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Things to Do in Romania Across the Whole Country

Things to Do in Romania Across the Whole Country

Romania is quite often forgotten by travelers. I have to admit that even though I wanted to 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, but looking back – I think it’s an incredibly underrated country, and with very few tourists around it’s a unique place to travel.

For me, 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.

Piatra Neamt town

Amazing Places to Visit in Romania

Being a relatively large country, there are of course so many different places to see in Romania it can be pretty hard to know where to start. 

So before I get into the main list of the best attractions, I wanted to give you a quick rundown of all the best towns to add to your itinerary. 

  • Bucharest – The bustling capital of Romania which is home to countless museums and historical buildings that are a must-see while visiting. 
  • Brasov – Near to all of the castles of Transylvania, Brasov is the second most popular town to visit in Romania. The picturesque old town and its surrounding mountains are something special. 
  • Cluj Napoca – The historic capital of Transylvania has an interesting mix of history and nightlife being a prominent university town. It also offers a great base for exploring the region. 
  • Sighișoara – Being a UNESCO World Heritage site, Sighisoara is an unmissable stop with its medieval architecture and beautiful sites to enjoy. 
  • Timișoara – A bright and colorful historic town located on the Bega River, Timisoara is the biggest city in western Romania which dates back to the Roman empire. 

Best Things to Do in Romania

1. Explore Bucharest

Romania’s capital city has so much to explore that it deserves the top spot on this list of things to do in Romania. 

Earning its nickname “little Paris of the East”, Bucharest is home to some beautiful architecture that spans many historic periods, yet the countless parks and modern facilities around Piata Unirii bring it into the 21st century, providing plenty to do for all interests. 

I recommend joining a walking tour so can get a full explanation of every corner of this fascinating city. 

Don’t miss a visit to the Palace of Parliament which is the second largest building in the world, the beautiful Church of the Stavropoleos Monastery, and the chance to explore it’s countless world-class museums

2. See Bran Castle

Located just south of the city of Brasov, Bran Castle is known as being home to the infamous Count Dracula

While Count Dracula himself is entirely fictional and the author of the famous book never actually visited Bran Castle, the character was based loosely on Vlad the Impaler, a very real historical figure who spent time living at Bran Castle. 

Today, you can visit the castle on tours from Brasov or Bucharest and explore all the nooks and crannies of this incredible (and spooky) place.  

3. Visit Peleş Castle

Another iconic castle in Transylvania that you must see is Peles Castle. This beautifully designed 19th-century castle was built but the first King of Romania and was used as the royal summer residence. 

Since it’s located in the same area as Bran and Pelisor Castle (another great addition to the trip), you can visit all 3 on one tour from Bucharest or Brasov.

4. Pay Your Respects at Merry Cemetery

You may think it strange to see a visit to a cemetery so far up on the list of things to do in Romania, but the Merry Cemetery is not like any other you’ve seen. 

This open-air museum is located in the town of Săpânţa and features over 800 gravestones or crosses, decorated in bright colors and pictures

Unlike more traditional cemeteries, the Merry Cemetery celebrates all aspects of the person’s life including the good, bad, and utterly hilarious. For example, one headstone read “Underneath this heavy cross. Lies my mother-in-law… Try not to wake her up. For if she comes back home. She’ll bite my head off.”

There aren’t any tours that bring you straight to the Merry Cemetery as it is in quite a remote part of the country, but this 2 day Maramures tour includes the cemetery in its exploration of the region. 

5. Stroll Sighisoara Historic Center

As I mentioned earlier, the medieval Sighisoara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site worth a visit for all visitors to Romania. 

You can wander around exploring the colorful streets and beautiful buildings of the historic center all day but I highly recommend taking a city tour where a guide can explain the significance of everything you see. 

Linking in with the Dracula theme, Sighisoarar was actually the birthplace of the infamous Vlad the Impaler on which the character was based. His house is the oldest civil structure in Sighisoara, located right in the center of town it’s worth a quick visit for anyone interested. 

6. See the Statue of King Decebalus

To get out in nature while also experiencing a beautiful piece of history, travel down the Danube River to see the Face of Decebalus, a huge statue carved into the rocky cliffs on the river’s shore. 

Officially the tallest stone sculpture in Europe, the head stands 55 meters high and is an impressive feat to see, but perhaps not as impressive as the person it depicts. The last king of Dacia fought against the Roman emperors for the independence of his country which is now known as Romania. 

To get here, you can book a day trip from Timisoara to the Danube Gorge, or travel to Orsova where you can find a local boat tour to take you to the statue and other attractions along the river. 

7. Descent Underground at Salina Turda

Just when you thought you’d seen it all in Romania, Salina Turda, an underground salt mine will blow your mind. 

This incredible attraction is so much more than just visiting any regular salt mine, it’s also an underground theme park

Being the largest salt mine museum in the world, a trip to Salina Turda includes a little bit of everything. You’ll find exhibitions, spa treatments, mini golf, a Ferris wheel, sports fields, and even row boats on an underwater lake, 120 meters underground. 

This is certainly a unique attraction you cannot miss in Romania. 

8. Explore Neamt Monastery

Neamt Monastery

Built in 1270, Neamt Monastery is the oldest monastery in Romania and this place was just beautiful!

The buildings and gardens surrounding the property are impeccably looked after, but inside you’ll also find countless pieces of art and history that have been preserved throughout time. 

Even outside of the official displays you’ll be surrounded by art here, make sure to always look at the ceilings! 

9. Go Hiking in the Mountains

Ceahlau Massif

There are many spots to go mountain hiking in Romania, but I only experienced hiking in Ceahlau National Park.

Located in the Carpathian mountains, this beautiful national park is home to waterfalls, rivers, rock formations, and fossil Limestone

The centerpiece of Ceahlau National Park is Ceahlău Mountain which was considered sacred in the legends of the Dacians (Romanians ancestors). So the area with its significant flora and fauna is also quite special in Romanian history. 

10. Meet the Bison at Dragos Voda Bison Reserve

After becoming extinct in the wild, European bison were reintroduced to Poland in 1954 and Romania in 2012. In Romania, they live at Dragos Voda Bison Reserve and you can visit them. 

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. Don’t think that our visit was a failure! Each of us got a cup of palinka (traditional Romanian alcohol) and a cake.

Dragos Voda Bison Reserve

11. See Neamt Fortress

This medieval citadel was attacked many times throughout history and was once one of the strongest fortifications in the region, it was only conquered by Suleiman the Magnificent and the Polish King Jan Sobieski.

Afterward, the fortress stood in ruins for a few hundred years before being restored in 2015 so visitors can explore it’s history. 

Standing at 480 m on top of Plesu Peak ( Fortress Hill), the view from the top was stunning and gave us an insight into how unspoiled Neamt County really is!
If you’re staying in Lasi, this tour takes you to both Neamt Fortress and the Bison Reserve I mentioned above.

Neamt fortress

12. Go to a Music Festival

While it may not be the first thing to pop into your mind when you think of Romania, the country is actually home to some huge music festivals that attract world-renowned musicians

Untold and Electric Castle are two of the biggest but there are countless festivals to explore with a wide variety of themes and genres. 

Untold Festival is the largest electronic music festival in Romania with magical sets, incredible displays, and an all-round good time. It generally takes place in August in Cluj. 

If you prefer your festivals with a little bit of history, Electric Castle takes place in an actual Transylvanian castle, ​​Banffy Castle. This 5-day festival takes place in July with a large range of immersive art, fashion, and of course, music to create a truly dynamic event. 

13. Explore the Painted Churches

As Romania is a very religious place, it has a lot of churches that you can visit and many are beautifully decorated. 

Many of these churches are spread all throughout the country, but there are 8 included on the UNESCO World Heritage list due to their incredible murals

My favorite one was a little chapel with some restored mosaics that looked brand new. I must say it was quite unusual! But here is a list of the 8 UNESCO painted churches. 

  • Sucevița (The Church of the Resurrection)
  • Moldovița (The Church of the Annunciation)
  • Voroneț (St. George church)
  • Probota (St. Nicholas Church)
  • Arbore (The Beheading of St. John the Baptist)
  • Humor (The Dormition of the Virgin Mary)
  • Pătrăuți (The Church of the Holy Cross)
  • Suceava (Church of St. George)
Piatra Neamt church

14. Try Horse Riding

It’s not uncommon to see a horse and cart still trotting along the highway here in Romania. So in a country that is still very much utilizing these beautiful creatures in their day-to-day, why not try horse riding in a beautiful location? 

Even if you’re a beginner, you can try a half-day trip to ride horses in a secluded forest near Brasov before returning to experience a traditional Romanian ranch. 

For those a little more experienced, multiday horse riding adventures can also take you across the entire Transylvanian region. 

horse stables in Dumbrava Timisesti

15. Visit Lesser Known Local Museums

While Bucharest and Transylvania may have some of the biggest museums in the country, there are countless more local museums that are just as worthy of your time. 

One example is the Nicolae Popa Museum. The name of Nicolae 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.

Neculai Popa museum

Here are some more suggestions: 

  • The Museums of Textiles in Băiţa, Hunedoara
  • The Collectivization Museum in Tămășeni, Neamț
  • The archeological site in Cucuteni, Iași
  • The George Enescu houses in Botoșani
Neamt Romania

16. Go Mushrooming

Once you visit Romania you’ll probably notice just how many lush forests there are for you to explore. So it’s no surprise that going mushroom picking is a favorite pastime of many locals. 

If you’re visiting in the summer or fall, you can join a local guide near Riga who will take you deep into the forest to find these delicious vegetables. It’s important to go with someone knowledgeable about the area so they can teach you what is edible and which poisonous mushrooms not to touch. 
At the end of your trip, your guide will sort through the baskets to find the best produce and package it up for you to take back to your hotel and cook a yummy meal.


Ana Gabriela

Saturday 29th of April 2017

Hey, I am from Piatra Neamt and I am so glad than someone from another country appreciated my county. I've simply searched on google too see that there are foreign articles about my town and I've found yours post. This is so amazing for me... thanks for promoting Neamt county! :)


Thursday 29th of December 2016

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


Thursday 29th of December 2016

You live in a very beautiful country :-)


Thursday 23rd of June 2016

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


Thursday 23rd of June 2016

We didn't have time for all of this... it was a very full schedule in Romania :(

Justin Pham

Tuesday 1st of December 2015

very beautiful


Wednesday 4th of November 2015

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

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