This beautiful and mysterious country in the heart of Eastern Europe has lovely, affordable seaside resorts as well as the Transylvania legend to offer. Emerging from its Soviet-era ‘freeze’, this wonderful and underrated land offers both traditional tourism and a unique ambiance of mystery and adventure.
The capital of Romania, Bucharest, is steeped in fascinating and sometimes brutal history like so much of the rest of the country. During the 1980’s, Ceausescu, Romania’s brutal dictator, decreed that the largest building in the world would be constructed in Bucharest. Although it fell short of its goal, (the Pentagon is bigger), the enormous Palace of Parliament offers daily tours of its 3,100 room interior as well as its ornate exterior. Rumor has it that many people died in accidents during its construction. In the western part of the city is the Ghencea Civil Cemetery which hosts the ornate final resting place of the Ceausescu family.
Other cities worth a visit in Romania are Brasov, Sighisoara and Timisoara. Brasov, a medieval town in the Transylvanian hills has a beautiful Gothic Church known as The Black Church, and very close by it lies the now infamous Bran Castle. Bran Castle is referred to as Dracula’s Castle, and though it is beautiful and worth a tour, it has nothing to do with him. Sighisora is also a medieval town in the hills, but is less visited and has more preserved medieval buildings than Brasov. It also contains the real 1431 birth home of Vlad Tepes, called the Dracula House which is now a bar and restaurant. Timisoara is the world-famous home of the 1989 revolution. Here you can find several memorials of the men and women who died throwing off one of the most tyrannical regimes in recent history.
For relaxation and leisure, you can visit Romania’s Black Sea Coast. Constanta, Romania’s second largest city makes an excellent stopping point for exploring this region further. Here you will find good food, interesting museums and a decent beach. From the city, you can easily reach the resorts of Mamaia, Eforie Nord, Neptun-Olimp and Costinesti.