Romania was the country that captured our hearts. It came as a total magical surprise, inspiring us to spend 3 years trying to buy a house in Romania and basing ourselves, on and off, in a beautiful, remote peasant village, 100 years in the past.
It’s been an incredible experience giving us time to put this Romania Travel Blog page together.
Our personal experiences of living in the village will be a book one day, but I am a blogger first, so you’ll find plenty about our time here and Romania travel destinations below.
We’ve created a travel guide featuring information about travel destinations, hotels, tips and suggestions for travel to and in Romania. We include family travel, adventure travel, singles and couple travel and of course, lots of food and drink related posts.
We know Romania, we weren’t just typical tourists, we were living it, and we loved it.
Apologies, this page, and all of our Romania content, is in flux as we move it over from a smaller website. You caught us hard at work!
Romania Travel, Highlights, Guide, Tips, Reviews and Advice
Wildlife in Romania
Romania is an exciting destination for wildlife lovers.
Here you will find wild wolves, bears and lynx along with fascinating bird life, squirrels, pole cats ( the fearsome gyhor !) and abundant smaller mammals like these hedgehogs, disturbed by a farmer scything his grass.
All the babies and their mother survived.
Watch out for the cranes that arrive in March and leave as the weather turns cold, you’ll see nests on the top of pylons throughout the country.
Romania and Dracula
This was how we sold Romania to the kids, Transylvania and Dracula. Their response ” I LOVE you mum!”.
You’ll find Dracula related attractions, dishes and souvenirs all over Romania, it’s a bit of fun and the story is rooted in history, folk tales and superstition.
It’s an interesting story to read up on, read all about Dracula’s Romanian roots and vampire related destinations, here.
The Weather in Romania
Romanian winters can be incredibly cold, but summers are long and hot.
Rainfall is modest to low and focused on the western mountains, allowing a long ski season.
The lowest temperature ever recorded in Romania was in Brasov, a chilly −38.5 °C (−37.3 °F). The absolute maximum temperature was 44.5 °C (112.1 °F) in Brăila County.
The coldest nights we’ve ever experienced in northern Maramures were around -20C. At those temperatures your New Year’s Eve champagne around the camp fire turns to slush instantly. We survived the big freeze just fine, with only a small woon burning stove in our farmhouse kitchen.
The country’s topography will obviously give location dependent variations.
Visas For Romania
Brexit has, of course, potentially destroyed travel in Europe for British passport holders. Time will tell what the outcome will be, but, currently:
EU and UK passport holders can stay in Romania for 3 months without needing a visa. ( UK advice here)
Romania is not part of the Schengen agreement.
American and Canadian citizens and citizens of Australia and New Zealand do not need an entry visa to visit Romania, for stays up to 90 days, during a single visit, or multiple visits, within any 6 month period.
The 90 day visa can be extended by applying to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs..
Visas Will be needed if you are a national of one of the countries on this list.
Please check this information for yourself at the Ministry above, these regulations, for any country, have a habit of changing and I’m only trying to give you a rough guide here.
Romania Travel Destinations:
Our list isn’t comprehensive as yet, but we’re adding posts just as fast as we can!
Bucharest was so much more than we expected, fantastic hospitality, a lovely family guest house, great food, vibrant nightlife and our first Dracula encounter.
See our full post on Bucharest here, including that guest house recommendation.
Inside the ancient citadel of Sighisoara, Transylvania. This would be my #1 must visit place in Romania after Maramures County.
Sighisoara is a tiny, fortified, medieval town with stunning good looks. It’s traffic-free streets are a joy to explore and it was the birthplace of Vlad Dracul, so expect some vampire theming. My boys adored a trip to the spooky cemetery at midnight through the oak covered walkway.
See our post on why you absolutely must include Sighisoara on your Romania itinerary here.
With fairy-tale looks and cobbled streets, the town of Brasov ( full post) is a popular tourist destination in Romania.
It nestles at the foot of a mountain and boasts it’s own Hollywood style sign “Brasov”. Just in case you forget where you are.
The main square Piaţa Sfatului, is a wonderful place to sit at a pavement cafe and watch the world go by. There are ski resorts and wild bears around Brasov, we haven’t experienced either, but they are there, as we discovered on a forest walk in Transylvania.
Maramures, in the north of Romania, nestled against the Ukraine border is an absolutely stunning part of the world where time stands still. It is where we chose to live.
It’s green and unspoilt, the meadows grow thick with wild flowers and the way of life is simple, traditional and beautiful.
This is where we bought our house, and so did another Romania fan, Prince Charles.
Here’s a little video we made about Maramures County, our rural paradise.
Posts about Maramures Country include:
The magical village we call home, Breb, Maramures. and a special post on the annual hay making, cutting the grass with scythes and constructing the characteristic Maramures haystacks.
Experiences of surviving harsh winters with just a wood stove in our 100 year old village house.
The weekly Farmers Market at Ocna Sugatag and our monthly livestock market at Sighetu Marmatiei
A special dinner with the shepherds and their dogs, in Maramures Romania
Learning to ski in Cavnic, Maramures
A look inside a Maramures tuica shed to see what the Romanians are brewing in there.
Maramures is famous for wooden churches and huge gates, even the simplest home can have a towering gateway, a tradition from years gone by. The wooden churches of Maramures are UNESCO listed.
In this region you’ll find places to visit such as the Merry Cemetery in the village of Sapanta and the stunning Barsana Monastery.
The real jewel of Maramures lies in it’s stunningly preserved lifestyle, culture and traditions. You will step back into a medieval peasant past .
Turda Salt Mine, Transylvania
What an incredible place! If you’re travelling to Romania please make a point of going here, it’s like nothing else on earth. It’s a day trip from Cluj Napoca in Transylvania, or a great overnight stay. Read our full post on the Turda Salt Mine, here.
Romanian food ( a full post by my husband, he is a Chef – opens in new tab) is hearty, simple, meaty and good. We were all surprised by how much we loved it.
You’ll find good produce, much of it organic and traditionally produced.
Village cows feed on wild flowers to make amazing milk and butter, home-made bread and jams are easy to find and there are plenty of traditional dishes to explore.
Sarmale cu Mamaliguta, stuffed cabbage leaves with polenta, is a festive dish and our favourite Romanian dish so far.
Expect a hot chili, fresh or pickled, and a dollop of sour cream ( smantana) on the side.
Mici or Mititei are a rolled meat sausage, without a skin (top right, above). Served with beautiful mustards on the side, this is Romania’s traditional and most typical street food.
You’ll also find an abundance of soups, some vegetarian-friendly and plenty of cheeses and cured meats.
For you, for Pinterest
Is There A Language Barrier in Romania?
In the cities, no, none at all. Young Romanians often speak perfect English.
Once you venture out into the countryside, that all changes. You will most certainly need a good guide-book with phrases and translations to get by.
Discover the history, culture, food and language of the region with Lonely Planet Romania & Bulgaria. It includes phrases and Romanian words that you will most probably need.Check out the guide here.
The good news is, Romanian is fairly easy to understand if you know some Italian, French or Spanish. To my ear, Romanian takes me back to my days learning Latin in school. The Romans were here, they left a lot of things behind, including their vocabulary. Yes, we’re very proud to be able to speak some basic Romanian.
So join us in Romania, a country we love and know well. We’d love to meet you here and share a glass of tuica. Noroc! We’re aiming to make this Romania travel blog and guide the most complete Romania website in existence, we’re working hard to help you better.