When do you say Romania what comes first into your mind? Are you thinking about the countryside landscapes, about the fairy tale castles or about the urban areas of this country? Even though its visitors come here to enjoy the idyllic scenery, the major cities in Romania are the places where they also stop to get the full image of this destination. And they find there interesting attractions to visit so they stop for several days. Why? You will see it!
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Most beautiful cities in Romania are
Bucharest, the largest city in Romania
Bucharest, the capital of the country, fades when it is compared to other cities in Romania. But if you come with your mind open, you will see that it also has some beauty that can attract visitors. Its major advantage is that it has the biggest airport in Romania, Henri Coanda airport that hosts many international flights. That is why most tourists land here and they decide to stay for a few days. And once they start exploring it, they discover a modern city with a romantic legacy from the royal period (Bucharest it was called the little Paris and a walk on its main boulevards shows you why it got that name). But besides the delicious restaurants, the beautiful buildings and the contrast between its neighborhoods, Bucharest has some specific attractions to charm its visitors.
Parliament palace in Bucharest
One of the largest buildings in the world and the heaviest if you consider the materials used to erect it, the Parliament palace is the seat of the Parliament of Romania. There are several tours available inside (find here the details) and it is better to schedule your visit a day before.
Old town of Bucharest
recommended by Gemma Armit from TwoScotsAbroad.comBucharest is such an underrated city in Europe and one of its main attractions is its bustling Old Town. But did you know that it isn’t actually that old? In a bid to clean up the centre to attract more locals and tourists into the vicinity, the area was built to house streets of bars, clubs and restaurants. The city’s Old Town or Centru Vechi, spans several streets with towering buildings, plants and parasols for bars and restaurants. While not the cheapest city to party in Eastern Europen it is one of the trendiest. Enjoy a local beer, at one of the many outside seating areas later afternoon before the madness of jumping dance music kicks in.Not a fan of loud music? You can move away from the main drag and easily find a quieter bar or coffee shop closeby. Photographers and Instagram fans will want to swing by ‘Umbrella Alley’ on Pasajul Victoria for a holiday snap. Book fans should check out the famous library and its staircase, Carturesti Carusel. Probably one of the most photographed locations in Bucharest. Foodies, head to the Food Hood for outdoors food trucks, relaxed seating areas, live music and entertainment. Just one of the many reasons to visit Bucharest.
The water show in Bucharest
recommended by Mike Shubic from MikesRoadTrip.comOne of the most impressive attractions in Bucharest, Romania is the water fountains in the city center of Unirii Square. During the day these fountains are an elegant display surrounding a roundabout. However, during the weekend evenings an extravaganza takes place. The streets are closed for about two hours for a 45 minute water and light show that will knock your socks off. Completely reconstructed in 2018, the colossal ensemble of fountains mesmerizes onlookers during the evening performance. The show is broken up into unique segments, with performances choreographed to a list of popular songs from Queen, Michael Jackson, AC/DC and about a dozen other classic songs. The only newer songs are from the Game of Thrones and Bradley Cooper & Lady Gaga. The encore is a classical song by famous Romanian composer, George Enescu.This is one of the world’s most impressive water features, so if you’re in Bucharest during the weekend, don’t miss this amazing attraction.
Bucharest Water Fountains Information:
When: Friday, Saturday and Sunday (May through October)
Time: Summer: 9:30pm to 10:15pm (late spring and early fall the show starts a bit earlier)
Tips: Get there early to have a seat right next to the fountains, but don’t stay there the entire time, it’s worth walking around to see the different perspectives/elements of the show.
BTW, the water fountains run seasonally 7 days a week, just the evening performance is during the weekend.
recommended by Charlotte Swinnerton from Themillennialrunaway.com
Therme Bucuresti is Europe’s biggest relaxation and wellness centre in Europe. Separated into three areas – Galaxy, The Palm and Elysium– the centre not only boasts 9 pools, 6 saunas, 4 wet saunas and 16 water slides, but it’s also the largest botanical garden in Romania with 800,000 plants! With its fine sand beaches, mineral pools, panoramic pools and pool cocktail bars, you really can’t leave the country without a visit. For any of the zones, you have the option to stay for either three hours, four and a half hours or one day. There’s so much to see and do that I’d recommend setting aside the whole day – an entire day’s access to all three zones will only cost 250 Lei (approx. £45.12)!It’s mandatory to wear flip flops in the shower areas so bring your own towels and flip flops, otherwise towels, robes and flip flops can be hired for a fee. Before your visit to Therme, download the MyTherme App access activities happening during your visit such as guided meditations, essential oils and special peels.You are permitted to use your phone in the centre, just not in the pool.The wellness centre provides a FREE shuttle bus to and from Bucharest centre from the bus stop on the Piata Romana. Top tip: you can view the popularity of the centre on any day, by viewing the coloured charts in the top left-hand corner of their website.
If you want to discover Bucharest on a full day private tour, use the code ANDM05 to book this tour* with a 5% discount.
Brasov, a medieval town in Romania
recommended by Sherianne Wehry Higgins from Outofoffice.blogBrasov is one of the countries most visited cities. In this well preserved medieval town you will find colorful Baroque facades, outdoor cafes, a clock tower, community fountain, city gates and watchtowers with rooftop views, a Gothic Church, Hollywood sign, hiking trails and one of the narrowest streets in Europe. My favorite past time in Brasov Romania is relaxing in one of Council Square’s outdoor cafes people watching and eating Kurtoskalacs (Romania’s version of chimney cake). Riding the cable car up Tampa Mountain for a photo of Brasov’s own Hollywood sign is time well spent. Have lunch in the restaurant overlooking the city and work off the meal by making the one hour hike back down the mountain. I love a good fairytale and Brasov has it own. Legend states Council Square is where the Pied Piper led the children of Hamelin.
Brasov is located in Transylvania’s Carpathian Mountains, the city is an excellent base to explore Bran Castle, Rasnov Fortress or Peles Castle. You can easily reach Brasov by train from the Bucharest North Station. The ride is 2.5 hours. ‘R’ trains are slow, be sure to choose ‘IR’ which is a faster option. Alternatively, take a day trip from Bucharest. Visit Peles Castle and Bran Castle before spending the afternoon in Brasov.
Read also: Amazing views in Brasov at Toscana B&B 4*
If you want to visit Brasov on a private day trip from Bucharest, use the code ANDM05 to book this tour* with a 5% discount.
Sibiu, the most beautiful city in Romania
Considered by many the most beautiful town in Romania and my personnel favourite, Sibiu has a certain charm that you will not find elsewhere. Its cobble stone alleys, its Big square framed by old houses and Small square with the Liars bridge are just some features that will make any visitor want to discover more of it. If you are interested to see why the city is so amazing read some of the things you can do in Sibiu.
If you want to visit Barsana monastery on a self guided tour, use the code ANDM05 to book this tour* with a 5% discount.
Sighisoara, a medieval citadel in Romania
recommend by Emily Lush from Wander-Lush.orgIf you love history and culture, Sighisoara Historic Centre is one of the best attractions to visit in Romania.Like other walled medieval settlements in Transylvania, Sighisoara was established in the 12th century by Saxons who immigrated to the region from Germany. Craftsman and merchants, each guild had its own defensive tower that they were responsible for manning – a joint effort to protect the city from Ottoman invasion.
In 1999, UNESCO put Sighisoara Historic Centre on the World Heritage List for its cultural significance. Today, several towers and gates along with portions of the old stone wall have been well preserved. The original names have endured and tell the city’s history – you can visit the Tailor’s Tower, the Butcher’s Tower and the Tinsmith’s Tower, among others.
The interior of the citadel is comprised of stone laneways lined with houses and shops, each with its own pretty colour scheme and flower boxes that overflow with blooms in the summer months. Also within the old town walls, you can find a number of churches, a covered staircase, and a beautiful clock tower (Strada Turnului) that can be summited for panoramic views. Sighisoara is also home to an interesting modern historical site: The canary-yellow house where Vlad Dracul, AKA Vlad the Impaler – ruthless leader and the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula – was born in 1431.
Sighisoara is located in Mures County 300km north of Bucharest and can be accessed by scenic train or bus from the capital.
If you want to visit Sighisoara on a group tour, use the code ANDM05 to book this tour* with a 5% discount.
Iasi, the biggest city in Moldova
recommended by Ellis Veen from BackpackAdventures.orgIasi is one of the most underrated cities in Romania and is often overlooked by visitors. However, this dynamic student city has lots to offer and is the cultural and academic center of eastern romania. The curious mix of medieval churches and communist architecture is well worth a visit.
If it comes to beauty the churches and monasteries in Iasi won’t dissapoint. Most are from the 15th century and have beautiful frescoes inside. If you have your own car you can also easily visit the famous painted monasteries in Bucovina from the city as a day trip.
Less beautiful are the communist flats and industrial areas, but they offer an interesting insight in what life was like during Caecescu. Despite the strong influence from that time, the city is not grim by any means. Other architecture such as the elegant university buildings abound.
Iasi is also home to the first public park and botanical garden in Romania. The latter is still the largest in the country. With so much green spaces Iasi is a pleasant city to wander around. From Bucharest it is 6 hours by car or 7 hours by train to Iasi. If that is too long you can even fly there in less than 2 hours.
Where to stay in Iasi:
Targu Mures, a secret gem in Transylvania
A city that is often overlooked in Romania is Targu Mures. You can include it in a road trip around the country and if you choose to stop here you will not regret. Targu Mures has a medieval citadel restored just a few years ago with one of the most beautiful Evanghelic churches in Romania. It also has a city center decorated with interesting buildings and tall churches.
Where to stay in Targu Mures?
Privo hotel 4*, a modern hotel close to the city center – check prices here*
Plaza V Executive 5*, a luxurious hotel – check prices here*
Pension Passion 3*, a guesthouse for every budget – check prices here*
Oradea, the Art Nouveau city of Romania
recommended by Ivan from Mindthetravel.comNestled in the western Crisana region of Romania, Oradea is one of the larger cities in Romania, very close to Hungary. It is an old city with a rich history – mentions of the modern Oradea being recorded since the early 12th century and it was part of the Austro-Hungarian empire for 51 years. It is therefore predictable that the Hungarians have played an important role in developing the city. Bilingualism is a real thing Oradea since about a quarter of its inhabitants are Hungarian.
Today, it is a very important cultural and educational hub very well-connected with other cities in Hungary, and there are endless reasons
to visit this affordable city that is also is one of the cheapest in the European Union right now.
From the architecture to the history, to the luxurious spas right outside
the city, Oradea has something for everyone. Here you’ll find a beautiful river – Crisul Repede (the Fast Cris) – going through the middle of the city and it’s also one stone’s throw away from Baile Felix, a famous spa resort renowned for its geo-thermal waters.
Luckily, Oradea has a ton of great stuff for you to see and enjoy during your trip.
Places of interest here include the Church of the Moon, Oradea Citadel
with a beautiful park surrounding this five-pointed star-shaped fort,
Palatul Vulturul Negru with a jaw-dropping inner passage and the glass arcade with impressive vulture vitrages. The city also has a proud Jewish heritage and is home to one of the region’s oldest and most important Jewish communities.
Cluj Napoca, the biggest city in Transylvania
recommended by Sean Lau from Livingoutlau.comWhen a traveler thinks about Romania, he or she will inevitably think about the thriving capital of Bucharest or the famous legend of Dracula at Bran Castle. However, did you know that there are so many more notable attractions in Romania? The unofficial capital of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca, or simply Cluj, is the perfect example.
As the fourth most populous city in Romania, Cluj is not exactly a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. But when you are walking down the beautiful streets of this 2,000-year-old city with not a single tourist in sight, it certainly feels that way. Filled with history and secrets of the past, a visit to Cluj and its various museums will help you understand the region of Translyvania and its significance.
Besides its importance in Eastern European history, the city has now grown into a hotspot for nightlife due to the amount of student population. Trendy cafes, bars, and clubs can be found in many parts of the city, but the one street you must not miss is Piezisa street if you want a great night out.
Cluj Napoca is also the home of the creepiest forest in the entire world. Known as Hoia Baciu, sightings of extra-terrestrial beings have been seen in the forest where trees mysteriously grow in zig-zag or spiral patterns. And from Cluj it is very easy to visit Maramures, a beautiful region in Romania.
If you want to visit Cluj Napoca on a private tour, use the code ANDM05 to book this tour* with a 5% discount.
Constanta, the biggest city in Dobrogea
The biggest port in Romania, Constanta, is a very popular destination during summer because of its location on the shore of the Black Sea. Once there you can discover its old town, a mix of different cultures that were gathered here along the years (Romanian, Muslim, etc) and the Roman influences since the city hosts Roman ruins. The symbol of Constanta is the old Casino, a beautiful building from the 20th century, facing the Black Sea. After wandering on its busy streets and admiring the port you can enjoy the sun on the long beach in Mamaia, a seaside resort connected to Constanta.
If you want to explore Constanta on a private tour, use the code ANDM05 to book this tour* with a 5% discount.
recommended by Megan Starr from AbsoluteArmenia.comOne of the most beautiful cities in Romania is definitely Timisoara. The Romanian city is located close to the border of Serbia and is a charming and peaceful place without a lot of craziness and over-tourism.
Timisoara has a large university population and the cool cafe and craft beer scene is true evidence of that. You can find specialty coffee, delicious international food, and hip bars all within Timisoara. The city’s main square is filled with cultural buildings, statues, and a lot of street art. It is one of the best cities for street art in Romania, as well as Europe.
The city’s architecture is very European and Timisoara’s closeness in proximity to Serbia and Hungary showcases a lot of dynamic architecture and outside influence. There are also several Brutalist buildings dotting the city and they just add to the appeal of the place. The Romanian city also just renovated the facade of the Culture Palace in an effort to upgrade it.
Another wonderful thing about Timisoara is that the beautiful Romanian city has long boasted the title of having the fastest wifi in Romania. It is the perfect city for digital nomads looking for a cool cafe to work from!
When you plan your trip, try to include in your itinerary some of these beautiful cities in Romania. You will enjoy spending time to discover them. And since many known attractions are in the countryside, you can also use these towns in Romania as a base to explore their surroundings.