|Population||Ca 20,1 million|
Romania – from eerie castles to beautiful Bucharest
Romania’s capital is stunningly beautiful with its long history, modern architecture and elements of French style. It really is a place you can stroll around for a long time! Feel free to move on to Transylvania when you have clearly enjoyed Bucharest. Here you can go on really weird hikes and you love to celebrate Halloween then you should definitely travel here then!
Spooky Transylvania and pristine ecosystems
If you are fascinated by Bram Stokers, Dracula, you do not want to miss Transylvania. Visit the eerie castle which has 19 rooms (of the castle’s 50 rooms) open to the public. But the castle is not the only eerie place in Romania, there are many scary places to visit and as you can probably figure out, Romania is the place to be during Halloween. Hoia Baciu is a real ghost forest with crooked and strange trees, it is said that a shepherd went into the forest with his 200 sheep, and has never been seen since, and that is precisely why the forest has been nicknamed “Europe’s Bermuda Triangle”. Sinca Veche is another place that is both mysterious and a bit creepy. It is an intricate cave system that was probably created over 7000 years ago. No one knows who built the caves or for what reason. The caves also go by the nickname “Stonehenge of Transylvania”.
About half of Romania’s land area is covered by pristine ecosystems, making it Europe’s best-preserved biodiversity. During the communist era, the heavy industry destroyed much of nature and the nuclear accident in Chernobyl severely polluted nature. But environmental work has been going on for some time and many areas have become nature reserves. Visit Lake Saint Ana, just over an hour from Brasov, formed in an old volcanic crater. The area is rich in wildlife and vegetation, such as carnivorous plants and conifers in miniature format.
In Bucharest you can stroll around and just enjoy historical sites, older charming neighbourhoods and modern architecture. When you walk around the city it is possible that the thoughts are brought to France, and it is not that strange considering the city’s boulevards, the arch of triumph and French-inspired architecture. In fact, the city is sometimes called “little Paris”. One of the world’s largest administrative buildings is located here, the parliament palace that Nicolae Ceausesus had built just before he and his wife were executed on Christmas Day 1989. The mighty building is 340,000m² in size and under the building there is an extensive tunnel system leading to a metro station and would serve as an escape route for Nicolae Ceausescu if he ever got into trouble. You could say that the building is something “hate-loved” it is impossible to deny that it is a magnificent and impressive building but unfortunately the palace cost the Romanians a lot. Most churches and synagogues were demolished before construction started, and the costs were so extensive that it led to food shortages and electricity rationing.
There is much to discover in Bucharest! Like Lake Herastrau and the park of the same name, here you will find a real picnic oasis with beautiful flowers and historical monuments. If you are in the mood for some shopping, you will find everything from design brands to small craft products in wool and wood. If you want to browse art galleries and shop in a second-hand shop, look up Calea Victoriei, where there are also many lovely cafes for a little snack.
Where will you go next?
Find your new favourite place.
Discover Europe by train