About Romania

Visiting Romania is as rewarding as it is challenging. The country's marvelous mountain scenery, its culture and people, the great diversity of wildlife, and a way of life that at times seems very little changed since the Middle Ages, leave few of the ones who visit it, unaffected. Romania is a great promise to adventure – encounters with gypsies, wild bears, communism traces and idyllic way of life make just a few of the country´s attractions.

Fast facts

Situated in South East Central Europe, Romania is one of the largest countries in Europe, with a population of almost 20 million inhabitants. The predominant religion is orthodox, but you will also find other communions: catholic, protestant, evangelic. 

The official language is the Romanian language. Romanians trace their ancestry back to the Romans and have a noticeable Latin character – warm, spontaneous, anarchic, and appreciative of style and life´s pleasures. 

The constitution sets in place a parliamentary system of government, elected every four years, with the prime minister at its head and the president head of the state. 

Since the 1st of January 2007 Romania is member of the European Union. Along with Romanians, the Hungarian, German and Serb communities, live together.

Closed to the public for more than 40 years due to the communist regime, Romania has finally revealed its genuine treasures, tourism being one of the fastest growing sectors of the Romanian economy, due to the richness of the country in mountain, coastal and health spa resorts.

As fascinating as the major cities are – such as Bucharest, Brasov, Cluj, Timisoara – Romania´s charm lies mostly in the remote, less visited regions. Almost any exploration of the villages of rural Romania will be rewarding; amazing and diverse sites, ranging from the log houses in the mountain areas, to the Delta villages built of reeds and the magnificent wooden churches of Maramures, with their Gothic steeples, not to mention Transylvania, with its Saxon fortified churches, all of which reflect a history of competing communities and faiths. 

For many visitors, the arrival point to Romania is Bucharest, the capital. From here, most of the people head to the north, towards Transylvania. The gateway to Transylvania is Brasov, whose medieval old town is a good introduction to the Saxon architecture of the region (the Black Church). The area of Transylvania reaches its peak in the fortified towns of Sibiu and Sighisoara, Romania´s most middle age like town and the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, Romania´s most famous historical figure, also known as Vlad Tepes or, more familiarly, as Dracula.

Further north and west, the great Magyar cities of Targu Mures, Cluj and Oradea have retained a wealth of medieval churches and streets, as well as impressive Baroque and Secession edifices. To the southwest of the country, near the border with Serbia, is Timisoara, source of the 1989 Revolution and a fine place to spend a few days. 

The best of Romania, nevertheless, is its countryside, and in particular the wonderful mountain scenery. The wild Carpathians, which form the frontier between Transylvania, Moldavia and Wallachia, shelter bears, stags, chamois and eagles. The Bucegi, Retezat, Fagaras and the Padis plateau offer some of the most quiet and spectacular hiking opportunities in Europe. 

On the other side, the Danube Delta is a place set apart from the rest of the country, where life has hardly changed for centuries and where boats are the only way to reach many of the settlements. During spring and autumn, thousands of species of birds from all over the world travel through this area in their great migration, or come to breed.

Last but not least, the northern region of Maramures, bordering the Ukraine, retains an almost medieval-like feel, with its villages renowned for their fabulous wooden churches. Close by, the hills of Bucovina are rolling, with its Painted Monasteries, an UNESCO heritage site, whose specimens of religious art are amongst some of the most outstanding in Europe.