Alternative Travel Index Rank: #33
Romania is also the 16th Most Underrated Travel Destination
Excels for its oral and intangible cultural heritage (25th in the world)
Population and tourists density at peak season: 84 (medium)
Romania is located in the north of the Balkan Peninsula, on the western shores of the Black Sea. It enjoys great natural beauty and diversity and a rich cultural heritage, enchanting visitors with its scenic mountain landscapes and unspoiled countryside areas, but also with its historic cities and its busy capital. Romania has a vast area of undisturbed forest, that covers almost 27% of its territory, and is the largest country in south-eastern Europe. While having cultural similarities with other Balkan states, Romania is quite unique, due to a strong Latin imprint.
Romania ranks #54/141 for price competitiveness in Justraveling’s Alternative Travel Index. Average travel costs per day: $44 (backpacker) – $96 (mid-range). Cheapest Romanian cities: Botosani, Oradea, Cluj-Napoca. Most expensive Romanian cities: Iasi, Baia Mare, Craiova.
Best Time to Go
May-Sep is the best time to go to Romania. The country has a temperate and continental climate, with four distinct seasons. Summer is the ideal time of year for the great outdoors, and for visiting its numerous medieval towns.
Places to Visit
Bucharest, Romania’s capital, is the 6th largest city in the EU by population, and the centre of Romanian media, culture, and art. It’s and interesting mix of old and new, well represented by its architecture, which includes neo-classical, medieval, Bauhaus, art deco, communist-era, and modern buildings.
The Danube Delta, located in the eastern corner of Romania, at the border with Ukraine, is an award-winning sustainable tourism destination, that consists of an intricate pattern of marshes, channels, streamlets, lagoons and lakes.
The Painted Monasteries of Bucovina are eight Orthodox churches built in northern Moldavia between 1487 and 1583. Since 1993, they have been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. A true gem for art lovers & culture addicts.
Sibiu is one of the most important cultural centres of the country, and was designated European Capital of Culture in 2007. It enchants its visitors with a unique medieval charm and excellent views of the surrounding landscapes.
Travel Ideas and Things to Do
Let’s go into the wild, hiking the Carpathian Mountains! Europe’s wildest mountains offer plenty of choice, from short, popular half-day excursions, to epic long distance hikes on remote trails. One of our favorite routes is in the southern area, between the Timis and Olt rivers, but you can find more here.
Operation Wallacea organizes 2/4 weeks long conservation expeditions in Transylvania. It’s a fantastic opportunity to experience its rich wildlife and to learn about the cultural and ecological history of the region. More info here.
Several scenic trains travel across the Romanian mountain areas. As a solo traveler, you may enjoy the narrow gauge railway train “Mocanita“, which runs alongside the Vaser River. Small groups have plenty more choice, including the Transylvania Triangle Train Tour, that covers most of the region’s main sights.
More active travel ideas for your next trip can be found in the Hiking Series. Check out these five routes to enjoy an awesome day hike in Romania.
This Travel Guide is a work in progress. Improve it with a Romanian touch!
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Sources: some text excerpts from Wikitravel & Wikipedia; travel cost data from Numbeo.