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Romania

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Hidden behind the Iron Curtain for much of the 20th century, Romania was known simply for being the land of the legend of Dracula. Then following the demise of its communist regime, Romania, like a time-capsule opening up to the outside world, emerged as one of Europe’s most fascinating countries. 
 
Ringed by the Carpathian Mountains, Transylvania - Romania’s green heart, is home to some of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns, stunning castles and Saxon churches. Its thick forests are home to bears and wolves and its charming rural landscapes are dotted with small wooden villages where colourful, centuries-old traditions are still very much alive. Romania lies on the Black Sea and its warm climate and miles of sandy beaches have made its coastal resorts a popular holiday destination. Yet remnants of ancient Greek culture, which date back as far at the 7th century BC when seafarers were establishing trading colonies along the coast, are still being discovered. The nation’s capital is Bucharest. Once known as the ‘Paris of the East’ for its art nouveau palaces and elegant architecture, it is better known today as being home to the world’s second biggest parliamentary building, a monument to decades of communist rule.
 
The Danube River ends its European journey of almost 1,785 miles in south-eastern Romania. Beautiful and unspoilt, the Danube Delta is one of the least populated parts of Europe. The vast wetland is comprised of an intricate network of waterways and lakes divided between the three main estuary channels of the River Danube. This area of floating reed islands, forest, pastures and sand dunes is home to an incredible wildlife and more than 300 species of birds. An extraordinary natural world, it is, like the rest of Romania, which is waiting to be discovered.
 

Things to know

  • Controversially called the ‘People’s Palace’, some 40,000 people were displaced and 9,000 houses demolished to make way for what is today the Palace of the Parliament
  • Romania is the ninth largest wine producer in the world 
  • Romania was a source of inspiration for two very famous novels: “The Castle in the Carpathians” by Jules Verne, and “Dracula” by Bram Stoker
  • The road between Bucharest and Girugiu was the first stone-paved road in Romania
  • The Danube Delta increases by 67 million tons of alluvium on a yearly basis
  • Romania has Europe’s largest population of brown bears
  • The Danube River flows 1,788 miles from its springs in Germany’s Black Forest to the Black Sea. Just before reaching the sea

Key Destinations

Bucharest
Bucharest

Historic Orthodox churches, grand neoclassical buildings, unusual memorials and its own Arcul de Triumf, Romania’s capital Bucharest offers so much more than just its gargantuan Palace of the Parliament, the city’s iconic legacy of the Ceausescu regime. One of the most popular areas is Lipscani. A maze of narrow, cobblestone streets with art galleries, antique shops, restaurants and coffee houses, it was at one time the district of craftsmen and traders.
Tulcea
Tulcea

Once an ancient Roman settlement and today an important port town, Tulcea is the gateway to the extraordinary Danube Delta. Highlights include the 19th century St. Nicholas’ Church, Azzizie Mosque and the Art Museum with works from some of Romania’s most prominent artists. Not to be missed, the Danube Delta Natural History Museum gives a fascinating introduction to the most remarkable river wetlands in Europe.