Romanian sights and attractions
In one of the ancient streets of the central part of Bucharest, surrounded by the luxuriant manicured park is the Cantacuzino Palace built in 1903 according to the project of the honored Romanian architect Johan Berindheim. The architectural appearance of the palace combines French academicism and Rococo elements.
At the top of the hill at the southwest corner of Bucharest is the Cotroceni Palace, a striking example of 19th-century architecture. Thousands of tourists come here every year to see the luxurious residence of Prince Ferdinand and Princess Maria, who later became the King and Queen of Romania.
Parliament Palace in Bucharest
The calling card of Bucharest, its main asset and pride, the largest and hardest civil structure in the world and the controversial symbol of dictatorship and oppression – all this is the Palace of Parliament, the famous architectural monument of Romania.
Bran Castle is probably the most tourist spot in Romania. It was built at the end of the 14th century by the locals at their own expense. According to legend, Dracula once lived here, and tens of thousands of people fall for this lure every year.
The name of the castle is translated from Dacian as “fortress”. The second etymological version: the name was given to the fortress because of the Roman garrison, which stopped there. The garrison consisted of soldiers recruited in the British town of Maidenhead.
The castle became the ancestral home of the feudal family, which rebuilt the building slightly, adding Baroque and Renaissance elements to the Gothic. After the Corvinovs, the castle had dozens of owners, and almost everyone changed something in the appearance of the building.
Pelesh castle is one of the most beautiful castles in Romania. The architecture of the building is eclectic, and there is a mixture of many things: Rococo, and Baroque, and Renaissance. On the terraces are columns and fountains, on the roof – a few towers.
King Carol I built Peliszor for his nephew Ferdinand I. Peliszor is a summer residence for the heir to the throne. It was built between 1899 and 1903. The Pelisor is not a single building but a complex of several: a central castle and small terraces.
The fortress of Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia is one of the oldest cities not only in the historic region of Transylvania, but in all of Romania, whose history dates back to ancient times. Moreover, most recently during the archaeological excavations on the territory of the city the first letters in the world have been discovered.
Sighisoara, a small town with a population of just over 30 thousand people in the historic region of Transylvania, was founded in the 12th century. In 1999 it was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The beauty of its Medieval streets is difficult to describe in words.
The Romanian Ateneum concert hall is a remarkable sight indeed. It is not just another concert hall, but a true temple of art, a symbol of the spiritual tradition of the Romanian people. Its construction in the golden age of the Romanian state was the initiative of the cultural elite of the nation.
Bucharest Botanical Garden
The history of the Bucharest Botanical Garden is complex and interesting. It was founded in 1860 and was located near the Medical Faculty of the University of Bucharest, occupying in those years a small area of about seven hectares. But it did not exist there long, and in 1874 the garden moved to a new place.
Poenari Castle in Romania is one of the oldest castles in the country. The fortress was built in the 13th century, and then in the 15th century it was seriously reconstructed by Vlad Tepes who lived here for several years. This fact explains the popularity of Poenari among the fans of “Dracula-history.
Fagaras is a small but very beautiful ancient town (only about 35 thousand people) in Romania, in the southeast of the historic region of Transylvania. Here is situated the legendary castle-fortress of the same name, which is more than 700 years old.
Rysnov is a small town on the border between two historical regions of Wallachia and Transylvania, 15 km from Brasov and at the same distance from the legendary residence of Count Dracula – the Castle of Bran. The population of the town is only 16 thousand people, and Rysnov was founded in the 13th century.
The forest Hoya-Bachu not far from Cluj-Napoca looks very mysterious: the trees are curved and twisted, their trunks overgrown with lichens and the ground – with moss. The road, along which 100 years ago Bachu shepherd took his flock to the market, crosses the thicket and disappeared along with it.
This ancient monastery is located in a picturesque place in front of the ancient Trajan road, 15 km from Orsova. During the centuries of its existence, the monastery had various names: the Monastery of the Danube Valley, the Monastery of the Mrakunia Valley, the Monastery of Orsova or the Monastery of Ogradena Veche.
A fortress with high walls and towers on the corners is not a knight’s castle, but the Orthodox monastery of Sucevica. It was founded at the end of the 16th century by the brothers and sisters of the Moldavian and Valash princedoms. Times were harsh, the country was shaken by popular uprisings against the Turkish yoke.
The monastery of Horezu is the pearl of medieval Wallachia. It was founded by the ruler of Wallachia, Constantine Brancovan, a Turkish protégé, but a Christian who wanted to rest there. But it didn’t work out, the sultan executed him along with his 4 sons for refusing to convert to Islam, but in fact for his independent politics.
Museum of Jewish History in Bucharest
The Museum of Jewish History is located in the historical quarter of the Jewish people, in the building of the Great Synagogue, built in 1850. It appeared in January 1978 during a difficult time for the country – the era of the Ceausescu totalitarian regime.
What else to see in Romania
The capital of Romania, Bucharest is the economic and cultural center of the country. The first mention of it historians found in the documents of the 13th century Walachian Prince Vlad Tepesh, better known as Dracula. The architecture of the city can be traced in its history: during the century it was built in the French style, so that it resembled Paris of the 19th century. The city concentrates universities, botanical gardens and parks, museums and many other attractions:
– One of the largest buildings in the world,
- Kurtia Veche Princely Court,
- National Rural Museum and Museum of Peasant Art, ,
- Triumphal Arch in honor of the defenders of Romanian independence,
- parks Herastrau, Tineretului, Bordei.
“The cradle of the Romanian people,” as Transylvania is affectionately called, is characterized by the stunning beauty of the Carpathian region and man-made sights. For example, Alba Iulia is built up with palaces and churches, and the area around it is riddled with caves. In Sibiu is the oldest museum in Romania – Brukental Palace, whose collection has more than a million items: paintings, ancient manuscripts, engravings, jewelry, and sculptures. The ancient city fortification of Transylvania in Ayude still inspires reverent awe, and the Museum of Gold Mines in Rosia Montane is popular.
In the 900-year-old city of Oradea you can see the ruins of an ancient fortress, which was erected in the 13th century to protect against the Mongol-Tatars. The city itself is built in Baroque style, and on the outskirts you will find painfully familiar houses of the socialist period. In general, there are many interesting places in the north:
- The Tzara Krishurilor Museum,
- the cave complex in Bihor county,
- monuments of feudal epoch in Brasov – the ancient center of Transylvania,
- Cluj-Napoca (aka Cluj and Kolozhvar) is the second largest town after Bucharest, it was founded by the Roman emperor in the 2nd century AD.
The mystical figure of this mysterious character is known to everyone. It is believed that his homeland is Romania, and Bistrica is considered to be the favorite city of the Count. Powers and emotions are better reserved for a visit to the Castle of Dracula – Bran Castle in the eponymous village near Brasov.
Monasteries of Romania
Most Romanians profess Orthodox Christianity, so many monasteries are Orthodox, which allows Russian believers to make pilgrimages here. Among the famous monasteries are:
- Cozia Monastery, a male monastery near Calimanesti, founded in the 14th century,
- Komana Monastery in the village of the same name,
- Bukovac Monastery in Craiova,
- the monasteries of Hurez, Dintr-un-Lemn and Govora in the county of Vulcea,
- the oldest monastery in the country, the Tismana Convent in Gorges County.
The most famous place in Maramures County is Cimitirul Vesel (“Merry Cemetery”) in Sepinca. It is the only cemetery in the world where death and humor intertwined, resulting in bizarre crosses, epitaphs and carved monuments.
Natural attractions in Romania
Natural treasures are another reason for the popularity of Romania. Carpathian Mountains are the second largest mountain range in Europe after the Alps, which occupy two-thirds of the territory of the state. Therefore trekking and mountain skiing are very popular here, especially since the infrastructure is well developed here, and any of the mountain centers is connected by railway or highway with Bucharest and neighboring resorts.
More than 5% of Romania’s territory is occupied by national parks and reserves:
Romania’s 28 Best Sights
Romania is a country in Southeastern Europe, famous for its architectural sights and nature. On its territory there are high mountains, picturesque hills, dense forests and plains.
Do not forget to subscribe to our Telegram channel.
Who to come here and why
Romania, which appeared on the map of Europe as a result of the merger of the principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia, is proud of its turbulent history. The architecture of its cities mixed Greek, Turkish, and Saxon styles, giving the streets a special charm. Tourists come here to see the ancient Gothic castles, beautiful palaces, defensive fortresses.
Romania is a hospitable nation that honors its national holidays and traditions. Guests who come for Christmas take part in mass festivities, which are accompanied by dancing, games and singing carols. Folk songs, authentic dances and theme festivals are generally popular in the country:
- In February, Sfintu-Georg hosts a festival dedicated to winter fun and national rituals.
- In September the carp fishing competition starts.
- In October, there is a festival of winemaking.
And Romania invites to the International Art Festival in Brasov, musical festival “Sibinium” in Sibiu and flower fairs.
Carpathian Mountains, which run through the entire territory of the country, attract fans of outdoor activities. In winter people go skiing, mountain climbing, bobsleighing. In summer, popular is biking.
The routes along the Danube valley offer beautiful natural landscapes. For extreme tourists, there is a mountain serpentine stretching next to the gorge Bikaz.
In Romania, there are many museums, parks and other attractions, suitable for family holidays. Adults and children enjoy visiting Dracula’s Castle, Cismigiu Garden and the village museum in Sibiu.
At the beginning of the last century a magnificent palace was erected in the center of Bucharest by order of Prime Minister Cantacuzino. The facade of the mansion is decorated with arched windows, stucco and iron balconies. On its porch there are big stone lions.
The front residence of the prime minister in 1955 passed into the hands of the state. Now there is a museum of the famous Romanian musician George Enescu in the palace. During a tour you can see the rich interior and the permanent exhibition, including personal belongings and manuscripts of the musician.
In the locality of Bran on the top of a cliff rises a castle from the 14th century. The defense structure has an unusual trapezoidal shape and four tiers connected to each other by a steep staircase. Legend has it that the famous Vlad Tepesh-Drakula, dubbed by the rumors a vampire, stayed at the castle more than once.
At the Bran Gate is a stone cross with carved symbols of the Order of the Dragon, and in the courtyard has an ancient well. Now the castle belongs to Dominic the Habsburg, a descendant of the Romanian kings. Tourists are shown the interiors of the rooms, a collection of weapons and medieval torture instruments.
The 19th-century palace built on the Cotroceni Hill in Bucharest is the former residence of Princess Maria and Prince Ferdinand. After the abolition of the monarchy, it was taken over by the Ministry of the Interior. Art objects and valuables were taken out to museums.
After Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown, the palace was occupied by the Romanian president. Now part of the building belongs to the museum and is open to tourists.
This famous architectural monument was built in Bucharest at the end of the last century by order of Ceausescu. It was supposed to be the headquarters of state institutions of the republic. The largest administrative building in Europe stretches 86 meters high.
The palace has 12 floors and 1100 rooms. The inner walls are decorated with marble, bronze and wood. The rooms are decorated with crystal chandeliers, lamps, mirrors, statues, huge carpets and tapestries. In the west wing there is a museum of modern art and a museum of totalitarianism.
The main concert hall of Bucharest was built by the French architect Albert Galleron and inaugurated in 1888. The magnificent building with a wide dome is decorated with columns, moldings, openwork windows.
On the first floor there is a conference hall, above – the auditorium and the parterre. The walls are painted with frescos by Costin Petrescu, depicting various historical events. The Ateneum is a cultural symbol of the Romanian people. It regularly hosts classical music concerts and festivals.
On a hill on the outskirts of the town of Deva are the picturesque ruins of an ancient castle. Once it was a mighty Transylvanian stronghold that housed a large garrison of soldiers. The castle’s territory is considered a nature reserve – now restoration works are being carried out here.
Travelers can explore the surviving defensive walls, fragments of towers and take beautiful pictures.
In the outskirts of Sinai there is a beautiful castle built in the late 19th century in the neo-Renaissance style. During its construction the advanced technology of the time was used: the building is fully electrified, has central heating and even an elevator. The inner rooms are decorated with tapestries, statues, and luxurious paintings on the walls.
The castle has a museum with a large collection of weapons, antique furniture, gold jewelry, porcelain and paintings. The architectural ensemble is surrounded by a park with fountains and sculptures.
The fortress of Alba Iulia
The ancient city of Alba Iulia is easy to find on the Mures River near Bucharest. There are three fortresses of different eras and the ruins of the Roman castrum, in which the archaeological excavations are now underway.
The restored fortress of Alba-Carolina is a huge complex with several streets. Visitors explore the fort walls, towers, monastery, St. Michael’s Church, the Princes’ Palace and the Unification Museum.
Above the Tarnava Mare River there is the town of Sighisoara, founded in the 13th century by German colonists. Its historical center is a World Heritage Site, which is protected by UNESCO.
When you come here, you can see a medieval fortress, ancient temples and the Clock Tower, which is 64 meters high. The city is the birthplace of “Count Dracula” – in the central square there is his ancestral home, where a restaurant with Romanian cuisine and a museum was opened.
The ancestral home of Hungarian feudal lords in southern Transylvania, built in the 14th century, was damaged by fire in 1854, but was quickly rebuilt. The architectural complex consists of round and triangular towers, strong walls, a chapel, and an artillery platform. According to legend, the deposed voivode Vlad Tepes languished in the basements of the castle for 7 years.
Guests of the castle are led inside by a gigantic bridge, shown the defensive towers, torture chamber, hall, where in ancient times the knights had a feast, and the White Bastion.
The city of Fagarash in Transylvania was founded in the XIII century. Soon a fortress was built on its territory for protection from the raids of the Tatars and the Turks – the white medieval castle still rises on the hill.
There is a historical museum in the restored rooms, which tells about the owners of the fortress, a library with old printed books and a restaurant. On the lower level there are wine cellars and a tasting room.
Temples and monasteries
The oldest monastery on the banks of the Danube was founded in the 16th century. Unfortunately, it had a sad fate: it was raided by the Turks several times, destroyed during the wars, and in the middle of last century was completely flooded because of an accident at a hydroelectric power plant. In the summer the river shallows and the ruins of the monastery emerge from the water. Thousands of tourists and pilgrims come to see this spectacle.
The Orthodox monastery in Bukovina was erected more than 400 years ago by the rulers of Wallachia and Moldavia. There is also the Church of the Ascension, built in the Gothic style. The ancient walls on the inside and outside are covered with paintings of high artistic value. Paintings depicting the events of the Old and New Testament have retained their intensity and brightness.
The monastic complex is surrounded by high thick walls. There are defensive towers at each corner. There is a museum of art and history on the territory.
The construction of the monastery in Horezu began in 1690 under the leadership of the ruler of Wallachia. It was built in the national Brynkovian architectural style, combining Byzantine, Eastern and European motifs.
The monastery church has two heads and is decorated with decorative paintings, columns, arches. In the yard there are trees, houses of monks and outbuildings. Near the entrance there is a small museum where church utensils and archaeological exhibits found during excavations in Horezu are on display.
Black Church in Brasov
The largest Gothic church in Romania is located in Brasov. The 14th-century church, made of loose sandstone, suffered a fire during the Turkish War and was called the Black Church because of it.
Its height is 65 meters, and it has a six-ton bell on its bell tower. The facade and interior rooms are decorated with stone patterns, portals, arches and marble sculptures. Inside there are statues of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, Saint Nicholas and John the Baptist.
The church is also a museum, where Gothic frescoes, an ancient font, a cast-iron ark and brocade clothes of the XV century are kept.
Church of the Archangel in Rogoza
The wooden church in Rogoza is a bright example of the architecture of the Southern Carpathians of the 17th century. The polygonal structure is made of logs and has a rectangular nave with a high bell tower on the west side. The interior walls are painted in bright colors. Church of the Archangel is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is protected by the state.
National Art Museum in Bucharest
In the building of the former royal palace is the largest museum of fine arts in Romania. The exposition includes the ancient icons, paintings and sculptures of the Romanian masters. Collections of ancient weapons, coins and decorations are kept in separate halls. Foreign art is represented by the canvases by Rembrandt, El Greco, Monet and Aivazovsky.
In the center of the capital in the Post Palace is a museum of history. There are numerous exhibits and archaeological finds covering thousands of years of Romanian history. Thematic exhibitions tell about the events of past eras.
Tourists can see the works of arts and crafts, weapons, national costumes, medieval manuscripts, archival documents and paintings by local artists.
The Ethnographic Museum in Sibiu is located in a beautiful park. On the vast territory is equipped with a real Romanian village of the end of the last century. There are national small houses with thatched roofs, a working church, a mill, a forge and a pottery workshop. Guests are greeted by people dressed in national costumes. Here adults and children can learn ancient crafts, see the local pond and visit the restaurant of national cuisine.
Museum of Count Dracula
In the city of Sigishoara, in the ancestral home of the Tepes, a museum of Count Dracula was opened. It tells the real story of the Walachian voivode and highlights the stages of his reign. There are stored personal belongings of Vlad Tepes and archival documents. The tour takes place interactively with the use of visual layouts and audio descriptions.
Museum of Mineralogy
There is a small but interesting mineralogy museum in Baja Mare. It features minerals found in the region over the past centuries.
Visitors can see gold nuggets, silver, uncut gems, and rocks. There is a gift store next to the museum that sells mineralogy books, posters, and rock samples.
Natural Attractions, Parks and Recreation
Botanical Garden in Bucharest
On the hill of Cotroceni there is a beautiful botanical garden. On the territory of 17 hectares are planted trees and shrubs from different countries. The park is divided into several sectors. At the entrance there are ornamental plants and flowers. A little further is the flora, listed in the Red Book. In the sector of medicinal plants – specimens actively used in folk medicine.
In the botanical garden ponds, fountains and artificial waterfalls are made. Guests can see a tropical greenhouse, rose garden, blooming irises, orchids and rhododendrons.
Near the town of Cluj-Napoca, the forest is a good place to relax. Some years ago it was equipped with paintball and volleyball courts, an archery range, bicycle trails and hiking trails.
Among the greenery, you can easily find an oak grove, a small lake and drinking water sources. The legends of paranormal phenomena and spirits living there contribute to the popularity of the forest.
In the center of Bucharest there is a magnificent urban garden, planted at the end of the 18th century. It attracts tourists with smooth shady alleys, bright flowerbeds, fountains and lakes with bridges. In summer you can rent a catamaran or a boat here.
In winter, a large ice rink opens in the garden. An important attraction of this place is considered a platform, on which statues of Romanian writers and poets are placed.
Dinosaur Park in Rysznow.
In the forest, not far from the 14th century fortress, there is a park of dinosaurs. Large animal figures are set up in the clearing, and different sounds are heard from hidden speakers. All the dinosaurs can be touched and photographed. Within the park there are also carousels, a playground, and a suspended trail that winds through the tree crowns. Those who wish to enter a small cafe and buy souvenirs in the store.
In the west of Romania, on the outskirts of the town of Bozovitch, there is the Beusnita National Park where you can see the Bigar waterfall. The natural landmark originates high in the mountains.
The water flows down the slope until it collides with a limestone rock. Jets from all sides envelop the barrier and fall from a seven-meter height downwards. Next to the waterfall there is a bridge over the Minis River and an observation deck.
The ice cave in the Apuseni mountains was discovered by scientists in 1863. Its length is 705 meters and its age is 3500 thousand years. Inside, the temperature is always below zero degrees – the walls and ceiling are covered with blocks of ice and stalagmites.
For the convenience of visitors to the cave paved metal stairs with handrails. Before the tour, travelers are instructed and given carbide lamps.
In the town of Turda there is a large salt cave used for recreation by tourists and locals. People go down to the first tier by stairs and from there take an elevator down. In the central hall of the cave is a Ferris wheel, tennis tables and even a soccer field.
In the next room spreads an underground lake with an island and a boat dock – a wooden bridge leads to a piece of land. People come here for the whole day to breathe in the salty healing air and chat with friends.