Romania is a land of mystique. It’s a land that is full of legends and history. There are castles and UNESCO World Heritage Sites and even beautiful world renown coastline. Romania’s appeal is growing internationally, and that has helped push it to the top of my European travel destinations list! Romania is not just gypsies, or just poverty, or even just Dracula (though, there is a story behind that).
So come with me and explore why Romania has moved to the top of my European travel destinations list and why it should move to the top of yours!
The Black Sea
With more than 152 miles of coastline to boast of the Romanian coastline along the Black Sea has something for everyone. From party destinations to family-friendly resorts and even beaches for those of us who would prefer some quiet time, there really is a lot in store on the Romanian coasts.
Mamaia is the party capital of the Romanian Black Sea destinations. This resort town is mainly populated during the summer and has little to no full-time residents! This party hot spot, which is often likened to Spanish party city Ibiza, is located on a strip of land 5 miles long and only a mere 300 m wide. If nightlife is your scene and you are looking for a new summer destination then Mamaia is surely to be your scene. Sure, all that partying may lead to you spending all your money before you expected to, but if that’s the case the bank of mum and dad can arrange for a quick money transfer to send money to Romania to help you out and you’ll be partying in no time!
Keep it Boho
Vama Veche is the hot spot for those of us wanting to steer far away from the Capitalist culture and take on the more bohemian aspects of holidays in Romania. Vama, as it is more commonly called, is loved by those who are looking for a holiday that still allows you to party until dawn but also allows you to have lazy days on the beach. It’s a place where you don’t have to keep up with the masses and can do as you wish, when you wish, how you wish.
The Castles and Transylvania
Leaving the coats may be hard work for some, but for others, the romanticism of Transylvania and the mythical Dracula is the biggest draw to the country. Did you know that even though Dracula, who was popularised in Bram Stoker’s novel by the same name was a fictional character, there is a “real life Dracula” that inspired the now infamous character?
Vlad Dracula, also known as Vlad the Impaler, is an infamous character in Romanian history and one who had a reputation for impaling others. It’s said he even did this to his dinner guests with stakes and left their still-twitching bodies about whilst he dined.
Even though the real Dracula and the fictional character share a name there is more that they don’t have in common and one is not the alter ego of the other. History and accuracy don’t seem to stop the tourists from flooding the area though and that has been great for the tourism of the region.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
People also flock to Romania to see some of its famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If you’re more a person of faith than of gory history or infamous fictitious characters then head to the county of Suceava close to the Moldovian and Ukranian borders to see the Churches of Moldavia. This group of 8 churches all contain fresco painting or dry paintings that are usually done on plaster, similar to the Sistine Chapel in Italy. All 8 of these churches are considered masterpieces because each contains complete cycles of religious themes and are inspired by Byzantine art.
There is a misconception among some that the Gypsy population and culture is dominant in Romania and that this is a negative aspect of visiting Romania. Nothing could be further from the truth. Gypsy culture is one that is derived from a rich and unique heritage that forms part of but does not solely represent Romanian society. Romania is like most other countries in that its people are comprised of a number of different cultures and backgrounds that co-exist.
Whether you are looking to explore a country steeped in history or want to enjoy a holiday full of parties on the beach then Romania is a European location worth considering.