Top 5 Must-See Attractions In The Mysterious Land Of Romania

Top 5 Must-See Attractions In The Mysterious Land Of Romania

Having been associated with communism for the last 50 years or so, Romania remains as an off-the-beaten-track in South Eastern Europe, or the Balkans. It is a mysterious country with an undiscovered pure beauty of the castles above the mountain tops, quirky salt mines below the ground, and impressive architecture in the cities. Explore the country with these top destinations below, that I have visited.

Salina Turda Salt Mine

top 5 must-see attractions in the mysterious land of romania | salina turda salt mine

One of the most impressive attractions I visited in Romania was certainly the Salina Turda - a real museum of salt mining under the ground of Turda, with the biggest mines being 42 meters (128 feet) deep, 50 meters wide (164 feet) and 80 meters long (262 feet). However, you’ll find It is quite easy to get around here by yourself, and there is even an audio guide to download on your phone at the entrance. After walking for about 15-20 minutes across the humid and mysterious access tunnel, you will go through a couple of mine rooms before reaching the main hall, and its stunning underground lake with a bell mine. You can even ride a small boat around the lake in the alluring and impressive underground halls of 90 meters (295 feet) in height, 87 meters (285 feet) in diameter, and 112 meters (367 feet) in depth.

Bran Castle or Dracula’s Castle

top 5 must-see attractions in the mysterious land of romania | bran castle or dracula’s castle

Transylvania region and the castles here, along with their famous legends, have long been one of the most famous mysteries of Romania. The most popular and touristic one you have probably heard of is Schloss Bran (Bran Castle) - the birthplace of the Dracula legend. Here, the Irish author Bram Stoker invented his tale associated with Vlad the Impaler, or Vlad Dracula, known as the original inspiration for Dracula. The atmosphere inside the castle on a mountain top can be very intriguing and magical, especially with all the myths associated with its spirit. The regular entrance fee is 35 LEI (7.8 EUR or 8.7 USD), but I paid the student price of only 20 LEI (4.5 EUR or 5 USD) with my international student card. There’s convenient bus connections between the Brasov Bus Station towards Bran Castle every half an hour during weekdays and every hour during the weekends. From the bus stop, you only need to walk for about 10 minutes up to the castle. The single ride costs less than 2 USD.

Peles Castle or Palace in Sinaia

top 5 must-see attractions in the mysterious land of romania | peles castle or palace in sinaia

Another castle you must visit in the region is the Peles - a 3,200,000 square metre (34,000 square ft) floor plan with over 170 rooms, 30 bathrooms, 4,000 pieces of arms and armors, and 2,000 displays of paintings. The palace itself is the home to a massive collection of statues, furniture, and expensive metals. If I must compare the inner interior design of Bran and the Peles, the latter is absolutely more alluring. This structure worth hundreds of million dollars, is completely surrounded by a green area, with a big garden on the sides. It is possible to visit both the Bran and Peles Castle within a day, but you will need to be up earlier and ready to hustle during the day. Unfortunately, it is not a cheap castle to visit because the entrance fee is around 23 USD. Though, If you have time to spare while getting around Sinaia, I recommend visiting the Sinaia Monastery and then taking the cable car, or the so-called telegondola clouds ride, from Busteni up to the Bucegi Mountains to enjoy the breath-taking view of Transylvania from high above.

Palace of Parliament

top 5 must-see attractions in the mysterious land of romania | palace of parliament

Although the Ceausescu’s Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest is not as famous as the Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest, it is by far the second largest administrative building in the world. This massive structure comprises of 23 bodies and 1,100 rooms, and is 84 meters (276 feet) high, accounting for the area of 365,000 square meter (3,928,827 square feet), and the volume of 2,550,000 cubic meters (27,447,972 cubic feet) in total nowadays.The interior design inside the building is absolutely stunning, decorated with 3,500 tonnes (7,716,179 pounds) of crystals that can be found in the 480 chandeliers and 1,409 ceiling lights and mirrors. Some other popular attractions that are my favourite in the capital city are the Village Museum and the street-art district. If you are not a very experienced traveller, I suggest getting around by taking a free walking tour.

Cluj-Napoca City - experience the nightlife

Romania-2384 -  St. Michaels Church as Night Comes
Source: Photo by user Dennis Jarvis used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Known as the second largest city of Romania, and also as a young student city in the country, Cluj-Napoca metropolitan area is a hotspot for nightlife. In contrast to the old and calming atmosphere of the city during the daytime, Cluj-Napoca becomes energetic during the weekend nights. There are dozens of bars and clubs to enjoy some fun times here. Some popular clubs are Midi, Janis, and Diesel, to name a few. Midi is probably the most famous and crowded club in the old town, attracting lots of young people with its massive floors, stunning visuals, and audio system that plays electronic music by some of the best international and Romanian DJs in the country.

Necessary tips for getting around Romania

Traveling around Romania is convenient by train or car. Using blablacar to share rides is much cheaper than going by train, especially if you have a flexible schedule. As couchsurfing is not yet popular in the country, I recommend staying in a hostel. A dorm bed can be as cheap as 6 USD per night. The locals are usually friendly and eager to help tourists. Young people speak English well, and there are lots of instructions in English throughout the capital city, making it easy for you to get around on your own.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Hi! I am Huong, a Hanoi born and raised explorer at heart, who moved from Vietnam to Finland in 2011 and got bitten by the European travel bug. Since 2015, I have been living out of a suitcase,...Read more

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