Best Things to Do in Romania for First-Time Visitors

Diana Condrea
Diana Condrea
Diana is a tourism consultant, tour guide, travel writer and amateur photographer. You can find Diana on LinkedIn

If you’re interested in a private tour of Romania, check our tours on www.uncover-romania-tours.com

Romania has plenty to offer to all curious travelers, from high-altitude hiking trails to unique museum visits and memorable experiences in remote villages. To help you plan better and faster, here’s our list of the best things to do in Romania for first-time visitors. The order is simply random, it’s up to you to choose whatever fits best with your plans.

Try an active vacation

From easy nature walks for families to intense multi-day hikes in the Carpathians that can only be done by the fittest, Romania is a great destination for outdoor activities. Whether you prefer a soft adventure or a more challenging one, the country’s varied landscape offers numerous opportunities, including hiking, trekking, climbing, rafting, canyoning, kayaking, cave exploration, and the list does not stop here.

Best things to do in Romania

Calimani National Park

If you’re the adventurous type, then an active vacation should definitely be on your list of top things to do in Romania.

Nature and wildlife observation

Romania is the most bio-geographically diverse country in Europe and conserves the continent’s most numerous populations of large carnivores, iconic mammals as well as numerous species of rare birds. All thanks to its large areas of wilderness that, however, need our protection to survive intact.

Danube Delta

The Danube Delta

Choose to be a responsible tourist, watch animals instead of hunting them, and go on nature tours that leave indeed only footprints behind.

Uncover the traditional village

Largely rural for a great part of its history, Romania is still defined by its many villages and colorful countryside. If you’re looking to experience a different life, even if only for a few days, visiting sheepfolds or observing traditional activities still part of the communities’ daily life, then a rural vacation should be the top of your list of things to do in Romania.

Viscri

Viscri Village

You have plenty of options to choose from. Transylvania is the best place to start your search for an original rural experience.

Discover our Rural Transylvania Tour

Take a 2,000 years old history lesson

Romania’s history goes back to the brave Dacians who lived in tribes north of the Danube River, a natural border the Roman Empire conquered almost 2,000 years ago. Even before, the ancient Greeks settled on the shores of the Black Sea, seeking the best commercial routes. A trip to Romania can be a full-time attractive and surprising history lesson, including medieval fortresses and anti-Ottoman crusades, Empires’ expansion, Balkan troubles, royal families, bloody World Wars, and a long dark communist regime.

Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa

The ruins of Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites

If you’re planning to see as many cultural and historical attractions as possible, then start with Romania’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites. You’ll travel across the country and even virtually across thousands of years, from the ancient Dacian sites to Europe’s youngest land, the Danube Delta.

Bucovina

The church of Moldovita Monastery

You’ll visit the painted churches of Bucovina, the wooden churches of Maramures, and the magnificent fortified churches of Transylvania. Don’t miss destinations like Sighisoara, Viscri, Biertan, or Horezu Monastery.

Try Romanian food

Reasons to visit Romania

Organic fruits and vegetables

Plus, Romania has the advantage of still having tasty and natural fruits and vegetables. This makes any dish much better. Don’t forget to try Romania’s many types of cheese, especially the local specialties from the mountain villages.

Travel like in the old days

In Romania you can still travel in some old and authentic ways, the horse cart ride being the first option. You can take the steam train ‘Mocanita’ from Viseu de Sus, Maramures, on the last forestry railway in Europe, or you can navigate the mountain river Bistrita on a wooden raft starting in Ciocanesti, in Bucovina.

Cheile Rasnoavei

Horsecart ride in Cheile Rasnoavei

Both the steam train and the wooden raft were traditional methods of transportation, one for wood, and the other one for all sorts of goods, the only ones adapted back in the day to the mountainous landscape. But you can always settle for a classical and reliable horse cart ride.

Cycle or ride on the highest roads

Take your bike or your motorcycle and adventure yourself on two stunning mountain roadsTransalpina and Transfagarasan. If you decide to go by bike, take into consideration you need an excellent physical condition. Also, check the weather before you leave, and try to avoid the crowded summer weekends.

Oasa Lake

Oasa Lake, Transalpina

It’s not easy to make a top of the best things to do in Romania for the first time visitor. There are so many attractions to see and experiences to try that summing them up would require a complete guidebook. We do hope our list will help you plan an amazing first trip to Romania.

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