The Ultimate Romanian Road Trip

Romania Road Trip - Rear View Mirror

I don’t know why I had such a poor opinion of Romania before visiting. I was expecting it be more like the Balkans and less like Central Europe. I was thinking it would be more than a little rough around the edges but in actual fact the cities are much like elsewhere in Europe with their beautiful historic centres, delicious traditional and modern cuisine plus some very cool castles.

Sibiu Old Town

It wasn’t long after moving to Europe that I became ‘castled out’. What was once one of my favourite touristy things to do, visiting castles dropped off my itineraries as they all started to look much the same to my weary tourist eyes.


But after a few years of castle-free travel and hearing Romania has some of the best castles in Europe, visiting Dracula’s Castle, Peles and Corvin Castle headed to the top of my Romania must see list.

Palace of the Parliament Bucharest Romania

We entered Romania from the north-west via Hungary. It’s a good place to start a road trip through Romania as it takes you to straight to the unique city of Timisoara. Before visiting, my only knowledge of Timisoara was that the 1989 Timisoara uprising led to the Romanian Revolution. Not much to go on for a first time visitor.

Piata Unirii Timisoara

It turns out Timisoara is a city of many squares, parks, churches and the most interesting architecture I’ve seen in Europe. Many of the historic buildings were constructed in Art Nouveau style which explains the quirky, curved lines and in some cases, over-the-top designs. It’s a great city for lovers of architecture.

Piata Victoriei Timisoara

Even though Romania is one of the largest countries in Europe, the most popular tourist destinations are only a short drive from one another. The longest drive of our trip was the two and a half hour drive from Timisoara to Hunedoara in Transylvania. Hunedoara is where you’ll find Corvin Castle or Hunyadi Castle as it’s sometimes known (Castelul Corvinilor in Romanian), an orange roofed, stone castle surrounded by a deep moat and only accessible via a (now permanent) drawbridge. Some say Vlad the Impaler aka Dracula was held prisoner in Corvin Castle in the 15th century.

Corvin Castle Hunedoara

Hunedoara is only worth the detour if you’re interested in the castle. The rest of the city is a bit of a ghost town with boarded up businesses and ghetto suburbs. I spent the night there but never would have had I known what it was like. I’m sure they could do with the tourist dollars created by overnight stays but I recommend visiting on a day trip.

Hunyadi Castle - Corvin Castle Hunedoara

It was when entering Sibiu that I realised Romania is just like anywhere in Western Europe. Sibiu could easily be mistaken for a German city which is not surprising seeing much of it was built by exiled Germans, the Transylvanian Saxons. Life in Sibiu is laid back with plenty of cafés, museums and shopping to keep you busy. It’s the Romanian city most suitable for foodies and its easy going lifestyle and relatively high standard of living make it a popular spot for expats. Add to that the pull of the fastest internet in Europe and I was tempted to stay a while.

Sibiu Romania

Continuing our road trip through Transylvania, next stop was the very touristy but perfectly restored Sighisoara and its citadel. As with Sibiu, the historic centre was heavily influenced by the Transylvanian Saxons giving it a bit of a German feel. The citadel is quite small so easy to navigate on foot with plenty of places to stop for the local specialities ciorba or sweet papanasi.

Papanasi Romanian Doughnut

To be seen as a true tourist, have a meal at Casa Dracula, the birthplace of Dracula. To get away from the hordes, climb up the covered wooden staircase to reach the Church on the Hill or to take a quiet walk through the Saxon cemetery.

Sighisoara Transylvania

100km south east of Sighisoara is another of Romania’s most popular cities, Brasov. At this stage of our road trip most of the cities we’d come across were relatively small and quiet with tidy streets and low-rise housing. Brasov is quite the opposite. The historic old town was bustling with festivals, cafes and shops which were all crazy busy and the outskirts were full with high-rise apartments as far as the eye could see. Brasov is exactly what I expected a Romanian city to be.

After a quick look at Rasnov Citadel, we followed the tourist buses and made our way to Bran Castle. This is the castle people either claim as Dracula’s Castle or make a point of telling you it’s incorrect to call it Dracula’s Castle. Either way, Bran Castle is the most visited castle in Romania and it’s definitely worth a look. I loved my visit to Bran Castle for the delicious locally picked berries I bought at the front gate.

Bran Castle aka Dracula's Castle Transylvania

Without a working GPS or map, finding Peles Castle was a bit of a nightmare. The handful of people I asked for directions had no idea how to find it and some had never even heard of it. But after a 20 minute walk through the forest one of the most gorgeous castles I’ve ever seen came into view. Peles is the most fairytale-like of all the castles in Romania and its Neo-Rennaissance timber framed style is quite unique.

Fairytale Peles Castle Romania

The Carpathian Mountains make a beautiful backdrop to the castle which was built as a summer palace for the royal family. Even though I didn’t have the chance to go inside I’d include Peles in my top 10 castles in Europe.

Peles Castle in Summer

Our Romanian road trip came to an end in the nation’s capital. Aside from the astonishing Palace of the Parliament, there’s little of interest to me in Bucharest. It’s just another big city. Others rate it highly but if I was to return to Romania I’d skip Bucharest and spend most of my time in Timisoara or Sibiu instead.

About Andrea

Andrea Anastasakis is the founder and author of road trip blog Rear View Mirror. She is currently driving her Fiat 500 around Europe. Follow her travel adventures on Instagram.


  1. What a fantastic journey for this castle geek!! Not having visited many in Europe, Peles Castle and Bran have been on my list for a LONG time. Never heard of Corvin Castle until now but it’s on the list as well. Actually, your entire journey is on my list! I would love to explore all of these. And your PHOTOGRAPHS are the best I have ever seen of these places!! Superb my friend, simply SUPERB!

    • Thanks Jeff! Peles and Corvin castles are amazing!! Really loved them. I hope you get to visit one day soon.

      • You really missed out on Peles if you did not go inside. It is stunning from the outside but it is in completely original condition inside with all furnishings and decorations – one of the few castles that can boast this.

  2. Hello Andrea,

    I’m really happy you had a nice time in Romania, which happens to be my home country. I perfectly agree with everything you’ve said, and I would like to thank you for the beautiful words. Bucharest has some good museums and a vibrant nightlife scene, but we usually pride ourselves with beautiful Transylvania. If you ever come back, check out the regions of Maramures and Bucovina, they’re both gorgeous, full of spectacular landscapes and century-old traditions, and definitely different than everything you’ve seen so far. The Danube Delta also worth a visit.

    Safe travels!

    • You have an amazing country Miruna! I really wanted to visit the Danube Delta but time was against us but that’s a sure thing for my next trip. I’ll definitely check out Maramures and Bucovina too, thanks for the tip.

  3. Romania has not been at the top of my list for Europe even though I have friends who loved it, but your photos are beautiful. It seems like a stunning place to visit.

  4. I didn’t know much about Romania prior to reading this post, but now I know that it looks BEAUTIFUL. As you say, it seems to have all the charm and many of the draws of western Europe, but I’m sure it’s at a fraction of the price.

    Out of curiosity, in your mind how do the Balkans differ from Eastern Europe? I don’t know enough about the region to know why one might be a negative while the other positive.

    • I think the difference is mostly in the history and architecture but also the culture and food. As much of the Balkans was under Ottoman rule instead of Austro-Hungarian rule the look of the cities is noticeably different. Not necessarily in a bad way, just different. Greece has its own look and feel too which is completely different from Eastern Europe. The culture in the Balkans is also totally different, more conservative, more male dominated, friendlier in some ways, crazier drivers. 🙂

  5. What an interesting road trip you had. I didn’t realise there were so many castles in Romania.Sibiu sounds like the place to head to!

  6. Thanks for the trip down memory lane! I took this same trip as an overseas study program student from Lewis & Clark College in 1972. It seemed much more grey and less colorful then.

    • I’m sure much has changed since then but we also got lucky with the weather. Glad I could bring back a few memories for you!

  7. Thank you for redeeming my country, Andrea. I am an expatriate and have some pretty bad memories about the years I lived there under communism, but I must say that it’s not all bad (especially people). I revisited all my childhood memories through your pictures… Very nice!

    • I have no doubt Romania were very different under communism but things are changing and we had a wonderful time driving around the country and met some great people. Glad to hear I was able to bring back some nice memories for you.

  8. This is amazing Andrea. I’m heading to Romania in a couple of months and you’ve got me more than excited for my trip, especially your photos! Counting down the days now!

  9. Just a few words : the Romanian mountains are the “Carpathians”…The “Balkans” are in Bulgaria… Therefore, we are not “in the Balkans”, we are …”in the Carpathians”.. Officially, we have never been under “Ottoman rule” as the country was independent but paid a “tax” to the Ottomans…But it is correct and true to say that the country was “under Ottoman (weak) influence” …

    • I never said Romania was in the Balkans (although it partially is) but thanks for your comment.

    • George – No that is not true , we were under Ottoman/Polish and Hungarian domination, what you just said is a leftover of the history lessons in Communist Romania. If you were too look at a map made by someone other than a Romanian, we would fall in the borders of either the Ottomans or the other powers, we were independent truly for short periods of times, usually rebellions by one of our voievodes. I am Romanian, I say you should review your history and that we as a people stop in believing fairy tales.
      As for Andrea thank you for this positive feedback of Romania, our country gets bashed to pieces on all fronts by ignorant people, it’s nice to see someone coming for himself and making an opinion based on facts and personal experience rather than some political influenced opinion taken from the media. Our country has a lot of bad press and much of it is deserved, a lot of bad things happening, but for a tourist mostly there is a lot to explore, a lot to learn and to experience. As someone before me said try Maramures and Bukovina, but Transylvania and her cities and fortresses are the highlight ( the Delta if you’re into wildlife).

      • I agree that it’s always best to visit and form our own opinions. Places are almost never like they are portrayed in the media and that’s one of the reasons I love travelling, to dispel the myths. Thanks for your thoughtful comment Alex.

      • BogdanBBA says:

        Well pointed out, Alex. Thank you.

      • Romanian principalities where never part of the Ottoman empire and this is a strong historical fact.. They were under the suzeranity of the Porte but were always totally autonomous and separate entities (compare to the situation in Bulgaria for example)

      • you missed closely Alba-Iulia fortress and old city, which has become the most beautiful old city in Romania hands down; it was just a small leap from your main itinerary;
        put aside a day to visit it, and go on Saturdays as there the is fortress guard changing ceremony, original epoch guns firing, etc

  10. I always enjoy reading a well written article about my country. I’m glad you liked it so much here and that you also drove to Sibiu, my beloved hometown. Did you also get a chance to visit the Village Museum? It’s an amazing open-air museum, presenting the former rural life of Romania, being the largest of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe.
    I now live in Bucharest. You should have also visited the Ci?migiu Garden or the Her?str?u Park. They are indeed beautiful and represent the perfect places to escape the craziness of Bucharest.
    I hope you get a chance to visit Romania some other time. There are a lot of other great places worth seeing, like Maramure?, with its merry cemetery and wooden churches, Bucovina, with some beautiful monasteries and landscapes, and, of course, the unique Danube Delta (I myself didn’t make it there yet).
    Greetings from Romania.

    • I didn’t get to visit the places you mentioned as I ran out of time but I would love to visit on my next trip. Romania surprised me and I will definitely return to see more and encourage others to visit. Thank you for taking the time to leave some tips for me, I appreciate it. 🙂

  11. Cristina says:

    You should definitley visit the inside of Peles Castle…It is really amazing with a lot of history in it!
    So, another reason to come back to Romania 🙂

  12. Hi,

    Happy to hear you liked our country, but you didn’t even scratched the surface 🙂
    If you like nature you will love your second visit if you go and see:

    Ochiul beiului (

    Transalpina (

    Transfagarasean (

    Delta dunarii ( )

    Cascada bigar ( )

    Pestera ursilor ( )

    Arsenal Parc ( )

    And these are just a few places from the top of my mind, if you do some research you can find at least 50 awesome places to visit 😉

  13. Hey Andrea,
    Thx for taking the time to pay us a visit(even dough it was a short one):)
    Yes we have homeless people but we all can agree that most of the european countries have also.
    Yes we have ignorant/arrogant people but i m sure we can see them all acoss europe , west/east.
    Yes we have grey colours but don’t we all have also?
    Now, come and discover us, take the time to visit the country and understand our culture.
    I m sure both of them worth the time.
    Don’t expect anything just be prepared for a new experience.
    Be prepared for different things,different sights,
    different people.
    We have a lot of influences but also we have our own style.
    So come and see!:)

  14. Andrew R says:

    Next time you have a chance to visit, make sure you visit Iasi. It’s a beautiful city with lots of old buildings to see. It’s also a very large city, like Timisoara but much more history.

  15. castles… a bit snobby and prolly just the tip of the iceberg but props for an article well written

  16. Dear Andrea,

    I can`t put my gratitude into enough words to show you just how much I appreciate you for being one of those gorgeous people who decided to look at Romania not through the eyes of the media but through the eyes of their soul.It always makes my heart rise with joy when I hear that people like you have decided to share their experience with the rest of the world beacuse through messengers like you,other poeple will be able to see that we are worth so much more than meets the eye and all they need to do is to scratch that thin layer of “dust” that fell upon Romania to see the REAL deal.All it takes it`s a little courage and an open mind.

    Thank you,for being you!

    • I know I still have a lot to see in Romania but I had a great experience in your country. I would love for more people to visit and discover what a beautiful country you have and how friendly the Romanian people are. Thank you for your sweet comment Ioana, it means a lot.

  17. Andrea,
    I’m glad you had a nice holiday in Romania.
    I’m just writing because I think you have missed something awesome: you have missed by a few kms (near Sebes and Sibiu) one of the most beautiful city in Romania/Europe – Alba Iulia. It is my birth place (so take this with a pinch of salt ), but I’m living in London now. I’ve done my university time in Timisoara and I’ve seen a few places in my life, but I’m still thinking that Alba Iulia is one of the best places to visit. They have just restored one of the most beautiful city fortress in Europe (I think it was voted as the 2nd most beautiful city fortress).

    A few links about it (with pictures):

    This guy has on Facebook quite a few images about it:

    And 2 movies:

  18. Paul Sebastian says:

    Make sure the next time you visit sibiu you`ll discover plenty of lovely places around. I`m glad you had a great time in our little city.
    Greetings from Sibiu.

  19. Thanks for the kind words and maybe next time you will find time to visit Salina Turda salt mine witch is close to Cluj Napoca. Just my two cents…

  20. Margarita says:

    Dear Andrea,

    Thank you for giving credit to our country and my home town city Timisoara. I would recommend you try next time our famous “mititei ” with mustard and “sarmale” with cream on top. Thinking about our food makes me hop on the first plane back to my homeland.
    As another recommendation, you most definitely need to see is the Merry Cemetery in the area of Maramures. It is one of its kind! However you would need a translator to understand its anecdotes and jokes, unless you are planning to learn Romanian(hehe). Please make sure you visit the Danube River, its fauna and flora are amazing.
    What country are you from? Perhaps you can give us a few tips on the cities that are worth visiting as well as other activities.

    Thank you again for your article, its nice to see someone appreciates us for who we are!

    Kind regards,

    • Thanks for the tips Margarita, the Danube Delta and Maramures are definitely on my list for next time. I’m from Australia. If you plan on visiting let me know and I’ll share some ideas on where to go.

  21. Ciprian S. says:

    Happy that you mentioned fastest internet in eu. Maybe you should consider hosting your travel blog on Romanian datacenters :). Also a responsive website might help mobile crowlers.

    Thanks for visiting, open minded people like you are helping restore faith on a country that suffered a lot but have great potential.

  22. My husband was once asked by my friends back home (he is Faroese) what is his favorite country from all those we visited and the answer was, without hesitation: Romania. When he was suspected he tries to flatter them and asked why did he say something like that, the answer came, as quickly as the first one: “Because you have everything: mountains and sea, castles and painted monsateries, the Donau Delta, old towns, the Merry Cemetery. And here I have friends”.

    I don’t belive I have ever heard a more sincere opinion. And it made me see my own country with different eyes.

    Thanks for this article, it was lovely. Pure and simple.

  23. Last May i flew into Bucharest for a 3 month stay…Never in my dreams did i expect to see the beauty that awaited me. The people, the fashion, the food, entertainment…was just incredible. It was such a life changing event, i am returning this August for 3 months or more to marry a beautiful Romanian lady i met 6 years ago. No traveller in Eastern Europe should pass Romania, the overwhelming beauty of the countryside with houses frozen in time with cobblestone streets…the architechture…Astonishing! It is not this ‘dark forboding country of vampires’ stuck in peoples minds….Romania is #1 and i cannot wait to return in August to live in Bucharest once again.

    Take Care
    Leonard K. Collins

  24. Luminita B says:

    Thanks for visiting Romania and you spoke so beautifull about. Thank you!

  25. Having done the same trip a few times (with slight variations each time), I appreciate your article very much.

    You did however, missed the citadel in Alba Iulia on your way to Sibiu, you could spend your night there ( next time, maybe ? ) at the Hotel Medieval inside the a actual fortress. The old Austrian guard is still looking after the perfectly restored citadel which has recently been refurbished by EU, it is really impressive. Google ‘alba iulia citadel’ and you’ll see what I mean…

    You could then cross the Carpahians from Sibiu going south to Horezu, via a spectacular road called ‘Transalpina’ or its twin ‘Transfagarasan’ a parallel road.. (Note these are opened only in the summer) and visit a fortified monastery called Horezu, you must sleep at the spectacular ‘Conacul Maldar’ on top of the hill near Maldararesti village (minutes away from Horezu) and visit the traditional pottery makers in the village..

    From Horezu start driving towards Brasov where you could visit at least two more fascinating places: one is a compex called Curtea De Arges monastery in Byzantine style and the other would be the bear reservation in Zarnesti in the middle of Piatra Craiului, a wonderful natural park near Brasov. You could sleep in Zarnesti before moving on to Brasov.. lots of other choices in the area, it’s a gem..

    Thanks again for your article and don’t hesitate to go again.

    • A friend of mine drove the Transfagarasan and said it was fantastic. Thanks for all your tips, it looks like I have a lot of planning to do for my next trip.

  26. Cluj native living in Melbourne says:

    I can’t believe you didn’t go to Cluj, the heart of Transylvania! And the people that haven’t heard of the Peles castle must have been either tourists or non-English speakers, it’s like saying an Aussie wouldn’t know where the Opera House is.
    Anyway, glad you got to see the other great cities and I agree Bucharest is worth skipping;)

    • That’s why I was a little frustrated because I knew it was a huge attraction and that we weren’t far from it but we made it eventually. 😉

  27. I can recommend a great site for experiencing Bucharest : 🙂

  28. Nice article! Thank you for your beautiful words about the country that I live in. But, next time, please, come to an outstanding city, it’s called ORSOVA and it is placed in the heart of Danube Defileum. It is a wonderful location and you have a lot to visit. We have the Iron Gates and also the Danube Gorges, spectacular views and an interesting history and culture. It’s my beloved city and it will always be my favorite, even though Porto is also on my list of pleasant destinations.
    Also, I think you would enjoy visiting the North of our country, Maramures. It’s a county with different customs, influences, dialects, the architecture and the national motives are fantastic.
    I’m glad you’ve spent quality time in our country and I hope you will come again soon, because we have a lot of beauties to show!

  29. All those described it’s true. But these places are all in Transylvania, the region formerly inhabited and formed mostly by the Hungarians and Saxons (Germans). If you visit the rest of the country (as the mentioned capital city Bucharest, or other “forcedly” overnight risen industrial Romanian cities) you should be prepared for longer trips between historic sights and other kinds of places or establishments that could overwhelm you.

    • I doubt I would feel overwhelmed but I would love to explore more destinations outside of Transylvania and the less visited areas.

  30. Hi, I would recommend also to visit CLUJ-NAPOCA, BISTRITA, VATRA DORNII ETC.

  31. Give a try to Transfagarasan . Check it on google or youtube. I repeat, try Danube Delta also. I have instagram ( leomagicman ) and I have posted a lot of photos with many places from Romania. Try it.

  32. Hi Andrea. This is a great blog. I have visited Romania a number of times and loved it. Sadly the press in Britain obsess about all the worng things and I expect most of the writers have never been there. However I would urge you (if you get the time) to give Bucharest another try. It has its problems (the wild dogs for instance) but it is a warm and brilliant place with many excellent people and places to go once you find them! Well done for helping put Romania on the map – oh and the plea to visit the Danube Delta is absolutely correct.

    Good travelling

    • It’s unfortunate that the press present a negative view of Romania when it’s a great country with friendly people. I’m not sure I have a big enough audience to help put Romania on the map but I’m happy if I can encourage even a few people to visit.

  33. Hiii! NIce trip i could say. Even if you don’t know Romania i want to felicitate u for your choice of the road trip. it is the best choice to see what are u interested in “castle”. As a tip a could say that next time you shoul try to visit :
    Palatul Culturii from Iasi -it s the best
    Ateneul roman -Bucuresti
    Palatul Cantacuzino -Busteni!vizitare/cihc
    Muzeu George Enescu -Bucurestu
    Palatul Mogosoaia -near Bucuresti
    Castelul Sturza from Miclauseni -near Iasi
    and the city Cluj -Napoca and the city Alba Iulia . 🙂 and i still have a lot of places in my mind but it is better to stop 🙂 have a nice evening
    check this photos

  34. Ovidiu Ghisa says:

    I would like to thank you for these great words about our lovely country.
    As recommendations, just go through the country side and you will be amazed.
    Only one suggestion: please rename the title, as “The First, but definitely not last, Romanian Road Trip”.
    All the best in your trips.

  35. Iulia, Bucharest says:

    Congrats and many thanks Andrea !
    I love my country and I am proud when it gets appreciated by tourists ! For a tourist, this is probably the best route to take, if it’s a short escape. As an inhabitant, I must say that I am still discovering Romania myself !! It is our little gem (yet not perfectly cut)! You simply can’t discover a country’s soul and essence in 2 or 3 days, considering its soul being one of the best characteristics of Romania.
    Still, it feels encouraging to know that an australian is curious about “little” Romania.. Nice to know many other tourists will give Romania a chance, thanks to your article.
    I sure hope I get to visit Australia, I know it’s a magnificent country !

    • I agree that travellers with more time will have the chance to see some of the incredible places I wasn’t able to but this is a good start.

  36. i like how you read, from this moment i am your instagram follower :))

  37. Hey Andrea,

    So very lovely to see people enjoying our beautiful country, in not very nationalist and i dont usually promote my country as much as i could when i go abroad, but indeed Romania is a very versatile country, depending on the purpose of the visit you may find Ibiza like party zones as our Romanian seaside in the summer is a hotspot, or the mountains with the cool weather and welcoming people with beautiful castles and hidden gems.

    Very nice that you responded to so many of your comments, i will also share this, also i have seen that a lot of people advised you to visit Maramures and Bucovina, I am from Maramures and can tell you it is for sure a beautiful beautiful area, even though you must have seen some very traditional places in Romania, everything pales in comparison to the north area of Maramures. Everyone knows(romanians in general) that is the only place in Romania where archaic traditions are still in place, and dont get me wrong, about 70%-80% of the people have visited the Occident so even though they respect the traditions, they are not narrow-minded, i definitely recommend.

    Thank you again for this, it made my day brighter.

    • I will definitely visit Maramures on my next visit, I promise! Thank you for taking the time to leave me a comment, I appreciate it.

  38. Thank you Andrea for your wonderful review of our country!
    If you come back and visit you also have to see Pelisor Castle – it’s close to Peles Castle and you can buy tickets that include visiting both castles. Even though Peles is larger and more imposing, Pelisor is cosier and full of wonderful true stories. Pelisor was the summer residence of Ferdinand and Maria, and the room of Queen Maria is just stunning, taken out of fairy tales.

    You also must visit the Village Museum (Muzeul Satului) from Sibiu. That place perfectly en-captures our history, our original peasants, the way they used to live and work the fields. It’s simply amazing!

    I also saw that someone was disappointed you didn’t mention Cluj. It is a beautiful city, with beautiful architecture and a wonderful botanical garden that you have to visit.

    But I must say you didn’t give Bucharest a real chance. Bucharest is full of history, and I guess you weren’t guided by the proper people if you didn’t get that from your trip here. Next time when you visit, don’t hesitate to ask for guidance! 🙂 Next time you may end up loving it!

    • I originally planned to visit Cluj as I’d heard great things about it but unfortunately I could only visit a limited number of places on this trip. With all the positive comments I’ve received I think I’ll give Bucharest another chance next time. 🙂

      • You should definitely visit Cluj-Napoca, so many incredible castles, one of them is right in the city center (now the Art Museum) and another one, astonishing, 30 km away from Cluj, The Banffy Castle.
        Next time you plan on visiting Cluj or Romania, let us know. We will take good care of you and show you the most amazing things from our beloved country.

  39. Hi Andreea!
    Is Romania an expensive country to travel comparing with other countries?

    • No, in general I found it to be inexpensive compared to Western Europe and my home country Australia. It’s very easy to travel cheaply in Romania which is another reason to spend time there. 🙂

  40. Hello Andrea, and thanks for your appreciation on our country.
    I was wondering, what camera are you using to take those lovely pics? Are you using post-image processing or why do those images look so cool? I assume you are taking them with HDR. Thanks!

    • Hi Florin, these photos were taken with my Canon 550D with the 24-70mm L lens except for the photos of Sibiu which were taken with my iPhone 4S. The DSLR photos were edited in Lightroom with the help of VSCO presets. I don’t use HDR at all. I’m no longer using the Canon though as it’s too heavy to carry around, I’m now using an Olympus mirrorless camera, the OM-D E-M1.

  41. Hi Andrea,

    I will be brief 🙂 . There are a lot beautiful places to visit in Romania: bucovina, maramures, Danube delta.
    You passed by some really nice places, that hopefully you’ll visit next time you come to Romania.
    In the outskirts of Sibiu is a really nice outdoor museum (Astra museum) with traditional houses from allover Romania. In my opinion it is a must see. There is also the same kind of museum in Bucharest: Peasent Museum (Muzeul taranului). These are great places to spend a few hours outside, walking and admiring different house architectures.
    On the way from Sighisoara to Brasov you have a lot of fortified churches and old castles (Rupea castle, and almost all villages have fortified churches).
    In Brasov you have one of the most known churches in Romania: The Black Church. It has an interesting history and there you can also attend to some organ concerts. In Brasov beside the old city there is also a fortified castle on a small hill, just near the city center. It is really nice and the view is spectacular. In Brasov is the first Romanian school (which is a small museum).
    And if you like more than castles and churches you can search for 2 really nice mountain roads with breathtaking views: Transfagarasan and Transalpina.
    These are well known sites in Romania but the beautiful face of Romania you will find it in the countryside, in the mountains and in the natural parks. Just go for traditional and countryside Romania.

    • Thanks for being brief. 😉 I’m definitely going to drive the Transfagarasan and Transalpina roads next time, I think that will be amazing. Can’t wait to return and see all these things and hopefully make a few Romanian friends. 🙂

  42. Hi. I see your road from Hunedoara to Sibiu was just near Alba Iulia. There are just 20 km from Sebes city to Alba Iulia. If you’ll come again to Sibiu, don’t forget to visit Alba Iulia city. It’s known for the biggest citadel in Romanina and one of the biggest in Europe. Search for Alba Iulia, smal city, one of the oldest in Romania;

  43. You should see the most beautyful city in Romania, Cluj- Napoca ( Klausenburg). It is one of the most awesome citys in Europe and is full of life and middle-age sites. It is one of the oldest citys in Romania and the biggest University Centers of the countrey. Next time if you visit Romania, you should go in Cluj-Napoca.
    p.s.: Cluj-Napoca is the birthplace of the biggest Hungarian king( who by the way, was of romanian blood) Matei Corvin.

    • Cluj-Napoca was one place I really wanted to visit and was disappointed I missed out. It’ll be a priority on my next trip for sure.

  44. Congratulations for your articol.
    I saw that you got suggestions for “what you have’t seen” in Romania.
    It’s just a part of your next visit. An internet documentary will convince you! In time you’ll love Romania and Romanians as happened with Prince Charles.
    As a prize for you I dedicate a concert with Holograf.

  45. This is awesome – thank you for sharing! My husband and I are taking a road trip through Romania this summer (from Budapest) and were trying to figure out a good itinerary. This is perfect!

    • Stop at Pecs in Hungary in you can, it’s a gorgeous city which I highly recommend visiting and of course read all the comments here. 🙂

  46. Hi Andrea,

    a small notice: the Germans were not exiled in Transylvania, they were colonized in the 12th century.

  47. I moved to Romania 2 Years ago after marrying a Romanian Girl. I love it here and have no intention ever to leave as I can run my business by Phone and Internet with no problem.

  48. adrian from the black sea says:

    well Andrea, this was a perfect article. i’m from the Romanian black sea coast and you have given me the reasons to walk on your footprints in the future, although i only missed Corvin Castle so far. it is on my list for 2015 🙂 Take care and drive safe!

  49. Excellent reading! Thank you for your nice words and awesome pictures! I m from Romania, living abroad for a few years now and still haven’t managed to visit all the places you mentioned. I will definitely check your article again for my future trips back home and not only 🙂

    I agree that there are still many other must sees and since my roots come from the Danube Delta, I can only strongly recommend this place. If you need information on how to get there, what to visit, where to stay and eat, feel free to get in touch. I will be happy to assist. Cheers!

  50. Dear Andrea,

    I really enjoyed your article. Indeed, Sibiu is pretty “German”, but due to its many historical influences, Romania is very diverse and this is easily seen in the architecture, especially if you compare the historical regions. In case you decide to come back to Romania, you can also check, a travel website with more low-key Romanian destinations. As a final note on Bucharest, but there are many great hidden things to see if you go besides the main attractions. Take care.

  51. Oh my days Andrea, you must have some serious patience to reply to all the comments. I found it hard to keep up reading them 🙂

    Thanks for writing about your trip to Romania. Wish you a nice time when you go back !

    Word for my fellow countrymen : Your love is suffocating… and slightly patronising. Easy on the girl, she knows what she’s doing, awwwkeyyy ??

  52. Hello Andrea,
    Very nice article, let me tell you. I’m Romanian and I felt very proud reading this. Although I believe it’s impossible that the locals didn’t know about the Peles castle. It’s the most luxurious of all the Romanian castles and maybe the most important. Maybe you were pronouncing it wrong 🙂 Anyway, it was a pleasure reading this.
    Take care 🙂

    • I know how to pronounce Peles but I think the people I asked either weren’t from there or they might have been a bit shy or unable to speak in English. It’s a gorgeous castle so I’m glad I found it in the end. 🙂

  53. we are so happy to hear such great stories about Romania. thank you for the kind words!

  54. Thanks for visiting our country, glad you enjoyed it! Don’t be a stranger, now 🙂

  55. Cristina says:

    Check out this video
    Called why not get to know Romania, made my a romanian student in London.

  56. Hey Andrea, thanks for your beautiful words about my country! Hope you will visit Romania again one day!

  57. Daniela Popescu says:

    I will not repeat what others said, like visiting Cluj, Bucharest or other top visiting places in Romania because now you know it, you wrote it down and next time I’m sure you’ll visit it 🙂

    I just wanted to thank you for your brief but warm photos of my country. As others said, it it’s nice when a tourist comes into our country and discovers the pleasures and sights beneath that bad publicity we received in the last years. If you ever come in Maramures, please give me a message on my e-mail, I will happily be your tour guide in Maramures because it’s my birthplace. We have a place near Budesti where you can stop your car in the middle of the road and the car drives slowly by itself. It’s awesome, you’ll love it.

    With kind regards,
    Daniela 😉

  58. Ha, I would love to see that! I will definitely be in touch next time I’m in Romania, it would be great to have a personal guide. 🙂

  59. You missed Alba Iulia, which is not even an hour away from Sibiu. Such a beautiful city, with a great citadel.

  60. Thank you, Andrea!

  61. To 165 km, there is another very beautiful city, Oradea. Oradea near the Chiscau Cave Bear is one of the most beautiful caves in Euriopa.

  62. Thank you for this wonderful blog about Romania! I got married with and american girl in Romania and all her family come to the wedding everyone fall in love with the country, our food and tradition.

  63. Thank you Andrea for your kind words regarding Romania. I just want to mention also to your readers that Romania is actually located in the Carpathians area, the Balkans are way to the south, in Bulgaria. We do share many Balkan tradition in the southern part of the country, the province called Wallachia. But Transsylvania is way different, such as Dobrogea (Delta & the Black Sea) is closer to Turkish & Ukrainian culture, there is also Moldova (nothing to do with the Balkans) and Banat (where Timisoara is, a wonderful mix of Romanians, Germans, Serbians and Hungarians living together in peace for centuries).
    Have fun in your future travels!

  64. Luciano Sampaio says:

    Hello Andrea

    Thankyou very much for your help. I really loved to read your trip to Romania. You tell such nice things about this country that I am planning to visit next year more enthusiastic.
    I was sad about this country because my friend Florian (he is from Romania) said so bad things that I was almost giving up on it!
    Nice trip!

    • Sorry to hear your Romanian friend had negative things to say but that’s often the way it is, we see the bad side of our own country whereas short term visitors see something different. There are many great things to see in Romanian, this post is just the beginning. I hope you visit and make up your own mind. 🙂

  65. You missed something really nice, which is the heart of Transilvania, Cluj-Napoca. If you are to go again, I highly recommend.

  66. Hi Andrea,
    happy to see yet another visitor excited about Romania, most of the foreigners have the same reaction. I remember a British consultant telling me while we were working together that he was scared about the assignment but after he arrived there he was is amazed (and, for him it was only Bucharest 😉 )..
    I agree Bucharest can be a deceiving for a tourist while is designed and marketed more as a business destination then a tourist one. still there are amazing places there.. village museum, art collection museum, the amazing national history museum where you can see the gold treasures – amazing works of art, really original – more then 2500 years old.. also in Sibiu.. you have missed Brukental palace with its unique art collection..
    I noticed that you are more of a .. city traveler (forgive me if i am wrong. 😉 ).. but even ancient history is not exactly attractive to you i would suggest to make an exception in this case and maybe plan one special trip dedicated to this particular aspect of Romania. .. because when i say ancient i mean really ancient.. like. over 2000 years old ruins.. so i would suugest to visit sarmizegetusa (dacian ruins) – the entire fortified strongholds system- (by the way they were having running water in their houses in the top of the hills, more then 2000 years ago in those strongholds and in sarmisegetusa regia is a stone calendar more precise then the mayan calendar) while there.. do not miss one of the most esquisit natural reservation on UNESCO list – Retezat Park (unique wild flora and fauna, specially the carpathian bison).. also at Black Sea you will be surprised to discover ruins like in Grece – old Tomis Greek colony – where the famous roman poet Ovidius spent his exile, while there you should not miss the mulfatlar vineyard where you don’t want to miss the local version of “Lacrima Christy” – called “Oviciu’s tears” is actually considered to be the the second best in the world after the greek one.. 😉 ) nearby you can see also Adamclisi – Roman castrum named Civitas Tropaensium and a monument named Tropaeum Traiani, built to commemorate the Roman Empire’s victories over the Dacians in 109 a.d. – totally restored.
    I know you got a lot of recommendation to visit Maramures – amazing place – but for a truly incredible experience there you have to plane the trip during winter holidays. Check-in in one of many guest-houses there and let the host to take care of you – this is the ultimate experience inn Maramuresis
    Is true that Romania have everything for everybody like rafting on several rivers.. and all kind of.. exciting stuffs for more.. adventurous tourists, or romantic places like Daffodil Glade or truly amazing traditional events like “girls fair”on Gaina mountain for the ones that want to dive deep into local traditions or the yachting on black sea for the ones that prefer exclusive vacations but i am going to stop here while i already wrote too much 😉
    Looking forward to read more about your next trips to Romania..

    • Thank you so much for your unique advice!

      Now that a bit of time has passed I do feel like I didn’t give Bucharest a fair go. I have definite plans to return to Romania next year and I hope to spend a least a couple of weeks in Bucharest to get a better understanding of the city and its people.

      I am absolutely interested in Romania’s ancient history and I feel like many of the things you have mentioned are not often written about by foreign bloggers and journalists so it’s definitely something I want to look into.

      Thanks again! xx

  67. George says:

    I wrote a comment on May 8, 2014 at 10:34 am and then forgot how to return to your blog. I found it now…and I just saw that “Alex” thinks that what I wrote about the history of Romania “is a leftover of the history lessons in Communist Romania”…:)) But I learned history by reading the history books that were printed before WWII…Books that I found at my grand-fathers house..and I never liked, nor believed the”official history”…and I never believed in “fairy tales”, as he wrote in his post… :)) …
    I wish you all the best and a Happy New Year 2015, Andreea !! Please retun here as soon as possible !! :))

  68. I am plan trip to Romania (fly Venice to Timisoara) 5 days, how to organize a tour what do you recommend ?

  69. The ranking of the best Romanian destinations , according to the Tripadvisor : Bucharest , Oradea, Cluj Napoca and 10th Mamaia – called pearl Romanian seaside .

  70. Very good article, Andrea! You captured the essence of my city, Sibiu.

  71. HI Andrea,
    We’ll be heading your way soon via Romania. Are those sweet papanasi donuts? Then I must try them.

  72. Hi Andrea, it seems like you liked visiting Romania. have you thought about going on a trip to Romania again? There are many other beautiful places that you can visit. If you liked the castles, you should see more of the fortified churches. They keep the medieval spirit alive even to this day.