Pack your bags, drop your current travel plans and whatever destination you had in mind for your next holiday or vacation. You should visit Romania instead! With breathtaking and amazing landscapes, rich and unique cultures and traditions, delicious food, and warm people, Romania will pull you in and surprise you in so many ways. Here’s a list of reasons why you should visit Romania right now.
1 – The people are friendly and the culture very interesting
Unlike other eastern European nations in the Balkans, Romania is blessed with the warmth of a Latin culture. In fact, it’s the only Latin country in the Balkans with a slight Slavic Influence. People are generally friendly to strangers. You can feel this in Cluj-Napoca where the people are progressive and hospitable. I thought it was the warmest and hospitable place I’ve ever been to in the Balkans.
When I first came to Romania I thought the Romanian language was all they spoke. I was wrong. There’s a large population of Hungarians in the Transylvania region and they speak Hungarian, a non-Indo-European language based more on a Uralic structure. I’ve joined Hungarian Szekelers in their Pilgrimage in the Csiksomlyo and Straddled the Border of the old Austro-Hungarian empire. The Szekelers are more warm and friendly than Hungarian’s from Budapest.
2 – It’s still undiscovered and not overrun with tourist
I mean just ask the average Joe in the U.S. where is Romania? Where is Transylvania? Ninety percent of the time they don’t know. That tells you it’s not a well-known destination just yet. Most tourists are still sold in the what they think is the romance of Europe, which is all about Western Europe. Well, little do they know that Romania has those same charms and then some!
While becoming fewer and fewer, there’s still people living life like it was hundreds of years ago. The Old Traditions are still clinging on even with the progress of time. There’s a lot of villages I’ve never even heard of and I rarely see tourists in those areas. The only thing crowded is Bran Castle and everyone who visit Romania knows about Bran.
3 – The Photogenic and Old Authentic Villages
I spent about a month in the Village of Breb in Maramures County. The villagers are still doing things the way they’ve been doing things hundreds of years ago. You can spend a few days with Shepherds in the Carpathians or have an authentic dining experience with them. Or you can just explore the quaint villages all over Maramures County. I had a unique experience during my travels in Romania and I’m positive you will too.
They still till the earth with ancient tools instead of machinery. They’re still stacking hay with pitchforks and cutting it with scythes. However, this way of life is disappearing fast. I saw a few tractors here and there and most villagers already have Facebook accounts and are playing Pokemon go on their cellphones. This should give you prompt to visit Romania right now before the modern world takes over.
4 – It’s still very affordable and cheap
Romania is one of the cheapest countries to visit in Eastern Europe. Cheaper than Hungary, Chezch Republic, Slovakia, and Montenegro. Meals on average cost around $3 to $4 dollars. Tourist attractions like Bran castle cost just $7 entry fee.
You can have a decent 4-course dinner for under $12. The average cost for a decent hostel is $12 to $16 a night. Beer is cheap, often cheaper than a bottled water and you can buy it at the bar for around $2. Heck, you can even get a 2-liter bottle of tasty beer for around 2 bucks.
I stayed in the village of Breb, Maramures county for a month and it only cost me EU 300 with room and board with all meals included. If you’re on a shoe-string budget, you can get by on $30 a day if you cooked all your meals.
If you volunteered via Workaway.com you can cut this expense to near zero – I even met a traveler spending only $2 a day and even making a few bucks volunteering in Bucharest.
5 – The Internet is fast
It’s rated, at one point, as top 10 fastest in the world. Just ask Bernie Sanders and to quote Mr. Sanders: “Today, people living in Bucharest, Romania have access to much faster Internet than most of the U.S. That’s unacceptable and must change.” If you’re a digital nomad Romania is an ideal place to visit long-term.
It’s no secret that Romania’s internet infrastructure is solid. That’s because they didn’t start with the old technology(2G) that the United States implemented when it first built its wireless infrastructure. Romania started theirs with the modern 4G infrastructure.
Romania is a great place to work if you work online or remotely. I was getting speeds of around 20-40Mbps. In California, I was getting less than 20Mbps.
6 – The Beautiful and Epic Landscapes
Romania is home to a very distinctive scenery: you can soar above 3000-meter peaks in the Carpathians, walk up and down verdant hills and plains, explore the Danube Delta and the Black Sea, or just wander around various citadels and castles in Transylvania.
Romania is lush with many rivers, streams, lakes, and it rains often enough to keep the landscapes green. The main highways cutting through the Carpathian Mountains, the Transalpina, and Transfagarasan, delivers some of the most spectacular views this side of Europe.
7 – The Spectacular Castles and Citadels
Corvin castle, Peles, Rasnov citadel, Rupea citadel, Viscrii, Poenari, or even Bran? Romania has equally impressive castles and citadels that rival their contemporaries in Western Europe. Corvin Castle is especially impressive because it resembles most a fairy-tale castle that graces children’s fairy-tale book cover.
8 – The Delicious Food
With its eastern and western influence, Delicious foods have been an aspect of the Romanian culture. Hungarian, Germanic and Turkish influence have left their mark on Romanian cooking. You’ll get a taste of the mouthwatering Sarmale, a rolled cabbaged stuffed with meat, or delicious Mititei, a minced meat dish that’s spicy.
You can find spicy Goulash in the Hungarian region in Harghita or even in various local restaurants. There’s sour soup (“ciorba“) made with a sour broth from wheat and cornflower paired with fried mutton pastrami with polenta. You can wash this all down with some amazing beer made from pure Transylvanian mountain water.
9 – The Long and Storied History
Dacians, Romans, Magyars, Mongols, Turks, Saxons, Slavs, and a slew of others have all left their mark in the collective nation that is Romania. During the Roman era, it was inhabited a Thracian tribe which the Romans called Dacians. The Romans conquered the Dacians and the descendants from both becoming the proto-Romanians.
During the middle ages waves of migrating peoples like the Goths, Magyars (Hungarians), Slavs, and Bulgars settled across the area bringing divergent cultural influence. The Ottoman Turks also came in later adding more cultural influence to an already rich culture.
10 – The Spectacular Cities
Sibiu, Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, Sighisoara, Bucharest, Alba Iulia, just to name a few, are some of the most charming and beautiful cities in Europe. Cities maintain their medieval charms with a hint of communism thrown in for measure. Sibiu is your quintessential gothic fairy-tale town in the heart of Transylvania.
Cluj has baroque and neoclassical architecture and amazing people to interact with. Brasov is home to one of Europe’s narrowest street and surrounded by bastions and impressive medieval towers. Sighisoara is full of cobblestone streets and crayon colored houses that look it came out of a fairy-tale book. These cities make you feel you’ve caught a ride in a time machine and stepped back in time.
There you go. Too many compelling reasons why you should book that flight and travel to Romania. It should be at the top of your bucket list as a travel destination.