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

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Romania has plenty to offer to all curious travelers, from high-altitude hiking trails to memorable experiences in remote villages. If it’s your first visit and you don’t know where to start, here’s our list of the best things to do in Romania.

Check our ideas and choose your favorites.

1. Hike in the Carpathians

If you love adventure and nature, Romania is a perfect destination. From easy nature walks for families to intense multi-day hikes in the Carpathians, Romania has ideal outdoors. Whether you prefer a soft adventure or a more challenging one, you’ll have many options to choose from. Hiking, trekking, climbing, rafting, canyoning, kayaking, cave exploration are all great choices.

Fagaras Mountains

View from the ridge, Fagaras Mountains

2. Nature and wildlife observation

Romania is one of the most biodiverse countries in Europe. It still has veritable wilderness areas, primeval forests, the biggest populations of large carnivores, and many rare species of birds. This natural heritage faces, however, many threats.

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

Danube Delta

Great egret flying in the Danube Delta

The Danube Delta is the best destination for bird watching while the Carpathians are your choice for observing the iconic brown bear, and, if you’re lucky, wolves and lynx.

3. Uncover the traditional village

If you’re looking for a different experience, then a vacation in the countryside should be on your list of things to do in Romania.

The country had a rural landscape for most of its modern history. Even if the countryside is hardly as traditional as before WW2, there are many villages with a well-conserved traditional architecture and slow-paced lifestyle.


Viscri Village

Transylvania is the best place to start your search for this original vacation. For the off-grid experience, hike to the isolated hamlets from Valea Cernei National Park. Dobraia, Inelet, and Prisacina will seem lightyears away from your city life.

Discover our Rural Transylvania Tour

4. Take a 2,000 years old history lesson

A trip to Romania is a surprising history lesson that starts with the ancient Dacians who lived north of the Danube. The Roman Empire conquered the region almost 2,000 years ago, creating a new identity, language, and history.

If you’re a fan of ancient times, visit the ruins from Sarmizegetusa Regia and Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa. Discover also Histria, founded by the ancient Greeks settled on the shores of the Black Sea, long before the Romans.

Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa

Ruins at Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa

Add a few of the many medieval fortresses from Transylvania, castles, and major communist landmarks for a complete history tour.

Read more about the history of Romania.

5. Visit the UNESCO Heritage Sites

If you only have time to see the most famous attractions, then start with Romania’s UNESCO Heritage Sites. Their tour will take you across the country and thousands of years of history, from the ancient Dacian sites to Europe’s youngest land, the Danube Delta.


Viscri Fortified Church

Plus, you’ll visit the painted churches of Bucovina, the wooden churches of Maramures, and the fortified churches of Transylvania. Don’t miss destinations like Sighisoara, Viscri, Biertan, or the ancient Roman mines from Rosia Montana.

6. Try Romanian food

Eating local food is for sure one of the best things to do in Romania for foodies. Book a culinary tour or choose local guest houses from traditional villages for the best experience.

Reasons to visit Romania

Organic fruits and vegetables

You can also find tasty and organic-grown fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets from smaller towns. Don’t forget to try Romania’s many types of cheese, especially the local specialties from the mountain villages.

Read more about Romanian gastronomy.

7. Travel like in the old days

Are you tired of driving or taking the subway? How about a horse cart ride? Or a trip with Mocanita, an old steam train? You can do both during your vacation in Romania. Horse carts are widely used in the countryside, and the Mocanite trains still exist in Maramures, Bucovina, and Transylvania.

Best things to do in Romania

Hiking trail in Calimani Mountains

Take the Mocanita from Viseu de Sus, in Maramures, on the last forestry railway in Europe, or Hutulca from Vatra Moldovitei, in Bucovina. Don’t worry if you’re too far away. There’s a Mocanita in Agnita, close to Sibiu, that crosses the scenic landscape from Hartibaciului Valley.

8. Cycle or ride on the highest roads

Take your bike or your motorcycle and adventure yourself on two stunning mountain roads, Transalpina and Transfagarasan. Don’t forget to check the weather before you leave. Also, try to avoid the crowded summer weekends.


Transfagarasan Road

Discover more beautiful roads in Romania.

There are so many attractions to see and experiences to try that summing up the best things to do in Romania would end up a complete guidebook. But we hope our shortlist will help you plan an amazing first trip to Romania.


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