If you're thinking of planning a trip to Romania you're probably going to start from a major city or the capital, Bucharest. That makes sense: all major Romanian cities have airports and flying is the easiest way of travelling to Romania.
Besides Bucharest, other top Romanian cities to visit if you're a tourist are Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Sibiu, Brasov, Sighisoara and Oradea. If you would like to catch a glimpse of the Black Sea, then Constanta should also be on your list, though we recommend doing that only during the warm season (May-September). Otherwise, the best time for a city break in Romania is anytime of the year because there's always something going on! Just be careful about heatwaves in July-August, especially in Bucharest.
If you're looking for some tips on places to see, top attractions and where to go out in Romanian cities - you're in the right place. Each city is unique in its own way and offers plenty to see if you're a first time visitor to Romania: beautiful town squares, major landmarks, rich 'old world' architecture mixed with communist remodelling, medieval charm, a lively and young urban culture with lots of cafes and cool places to hang out -- you name it!
Your Romanian Friend has knows locals living in all major Romanian cities and we asked them to write a small guide so that visitors can experience their city like a local does. We want to promote the local, authentic sights of Romania, and not just the same tourist attractions or 'top sights' you can find everywhere about Romania. That's because we like local travelling and want to help others experience that in our country.
That's why we put together travel guides to major Romanian cities:
By reading them you'll get a general idea about each city, top tourist sights and major landmarks, places to visit, things to do and tours in the city, where to go out, day trip ideas and practical info to help you navigate the city.
The capital, Bucharest, is the biggest Romanian city with a population of over 2 million and most economically developed. It's also about 5-6 times bigger than the next ranking city, Cluj-Napoca or Timisoara, with a population of about 350,000 - 400,000. So think of spending 2-3 nights in Bucharest (and surroundings) and 1-2 nights in all other cities.
- Bucharest a city with a Balkan-Oriental-Western personality
We asked Andreea, your typical Romanian young Romanian in her mid-20s to give you her perspective on Bucharest, her home since 2009. When she's not busy practising law, Andreea loves travelling, reading and walking around Bucharest, so check out her Bucharest city guide.
- Cluj-Napoca the unofficial capital of Transylvania
David is a local socialite and friend for whom Cluj-Napoca has been his home for the last 10 years. David is very well connected to the local life of Cluj: he's the PR of a popular bar in town and is involved in organising lots of events that take place in the city - and there are many of those. So we asked for his help to write a small travel guide to the city of Cluj-Napoca, located in the heart of Transylvania!
- Timisoara - where Romania's rebellion against the communist regime started
The city of Timisoara with its rebellious attitude is where the anti-communist revolution of 1989. Students influenced by Western culture, wearing contraband Levi's jeans and listening to Pink Floyd have shaped this city's culture like no other. But there's more to discover about Romania's 3rd most important city - just read how Mihai sees his hometown of Timisoara after witnessing more than 25 years of changes.
- bohemian, idyllic Sibiu
Sibiu is undoubtedly one of Romania's most beautiful cities. With a charming personality, a multicultural history, a backdrop of majestic mountains and a representative of Transylvanian culture and life, it is definitely a 'must see' sight in Romania. For this reason, it attracts a lot of tourists. Luckily, Andra shared her insights on how to explore Sibiu like a local and avoid the tourist crowds, given that it's her hometown and the 'best city in Romania' according to her.