There is just so much to see in Romania, and this one-week trip offers a sneak-peek into a country and culture where the connection of people with nature runs deep. Visit charming medieval towns, explore the castle that inspired the location of Bram Stoker's "Dracula," and enjoy a steam train ride through the countryside. You'll discover wonderful villages straight out of a fairy tale, awe-inspiring landscapes, and carefully preserved traditions in Romania with this Europe vacation planner.
(Days 1-2): Exploring Bucharest
(Day 3): A Tour From Bucharest
(Days 4-6): A Visit to Transylvania - Sibiu/ Sighisoara
(Days 7-8): Memorable Time in Cluj-Napoca
Bucharest, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Cluj
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Bucharest possesses its own airport which is serviced by numerous budget European airlines. You can also reach here by train or bus from neighboring countries. Chances are that you’ll reach partway through the day here which is perfect because Romania’s capital is worth a day and a half. It can be explored in a day if need be, but for a city that most people choose to bypass, you would rather enjoy your visit here. Here are the things to do in Bucharest:
Take a Walking Tour of The City - Romania, just like many other Europian cities, offer ‘free’ walking tours that operate based on the assumption that tourists will tip at the end. Guides here will share tales from the time of Vlad the Impaler to the most recent history. Tours are going to take about 2 hours and run daily at 10:30 am and 6 pm.
Visit The Palace of Parliament - This place is definitely a must, especially after getting to hear so much about it from the walking tour. It is absolutely enormous and the opulence is fantastic. There are numerous levels of ticket prices for this particular attraction depending on the tour that you undertake and so make sure to check the schedule ahead of time. Know that a passport is necessary upon arrival and also be prepared for airport-style security checks. If you wish to take pictures, expect to pay an additional camera fee.
Take a Relaxing Break in the Parks - Wander through any of Bucharest’s parks or gardens. There are many here and are perfect places to get away from the crowds for just sitting back and relaxing.
Stroll through Old Town - Exploring Old Town is always fun. There are a number of shops, cafes, and restaurants here as well making it the ideal place to end your day. Some of the interesting Old Town stops include the oldest church in Bucharest, the Macca Villacrasse Passage, and the magical Carturesti Carusel bookshop. If you feel like delighting yourself with traditional Romanian food, grab a meal at Caru’ Cu Bere. The food is quite good here and reasonably priced, but the interior of the building is the real highlight. Make sure to be early in order to get a seat inside or else you will end up just grabbing a quick peek.
Tourists on a time crunch should spend an additional day in Bucharest for a day tour to witness two of the country’s most popular castles and some of the scenic countryside. It is going to be a long day with an early departure and a late arrival however it’s worth it. From the fairytale Peles Castle to the world-famous Bran Castle, a delicious traditional Romanian lunch, and a visit to the scenic town of Brasov, it’s the ideal way to explore some of Romania’s most celebrated attractions. There are also numerous tales to be told on the tour such as the truth behind the legend of Dracula.
From busy Bucharest, wandering into the smaller towns of Transylvania is highly recommended. Public transportation is easily available here by bus or train. Though the train is often much slower, it is very scenic as well as relaxing. In case you do not like rushing, it’s probably best to just stick to one of these small towns. You can also get up early to explore and travel to see a bit of both.
The cobblestone streets and vibrant houses in Sibiu look straight out from a storybook. The small medieval town is surely a tourist attraction, but not as crowded as other similar medieval cities in Western Europe. The Old town is divided into the upper and lower regions. Most of the historic sights are present in the upper town, but the lower town is quite scenic as well. Make sure to visit the citadel area and climb the Tower of Stairs for the amazing views, and the mythical Liar’s Bridge which is said to move, shake and throw off any liars who dare to stand on its planks.
Sighisoara is a tiny fortified city and UNESCO world heritage site but is probably best known as the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler. Sighisoara is also lined with cobblestone streets and vibrant houses, just like Sibiu. This fortified city boasts the majority of attractions. The must-visits include the museum of history and the clock tower. Tourists can climb to the top for some spectacular panoramic views of the city and its surrounding area. Make sure to check out the many towers, and the Scholar’s Stairs leading to the church on the hill. This church has a vault underneath that tourists can also check out.
Your final stop on this amazing Romania journey is Cluj. Though not as huge as Bucharest, it is definitely one of the biggest cities in Romania.
The central core of Cluj is quite walkable but there are also a number of bus lines, bikes, or taxis available for hire. One of the best areas to explore here is around Union Square. Union Square is surrounded by plenty of attractions including the Banffy Palaces and Teleki and, a Franciscan Monastery which is the first union church in the world. Also, visit Old St. Michaels Church which hosts murals that date back to the 15th century. The area around Union Square is packed with shops and smaller courtyards and alleyways with older churches, ancient sections of walls etc. that are absolute fun to explore.
For the best view in the city, visit Cetatuia Hill. It’s not much steep and an easy walk from the city center. There are numerous benches around to relish the view overlooking the old town Cluj.
If you have any queries regarding traveling in Romania or planning a visit to the country, you can fill out the inquiry form or contact us at Priyanka.sharma@Leisure.com and we’ll try to answer them for you as soon as possible. For more travel inspiration, read all our articles for some amazing trips around the world.