood taught you about vampires. Although more of a fictional character than a real bloodsucking count, the real-life character that inspired Bram Stoker, the writer of the novel, is just as interesting. Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler, is the real man behind Dracula. A Wallachian Prince, he used impalement as a method of torture and execution. Although it was a popular method in the Medieval Period and used by most rulers in Romanian territories, Vlad III remains the most famous for it.
If you think that the place to go to find him is Bran Castle, you are wrong. Although highly associated with him and an extraordinary piece of architecture, Bran Castle is just one of the many places that bear stories about him and one that had the less real contact with him. Poienari Castle, a fortress built high on a mountain is considered to be the real Dracula Castle. Also, a trip to Sighisoara will give you the opportunity to visit Vlad Tepes’s birthplace and just a short car ride outside Bucharest lays his supposed burial place.
Learn about communism and its megastructures
Communism is a big part of Romania’s history. It shaped not only it’s architecture but also Romanians consumption behavior. Nowhere are the marks of communism as pregnant and visible as in Bucharest, the country’s capital city. The main landmarks stand as the second largest administrative building in the world, The Parliament Palace or, most commonly known, The People’s House.
An extended walking tour of Bucharest gives the opportunity to explore the most famous landmarks of the city and get an insight from a local point of view on the city’s history.
Take a ride on the oldest steam train also known as Mocanita
Mocanita is an old steam train in Bucovina and Maramures Area that passes a narrow gorge revealing incredible landscape and traditional settlements. For 6 hours you can enjoy the beauty and the wilderness of the northern Romanian Carpathian Mountains. This train ride is spectacular in any season be it winter with snow-covered peaks or summer with lush vegetation and wildlife sightings.
The experiences on this must do Romania list are just the highlights, but be assured that Romania has so much more to offer. Wheather you are searching for a cultural tour, are more into nature and wildlife exploration, in need of a multi-day tour to make the most of your vacation or just a quick day tour from Bucharest, we are here to help you organize it.
We can customize any tour to suit your needs and interests. Just drop us a line and we’ll start planning your dream vacation together.