12 Reasons To Visit Romania

After the fall of communism, tourism started to develop in Romania since the 1990s. With a unique mix of history, beautiful medieval cities, folklore, and gorgeous nature, Romania is one of the most attractive destinations in Europe. Yet many people don’t know much about the country and still associate it with communism and Eastern Bloc style cities. This is really a pity as the country has so much more to offer. So here are 12 reasons why you should put Romania on your travel bucket list.

View from the Bucegi Mountains

1. The Scenery Is Absolutely Breathtaking

Romania is a relatively large country with an abundance of different sceneries, from the impressive Carpathian Mountains, to the valley of the Danube or the beaches of the Black Sea and from modern cities to picturesque historic towns, fortified churches and castles. The country is literally full of places that will blow your mind.

Council Square in Brașov
Council Square in Brașov

2. There’s An Abundance Of Beautiful Old Architecture

Romania’s historic architecture goes back much further than the Communist era, as the country has been inhabited since prehistoric times. You can find historic villages, medieval cities, and a mix of architectural influences from many other European regions. Examples showing the diversity of architecture are the Saxon villages in Transylvania, the imperial heritage of Timișoara (which earned the city it’s nickname “Little Vienna”) and the unusual mix of 19th century heritage with Stalinist and contemporary architecture in Bucharest.

Carpathian Mountains

3. There Is Plenty Of Gorgeous Nature

Romania is an absolute paradise if you love the outdoors, as there is an abundance of nature everywhere, from mountains, to forests, national parks, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls. There are also some spectacular natural wonders, like the Scărişoara Cave, a large underground glacier, the Berca Mud Volcanoes, and the Turda Salt Mine.

4. Wildlife Is Roaming Free

Romania is home to a wide variety of wildlife species, including around 6000 brown bears, one of the largest populations in Europe. Other animals include wolves, deer, lynx, wildcats, foxes and jackals. There are also bison reserves and the Danube delta is a true paradise for birdwatching. This makes Romania one of the best countries in Europe for watching wildlife.

Dining room in Peleș Castle, Sinaia

5. It Breathes History Everywhere

The oldest human remains found in Romania are almost 25,000 years old, among the oldest ever found in Europe. Over time the area which we now call Romania, has been inhabited and occupied by different kingdoms and empires which have all left its mark and this rich history is still visible today in the architecture and culture of the country.

Traditional costumes in the Transylvanian Museum of Ethnography in Cluj-Napoca

6. Folk Culture Is Still Big

Traditional Romanian folk culture is still a big thing and even went through a revival over the past years. Traditional clothing is still very popular, especially for celebrations and other special occasions, folk music and dance is constantly being rediscovered and reinvented and the ongoing popularity of folk festivals shows that many Romanians are still very proud of their traditions.

7. It Hosts A Wide Range Of Festivals

Talking about festivals, Romania has something to offer for everyone’s taste. From small-scale village gatherings to celebrate the harvest of a certain fruit, to larger folklore festivals, food and craft festivals, classical music festivals or large electronic music and dance festivals.

Traditional bean soup with smoked pork served in a bread bowl
Traditional bean soup with smoked pork served in a bread bowl

8. The Food Is Mouth-Watering

Food has always been an important part of the Romanian culture. The cuisine is built on quality local ingredients and harty and tastful dishes, with some influences from Hungary, Germany and Turkey. You can find many traditional restaurants serving their homemade versions of local dishes, but in most cities you can also find many international restaurants so there’s always a wide variety of food to choose from.

9. The People Are Friendly

When picking a destination, of course you look at the beauty of a country, but in the end it’s the people that have built up their society and are providing you the hospitality. Luckily, Romanians have a great reputation in being very friendly and hospitable and they will do their best to help you whenever they can.

10. It’s Still Largely Underrated

Millions of people visit Romania every year and tourism has been growing a lot, but still many of the tourists are local or from surrounding countries. Romania still suffers a bit from its Eastern European image and the prejudices that come with it. On one hand this causes many tourists to pick other more popular countries over Romania, but on the other hand the country still has its charm and this is why you should visit right now.

11. You Can Visit All Year

Like in many other European countries, the weather in Romania is very seasonal, making the summer by far the most popular season to visit. However, the diversity of the country’s landscape combined with hot summers and cold winters make it a great pick all year round, depending on what you want to do. Spring and autumn are for example great for hiking and avoiding the crowds, winter is great for skiing, and city trips can be done all year round.

12. You Get Good Value For Money

Although Romania’s economy is slowly catching up with the west and prices are going up like everywhere else, it’s still relatively cheap compared to other more popular countries in Europe. Fortunately you don’t have to make any consessions on quality so you simply get more value for money, especially when it comes to accommodations, food and transportation.

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