Romania

"Some travelers use Romania only as a transit point to go north to Hungary, Czech or Poland, or south to Greece or Turkey. I never even considered coming to Romania least of all Eastern Europe on my backpacking journeys throughout Europe. Like most travelers I abandoned the initial itinerary I set for myself leaving the destinations of my travel to the whims of destiny and how I felt that morning. I was in Budapest, Hungary and decided to check out Romania.

At that point my only conceptions of Romania were that it was a former Eastern Bloc Country and of Nadia Comaneci-- the famous Olympic Romanian gymnast who scored the first perfect 10. Revolution of '89? What Revolution? I'm happy to state that I now know much, much more about Romania and her myriad of colors, pristine wilderness, culture, sights and most importantly the people. And I believe you too will be pleasantly surprised.

One of the best things about travelling in Romania is that it is CHEAP for us westerners. Consider these costs as an index: a taxi ride costs about $1, beer or cigarettes 50 cents, a nice nice meal $5, a meal at Mc Donald's $2. And unlike Prague or Warsaw which have been the "in place" to go to for backpackers and thus are crowded and very touristy with tourist prices, Romania still remains relatively under-traveled by backpackers so prices are still cheap. I highly recommend you take advantage."

-- HoJoon Choi
Owner
Kismet Dao Brasov

What travel guides say about Romania?

...why should you go to Romania? The straight answer is because it is one of the most beautiful countries of Southeast Europe.
(The Blue Guide)

Considered by many the most beautiful country in Eastern-Europe, Romania still claims regions that seem bastions of a medieval past long since lost elsewhere.
(Fodor's Eastern and Central Europe)

Romania has majestic castles, medieval towns, great hiking and wildlife...
(The Lonely Planet)

No journey to Eastern Europe would be complete without paying a visit to Romania... Outstanding landscapes, a huge diversity of wildlife...
(The Rough Guide)

Romania offers a rich tapestry of tourist attractions unique in Central-Eastern Europe: the medieval towns in Transylvania, the world-famous Painted Monasteries in Bucovina, the traditional villages in Maramures, the magnificent architecture of Bucharest, the romantic Danube Delta, fairy-tale castles, the Black Sea resorts and much more.
(Romanian National Tourist Office - New York)

... The resulting state of flux, combined with a largely undeserved reputation for poverty and crime, has discouraged many foreigners from visiting. But travelers who dismiss Romania do themselves an injustice-- whatever else it may be, it is a country rich in history, rustic beauty, and hospitality. The general absence of tourists is bad for Romania, but good for visitors as prices remain low and sights untainted by the hand of commercialism. But things are changing... more and more Europeans are including Bucharest on their itineries. These visitors are discovering a land of cosmopolitan cities, lovely medieval villages and endless stretches of pristine countryside. So go find out for yourself, before the tourists beat you to it.
(Let's Go Europe 2002)

In a country where mass tourism means you, a horse and cart and a handful of farmers, Romania is the Wild West of Eastern Europe. Straddling the rugged Carpathian Mountains, with rich green valleys and farms spread throughout the countryside, it offers an extraordinary kaleidoscope of cultures to discover and sights to see. Transylvania's colourful old cities are straight out of medieval Hungary or Germany, while the exotic painted Orthodox monasteries of Moldavia evoke Byzantium. Western Romania bears the imprint of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, while Roman and Turkish influences colour Constanta. Bucharest-- seen by travallers as everything from 'Paris of the East' to 'Hell on Earth' -- has a Franco-Romanian charm of its own.

The secret to exploring this surprise package of unexpected delights-- declared by many readers as Eastern Europe's most exciting, best-value destination for the adventurous budget traveller-- is balance. Romania's historical cities are fascinating, but explore the countryside too.
(Lonely Planet Eastern Europe)

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