Welcome to Romania! You just stepped into the home to some of Europe’s most breathtaking landscapes, this underrated destination is a hidden gem waiting to be explored.
Located in southeastern Europe, it’s sometimes a mystical country with vast stretches of unspoilt landscapes and rolling hills dotted with rugged mountains, stone churches and interesting monasteries.
From Therme Balotesti (the largest thermal spa in Europe) in the vibrant capital of Bucharest to the Bran Castle in Transylvania (full of history, myth, intrigue, and magic), you’ll find plenty of unique places that will take your breath away.
So, let’s start our journey together through the most wonderful place of unique hidden – and not-so-hidden – treasures in Europe! Here are the best and most beautiful places to visit in Romania…
1. Therme bucuresti, Bucharest
Are you ready to soak in a relaxing paradise right in the heart of Bucharest? Therme bucuresti is the perfect destination for anyone looking to unwind and recharge their batteries.
This popular center offers a variety of mineral pools, water slides, saunas, and even an indoor botanical garden to help you relax and rejuvenate.
Therme Balotesti is also the largest Thermal Spa in Europe with its modern and luxurious facilities.
The center is designed to cater to visitors of all ages, so it’s perfect for couples, families, or solo travelers looking for a serene escape.
The center is located at Calea Bucharest 1K, 077015, and is open every day of the week. From Monday to Friday, Therme Balotesti opens from 9 am to 11 pm, and on weekends, it opens from 8 am to 11 pm. This makes it easy for you to plan your visit, regardless of your schedule.
Overall, Therme Balotesti is an absolute gem of a destination in Romania. Whether you’re looking to relax and recharge or explore some of Bucharest’s hidden gems, a trip to this thermal spa will undoubtedly make your visit to Romania unforgettable.
So why not take a dip in one of the mineral pools or slide down one of the water slides? Your mind, body, and soul will thank you!
2. Suceviţa Monastery, Sucevița, Suceava
Nestled in the picturesque village of Sucevița, the Sucevița Monastery is a must-visit destination for history and architecture enthusiasts.
This stunning Orthodox monastery was built between 1583-1586, and it boasts beautiful frescoes that cover the exterior walls, making it one of the most important medieval-painted monasteries in Romania.
The frescoes of the Sucevița Monastery are incredibly well-preserved, and their vibrant colours will leave you in awe. These frescoes depict biblical scenes, including the life of Jesus Christ, and they are a true testament to the mastery of the medieval painters who created them.
Besides the stunning frescoes, the Sucevița Monastery also has a unique architectural style that makes it stand out among other religious buildings in Romania.
Its green roofs, white walls, and impressive towers give it a unique charm that is sure to captivate visitors.
If you plan on visiting the Sucevița Monastery, keep in mind that it is open every day from 7 am to 9 pm, and there is no entrance fee. Also, make sure to dress appropriately and be respectful of the monks who still live on the premises.
Overall, the Sucevița Monastery is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Romanian history, culture, and art.
So take advantage of the opportunity to admire its beauty and learn about its fascinating history on your next trip to Romania.
3. Bran Castle, Bran-Rucăr, Brasov
If you’re a fan of history, architecture, or simply beautiful landmarks, you need to visit Bran Castle during your trip to Romania.
Located in the Bran-Rucăr Pass, 30 kilometers from Brașov, Bran Castle is a stunning monument with an incredibly rich history.
The most famous legend created around Bran Castle is that of Dracula. However, Dracula is a fictional character, and his name comes from the nickname given to Vlad Ţepeş, ruler of Wallachia between 1456-1462 and in 1467, whom historians of the time described as a ruthless and bloodthirsty despot for political reasons.
The connection between Bran Castle and Dracula comes from Bram Stoker’s novel, where the character is said to reside in a castle in Transylvania. Despite this, Bran Castle remains a popular tourist attraction and is a must-visit destination.
Visiting Bran Castle is like taking a step back in time. The castle dates back to the 14th century and was originally built as a fortress to protect the borders of the historical region of Transylvania.
Over the centuries, it was used by various Romanian rulers and even served as a royal residence at one point. Today, the castle is a museum, allowing visitors to learn about its fascinating history while admiring the stunning architecture and beautiful scenery.
If you plan to visit Bran Castle, it’s important to know its schedule. It’s open Monday from 12 to 6 PM, and Tuesday through Sunday from 9 AM to 6 PM.
This gives you plenty of time to explore and learn about this fantastic landmark.
4. Clay Castle – Valley of The Fairies, Porumbacu de Sus, Sibiu
The Clay Castle in Porumbacu de Sus, Sibiu, is a magical destination that will transport you straight into a fairy tale.
Situated on the banks of the Porumbacu River and nestled at the foot of the stunning Fagaras Mountains, the Fairy Valley clay Castle is a tranquil haven for travelers seeking peace and relaxation.
According to legend, the land on which the castle stands was once home to a host of magical creatures – fairies. Even today, visitors can feel the enchantment of the place as they are welcomed by the fairy guardians who still protect the land.
The castle itself is a work of art, made entirely of clay and inspired by the natural beauty of the surroundings.
The exterior is covered in lush vegetation, giving it a unique and dreamy appearance. The Castle is open daily from 10.30 am to 5.30 pm, allowing visitors to bask in the gentle rays of the sun and take in the infinite pastel hues of the flowers.
Visitors can only explore the outside of Clay Castle, but this doesn’t detract from the magic of the place. The Fairy Valley Clay Cis is a sight to behold, and its charm and enchantment are guaranteed to leave a lasting impression.
If you’re looking for a place to escape and be transported into a world of wonder and beauty, the Clay Castle – Valley of The Fairies is the perfect destination for you.
Come and discover the magic for yourself in Porumbacu de Sus, Sibiu!
5. Moskovits Miksa Palace (Palatul Moskovits-Miksa), Oradea
If you’re looking to explore some of Romania’s best architectural gems, then the Moskovits Miksa Palace in Oradea is an excellent choice.
Standing tall in the pedestrian center, the Moskovits Palace is an imposing structure that will capture your attention from the first moment you lay your eyes on it.
This fine example of the Secession style is one of the most beautiful buildings in Oradea. Designed by Riman, it showcases the various manners of expression that define this style. The attention to detail is simply stunning, and it is clear that a lot of thought and effort went into designing and building the palace.
Located on Republika Boulevard, the Moskovits Miksa Palace is easy to find and is worth a visit.
The palace is open from Monday to Friday, from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm, so be sure to plan your visit accordingly. Keep in mind that it is closed on weekends, so plan your visit accordingly.
When you visit the Moskovits Miksa Palace, take some time to admire the details. From the intricate stonework to the beautiful sculptures and other decorative elements, every part of this building is a work of art. It is truly a masterpiece that will take your breath away.
6. The Palace of Culture, Iasi
In the heart of Iasi stands a beautiful palace that is an absolute must-visit destination for any traveler in Romania.
The Palace of Culture is a stunning architectural masterpiece that combines elements of neo-gothic, romantic, and neo-baroque styles, creating a harmonious blend that is simply breathtaking.
Aside from its stunning facade, the Palace of Culture is also a cultural hub that hosts a variety of valuable exhibitions on different topics such as art, history, ethnography, science, and technique.
With so much to offer, it is a perfect destination for any visitor looking to immerse themselves in the culture and history of Romania.
The palace is located at Bulevardul Ștefan cel Mare si Sfânt 1, Iasi 700028, and is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Unfortunately, it is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so make sure to plan your visit accordingly.
Whether you’re a history buff or just a lover of architecture, the Palace of Culture in Iasi is a destination you simply cannot miss. So be sure to add it to your list of top-rated gems to explore on your next trip to Romania.
7. The 4500-year-old Neolithic Village of Olt, Câmpulung
Located in Olt County, Romania, the 4,500-year-old Neolithic village of Olt is a hidden gem that offers visitors a unique glimpse into the past.
This village is a testament to Romania’s impressive history and culture, dating back thousands of years.
What sets the Neolithic village of Olt apart from other historical sites in Europe is that it’s the only one of its kind on the continent.
Visitors will be transported back in time as they enter the village, surrounded by a defensive moat and fence made of braided twigs, just as it was thousands of years ago.
The huts within the village have been faithfully recreated to reflect what life was like on those lands thousands of years ago.
Traian Zorzoliu is the mastermind behind the reconstruction, utilizing adobe, braided cane, and beaten into the ground to build the settlements.
Visitors to the village can wander through the huts, experiencing the way of life of Neolithic people. The attention to detail is extraordinary, from the furniture to the household items used in everyday life.
The Neolithic Village of Olt is located in Draganesti Commune 235400, and is open to visitors from Monday to Friday, 8 am-4 pm, Saturdays from 8 am-12 pm, and Sundays from 8 am-12 pm.
This unique attraction is worth a visit for history buffs and anyone curious about Romania’s ancient past.
8. Merry Cemetery, Săpânța
The Merry Cemetery in Sapanta is a unique and unconventional tourist attraction in Romania. Known for its brightly colored tomb crosses and funny inscriptions, the cemetery stands out as a place where death is celebrated rather than mourned.
Thousands of tourists visit this site annually, drawn by its positive energy and amusing stories.
The cemetery in Sapanta is particularly notable for the colours used to paint the crosses. In Maramures symbolism, each colour holds a special meaning. Red represents passion, yellow stands for fertility, green symbolizes life, and black is associated with death.
The cross inscriptions are also worth a visit as they offer a glimpse into the personalities and lives of the people buried here.
One of the famous inscriptions in the Merry Cemetery reads, “Under this heavy cross lies my poor mother-in-law, three days of her life lay me and her fortress.
You who pass by here try not to wake her up because if she comes home again, she will talk to me, but that’s how I will behave, that she will not turn back.
Stay here, dear mother-in-law.” This inscription is just one of many that will bring a smile to your face.
If you’re planning to visit the Merry Cemetery, don’t miss out on the chance to experience this unique attraction.
It’s a beautiful place with a fascinating history, and you’ll leave feeling uplifted and happy. The address for the cemetery is Săpânța 437305, so be sure to include it in your itinerary when visiting Romania.
9. Stories Valley, Club Vila Bran
If you’re looking for a fun and unique experience, you must visit the Stories Valley at Club Vila Bran. In this magical place, you can indulge in storytelling, explore folklore and legends, and embark on a journey through Romania’s rich cultural history.
Spanning 60,000 square meters, Club Vila Bran boasts 14 villas with capacities ranging from one to 24 rooms.
It also features Little Red Riding Hood’s Cottage and Bambi’s Cottage, a restaurant, a library, a leisure base, a theater hall, a historical park, a souvenir shop, and a tourist information office. But, Stories Valley is the real highlight of the place.
The park offers various activities such as treasure hunts, archery, horse riding, and many more. Visitors can take part in workshops that teach them traditional crafts such as weaving and pottery making.
You can also watch folk music and dance performances, which will take you back to ancient times.
And if you’re a fan of fairy tales, the park has something special for you. There’s a special area dedicated to fairy tales, where you can interact with different characters from your favorite stories. Imagine meeting Snow White, Cinderella, and Little Red Riding Hood in one place. It’s truly a magical experience.
If you’re interested in a royal experience, you can stay at the Little Castle at Vila Bran. The mansion-type villa is situated in the center of Bran, about 700 meters from Club Vila Bran and 100 meters from Bran Castle.
With two rooms and two apartments, the Little Castle is perfect for an intimate holiday. The building has been rebuilt and brought back to its original form, taking you back to the noble times of the last century.
- To book, check prices or dates at Club Vila Bran
10. Coral Temple, Bucharest
The Choral Temple in Bucharest is a must-visit attraction for those who want to explore the city’s cultural heritage. This beautiful synagogue is the largest mosaic place of worship in the city and is a testament to the Jewish Community of Bucharest’s rich history.
The Choral Temple’s construction dates back to 1864-1866, and it was renovated in 1932 and 1945. Located on Strada Sfânta Vineri no. 9 of sector 3, this stunning building is an architectural marvel that will leave you awe-inspired.
The temple’s exterior is simply magnificent, with its striking towers, beautiful mosaics, and intricate carvings. The interior is equally impressive, with its high ceiling, exquisite stained glass windows, and beautiful chandeliers.
The Coral Temple is a testament to Bucharest’s rich cultural heritage and is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in history, culture, and architecture. So, if you’re planning a trip to Bucharest, make sure to add this stunning attraction to your itinerary.
The temple’s schedule is Monday to Thursday, from 10-14:30, and Friday from 10-12:30. The temple is closed on Saturdays and Sundays. So, if you want to explore this synagogue’s beauty, plan your visit accordingly.
Overall, the Choral Temple in Bucharest is a beautiful place to visit, and it is undoubtedly worth a stop during your trip to Romania. Whether you are an architecture lover, a history buff, or simply looking for a stunning place to visit, the Coral Temple will leave you spellbound.
11. Romanian Athenaeum, Bucharest
For all those who appreciate classical music, a visit to the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest is a must-do activity. This spectacular building is the heart of Romanian musical life and has hosted some of the most memorable concerts in the country’s history.
For more than 140 years, the Symphony Orchestra of the Philharmonic “George Enescu” has given a new life to classical music and created a unique atmosphere that will surely take your breath away.
Whether you’re a fan of Great Classics or contemporary music, you will appreciate the magical atmosphere that the Romanian Athenaeum offers.
The building itself is a masterpiece of architecture, inspired by ancient Greek temples. The colonnade supporting a triangular pediment gives the Athenaeum a grand and imposing appearance that will make you feel like you’re in another time and place.
As you enter the building, the magnificent hall will greet you with its impressive acoustics and unparalleled elegance.
Located in the heart of the capital, the Romanian Athenaeum is a perfect destination for those who want to experience the beauty of Romanian culture. From classical music concerts to exhibitions and events, the Athenaeum is a hub of artistic activity and an important landmark in the city.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Bucharest, make sure to visit the Romanian Athenaeum and immerse yourself in the rich and diverse cultural scene of Romania. You won’t be disappointed!
Address: Strada Benjamin Franklin 1-3, București 030167
13. I Giardini di Zoe, Harau, Transylvania
I Giardini di Zoe is a stunning garden located in Harau, Transylvania, that will transport you to a fairy-tale world.
The brainchild of Italian owner Mr. Giovanni Salvatelli, the garden is a testament to his vision, dedication, love, and hard work.
Mr. Salvatelli started creating this magical garden in 2003, and since then, it has become one of Romania’s most beautiful aristocratic gardens.
Named after his niece, Zoe, I Giardini di Zoe has a positive spirit that attracted Mr. Salvatelli from his very first visit.
The garden is not only beautiful but also represents the prototype of an ideal woman. You’ll find balance in the garden, and the lush greenery, charming water features, and elegant walkways will take your breath away.
If you’re planning to visit I Giardini di Zoe, keep in mind that it is located at Banpotoc 337266 and is open daily from Monday to Sunday, between 9 am and 8 pm.
The last entry is at 7 pm, and a ticket costs 20 lei. Unfortunately, pets are not allowed in the garden.
14. Kong, Herastrau, Bucuresti
If you’re looking for a chic and luxurious dining experience with stunning panoramic views, then Kong in Bucuresti should be on your list of must-visit places.
Located in the heart of the Herastrau Natural Reservation Park, Kong features a beautiful restaurant and terrace that overlooks the Herastrau Lake and its natural surroundings.
The retractable glass wall that runs from the ceiling to the floor offers a breathtaking view of the natural landscape that surrounds the restaurant. While you’re here, take a moment to check out the open kitchen and sushi bar that serves up the most delicious cuisine.
The interior of the restaurant is just as spectacular as the view outside. The dining lounge and bar lounge are both located under an enormous glass dome that creates the illusion of being in a tropical oasis.
You’ll feel like you’re surrounded by the lush greenery of tropical rainforest plants, which sets an intimate atmosphere perfect for romantic dinners or special occasions.
As night falls, Kong’s bar lounge transforms into a vibrant and energetic space, complete with state-of-the-art sound and lighting technology.
This is the perfect spot to socialize and sip on one of their signature tropical cocktails while listening to the famous Electropical and Afrohouse live beats of their resident DJs.
Don’t miss out on this beautiful gem of a restaurant that’s waiting to welcome you with open arms. Visit Kong, Herastrau, and experience the true beauty of Romania’s bustling capital city.
The restaurant is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 6:00 pm to 3:00 am.
15. National Museum of the “Dimitrie Gusti” Village, Bucharest
The National Museum of the “Dimitrie Gusti” Village, located in the King Mihai I Park of Romania, is a fascinating destination for those interested in learning about traditional Romanian peasant life.
Originally founded in 1936 as the Romanian Village Museum, the museum’s mission was to showcase the daily lives of Romanian peasants to visitors.
One of the unique features of this museum is that the former homeowners of the houses were occasionally brought back to live in them, along with their farm animals and birds, to give visitors an authentic experience of village life. Additionally, during World War II, the museum houses were used to provide temporary shelter for refugees from Bucovina and Basarabia.
Today, the museum offers a vast collection of traditional homes, churches, windmills, and even an authentic Romanian village market.
The exhibitions are divided into different regions of the country, each showcasing unique local customs, clothing, and folklore.
The museum also offers guided tours and workshops where visitors can learn about traditional crafts such as pottery, weaving, and embroidery. The outdoor amphitheater is a perfect spot for cultural events and concerts during the summer months.
If you plan to visit the National Museum of the “Dimitrie Gusti” Village, be sure to check the opening hours beforehand.
The museum is open every day of the week, with extended hours on weekdays. Located at 28-30 Pavel D. Kiseleff Street, Bucharest 011347, the museum is easily accessible by public transport or taxi. Don’t miss this chance to step back in time and discover the rich heritage of traditional Romanian village life.
Minerva Old Restaurant and Casino, Craiova
If you’re looking for a unique dining experience with a side of history, then Minerva Old Restaurant and Casino in Craiova is the perfect place for you.
This restaurant is a historical monument, and stepping inside is like taking a trip back in time.
The building itself is stunning, with its ornate architecture and elegant decor. You’ll feel like royalty as you’re seated in one of the many dining rooms, each with its distinct atmosphere and ambiance. The menu is full of delicious Romanian cuisine, with plenty of options for meat lovers and vegetarians alike.
But it’s not just the food and decor that make this restaurant special – it’s the history behind it. Minerva Old Restaurant and Casino has been around since 1910 and was originally a popular spot for the city’s wealthy residents to socialize and gamble.
Today, it’s been beautifully restored and preserved, and it’s a great place to soak up some of Romania’s rich history.
If you’re visiting Craiova, be sure to add Minerva Old Restaurant and Casino to your itinerary. You’ll enjoy a delicious meal, great service, and a one-of-a-kind dining experience that you won’t soon forget.
And who knows, maybe you’ll even get lucky and win big at the roulette table!
Exploring Romania is an experience that every travel enthusiast should add to their bucket list. From stunning architecture and beautiful landscapes to ancient historical sites, Romania has something to offer every type of traveler.
Make sure to add these top-rated gems to your itinerary for a journey of a lifetime.
Remember to take plenty of pictures, indulge in local cuisine, and soak up all the culture Romania has to offer.
Whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple, or a family, this Eastern European country is sure to impress and create memories that will last a lifetime.
Don’t wait any longer and plan your next adventure to Romania now!
Beth Pinches – writer and photographer
Beth was born under a wandering star, with drama in her veins and ink in her pen. After stints studying theatre in Dublin and Utrecht she used her creative streak to see as much of the world as she could on as little money. She toured Italian Schools with a children’s theatre troop, lived as an au-pair in both Rome and Washington DC, explored the British countryside, worked her way through much of Europe, Salsa danced in Cuba and road tripped down America’s west coast where she discovered her spiritual home; Portland, Oregon. Other places she loves include Croatia, Finland, Japan and India. In between adventures, travel writing and performing she resides peacefully with her family, cats and ukulele. Find Beth on Linkedin or Facebook.