Romania Travel Guide (2024)

Romania offers a captivating landscape of mountains, churches, and monasteries. Bucharest is vibrant, while Transylvania feels timeless. The Carpathian Mountains cut through the heart of the country, revealing granite peaks, lush meadows, and evergreen forests. Transylvania boasts impressive castles like Corvin Castle and Peleş Castle, alongside the famous Bran Castle linked to Dracula. Hikers can conquer the rugged peaks, while other regions offer serene walks through forests and villages. Below you can find the top ten Romanian visit places list, which will guide you while you are planning your trip to Romania.

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Romania Top 10 Tourism Destination

1. BUCHAREST

It is a widely known fact that truly exceptional, exquisite, and enduring treasures are born only through sacrifice. This truth becomes evident when you set foot in the ancient town of Curtea de Arges. Steeped in a captivating history, this remarkable place allows you to witness the remnants of the Wallachian princely court, the 13th-century Royal Church, and the renowned Arges Monastery—an esteemed historical landmark with a poignant and intriguing tale.

According to legend, in the year 1512, Master Manole and his nine skilled stonemasons were commissioned to construct a grand cathedral. However, despite their best efforts, any structure they erected would crumble overnight. The solution presented itself to Manole in a dream, demanding a great sacrifice—his beloved wife, Ana, entombed within the church’s walls. The cathedral was ultimately completed in 1517.

And yet, this is just the inception of a journey that guarantees an abundance of marvelous and indelible experiences awaiting you.

  • The itinerary includes the destinations:
    • National Village Museum,
    • The Arch of Triumph, and moving on to Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue),
    • The Romanian Athenaeum,
    • Revolution Square (where the dictator Ceausescu was forced to flee the country),
    • historical monuments,
    • The Bucharest Old City Centre, and, of course,
    • The Palace of Parliament or People’s House built by Ceausescu (the second-largest administrative building in the world, after the Pentagon).
As the capital and largest city of Romania, Bucharest showcases a captivating blend of architectural styles from historical Eclectic, Neoclassical, and Art Nouveau.

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2. CURTEA DE ARGES MONASTERY

Are you aware that Curtea de Arges possesses a distinctiveness in the form of its hidden royal tombs? It is a widely recognized fact that the pursuit of truly exceptional, beautiful, and enduring creations necessitates sacrifice. This truth becomes evident as you arrive in the historic town of Curtea de Arges. With its vibrant and eventful past, this enchanting place offers a glimpse of the ruins of the Wallachian princely court, the 13th-century Royal Church, and the renowned Arges Monastery—a significant historical monument that harbors an intriguing yet sorrowful tale.

According to legend, in the year 1512, Master Manole and his nine stonemasons were commissioned to construct a grand cathedral. Despite their relentless efforts, each structure they built would crumble overnight. The solution came to Manole in a dream, demanding a profound sacrifice: he had to enclose his beloved wife, Ana, within the walls of the church. In 1517, the construction was completed, with Ana forever entombed within its sacred confines.

Yet, this tale merely marks the beginning of a journey that guarantees a plethora of remarkable and unforgettable experiences.

curtea-de-arges-monastery-in-romania
Built in the early 16th century, the Cathedral of Curtea de Argeș in Romania is a stunning Romanian Orthodox cathedral located in Curtea de Argeș. Constructed in the Byzantine architectural style, the cathedral features intricate arabesques, adding to its beauty.

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3. POENARI CITADEL or POENARI CASTLE

For enthusiasts of Dracula and adventure seekers planning a tour of Romania’s castles, Poenari Castle is a must-visit destination that holds great significance as a Romanian tourist attraction. Perched at an elevation of 860 meters, Poenari Fortress is a captivating ruined castle renowned for its association with Vlad the Impaler.

As you ascend the 1480 stairs that wind their way up to the castle, you can truly feel the thrill of following in the footsteps of Dracula…

cetatea-poenari-the-real-castle-dracula
Perched high atop a mountain, Poenari Castle is a ruined fortress in Romania that once served as the residence of Vlad the Impaler. To reach the citadel, visitors must climb 1,480 concrete stairs.

Bran Castle, on the other hand, stands as a national monument and iconic landmark in Transylvania and is situated 25 kilometers southwest of Brasov. Widely recognized as Dracula’s Castle, it has been promoted as the residence of the titular character in Bram Stoker’s renowned novel, Dracula.

landscape-castle-dracula-bran-poenari-citadel
Bran castle

4. SIBIU OLD CITY CENTRE

When exploring Transylvania, a visit to Sibiu is an absolute must. Boasting a rich history spanning 900 years, this captivating city has been bestowed with the title of European Capital of Culture. Embarking on a city tour allows you to delve into the reasons behind this prestigious accolade. From the magnificent Evangelical Cathedral to the enchanting Sibiu Old City Center, these attractions rank among Romania’s most popular tourist destinations, catering to a wide range of preferences and ensuring an unforgettable travel experience, even for the most discerning of visitors.

Whether you seek authentic cultural encounters, romantic ambiance, or thrilling adventures, Sibiu has it all. It provides a sanctuary where you can unwind, leave behind the stress of everyday life, and indulge in a fun-filled and memorable journey.

The allure of this ancient citadel, hailed for its remarkable architecture, meticulously planned streets, rich cultural heritage, and breathtaking natural landscapes, is heightened by its surroundings. Sibiu is nestled between the majestic Fagaras and Lotru mountains, adding to its scenic splendor.

sibiu-old-city-centre-in-transylvania-romania
Situated in the historical region of Transylvania, Sibiu is a well-preserved, fortified medieval town in central Romania.

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5. BIERTAN FORTIFIED CHURCH

The Biertan Fortified Church, an early Transylvanian Saxon settlement in Ardeal, stands as a captivating historical monument renowned for its breathtaking beauty. Recognized by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, it attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists each year, eager to uncover the secret behind its remarkable record of only one divorce in three centuries, as well as to witness the other unique features this place offers.

Nestled within a charming town with origins dating back to 1224, the Biertan Fortified Church enchants visitors with its picturesque surroundings and distinctive architecture. Positioned atop a hillock in the town center, it is encircled by three defensive walls and seven bastions, showcasing its exceptional construction.

the-fortified-church-of-biertan-transylvania
The church, along with the surrounding village, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the fortified churches in Transylvania.

6. THE MEDIEVAL TOWN OF SIGHISOARA

Are you aware that the citadel of Sighisoara was constructed in the 12th century? If you desire to step back in time and experience the atmosphere of the Middle Ages, a visit to Sighisoara is an absolute must. This Romanian town, known as the birthplace of Count Dracula (or more accurately, Vlad the Impaler), offers a remarkable glimpse into the past.

Dating back to 1280, the Sighisoara Citadel is not only one of Romania’s most popular tourist attractions but also a living and breathing medieval fortress. Its continuous habitation for over 700 years is a rarity in itself. As you traverse the cobblestone streets, pass through the gates, and gaze upon the towering stone walls reaching heights of up to 14 meters, you will instantly recognize that you are in one of the best-preserved medieval towns in all of Europe.

sighisoara-medieval-town-transylvania-romania-tour
To fully appreciate the well-preserved old city, the ideal way is to take the cable-car up to the summit of Tâmpa Mountain.

7. BRASOV OLD CITY CENTER BY WALK

Continuing onwards, embark on a captivating expedition to the exquisitely conserved medieval town of Brasov, nestled amidst the scenic Carpathian Mountains. Accompanied by your knowledgeable guide, you will embark on a delightful walking tour of the Old Town. Prepare to be enthralled as you explore notable landmarks such as the illustrious Black Church, the bustling Old Town square, and the ancient city walls, which bear witness to their construction during the Middle Ages. Following the tour, savor some leisure time to immerse yourself in the unrivaled ambiance of one of Brasov’s charming cafés.

As the evening sets in, indulge in a delectable dinner at one of the town’s finest restaurants. This presents an excellent opportunity to sample the flavorsome traditional cuisine of Transylvania, further enhancing your cultural experience.

brasov-old-city-center-transylvania-romania-tour
Located in Transylvania, Romania, Brasov is a city that thrives on winter tourism, offering a wide range of winter sports and activities. The highlight is Poiana Brasov, the renowned Romanian ski resort and a major attraction for tourists from across Europe.

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8. BRAN/ DRACULA’S CASTLE

Bran Castle, located in Transylvania, is a national monument and famous landmark. Although commonly known as Dracula’s Castle, there is no solid evidence linking it to Bram Stoker’s novel. The castle now serves as a museum, showcasing art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. Its origins date back to the 12th century, and it has played various roles throughout history. Restored in the 20th century, it became a royal residence until it was seized by the communist regime. In 2005, it was returned to the Habsburg family. While associated with Vlad the Impaler, the connection is not definitive.

The novel Dracula does not mention Bran Castle, and the castle described in the novel does not resemble Bran Castle. The association between the castle and the Dracula legend is primarily driven by tourism.

Bran Castle has gained fame for its alleged association with Vlad the Impaler, also known as “Vlad Tepes Dracula,” who is said to have been imprisoned there. The castle’s connection to the vampire lore popularized by Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula” adds to its mystique.

Also Countess Elizabeth Bathory, a legendary Romanian serial killer, is also said to have inspired the story. Despite Bram Stoker never visiting the region, the castle’s eerie atmosphere, including underground tunnels, ancient weaponry, and chilling sounds, contribute to its reputation.

Vlad the Impaler, served as the Voivode of Wallachia for three terms from 1448 until his death in 1476/77, and he is recognized as a significant figure in Wallachian history and a Romanian national hero, with his name influencing the creation of Bram Stoker’s iconic vampire character, Count Dracula.


The interesting facts about Bran Castle in Romania:

Vlad’s painting

a. Contrary to popular belief, Bran Castle was never actually Dracula’s Castle. However, according to many historians, there is evidence suggesting that Vlad the Impaler was indeed held against his will at Bran Castle for a period of two months. In 1462, following his capture by the army of Hungarian King Matei Corvin, Vlad was imprisoned within the castle’s walls for the duration of his captivity. While it has been marketed as such, there is no historical evidence linking Vlad the Impaler to this castle, which inspired Bram Stoker’s stories. The name “Dracula’s Castle” was assigned by Romania as a means to attract tourists and boost tourism in the region.

Bram Stoker, Irish author

b. Bram Stoker’s depiction of Dracula’s castle, with its hilltop location and a river flowing below, bears a striking resemblance to Bran Castle. Surprisingly, Bram Stoker never actually visited Bran Castle himself. It is believed that his description of the castle was influenced by books about Transylvania and illustrations of Bran Castle.

Queen Marie, the last queen consort of Romania

c. In 1920, Bran Castle was bestowed as a palace to Queen Marie, the last queen consort of Romania, who developed a deep affection for it and spent numerous summers within its walls. In her final wishes, she requested to have her heart buried near the castle, resulting in the construction of a sarcophagus for this purpose. Today, you can discover an urn containing Queen Marie’s heart on the southwest side of the castle, near a serene creek nestled close to the forest.


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9. DRACULA’S TOMB ON THE SNAGOV MONASTERY ISLAND

Snagov Monastery, located on Snagov Island in Romania, is surrounded by a lake and is often associated with the burial place of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Founded in the 14th century and excavated in 1933, the monastery exudes a serene atmosphere due to its isolated location. Legend has it that Vlad Tepes III, after his notoriously cruel reign, requested to be buried in the church. However, historians and archaeologists have been unable to confirm this claim. Despite the uncertainty, the monastery remains a popular destination for Dracula enthusiasts

Snagov Monastery, with its lateral view, is believed by some to possibly hold the remains of Vlad the Impaler.

10. Trip to PELES CASTLE

Peleș Castle, a magnificent Neo-Renaissance structure, is nestled in the Carpathian Mountains near Sinaia, Romania. Constructed between 1873 and 1914, it stands along a historic route connecting Transylvania and Wallachia. During the 11 Days Offer Tour in Romania, you’ll delve into the intriguing tale of Vlad Tepes’s death, where it is believed that his remains were secretly transported by monks to Snagov Monastery for burial in front of the altar. To explore the fascinating tomb of Dracula/Vlad Tepes and the picturesque island and monastery of Snagov, consider booking a city-break in Bucharest.

In conclusion, we extend an invitation to discover Romania, a country brimming with natural beauty, hospitable locals, vibrant cities with a rich history, captivating medieval towns, and stunning coastal and mountain landscapes. We sincerely hope that our blog inspires you to choose Romania as your next travel destination.

peles-castle-in-romania-and-romania-green-forest
Despite being referred to as a castle, Peleș is actually a palace renowned for its architectural beauty. It seamlessly combines elements of Neo-Renaissance and Gothic Revival styles, evoking a romantic ambiance reminiscent of Bavaria’s Neuschwanstein Castle.

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