Not many people place this Eastern European country at the top of their list when choosing a travel destination. Romania or Transylvania is where vampires live right? Well, that’s merely the stuff of fables. From its countryside and medieval cities to its charming people, Romania has plenty of surprises in store. It’s the perfect place to visit if you want to break away from the usual crowded tourist hotspots. Romania is quite a way off the European vacation trail; even the popular places are peaceful and welcoming.
Your first stop needs to be the dynamic capital, Bucharest, once known as ‘Little Paris’. Read More
Packed with grand architecture, captivating museums and traditional eateries, it’s well worth a visit. If you’re brave enough to come out after dark the nightlife in Bucharest are one of the main attractions in Romania. Most of the nightlife scene is found in the old town area, packed with bars, cafes and restaurants.
The resorts along the Black Sea Coast offers up inconceivable marine vistas and sandy beaches, discover deserted stretches of pristine shoreline at Mamaia, the most popular Romanian resort located to the north of Constanta.
It is, of course, almost criminal to mention Transylvania without speaking of the legend of Count Dracula. The Romanians are all too mindful of this. The Counts fictional castle has been completely transformed to reflect Bram Stoker’s literary tales and is now one of the country’s foremost tourist attractions.
While not quite as famous as its literary fiends, Romanian cuisine is a near-perfect reflection of the country’s roots and twisted history. Dishes borrow heavily from neighbouring cultures – Turkish, Hungarian, Germanic and Slavic.
It’s true comfort food. For mains, look no further than Romania’s national dish, sarmale or sărmăluţe – cabbage rolls, stuffed with spiced pork and rice, it’s hearty and satisfying. The desserts are also a complete treat, so prepare yourself for an abundance of cakes and strudels. Other favourites for those with a real sweet tooth include clătite, crepes filled with chocolate or fresh fruit. Popular hot street foods include mici – grilled rolls of minced pork or beef served on cardboard with a piece of bread and a spoon of mustard, and shoarma – a local version of shwarma.
Like most countries, Romania has its fair share of shopping malls but it’s far more rewarding to shop with the locals at the nearest market. Even the smallest Romanian village has a market or two offering cheese, fruit and fresh vegetables and even specialities such as embroideries, pottery, porcelain, silverware, carpets, and silk dresses. And remember haggling is encouraged if the price isn’t right.
Who would have guessed that this land tucked away in Eastern Europe has so much to offer?