Deep, dark forests, fortified churches and Stalinist architecture
Nowhere in Eastern Europe defies preconceptions quite like Romania. The country suffers from a poor image, but don’t be put off – outstanding landscapes, a surprisingly efficient train system, a huge diversity of wildlife and rural communities and traditions that at times seem little changed since the Middle Ages.
Romanians trace their ancestry back to the Romans, and they like to stress their Latin roots, although they have Balkan traits too. They see their future as firmly within the Euro-Atlantic family and were delighted to join NATO and then, in 2007, the European Union.
The capital, Bucharest, is perhaps daunting for the first-time visitor – its savage history is only too evident – but parts of this once-beautiful city retain a voyeuristic appeal. More attractive by far, and easily accessible on public transport, is Transylvania, a region steeped in history, offering some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in Europe as well as a uniquely multi-ethnic character. Its chief cities, such as Braşov, Sibiu and Sighişoara, were built by Saxon (German) colonists, and there are also strong Hungarian and Roma (Gypsy) presences here. In the border region of the Banat, also highly multi-ethnic, Timişoara is Romania’s most Western-looking city and famed as the birthplace of the 1989 revolution.
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7 reasons you need to go to Romania now
A vast, remarkably diverse country, Romania packs in an outstanding synthesis of natural and cultural heritage, from majestic mountain ranges and Europe’s mos…25 Oct 2016 • Norm Longley insert_drive_file Article
You can now rent Dracula's Castle on Airbnb
For one night only Airbnb are offering the chance for a daring traveller and their companion to sleep in the home of Bram Stoker's Dracula – or so they say. …19 Oct 2016 • Lottie Gross insert_drive_file Article
16 pictures that will make you want to go to Romania
With its dark forests and gorgeous mountain scenery, Romania is destination bound to awe. But it's not just the countryside that can impress: elaborate castles …05 Oct 2016 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
After Romania, where next?
Check out Slovakia