12 Best Cities to Visit in Romania

by Constantin Andrei

Romania is a country of many faces, with landscapes that range from forested hills and scenic mountains to charming medieval towns, ancient monasteries, and majestic castles. Its cities are equally varied in personality and style as the rest of the country.

As a result, Romania is a fantastic place to go, and many of the country’s cities have the enchanting appearance of being plucked straight from a fairy tale. For example, taking a stroll through the old areas of Brasov and Sighisoara is an incredible pleasure, as you will come across medieval watchtowers, beautiful churches, and bustling market squares.

Despite the country’s rich history, the streets of many of its cities seem modern and alive. Both Sibiu and Bucharest have thriving cultural scenes, but the capital city also has some of the best bars, restaurants, and other nightlife in the country. Our recommended Romanian cities provide a wide variety of attractions and activities, so there’s something for everyone on your list.

12. Targu Mures

Orthodox church in Roses Square, Targu Mures

The center of Targu Mures city with the Orthodox church in Roses Square. Image source: Serenity-H/Shutterstock.com

Targu Mures, in Transylvania, is a beautiful town that rarely gets visited by tourists.

Trandafirilor Square is the heart of Targu Mures; it has two beautiful cathedrals and the magnificent Cultural Palace, a wonderful example of Art Nouveau architecture.

Targu Mures is a great place to stop on your way across the area due to its abundance of stores, restaurants, and bars, as well as its 15th-century fortress.

11. Suceava

Suceava Stronghold in Romania

The Suceava Stronghold is a medieval fortress located in Suceava, Romania. Image source: TACHEFOTO/Shutterstock.com

Suceava has a rich past, but its modern-day residents have nothing to show for it. Most visitors only utilize it as a jumping-off point to see the stunning frescoed monasteries in neighboring Bukovina.

Besides its majestic fortress from the 14th century, Suceava has a few churches and a few cafes and bars, but not much else to see or do.

As such, it is most useful as a low-cost home base from which to tour the beautiful castles and churches in the surrounding area.

10. Iasi

Water fountain in central square in Iasi town

The Cultural Palace and water fountain in the central square of Iasi town, Moldavia, Romania. Image source: Serenity-H/Shutterstock.com

Because of its central location in the north-eastern region of Moldavia, the city of Iasi has a lot to offer in terms of dining, drinking, cultural activities, and nightlife.

The city’s rich history means that it is littered with architectural gems: old monasteries sit next to modern theaters and Soviet tower blocks, and churches seem to pop up out of nowhere.

Shopping, dining, and partying are all highlights of a trip to Iasi, a city with a vibrant and young population that provides for a memorable experience.

9. Oradea

Union square (Piata Unirii) in Oradea, Romania

Union Square (Piata Unirii) seen at the blue hour in Oradea, Romania. Image source: Catalin Lazar/Shutterstock.com

Even though Oradea has seen better days, it is nevertheless home to several stunning, if somewhat dilapidated, structures from the time when it was governed by the Austro-Hungarians.

Having been around since Roman times, it displays a wealth of history. Beautiful Art Nouveau mansions, Baroque churches, and Neoclassical theaters can be found while exploring its bustling streets.

With its proximity to Hungary, the city of Oradea is a melting pot that includes a sizable Hungarian community. Travelers to and from Hungary often stop by.

8. Sighisoara

Sighisoara's historic centre - UNESCO World Heritage Site

The historic centre of Sighisoara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Romania. Image source: Inspired By Maps/Shutterstock.com

Sighisoara is really picturesque, what with its gorgeous pastel-colored houses, meandering cobblestone lanes, and high spires and towers.

Its charming, walled old town has been meticulously conserved, making it a hotspot for visitors. Adding to the enchanted atmosphere is the fact that Vlad the Impaler, the real-life inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, was born here.

Sighisoara’s medieval streets are packed with charming shops and cafés, making it a must-see destination. To get lost among the streets here is to nearly feel as if you’ve entered another era.

7. Alba Iulia

Bell tower of Reunification Cathedral in Alba Carolina Fortress

The bell tower of Reunification Cathedral in the fortified Alba Carolina Fortress, Romania. Image source: Andrew Mayovskyy/Shutterstock.com

Alba Iulia has a gorgeous star-shaped citadel that is home to several wonderful monuments, museums, and more, but it is often neglected by tourists.

Historic buildings and landmarks from Alba Iulia’s past are on display around the city. Here is where Transylvania and Romania made up their minds to become one country. The beautiful Roman Catholic Cathedral, built in the Romanesque style in the 13th century, is a must-see.

In contrast to the rest of the city, which is not quite as gorgeous as the citadel, tourists will find a lot to see and do in the citadel, which is filled with beautiful palaces and glittering cathedrals and churches.

6. Timișoara

Sunset over Union Square in Timisoara

A beautiful cloudy sunset over Union Square – Piata Unirii, in Timisoara, Romania. Image source: Marianna Ianovska/Shutterstock.com

Timisoara is an attractive city to stroll around because of its many beautiful parks, squares, and gardens. Since it will be swamped with tourists in 2021 when it serves as the European Capital of Culture, now is the time to go.

It was the first city to rise up against Ceausescu, the former Communist leader of Romania, in 1989, and is today the third-biggest city in the country. The gorgeous Victory Square and the interesting Museum of the Revolution are just two of the many locations in Timisoara dedicated to remembering this momentous day.

Timisoara is a cosmopolitan city with a thriving bar and restaurant scene and a diverse population. As a starting point for trips into the surrounding region, the city is often used.

5. Sibiu

Large Square with City Hall and Brukenthal Palace in Transylvania

The Large Square – Piata Mare, with the City Hall and Brukenthal Palace, in Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania. Image source: SCStock/Shutterstock.com

Sibiu is an intriguing destination because of its distinctively Germanic atmosphere; it is home to the country’s largest German population, and as a result, its streets are filled with an enticing blend of cultures.

Old Town in Sibiu is attractive and full of great architecture. The old citadel and the stunning Gothic structures that border Huet Square are only two highlights.

Sibiu has a variety of opera, theater, and film events throughout the year, contributing to the city’s vibrant cultural scene. It is also home to the Brukenthal Museum, one of the top museums in Romania, which features works by renowned Romanian and foreign artists.

4. Cluj-Napoca

Panoramic view of Cluj Napoca with The Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral in Transylvania, Romania.

A panoramic view of Cluj Napoca with the iconic Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral in Transylvania, Romania. Image source: Pani Garmyder/Shutterstock.com

Cluj-Napoca, the country’s second-largest city, is rich in history, culture, and beautiful architecture. Because of its young population, it is a great destination for those in search of exciting nightlife.

Baroque structures and old churches provide a glimpse of the city’s beautiful architecture, and the city’s art galleries and cultural facilities are worth seeing; the National Museum of Art is especially noteworthy. There are also several parks in which to relax, as well as cozy cafés and lively bars.

Cluj-Napoca, in the Transylvanian region, is becoming more and more of a tourist hotspot as a result of its convenient proximity to major airports. Many visitors utilize it as a starting point to explore the area, which is rich in historic landmarks and picturesque landscapes.

3. Constanța

View of the historic building of the Constanta Casino on the coast of the Black Sea, Romania.

A picturesque view of the historic Constanta Casino building on the coast of the Black Sea in Romania. Image source: Photosebia/Shutterstock.com

Located on the Black Sea, the city of Constanta is a major port that is second in significance to the capital of Bucharest. Surprisingly, it has been around for almost 2600 years.

Most tourists come to Constanta for the nearby seaside resorts and lovely beaches, but the city itself has a lot going for it. There are several museums and historical sites to explore. The National Museum of History and Archaeology, with its many priceless antiquities and marble tombs, stands head and shoulders above the others.

Constanta is more than simply a transit point on the route to the country’s Black Sea beaches thanks to its abundance of fine hotel options, lively nightlife, and delicious seafood restaurants.

2. Brasov

Ski slope in Poiana Brasov, Romania.

A view of a ski slope in Poiana Brasov, Romania. Image source: Serenity-H/Shutterstock.com

Brasov’s picturesque environment, with the Carpathian Mountains on all sides, is nicely complemented by its lovely medieval center. One of the most visited places in all of Romania, and with good reason.

Wonderful baroque structures, Gothic churches, and medieval watchtowers can be seen when strolling the Old Town, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of a fantasy. You can sit in one of the many cafés or restaurants around the central area and people-watch for hours.

The neighboring mountains are not only home to some beautiful small hiking trails and walks, but also to one of the top ski resorts in all of Romania. Tourists visiting Transylvania’s numerous castles often choose the picturesque city of Brasov as a home base.

1. Bucharest

View of an antique building in Old Town Bucharest with Dambrovita river in the foreground.

A view of an antique building in Old Town Bucharest with the Dambrovita river. Image source: Vadym Lavra/Shutterstock.com

Bucharest’s status as “the Little Paris” has faded in recent decades due to Communist rule and the city’s crumbling infrastructure. Even yet, there is a lot to see and do in Bucharest, and the city is gradually becoming a popular tourist destination again.

Mesmerizing to explore, Bucharest’s lush gardens sit next to majestic Orthodox churches from the 17th century, interesting museums, and, of course, the gigantic Parliament Palace, the biggest parliament building on Earth.

Bucharest’s streets are alive with activity because of the city’s unique contrast between Communist-era concrete blocks and monuments and lovely villas and spectacular structures, including the grandiose Mitropoliei Palace. The city’s trendy bars and exciting nightlife reveal yet another facet of this fascinating metropolis.

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