Romania – the country left for years in the shadow of other popular destinations in Europe – is now becoming an option for those in search of secret gems. The mix of beautiful castles, amazing nature and unique tourists attractions in Romania charms its visitors. Once they are back home they spread the news about their discovery and other people want to come here. But first, they want to know: What are the best things to do in Romania?
My answer to this question might be subjective since I was born here. So I asked a few travel bloggers what is the first thing that comes to their mind when they hear “tourist attractions in Romania”. What are their favourite things to see in Romania and why do they recommend these places?
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- 1 Romania tourist map:
- 1.1 Beautiful places in Romania: Danube Delta
- 1.2 Merry cemetery in Sapanta – one of the best places to see in Romania
- 1.3 Top 10 tourist attractions in Romania: Transfagarasan road
- 1.4 Romania tourist spots: Corvin castle aka Huniad Castle
- 1.5 Best places to visit in Romania: Viscri fortified church
- 1.6 Romania historical sites: Rasnov citadel
- 1.7 Peles castle – one of the top places to visit in Romania
- 1.8 Romania points of interest: Wooden churches in Maramures
- 1.9 Romania subterranean amusement park: Turda salt mine
- 1.10 Bran castle – the most visited tourist attraction in Romania
Romania tourist map:
On this map you can see all the tourist attractions in Romania recommended by travel bloggers:
And here is the list of these attractions and why are they recommended:
Beautiful places in Romania: Danube Delta
Recommended by Stella Jane from Around the world in 24 hours
Danube Delta is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and unique attractions in Romania. No other country in Europe has a river delta that’s as well preserved as this one. There are many places in eastern Romania from which you can explore the Danube Delta, but one of the best in the city of Tulcea. This city dates back to ancient times, even before the Romans arrived in Romania. It’s easy to get to Tulcea from Romania’s capital, Bucharest, by bus or train. There are many companies in Tulcea that offer day tours or half-day tours of the Danube Delta.
The Danube Delta itself is the perfect spot for animal lovers and bird watchers. That’s because it’s one of the most biodiverse areas in the entire world, third only to the Great Barrier Reef and the Galapagos Islands. Bring a pair of binoculars and a camera and enjoy spending the morning watching pelicans, herons, and egrets. If you’re lucky, you’ll see one of the rarer birds like the pygmy cormorant or the red-breasted goose.
There are several charming smaller villages in the Danube Delta that make a great place to stop for lunch. In the village Mila 23, you can have a traditionally prepared lunch of fresh local catfish from the Danube itself. If you’re lucky, the locals will give you some home-made wine as well. Just don’t try to drive to Mila 23! It’s only reachable by boat.
If you want to explore the Danube delta on a private tour, use the code ANDM05 to book this tour* with a 5% discount.
Accommodation in Danube Delta:
Hotel Insula 3* – a cozy hotel in Tulcea with a very good rating on Booking – check prices and availability*
Pension Paradise Delta house 4* – a great hotel in the heart of the Danube Delta near Mila 23 – check prices and availability
Merry cemetery in Sapanta – one of the best places to see in Romania
Recommended by Karolina Klesta from Lazy travel blog A quaint cemetery lies in Sapanta, a small Romanian village in a picturesque valley within Maramures County. A colorful landmark that reminds us that death should not be feared, the Happy Cemetery has become one of the best places to visit in Romania.
Within the Cimitrul Vesel (in Romanian), also known as the Merry Cemetery or Happy Cemetery, are 800 crosses that show the life of the bodies that they stand over through colorful pictures, limericks, and anecdotes. Established by a local poet and sculptor named Stan Ioan Patras, who begun carving witty lines and painting the crosses, the Merry Cemetery shows death from a different perspective. Read here other interesting facts about Romania.
The brightly colored façade of each cross is filled with symbolism. The deep blue color that surrounds each painting is a symbol of hope while the white doves represent peace and the dark birds symbolize a tragic or suspicious death. Discover here other places to visit in Transylvania.
The Happy Cemetery is open from 10 AM to 6 PM, with ticket prices ranging from 2 Lei for children and 4 Lei for adults. For photos and videos, an extra 4 to 10 Lei will be charged. To get here, drive in the direction of Sighet until you reach Sapanta. From here just follow the signs to get to the cemetery.
If you want to visit the Merry cemetery on a private tour, use the code ANDM05 to book this tour* with a 5% discount.
Accommodation near the Merry Cemetery in Sapanta:
Hotel Gradina Morii 3* – a beautiful hotel in Sighetu Marmatiei with an excellent score on Booking – check prices and availability*
Guesthouse Plai cu Peri 4* – a traditional guesthouse near Sapanta – check prices and availability*
Read also: Where to stay in Maramures? Best B&Bs
Top 10 tourist attractions in Romania: Transfagarasan road
Recommended by Veronika Primm from Travel GeekeryWhether or not you need to travel between the cities of Bucharest and Sibiu in Romania, you should check out the famous Transfagarasan Highway.
Dubbed one of the most beautiful roads in the world (!), the 90km long highway crosses the mountain range of Fagaras. Because of the high altitude, it’s covered in snow for most of the year. It opens usually in June and October, but it depends on the current snow/ice situation.
The incredible serpentines are what makes this road so scenic. Feel free to stop at one of the many rest stops and take in the views over the valley below. Even in summer, you can still see snow around you. Small waterfalls line the road and the best jewel can be found at the very top – Balea, a picturesque glacial lake, which throws the most beautiful reflections of nature around.
During winter, the road itself is closed, but you can still get up to the highest point by a cable car. Each year when the Balea lake freezes all through, the ice is used for building an ice hotel! I haven’t visited in winter, but it sure must be an otherworldly experience.
The only way to get to the road is to drive. If you don’t rent a car on your own, there are many tour companies offering day tours to the area.
Accommodation on Transfagarasan highway:
Select guesthouse *- located in Curtea de Arges where Transfagarasan begins and with excellent reviews on Booking – check prices and availability*
Complex Vila Balea 3* – a great guest house built in nature – check prices and availability*
Romania tourist spots: Corvin castle aka Huniad Castle
Recommended by Viktoria Urbanek from Chronic WanderlustRomania is a true paradise for travelers that love to visit old castles and dive right into a different era. Especially Transylvania is a gem for castle hunters. By far my favorite one is Corvin Castle also referred to as Huniad Castle in Hunedoara. It dates back to the 14th century and is one of the largest castles in all of Romania today. It’s also on the Seven Wonders of Romania listing.
This was the westernmost place we visited on our eight-day road trip through Romania. I’d highly recommend renting a car to explore the country on your own.
This particular castle truly cast a spell on me. It felt like visiting the Romanian version of Hogwarts and I was ready to get my wand out and practice some magic.
Make sure to get up early, not to avoid queues (even in peak season it wasn’t crowded), but to take amazing photos of the wooden bridge leading up to the entrance of the castle with no other people in the background. Really take the time to wander around the castle and travel back in time by exploring the different areas.
If you want to visit Corvin castle on a self-guided tour, use the code ANDM05 to book this tour* with a 5% discount.
Accommodation near Corvin castle:
Vila Corviniana 4* – a 4* guest house located walking distance from the castle – check prices and availability *
Hotel Astoria 4* – a newly renovated hotel near the castle – check prices and availability *
Best places to visit in Romania: Viscri fortified church
Recommended by Katerina & Maria of It’s all trip to meThe stunning region of Transylvania in Romania is dotted with enchanting castles, imposing fortresses, and impressive fortified churches. The latter is unique to the Saxon villages of Transylvania and they comprise elaborate defensive constructions that are built around the villages’ main churches.
The one of Viscri is probably the most beautiful fortified church in Transylvania. It is a Gothic-style church that features a gorgeous chapel. Within the grounds of the church, there is also an on-site museum that showcases items from the everyday lives of Transylvanian Saxons.
Apart from its picturesque fortified church, Viscri itself is really worth a visit in its own right. This quaint village in the midst of the wonderful Romanian countryside is a unique destination. Walking around its non-paved streets where ducks and hens roam around free without a care in the world makes you feel as if you have traveled back in time. It really does feel that Viscri is stuck to the medieval times in the most charming kind of way.
You can only get to Viscri by private means of transport from either Brasov or Sighisoara. The drive is one of the most scenic ones you could ever dream of. The fortified church of Viscri is open every day and there is a small fee of 5 Lei to enter its grounds.
If you want to visit Viscri fortified church on a group tour, use the code ANDM05 to book this tour* with a 5% discount.
Accommodation near Viscri, Romania:
Mesendorf gasthaus * – a traditional guesthouse in the village next to Viscri – check prices and availability *
Elena guest house *– a guest house with an excellent score of 9 on Booking – check prices and availability *
Romania historical sites: Rasnov citadel
Recommended by Crystal from Wandering CrystalStep back into a piece of history when you visit Romania’s Râșnov Citadel. Located in the Transylvanian region, near the Carpathian Mountains in the town of Râșnov, the Râșnov Citadel is the perfect pit-stop between Brașov and Dracula’s Castle in Bran.
The medieval fortress, which sits high atop a rocky hilltop, was once a fortress and place of refuge against the Turkish invasion. The Râșnov Fortress has ties to a dark history, including forcing Turkish prisoners to build a well with promises of freedom only to end up being betrayed in the end.
Stroll through the historic fortress, stopping to visit the old stone houses and school that was once a bustling community protected by the medieval walls. The interior is a mix of ruins and renovated shops that offer visitors a chance to purchase authentic Romanian souvenirs.
One of the best parts of visiting the fortress is the insanely beautiful view of the surrounding forest and the Carpathian Mountains in the distance. Even if you aren’t interested in history – visiting for that view alone is worth it.
Visiting the Râșnov Citadel from Brașov by bus: The Brasov Bus Terminal No. 2 has a bus that passes through Râșnov on its way to Bran every 45 minutes. You will see the Hollywood Style sign that says Râșnov, which sits right below the citadel. Follow the hill up directly from the bus stop to reach the fortress.
If you want to visit Rasnov citadel on a private tour, use the code ANDM05 to book this tour* with a 5% discount.
Accommodation in Rasnov, Romania:
Casa Dacica 3* – a traditional guest house near the Rasnov citadel – check prices and availability*
Resort Conacul Ambient 5* – an old mansion restored to luxury standards – check prices and availability*
Peles castle – one of the top places to visit in Romania
Recommended by Elena Sergeeva from Passion for hospitality
The story of the Peles Castle is closely interlinked to the history of King Carol I of Romania whose only child Maria died of scarlet fever at the age of three. This stunning castle is where the little girl spent her last days. Peles Castle took 39 years to complete and was used as a summer home by the Royal Family until 1947. The architectural design of this magnificent castle is a blend of classic European styles, German aesthetics, Italian elegance completed with a touch of Renaissance influence. Equipped with modern facilities like an internal elevator, telephone, and flushing toilet was one of the unique aspects of the Peles Castle. The 160 lavish rooms are completed with dedicated themes among which you will find French, Turkish and Imperial influences.
Inside the castle, you can admire grand wood-carved furniture, exclusive carpeting, and stunning stained glass windows. The expansive gardens are decorated with fountains, statues, and marble paths. During the winter the castle and its surrounding gardens look like a winter wonderland. That is why this castle has been used as a movie set for the Netflix sequel — A Christmas Prince. You can plan a visit to the Peles Castle either with an organized tour or on your own by taking a train either from Brasov or Bucharest.
Accommodation near Peles castle, Romania:
Rina Sinaia hotel 4* – a modern hotel located in the city center of Sinaia, near Peles castle – check prices and availability*
Ioana hotel 5* – a luxury hotel in the forest – check prices and availability*
Romania points of interest: Wooden churches in Maramures
Recommended by Kylee Hayes from These foreign roads
Straddling a hillside in Maramures, a region in the far north of Romania is Bârsana Monastery. This mesmerizing complex is home to one of the UNESCO-listed wooden churches famous in this part of the country. Find here other places to visit in Maramures.
Though wooden churches can be found throughout this part of the country, the most impressive can be found at Bârsana. The most significant sight at the monastery is the Bârsana Church. At a staggering height of 57 meters, it’s the tallest wooden church in Romania.
What makes these structures so impressive is the wildly intricate craftsmanship. Maramures is famous for producing some of the best woodworkers in the country. If you see another wooden church of this design anywhere else in the country, it was built by tradesmen from here.
Wander the beautiful gardens of the complex while in awe of the mind-boggling construction. And be sure to get up close to truly appreciate the finer details.
Aside from the three main churches, there are several other equally-impressive structures nearby. Though some are off-limits to tourists, as they are home to the monks and nuns who call the monastery home.
Unfortunately, due to its remote location, the only way to visit is with a tour or by driving yourself. Thankfully, car rentals are very affordable in Romania, making it the perfect country for a road trip!
Bârsana Monastery is located three kilometers south of the town of the name. The nearest city is Baia Mare, 66 kilometers away.
If you want to visit Barsana monastery on a self-guided tour, use the code ANDM05 to book this tour* with a 5% discount.
Accommodation near Barsana monastery:
Guesthouse Valea Branzei 3* – a traditional guest house in Maramures, near Barsana monastery – check prices and availability *
Guesthouse Acasa in Maramures * – a welcoming guesthouse called “Home in Maramures” – check prices and availability*
Romania subterranean amusement park: Turda salt mine
Recommended by Kristen and Jeff Miller from Our Passion For TravelNestled in Transylvania is one of Romania’s most unique and interesting attractions, the Turda Salt Mine (or Salina Turda).
This salt mine has been in existence in some form for over a thousand years. However, salt mining stopped in 1932. Reopened in 2010, it now attracts tourists to learn about salt mining and have some fun in the underground amusement park. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to ride a Ferris wheel underground
(has anyone?!), this is your chance to try it. Other activities in the salt mine include table tennis, bowling, and mini-golf. You can then go and visit an underground island of salt and ride a boat out on the water. This is the most beautiful and jaw-dropping part of the mine.
History buffs will love the opportunity to visit different areas of the mine too and learn all about the evolution of salt mining in Romania. Make sure you visit the losif mine, where you can let out your loudest yell, echoing up to around 20 times.
The Turda Salt Mine is located about 45 minutes by car from Cluj Napoca. It’s a perfect addition to a Romanian road trip.
There are also organized tours available from Cluj.
If you want to visit Turda salt mine on a self-guided tour, use the code ANDM05 to book this tour* with a 5% discount.
Accommodation near Turda salt mine:
Bran castle – the most visited tourist attraction in Romania
Recommended by Stephanie Craig from Sofia AdventuresBran Castle in Transylvania is a gorgeous place to visit in its own right, but it is its role in the Dracula myth that has made it a must-see in Romania. Bram Stoker, the Irish author of Dracula, set the novel in a Romanian castle but did not mention Bran specifically. However, Bran Castle is the Romanian Castle that fits the description of the closest, thus earning the nickname “Dracula’s Castle.”Spend time exploring the outside, but you’ll tour the inside of the castle as well. Here you can find the opening hours of Bran castle.
The castle is tentatively connected with Vlad the Impaler, the historic figure that Dracula was based on. If you are interested in Vlad the Impaler and Dracula tourism, you can explore more of the towns and castles in Transylvania, including Sighisoara where you can visit the house where he was born. If you plan a road trip check what you should wear when you travel to Romania.
You can visit Bran Castle from Bucharest or you can stay for a few nights in the region. Sibiu (find here the best things to do in Sibiu), Brasov, and Sighisoara all make great Transylvania bases. If you love castles then you’ll also want to visit Rasnov Fortress and Peles Castle. You can see all three castles in one day with many tour companies.
Accommodation near Bran castle:
Bran chalet 3* – a guest house in Bran with an excellent view of the castle – check prices and availability *
Conacul Bratescu 4*– a boutique hotel opened in an old restores mansion in Bran – check prices and availability *
These are the most popular attractions in Romania and probably a must-see for everyone who plans a trip here. As you can see, the most important cities are not included in the list. And Romania has also other interesting attractions not so famous. Now add all the above places with the major cities (each one with several reasons to be visited) and with some secret gems waiting to be discovered. Isn’t the result interesting enough to make you think how come Romania was not on your list until now?
Read here about other places to visit in Romania: