Traveling in Romania (and Why You Should Go Right Now)

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Most people don't necessarily equate “Romania” with “cool travel destination.”

This Eastern European country between Hungary and Bulgaria isn't usually a place people have high up on their must-visit lists. Romania is where communism and vampires live — not somewhere you travel to for fun. Right?

Well, that couldn't be farther from the truth.

While Romania is still developing after the fall of Ceausescu and communism (and most will say communism hasn't fully left), it's a much easier and interesting place to travel than you probably realize.

(And, for the record, I didn't see a single vampire while I was there.)


Romania, in short, blew me away. I had been looking forward to traveling there for years, but the country far exceeded my expectations. And here's why:

Why You Should Travel to Romania Right Now

It's affordable

Cheaper even than the Czech Republic and Hungary, Romania should be attractive just because of its price tag. Everything from accommodation to transport to food is affordable. Even the “touristy” places are far from expensive.

For example, in Brasov — one of Romania's top tourist destinations for both domestic and foreign tourists — entry to the major attraction (Bran Castle) was only $7 USD for an adult ticket with photo license. The most expensive meal I had in the country (at a really posh restaurant) was $12 — the cheapest was less than $3. You can only imagine how cheap beer was.

Brasov, Romania

It's beautiful

The countryside, the medieval cities, the people… Romania has plenty of surprises in store.

Cities like Sighisoara and Brasov are ridiculously attractive and colorful, and the rolling countryside remains largely untouched in most parts of the country. And the locals? Lovely people who will undoubtedly be happy to see you and happier still to talk to you about their country.

Rasnov Fortress, Romania

Sighisoara, Romania

It's relatively easy to travel

One of the biggest surprises for me was how easy it was to get around Romania. The country is fairly well-connected by trains, buses, and planes to the rest of Europe, and you can even use your Eurail pass here.

And, out of all the public trains and buses I rode while in Romania, only one was old and slightly dirty. Most were newer and clean — some even had air conditioning! And the best part? Every single train and bus I rode actually ran on time! (Not necessarily always the case, of course, but no delays in a week is pretty good.)


Most people speak English

Adding to the ease of travel is the fact that almost everyone in the country speaks at least a little English — especially those in the younger generations. This makes it easy to not only travel in Romania, but also to get to know the locals a bit.

Viscri, Romania

It's not too crowded yet

Because Romania (and, really, most of Eastern Europe) is quite a ways off the usual tourist trail, even the “touristy” places feel relaxed and welcoming — even in high season. The only place I really found to be crowded was Bran Castle — but there are plenty of better things/places to see anyway.

Viscri, Romania

Old traditions survive

Since Romania isn't teeming with tourists, older traditions — like making homemade schnapps and weaving and woodcarving — are still going strong.

You can still find quirky places like Merry Cemetery that nobody knows about. Villages still feel like villages. And the cows still come home at night.

Viscri, Romania

Merry Cemetery, Romania

It's ready for tourism

Because of the above reasons and more, Romania is very much ready for tourism.

Bucharest has a brand new subway system and buses equipped with GPS-enabled screens. Villages like Viscri are converting old heritage buildings into home stays. And nearly everywhere offers visitors free wifi access.

Sighisoara, Romania

But this won't all last, of course. As the country continues to develop and Romania's economy improves (likely to happen once it officially joins the Schengen zone soon), many of these reasons may become irrelevant.

So, if you've ever considered traveling in Romania, go now!

Find accommodation in Romania:

Do you think you'll ever travel to Romania?

Why you should visit Romania


*Note: Intrepid Travel graciously provided me with a complimentary Eastern Europe Explorer tour. But all opinions, as always, are entirely my own.

If you're interested in doing the same tour I did, you can check it out here.

Explore Eastern Europe tour

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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212 Comments on “Traveling in Romania (and Why You Should Go Right Now)

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  1. i am excited more now after reading this. i am leaving this August 19 and would love to discover more about Romania. thanks.

      Glad I could help you get excited about your trip!

    Hello Amanda,
    Thank you for your beautiful words about Romania. For those who want to travel in this country and have a great time feeling the unspoiled nature and experience the traditions, landmarks and attractions, I recommend The site belongs to a Romanian travel agency (Surprising Travel) that is specialized in tours for foreign tourists.

    I don’t care that it’s affordable, I don’t care about transportation etc … I only care that in Romania you can go to many natural areas where you can walk all day without trail of civilization. Or you can see really old villages and people working with their hands on the fields!

      Yes, this is very true! The countryside in Romania is really lovely.

    Hi, Amanda! Wonderful words about Romania. I just find your blog and I see a lot of people are interested to visit my country. For those without much time at their disposal or those who don’t want to spend hours searching for infos, prices and so on, we can help them. is not a travel agency but can offer counselling and can organize an entire trip through Romania. If this sounds like an ad please remove it. Anyway its nice to see positive articles about Romania and thank you again for this.

    I just discovered your blog while looking for information about travelling solo in Scotland. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can afford Scotland but now I am considering Romania for the end of June 2016. I hope it is still (and will be)affordable. At 53, I feel I would be out of place in youth hostels, but I am sure I’ll be able to find nice and cheap hostels or B&B.

      Romania did recently join the European Union, but they won’t convert to the Euro for at least another few years – meaning it’s still likely to be a very affordable destination!

    I’m glad you liked Romania so much and it’s worth mentioning that this country will develop further into becoming an imporant travel destination in Eastern Europe. And since Halloween is approaching, why not trying to find some real vampires in Transylvania? That’s a joke obviously, but the medieval castles and fortresses are definitelty worth visiting.

      I agree that I think Romania will definitely become a hot place to go in Eastern Europe!


    I am going to Romania looking for Vampires!

      LOL. Go for it, Sammi. Let me know if you find any!

    Wonderful article, Amanda. Thanks for everything that you do for Romania. 🙂

    Why have you choose a photo with gypsis when you said about knowing the people? Romanians are not gypsies.

      Well, they are people. And they live in Romania. I realize many Romanians don’t like the gypsy population. But they DO live in your country and you WILL see them there. That’s kind of like saying black people living in the US aren’t Americans – they most certainly are.

    I just love how you disregarded the vampire and communist attributes that everyone seems to give to my country and saw Romania as it really is: a beautiful country with a diversity of breath taking natural landscapes, history monuments, full of traditions and welcoming people. Your post is mind opening for both foreign tourists and romanians alike because i have to shamefully admit that i have yet to see many places in my country.

      You should definitely see more of your country! It’s a beautiful one. I understand, though – we tend to think of “travel” as going somewhere different and new. But you can totally travel in your own country, too!

    I’m so happy to see that you enjoyed our beautiful country. Romania does have a lot to offer and what I would recommend to everyone is to visit the least explored places. You will have a nice surprise.

    […] So, when I saw this post by Amanda, I just had to share it with you guys. Follow this link – Romania – to read the article which highlights the best of Romania and those pictures will make you […]

    I am surprised to see that your post encouraged so many people to come to Romania and it still does , good job . I am also happy that my country is growing quite good in tourism and people are welcoming them all.Besides the main attractions like Brasov , Sibiu and Sighisoara there are at least 10 cities or 50 villages more interesting 🙂 Prince Charles seems to have it in for Viscri, a very small village that no one heard about until he bought houses there.
    Most of the travelers come to Brasov , Sighisoara and head back to Bucharest , but i recommend to my tourists always some rural parts that never seen tourists 🙂 It`s a surprise from both sides .
    Also i would say that Romania is a lot about traditions , even if we have more expensive cars then London we still do things like 40 years ago and that is not bad because some of them are quite more interesting that way 🙂 and it`s also a good chance to show to the young ones how things where done in the past.

      One of the things I loved most about Romania was the clash of modern amenities and old traditions. I hope it always stays that way!

      (And I visited Viscri!)

    As Romania is becoming a well known touristic destination, so is Bucharest and all it’s attractions. Bucharest’s charm lies not necessarily in it’s sightseeing but in it’s stories and way of living. That’s why some of us locals have gathered together to form BUCHAREST GREETERS, which is a volunteering programme offering FREE TOUR GUIDES but most importantly we offer the chance for tourists to hang out with locals and hear their stories. It’s a great way to uncover the city’s uniqueness.
    If you’re looking for a unique experience and want to SEE FOR YOURSELF what Bucharest has in store you can get in touch with us at or check out our Facebook page . We’re looking forward to sharing our passion for the city where anything is possible – Bucharest!
    BUCHAREST GREETERS is a proud member of the Global Greeter Network.

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