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Romania


Originally we wanted come to Romania for 4 days, but after checking the information, realized that we would not see anything, and came for 7 days. This is also not enough, so we tried to see different parts of the country.

On the next map you can see the historical regions of Romania. Almost everyone has heard of Transylvania, here you can see where it is.

Historical regions of Romania
Historical regions of Romania wikimedia.org

And this is a modern physical map of Romania. It clearly shows how the Carpathians divide the country into two parts.

Physical map of Romania
Physical map of Romania @

When to go

June - rainy month

July and August - high season, it may be hot. Although we were in July and the weather was excellent.

September and October - also good months and the weather is cooler.

January and February - ski resorts.

Transportation

We rented an inexpensive car at the airport (7 full days for 220 euros + 84 euro insurance). The asphalted roads are in good condition, but they are not everywhere. Consider that there is only one autobahn and most of the time you will drive through small towns and villages, which greatly increases the travel time.

If you have a little time and no car, it will be difficult. You can go to Brasov and see everything you can visit during daily trips. The fact is that Romania is a rather large country and it is impossible to see even the main interesting places on public transport in one or two weeks. Moreover at least half of the places that we visited  can not be reached by public transport.

Trains are quite slow, it takes about 3 hours to get from Bucharest to Brasov (170 km). There is an InterRail Romania Rail Pass.

Find below links to the websites with the schedule of trains and buses.

Domestic tourism

Romanians are very fond of traveling around their country. We can put Romania in second place after China by this parameter. Given that they thavel mostly by cars and most of the roads are narrow, there are always traffic jams. During planning we even took into account days of the week, to avoid the 20-kilometer Sunday traffic jam from Brasov to Bucharest.

During high season a minimum of 40-50 cars are standing near each more or less significant attraction. And here is the parking lot near popular location.

Balea Lac parking
Balea Lac parking @

Money

You can pay euros or dollars in most hotels, but in other places only Romanian lei.

Dracula

Dracula and Transylvania are the most famous words related to Romania. A lot of places are connected with the famous vampire and not all of them are "real". For more information on how Dracula became the national brand of the country, read the article about Bran Castle.

The Bears

Romania is the country with the largest bear population in Europe, not counting Russia. In 2017 government even allowed hunting for 175 bears to reduce their number. The EU Commission authorized this step considering the increasing number of attacks on people and various damage (video)

During our week-long trip the bear with the cubs blocked access to the attractions 2 times (!). This even happened with the Bran castle, which is located in the city.

Corruption and security

There are many stereotypes about Romania, mostly about corruption and bribes at the border and on the roads. Because of this, tourists are afraid to travel here. After joining the EU in 2007, the situation has improved significantly, you can rent the car without any problems.

Since 1990, the level of security in the country has been improving every year.

Useful links

http://www.infofer.ro/ - CFR train timetable
https://cfrcalatori.ro/ - CFR train timetable
https://regiocalatori.ro/mersul-trenurilor/ - Regiotrans train timetable http://www.autogari.ro/ - bus timetable
https://mementobus.com/en - cheap buses around the country
http://www.absolute-nature.ro/ - tours to wild bears from Brasov

Some films in which you can see Romania

Cold Mountain (2003) - the most famous film shot in Romania. Military drama, received seven Oscar nominations. Was shot in the Romanian Carpathians (video)

A Princess for Christmas (2011) - a family comedy, showing various palaces and castles. Major events take place in Peles Castle (video)

BloodRayne (2006) - another box office failure of Uwe Boll. Completely filmed in Romania, many locations, many castles, many beautiful views of the Carpathians (video)

Borat (2006) - the Kazakh village of Borat was shot in Romania (video)

Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) - a film that made Dracula a cult. All events take place in Romania, but the shootings were conducted in the USA. Bran Castle was partially shown (video)

Ghost Rider 2 (2012) - filmed in Romania and Turkey, shown Corvinus Castle,  Transfaharas road and Bucharest (video).

Top Gear. Season 14. Episode 1 (2009) - special edition about Romania, was shot on the Transfagaras road (video). This episode probably made the road world famous.

There is also a famous studio Castel Film Studios in Romania, hundreds of category B films were shot here. The Romanians are actively promoting their country for filming, the website with locations will be also interesting to travellers.

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