Next up in my staycation series is Maria with 10 reasons you should visit her home country of Romania.
Maria blogs at Pal Places which is a travel blog meant for people that travel without a car. Maria’s blog posts are from Europe only (for the moment). For each destination, she presents routes available by public transportation.
10 reasons you should visit Romania
A guest post by Maria.
1. Stunning and wild nature scenery
Impressive high mountains (the highest peak has 2544m), challenging trails, surprising gorges, endless lakes, hidden caves, sea…Romania has it all! The landscapes are just amazing and wild as not many foreigners know about them. Only local people dare to explore the unexplored. There are a lot of trails, viewpoints, peaks to conquer! However, don’t neglect the warnings from the start of the roads: the forest is the home to the brown bear. Try to stay safe and follow the given instructions. And don’t adventure on new roads during the night!
2. Uncommon phenomenon in Europe
Mud Volcanoes (Buzau county) – Mud Volcanoes are mini landforms created by the eruption of mud, gases and water. These types of volcanoes are formed due to natural gas that is coming from over 3000 meters deep, it crosses the soil and it gets combined with underground water. The gases are pushing away the water combined with soil. The volcanoes have a conical structure and are not very tall. Similar volcanoes can be found in Europe or Asia.
Another spectacular phenomenon is Living fire, found in the sub-Carpathian area. This phenomenon is created by natural gasses emissions that turn into flames when meeting with the sun. This phenomenon is unique in Europe.
3. Interesting castles
Forget about Dracula! It is only a tourist trap. Instead, choose to find the hidden gems of Romania: Peles and Pelisor castles.
Peles castle, respresentative of Neo-Renaissance style, was built between 1873 and 1914. It was the summer residence of King Carol I. In the same complex, one can visit Pelisor, another beautiful castle built between 1899 și 1902. Its style combines art-nouveau and Romanian elements. Both castles are located in Sinaia, 2 hours away from Bucharest, in a splendid mountain region.
The most important citadel is the one from Alba Iulia. It is also one of the biggest in southeastern Europe. For romanians, it is a very important place as in Alba Iulia it was signed the document that unified Transylvania and Romania. In the citadel, one can admire the beautiful Baroque gates, comemorative statues and 2 beautiful churches: an Orthodox church and a Roman-Catholic one.
5. Beautiful cities
Brasov is one of my favourites: small, not so crowded, clean, colored, it has lots of sightseeing historical places, also it is the perfect match for hiking lovers (Tampa, Solomon`s rocks), last but not least – its air is so fresh! Brasov is located 3 hours away from Bucharest. Besides Brasov, Sighisoara and Sibiu cannot be missed!
6. Unique architecture
The “eyes” from the houses of Sibiu will give you creeps as you will feel like you’re being watched all the time! These unusual eyes are in fact the old attics used in past by the German occupies to supervise the city. Nowadays the houses with eyes are a main attraction in Sibiu. Just make sure you don’t miss Sibiu if you plan a visit in Romania!
7. Challenging roads for experienced drivers
Transfagarasan and Transalpina are the 2 roads that cross the Carpathian mountains and are very challenging due to a large number of curves and level difference. The
road is an experience not only for drivers but also for the passengers. The deep curves will make one dizzy but the landscape is totally worth the trouble!
Palace of Parliament from Bucharest is the second largest administrative building in the world (after Pentagon) and the world’s highest building – it was built between 1984 şi 1990. Its structure is impressive!
Rope street from Brasov is the third narrowest street in Europe. I love it as it is so colourful!
Black Church from Brasov is the biggest Gothic church from southeastren Europe and hosts the largest pipe organ from southeastern Europe.
9. Delicious food
Our traditional plate is mamaliga (made from maize flour) and sarmale. No photos with sarmale, instead we have chicken brine and mamaliga.
Below you can see a photo of our traditional pastry “papanasi” (made from cheese, eggs, flour, sugar). They are served with sour cream and jam.
10. It is affordable
Th local currency is Leu (the exchange rate is 1 euro= 4,5 Lei). The prices are affordable (accommodation, food, transport). What do you say about paying 8 euros for a train ticket Bucharest – Brasov? Or 2 euros for a beer?
Of course, try to avoid the touristy areas as the prices are a bit higher there.
Maria’s post has definitely inspired me to look at Romania for my next trip. Have you ever been to Romania?