Before telling you which are the best things to do in Romania, I want to tell you some things about Romania.
Some of these things you already know, while others are new for you, but all of them are part of the Romanian story.
Romania is located in the Balkan Peninsula, in southeastern Europe. The country is bordering Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine, Moldavia and the Black Sea.
The country has a total population of about 20 million inhabitants and a total surface of 238.000 square meters.
The country has a temperate climate with hot summers and very cold and snowy winters. There are 4 seasons across one year:
- Spring: from March to May
- Summer: from June to August
- Autumn: from September to November
- Winter: from December to February
Romania is quite an impressive country. Here you will find all the landforms you could possibly think of mountains, hills, plains, beaches and one of the most unique habitats from Europe the Danube Delta.
All this geographic diversity hides many interesting and unique attractions. Let’s discover them together!
I will present you all the interesting things you should see when visit Romania and tell you some words about each of them: why you should visit that place, how it is, where it is located and how many days you need for each attraction.
- 1. Mery Cemetery
- 2. Painted monasteries
- 3. Best Romanian cities
- 4. Salt Mine from Turda
- 5. Sighisoara, the last inhabited medieval fortress
- 6. Fortified churches from Transylvania
- 7. Romanian mountains
- 8. Danube Delta
- 9. Romania Black Sea Coast
1. Merry Cemetery
Merry Cemetery is located on the north side of the country.
1.2 How you get there:
You can reach it by car or by public transport from Sighetu Marmatiei.
1.3 What to see
Merry Cemetery is a cemetery, as the name suggests. The most interesting part is related to the scripts from the crosses.
On each cross are some verses which describe the life of the buried person. In a few lines, in a funny and ironic way, the author tells us some interesting things about the passions or the hobbies of the dead person.
In total, there are more than 800 colourful crosses spread in that cemetery.
It is one of the top attractions for local and international tourists.
The main downside is that all the texts from the crosses are in Romanian without a translation nearby so it is almost impossible for you to understand all the rhymes from the crosses.
I am not sure if you can find a translator in the area or some written guides.
1.4 How many days you need
You will need about half a day to visit the cemetery
1.5 Where to sleep
I recommend you to sleep in Sighetu Marmatiei, a small town located 20 kilometres away from the Merry Cemetery.
Hotel Gradina Morii is the place where we chose to spend the night; the hotel is located a little bit far from the city centre in the park with the same name. The rooms, breakfast and services are really great, one of the best choices in the area.
2. Painted Monasteries
One of the best things to do in Romania, unique in the world, are the painted monasteries from Bucovina.
These wonderful monasteries are located on the north part of the country in Bucovina, a province of Romania
2.2 How to get there
You can get here by car or with a private tour.
This is a tour which we highly recommend to you because is one of the few tours which leads you to the all seven painted monasteries from Bucovina.
The tour starts from Brasov and lasts for 2 days. Brasov: Private 2-Day Bucovina Monasteries Tour is a private tour which gives you the unique opportunity to see Romania and its incredible landscape.
The tour starts from your hotel from Brasov at 7 in the morning. I know it’s pretty early but there is a long drive from the country central to the north part.
In the first day you will visit Gura Humorului, Moldovita, and Sucevita and on the second day, you will stop at Marginea, Gura Humorului, Bicaz Gorges, Red Lake, and go back to Brasov.
2.3 What to see
These 7 monasteries are one of the best things to do in Romania.
All the monasteries were built by the end of the XV century and the beginning of the XVI century.
We are talking about 7 monasteries, all part of the UNESCO World Heritage site from 1993: Arbore, Humor, Patrauti, Moldovita, Probota, Suceava, Sucevita, Voronet.
These places are unique in Europe because of their painting, the colours used and the scenes presented.
Most of the monasteries stand out because of their architecture that is representative for the Golden Age of Moldavia and of course because of their paintings.
What I liked most about these monasteries besides their architecture and the paintings is the atmosphere. You feel so calm and at peace after visiting these places.
When you see the simple life of the monks and the beauty of the place you easily realise what is really important in life.
It is a good way to learn to appreciate more what we have and to reconsider our position in relation to many things we consider important in our life.
2.4. How many days you need
You need about two days for a complete tour of the 7th monasteries.
We strongly recommend you to visit all of them because they are unique and have their own charm and beauty. They are located pretty close to each other, and you can easily reach them by car.
2.5 Where to sleep
About the sleeping option, I would say that sleep in a traditional house from Sucevita is a great option.
Pensiunea Poiana de Vis is our favourite place and it is located in a quiet place, close to the forest, just 2 kilometres away from the Sucevita monastery.
The rooms are clean and the good is very tasty. You will receive breakfast prepared at home, with fresh and tasty ingredients. The guesthouse has a rustic air which fits great in the picture.
3. Tour of the Romania cities, one of the best things to do in Romania
Iasi, Timisoara, Cluj Napoca, Sibiu, Brasov and of course Bucharest are the most important cities of Romania.
They are spread all over the country and trying to visit all of them might be a little bit difficult.
Iasi is on the east side, Timisoara on the west side, while Cluj Napoca, Sibiu and Brasov are located in the centre of the country.
Bucharest, Romania’s capital is located on the southeastern part of the country, pretty far from the other main cities but close to Bulgaria.
3.2 How to get there
You can reach these cities by car, by public transport, by train and by plane.
If you ask me, a plane is the best option. Flying from one city to another takes about one hour and is the safest and fastest way to get to your destination.
3.3. What to see
There are a lot of interesting attractions to see in these cities; to name some of them just to have an idea about what I am talking about is the Palace of Parliament or Casa Poporului as well as many museums in Bucharest.
For the rest of the cities, there are many interesting national museums, interesting buildings and their old streets with the market square from the centre of each city.
Most of these beautiful cities are host to very famous music festivals like Untold or Saga, festivals which attract thousands of tourists from all over the world.
From Brasov for example you can do a day trip to Bran and visit Bran Castle the place where Dracula (Vlad the Impaler on his real name) lived.
Or why not go an extra mile and visit Peles Castle the royal family residence located in Sinaia on your road from Bucharest to Brasov.
3.4 How many days you need
I would say you need about 2 days for each of these best things to do in Romania and maybe for Bucharest, you need more.
3.5 Where to sleep
This is really easy because here are many hotels and beautiful guesthouses where you can spend your night.
It’s up to you what are you looking for: do you want something close to the city centre or something remote? Do you want a guest house of a 5-star hotel?
We would recommend the following accommodations from each city:
- Intercontinental Bucharest because is close to the city centre, to the Palace of Parliament and offer good breakfast, great services and an incredible view from your room
- Unirea Hotel and Spa located on Unirii Square, close to the main attractions; the rooms are clean and modern and the fitness centre and the spa is one of the best from the area
- Grand Hotel Belvedere, a 4 star resort offering amazing views over the city, bright and clean rooms and an international restaurant.
- Old Town Hotel another great hotel located in the city centre, close to all major attractions with clean and comfy rooms and tasty breakfast
- Ramada Sibiu is our proposal because it is close to the city centre. We liked the food, the rooms and the services.
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Cluj - City Plaza which is close to the main attractions and has a wonderful pool overlooking the city
4. Salt Mine from Turda
Salt Mine from Turda or Salina Turda in Romanian is located in the central province of Romania, in the heart of Transylvania, very close to Cluj Napoca.
4.2 How to get there
You can get there by car or by public transport from Cluj Napoca.
There is always the third option, and here I am talking about a guided tour from Cluj.
If you are interested in a tour, we strongly recommend you to book your tickets at From Cluj: Turda Salt Mine and Gorge and Rimetea Village, a full-day tour with pick up and drop off to your hotel.
You have a very knowledgeable guide who will tell you many interesting things about the best things to do in Romania and will show you not just the salt mine but also a piece from Romanian countryside, the Rimetea Village.
4.3 What to see
Hidden deep under the ground there are some huge galleries dug first manually and then with specialized machines.
The walls, the floor and the ceiling, everything is made from salt. Inside the salt mine, there is a small museum, an underground lake, an amusement park and many places where you can rest and detox your lungs.
4.4 How many days you need
For a complete tour of the mine, you will need about half a day.
4.5 Where to sleep
You can sleep in Cluj Napoca because the offer is more varied and there are many other interesting things to do in Cluj than in Turda, where except for the salt mine there is nothing else to see.
Find the perfect accommodation for your stay in Cluj Napoca
5. Discover Sighisoara, the last inhabited medieval city
This wonderful medieval town is located in Transylvania, close to Sibiu and Brasov.
5.2 How to get there
There are numerous buses from the most important cities of Romania which stop in Sighisoara, so taking a bus might be a pretty cheap and good option for you.
And there is always the car option. We strongly recommend you to rent a car to visit the best things to do in Romania. As you can see, these places are split all over the country and the car is the fastest and easiest way to get to all of them.
Get the best price for your car rental today
5.3 What to see
There the Sighisoara Citadel with its impressive Clock Tower dating from the XIV century, the Church on the Hill, the colourful streets and the place where Dracula was born.
It is a very well preserved medieval town with a bohemian atmosphere and welcoming locals.
5.4 How many days you need
One day is enough for you to explore the whole area.
5.5 Where to sleep
In the new part of the city, there are some beautiful hotels.
Our suggestion is DoubleTree by Hilton Sighisoara , a very stylish hotel located just 200 metres from the Old Citadel.
We liked this hotel because of its location, comfy beds and great doughnuts we ate at breakfast.
6. Fortified churches from Transylvania
All these interesting and amazing things to do in Romania are located in the heart of the country, in the province named Transylvania.
6.2 How to get there
The best way to reach these churches is by car as the monuments are spread around the city of Brasov and in Romania, in general, public transport is not that reliable and efficient.
To be more efficient and to better organise your trip we recommend you to rent a car and visit this by yourself as they are very easy to reach.
6.3 What to see
There are more than 150 fortified churches spread all over Transylvania. Most of these churches were built between the XIII and XVI centuries.
Their main purpose was to be used as refugees during wartime. All the villagers gathered inside the fortified church from their village and wait to pass the danger.
Each fortified church has a tower which was used as an observation point during wartime. And there is another interesting thing about these fortified churches: during peace, the tower was used to dry and deposit the pork meat.
From the total of 150 fortified churches, the most representative ones are Viscri, Prejmer, Biertan, Calnic, Saschiz, Valea Viilor and Darjiu.
Most of these monuments are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
6.4 How many days you need
You need 2 days to visit the most important fortified churches from Transylvania
6.5 Where to sleep
Brasov is a good option for searching accommodation, being located close to many of these wonderful monuments.
Find the perfect accommodation for your stay in Brasov
7. Discover the Romanian mountains the best things to do in Romania
The Carpathian Mountains surround the central part of Romania. To get anywhere from Transylvania you need to cross these extremely beautiful mountains.
7.2 How to get there
You can easily access these mountains by car and on foot. It is an untamed area of Romania.
You will find here a very diverse and rich habitat, with many hiking trails, a lot of wild animals like bears, wolves, linx, deers, mountain goats and many species of birds.
You go by car to the beginning of the trail and from there you start your climbing.
7.3 What to see
You can see many species of animals and plants.
These are the last virgin mountains from Romania.
Don’t be surprised if you will meet a wild bear on your way up to the top as there are a lot of wild animals in Romania’s mountains and forests.
Pay respect to nature and what it has to offer!
You don’t have time to explore the wild side of Romania? Then at least take some time and drive on two of the highest roads from Romania.
I am talking about Transalpina and Transfagarasan. These are the most spectacular roads from the entire country.
The roads are open just during summertime. These are alpine roads, covered with snow almost the entire year and they link Transylvania with the rest of the country.
On Transfagaran there is also a cable car which leads tourists from Balea Cascada up to the mountain where they can admire the beautiful and unique ice hotel build up every winter.
You only can get there by car. From the safety of your car, you can admire the beauty of nature, the high peaks and if you are lucky enough, on Transfagarasan you might see bears right near the road and other wild animals.
7.4 How many days you need
You need a day for each of these alpine roads. So, in total, you will need about two days to explore both parts of the Romanian mountains.
7.5 Where to sleep
Transfagarasan is located close to Sibiu. You can sleep in Sibiu and the next day in the morning start your trip up on the mountain.
Ramada Sibiu is our choice for Sibiu each time we go there.
The hotel is conveniently located close to the main attractions of the city. It has clean and spacious rooms, comfortable beds and a large choice of options for breakfast.
8. Explore Danube Delta
This unique habitat is located in the southeastern part of the country right near the Black Sea and is one of the best things to do in Romania.
8.2 How to get there
You can reach Danube Delta by car and by boat. I mean, you go by car to a certain place, most commonly Murighiol and from there you have to take the boat to reach the hidden hotels.
8.3 What to see
Oh! This is really hard to describe in words! You will see here a place was forgotten by time, a great variety of birds and plants. Some of the rarest birds in the world come here to lay their eggs and raise their chicks.
A trip along the canals is one of the greatest ways to relax and enjoy the view. It is spectacular as it’s just you and nature!
You will see hundreds of pelicans and cormorants around you! And there is the Letea Forest with its wild horses and dunes, another unique habitat from Romania and a unique experience of Romania travel holiday.
8.4 How many days you need
You will need at least 3 days to explore the area.
You will never have time to explore each canal but at least to have an idea about this unique habitat.
Only locals know all the hidden places, all the lakes and the canals from this forgotten part of the world.
I was fascinated by nature and the simple life of the locals. It is a place where I go back each year and each time I discover new things. It is for sure one of the best things to do in Romania!
8.5 Where to sleep
We discovered a beautiful accommodation located right where the Danube flows into the Black Sea through the main canal named St George.
This beautiful retreat is called Green Village Resort Danube Delta and is located in a magnificent place, close to the beach, right on the canal. The breakfast is tasty and the private villas are incredible!
Each of them has a wonderful patio and during the night you can hear the sound of nature and even see hatch hogs sniffing around and hunting insects. It is a place very well integrated into nature.
9. Discover Romania Black Sea Coast
It is located in the southeastern part of the country and has a total length of 245 kilometres. There is highway from Bucharest to the seaside, so in less than 2 and a half hours you are at Black Se.
9.2 How to get there
The main resorts from the Romanian Black Sea Coast can be reached by train and buses. If you have a car it is even better!
You can reach wild beaches and remotely located places where to be just you and the sea.
9.3 What to see
There are not many things to see around. It is the best place to go to relax and enjoy the sun.
Mamaia for example is the capital of fun and entertainment for those of you looking for fancy clubs on the beach, 5-star accommodation.
Vama Veche is the best option if you are looking for a bohemian atmosphere, wild parties on the beach till sunrise and mid-budget accommodation.
There are many other beautiful resorts ranked as the best things to do in Romania Black Sea but these two are the most emblematic!
9.4 Where to sleep
If you want to party in style and are you looking for 4-star hotels, then you should search for accommodation in Mamaia.
Our favourite place in Mamaia is Iaki Hotel Mamaia, a beautiful resort located right near the beach, close enough to Mamaia Promenade with outdoor pools, great spa and awesome services.
We like almost everything at this hotel!
The rooms with sea views are really great!
If you want to feel the bohemian spirit of Vama Veche, then you should know that the number of accommodations is pretty limited and you should book well in advance if you want to get the best price-quality ratio!
These are the most interesting places you should see when visit Romania.
It is true that they are split all over the country but each of them is extremely beautiful!
Book at least 2 weeks to discover the beauty of Romania, its untamed nature, traditional villages and wonderful cities!