Why travel to Romania

Romania is an up and coming destination, which is gaining more and more popularity lately. So now it is a good time to plan a trip to this beautiful country, before the mass tourism takes over, before prices increase and before most of the traditions are lost. Today, Romania is still authentic and many of the old traditions are still thriving.

3 weeks itinerary to travel to Romania might seem a lot, but let me assure you that it will only leave you wishing for more.

You can always adjust this itinerary to adapt to your availability and interest so you can design your own plan for example 2 weeks trip to Romania, 10 days traveling to Transylvania or maybe you are interested to travel to Maramures for a week?  This itinerary will show you the best places to visit in Romania in 3 weeks. I have focused on the central part of the country here as we did this as a road trip. And while traveling by car in Romania is a good way to see the country, it can also be quite tiring given the infrastructure. There are not many highways in the country and you are mostly driving on national roads, which are not always in a good condition. Therefore it would have been difficult to include other regions. But no worries, we are planning to cover those too soon!

I have been dreaming about taking a road trip through Romania for years and this year it finally came true. Initially I wanted to include much more in the itinerary but, on the other hand,  you need time to take it all in, to enjoy each stop, each location, each meal, each view. However, even at this somewhat decent pace, we realized that this was just a taste. It just left us hungry for more. When you travel to Romania, you realize how underestimated this country is. And I am not saying this because it is my country, but Mike from Mikesroadtrip, who was my Romania traveling partner can confirm this.

Also, Marian from Zig Zag prin Romania thinks the same and I want to thank him again for helping me plan this itinerary!

So, without further ado, here is our 3 weeks itinerary for a trip to Romania (mostly central Romania this time):

Romania Travel Itinerary map

What we were driving

We partnered with Mercedes-Benz Romania and drove the all-new Mercedes- Benz B-Class on our itinerary of about 2000km.

The all-new Mercedes-Benz B-Class is bursting with technology. It took us quite a while to go through the whole menu in the dashboard. One of my favorite little gadgets were the lounge lights.  You could even change the colors, depending on your mood. I also loved the retractable sunroof which allowed even more light in. And we could take pictures and videos from different angles.

Needless to say how comfortable it was for our long drives and on Romanian roads, which are not of the “finest quality”! You can read an honest review of it right here.

So yes, this Romania road trip was driven in comfort and luxury thanks to Mercedes-Benz Romania.

Romania trip itinerary – through Transylvania and beyond

And now let me get into a bit more detail about each place we visited:

1. Bucharest – 3 days

I am not going to go into too much detail about my city now, as it deserves an article on its own, but here are a few of the best things to see and do in Bucharest:

  • The historical center – this has become the ground zero of entertainment in the city. As opposed to its more popular European counterparts, the historical city of Bucharest is full of tourists and locals alike.
  • The Palace of Parliament (formerly known as “People’s house”, most of the locals still refer to it by this name, including myself)- although not beautiful per se, it is a very impressive building. Only the fact that it is the second larger administrative building in the world (after the Pentagon in the USA) should be a good reason to include it on your list.
  • The Unirii Fountains (and show)– the famous fountains have been completely renovated and re-opened in October 2018, bigger, better and more impressive. Every weekend you can witness a 45 min sounds and colors show just after the sunset. I don’t even remember how many times I have seen it so far and I still enjoy it.
  • Herastrau Lake and park– this is my favorite part of the city. It is a huge green area and around the lake, you can find beautiful restaurants and bars with outdoor patio dining. You don’t even feel like you are in Bucharest anymore but rather somewhere on holiday.
  • Without naming any, in particular, make your way to some of the numerous cafes and gardens of Bucharest. They are like a mini oasis inside the city. In the evenings, many of them will have live musical performances. Bucharest loves jazz and for a big jazz lover like myself, my city certainly delivers!
  • Bucharest has its own delta (delta Vacaresti) where you can find large biodiversity of flora and fauna
  • Walk the big boulevards and side streets and marvel at the street art or the beautiful architecture along the way. My favorite boulevard is Calea Victoriei
  • There is a diverse and dynamic restaurant scene in Bucharest, with more and more places specialized on a certain type of food (raw, vegan, breakfast, brunch, etc).
  • Wine bars where you can taste many of the amazing Romanian wines

A trip to Romania will not be complete without visiting Bucharest!

Accommodation: Epoque Hotel.

Everything recommends this hotel: the location, the uniqueness, the architecture, the rooms, the comfort. It’s got charm, beauty, personality and it is located in a very nice area next to Cismigiu park. By the way, this is the only Relais & Chateau property in Romania.

2. Danube Delta – 3 days

Danube Delta, Romania

We spent almost 3 days in the Danube Delta but I think 4-5 should be the minimum.

As embarrassingly as it may sound, I admit that this was my first time in the Delta. You know how it is: you travel the world but you never have the time to check your own back yard.

Let me tell you why this place is so special and why it is one of the best places to visit in Romania during your trip. The Danube Delta is a UNESCO world heritage protected area since 1991. The delta has been formed just as the Danube flows into the Black Sea after passing through 9 countries. This unique place tops a few of the world lists:

  • the largest reed area in the world
  • the largest river wetlands in Europe and
  • the richest ornithological fauna in the world
  • the highest birds density in the world: over 300 birds species make it a birdwatcher paradise
  • the 3rdlargest biodiversity in the world (over 5,500 species of flora and fauna, out of which, many can only be found here) being compared to Australia’s Great Coral Reef

Today as much as 60% of it is still unspoiled by human touch!

There are so many different canals and lakes, each looking different than the one before.  It depends on where your interest lies. The transportation is almost exclusively by boats. You can also sleep on some of the bigger boats which have been transformed into Floating hotels.

Accommodation: hotel Mon Jardin 

The hotel was perfectly located in Mahmudia and right on the river. From the hotel grounds, we jumped straight on the boat to explore the nearby canals. They also have a cruise boat which can accommodate more than 100 people.

3. Vulcanii Noroiosi (Muddy Volcanoes) – 1/2 days

Muddy volcanoes, Romania
Incredible, out of this world landscape at the Muddy Volcanoes in Romania

I put half a day because I took into account also the road to get there which is very scenic.

We passed by the Muddy Volcanoes on our way to the next destination. It was only 1-hour detour (both ways) and worth it. It is such a unique landscape and it is a must-see if you are nearby.

These volcanoes have been formed by the natural gas, making its way up from many kilometers underground, by the way of pressure. You can smell the gases when you get there but it is another thing to actually “see” them.  Well, you don’t really see the gas but rather the silver mud that has been formed by the gas, together with all the elements found in the soil on its way up.

Obviously, you should not light any fire under any circumstances!!

It hadn’t been raining for a while when we visited the Muddy Volcanoes, so we could easily walk to the top. Walking through the crevasses carved by the mud, we were feeling like we were walking on the moon.

4. Ferma Dacilor (Dacians Farm) – 1-2 days

I included this place in our itinerary from the very beginning and it was the right choice to do so. However, the wrong choice was the number of nights to spend there. We only spent one night there, but I would recommend 2 nights to really take in the place.

Ferma Dacilor was opened initially as a gathering place for friends and family, away from the craziness of Bucharest and in the middle of nature. All food is bio and most of it is locally produced. They have special rooms for aging meet and cheese and they do an amazing job at that (we tasted a lot of their produce).

The accommodation at the farm is also special, as next to the very cozy rooms in the main building, they also built some sort of treehouses (with glass floor!!). Now they are also building some kind of yurts, to resemble the old style accommodation from the Dacian times.

Ferma Dacilor is located in the middle of the largest wine region in Romania: Dealu Mare. So you can go and visit many of the nearby wineries and discover some amazing Romanian wines.

Because we stayed only one day, we only went to one winery: Lacerta, which I highly recommend. I already knew (and drank) Lacerta wines, so I was happy to visit the place where the magic happens to the grapes. Yes, I am a big wine aficionado…in case you didn’t know that already 😉.

Crama Lacerta, Tohani, Dealu Mare, Romania
Crama Lacerta, Tohani, Dealu Mare

5. Castelul Peles (Peles Castle), Sinaia – 1/2 days

We passed through Sinaia on our way to Brasov. Peles Castle (Castelul Peles) is one of my favorite places and one of the top Romania attractions.

The castle itself is a stunning display of architecture. The interior will leave you in awe and the location is simply perfect.

Visiting Peles Castle is quite popular as a day trip from Bucharest (approximately 2.5 hrs by car or you can also come by train)

6. Brasov – 2 days

Only 3 hours from Bucharest, Brasov offers a completely different vibe and I would definitely include this in your trip to Romania.  The city is located in the middle of the mountains and its history of Brasov is quite different. You can clearly identify the German influence everywhere. It as a perfect place for a 2 days weekend getaway or a city trip.

Brasov is a charming and colorful city that I fully recommend and you can read more about it in this photo travel guide.

Accommodation:
We stayed at Hotel Safrano, right in the heart of the old city center with an excellent view of the main square. The rooms are huge and quite comfortable and the location is perfect.

7. Castelul Bran (Bran Castle, aka Dracula castle)– 1/2 days

Apparently, the famous Dracula Castle ranks number one in Romania tourist attractions currently, so, obviously, we had to include it in our trip.

But let me tell you a little “secret”:  we do not call it Dracula Castle but Bran Castle! There is no Dracula for Romanians. The ruler that is always assimilated to Dracula was called Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler) and he is actually a very loved historical figure in Romania. There is a lot to say on this matter, but I will stop here for now and I invite you to come and discover more for yourselves.

Read Part II of this Travel Itinerary through Romania here.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve heard so many good things about Romania from friends! I know I’ll definitely be checking out the Vulcanii Noroiosi if I ever make it there!

  2. So interesting, I had no idea that Romania had so much natural beauty. I would also love to stay in that treehouse!

    • I think the natural beauty is the strongest “selling point” for Romania. But then there is also the culture, the people ..

  3. Growing up I had a friend from Romania. She didn’t really talk about it much but it looks beautiful. I’d love to visit Bucharest or Brasov!

  4. What a great itinerary. I had to no idea there was so much to see and do there. I definitely need to consider going to Romania, and I love road trips so this is perfect!

  5. I went to Romania early this year and this made me really want to go back! I never went to Ferma Dacilor but you’ve really sold me on it. Also looooved Brasov!

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