That’s Romanian for ‘hi’ :)
Welcome to Romanian Friend! I’m Marius, the guy with the vision behind everything you see on this website. I gave up a career as an international corporate lawyer to start this project and give something back to my country while doing something I'm (far more) passionate about: travel and helping others. You can check my Instagram or LinkedIn to see that I'm a real person, just in case you're curious :)
A story, of corse!
Romanian Friend was 'conceived' in late 2016 and the website was launched in April 2017. I like to think of it as a community-driven social initiative. Technically, it’s just an online marketplace with handpicked local guides and curated-by-natives tours that we recommend for travellers who want to visit Romania. You can book tours and trips online using our custom-made easy, safe and secure platform and find lots of info to help plan your visit on our Local Feed (visiting suggestions, travel tips, a map, etc). Read more about how Romanian Friend works and what we do.
How I describe Romanian Friend is this: imagine you had a good friend from Romania that you would ask: I want to visit your country - tell me everything! Where should I go, what should I see, eat and do?
As a Romanian expat who likes to travel (a lot!) I've been asked this question SO MANY times that I soon realised there's not enough reliable info or suggestions out there for those who want to visit my country - so I decided to do something about it. How bad is tourism in Romania promoted? you might ask - well, pretty bad! Low number of visitors (2,7 million in 2016 country-wide compared to 17 million in Amsterdam!!) lack of a clear and modern strategy from the government to promote my country as a travel destination, no awareness or information about representative local communities, traditional regions and attractions (other than Dracula-related touristy stuff), underdeveloped infrastructure (city info points, maps, English boards, etc), a fragmented inbound tourism market with lots of individual guides acting on their own with little online visibility, and the list can go on endlessly...
Since I'm proud of my Romanian roots and know the good - and less good - parts about my country, I founded Romanian Friend to help solve these problems and be a friend to all travellers out there who want to discover the authentic beauty of Romania!
With Romanian Friend I created a network of handpicked, independent and trusted local guides and small business owners all over the country who offer authentic, off the beaten path trips and truly local travel experiences. All guides and tours are selected and reviewed by me and my team because we want to promote the right people with great services, extensive knowledge and real passion for what they do.
That's because Romanian Friend's mission is to support responsible tourism which makes tourism better for everyone through local travel experiences. No one else is doing this for my country, so I would appreciate help with our mission - you just have to book a tour with us. That will support our work and enable us to continue doing it in the future.
A lot, and here's why:
If you book one of our tours then you will save precious time, energy and uncertainty because you won't have to look for guides, tours and suggestions on 10+ websites, contact them individually to ask for details or availability (because none have a booking system) and make a decision you're not sure of. Romanian Friend is a marketplace with 80+ tours and 30+ guide-partners all over the country -- everything you need in one place, with our instant and quick support!
Second, we make sure you get a great deal and value for money on your tour because we know the real costs of being a tourist in Romania and review tour prices so that they are fair for everyone.
Third, you get a personal reward through local travel that benefits local communities - we believe this is the best way to experience a new culture, especially ours, and we know what a great Romanian experience needs to look like!
Finally, you get our friendly help with whatever Romania-related questions you may have, as well as quick and instant support with your booking and travel planning. That's what a friend would do, right?
Meeting the locals, seeing our famous countryside (hello Transylvania!), hiking our wild Carpathian Mountains, enjoying meals with locals over a glass of palinca or learning UNESCO handcrafts hundreds of years old - that's what your Romanian Friend recommends you do if you visit our country - just have a look at our selection of tours in Romania
So that's what your Romanian Friend is ‘about’ - helping you discover the beauty of our country while having a great time on your visit and making a difference for the local people and communities you will see during a tour.
We invite you to explore our website - you'll find lots of info on attractions and regions to help plan your trip, inspiration and travel tips. Local stories and insights from all over the country and major cities. And get help from us if there's anything you need!
Thanks for reading, sorry I couldn’t keep it shorter, a writer-lawyer habit :)
p.s. did you know that the U.N. declared 2017 the year of sustainable tourism? that's how important responsible travel can be! :)