Romania, meet the world. The world, meet Romania. Yes word is finally out about this oft-overlooked country. Located on the western shores of the Black Sea and bordered by Hungary, Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova and Bulgaria, this land of contrasts has more than a lot to offer travellers.
Recent decades have seen significant infrastructure and tourism developments and now more than ever visitors can easily tour the historic sites, medieval towns, beautiful mountain landscapes, and bustling capital Bucharest.
As the gateway to Romania, Bucharest is the first stop for most visitors. Having joined the European Union in 2007 and with communism now a distant memory, standards have greatly improved in the capital.
Explore "Little Paris"
Nowadays visitors will find all the trappings of a modern metropolis in Bucharest, including world-class hotels, first-class food and international standard shopping.
The elegant capital boasts many star attractions, including Ceausescu’s Palace, Revolution Square and Cismigiu Gardens to name a few. Perhaps best of all about this 500 year-old city is the bustling cafes and bars, which has led some people to label the city “Little Paris”.
Romania is perhaps most celebrated for the Transylvania region, which was ruled by the Dacian Kingdom as long as 2000 years ago. Home to dark forests and snowy peaks, recent times have seen the region experience vast economical growth, thanks partly to an increase in tourism.
Still time stands at a halt when you step inside The Bran Castle, the legendary home of Dracula. Elsewhere, medieval towns including Sibiu and Brasov still have as much charm as ever, while The Carpathian mountains are becoming an increasingly popular destination for skiing, hiking and cycling.
Discover remarkable Romanian sights
Other highlights on a Romania tour itinerary include a trip to the remote region of Maramures. Set against a backdrop of rolling green hills, traditional life is still very much present in this northern part of the country and Sighet is just one of the great historical towns in the area.
Speaking of old times, history buffs will love exploring the Roman ruins of Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa, near Hateg, while in the country’s west you’ll find quaint Timisoara, home to a lovely little river, pretty squares and a rich artistic heritage.
Sampling traditional Romanian fare is another exciting proposition for visitors. Distinct and with a tasty combination of Oriental, Austrian and French influences, local dishes to try include sarmala (cabbage rolls), bulz (cheese and bacon polenta) and tocana (Romanian stew).
Wash your meal down with the popular palinka (brandy) or slightly softer tuica (plum brandy) and you’re half way to becoming a local!