33. Visit a Castle with an incredible view – Cantacuzino Castle, Busteni
Built in 1911, this castle belonged to the Prince Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino who was the mayor of Bucharest twice. The legend says he was so wealthy that he wanted to cover the castle backyard in golden coins, but he gave up on this idea eventually. Since the backyard and the gardens are nonetheless impressive, you will want to stay for lunch there at the exquisite restaurant Canta Cuisine, especially for its view as you can see below.
Cost to visit: 20 RON (4.30 euros)
32. Visit the place where SONY took its best commercial ever – The Casino , Constanța
The Casino is a historical building found on the shores of the Black Sea, in the second biggest city of Romania, Constanța and it has been inaugurated in 1910. Although it has been listed as a historic monument, the building is nowadays in an advanced stage of degradation, while the access inside is forbidden. However, the Casino briefly came back to life with an incredible commercial made by SONY, which you can see here: Sony BRAVIA 4K HDR TV – ‘More brilliance. More beauty.’
31. Explore Cluj-Napoca
A city that can be easily included in top 3 most beautiful cities of Romania, Cluj is nowadays the place to be. With numerous festivals and events taking place, the stunning historical buildings and the welcoming locals, Cluj-Napoca is the ideal place for a city-break.
30. Visit the impressive cave that has a monastery at the entrance – Ialomita Cave
Ialomita Cave is particular for several reasons, one of them being the historical church built in the 16th century and the spring flowing inside the cave that is said to be incredible pure and have healing properties.
Cost to visit: 10 RON (2.5 euros)
29. Visit the Vidraru Dam
The dam’s height is 166 metres, the arch length 305 meters and it can store 465 million cubic metres of water. The Vidraru Dam’s construction took 5 and a half years. It required 42 km of subterranean tunnels, excavation of 1,768,000 cubic metres of hard rocks.
28. Visit the only salt mine that holds an amusement park – The Turda Salt Mine
The Turda Salt Mine is not only a veritable history museum of salt mining, but nowadays it holds an incredible underground theme park and it was placed by Business Insider at the top of their list of the ten ‘coolest underground places in the world’.
Cost to visit: 15 RON (3.5 euros)
27. Visit Bellu Cemetery in Bucharest
Bellu Cemetery is the final resting place of just about every great Romanian academic, scientist, artist, writer, musician and poet you can think of. It was founded in the 1850s, and it is Bucharest most historic cemetery.
26. Visit the National Museum of Romanian History in Bucharest
The National Museum of History is the most important museum in Romania and by far the most impressive, with exhibitions of historical pieces dating since prehistory.
When to visit: Wednesday-Sunday 10 AM-6PM
Cost to visit: 10 RON (~2.5 euros)
25. See the cave that holds the biggest glacier in Romania – “Scărișoara” Cave
Scarisoara Cave houses the second biggest underground glacier in south-eastern Europe and it’s one of the biggest caves of Apuseni Mountains. Walking shoes are a must, as there’s a hike of 20 minutes to get to the cave.
Cost to visit: 7 RON (~2 euros)
24. Discover the unique shade of blue called “Voroneţ Blue” at Voroneţ Monastery in Bucovina
Voronet Monastery is a historical monument in Suceava county erected in 1488 by the order of Stephen the Great (Stefan cel Mare), one of the most important rulers of Moldova. The particular shade of blue is locally-made from the mineral azurite, and it is known to be highly conserved with time.
23. See the remains of The cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) at The Bears Cave (Pestera Ursilor) in Bihor County
Accidentally discovered in 1975, the Bears cave is famous for its remarkable paleontological deposit – the bones of Ursus Spealeus, a species of bear which became extinct during the Last Glacial Maximum, about 27,500 years ago.
Cost to visit: 20 RON (~5 euros) and 15 RON(~3.5 euros) for photography
22. Feel the energy at the top of Bucegi Mountains Plateau – The Sphinx
The Sphinx is a natural rock formation located at an altitude of 2.216 m (7,270 ft). It has acquired its name due to the similarity with a face viewed from a certain angle. The Sphinx is a representative place for Romania and throughout the years, it was the subject of several myths and legends. You can get up there by taking the Cable Car from Busteni, one of the most renowned Romanian mountain stations.
Cost to visit: 70 RON(~15 euros) return with the Cable Car
21. See the Horses Waterfall in Maramureș (Cascada Cailor)
The Horses Waterfall (Cascada Cailor) is the highest waterfall in Romania and it’s located in the National Park of Rodnei Mountains. Don’t forget your walking shoes, there are only two ways on getting there and both involve some hiking. If you’re the kind of person that always chooses to go off the beaten path, then the 1 hour and a half hiking trail through the National Park is for you!
20. See one of the most impressive statues in the world – the rock sculpture of Decebalus
The rock sculpture of Decebalus is a 42.9 m in height and 31.6 m in width carving in rock of the face of Decebalus, the last king of the Dacian Empire. Located right on the shore of Danube River near Orsova, this impressive rock sculpture is 8 m. higher than Jesus’s statue in Rio de Janeiro, and only 6 m. less than The Statue of Liberty in New York.
19. Take a roadtrip on the highest road in Romania – Transalpina Road
Transalpina Road is a road in Parang Mountains that connects Gorj to Alba County, and due to its heights and landscape, it’s only open during the summer. Its highest point is at the altitude of 2,145 m, crossing the peeks of Dengheru, Papusa, Urdele, Iezer and Muntinu, all of them surpassing the altitude of 2,000 m(6 561 feet). The beginnings of this road are not specifically knows, as there are rumors saying it was first used by the Roman Empire as a strategical corridor, or that it has been built by the Germans in World War II.
18. Visit a castle straight from a Fairytale – Corvin Castle, Transylvania
Also known as the Hunyadi Castle, or Hunedoara Castle, Corvin Castle is one of the largest castles in Europe. There is a legend that says Vlad the Impaler was imprisoned in this castle’s dungeon for seven years, a period that made him go insane and turn to his darker thoughts. True or not, this place is still an important part of Romania’s history, and it’s still nowadays making history, just in a different way: there have been several scenes of Ghost Rider 2 filmed inside the castle.
Cost to visit: 20 RON (5 euros)
17. Visit the place that holds the third largest biodiversity in the world – Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve
There are over 5,500 flora and fauna species in Danube Delta and it is exceeded only by the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Galapagos Archipelago in Ecuador regarding biodiversity. Best to visit in spring, the Danube Delta is totally worth visiting for at least a couple of days. Whether it’s grilled, fried or cooked in a sour broth, the local fish is definitely something to try on, and chances are that the person catching the fish, is also the one cooking it, especially when you chose to stay with locals.
16. Visit the cave of the ancient God Zamolxes – Polovragi Cave
The legend says this cave is the place where the ancient God Zamolxes sought shelter, and that the drops falling from the stalactites are his tears after the Dacians were conquered by the Roman Empire. However, there is a connection with reality, as in the area there are the ruins of an ancient Dacian Citadel. Polovragi Cave has several particularities, one of them being the fact that its end was never found, some saying that the exit could be in Transylvania, at the other side of the Carpathian Mountains, or even at Sarmisegetuza, the old capital of the Dacian Empire.
Best to visit in the weekend: 10:30 AM to 6 PM
Cost to visit: 4 RON(1 euro) for the entrancef and 10 RON(2.5 euros) the photography tax.
15. Explore the capital of the old Dacian empire Sarmisegetuza Regia
Sarmisegetuza Regia was the capital and the most important military, religious and political centre of the Dacians prior to the wars with the Roman Empire. Erected on top of a 1200 m high mountain, the fortress, comprising six citadels, was the core of a strategic defensive system in the Orăştie Mountains.
14. Get to see the only volcanic lake in Romania – St. Anne Lake (Lacul Sfânta Ana)
St. Anne Lake is the only volcanic lake in Romania and can be found in a volcanic crate on Ciomatu Peek in Harghita Mountains. No animal can survive around Lake Ana due to the low oxygen concentration there.
13. Discover the most unique cemetery in the world – The Merry Cemetery, Săpânța, Maramureș County
The Merry Cemetery is renowned for its tombstones covered in paintings and stories written in a poetic manner about the lives of the deceased. This cemetery stands apart from the European beliefs that death is something solemn, cultivating more the Dacian empire culture that the soul is immortal and the belief that death was a moment filled with joy and anticipation for a better life.
Cost to visit: 5 RON (~1.20 euros)
12. Visit the summer residence of the Royal Family – Peles Castle
Located in Sinaia on the Prahova Valley, and less than two hours from Bucharest, Peles Castle is one of the most important historical buildings in Romania. King Carol I ordered for the castle to be made in a strategical location, and it was used by the Royal Family as a summer residence. Peles Castle is the place where historical decisions have been made, such as Romania’s neutrality at the beginning of the World War I.
Cost to visit: 30 RON for the 1st floor (6.5 euros) or 60 RON for the full tour (13 euros)
11. Hike in Retezat National Park
Located in Hunedoara county, this national park is a protected area that holds over 30 peaks that exceed the altitude of 2,300 m (7,500 ft). The area shelters one of Europe’s last remaining intact old-growth forest and the Europe’s largest single area of pristine mixed forest, and with over 80 glacier lakes, there’s a lot to explore in Retezat! You can get there by driving from Timisoara(closest big city with an airport) for about 3 hours and rent your room at a mountain chalet/pension as there are several available in the area.
10. Talk a walk through history – Sibiu Historical Centre and “Astra” Museum
To get a glance at why Transylvania is so famous for its beauty, you absolutely have to visit its old capital(1692-1791 and 1849-1865). Formerly the centre of the Transylvanian Saxons, the old city of Sibiu was ranked as ‘Europe’s 8th-most idyllic place to live‘ by Forbes in 2008 but that’s not the only reason to visit it! There are several attractions that let you discover the history of the city, so make sure to include places like Brukenthal Museum, The Bridge of Lies (Podul Minciunilor) and Astra Museum, that can be found 15 km away from Sibiu.
9. Explore Cheile Nerei-Beușnița National Park
With the lakes and ponds of an incredible cyan shade and its white pointed rocks, Cheile Nerei Reservation is a true wonder of nature and the ideal destination for hikers looking for easy but wild trails. With so many attractions like: Bigar and Beusnita Waterfalls, Lacul Dracului(The Devil’s Lake) and several caves (Lenuta, Sfanta Elena and Voinii), Cheile Nerei should totally be on your list if you’re a nature enthusiast.
8. Visit Dracula’s Castle – Bran Castle
This place needs no further introduction, as it already has achieved worldwide fame thanks to Bram Stoker’s writing. Dating as far back as the 14th century, Bran Castle is located 30 km away from Brasov and 180 km away from Bucharest, in a strategical location on top of a hill. Keep in mind that you need to hike for around 15 minutes to go up, but it’s totally worth seeing the place that inspired so many legends and myths about vampires.
Cost to visit: 35 RON (8 euros)
7. Take a day trip to the Mud Volcanoes in Buzău County
Only 2 and a half hours away from Bucharest, this incredible Mars-like landscape is unique in Romania and can be found along 30 hectares in 4 areas: La Fierbători, Pâclele Mari, Pâclele Mici and Beciu.
6. Discover the “Apuseni” Mountains in Transylvania
One of the many gems of Transylvania, Apuseni are a mountain range of the Western Romanian Carpathians. While its highest peak doesn’t surpass 1900 m., the whole area of Apuseni holds an incredible landscape and small villages forgotten by time, so for the travelers in search of a simple life, this place holds the key. If you choose to stay with locals, you can see for yourself how local cheese is made.
5. Take an old-fashion journey with Mocănița Steam Train in Maramureș
Located in the far north of Romania close to the border with Ukraine, Mocanita Steam Train is an outstanding example of technical cultural heritage, dating back to 18th century. Nowadays it’s maybe the last steam train which is regularly used for the purpose of wood transportation.
4. #Experience Bucharest – Gaze at the majestic architecture on Calea Victoriei in Bucharest
Start the tour in Victoriei Square(Piata Victoriei) and go down on Victoriei Street from there. You will see along the way many impressive museums, churches and monuments so keep your camera ready! See more about it on one of my previous articles, when I dedicated a full day to explore Victoriei Street : A day in Bucharest’s most beautiful street #ExperienceBucharest
3. Take the world’s best road trip according to Top Gear – Transfagarasan
Officially called DN7C, this road connects the main cities Pitesti and Sibiu through Fagarasi Mountains, reaching heights up to 2042 m, and it has been built during the communist era. The road is often closed from October till June due to the snow that is blocking the road so this road trip can only take place in the summertime. There are major attractions on the road like: Capra Lake, Balea Lake, Vidraru Dam, Poenari Castle, the Fortress of Vlad the Impaler. It takes one full day to make the roadtrip, so it’s important to leave early and plan accordingly.
2. Take a walk around Sighișoara’s Old Town
This Transylvanian small town has preserved all the features of a medieval fortified city therefore it has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. While you can visit the city throughout the year, it’s ideal to visit it in July, when the Medieval Festival takes place. There are several attractions around the old town, so make sure to visit “Turnul cu Ceas” (The clock tower), go up the Covered Stairway to visit the School on the Hill and the Evangelical Cemetery. Don’t forget to stop for lunch or dinner at “Casa Cositorului“, it’s a charming place.
1. Visit the most unique waterfall in the world – Bigăr Waterfall
The World Geography voted this astonishing waterfall the most unique in the world, not only for its beauty, but also for the fact that it is located exactly at parallel 45.
Cost to visit – 5 RON (~ 1.20 euros)