Romania is a beautiful country filled with lots of interesting things to see and do. Its culture, breathtaking landscapes, iconic landmarks, and well-maintained history makes it one of the “must visit” destinations in Europe. As a travel destination, the country offers many contrasts that make it one of the best places to visit for new and veteran travelers. It is also home to some of the most magical places in the world that are filled with medieval castles, allowing visitors to enjoy fairytale-like experiences. Here are some of the places tofeel the magic when in beautiful Romania.
Visit Medieval Sighisoara
Sighisoara in Transylvania is a medieval town that is walled in, giving it a mythical look from its location on a hilltop. The town is well preserved, with most of its original buildings available for visitors to see.
The narrow streets, soaring towers, and colorful houses are worth exploring for new and returning visitors. Within the town is a Clock Tower that stands 64 meters high and is one of the most prominent landmarks in Sighisoara. It has existed since 1556 and still keeps its original look.
Wandering around the cobbled streets gives you a fairytale-like feeling that makes the location a “must-visit” in Romania.
For many visitors, Sighisoara is popular because of its association with Count Dracula. The town in which Vlad III the Impaler was born and inspired the Dracula fictional character, sees many travelers visit throughout the year.
However, larger numbers are seen during the medieval festival that takes place annually at the citadel. Besides being one of the best places to visit in Romania, it is also one of the World Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO. The city is a great testament to the culture and history of Transylvanian Saxons that lived in the area in the 12th Century.
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Experience the culture in Transilvanya’s Sibiu
In Transylvania is Sibiu which is considered the capital city of culture in Europe. Cobbled streets, impressive churches, baroque buildings, and historic plazas surrounded by a wall are a sight to behold when visiting the city.
Its cosmopolitan vibe makes it the perfect place to visit to enjoy a taste of the old and new beautiful Romania. As an artistic center, it is the best place to experience Romanian culture without the hustle and bustle of the capital city, Bucharest. Although its association with vampires has made it quite popular, sighting one is quite rare!
Visitors interested in getting a deeper look into the culture of Romania and its environs will be pleasantly surprised. The city is home to museums with a wide array of items that reveal the past of the country in earlier centuries. Astra Museum of Folk Civilization and Brukenthal Art Museum have fantastic displays of artwork, workshops, churches, and wooden houses. The museum displays some of these items outside giving visitors an idea of how they looked in the past.
Travelers also get to see remnants of barricades that kept the city safe many centuries ago. Whether you have a few days or an extended period, Sibiu is worth a visit.
Bigar Waterfall – the miracle from the Minis gorge
Bigar waterfall is a nature lover’s paradise that is enchanting, to say the least. Its name is linked to a legend about a girl that was separated from the love of her life named Bigar. Locked away in a cave near the falls, she transformed into the waterfall in which the boy drowned. It is said that their love was sealed for eternity!
The waterfall is within a nature reserve in Aninei Mountains is unique and has a dramatic and captivating look. The water spreads itself like tiny shreds over the cliff which is covered by green moss. Underground streams from the cave flow into the Minis River below and make its way to different directions within the area.
The location of the waterfall in a nature reserve makes the ride to the waterfall magical. Visitors get to see two national parks Semenic and Cheile Nerei, which offer beautiful sights of nature.
The forests along the way give travelers something to admire as they make their way to the spectacular Bigar waterfall. Some major Romanian cities like Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Resita, and Caransebes are also nearby and can be part of your travel itinerary to the idyllic waterfall.
Visit Turda Salt Mine in Alba – an underground amusement park!
The Lake nested in a volcanic crater – Saint Anna Lake
Saint Anna, a Crater Lake in Romania, is a popular tourist destination in Europe that receives thousands of visitors annually. The lake which formed on the non-active Csomád Mountain resembles a paint palette in giant form.
Its water level is low because it is not connected to any water source and relies on rainfall and precipitations for regular supply. Water from the surrounding mountains also accumulates inside the crater to help fill up the lake. Its large size and depth, which is estimated to be 7m at its deepest point make the lake a unique landmark in the area.
Surrounding Saint Anna Lake are various types of vegetation that play hosts to different animal species. The lakeshore is a habitat for sludgy reeds and crustaceans like warty newt and grass snake.
Bears that live in the nearby woods are also regular visitors to the lake and come close to the camps. Tourists at the lake can sight the bears, which have become familiar with humans and often go near the camping area. However, their presence also restricts movement in the camps at night to minimize meeting them. A chapel dedicated to Saint Anne also stands at the lakes hore giving the area around the crater a magical feel.
Take a boat ride on the Red Lake
The Red Lake is not red in color, but got its name from Red Creek which is close by and full of red soils with hydroxides and other oxides.
The barrier lake which is the largest in the region is a site worth visiting when visiting Romania. Its Eastern Carpathians location is stunning with surrounding mountains and evergreen trees that offer unmatched tranquility. The water bodies also offer beautiful reflections of the various flora and fauna, making it a “must visit” destination for those visiting beautiful Romania.
Formed in 1838 after an earthquake that caused a slope to collapse, the lake has become a picturesque vacation spot. Its main visitors are hikers, families, and nature lovers because of its temperate climate that offers clean air and safeguards visitors from strong winds.
The mountainous region near Bicaz Gorges is great for relaxation and is a favorite for those interested in health tourism. Everyone with insomnia to exhaustion mentally and physically come to find rest here.
Taste local cuisine by sampling street food and take some of Red Lake back home by buying souvenirs from the many merchants selling various items near the lake.
The glacier lake situated at 2034 m – Balea Lake
Balea Lake is an astonishing natural wonder and a must-see landmark when in Romania. It is located over 2,000 meters near the peak of Făgăraș Mountains, the highest mountain in the country. If you plan on visiting it, make sure you take the Transfagarasan route, so that you can enjoy a spectacular view!
The magnificent lake came into existence after a glacier eroded the mountain and melted. However, a legend also exists about a brave shepherd named Balea that fought a bear in the mountains and defeated it. On hearing about his bravery, the king invited the shepherd to be one of his guards. Balea later fell in love with the king’s daughter, but on their wedding day, a violent storm appeared and they both lost their lives. In response to their story, the people named the lake Balea in remembrance of the shepherd.
The magical story of Balea Lake extends to the present making it the perfect destination for hiking, skiing in Romania, cycling, and ice climbing. It has many hiking routes that lead to dramatic valleys and lofty mountain peaks. Some hikes can last up to five or nine hours depending on the route, giving visitors a chance to be part of a spectacular sightseeing adventure
During winter the lake is a ski haven with one of the longest slopes in the region. Skiers and snowboarders from all over the world make their way to the lake to enjoy high adrenaline sensations in beautiful Romania.
Discover the enchanting Danube Delta in beautiful Romania
Romania is home to one of the best-preserved deltas in Europe, with over twenty ecosystems depending on the Danube Delta. The river delta hosts diverse plants and animal species across its 5,165 kilometers acreage. Its network of waterways whose destination is the Black Sea hosts fresh-water fish and birds that are unique to the Delta.
Over 300 bird species and 45 fish species live in the lake and marsh area within the Delta. The expansive area is also part of the World Heritage Sites listed by UNESCO, making it a go-destination for nature lovers.
Besides observing various wildlife, bird, and fish species in their natural habitat, visitors also enjoy fabulous sunsets by the river. Taking a boat ride on the Danube River in the evening offers spectacular sunsets that tourists always rave about.
The protected zone is a great alternative for visitors that want to see more of Romania besides the unique churches and mountain peaks. Visitors to Danube Delta can expect to explore one of the vast expanses of unspoiled nature in Europe.
See where the kings lived – Corvin Castle
Corvin Castle is an impressive medieval castle that fits perfectly in any fairytale story. It is also known as Hunyadi Castle and is considered a national treasure and cultural landmark in Romania.
The grand castle with a Gothic structure and has existed since the 14th century. Considered the largest castle in the European continent, it has become a popular attraction for visitors from all over the world seeking to bring to life their Hogwarts dreams. The masterpiece that was officially completed in the 19th Century and has undergone restoration because of a fire, stands tall among many castles within Romania.
Access to Corvin Castle is by a wooden bridge gives the popular site an impressive and magical feel. While walking on the bridge, visitors will see a statue of the patron saint of bridges, St. John of Nepomu.
Visitors to the fortified castle also get to relive their childhood fairytales when walking through endless rooms, courtyards, dungeons, and a bear pit. The elaborate architecture of the palace makes it a great stop when in beautiful Romania, for fans of medieval history. Some legends also associate Corvin with the famous Dracula, making it worth visiting for fans of the vampire character.
Visit Dracula’s home – Bran Castle
Bran Castle is a historical landmark and archaeological site that is popular among visitors to Romania. The castle is on a forested hillside between Wallachia and Transylvania and is a landmark popular for its fairytale features.
The elegant castle is a top destination because of its association with Dracula, a medieval vampire character. It is a belief that Bram Stoker, a famous author used the castle as inspiration for his popular novel starring Dracula. Although the allegation remains unconfirmed, it has brought a lot of fame to the castle. Even so, Dracula enthusiasts touring the castle with similarities to the one in the popular novel will find the trip worth the treat.
Even with its connection to Dracula, Bran Castle is today a museum that displays furniture and art pieces that belonged to Queen Marie. The queen used the castle as her residence in 1920. Its open-air section showcases peasant buildings from different parts of the country. The medieval castle that has existed since the 13th century has several balconies that make exploration of the hillside and garden below from above quite fascinating. Observing the castle from the outside or within the building gives visitors a chance to enjoy the beauty of the palace straight out of a novel.
Overall, Romania is filled with enchanting destinations that appeal to anyone seeking to bring to life childhood stories. The country receives visitors all year round, making it possible to explore the attractions mentioned above at any time. Whether you are planning your first tour to Europe or are returning to explore more destinations, Romania should part of your itinerary. Beautiful Romania is the perfect destination for those visiting the European nation for a short or long period.