Romania is a relatively large country in the South-East of Europe, and unfortunately not among the most popular tourist destinations of the world. I say “unfortunately” because it is a place where you can find an amazing mix of traditions and high tech, rural areas and modern resorts, and an incredible variety of habitats inhabited by vast populations of wild animals. It is a country with mountains, seas, plains and caves, and home to the second largest and best preserved river delta in Europe. And is is also a great place to go for travelers on a budget, as it often has very friendly prices. Here are a few tips for you if you plan to visit this amazing country in the near future.
The Romanian cuisine is a mix of Western and Eastern traditions – and it’s very cheap. Small meals and fast foods are inexpensive, and most of the times extremely filling, but they tend to use huge amounts of sauces on them, so take care of your clothes!
When in Romania, make sure you try the very popular street food “placinta cu cartofi” – similar to a pancake, with a mashed potato filling (salty) and topped with the local cheese similar to Feta, sour cream and sometimes garlic sauce. It is a taste you will never forget. Another “must taste” dish is “mititei”, small skinless freshly grilled sausages or rolls made out of a mixture of three varieties of meat (traditionally beef, lamb and pork) with strong spices and lots of garlic, usually eaten with mustard and bread.
Most restaurants serve “meniul zilei” (the day’s menu) consisting of a two course meal and sometimes a dessert for prices around $3-$5, which is dirt cheap even by the local standards. The food is usually tasty and filling.
Local airlines and trains tend to be cheap compared to the Western prices, but sometimes a bit unreliable. Trains are sometimes a bit too old, and a bit too dirty as well. City transportation is also cheap – bus fare usually costs somewhere around $1 for a single journey ticket. Cabs are to be found on every corner – although they are highly regulated, fraudsters can still sneak in between them, so mind which car you choose.
Major cities in Romania have everything from couch surfing to luxury hotels. If you plan to spend more than a few weeks in Romania renting an apartment and handle cooking yourself – a one bedroom apartment can be rented for as low as $150 a month, and most of the times this price includes the internet connection (broadband is dirt cheap in Romania, so feel free to play online casino royal vegas as much as you like), cable TV and a phone line.
4. Sights to be seen
There are so many interesting things to see in Romania that I don’t really know where to start – the wonders of nature, the often untouched wilderness of the mountains, the museums, the medieval castles, the hand painted monasteries of Moldova, the cobblestone covered streets of Sibiu, the caves of the Carpathians. It will need a dedicated article to cover only the major ones, so I will just mention one, appealing to classic horror fans: Dracula’s Castle in Bran.
Romania is an amazing land, with wonders to explore, traditions to experience and friendly people you will surely befriend. Make sure to visit this great country at least once.