Romania

Travel Guide
Timisoara which includes outdoor art

Medieval castles in this Eastern European country inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Giant Soviet palaces attest to a troubled 20th century.

Visiting Romania is like visiting two very different countries. First is the city of Bucharest, a wealthy, centuries-old metropolis filled with Soviet palaces and 19th-century grandeur. Next is the countryside, where serfdom lived on through the end of the 18th century. Explore both sides of this Eastern European country and enjoy its natural delights high in the Carpathian Mountains or below on the Black Sea Coast.

Learn about Romania’s history in Bucharest. Early days are represented in religious architecture, such as the 17th-century Metropolitan Church where the Romanian Orthodox church is based. Stroll along the Calea Victoriei, the city’s central boulevard, to see many stately buildings from Bucharest’s 19th century, when it became Romania’s capital. Finally, tour the city’s ostentatious Soviet-era buildings, including the enormous Palace of the Parliament and the House of the Free Press. Nicolae Ceauşescu, the dictator who ordered their construction, gave his last speech on the city’s Revolution Square before being overthrown in 1989.

From Bucharest, travel north through the Carpathian Mountains to reach Transylvania, the country’s rural central region. View ancient castles throughout the region, the most famous of which is the spectacular Bran Castle on a hilltop outside Braşov. Tour the area’s small medieval villages such as Sighişoara, which is crowned with a 14th-century clock tower. Farther north, Southern Bucovina’s even smaller villages feature more antique delights including medieval monasteries filled with original frescoes, as in Voronet.

Both Romania’s mountains and its Black Sea Coast are natural delights. The western Carpathian Mountains feature Scărişoara Cave, with a massive underground glacier. The Black Sea Coast is lined with golden beaches and resort towns. Explore Constanta, a large coastal city, where Roman ruins stand alongside art deco palaces.

Reach Bucharest by rail or airline to begin your stay in Romania. Alternatively, arrive by a Danube River cruise. This voyage takes you through the Iron Gates, a gorge on the Serbian border that features castles and the face of an ancient Dacian king carved into rock.

Popular cities in Romania

Palace of the Parliament showing street scenes, a fountain and a sunset
Bucharest
Known for Historical, Castle and Museums
Explore Romania’s capital, a charming city with palaces, gardens, historic buildings, leafy squares and exciting nightlife.

Reasons to visit

  • Museum of the Romanian Peasant
  • Romanian Athenaeum
  • Palace of the Parliament
Ovid Square featuring heritage architecture
Constanta
Known for Beach view, Sea and Marinas
A family friendly destination with several beaches nearby as well as spas and resorts.

Reasons to visit

  • Mamaia Beach
  • Constanta Casino
  • Ovid Square
Sibiu
Sibiu
Known for Historical, Museums and Business
One of Romania’s most charming destinations, this citadel city is home to pretty medieval squares, historic fortifications and a rich cultural scene.

Reasons to visit

  • Liar's Bridge
  • Council Tower
  • Piata Mare
Piata Operei featuring heritage architecture and a fountain
Timisoara
Known for Business, Historical and Biking
Explore lofty cathedrals, browse art in Baroque-style buildings and learn about Romania’s Communist history in Timisoara, affectionately known as “little Vienna.”

Reasons to visit

  • Victory Square
  • Romanian Orthodox Cathedral
  • St. George's Cathedral
Cluj-Napoca
Cluj-Napoca
Known for Historical, Cathedrals and Churches
Spend a few days exploring excellent museums, bohemian cafés and historic churches in this spirited student-driven city.

Reasons to visit

  • St. Michael's Church
Brasov featuring a fountain, an administrative building and a city
Brasov
Known for Historical, Walking and Churches
Centuries-old Gothic architecture, spectacular castles, medieval history and mountain peaks make this city in central Romania a fascinating vacation destination.

Reasons to visit

  • Black Church

Romania