Romania Sighisoara Village

5 Signs You Need to Visit Romania Immediately

Has this happened to you?

You see a photo of a destination just oozing with charm and warmth. Your wanderlust is piqued so you search for more photos.

One after another, the images stir up whimsical notions of cobblestones, detailed architecture, and casually riding a bike with a basket holding, of course, a bouquet of flowers.

Longing turns to planning. You arrive and plans become reality.

There’s just one problem. The destination is nice but where’s that fanciful wanderlust you felt? Instead of capturing that romantic essence for yourself, you’re sharing the last drops with the crowds of other visitors who have come in search of the same experiences.

5 Signs You Need to Visit Romania

It’s a sign you need to visit Romania.

How serious is your affliction? The signs to visit Romania are explained below. The only thing is to make sure and visit Romania immediately…before this idyllic secret is completely discovered.

Sibiu Stairs Passageway Romania

1. You’re longing to go back in time.

As you step through the castle doors, you’re instantly swept away to another time, transfixed with visions of grandeur, ornate banquet halls, and red velvet robes.

You reach down to grab your camera wanting to capture the perfect Romania Instagram moment.

Gazing through the camera’s viewfinder, the unreal fantasy of it all nearly clouds your vision and you blink twice as you prepare to take the photo.

Until, suddenly, someone innocently bumps your arm. You’re jolted back to reality as groups of people fill in around you, rudely reminding you of your peasant status. You end up with a crooked photo of heads and a chandelier.

Inside Peles Castle Romania
Inside Peles Castle in Sinaia, Romania

Are you longing to visit castles without the tour buses unloading?

Do you wish for more than a moment to enjoy the views from a fortress’ battlements and ramparts? Have you tried (and failed!) to transport yourself back in time as you walk across a drawbridge or slide your hand up a marble banister into a lavish reception hall because a photo-taking queue has assembled?

Romania Peles Castle
Peles Castle in Sinaia, Romania

You’re not alone! And, that is precisely the problem!

It’s a sign you need to visit Romania. Many of its centuries-old castles and fortresses are perched on hilltops surrounded by dense evergreen forests just waiting to be explored. (The same can be said for museums, monuments, and other “places of interest!) 

What will you do (!) with the time to breathe deeply and enjoy the experience? Will your memory card have enough space for the photos you’ll take?!

2. You silently wish you had visited 30 years ago.

In imagining your next trip, you’ve envisioned quaint villages with uneven cobblestones underfoot.

Wide open squares with locals and visitors alike strolling with ice cream cones in hand. The pastel-colored buildings fade around the edges but brighten again from windows with vibrant-colored shutters and cascading flower displays.

Romania Window Flowers
Window Displays in Sibiu, Romania

A brown scrappy dog struts past with a newspaper in his mouth. A man strums his guitar letting fly vaguely familiar musical notes that linger in the air and mix with the smell of cinnamon already filling the narrow streets.

The day is sunny with just enough breeze to warrant carrying a “just in case” extra layer. You round the corner and a towering cathedral bears down upon you. The bells chime announcing the new hour.

The slow pace of life seeps under your skin and you can’t help it when a smile bubbles to the surface.

Romania Sighisoara Village
A quiet cobblestone street in Sighisoara, Romania

When you finally arrive in your chosen quaint village, does it match what you imagined above?

Are squares filled with cafes and bakeries or H&M’s and poorly disguised McDonalds? Are the streets packed with travelers shuffling from one souvenir shop to the next? Do you enjoy yourself but silently wish you had visited this village 30 years ago?

It’s a sign you need to visit Romania.

The villages of Sinaia, Brasov, Sibiu, and Sighisoara are still largely under-the-radar compared to other places in Europe. They embody the essence of that charming medieval village experience you’re envisioning.

Discover the slower pace of life tucked away on a tiny village street while enjoying local Romanian food like polenta with cow’s milk cheese at a quiet cafรฉ. These historic towns are all yours to enjoy…that is until everyone else discovers them.

Sibiu Passageway Romania
A passageway in Sibiu, Romania

3. You’ve tried to chat with locals only to feel your presence was an annoyance.

You know those travel stories where the author tells of an incredible experience of stumbling into an untouched village or finding a secluded beach where locals just happened to be having the perfect bonfire cookout?

Of course, the author is invited to join and ends up with an unforgettable experience and lifelong friends.

Have you wondered why this never happens to you? Why is it the only interactions you’ve had with locals is when they’re selling you on coming into their restaurant or pushing past as you attempt to navigate a city’s metro system? 

It’s a sign you need to visit Romania.

Rasnari Eastern Orthodox Church Romania
Eastern Orthodox Church in the village of Rasinari, Romania

How would you feel if a local said this to you?

“Please come back and visit. Tell your family and friends to visit Romania. Tell them it’s beautiful. Let them know we are nice and it’s not the jungle.”

Wouldn’t you always remember an experience like this?

(Translated from Romanian) “The wheel painted on the side of the church (above) shows all the stages of life. Be sure to go inside. A man is coming soon to unlock the front door.”

The woman is in her house but chatting with us from her window. She speaks no English but talks to me as if I understand Romanian.

I ask and the guide translates, “Can I take your photo?” She smiles and says (in Romanian) another person has asked before to take her photo, too, then quickly says, “My picture will be in America,” as she adjusts her head covering.

Romania Woman
Romanian woman in Rasinari, Romania

Can you imagine not only being greeted but welcomed with a mixture of warmth and curiosity?

“Are you from Spain?” “No, I’m from New York, the United States.”

“The U.S! Almost no one visits us from there! How do you like Romania!?”

4. You were actually hoping to see untouched villages and an authentic way of life, not just the one village used to show visitors.

Are you searching for green rolling hills around you and tall mountain peaks in the distance? Would you like to cycle or hike through forests still home to wildlife and fields of yellow and purple wildflowers?

Maybe you’re the kind of person who smiles when you pass endless fields of sunflowers, traditional handmade haystacks, people traveling by horse and carriage, and herds of sheep munching on green meadows. 

It’s a sign you need to visit Romania.

Romania Wildflowers
Fields of wildflowers in the countryside surrounding Sibiu, Romania

Give up the country roads with their speeding Ford and Audi rental cars. Forget the time you got knocked off your bike by a gust of wind trailing a tour bus.

Instead, cycle undisturbed along dirt roads, past apple orchards, and into quiet villages. Plan a trip to Transylvania in Romania and come across a painted monastery where a priest in traditional garb is sweeping the steps while a man nearby uses a scythe to chop down tall grasses.

Romania Wagon
Horses and wagons are an aspect of daily rural life in Romania.

5. You want to experience a place where the country’s past is still palpable.

In Bucharest, the signs of a city scarred but resilient are visible from the city center to its edges.

Grafitti sprayed storefronts sit opposite outdoor green spaces filled with street art and people enjoying a drink. The Old Town pulses anew with bars and restaurants reminiscent of any European city, but still with enough grit to keep you on your toes.

Stroll along the city streets and you’ll pass wild, overgrown gardens. Stop to push aside the shrubbery and reveal exquisitely detailed 19th-century mansions persisting despite the obvious decay and bruising of Bucharest’s turbulent past.

Bucharest Mansion
A Bucharest mansion in beautiful decay

Intrigued?

It’s a sign you need to visit Romania.

See a mix of older and younger generations who’ve either lived through decades of communism and a brutal dictator or who’ve only ever known the post-communist years of freedom.

Visit Romania to feel the tension between new and old, past, and present.

Most of all, visit Romania because it’s genuine, full of character, and not yet whitewashed with the stamp of westernization.

Are you showing signs that you should visit Romania? Would you like to visit?

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36 thoughts on “5 Signs You Need to Visit Romania Immediately”

  1. Bethany Vance

    My husband and I were in Hungary while you were instagramming Romania. I gotta say that I’m wouldn’t be disappointed if my next job was in Bucharest.

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      For sure, Bethany! Romania has so much to offer and lots to explore within reach of Bucharest.

  2. Hi Jackie. Thank you for this genuine description of your thoughts regarding my country. It always feels good to hear foreigners’ talking highly about their experience in Romania. Hope you will come back to visit soon, since we have more great locations for you to discover. Warm hugs from Romania!

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      Thank you Emma for those warm hugs! Right back at you. I enjoyed Romania so much! I do hope to make it back and would love to explore more of the places further away from main train stops. Thanks for reading!

  3. This looks fascinating, I love all those colorful homes and so well maintained. Romania is just on the radar and probably will be filled with tourists soon, I’m sure.

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      Agreed, Noel. The tourism boom is coming to Romania. There’s such beauty and so much to see and do. How could it not? ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. OMG yes yes and yes on all counts. Def looks like a place I would want to visit. Peles Castle looks so majestic and the colorful houses – I love these pictures.

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      Glad you like the photos, Jo. Transylvania and Peles Castle are musts when you make it to Romania. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      I hope you can make it soon, Sara! The ambiance of the towns and countryside is beyond charming. You’ll love it for sure!

  5. Ok! You convinced me!!
    My husband and I are discussing our itinerary ofr nest year, 3 months around Central and Eastern Europe, we weren’t sure about Romania, but now I know I must visit it.
    Lovely photos Jackie!!

    Nat

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      Thanks so much, Nat. Yes and Yes! You must spend some of those 3 months in Romania. You’ll love everything there is to see and do, not to mention its authenticity. Check back because I’ll be posting more about my time there. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Your post warmed my heart :). I’m from Romania, and I have the same tendency to ask people to visit my country. I guess it’s a Romanian thing. Great post and beautiful pictures. Thanks for spreading the word about Romania!

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      I’m so glad, Cristina! I really loved my time in Romania and would love to return. More people should definitely have it as a destination on their radar. Thanks so much for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I would be so happy, if once a “westeuropean” visit us here would inform himself before he wirtes romania, and romanian. This place has more than 1000 years of history where the romanian were not really in charge… Anyway nice pictures, and of course Transylvania is a hidden beauty, with all the nations they live there! Uff…

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      I’m glad you like the photos, Lev. Agreed that Transylvania is a hidden beauty! Thanks so much for reading.

  8. Your heartwarming story makes me want to visit Romania. I like old castles and untouched places. Yes, I prefer the less visited and I would be happy to talk and share my love for those places too.

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      I’m so glad to hear that, Karla! It sounds like Romania would be perfect for you. Hope you can make it soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      Glad you liked the post, Nisha. Exciting to have time coming up in Eastern Europe. Definitely make time for Romania!

  9. Haha! Peasant status, that was funny. ๐Ÿ™‚ I would love to see untouched villages, those that aren’t cleaned up to entertain tourists. Those are hard to find nowadays!

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      Agreed, Mar! It’s so refreshing to come across authenticity. When you’re in Eastern Europe next, be sure to make time for Romania. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. These are amazing photos! It really is going back time esp those places that are still untouched. I know visiting Romania will be a fantastic experience for every traveler.

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      Aww..thanks so much, Dave! I couldn’t agree with you more. Everyone should visit Romania! ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      Agreed, Stephen! I would love to make it back before the inevitable “discovery” of Romania.

  11. Lovely blog, I’m going to visit Romania (Bucharest and Focsani) for research in December and have read nothing but scary reports on crime!

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      Thanks, Julie. I’m sorry to hear about what you’ve been reading. I didn’t visit Focsani, but I was in Bucharest as a solo female traveler. I followed the typical precautions I would anywhere and never felt unsafe. It was the same in Transylvania and the countryside. Good luck in Romania! Hopefully, you’ll have some time to explore some of the country’s beautiful sights.

  12. I am in Romania right now. I disagree that Sighisoara is not discovered. We fought with over 5 tour buses today just to see the city and I couldn’t get a photo without a tour group crashing. It is a lovely country, but this (and other blogs) I read made it seem not touristic when I found it overwhelmingly so. Only Sibiu was without the tour groups, but it’s a matter of time before they are too. I recommend Editing your post as quite a few blogs had similar sentiments as others will be disappointed as I was.

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      Thanks for your thoughts, Karen. I’m sorry you’re experience is not what you expected. I agree with you about Sibiu. It was my favorite spot, too. When I visited Sighisoara, there were no tour buses. I also stayed overnight so, while yes, the tiny village had more day visitors, by 3 pm the streets were virtually empty. Overall, Romania still lacks the tourism other European countries get and other eastern European countries like Montenegro, Lithuania, and Estonia all get more attention. I appreciate your recommendation and I have posted your comment just as you wrote it so others can see. However, my Romanian experiences are honestly described in my blog posts.

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      I’m so happy to hear that, Anna! Romania certainly deserves more love from travelers. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Thanks for sharing about it. Would you mind to share about traffic in Romania. I really think about to travel to Romania

    1. Jackie Sills-Dellegrazie

      Thanks so much for reading. ๐Ÿ™‚ Unfortunately, I didn’t rent a car while I was in Romania but instead traveled by train from Bucharest out to the countryside.

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