It’s not possible to see everything Romania has to offer in one trip – and we don’t suggest you try. What follows, in no particular order, is a selective and subjective taste of the country’s highlights: outstanding architecture, natural wonders, spectacular hikes and unforgettable festivals.

1 Peleş Castle, Sinaia

Once a refuge for Ceauşescu and visiting dignitaries, Peleş remains the country’s most opulent palace.

2 Bucharest

Romania’s noisy, chaotic capital boasts a number of terrific museums, remarkable architecture and arguably the best nightlife in the Balkans.

3 Danube Delta

This remote and beautiful landscape is teeming with fabulous wildlife, and promises some of the finest birdwatching in Europe.

Romania, White pelicans, Danube Delta, Europe

4 Black Sea

Strewn with lively resorts and sandy beaches, the Black Sea coast offers everything from wakeboarding to kayaking, while Constanţa is a cultural hub with a fine restaurant scene.

5 Fortified churches

Scattered among the lush hills of southern Transylvania are dozens of marvellous fortified Saxon churches.

6 Constantin Brâncuşi

Romania’s greatest sculptor has bequeathed an impressive legacy of striking works of art, such as the Endless Column in Târgu Jiu.

7 Skiing

Hit the slopes in Poiana Braşov, or at one of the country’s other popular, good-value centres.

8 Sibiu

Beautiful architecture, terrific museums and fabulous festivals make the once great Saxon town of Sibiu an alluring destination.

9 Bucovina hills

Cloaked in beech, fir and pine, the gorgeous rolling Bucovina hills are a walker’s paradise.

Suceava, Bucovina, Romania, Europe

10 Braşov

Shadowed by mountains and boasting a fine Baroque centre, this erstwhile Saxon settlement is one of Transylvania’s most appealing cities.

11 Vişeu de Sus train ride

Jump aboard the early-morning logging train for a meandering ride up the picturesque Vaser valley.

12 Bear- and wolf-tracking

Spend a day trailing Romania’s largest carnivores – if you’re lucky, you may see one of these magnificent creatures up close.

13 Measurement of the Milk Festival

At this enjoyable and unusual spectacle, Transylvanian shepherds vie to see who has the most productive animals.

14 Merry Cemetery, Săpânţa

True to its name, the Merry Cemetery is a riot of beautifully carved and brightly coloured wooden headstones.

15 Village homestays

Wonderful rural retreats offering cheap, friendly and relaxing accommodation, and great home-cooked food.

16 Wooden churches of Maramureş

The beguiling landscape of this isolated region is dominated by marvellous wooden churches.

17 Timişoara

The crucible of the 1989 revolution, this most cosmopolitan of Romanian cities promises handsome architecture, fine parks and a vibrant arts scene.

18 Sheep’s cheese

Fresh from the highland pastures, a sample of tasty sheep’s cheese is a must.

19 Sighişoara

Atmospheric medieval town with a brooding skyline of ramparts, towers and spires.

20 Făgăraş mountain hiking

The spectacular peaks of the Făgăraş provide access to some rewarding hikes.

21 Dracula

The Princely Court at Târgovişte is just one of many sites linked to the Dracula legend.

Wallachia, Targoviste, Princely Court of Vlad Tepes, Romania, Europe

22 Painted monasteries

The monasteries of southern Bucovina and Moldavia are renowned for their magnificent exterior frescoes.

23 Folk and Gypsy music

Don’t miss the wild, irrepressible sounds of Romanian folk and Gypsy music.

24 The Carpathian range

One of Europe’s least spoiled mountain ranges, full of wildlife and first-class hiking trails.

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