Are you looking for tourist destinations in Romania for a memorable vacation? You are in the right place.
Romania may not be as famous as other European countries, but it certainly has a lot to offer.
Centuries-old traditions and customs, dreamy landscapes and places, medieval fortresses and cities, unique gastronomy, and many other things outline an enormous touristic potential.
Top Tourist Destinations in Romania
Transylvania is undoubtedly the first among the most famous tourist destinations in Romania. This geographical region is located within the Romanian Carpathian arc, which provides not only protection but also stunning landscapes.
Often associated with the "land of vampires" thanks to Bram Stoker's novel, Dracula, published in 1897, Transylvania is much more than that. The medieval villages, fortified churches, well-preserved castles and citadels, and unrealistically beautiful landscapes shape a natural and cultural heritage unparalleled in Romania.
All of this has caught the attention of King Charles III of Great Britain, who has purchased and restored an estate in the Zalanului Valley, which he tries to visit as often as possible. The king himself is one of the main promoters of this tourist destination.
What to visit if you arrive in Transylvania? Well, the main areas of interest are:
- the northern area of the Fagaras Mountains, the highest mountains in Romania (Moldoveanu Peak - 2544 m);
- Sibiu and Marginimea Sibiului, a beautiful medieval city and the idyllic villages around it, nestled at the foot of the Cindrel Mountains;
- the Trascau Mountains and the Rimetea-Coltesti area, perhaps the most spectacular and well-preserved rural architecture in Romania;
- the Apuseni Mountains - a natural park with unique caves in the world, waterfalls, spectacular landscapes, isolated hamlets, and excellently preserved traditions;
- Harghita and Covasna - two superb counties, also known as the Szekely Land, predominantly inhabited by Hungarians;
- the Rodnei Mountains National Park and Colibita Lake, also known as the "Mountain Sea";
- the Bran-Brasov area, an ideal tourist destination for mountain lovers, which, besides its very spectacular landscapes, has plenty of attractions and tourist destinations.
Maramures, another landmark in top tourist destinations in Romania, abounds with attractions and tourist objectives. This historical and ethnographic region is located in northern Romania, at the border with Ukraine, sharing its territory equally between the two countries.
In Maramures, you can see some of the tallest or oldest wooden churches in the world. The beauty and uniqueness of some of them have been internationally recognized by their inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage.
Moreover, the Maramures Mountains Natural Park is the largest protected natural area in Romania, after the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve. The spectacular and wild landscapes and the diversity of flora and fauna have been attested since 1229. Manuscripts spoke of hunting domains with unparalleled richness.
Here is also the epicenter of Romanian traditions and customs. To explore them, it is best to visit Maramures during the holidays.
Bucovina is a top destination for European cultural tourism. A place with a rich history, located on the border of nations, Bucovina remains today a cultural and multi-ethnic mix.
The monasteries of Bucovina are the most famous places of worship in Eastern Europe. Built centuries ago by the rulers and boyars of Moldavia, they are true architectural masterpieces, each with its own particularities.
In addition, Bucovina has excellently preserved its traditions and customs. The people here live as they did hundreds of years ago. Ancestral customs are respected without deviation, traditional clothing is highly regarded, and old traditional houses await guests.
Culinary feasts with local influences, craft workshops, animal-drawn carriage rides, mountain trails, and much more await you in Bucovina.
Dobrogea is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular tourist destinations in Romania, being the only one that has a delta, a coastline, and the oldest mountains in Romania on its territory. Dobrogea stretches from the border with Ukraine to the border with Bulgaria, bordered to the west by the Danube and to the east by the Black Sea coast.
The Danube Delta is one of the most spectacular places on earth and the main tourist attraction in Dobrogea. This biosphere reserve is the only delta in the world included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. This huge labyrinth of lakes, islands, and canals is constantly developing, giving rise to the newest Romanian land. These are the new islands that the Danube forms at its mouth into the Black Sea.
The Romanian Black Sea coast may not be as spectacular as those in other countries, but it is one of the main tourist destinations in Romania and not only for party lovers. There are many clubs and festivals here that meet the highest international standards. Moreover, the Romanian Black Sea coast also has some wild beaches, perfect for those who seek tranquility.
The Macin Mountains are also a must-see tourist attraction in Dobrogea. This natural reserve shelters unique fauna and flora. From deer, wild boars, jackals, and foxes to weasels, martens, hares, or wild cats, numerous wild animals roam these arid lands.
Of the 41 species of mammals recorded here, 11 are protected by law. Amphibians and reptiles are also well-represented in this area. Rare, endangered, or already extinct species from the rest of the continent can be found in the Macin Mountains.
Muntenia is one of the historical regions in southern Romania. It is bordered to the north by the Carpathian Mountains, to the south by the Danube River, to the west by the Olt River, and to the east by the Milcov, Putna, and Siret Rivers. The capital of Romania, Bucharest, is located in Muntenia.
What can you do in Muntenia? Well, this region offers you all forms of tourism that you can find in a European country. From wine tourism to rural, cultural, or city break tourism, you can do it all in Muntenia.
In the mountainous area, you will find villages frozen in time and an archaic way of life. You can stay in centuries-old traditional houses, learn the secrets of ancient crafts from the locals, or hike the wild trails of the Carpathians.
Moreover, you will discover a unique gastronomy and very welcoming people. The main areas of interest here are the Transfagarasan road, the Rucar-Bran corridor, the Prahova Valley, and Intorsura Buzaului.
As you descend towards the sub-Carpathian hills, you can also experience wine and cultural tourism. The closer you get to the Danube, the more you will discover different types of traditions and customs, but above all, a delicious gastronomy with oriental influences based on fish.
Oltenia is one of Romania's most famous wine regions, also home to some of the country's most beautiful wineries. It is bordered to the east by the Olt River, to the south and west by the Danube, and to the north by the Southern Carpathians.
The mountainous area of Oltenia is very spectacular, with the Transalpina mountain road located here, which climbs to the highest altitude in Romania (2145 m).
Another mountainous area of interest, located at the confluence of Oltenia and Crisana, is represented by Clisura or Cazanele Dunarii. You will find breathtaking landscapes along the majestic river, which winds through the proud peaks of the Carpathians.
Descending towards the hills, you will discover one of the main wine regions of the former Roman Empire. It is about Podgoria Dragasani, which stretches along the Olt River for a distance of 65 km. Here you will have the most beautiful wine experiences, with tours of wineries and tastings in one of the 12 tourist wineries.
Oltenia is also known for its Oltenian mansions (cule). These are semi-fortified buildings, typical of the 18th-19th centuries, spread throughout the Balkans. The mansions were formerly the homes of boyars and had the role of defending their families and possessions against Ottoman invasions.
Some of these mansions have been restored and can be visited, but only one can currently be used for accommodation. This is the Cula or Maldar Mansion.
Banat is one of Romania's most disputed historical regions and also one of the areas with great tourism potential. Its natural boundaries are the Danube, Mures, Retezat Mountains, and Poiana-Rusca.
On the southwest side of Banat lies the Danube Gorge, one of the most spectacular sections along the entire European river route. Here you can take numerous boat expeditions and mountain routes.
You can also explore the Land of Water Mills, a special tourist attraction in the Rudaria Valley, Caras-Severin County. This area is included on the UNESCO Heritage List for its 22 centuries-old water mills with wooden turbines, which still function excellently today. There were 51 mills until 1874, but not all could be saved.
Also in Banat, you will discover the Domogled – Valea Cernei National Park. Here you will find one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, the Bigar Waterfall. It is not by far the only tourist attraction, given that nearby is the Herculane Baths. This spa resort has a history of almost 2 millennia (dating from 102 AD). Temples, thermal baths, monuments, and statues built by the Romans in honor of the gods Hercules, Asclepius, and Hygieia await you here.
In the Domogled – Valea Cernei National Park, there are also some of the wildest mountain villages in Europe. These are isolated settlements on the top of the mountain, with only a few inhabitants, where life goes on as it did centuries ago. Of these, the most famous are Inelet and Scarisoara.
Crisana is another historical region of Romania. The traditional capital of the region is Oradea, one of the most beautiful Romanian cities today.
In the immediate vicinity of this city lies Baile Felix, the largest permanent spa resort in Romania. The thermal springs here were discovered in the 10th to 12th centuries and the first buildings in the resort date back to 1711.
Also in Crisana, you will discover a large part of the Apuseni Natural Park, voted by CNN as one of the top 3 European tourist destinations in 2019. Here you will find some of the most famous caves on the "Old Continent," as well as some of the best-preserved civilizations.
You will discover isolated mountain villages, populated by only a few dozen people, who lead an archaic lifestyle. The area has immense potential for rural and wild tourism.
Moldova is another historical region that currently shares its territory between Romania and the Republic of Moldova. Western Moldova stretches between the Prut River and the Eastern Carpathians, over an area of 35,806 km².
Some of the best Romanian wines originate here. So if you want to visit Moldova, consider wine tourism, with winery tours and tastings.
Moreover, the mountainous area of Moldova includes several protected areas. The most important of these are the Ceahlau Natural Park, Putna-Vrancea Natural Park, and Vânători-Neamț Natural Park.
Here you will discover magnificent landscapes, organized mountain trails, extreme adventures, and ideal places for rural tourism.
Now that we've presented you with the top most beautiful tourist destinations in Romania, all you have to do is decide where you want to go and plan your next vacation.
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