What are the most interesting places to visit in Romania?

As you gaze across Romania’s mountainscapes, to the sound of goat bells and scents of aromatic alpine herbs, it is sometimes easy to forget the country’s history of conquest and uprisings. Parts of Romania have a timelessness that is treasured by locals and tourists alike, providing a fascinating addition to its turbulent political history.


The country is at once a paradise for medieval historians, creatives fascinated with the legends of Count Dracula, enthusiasts of traditional crafts, and contemporary artists keen for the buzz of hip Bucharest.


Here, we take you through the most interesting places in this compellingly diverse country, please get in touch with us for any more information. We offer a wide range of Romania tours for all schedules and budgets.



Bucharest is a fascinating place to start your journey. Just walking down one street will give you a sense of the country’s ever-changing history, as ornate turreted villas sit next to communist-era concrete blocks, seventeenth century Orthodox churches, and art deco hotels.  Architectural inspiration ranges from Ottoman, Habsburg, and North Korea, and the National Museum of Romanian History chronicles these influences in a vast collection of exhibits.


To witness the power of politics in architectural form, head to the Palace of the Parliament, which was the second largest building in the world when built (after the Pentagon).

This imposing building  was originally intended to serve as the administrative centre of the Romanian Communist party, led by Nicolae Ceausescu, but is now open to visitors. 


For a political antidote, head to Piața Revoluției, or Revolution Square where large-scale protests against Ceausescu took place, and eventually became a symbol of the revolution against his regime. Until today, the square commemorates those who died in the revolution in the Memorial Cross in the centre, and in the yearly ceremonies held there on December 22nd.


Romania’s revolutionary history is strongly reflected in its rich artistic scene, and we highly recommend the National Museum of Contemporary Art as a wonderful way to explore this.

There is another excellent gallery on the other side of Piața Revoluției, the National Museum of Art of Romania, which specialises both in Romanian and wider European art, including works by Rembrandt, El Greco, and Tintoretto. 


After a day of history and culture, we recommend you stick around the Piața Revoluției and enjoy a cool beer or botanical cocktail in one of the hip bars and experimental music venues.

Romania’s Medieval Fortresses


The region of Transylvania became a highly contested space in Medieval Europe, largely between the Ottoman Empire and the Hungarian Kingdom, with sporadic uprisings against both. As a result, the country boasts many medieval fortresses.


Corvin Castle, located several hours North West of Bucharest in the region of Hunedoara is characterised by its soaring towers and bastions, characteristic of the Renaissance Gothic style. This architectural movement is characterised by tall spires to give a sense of heavenly aspiration and intricate stone carvings, particularly of gargoyles. Gargoyles are grotesque or mythical creatures believed to ward off evil spirits, but their more practical function in many buildings is as water spouts!

At Corvin, visitors can enjoy the medieval art collection and attend a guided tour which includes the dungeons where Vlad the Impaler (see below) is said to have been held captive. 


Romania’s other fortresses include the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Sighișoara Citadel, located in Transylvania, the star-shaped Alba Carolina Citadel and Făgăraș Fortress which is one of the largest medieval castles in Eastern Europe.

Many of our tours at Rolandia take in several of these medieval attractions, which we combine with tailor-made stop-offs at the lovely medieval towns in between. We do the driving so there is no need to navigate the winding routes! Check out our Best of Romania 10-day tour, or, if you are pushed for time, we even have a Romania day trip that includes both Corvin and Alba. 

Bran Castle


This medieval fortress deserves its own entry because of its fictional fame as Count Dracula’s residence (according to Bram Stoker’s novel). The character of Count Dracula was inspired by the historical figure of Vlad the Impaler, a medieval ruler who spent time variously ruling over or being imprisoned in a range of Romania’s fortresses.


What is less well known, however, is that the novel was also inspired by the storytelling traditions of many of the ethnic groups of Transylvania. These became increasingly popular in the eighteenth century, when there was a frenzy of vampire sightings and attacks reported across Europe.

Our Dracula Beyond the Legend Romania Tour offers important insights into the history behind the legend. The castle has a fabulous collection of vampire-related exhibitions and the local village offers plenty of memorabilia, traditional crafts, and local delicacies. 


Located in the North of the country, Maramures is an area of fairy-tale landscape and untouched villages, sustained by the resilient culture of the Maramureș people. 
The Biertan Fortified Church and surrounding village is now a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the whole area resembles an open-air museum, with picturesque wooden houses. To respect the culture of this area in a more authentic way, on our classic Romania tour we invite guests to enjoy lunch with a local family.

In the region of Maramures, you can visit the Merry Cemetry, where each tombstone has a painted scene representing the lives of each of the deceased. This cemetery is fascinating for its diversion from the prevalent belief that death must be a solemn occasion. The local Dacian culture, conversely, sees that death is a moment filled with joy and anticipation.

Ethnic minorities across the country have sustained centuries of oppression and exclusion, but their contribution to Romania’s artistic, cultural, and political landscape is significant. To find out more, you can check out our blog about the importance of Romania’s ethnic minority communities.

Turda Salt Mine


The Turda Salt mine is a 2000-year-old mine — one of the oldest in Europe. Here you can learn about the history of salt mining and admire a remarkable architectural merging of the mine’s natural formations with modern infrastructure. 


Today’s Romanians have discovered a fabulous new use for the mine: it is a highly unique theme park! It features ferris wheels, a concert chamber with remarkable natural acoustics, a mini-golf course, bowling lanes, and a lake for paddle boating.


It is hard to stop here, because Romania’s wealth of fascinating tourist attractions extends well beyond these recommendations, check out our tours for more ideas, or get in touch with any questions.


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