"Romania" Romania by skullcrusher
Romania Travel Guide: 6,312 reviews and 19,913 photos
When people ask me what my impressions are of Romania the first word that comes to my mind is "interesting". Granted .... it's not a very specific nor descriptive word - but that is what comes to mind when I think about this country. One thing for certain is that there is much, much more to Romania than the legend of Dracula and all the stories of werewolves and such. It's kind of sad that the stories of Trannslyvania and vampires is all that your average American really knows about this country (we can thank Hollywood for that). This country's ancient past - which includes the REAL Vlad "Tepes" Dracula as well as the past few decades are more "interesting" than any screenwriter could think to dream up.
I was able to spend a couple of weeks here and though I learned quite a bit ...... I realize that I've only scratched the surface of this interesting AND beautiful land. Trying to figure out the language is even more of a challenge, but luckily quite a few Romanias (especially in the more touristy areas) can speak English, German, and even French pretty well and are happy to be of assistance.
I spent most of my time in Romania visiting Trannsylvania; for reasons that I guess are pretty obvious.
BRASOV : Yes, this great town is one of those place where I wanted to stay for maybe a week or more. It's a very nice town with an active nightlife and if you want to head to the nearby mountains then it makes for a good base. You can always hike to the top of Mout Tampa (or take the gondola if not in the mood for the exercise). Everybody seems to hang out at the main plaza (known as Piata Sfatului) and grab a bit, have a beer, shoot the breeeze, and watch other people. Brasov has many beautiful old buildings and churches thus, there are plenty of opportunities to snap some good photos. If you get the chance, take a trip to the mountain town of Sinaia about an hour to the south.
SIGHISOARA : This is another nice town in the heart of Trannsyvania. It's very popular not only because of the excellent medieval citadel that sits on the hill overlooking the city but also because it happens to be the birthplace of Vlad Tepes - the man who apparently inspired the legend of Dracula. I got the impression that many Romanians consider him to be a hero. Despite what anyone may think - there's no doubt that he had particularly grissly ways to dispossing of his enemies and controlling the populace when he was in power.
SIBIU - I had a good time at this town. It's not as touristy as the previous two places and that is likely because there's less to be seen there. Still ..... I'd say it's worth a stop if you happen to be in the area. Try to visit Piata Mare and climb to the top of Turnul Sfatului (the old council tower); that is, if you're not afraid of heights. The City History Museum and the Brunkenthal Museum are both nice if you are into going to museums.
Outside of Trannsylvania I visited Bucharest (which I have a seperate page on) and I also stopped in Oradea for a few days.
ORADEA : This mid-sized town sits near the border of Hungary and I used it as a stop-over to break-up a lengthy train ride. This isn't the most exciting town I've ever visited ..... but it's very pleasant and it has it's fair share of lovely old buildings (like most towns in this country). Many people walk up and down the pedestrian street of Calea Republicii from early noon until the late evening and it's a good place to grab a bite and have a beer.
- Pros:Most things are quite inexpensive - generally nice people
- Cons:Tourist infrastructure not quite up to snuff, but I'm sure that will change in the near future.
OK - maybe not everybody. But I'm sure that the majority of tourists have heard of the famous Bran Castle and that it's... more travel advice
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