You probably don’t know much about Romania, do you? Tucked away in Eastern Europe, many travellers think about Dracula when Romania pops to mind and… nothing else! Although it may be hard to find this country on the map, there are many reasons why this lesser known destination is worth considering. And it’s also a safe Covid-19 destination with a large part of the population vaccinated.
Here’s a list with 5 of interesting places and tourist attractions to visit in Romania. A perfect way to start your holiday plans for 2022! Not everything is included so you also have some to discover on your own!
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1. Turda Salt Mine
Turda Salt Mine near Cluj-Napoca is a very popular tourist attraction in Romania for locals and foreigners alike. 2,000 years old, even the Romans exploited salt here. But this huge underground complex hosts an amusement park complete with a theater, ferris wheel, ping-pong tables or minigolf courses in its caverns. There’s even an underground lake where you can practice your rowing skills (or impress your partner!) if you rent a boat! The artificial lights highlight the salt mine’s natural beauty, soft salty walls and man-made galleries which give visitors a magical experience.
And did you know that inhaling salty air is good for your lounges and for treating respiratory diseases? What do you have to do to get these health benefits? Nothing – just spend 2-4 hours in the mine: do a tour and learn how salt is extracted, play some games or bring a book with you.
2. Bran Castle
Bran castle is visited by thousands of tourists each year making it Romania’s #1 tourist attraction. Why? Because of its connection with Dracula from Bram Stoker’s novel and the Dracula Hollywood movie. The castle sits up in the hills with a menacing overlook across a valley leading into Transylvania. It was used as an important medieval defence point and later as a royal residence.
Its inside preserves the medieval atmosphere and when you’re inside you’ll almost see yourself traveling back in medieval times. So is there any connection with Dracula? Come visit to find out – just make sure to get a real tourist guide and not someone who will tell you lies!
3. Transfagarasan Road
Another one of Romania’s popular attractions is Transfagarasan Road – a scenic mountain pass crossing the impressive Fagaras Mountains, the highest in the Carpathians. Named by Top Gear as the world’s best driving road, drivers and photographers alike are drawn to it.
The many twists and turns will take you to its highest altitude at 2,042m where you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Transylvania’s vast plains between sky scrapping peaks. Go for a walk around Balea Lake, a glacial lake with clear blue waters so peaceful you can almost relax. Look for tours in Transylvania or rent a car if you want a thrilling ride!
4. Danube Delta
The Danube River, the longest in Europe, finishes its journey into the Black Sea but first it created Europe’s best preserved river delta: the Danube Delta. This impressive area host numerous canals, rivers and forests with lush swamp vegetation that shelters over 3,500 species of birds, fish and animals. Wildlife is at home here which makes this place unique in the world. No wonder wildlife photographers and enthusiasts flock here every summer!
Part of UNESCO heritage, navigating the Danube Delta’s canals you are immediately struck by a sense of awe for nature’s power. Villages inside the Delta are few but those who live here have created a special way of life that doesn’t disturb the rich nature on their doorstep. And their fish cuisine is simply delicious! That is why the Delta is the ultimate eco-destination in Romania.
5. Sighisoara Citadel
One of the few remaining inhabited citadels of Europe and among the fewer that have been almost entirely preserved, Sighisoara Citadel will impress you! Dating from the 13th century, the citadel has been continuously expanded, fortified and modernized. The citadel was an important trading point for merchants, craftsmen and farmers in Transylvania thanks to its location.
Part of UNESCO heritage, go for a walk on Sighisoara’s cobbled streets and admire its medieval townhouses. They’re well preserved – and people still live there! – and you’ll find many cafes, restaurants, artisan shops. Visit the Clock tower with a mechanism built in 1648 and go up to the old church for views of Transylvania’s plains.