26 Unique Things to do in Romania
Romania is one of Europe’s more interesting destinations. It is quite popular and is known around the world for its dark legends and wild roads. Old and well preserved, Romania has many medieval villages as well as ancient buildings even in the heart of its modern cities.
If you are taking a trip and wondering what to do in Romania, here are 26 things that might catch your fancy.
1. Visit Sarmizegetusa Regia
The people of the land now known as Romania descended from people that were called the Dacians. Although ancient, the Dacians were an advanced society that created a high standard of living. This is evidenced all through their capital city – Sarmizegetusa Regia. Built 1,200 meters up on the Orăştie Mountains, the city is split into three areas including a military base, a temple district, and a civilian settlement.
2. Be Enchanted by the Living Fires of Buzău
A fire display is always enchanting to human beings and the fires of Buzău are definitely an enchantment to the eye. Located in Buzău country, specifically around Terca village, as well as Andreiasu and Reghiu communes, these flames are natural gas emissions that flow from the inside of the earth and shoot out to the surface; catching fire as they come in contact with sunlight.
3. Visit Bran Castle
Where there is fire there is darkness and none is so dark as the Bran castle. Known as “Bran Castle” in modern times, this Transylvanian fortress can be found in the hills of Brasov, where Transylvania shares a border with Wallachia. Visitors can explore the castle on a guided tour and learn about the inspiration behind the famous Dracula.
4. See the European Bison
The European Bison is the largest land animal on the European continent, measuring at 1.95 meters in height, 3 meters in length, and weighing about a ton. Although large, this animal is quite rare and was only reintroduced into Romania recently. The European Bison can be found in a number of natural reserves in Romania like Bucșani and Măgura Zimbrilor reserves.
5. Take a Ride on one of the World’s Last Remaining Steam Trains
The Mocănita is the only remaining steam train in the world that is used to transport timber. It was built in 1932 and has been functional ever since. It’s located in Maramureș Mountains Natural Park, in northern Romania. The train carries timber across Romania from Monday through Saturday and you can take a ride on it as it goes from the Vaserului Valley to Vişeu de Sus.
6. Visit the Old Constanța Casino
The Constanța Casino was built in 1880 right on the cusp of the Black Sea. It was built for the rich and famous and has seen enough action since then to have its own documentary. The Casino survived both World Wars and has been rebuilt three times.
Abandoned since 1990, it still stands as an artistic piece of history. Many people come to visit and stare in awe, while some producers have found a use for it as a spooky house in their movies.
7. Experience the Mud Volcanoes in Buzău
Watching the bubbling mud volcanoes in Berca is often a breathtaking experience. They are part of a 60-hectare reserve that is divided into two parts namely “Pâclele Mari” and”, “Pâclele Mici”. Walking among them is also an amazing experience. However, the best way to enjoy the mud is to visit one of the world-class resorts near the shore of the Black Sea for some revitalizing mud treatments.
8. Take a Ride on the Transfagarasan Highway
The Transfagarasan Highway was named the best road in the world by the Top Gear crew and driving on it is one of the most amazing things to do in Romania. Climbing up the mountain on a super-smooth road with wild hairpin turns, the Transfagarasan Highway offers vehicle lovers the chance to test out their driving abilities while enjoying expansive and awe-inspiring views at every turn.
9. Explore Sibiu, Transylvania
The town of Sibiu can be found in the Transylvania region, within easy reach of Bucharest. It is a beautiful town full of colour and history. The town was built by settlers of German origin, who referred to it as “Hermannstadt”. A walk through the cobbled street of Sibiu is like a walk through the halls of history, with its colourful houses encircled by ancient walls.
10. Visit The Underground Amusement Park
Located close to Cluj-Napoca, Salina Turda is an underground amusement park that is situated 120 meters beneath a large salt mine. The amusement park features a full-sized Ferris wheel, a mini-golf course, a basketball court, and a handball field, as well as a salt lake for rowing.
Not only does it have all these activity centres way beneath the surface, but it also has an amphitheatre where performances are regularly shown.
11. Explore the Medieval Town of Târgu-Mures
Romania is one of the oldest nations in Europe and many of its towns still reflect the medieval times in which they were created. Târgu-Mures is a good example of such a town. Well-positioned on the Transylvanian plane, Târgu-Mures is a beautiful old city that is full of vibrancy. It blends Hungarian and Romanian cultures, and its streets are filled with beautiful palaces and churches as well as cafes, bars, and restaurants.
12. Take a Lesson in Wine or Țuică Making
Romania has a very extensive winemaking culture. In late autumn, friends and family members often come together to spend an evening making wine or țuica. Both drinks are made from grapes and plums and the creation process is a family affair that is usually filled with food and fun.
13. Enjoy a Tranquil Day on the Danube Delta
The Danube Delta is one of the most beautiful and most visited places in all of Romania. A designated UNESCO World Heritage site, the Danube Delta is home to a number of rare bird species. 3,446 km² of this water kingdom is within the boundaries of Romania and many people enjoy taking a gentle boat ride as they listen to the birds sing all around them.
14. Christmas Pig
While not for the vegan oriented, pig slaughter is a tradition that takes place every Christmas. If you are visiting and are being hosted by a Romanian family, you might be invited to partake or watch the process. The slaughter season usually starts from the 20th of December and is something whole families gather to do.
15. Lounge in the Green Village
If you are exploring the Danube Delta for places to relax, the Green Village is a four-star paradise located in Sfântu Gheorghe, right at the cusp of the Black Sea. It is a resort that takes its guests to a world of tranquillity, with spa services and meditation classes to help you find your connection with Nature. There are also physical activities to get into like water pilates or kayaking.
16. Explore Sfântu Gheorghe Village
If you get a little tired of luxuriating at the Green Village, feel free to go out and explore Sfântu Gheorghe Village. Home to a scant 600 residents, Sfântu Gheorghe is the oldest village in the area. It was once a major exporter of black caviar, which might explain why its residents all come from many different countries.
17. Be a Guest in a Romanian Home
Romanians cherish their ability to be hospitable hosts and are always willing to extend that hospitality to anyone who pays them a visit in peace. While you could spend most of your time in a hotel, try going to a Romanian home in the countryside for a visit. You will be welcomed with a warm meal and a comfortable bed at no charge.
18. Visit Letea
Letea, also in the Sfântu Gheorghe area, is an unspoiled paradise with wild horses running free, sand dunes teeming with reptiles, and massive trees that range between 300-600 years of age. Simply walking through it will make you feel like you are back in the early days of humanity. You will need to get a guide from Green Village to take you through as it is protected property.
19. Go to Corvin Castle
Also referred to as Hunedoara Castle, after the town in which it is located, Corvin Castle is a Renaissance age castle. Constructed in the mid-1400s, it is listed as one of Romania’s Seven Wonders and is one of the biggest and most beautiful castles in all of Europe. One ancient legend has it that Corvin was used to imprison the Dark Lord, Count Dracula.
20. Visit a Cafe in Bucharest
The capital city if Bucharest is not one that people fall in love with at first sight. However, one thing about Bucharest to go head over heels for is its cafes. There are so many gorgeous little cafes hidden in people’s backyards as well as in the more business-laden sides of town. For a recommendation, check out Acuarela in the northern end of town. They offer coffee and arts and crafts activities.
21. Check out Peles Castle
Peles Castle is one of the most majestic places to visit in Romania. Built in the 19th century, it was designed by German architect, Johannes Schultz, according to the exact specifications laid out by Carol the 1st, Romania’s first king. More famous than even Castle Transylvania, this grand palace is located in the Prahova County, close to Sinaia Town.
22. Marvel at the Architecture in Bucharest
Bucharest is a magnificent city with amazingly designed buildings that fill visitors with a sense of awe. A convergence of numerous styles, the streets mix together communist, neo-Romanian, Brancovian, art deco, and more modern styles in a way that seems to work perfectly. Go check out places like Stavropoleos Monastery, the Romanian Athenaeum, Pasajul Macca-Vilacrosse, or the Parliament of Bucharest.
23. Enjoy Some Dark Humor at the Merry Cemetary
When people die, their loved ones often try to speak about their best parts and usually leave honourable epitaphs on their graves. In the town of Săpânţa, Romania, however, things seem to work a bit differently. The town’s cemetery – known as The Merry Cemetery – is filled with over 800 wooden crosses that carry the dirty details and true-life stories of the deceased marked therein.
24. Visit Bigar Waterfall
If you are a lover of natural sources of water and are looking for great places to visit, look no further than Bigar Waterfall. Once a relatively unknown spot, Bigar Waterfall has been a popular attraction since it was listed as the most unique waterfall in the world, in 2013. It is located inside Cheile Nerei-Beusnita National Park, which has lakes, mountains and many other natural attractions.
25. Pray for the Soul of Count Dracula at Snagov Monastery
Snagov Monastery is a small monastery that is located in the middle of a lake that goes by the same name. It came to fame in Europe when legends started to claim that it was one of the possible burial grounds of the infamous Vlad the Impaler, who was the original character that Count Dracula was built upon. Check out these day tours to the monastery.
26. Visit the Grigore Antipa Natural History Museum
This great natural history museum is one of the best places to visit if you are wondering where to go in Romania with children. One of the few of its nature, the museum has been designed to make children excited to learn about the plant and animal life in Romania. The exhibits are mostly interactive, using games and video cartoons to entertain while teaching.
Romania is an amazing country with lots of things to see and do. You can sleep in a coffin, pray in a church, stand under a waterfall, or even go to a cemetery for a laugh.
Other articles you will love:
- 10 of the Best Cities in Romania to Visit
- Sibiu travel guide: Things to do in Sibiu, Romania
- Incredible Things to do in Sighisoara, Romania
Love this post? Pin it for later!