Is Romania an Underrated Destination?

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Romania is quite often forgotten by travelers and I have to admit that even though I wanted visit, I was only interested in Bucharest and the castles of Dracula. When I received the opportunity to spend a week hopping from one small town to another in the Neamt region I had no idea what to expect. Along with a group of bloggers I embarked on my Romanian adventure.DSC02338

For me, the Neamt region of Romania brought back lots of childhood memories from Poland. I guess it’s not that surprising as small Eastern European towns have a similar vibe. It was quite nice to explore some local places where not many tourists have been and in the end I would recommend them to anyone. Here’s what I did in Neamt county.DSC02399


Days 1-2: Roman Town

We started our trip in Roman Town, a small place near Bacau Airport. At first we thought there would be nothing to do there, but we quickly found out that this town and our hotel in particular were very lively due to the extensive amount of weddings going on. For such a small town the number of wedding ceremonies was enormous!

Talking about the attractions in Roman Town, I have to say that the biggest attraction was probably us. The moment Alexandra and I walked around town with our cameras we attracted a group of local boys who just had to pose for photos with us. I have to say it was quite funny!DSC02187


After we had enough photos with the boys we visited an Archdiocese church. This visit wasn’t boring either as we ended up being chased away by a nun who didn’t seem to like us playing with her cat and taking pictures.DSC02206


Our hotel also offered us access to spa which we couldn’t miss out on. We spent almost a whole day relaxing in the spa, exhausted from our overnight flight to Romania.


Day 3: Museum Day

After getting some rest we hopped on a big bus and drove to the Neculai Popa museum. The name of Neculai Popa might not ring a bell and it didn’t seem familiar to me either, but his house definitely gave me an insight as to who he was. Popa was a sculptor who spent his life helping the younger generation understand the power of their ancestors by using traditional masks to educate them about the history of the region. Every room of the house was filled with wooden statues and masks which made the whole place look magical.DSC02233

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Our next stop was my favorite place – the horse stables in Dumbrava Timisesti I’ve always loved horse riding so I immediately jumped at the opportunity to go! I had never ridden a horse barefoot before but my shoes kept falling off so at some point it made more sense to take them off.IMG_0968

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As our day wasn’t full enough, we also went to see the Neamt fortress. I almost died after running up the hill, but I was very excited to see it! This citadel was attacked many times throughout history, but only conquered by Suleiman the Magnificent and the Polish King Jan Sobieski. The view from the top was stunning and gave us an insight of how unspoiled Neamt county really is!DSC02289

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We made a little bonus stop at the Neamt Monastery which was built in 1270, making it the oldest monastery in Romania. The place was just beautiful!DSC02388

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Our last stop on that day was at the Dragos Voda Bison Reserve. As excited as I was to see some bison, unfortunately all 28 of them were hiding from the sun. The reserve is a protected area, not a zoo, so if the animals don’t want to be seen then they won’t be. We walked on a 15m high bridge overlooking the area, but we still didn’t see anything. However, don’t think that our visit was a failure! Each of us got a cup of palinka (traditional Romanian alcohol that’s so strong I could barely drink it!) and a cake.DSC02329


In the evening we had the pleasure of staying at a lovely hotel. Everyone was extremely nice to us and we really felt welcome. We had a chance to chill at the fireplace or on a swing next to mushroom statues – which I absolutely loved!DSC02268


Days 4-5: Hiking to Ceahlau Massif / relaxing in Durau

For the next part of the trip, we had the option to go hiking in Ceahlau National Park, which I decided to skip because relaxing in a jacuzzi and going on mini-hikes seemed way more appealing, especially because it had rained the night before. A few others and I stayed in and enjoyed some yoga and chocolate cakes. Durau town itself is really pretty and I definitely didn’t regret not going hiking as I enjoyed my relaxing day a lot!

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Day 6: from Durau to Piatra Neamt

The next morning we embarked on an adventure in a minibus to meet the rest of the group. The road was curvy, but thankfully we all managed to somehow stay on it all the way to Bicaz Dam where everyone started taking tons of photos. I must say it was quite the picturesque location.DSC02406


The last stop on our journey was the town of Piatra Neamt, the biggest town in the region. Our hotel gave us the unique opportunity to climb to the rooftop and see the sunset while waving to some cable car passengers.DSC02489

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Day 7: Piatra Neamt

On the last day we had the chance to stroll around and see everything that the town had to offer. Piatra Neamt is a really cute place and its square is unbelievably lively with many kids playing around.DSC02414

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As Romania is a very religious place, Piatra Neamt has a lot of churches that you can visit. My favorite one was a little chapel with some restored mosaics that looked brand new. I must say it was quite unusual!DSC02442

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My time in Romania was definitely memorable and different from any other trip I’ve taken. Traveling off the beaten path to places like Neamt allowed us to interact with the locals and see some places that we didn’t even know existed. What are you waiting for then? Start planning a trip to Romania!

Trip made possible thanks to Eventur.
All content & opinions are my own.
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21 Comments

  1. Oct 12, 2015 / 10:07 pm

    I look like I’m staring at my boobs in one of these photos…

    • Oct 12, 2015 / 11:15 pm

      Haha, I should have posted the one you look so surprised 😉

  2. Oct 13, 2015 / 10:16 pm

    Ah – it looks beautiful and is definitely on my list. One of my good friends immigrated from Romania to the USA and has sold me on going (hopefully, someday soon)! Did you coordinate your itinerary and the buses on your own? If so, how did you find the public transportation? She seemed to think that I would have issues without renting a car and driving.

    • Oct 14, 2015 / 6:31 pm

      Hmm.. I was on a press trip, so we had a bus rented for us. But some people went by train to get to Roman Town and it wasn’t a problem, apparently it ws very nice. Taxis were also cheap 🙂

    • Dec 29, 2015 / 2:12 pm

      There are buses and trains to most places, so you should be fine without renting a car. Nonetheless, there aren’t too many motorways., so you can expect transportation to take longer than in Western European countries. There are no TGV lines either, but you can sleep in the train if needed.

      From Bucharest, you can access the Black Sea (Constanta) by train in only 2 hours (there are several trains per day) and the Prahova Valley (Sinaia, Busteni) in less than 2 hours.

  3. Oct 14, 2015 / 5:28 am

    I had an elopement of sorts and got married in Romania some years ago. I hope to bring back the kids on my 25th anniversary. We visited Bucharest, Sinaia and Black Sea resort of Neptun (oh the slow travel days I no longer have time for!). As great and relaxing the trip was- Romanian people were the highlight of the journey!

    • Oct 14, 2015 / 6:29 pm

      That sounds awesome! I still wanna visit the Black Sea!

  4. Oct 14, 2015 / 8:02 am

    I just love eastern Europe! Romania an Georgia is definitely places on the top of my bucket list, so I really enjoyed this post =) Going of the beaten path almost, and I say almost, never disappoints you. One of the absolute best things with traveling, in my opinion, is to get to meet and interact with the locals. It makes the trip feel both genuine and brings a new purpose to the trip. So let’s just say, I’m pretty jealous of you trip =)

    • Oct 14, 2015 / 6:29 pm

      The trip was amazing! You’re definitely right after interactions with locals – I’m glad we were shown aroudn by them 🙂

  5. Oct 18, 2015 / 3:27 am

    I definitely think Romania is underrated, but I am biased because my father’s family comes from there. I went by myself two years ago and had a great time, but I just stuck to Bucharest and Transylvania. Your pictures are great, and I agree that the churches in Romania are really special. I would also recommend Sibiu for the architecture and the great concerts during the summer.

  6. Ryan Biddulph
    Oct 18, 2015 / 6:38 am

    Hi Anna,

    Nice handstand. Romania is beautiful and I have another reason to visit; my grand dad grew up in Transylvania. I am 1/4 Romanian and still have relatives there so I need to get onboard and freaking see the place. Your pictures are awesome.

    Ryan

    • Oct 19, 2015 / 6:31 am

      Thanks a lot Ryan! I’d still like to go back to Romania and see the castles in Transylvania 🙂

  7. Antoine
    Oct 19, 2015 / 1:00 pm

    Hi, sorry if I ask, but was that some sort of promotion / sponsored trip for bloggers? In some pictures it looks like you were in a herd, which is a sort of traveling that I can’t believe any person can appreciate. It’s the furthest you can get from experiencing anything really local, from exploring, from getting lost in the beauty of a place. Instead you prefer to be escorted around like you were in a zoo. Bloggers taking pictures of themselves! I am very disappointed by this post – which however finally shed some light on the world of travel bloggers.

    • Oct 19, 2015 / 10:56 pm

      Hi Antoine! Yes this was my first press trip as I mentioned. I did it mostly because I wanted to finally exprience it. I don’t normally go on press trips like a lot of travel bloggers do all the time.

  8. Jennifer
    Oct 19, 2015 / 9:51 pm

    As great and relaxing the trip was- Romanian people were the highlight of the journey!

  9. Nov 4, 2015 / 1:10 am

    Certainly is! I loved Romania! One of my favourite trips around Europe

  10. Justin Pham
    Dec 1, 2015 / 1:32 pm

    very beautiful

  11. irina
    Jun 23, 2016 / 6:23 am

    not hiking on the Ceahlau was a BIG mistake. The mountain offers the most beautifull and spectacular views – on a bright daty you can see Durau, Bicaz, and the lake from the top , not to mention the rare and protected edelweiss. Just google “ceahlau pictures”
    Also if in stead of waching the cord cabin from the hotel’s roof , you would have taking the cabin up to the Cozla hill , the view of the city is breathtaking – sometimes you can see Bacau ( another city at 60 km distance) and also the Ceahlau mountain !
    And I am suprised that you visited Neamt monastery, but you did not swing to the Agapia monastery in the way to Piatra Neamt . Agapia is painted by faimous Nicolae Grigorescu ,was recently restored and it is well worth vthe 20 km detour.
    And I’m guessing you did not have time for it , but next time do not miss a trip to Lacu Rosu * the Red Lake ” trought the absolutly stunning Bicaz Chei (bicaz’s key) – the traditional manufactures that sell stuff there might be interesting as well.-it is like one hour drive from Piatra Neamt

    • Jun 23, 2016 / 5:03 pm

      We didn’t have time for all of this… it was a very full schedule in Romania 🙁

  12. Razvan
    Dec 29, 2016 / 3:25 pm

    I am proud to say that I am Romanian. I arrived on blog reading an article about my country through the eyes of foreigners. I hope to visit several objectives

    • Dec 29, 2016 / 3:43 pm

      You live in a very beautiful country 🙂

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