Romania; famous for medieval castles, mountainous villages and of course… vampires! My trip here was focused on the central areas of the country where I visited the capital Bucharest, a few random villages in Transylvania and the must see, Dracula’s castle. Two important places that I didn’t make it to are the beach city of Constanta on the Black Sea and one of the Danube Delta. The Danube Delta is often called Europe’s last wildlife refuge, and is a large body of water that opens up into the Black Sea which is dense with natural beauty and wildlife. That’s number one of my list for my return, and I’d also love to spend some more time in the mountains!
Bucharest is not well known as a travel destination but as Europe’s six largest city there is an endless amount of things to do here. Transportation is extremely cheap and efficient, and Bucharest has multiple landmarks to see and districts to explore. Bucharest is famous for its parliament building, which is the second largest office building in the world after the US’s pentagon. Most travelers begin their explorations of Bucharest in the old quarters, where you can find the city’s best dining and nightlife.
Romania’s most famous castles and major tourist destinations, Bran castle is well preserved and has a reputation of being the home of Dracula. While locals will discredit Bran Castle as having little to do with the real Dracula, the massive castle is nevertheless extremely beautiful and certainly worth a visit.
For those more determined to find some history on the real Dracula, his true castle is located in a more difficult area of the country and is largely destroyed. You’ll likely be the only one here as you explore the ruins of Poenari Castle, where one of the most brutal people in the world, Vlad the Impaler, once resided.
One of the country’s best national parks, Piatra Craiului has all kinds of natural beauty within its borders. Creeks and rivers, caves and dramatic cliffs are spread out through the park and provide a habitat for a variety of wildlife. There are plenty of hiking trails and places to camp. Some of the trails are exposed enough that a fall would be fatal, so care must be taken!