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Romania: Bucharest, Dreamlike Castles, and Dracula

Romania may not be the first country that comes to mind when planning your next vacation, but overlooking this captivating European destination is a missed opportunity. Romania boasts a wealth of experiences that promise to enchant and delight. From the bustling streets of Bucharest, a city pulsing with energy and culture, to the breathtaking region of Transylvania dotted with historic castles and palaces and known as the home of Dracula's Castle making for the most epic Halloween getaway. You'll also find pristine beaches perfect for relaxation on Romania's Black Sea coast. Romania is a treasure trove of wonders waiting to be explored. Whether you're an adventurer, a history enthusiast, or a beach lover, Romania offers a myriad of attractions that go beyond the ordinary, making it a must-visit on any traveler's list.

Bucharest: Romania's Capital City

Bucharest is now one of the most popular cities in Europe. A metropolis that walks the line between old and modern. Whether you are interested in art or want a party getway, Bucharest is so multifaceted that there is more than enough to experience!

What Are the Best Museums in Bucharest?

During the day, Bucharest is one of the most culturally rich cities in Europe. Museums, theaters, and fascinating exhibitions offer something for every interest. In total, Bucharest has over 60 different museums!

National Museum of Contemporary Art

The place to go for modern art in Bucharest. The National Museum of Contemporary Art is located in a new glass wing in the Palace of Parliament, one of the largest administrative buildings in the world. The museum has a total of 4 floors with exhibitions and events all year round. The roof of the building is also a very nice viewpoint over the whole of Bucharest.

National Art Museum

The National Art Museum of Romania, opened in 1984, is located in the Royal Castle in the capital city of Bucharest . The art museum is divided into two sections: the National Gallery and the European Gallery. The National Gallery primarily displays collections, works and exhibits by well-known Romanian artists. The National Gallery is considered to be the most complete collection of Romanian works of art.

Dimitrie Gusti Museum

The Dimitrie Gusti is an open-air museum in Bucharest . The museum presents rural life as it has been for centuries in rural Romania. Founded in 1936 by Dimitrie Gusti, the museum covers an area of ​​more than 100,000 m² in Herastrau Park . It is therefore a perfect destination if you are only in Bucharest for a city trip.

Here you have an overview of all the most important museums in Bucharest:

  • National Museum of Contemporary Art

  • National Art Museum

  • Dimitrie Gusti Museum

  • Museum of the Romanian Peasant

  • National Museum of History of Romania

  • Cotroceni National Museum

Transylvania: The Home of Dracula

We can reassure you. You won't meet any real vampires there, but you will find plenty of vampire tourists. Of course, there is also all sorts of Dracula "kitsch" to buy and many of the restaurants are decorated accordingly.

Especially in Sighişoara, the birthplace of Dracula's model Vlad Tepeş, as well as in Bran (see Bram Stoker's novel) you will find a large number of souvenir shops.

If you don't feel comfortable with all this, you can buy garlic necklaces from the vendors along the country roads. If you still have enough energy left in the evenings and feel the urge to party properly, Cluj is the right place. Almost a third of the residents here are students, so a long night of partying is inevitable.

Transylvania literally means "behind the mountains". Whether you say Transylvania or Transylvania doesn't make much difference, as the area is identical.

Bran Castle: Dracula's Castle in Transylvania

In 1920, the medieval castle was converted by Queen Maria of Romania into a family home that was, for the time, extremely modern and comfortable. The monarch's very own style combined with the mountain backdrop and the Dracula legend make your visit to the castle a very special experience. In the Dracula Castle Bran you can learn all about vampires.

Bran Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Romania. But why this one when there are so many beautiful castles and palaces in Romania?

Well, there may be many other castles. But there is only one Dracula Castle! At least according to the description in Bram Stoker's novel "Dracula". Bran Castle is so similar to the description in the book that at some point the marketing machine was turned on and Bran Castle is now known as THE Dracula Castle.

Even though Dracula probably never actually lived here (not even "Vlad III Drăculea"), a visit to Bran Castle is still worthwhile.

The buildings have all been restored and are in excellent condition. The view over the beautiful landscape is so beautiful that a visit would be worthwhile even if Dracula were still up to mischief there. The park that belongs to the castle is just as inviting to relax as the small village of Bran itself. Small market stalls in the mountains are a nice change from the sometimes hectic Bucharest.

Sibiu

This medium-sized town is really very pretty. The center has been almost completely restored and offers a variety of accommodation, restaurants, cafés, and various shopping and entertainment options. The highlight of the town is the open-air museum, which is also the largest in Romania.

You can get a beautiful view of the small market square from the "Bridge of Lies". Why is it called that? Find out!

Sighişoara

This is a small town with a beautiful old town center. There is a small museum in the tower where you can admire numerous medical utensils from the 19th and 20th centuries.

Viscri/Weisskirch

We think it is the most original and authentic settlement of the Transylvanian Saxons. Unfortunately the fortified church is almost falling apart, but there is a small museum inside which can still be visited. The road there is not in the best condition, so it is best to park the car a little earlier and walk a little way.

Tirgu Mures

In addition to a park, there is also an Orthodox church with great murals. If you're lucky, you'll find the only English-speaking member of the congregation in the synagogue and get a cool private tour. It's also worth visiting the Palace of Culture, especially from the inside.

St. Anna Lake

You should definitely visit this beautiful volcanic lake, which is located in the eastern Carpathian region of Harghita. In summer, many people come here to swim in the crystal clear water. While you're there, you should also drive to the raised moor. There is another volcanic crater there, which you can reach via a boardwalk. But be careful, there are bears here!

Rimetea/Torockó

This small town was founded by German settlers in the Middle Ages. Back then it was called "Eisenburg". Today the Hungarian Szeklers (ethnic group) dominate the village. There is also a museum here that tells you more about the mining history and traditional costumes. It is best to pack a packed lunch for the day, as the restaurants can be closed on some days.

Looking for Activities While in Transylvania?

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The Most Beautiful Beaches in Romania

Romania is not necessarily known worldwide as the first address for a beach vacation. However, there are really beautiful beaches on the Black Sea coast!

Mamaia

The coastal town of Magaia is completely dedicated to tourism. You can choose from countless hotels exactly the one that suits you best.

The beach at Magaia is quite narrow, but snow-white! The Magaia region is particularly recommended for families. The gently sloping coast invites the whole family to enjoy swimming.

Constanta

Constanta beach is just a stone's throw away from Mamaia beach. Thanks to the gentle coastline, this beach is also ideal for families with small children.

The water is clean and clear, the beach is tidy and snow-white. What could be better for a relaxing time on the Black Sea? One advantage over Mamaia beach is that it is definitely a little emptier here and you can enjoy your time by the sea in a more peaceful way.