Clustered around the south bank of a bend in the Danube, TULCEA has been tagged the “Threshold of the Delta” ever since ancient Greek traders established a port here. Its maritime significance was slight until the closing stages of the period of Ottoman domination (1420–1878), when other powers suddenly perceived it as commercially and strategically important. Nowadays, the outskirts of the town are heavily industrialized, and the port is too shallow for large modern freighters, but it’s still the chief access point for passenger vessels entering the Delta, which is why most people end up here. Otherwise, the largely systematized, hence mostly uninspiring, town centre has enough attractions to fill a few hours, not least a cluster of enjoyable museums around Piaţa Republicii. Moreover, there’s plenty of accommodation here should you wish to stay before pushing on into the Delta; note that ferries to the Delta’s three channels all depart at 1.30pm.

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