Romania has a lot to offer, from beautiful landscapes, historical towns, stunning nature and diverse regions. You will find castles in the middle, monasteries and beaches in the east, wooden churches in the north (On the World Heritage list) and lots more to explore!
Timisoara is most famous for the beginning of the Revolution in december 1989. There is a museum about this event just a few minutes from the centre. The entrance fee is 5RON (about $1/€1). First they will show you a movie about the revolution and then you can wander around the building where there is an exhibition. Very interesting museum and one you should visit when you are in Timisoara.
Cluj is an old, historical city in the Northwest part of Romania. There is a lot to see in this city: many churches, a palace (Banffy Palace), historical statues, parks, theatres, old streets and much more. Near Cluj you find the town of Turda and the Turda Gorges. Turda is known for its salt mines. Nowadays there is one salt mine (Salina Turda) which they turned into a museum!
Small town but with a lot of historical features. Beautiful old (read: historical) buildings. Sibiu is located in Transsylvania. There are two big museums named Bruckental and Altemberger, a really nice cathedral named Sfanta Treime (the inside is why it’s worth visiting and the entrance is free) and a lot of other churches (i mean a lot), an old part of the city wall and two towers with great views. All and all a good place to visit!
4. Balea Lac & Transfagarasan
This lake and road are located in the heart of Transsylvania. Transfagarasan is a road built in the communist era across a 2000m high mountain. It is only open from the 1st of July until the end of October. On top of the mountain there is a lake called Balea. Between July and the end of October it is possible to get to the lake by road (the Transfagarasan), are you in this area between November and June then you can get to the lake by cable car (€12 returnticket). I visited the lake at the end of may and there was still a lot of snow on the top. It is about 2000m high so you can get problems with breathing and experience nausea. If you are planning on going there you can either book a tour (the cheapest tour is about €30), rent a car (only possible if you rent the car for 2 days or more) or you can ask a taxidriver to take you there. I took a taxi from Sibiu with 2 other people. We payed €24 per person for the trip to the cable car and back plus waiting time (in total about 5-6 hours). It is worth the 2 hour trip to the lake!
One of the most touristical places in Romania (along with Bran Castle) is the town of Sighisoara. It’s not a big town, you can easily visit it in 1 day. The whole centre is historical (building after building) and one of the most beautiful towns in Romania. There is just one downside to this: it is visited by a lot of tourists!
6. Maramures region
One of the most beautiful regions in Romania. Maramures is home to a lot of wooden churches scattered around the region. For hiking enthusiasts, Maramures is one of the best places in Romania for hiking!
7. Deva & Corvins Castle
Near the city of Deva you find Corvins Castle which is located in a town called Hunedoara. The easiest way to get there is to take a train or bus to Deva and from there you can take a bus to Hunedoara. Corvins Castle is actually one of the largest castles in Europe. It is well preserved castle (unlike Rasnov castle near Brasov). In Deva there is a ruin of a castle from which you have a great view over the city!
8. Brasov & Castles in Transsylvania
Transsylvania is best known for its castles and a good starting point is Brasov. Brasov itself is a historical city with several citadels around the centre. The city centre is located in a valley with hills all around it from which you have the best views. The best way to explore Brasov is by bike! There is a city bike rental place on the main square in the historical centre.
From Brasov there are many buses going to Rasnov en Bran (take the bus to Bran and you will pass Rasnov). Rasnov is a citadel built in the 13th century. Bran Castle is more famous, mainly because of the Dracula stories. This castle is really beautiful but it is usually packed with tourists but still – i think- it is worth visiting. You can easily visit Rasnov and Bran in one day (even with public transport). If you have a few more days in Brasov you might want to visit Sinaia. In this town you will find two more castles next to each other called Peles and Pelisor. If you are tired of visiting castles, there are also several caves around Brasov. There is one cave near Rasnov, about 3km from the citadel. The cave is very small but the walk to the cave is nice and quiet, surrounded by the forest.
The capital and the biggest city of the country: Bucharest should be on your list while traveling in Romania! I would recommend not staying to long in Bucharest, 2 or 3 days will be enough. One of the best places in Bucharest i think is Lipscani. This area is an old part of Bucharest which has a lot of historical features. For the most part Bucharest has a lot of communistic influences but there are other historical buildings like Stavropoleos Monastery (located in Sector 3). A trip to Bucharest is not complete without visiting the parliaments building. It is open to the public, you can book a tour through the building!
10. Iasi & Neamt Area
This is one of my favorite cities in Romania: Iasi! Very nice city, well maintained, clean centre and beautiful buildings. There are a lot of monasteries throughout the city centre and there is a palace with a big park (the parks name is Palas) which is very popular with the local people. Next to the park there is a mall (also named Palas). Great place to relax!
Fly to Romania from Eindhoven, Madrid, Barcelona, Milano, Frankfurt or Venice with Wizzair: From $10 (one way)!
Fly from Brussels, Dusseldorf-Weeze, Frankfurt or London with Ryanair: From $8 (one way)!