How to arrive?
If you are coming from a different country by plane you will probably start with the capital city Bucharest. There are two airports in the city, our flights were to/from Henri Coanda (Otopeni). The airport is not big enough to spend too much time, so if you have a transfer flight and have to wait some time, I suggest to spend the time in city center since the airport is just 10 kilometres away. Bucharest International Airport is closer just a few kilometres to city center.
If You Want To Explore Without Any Guidance Like Us,Renting a car is the best option.
Our plan was to spend little time in Bucharest, renting a car at the airport and explore the nature wonder Transylvania Region by our time schedule with little breaks. There are multiple choices for rental companies, we preferred Klasswagen company, a local car rental company. They take you from the airport with their shuttle bus and bring you to their center close to the airport. When you leave the car it’s the same process, first you come to their center, leave the car and they take you to airport.
They were kind and helpful but I suggest you to make a full insurance covering all the damages even a small scratch may be a problem otherwise and also if you plan to travel through the narrow highland ways of Transylvania prefer a strong car.
Where to Stay at Bucharest?
We stayed at Ibis Bucharest we arrived late and since it was easter the restaurants were closed, but still we could order in the Hotel’s restaurant. The breakfast was open buffet and pretty good variety.
1.The Capital City, Bucharest
Palace of Parliament
According to Guinness Record Book, It’s the second largest building in the world after Pentagon. It’s quite impressive, built by approximately 700 architects. It was called ad People’s House during the Ceausescu’s Regime, is a symbol of old communist times.
– Herastrau Park
Huge park with a lake, if you have time you can even spend the whole day in it. It’s not only the largest park in Romania, it’s also the largest park in Europe which is located at the citt center.
– Village Museum- Dimitrie Gusti
Dimitri Gusti is a sociologist and folklorist. It’s an open air museum 300 hundred different traditional houses brought together to preserve their history. You can go inside some of them. The tickets are 3 euros for adults. You can have guided tours inside by appointment.
- Greatest Leader Atatürk Statue
I am really proud when I see in different capitals or cities the monuments, statues or street names of the great Turkish leader Atatürk. It’s publicly opened in 30 August,2007. It’s written in Turkish “Mustafa Kemal Atatürk Türkiye Cumhuriyeti’nin kurucusu Fondatorul Republicii Turcia 1881-1938’ in front of the statue.
After spending one day and night in Bucharest we went our way to Transylvania Region. We stayed at the city of Brasov. I strongly recommend Villa V , a friendly host Raluka, clean and centered apartment, free parking place, best advices to visit and eat and a delicious breakfast.
First of all, I must say that it is very enjoyable to drive on this road, view of mountains, lush forests, medieval castles on the road. Bucharest- Brasov is 2.5 hours ride, you have places to visit on the road.
For example, the city of Sinaia, and Peles Castle. You can visit both in one day. If you want to visit inside the Peles Castle you can consider a 2 hours time for the castle.
The city is a very well preserved medieval old town and the second most visited touristic city in Romania. It’s worth staying in Brasov for a few days to have some extra time to go for day trips as the area around the city has some amazing attractions.
-Piata Sfatului (Council Square)
It’s at the heart of old Brasov. You cant miss the sqaure with lots of cafes, restaurants, Black church and ahead you can have a nice walk to Strada Republicii. It’s a Marketplace similar to the other European old city centers. You can notice the German influence.
The Street is one the narrowest streets, full of colorful Street art and parallel Street to the council square after a few meters to the Beth Israel Synagogue.
The church was completed in the 15th century and is considered one of the largest Gothic churches.
The name, “Black Church” comes from the big fire in the late 17th century that left the building covered in dark soot. You can visit the church for a little fee, it’s at the center, in the council square.
-Cable Car to Tampa Mountain
You can go up the Tampa mountain and have a view of the whole city. There is the Brasov fortress.
- Brown Bear Watching Experience
If you have still time and want to see the bears in their nature, in the carpathian mountains from Brasov, you can join the tours, they take you right away to the center of the animals, it’s safe by car and you watch take pictures of them.
The town is famous tour for winter tourism . The town is home to one of the most beautiful palaces you will ever see – Peles Castle. The town, located 140 km north of Bucharest is a charming with beautiful architecture and a relaxing atmosphere.
Sinaia is located on the main railway line and road between Bucharest and Brasov, can be easily visited either as a day trip when traveling from Bucharest to Brasov.
The castle was built in 1873-1914,neo-renaissance style. Today it’s the original property of the Royal family. We visited on a very rainy day and the atmosphere was very mysterious. The interior design and archtitecture is different from the other castles. It is more sumptuous. There is a parking place and you should walk about 10 minutes to reach the castle. If you are with a baby stroller it might be difficult since the ground is cobblestone.
Sibiu is the Romania’s UNESCO cultural heritage city. It was designated as the European cultural city in 2007. This city simply has everything you want in an old European city but without the crowds. For me, it was the most European city with its history and eccentric buildings with eyes. Sibiu is also known nationally and internationally for its very beautiful Christmas market. The city was refounded by German settlers during the late 12th century. The city is divided into 2 parts (upper and lower town) It is a city with a lof of stairs between upper and lower town. When you park your car in the lower town do not miss the upper historic city center.
Piata Mare (large square)
There was a festival area when we arrived at the center. A Carousel, a tramboline, cafeterias, souvenair shops and the colorful buildings, it was like a christmas market forever. The famous Brukhental museum is located at the square. The Brukenthal Museum consists of an Art Gallery and an Old Books Library located inside the Brukenthal Palace, a History Museum located in the old town hall building.
-Piata Mica (little square)
When you walk through the council tower you will see the piata mica and ahead the bridge of lies with lots of colurful houses and cafes around.
-Bridge of lies
The Bridge of Lies has many legends surrounding it because of its name. The most popular one has it that the bridge will collapse when someone tells a lie while standing on it.
Bran Castle (Dracula Castle)
The most transylvanian sprit of the travel was the Dracula Castle. Although Bran Castle is not mentioned in the Bram Stoker’s famous book and the description of the castle does not match Bran Castle, the claimed connection between the castle and the Dracula legend is tourism-driven. Since 1997, Castle Bran is marketed as the Dracula Castle. As for Vlad Tepes, the ruler of Walachia, he does, indeed, has an association with Bran Castle. Vlad was involved in several campaigns to punish the German merchants of Brasov who failed to abide by his commands as regards their trade in his Walachian markets.
There are haunted houses around to visit but i think they are cheesy but still might attract children. In the castle, said to be a secret connection between the lower and upper floors, some rooms are closed and there are direction arrows to follow.
The entrance fee to the castle for adults 50 lei, 15 lei for children in April 2023.
But the time tunnel and the museum of torture is not included in this price. If you do not buy tickets for them at first dont worry you can change your mind during your visit and buy the ticket inside. Also, you do not need to buy before you go, there are several ticket machines and if you go early you can visit without any crowd.
After you finish your visit to castle, Panner is a good option to have some bakery, cakes and coffees. You can drive there, there is a parking place in the front. Enjoy your dessert!