In 1897, a gothic horror novel was published by Irish novelist Bram Stoker. It told the story of a vampire named Count Dracula and his attempt to move from Transylvania to England in search of new blood.
Although Dracula is a work of fiction, it does contain historical references.
The most prominent being the connections between the fictional character and the Transylvanian-born Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia, also known as “Vlad the Impaler.” Romania might be known as the birthplace of Count Dracula, but among its citizens, it is known for so much more.
From Bucharest, dynamic, energetic and more than a little bit funky, city, to Transylvania, the last truly medieval landscape in Europe, where traveler’s feel like they have gone back 100 years, to the Black Sea, lined with sand beaches, ancient monuments, vineyards, and modern resorts.
Romania is a country filled with unparalleled beauty that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
This Romania travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
Fast Facts about Romania
- Romania power voltage is 230 V 50Hz; Plug E
- The Romanian currency is the Romanian Leu and is around 4 RON to 1 USD
- Avoid changing money in either Bucharest North Railway Station or in the airports, as the rates in the exchange offices are not the best.
- You can reach all major towns and tourist attractions in Romania by public transport – either bus or train. But be aware Romania is known for its nature – Carpati and beautiful Maramures landscape are easiest to reach with your own transport.
- If you’ll be traveling within Romania by car, note you need to purchase a vignette for using Romanian roads. To make your life easier, just buy it online.
- The emergency phone number is 112
- Watch out for bears! Romania has around 40% of Europe’s brown bears, they are usually scavenging on the city fringes or walking around in the forest. Avoid wandering off by yourself, especially in the forests, and if you plan on camping than make sure to pay attention to the signs that contain the words “camping” and “interzis” (forbidden). If in doubt, ask other travellers/locals it bears have been spotted in the areas you plan to camp or the trail you plan
Things to See and Do in Romania
- Bigar Waterfall – Called “The Miracle From the Minis Canyon” by locals, this is a beautiful place to spend the day.
- Hoia-Baciu Forest – This forest is made up of crooked trees and known as the “Bermuda Triangle of Romania.”
- Brasov’s Piata Sfatului – This beautiful medieval square showcases a 13th-century clock tower and a great place to people watch.
- Visit the Black Sea – People may not think of the sea when they think of Romania, but there are multiple seaside resorts to visit.
- Corvin Castle – Dracula was said to be imprisoned in this fairytale castle.
- The Mountain Sphinx – This natural rock formation has many conspiracy theories surrounding it and is one of the “Seven Wonders of Romania.”
Budget – Budget hotels start at $15 US, where you might have a private room, shared bathroom, and free Wi-Fi.
Mid Range – Mid-range hotels can be found for $40 per night and may include free breakfast, a lounge, and be found close to the city center.
High End – Luxury hotels start at $80 per night and can include a restaurant, a pool, and room service.
- Salata De Boeuf – The ingredients for this popular dish are the same that you’ll find in soup, such as meat and vegetables, mixed with pickles and mayonnaise and cut into cubes.
- Drob de miel – This Romanian appetizer is a loaf of green onions, eggs, lamb offal, and bread dipped in milk and baked with herbs with boiled eggs inside.
- Ciorb? de burt? – Beef Tripe soup is one of the most popular dishes in Romania that includes vegetables and the stomach of a cow.
- Sarmale – These cabbage rolls are common during the holidays or at celebrations and have minced meat with onions, rice, and spices rolled up in cabbage leaves.
The Best Ways to Get Around Romania
Getting to Romania:
Flights: You can fly to Romania from a variety of countries within Europe. The most popular airport is Henri Coand International Airport in Bucharest.
You can check for the best flights to Romania on Skyscanner.
Buses: You can get around in larger cities like Bucharest by bus, starting at 1 lei per ride. An underground metro is also available in Bucharest.
Taxis/Uber: Taxis are available in Romania and start at 1.69 to 1.99 lei per kilometer. Uber is sparsely available in larger cities.
Car Rental: Car rentals can start as low as 20 lei.
You can also compare prices here.
When to go To Romania
- The best time to visit Romania is from May until September. You’ll have great weather to explore outside and avoid the snow that winter can bring. Late spring and early fall are the best times to go when you want to save money.
Where to Stay in Romania
- Grand Hotel Italia – This luxury hotel is found in Bun? Ziua has living areas, room service, an Italian restaurant, and an outdoor pool.
- Casa Otilia – This budget hotel offers free Wi-Fi, a bar, free parking, and is close to a train station and nearby attractions.
- Epoque Hotel – This posh hotel is popular with couples and has sophisticated suites available. They also offer valet parking, an indoor pool, a sauna, and select rooms with terraces.
Romania Accommodation Guides
What to Pack for Romania
There are significant regional differences of the climate between different regions of Romania. Romania has a temperate climate, similar to the northeastern United States, with four distinct seasons.
Spring is pleasant with cool mornings and nights and warm days. Summer is quite warm, with extended sunny days. The hottest areas in summer are the lowlands in southern and eastern Romania. Temperatures are always cooler in the mountains.
Autumn is dry and cool while winters can be cold, especially in the mountains. While not the rule, abundant snowfalls may occur throughout the country from December to mid-March.
- Layer up – Layering is key during spring or fall months. Romania is a country that gets four distinct seasons, so there’s a chance it could be both warm and cold during your time there. During the winter months make sure to pack warm layers – a coat, gloves, a warm hat and scarf. For extra warmth pack a pair of long thermal underwear.
- Walking shoes – closed-toe sturdy footwear (like boots!) are the best choice for footwear, year-round. In cities like Timisoara it’s often faster to walk than take a taxi due to the city’s circular layout. This means you’ll be doing a lot more walking than you think. Make sure to pack boots / shoes with a water resistant sole.
- Personal Safety products – Certain areas in Bucharest are known as pickpocket hotspots. Before leaving for your trip, make sure to pack some personal safety products, like money belts and locks, so that you can keep your valuables safe on your trip.
- Sunglasses – even in winter the sun rays can reflect from the white snow!
- See our Packing for Europe – Tips That Will Make Your Travel Life Easier
See our packing tips: packing tips
Romania Travel Guide: Best Booking Resources
Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies. We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.
We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.
- Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It usually has the cheapest prices, especially in Europe and we love their interface. Not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.
- Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation. TripAdvisor is where we go when we want to compare prices with multiple accommodation providers.
- VRBO: is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It can sometimes be cheaper than hotels and it is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.
- Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.
- Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.
- Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs.I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.
- Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.
- World Nomads Insurance: When traveling to Italy you should always have travel insurance. We have found the best bang for your buck is by far World Nomads.