Top Places in Romania
I explore recommends
We made a top of 10 places to visit in Romania. This is not an official top, but it is rather our recommendation starting from our subjective point of view. Our preferences is not necessarily in this order and we excluded Bran Castle – a main attraction in Romania- as everybody knows about “Dracula Castle” and there are plenty of information all over the internet. Actually, the castle is not quite connected with Vlad the Impaller, the one who inspired the novel fictional character. In fact, Bran Castle is more connected to the Royal family who had this castle starting with 1920.
- Sarmizegetusa Regia – it is the cradle of Romania, the ancient land of Romanian ancestors, Dacians. If you want to see the true roots of Romanians this is the place one should visit.
Sarmizegetusa Regia was the capital of Dacia, the place where military, religious and political decisions were taken. The fortress was built on Orastie Mountains at an altitude of 1.200 m, as measure of defensive strategy against invaders. If the fortress walls are massive, the temple area is impressive and enigmatic. The “Andesite Sun” is a proof that locals were familiar with geometry and astronomy, the large circle in the sanctuary area makes one consider a resemblance with Stone Hedge constructed in timber posts.
- Maramures and Sapanta Peri
Maramures is the core of Romanian traditions and Romanism. The rural side, unveils its beauty and people with their customs for centuries are an integral part of this amazing beauty.
Sapanta – Merry Cemetery is widely known for its funeral monuments with naïve paintings and the charades describing the life of the person buried there. Sapanta-Peri Monastery is the highest wooden monastery placed in a beautiful landscape.
I might be subjective about as I have plenty of memories connected with the Sfinx, memories about beautiful people met in an amazing setting. There are stories about energies surrounding the Sfinx. I cannot measure those, but I can confirm the monumental feeling you have being there.
The Sfinx ( read like Sphinx) in Carpathians, a rock monument watching over Bucegi mountains, is a reason of controversy. While natural science researchers say is natural monument created by erosion, spiritual people consider this monument as made by evolved people, like Marchausi ones, being an energetic place used for developed creatures.
The fact is the Sfinx, situated at 2216 m altitude, resembles with the Sphinx of Giza and has similar size. It is 8 m long and 12 m height, the Sfinx mysteriously watches over the Bucegi mountains.
This is a place where I always come back with pleasure. It does not matter if it is hot like staying in bread oven or freezing that I shiver in my own boots, Sighisoara gives that feeling of belonging. Sighisoara seems universal and timeless.
This beautiful citadel situated in Mures county, aside Tarnava Mare River, brings back the colorful life of medieval times. It is one of the few inhabited citadels in Europe and also the place where Vlad the Impaller was born. Vlad the Impaller is the 15-th century Wallachian ruler who inspired Bram Stocker character of Dracula, even if fiction has little to do with the real figure.
The citadel used to be inhabited by merchants and the aspect of the narrow streets send you back in centuries and really imagine how this beautiful citadel once looked like. The Clock Tower watching over the town leaves you under impression the time stood still over Sighisoara.
Other places to visit in Sighisoara? You don’t get bored here, I insure you: there are still 8 other towers to see ( excluding the Clock tower), all of them after merchant names: Goldsmiths’, Tins’ tower, Rope makers’ tower… Then one cannot miss The New School places majestically on the top of a 400 m hill, edifice that can be reached by climbing 300 flights staircase, cover in wood ( this stairs were build in 1642).
There are more to say and to do in Sighisoara, but we will stop about here.
It is mainly know as former European capital in 2007. What people know less about this amazing city is that Top Forbes considered it in top 10 most idyllic places to live in or the fact that Samuel von Brukenthal was initiator of complex development and erudition in that part of Transylvania.
Besides the two beautiful Squares sending you back to Medieval times, the Lier bridge or Catholic Church, the former capital of Transylvania offers a grandiose scenery to Fagaras mountains. Astra- Dumbrava Village Museum is a proof of Romanian rural development and uniqueness.
- Huniadi Castle
I would start with the feeling the castle left over my senses. It was as if I was seeing a fairy tale movie and I was expecting Prince charming to appear on the bridge. Actually, numerous prince charming and princesses, dressed in medieval clothes animate the Castle, so my expectations or any other tourist’s aren’t futile.
Initially it was a fortress that John’s Corvinus father received from Sigismund, the king of Hungary. It was John ( Ioan/ Iancu) who transformed the fortress into a beautiful castle in 1446. The drawbridge welcomes tourists today, but it is obvious the defense purposes for which it firstly was designed for. The double fortified walls also indicate turbulent history and requirement for supplementary protection measures.
In spite of all these, the Castle is charming. The combines style, mainly gothic with subtitle Renaissance add on, the colorful top and stone carvings around adorned balconies or myriad windows bring a sense of gentleness on this massive building. The towers, either circular or squared, survey over Zlasti river. Some of this towers were used as dungeons, most likely in one of these towers Vlad the Impaller was imprisoned.
- Sinaia and Peles Castle– Named also “the Perl of Carpathians”, Sinaia is a treasure itself. Placed like 120 km away from Bucharest, Sinaia offers to the tourist a beautiful view and loads of mountain sports activities, from hiking during summer to downhill skiing as winter sport.
If you get there, don’t you miss Peles Castle, a summer residence commissioned by Carol I st, one of the most beautiful Castles of Europe.
Visit also Franz Joseph and Saint Anne Cliffs for a beautiful view of Prahova Valley.
Also visit George Enescu Memorial house (Vila Luminis), place where our great composer chose to create his unique pieces of art.
Just 10 km away, there is Busteni where you can take trip to the Sfinx.
- Horezu Pottery
Even if the Pottery of Horezu was included in UNESCO intangible heritage last year, the traditional pottery is a Romanian heritage for generations of mastery. The regional painted cock is a landmark on every single piece of pottery and natural colors are secrets kept within the community.
Pottery is not the only attraction in this. Horezu is a small town placed close to Capataniimountains ( Translated as Skull Mountains). People enjoying caving can explore around 25 km away Polovragi and Pestera Muierii ( Women cave); just in the next commune tourist remains amazed in front of growing stones; the old boyar houses in Maldaresti give the tourist of contemplation and history, the monasteries around ( including Hurezi- UNESCO heritage) a reason for spiritual meditation.
Just a short drive away is also Buila – Vanturarita natural reservation a reason for trekking and admiring the beautiful nature of Oltenia.
- Danube Delta
My fist encounter with Danube Delta it was during my teenage period. My child eyes opened widely at those beautiful sunsets when only a rare bird could only disturb the red sun. My eyes are still wide opened and my words are not enough when it comes to speak about Danube Delta ( UNESCO Heritage).
The wilderness around it, the countless number of species of birds, fish, insects or plants; even the villages where modern times are far away, but most of it the amazing setting.
- Transfagarasan – Named by the Jeremy Clarkson as “the most beautiful road in the world”, competing with Stelvio or other famous roads, Transfagarasan is modern time monument and, no doubt, one of the most enjoyable roads in the world to drive on
Also known as DN 7C , starting from Arefu in Wallachia ending in Cartisoara, the road sums up 91 km, 830 bridges, 27 viaducts and there were used about 6500 tones of dynamite.
To be continued…