Discover Romania | A country of contrasts
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Let Romania charm you with its strong contrasts and beautiful landscapes.

Less known but equal in beauty compared with other consecrated European destinations, Romania is, probably, one of the biggest surprises or, why not, secrets of Europe. This country has a fascinating history, having a geographical position desired in the past by all the great powers, starting with the Romans and the Slavs, continuing with the Ottomans and the Austro-Hungarians. Located in the southeast part of Central Europe, Romania is crossed from north to southwest by the majestic Carpathian Mountains, while in the southeast, has a great opening to the Black Sea. The land is rich in forests, ore deposits, mineral waters and fertile soils so, there is no wonder why this territory was so disputed. Thus, all the main historical regions of Romania were, for some periods of time, under the influence of either the Austro-Hungarians – the case of Transylvania and Bucovina, or the Ottomans – the case of Moldavia, Dobruja, and Wallachia, but still, the authentic Romanian element succeeded to remain predominant, maintaining its unity and originality until today. To discover Romania is, in many ways, like travelling back in time. Away from the crowded cities, much of Romania feels remote and unspoiled, giving you an intense feeling of space and freedom.
Despite their troubled past, Romanians are very tolerant, friendly and open-minded when interacting with foreigners and, there is no exaggeration in telling that, one of the most attractive aspects of this country is the cultural diversity. From the amazing medieval German towns of Transylvania to the incredible wooden churches of Maramures, Romania gets better and better with every day spent here and with every new place added to the agenda.

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Another great thing about Romania is the landscape. Few countries in the world were blessed with such a balanced landscape. A third of its territory is occupied by the Carpathians, another third by plateaus and hills and another third by fertile plains. And on top of that, there is the Danube Delta, the youngest European territory and the second largest and best-preserved delta in Europe, a paradise for fishermen, birdwatchers and nature lovers. Wild waterfalls, glacial lakes, and valleys, pristine forests, rocky mountains, mighty rivers, hot springs, mysterious caves, salt mines, they all come in this amazing “package” called Romania.

Another great thing about Romania is the landscape. Few countries in the world were blessed with such a balanced landscape. A third of its territory is occupied by the Carpathians, another third by plateaus and hills and another third by fertile plains. And on top of that, there is the Danube Delta, the youngest European territory and the second largest and best-preserved delta in Europe, a paradise for fishermen, birdwatchers and nature lovers. Wild waterfalls, glacial lakes, and valleys, pristine forests, rocky mountains, mighty rivers, hot springs, mysterious caves, salt mines, they all come in this amazing “package” called Romania.

But, in order to have a deeper look inside Romania’s soul, once you get here, you should definitely try the food as well. Romanian traditional cuisine is an interesting blend of flavors and cooking techniques borrowed from neighboring countries combined with local dishes mainly of shepherd origins. While many of the traditional dishes are based on pork, you should also know that they are master chefs in salads and soups. But, perhaps the best part is that wherever you go to eat, either to a friend’s house or to a restaurant, the portions are enormous and, overall, the prices more than reasonable. Romanian wines are a must try, and few people know that this country has actually 4000 years of tradition in cultivating and producing wine. The country ranks the 6th place in Europe and the 13th in the world in terms of wine production and many wines are still being made using ancient local grapes. So, don’t be shy, and discover Romania through this tasty potion, with millenary tradition, a potion so loved and appreciated that almost every Romanian family produces its own wine for daily consumption. “It’s a natural medicine” they say and there is no point in arguing them!

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Another aspect of great importance for all the Romanians is the tradition. Whether they live in cities or in rural areas, Romanian families are doing their best to preserve, at least, the most important traditions. Christmas and New Year’s Eve are, undoubtedly, the most loved and much-awaited winter holidays, a time for celebrating with family and friends while listening to old carols and enjoying great food. Even in the cities, you can see groups of kids, knocking door to door to sing carols and make good wishes for the year to come. People open their doors and offer the kids money, sweets, and fruits. But nothing compares with celebrating these holidays in rural areas where people tend to be more attentive to details and traditions are better preserved. Add some snow, the mountains, a glass of mulled wine near a cozy open fireplace and, all you have to do is just to relax and enjoy a Romanian Christmas on traditional carol tunes.

But, if your purpose is to truly discover Romania, you should not miss a sleepless Saturday night in busy Bucharest, the capital city. Also known as one of the most vibrant party capitals of Europe, Bucharest has plenty of bars, clubs, and pubs to choose from, cheap booze and nice fun people that often party until 4 or 5 a.m. The diversity of clubs and music are a great tourist attraction and the fact that most of them are crammed up on the narrow streets of the old center you will also have the possibility to enjoy this part of the city by night, which is very attractive even if it’s crowded with people.

Bucharest Rising from Mihai Doarna on Vimeo.

 
From charming rural Transylvania to the ancient Greek ruins near the Black Sea, from the amazing painted monasteries of Bucovina to the crowded Bucharest, from Dracula to Ceausescu, Romania is an incredible destination, a country of stories and legends, a country of contrasts that will charm you for good and forever. With no good reason, other than the fact that Romania has poor tourism marketing skills, this country is too easily overlooked by tour operators and tourists in general. But, once you discover Romania, you will just want to see more and more with every visit because Romania is truly special, a country like no other!