Once known as ‘the Little Paris’, in recent decades, Bucharest’s reputation has diminished somewhat, as Communist rule and decaying buildings put people off. Romania’s capital is still a captivating place to visit, however, with loads to see and do; it is slowly regaining its popularity as a tourist destination. Mesmerizing to explore, Bucharest’s leafy parks lie side by side with stunning 17th-century Orthodox churches, fascinating museums and, of course, the enormous Parliament Palace – the largest parliament building on Earth. With its interesting mix of Communist-era concrete blocks and monuments located alongside elegant villas and wonderful buildings – such as the lavish Mitropoliei Palace – Bucharest’s streets are pulsating with energy. Its trendy bars and lively nightlife scene offer up yet another side to this intriguing capital.
With the Carpathian Mountains hemming it in on all sides, Brasov’s beautiful setting is complemented perfectly by its charming medieval center. It is not without reason that this is one of the most popular destinations in Romania.
Wandering around the fairytale-esque Old Town is a lovely way to spend the day, as you pass fabulous baroque buildings, Gothic churches, and medieval watchtowers. The main square has loads of cafes and restaurants if you simply want to grab a coffee and watch the world go by. As well as having some lovely little hiking trails and paths, the nearby mountains are home to one of the best ski resorts in Romania. Many people use Brasov as a scenic base from which to explore some of Transylvania’s many castles.
Located on the Black Sea, Constanta is a large port city that comes second only to Bucharest in terms of importance to the country. Remarkably, it was founded more than 2600 years ago. While most people visit Constanta for the seaside resorts and beautiful beaches that lie nearby, the city has a lot going for it. There are lots of historic buildings and interesting museums on hand. Of these, The National Museum of History and Archaeology is undoubtedly the most interesting, with its extensive collection of artifacts and marble tombs.
With lots of nice hotels, bars, and seafood restaurants to be found in the city, Constanta is more than just a place to stop by on the way to the country’s Black Sea beaches.
The second largest city in the country, Cluj-Napoca is full of wonderful art, architecture, and culture. Its youthful population makes it a fun and festive place to visit if you’re looking for some good nightlife. With some lovely architecture on show in the form of its baroque buildings and old churches, there are lots of interesting art galleries and cultural centers scattered about; visitors should make sure to stop by the wonderful National Museum of Art. In addition to this, there are plenty of peaceful parks and atmospheric cafes and bars for you to enjoy. Located in Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca is an increasingly popular destination thanks to improving flight connections. Nowadays, many people use it as a base from which to explore the surrounding region, which is full of beautiful scenery and old castles.
With a very Germanic look and feel, Sibiu is an interesting city to visit; it is home to the country’s largest German community, which means there is an intoxicating mix of different cultural influences present in its streets. A charming and picturesque place, Sibiu’s Old Town has loads of grand architecture on display. Just two of the highlights on show are the old citadel and Huet Square, which is lined by beautiful Gothic buildings. A number of opera, theater, and film festivals are held in Sibiu over the course of the year; as such, the city has a thriving cultural scene – as well as one of the country’s best museums in the shape of the Brukenthal Museum, which exhibits many brilliant artworks by both Romanian and international artists.
With some lovely parks, squares, and gardens scattered about the city, Timisoara is a pretty place to walk around. In 2021, it will be the European Capital of Culture, so it is a good idea to visit now before the crowds arrive. The third largest city in the country, it is renowned for being the first to rise up against Ceausescu, the former Communist leader of Romania in 1989. Several places around Timisoara commemorate this event, such as the beautiful Victory Square and the fascinating Museum of the Revolution.
A very cosmopolitan place, Timisoara has lots of great restaurants and bars as well as a lively nightlife scene. Many people use the city as a base while exploring the surrounding region.