BEST Time To Visit Romania: When Should You Visit?

BEST Time To Visit Romania: When Should You Visit?

Not sure when is the best time to visit Romania? We are not surprised.

As one of the biggest countries in Europe, Romania’s diverse landscapes offer something exciting at any time of the year. Each season represents a different side of Romania and your experience will greatly vary season by season.

This is why we have written this Romania guide to tell the pros and cons of visiting Romania in each season. That way you can decide when it is the best time to travel to Romania!

Want A Quick Tip On The Best Time To Visit Romania?

One-Day-In-Bucharest-Itinerary-Featured

Generally speaking, the best time to visit Romania is in the summer, when the weather is at its best and everyone is out to have a good time.

During this time, tourism in Romania is at its peak, nationally and internationally. Beach towns and cities in the mountains are popular destinations as local and foreign tourists seek refuge from the summer heat.

Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is saturated with tourists as it serves as an entry point to the rest of Romania.

Nightlife in Bucharest is at its full bloom, and the streets of Old Town Bucharest are flooded with people. The vibes are young and lively, perfect for anyone looking for a fun summer vacation in Romania.

Many spectacular events and festivals in Romania occur in the summer, and no Romania trip is complete without participating in one of them. No matter which city you decide to go in Romania, there will be something happening!

Because summer is the peak season in Romania,  we recommend booking your accommodation in advance.

Best Time Of The Year To Visit Romania

We all have our own interests and hobbies, so saying that summer is the best season to travel to Romania might be prudent. There is no “best” time to visit Romania because it depends on what your intent is.

Below we will discuss the pros and cons of visiting Romania in each of the seasons so you can have a better idea of how to plan your Romania trip. 

Balea-Lake-Transfagarasan-Highway

Winter In Romania (December To February)

Winter in Romania is one of the lowest seasons for tourism. Temperatures drop below freezing on most days and frequent snowstorms ravage the country. The streets of Bucharest that were inundated with tourists are now desolate, and the lively atmosphere becomes grey and uninspiring.

If you plan on doing a Romania road trip, you can forget about it. With the amount of snowfall, most roads are nearly impossible to drive on. The famous Transfagarasan Highway (the best driving road in the world) is usually covered in snow in the winter, and you definitely don’t want to leave Romania without seeing it!

Visit-Romania-In-Winter

Fortunately, the thick layer of snow creates the perfect slopes for winter sports. Skiing and snowboarding are popular in Romania during the months of January and February. As one of the cheapest EU countries, visitors don’t have to pay a hefty price for winter sports, unlike Switzerland or Austria. 

Winter-Sports-In-Romania

The ski resort town of Poiana Brasov is one of the best places to visit in the winter. When you are done skiing, enjoy some hearty Romanian food and soak in a spa to soothe your aching limbs!

Even when it is not winter, Poiana Brasov is one of the best places to visit in Brasov, as it is filled with hiking trails and beautiful scenery.

If you are not into winter sports, the Christmas Markets in Romania are sure to impress.

Romania might not be well-known for its Christmas Markets, but it surely won’t stay like this for long. 

Christmas-In-Romania

When it comes to Christmas Markets, the ones in Sibiu and Cluj-Napoca (the capital of Transylvania) are the most spectacular. Hundreds of merchants set up traditional wooden cottages in the historic center of these ex-Saxon settlements, selling anything from mulled wine to traditional handicrafts to sweets like kurtoskalacs!

Along with the beautiful Christmas decorations, the whole town comes alive. The energy that swept the streets of Romania in the summer is revived, and Christmas just cannot be more perfect in Romania.

Though Sibiu and Cluj are known to have the most beautiful Christmas Markets, cities like Bucharest, Brasov, Sighisoara, and Timisoara also have Christmas Markets that won’t disappoint.

Sibiu-Christmas-Market

Credit: WikiCommons

Winter Festivals And Events In Romania

  • Christmas Markets Throughout Romania

As we have mentioned above, Christmas Markets are some of the best winter attractions in Romania. Most of them will start in mid-November and last till mid-January, giving travelers plenty of time to explore them all!

The annual bear festival (yes bear, not beer!) is one of the most unique and traditional festivals in Romania. It usually takes place in a small town called Comanesti in the northeastern region of Romania, where traditions and customs are engrained deep into their everyday lives.

Between Christmas and New Year, hundreds of participants in bear fur costumes would go from houses to houses, singing and dancing to ward off evil for the new upcoming year. Many of the fur costumes are real and weight up to 40 kg; they can also cost as much as 2,000 euros.

This unique festival is off-the-beaten-path, but if you are willing to venture out there, you will get a glimpse into some of the most authentic Romanian heritage.

Autumn In Romania (September To November)

Autumn is our favorite season to travel to Romania.  Flocks of summer tourists are now gone, leaving the cities with a surreal sense of serenity. Many of the Romania attractions that were filled with visitors are now nearly empty, allowing visitors to fully enjoy their grandeur.

Autumn is the best time to visit Transylvania, a historic region with charming castles and medieval towns. Fewer tourists will allow you to enjoy the attractions more, and any photo you take will be accompanied by the colorful autumn foliage. 

Sighisoara-Romania-1

Small towns such as Rimetea that were busy in the summer are now ghost towns with no one on the streets and everything closed on the weekdays. 

Nature starts showing us its true color, and slowly the countryside of Romania becomes saturated with colorful foliage. It is the best season to do a Romania road trip, as the landscape itself is enough to bedazzle you.

Rimetea-Romania-Piatra-Secuiului-Szekelyko-7

Autumn is also harvest season, giving visitors an opportunity to get a glimpse into traditional Romanian life in the countryside.

With fewer tourists, demand and prices have lowered. Fully-booked hotels are now eerily empty, and some accommodations won’t even operate in autumn. Entrance fees to many attractions are also cheaper in autumn, perfect for anyone traveling Romania on a budget.

Hiking-in-Brasov

Autumn is a great season for hiking, as the weather is moderate with low chances of rain.

However, the mountainous areas of Romania can get quite chilly, especially toward the end of autumn. It is not uncommon to see some snowfall towards the end of autumn.

Autumn-Snow-In-Romania

Autumn Festivals And Events In Romania

  • Oktoberfest Brasov

Because of the Transylvania Saxon influences, many of the cities in Translyvania still hold German influences. Brasov is one of those medieval Saxon cities.

In the city of Brasov, autumn is extra delightful. The Carpathian Mountains that surround the city are darted with autumn foliage, and the annual Oktoberfest Brasov gives you “beer goggles” to further enhance the landscapes.

Traditional music, Bavarian costumes, sausages, and enough beer to cure a drought, Oktoberfest Brasov is an amazing time to visit Brasov.

  • CibinFEST (OktoberFEST Sibiu)

A similar Oktoberfest also happens in the nearby city of Sibiu, another medieval Saxon walled-citadels. This annual event celebrates the seasonal harvest the best way possible, with loads of Bavarian beer, cuisine, music, and dancing.

Starting in a big tent in the Large Square ( the center of the historic district), the party spreads and engulfs the entire city. It is certainly one of the most fun things to do in Sibiu!

Cibinfest-Oktoberfest-Sibiu

Credit: CibinFest

  • ASTRA Film Festival (Sibiu)

If you are a film or documentary enthusiast, the ASTRA Film Festival (AFF) in Sibiu is an event you cannot miss. As the oldest international festival in Romania, the world-recognized AFF features mainly films on Eastern and Central Europe.

Many of these films tell a story about Romanian culture and traditions. Visitors will surely learn something interesting about the traditional Romanian ways of life when attending the AFF.

  • Halloween Party At Bran Castle

Bran Castle is the alleged birthplace of the legend of Dracula, a skin-tingling horror character from Bram Stoker’s famous novel. During Halloween, Bran Castle becomes one of the biggest attractions in Romania, hosting its own Halloween party. The party usually consists of vampire costumes, delicious food, drinks, dancing, music, and a hint of spookiness.

This is your one and only chance to party the night in a Dracula’s Castle!

If you are traveling Romania with kids, the Halloween special at Bran Castle also has something for them, but they will not be able to participate in the adult-only afterparty.

Find out more on the official Bran Castle site.

Bran-Castle-Halloween

Credit: Bran Castle

Spring In Romania (Mid-March To May)

By mid-March, the weather in Romania has started to improve. Gone are the dreadful winter days and comes the mild spring, along with frequent rain and spring blossoms.

Spring-In-Romania

Spring is the best time to go to Romania for birdwatchers, as migratory birds find shelter in Danube Delta. Even if you are not a bird enthusiast, you will find joy slowly cruising down the Danube Delta, admiring at the numerous species of wildlife that inhabit the area.

As the snow melts, hiking becomes more popular in Romania. Though the temperature might be ideal, hikers must beware of the rainstorms that frequent the area. 

Peles-Castle-In-Spring

The month of May is usually the month with the highest rainfall in Romania.

Accommodations and entrance fees are cheaper because of the lowered demand, similar to autumn. If you enjoy nature and a more authentic side of Romania, spring is a good time to visit.

Spring Festivals And Events In Romania

  • Martisor

Martisor is a Romanian traditional holiday celebrated on March 1st to welcome the arrival of spring.

To commemorate this seasonal tradition, small talismans (also called Martisor) made of red and white string in the form of a tassel are given to the ladies. These small trinkets are said to bring prosperity and health to anyone that receives one.

A week before Martisor, “Martisor” fairs will pop up in the big cities such as Brasov and Bucharest. There you will find local vendors selling Martisor-related items, accessories, and other handicrafts. With the “Martisor” fairs arrival, Romania is in high spirits once again!

Martisor-Romania
  • Film Festivals (Cluj Shorts, Este Film Festival, Transylvania International Film Festival)

Spring is the season of film festivals in Romania. Many big film festivals such as Cluj Shorts, Este Film, and Transylvania International Film Festival take place in Cluj-Napoca or Sibiu. If you are a film-lover, don’t forget to check some of these out.

  • Spotlight Festival (Bucharest)

The Spotlight Festival in Bucharest is one of the most stunning festivals in the world. To call it a festival would be a little misleading because there usually isn’t loud music, dancing, or lots of booze (but that can be arranged).

A series of light installations and projections transform the Old Town Bucharest into its own art museum. By using these projects and installations, it adds another dimension to the already stunning buildings of Bucharest. This unique expression of art is a must-see if you are in Bucharest in the spring.

Spotlight-Festival-Bucharest-Romania

Credit: WikiCommons

  • Sunwaves Music Festival (Constanta)

With the temperature on the rise, music festivals start to make a comeback in the spring. The most famous of which is the Sunwaves Music Festival that takes place on Crazy Beach in Mamaia, a resort town in the coastal city of Constanta.

As one of the biggest music festivals in Romania, Sunwaves Festival features a wide variety of famous and rising artists. Come enjoy some nice music under the spring sun, dance on the soft sand of Crazy Beach, and wake up to the sounds of crashing waves!

  • Easter Celebrations

Since most of Romania is Orthodox Christian, Easter is one of the most celebrated holidays in Romania. Because of this, Romania usually celebrates Orthodox Easter, which occurs around a week after Catholic Easter. This might mean you get to celebrate Easter twice if you decide to travel to Romania after Catholic Easter!

Easter markets will spawn in many parts o the city, perfect for visitors looking to purchase some Easter-related gifts or try some traditional Easter food in Romania. Hand-dyed easter eggs are a big part of Romanian Easter, so make sure you check them out.

Be aware that some shops and attractions might be closed during the Easter holidays.

Romania-Easter-Eggs

Credit: WikiCommons

Summer In Romania (June To August)

Like we have mentioned above, summer is generally the best season to go to Romania,. Why? The weather is at its best, rainfall is infrequent, and the streets are filled with energy and good vibes.

However, keep in mind that you will be paying more for accommodations and activities, though the prices will still be cheap for Europe.

Cismigiu-Park-Bucharest

On average, the temperature is around 30 °C (86 °F) in lower areas like Bucharest, but it can reach upwards to around 35 °C (95 °F). The temperature in the higher-elevated regions tends to be a few degrees cooler.

Hiking is one of the most popular summer activities in Romania, as the mountains offer lush landscapes and a way to escape the heat. If you don’t like hiking, head over to Constanta and cool off in the Black Sea.

Constana-Romania-Beach

Summer is not a bad time to visit Transylvania, but keep in mind the long queues and crowded attractions. Overcrowdedness diminishes even the more beautiful thing on earth.

However, summer is the best time to visit Bucharest, the capital of Romania.

Palace-of-Parliament-Romania

During the other seasons, the cold weather and the grey communist-era buildings suppress any kind of enjoyment. As more tourists flock to the streets in the summer, the winter curse is lifted, and sightseeing in Bucharest becomes fun and cheerful again.

Another reason to visit Bucharest in the summer is its spectacular nightlife, all at the fraction of the cost of other popular European cities such as Berlin or Prague. With its trendy bars, charming outdoor cafes, and beautiful historic buildings, “Paris of the East” is once again in full bloom.

Bucharest-Nightlife

Summer Festivals And Events In Romania

  • Numerous Music Festivals
Music festivals are some of the best summer attractions in Romania. From the mega UNTOLD Festival (2015 Best European Festival) to the seaside NEVERSEA Festival to the hippie Dakini Festival, there’s surely a music festival you will enjoy. Because of how popular they are, we highly recommend you to reserve your ticket in advance, especially if you plan on visiting multiple music festivals in Romania. Other notable music festivals are the fun and chill Awake festival, the alternative Summer Well festival, the hardcore rock Rockstadt Extreme Fest, the unique Electric Castle (You party in a castle!), and the mysterious Waha Festival (it takes place in the woods!). 
Summer-Well-Festival-Romania
  • International Vampire Film and Arts Festival (Sighisoara)

As we mentioned above, Romania has a reputation as the land of the vampires because of Bram Stoker’s famous novel, Dracula. In summer, Sighisoara (the birthplace of Vlad Dracula) holds the annual International Vampire Film and Arts Festival (Vampfest).

Here you will find different genres of vampire-related arts, such as films, literature, performing arts, and more. If you want to learn more about vampires and Dracula, Vampfest is worth a visit.

  • Sighisoara Medieval Arts and Crafts Festival

Sighisoara, one of the old Transylvania Saxon walled citadels, holds the unique Sighisoara Medieval Arts and Crafts Festival in the last few days of July. During this time, Sighisoara travels back to medieval times, and visitors will find costume parades, performances, concerts, traditional handicrafts, and much more along the well-preserved cobblestone streets.

This is one of the best times to visit Transylvania as the reenactment gives visitors a glimpse into life in a medieval Transylvania Saxon walled citadel.

Sighisoara-Romania
  • Maiden’s Fair (Mount Gaina & Avram Iancu)

The Maiden’s Fair is one of Transylvania’s oldest and most popular folk events. In the past, the Maiden’s Fair was a matchmaking event that arranges marriages for young men and women.

Nowadays, the practice of arranged marriages has died out in Romania, and the Maiden’s Fair is mostly an ethnographic festival promoting local cultures. Here you will find music, performances, gorgeous local outfits, and as always, lots of traditional Romania food.

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

Best-Time-To-Visit-Romania-Pinterest

As you can see, the best time of year to visit Romania all depends on you. We hope our guide has given you some crucial information to help you plan your trip to Romania!

Any questions? Leave a comment below!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Best-Time-To-Visit-Romania-Pinterest
17 Reasons Why Bucharest is Worth Visiting (NOW)!

17 Reasons Why Bucharest is Worth Visiting (NOW)!

Is Bucharest worth visiting?

That is not usually a question you have to ask about the capital of a country. But when it comes to Bucharest, the capital of Romania, it is one of the most common questions asked.

As the location of one of the most gruesome communist regime that only ended 3 decades ago, it is not uncommon for travelers to think that Bucharest is still not suited for tourism.

As a result, many have the preconception that Bucharest is unsafe, and such issue is only paired with bleak communism era architecture.

But after our road trip in Romania, we have found a sense of appreciation for the city that’s called “Paris of the East”.

Without further ado, here are 17 reasons why you should visit Bucharest, Romania!

Why Visit Bucharest? Here’s Why!

1. It’s Home To The Palace Of Parliament, The Heaviest Building In The World

Palace-of-Parliament-Romania

Did you know Bucharest is the home to the heaviest building in the world, the Palace of Parliament?

Weighing in at around 4 billion kilograms, or 9 billion pounds, the Palace of Parliament started construction in 1984, under Nicolae Ceauşescu, the last communist dictator in Romania.

Construction took longer than intended, as the Romanian Revolution in 1989 resulted in the Nicolae Ceauşescu’s death and the end of communism in Romania.  In 1997, the construction of the Palace of Parliament (or Palace of the People back then) finished, more than 13 years after construction began.

The Palace of Parliament was intended to show Romania’s grandeur. In fact, it was the most expensive building in the world at the time.

Interior-of-Palace-of-Parliament

However, under the surface of elegant facades, Romanians were literally starving under communist rule. It was not uncommon to wait hours in a queue for your weekly ration of food, which was barely enough for survival.

The Palace of Parliaments measures at 84 meters (276 feet) tall, 270 meters (886 feet) long, and 245 meters (804 feet) wide. It also has a 16-meter (52 feet) deep basement to survive any nuclear attack.

With a total of 1100 rooms and a floor area of 365,000 square meters (3,930,000 sq ft), the cost for heating and electricity costs $6 million per year, enough to power a medium-sized city.

Ironically, what was a symbol of communism and oppression is now a symbol of democracy, housing many of the country’s legislative and administrative establishments.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the Palace of Parliament, but be warned, you will only see about 5 percent of the total building because of its size!

Find more about the guided tour of the Palace of Parliament here!

2. Arguably One Of The Best Nightlife In Europe!

Bucharest-Nightlife

Also nicknamed “Little Berlin”, Bucharest is known to have some of the best nightlife in the world. Once the sun sets, the Old Town Bucharest transforms into one major party.

Music can be heard blasting through the old facades of the building. Clubs and bars dominate the cobblestone streets, and everyone is out to have a good time.

Most of the clubs run until the early hours of the morning, and the only thing stopping you from having a good time is you! (and maybe your tired legs if you have been dancing all night)

3. Everything Is Cheap!

Is-Bucharest-Cheap

As the capital of a European country, you would expect the prices of Bucharest to be quite high.

Wrong!

Bucharest, and Romania in general, is one of the cheapest places to travel in the world. Even though Romania is in the European Union, its salary continues to be one of the lowest in the EU.

However, that doesn’t mean that people in Bucharest are living in slums or surviving on pennies. The standard of living in Bucharest is quite high; it is just that everything is so cheap in Bucharest.

When we were visiting Bucharest, we found decent hotels for 20 USD a night. A nice hostel in Bucharest can be as cheap as 7 USD a night. A half-liter of beer can be found for 2.5 lei (0.6 USD) in the supermarkets.

Here in Bucharest, you can splurge on a luxurious experience without paying the hefty price tag! 

Find top accommodations in Bucharest here!

4. See The Aftermaths Of One Of The Toughest Communist Regimes

Why-Visit-Bucharest

Romania has never been the same after 42 years of communist rule. As you walk down the streets of Bucharest, you will notice grey communist-era buildings where Romanians used to cramp into. But architecture isn’t the only aftermath of communist rule in Romania.

There is a lingering air of pessimism from all the hardships that were endured only a little more than 30 years ago.

During the era of communist rule in Romania, it wasn’t uncommon for your closest friend to work as a spy for the communist party, gathering a list of people who thought ill of the regime. Those who would badmouth the regime were disposed of.

Consequently, an air of distrust and suspicion continues to linger in society, especially with the older generation. Many tourists find Romanians to be quite cold, especially when compared to other European nations. But how can someone be optimistic and trusting when their whole lives have been filled with lies and oppression?

When we visited Bucharest, it reminded us of Colombia. Both countries suffered a terrible past but refused to let that define them. Transformation can be seen as the country welcomes more tourism and the younger generation set a new path.

If you really want to see the aftermath of communism in Bucharest, you might have to spend more than one day in Bucharest.

Also, check out this communism tour in Bucharest to help you understand more about its history!

5. Admire The Beautiful Orthodox Churches

Stavropoleos-Monastery-Bucharest

Though after many years of communist rule, many of Bucharest’s beautiful Orthodox churches remain. Over 80 percent of Romania’s population are Eastern Orthodox, and Orthodox churches are scattered throughout Bucharest.

The one Eastern Orthodox church you must visit in Bucharest is the Stavropoleos Monastery Church. Built in 1724, the Stavropoleos Monastery was built for nuns. Nowadays, it is one of the must-see places in Bucharest.

Its charming Brâncovenesc style exterior will surely lure you in, but don’t judge a book by its cover (okay maybe just once). The inside is equally beautiful, featuring ornate decorations, enchanting ceilings, and stunning paints. 

If you are a church-lover considering adding the New St. George Church to your Bucharest itinerary. Though not as beautiful as the Stavrolopoleos Monastery on the exterior, the interior decor is truly magnificent!

6. Charming Streets That Will Remind You Of Paris

Bucharest-Free-Walking-Tour

Did you know that Bucharest is also known as “Little Paris”?

In the period between the two World Wars, Bucharest’s elegant architecture and sophistication of the elite earned the city’s name “Little Paris”. Though you won’t lots of French culture left in Romania, many of the architecture has been restored after the devastating communism era.

Stepping into the Macca-Vilacrosse Passage in Bucharest is like stepping into a teleportation device. One moment you are in Old Town Bucharest, the next moment you are in a small charming arcade street in Paris.

A fork-shaped arcade street covered with stunning stained-glass ceilings, the Macca-Vilacrosse Passage was built in 1891. The two forks are called Macca and Vilacrosse and both end at Calea Victoriei; the other end opens at the historical Lipscani district, towards the National Bank.

Nowadays most of the shops are cafes, bars, and restaurants. While it is relatively quiet in the day, the Macca-Vilacrosse Passage turns up a notch at night, as it is filled with people smoking hookahs (shishas) in the bars.

If you want to take a photo of one of the most beautiful places in Bucharest, come in the daytime! 

7. Carturesti Carusel, One Of The Most Beautiful Bookstores In The World

Carturesti-Carusel-Bucharest-Romania

Located on Strada Lipscani, Carturesti Carusel is the definition of “don’t judge a book for its cover.”

On the outside, Carturesti Carusel is a 19th century restored building that won’t turn any heads. But once you step in, you will see why the Carturesti Carusel (Carousel of Light) bookstore is considered one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world!

Upon entry, you will notice this is exactly the opposite of the cold and bleak streets of Bucharest.

The stunning spiral staircases will immediately seize your attention, as they guide your eyes around the beautiful interior decor. From the gorgeous columns that span 6 floors to the countless number of books, Carturesti Carusel is like a cathedral for books.

Visitors can spend hours here, browsing up and down the aisles and taking photos. Don’t miss your chance because the Carturesti Carusel bookstore is the most Instagram-worthy spot in Bucharest!

When you are tired of exploring, head to the top of the bookstore, where a bistro will serve you light refreshments!

8. Old Town Bucharest Is Gorgeous In Every Way

Bucharest-Old-Town

If you are traveling to Europe, chances are, you want to see some stunning architecture, historical buildings where it’s as if you stepped into a time machine. If that is the case, Bucharest might just be the perfect place for you.

Old Town Bucharest, or Centru Vechi in Romanian, is an area filled with stunning cobblestone streets, historical churches, and elegant buildings that just ooze charm.

Defined by the area that borders the Dambovita River to the south, Calea Victoriei to the west, Bulevardul Brătianu to the east, and Regina Elisabeta to the north, a stroll in the Old Town will certainly lead to many exciting discoveries.

While a pleasant historical district in the day, Old Town Bucharest becomes a party district at night. Filled with clubs, bars, and other nightly entertainments, visitors will surely have a good night in Bucharest Old Town.

9. Delicious Romanian Food That Will Melt Your Heart (And Maybe Give You A Heart Attack)

Romanian-food kurtoskalacs

If you are traveling to Romania, you mustn’t miss its delicious cuisine. Romanian dishes are known to be rich but yet simple, perfect for anyone looking for some comforting food.

The Romanian cuisine takes influence from many different backgrounds, including German (Saxon), Turkish (Ottoman), Hungarian, and more. Combine those influences with locally-grown produce, and you have yourself the perfect meal.

If you are a meat-lover, you would unquestionably love Romanian food, as it is filled with meats and stews.

For street food, you must try kurtoskalacs, a spit cake popular in the Transylvania region. For dessert, you must try the diabetes-inducing papanasi, a donut-shaped pastry with a small sphere at the top covered with sour cream and a jam topping.

And of course, you cannot leave Romania without trying Romania’s national dish, the Sarmale, or Romanian cabbage rolls.

Luckily, if you are going on a Bucharest trip, then you are in a treat. Bucharest is the home of some of the best Romanian cuisine.

Caru’ cu Bere, the oldest restaurant in Bucharest, is the best restaurant in Bucharest for Romania food. Don’t miss it when you are in Bucharest!

10. Dimitrie Gusti Village Museum To Learn About Traditional Romanian Life

Dimitrie-Gustie-Village-Museum-Bucharest-1

Bucharest is filled with many amazing museums, but none is as exciting as the Dimitrie Gusti Village Museum.

Featuring hundreds of traditional peasant homes and farms, this village museum in Bucharest is dedicated to giving visitors an incredible Romanian heritage experience. 

Most of the houses date back to the mid-19th century, and it is interesting to have a glimpse into traditional Romanian life. Because the historical region of Transylvania was given to Romanian at the end of World War I, the exhibits on Transylvania are unique.

The Dimitrie Gusti Village Museum is one of the must-see places when you visit Bucharest.

11. There Are Numerous Day Trips From Bucharest

Balea-Lake-Transfagarasan-Highway

Bucharest’s prime geographical location provides a good base to explore the nearby region.

To the north of Bucharest is the historic Transylvania region, where medieval castles and the old Saxon citadels reside. Here you will find the Bran Castle and the horrifying legend of Dracula, as well as the immaculate Peles Castle in Sinaia.

If you venture deeper into the Transylvania region, you will catch the old Saxon settlements of Brasov and Sibiu, both of which are our favorite cities in Romania.

To the east of Bucharest is the famous beach towns of Romania, such as Constanta. Sitting on the shores of the Black Sea, Constanta is the proper place to get your tan on and relax on the beach. Though a beach town, Constanta is also filled with numerous historical attractions, such as the Faleza Cazino Constanta.

To the south of Bucharest is Ruse, a historical city in Bulgaria known as “Vienna of the East”.

To the (north)west of Bucharest is the famous Transfagarasan Highway in Romania, also deemed as the best driving road in the world by the British television series Top Gear. The windy roads that traverse the Carpathian Mountains are some of the most beautiful landscapes in Romania.

Whichever way you decide to go, Bucharest is surrounded by wonderful destinations. Here are some day trips from Bucharest we recommend:

12. Beautiful Parks to Relax In

Cismigiu-Park-Bucharest

As a mega metropolitan city, Bucharest has a surprising selection of pristine parks to relax in.

If you are staying in Old Town Bucharest or nearby (which you should), the 15-hectare Cismigiu Gardens is a pleasure to walk around. On a nice day, you will see families having a great time, couples going on a date, or just locals lounging around on one of their numerous benches.

On the northern part of Bucharest is the King Mihai I Park, which is considered the more beautiful park in Bucharest. The park has an area of about 187 hectares, but 74 of those is a pristine lake used for water sports.

On the west side of the park is the famous Dimitrie Gusti Village Museum, a must-see on any trip to Bucharest.

13. Romania’s Own Arch de Triumph

Arcul-de-Triumf-Bucharest

Did you know that Romania has its own Arch of Triumph?

Located in the northern parts of Bucharest, the Romania Arch Of Triumph , or Arcul de Triumf, was built after Romania gained its independence in 1878. Originally, this 27-meter tall wooden landmark’s only use was to allow victorious troops to march under.

Because of its original wooden design, it quickly decayed. In 1935, the arch was rebuilt with a more Neoclassical design, closely modeling after the one in Paris.

That design can be currently seen in Bucharest today! 

14. Bucharest Is SAFE!

As an ex-communist country, many travelers have the belief that Romania is not a safe country, especially not Bucharest.

In fact, one of the most common questions we get about Romania is “Is Bucharest safe?”

We are here to tell you that Bucharest’s safety is some of the best in Europe. Serious crimes are less common in Bucharest than other major cities in Europe.

However, you might want to be careful when it comes to petty crimes such as pickpockets. The salary in Bucharest is much lower than many parts of the world, and an iPhone for them could be worth months of their salary!

15. It’s Not Too Touristy (Yet)!

Bucharest-Landmarks

Nothing ruins the beauty of a destination when you are constantly getting smacked by other people’s selfie sticks. Luckily for you, Bucharest is not that touristy yet!

As a result, not only prices are much lower in Bucharest than most other European countries, but you also get to see a much more authentic side of Romanian culture.

16. Young, Progressive, Creative, And Hip Vibes 

Bucharest-Graffiti

Bucharest is a city that has been going under a slow transformation. From the oppressive communist era, Bucharest has taken a complete-180 degree, becoming a city that is welcoming, progressive, and hip.

The city is becoming populated with trendy cafes, chic bars, and an overall young vibe. Many lively street arts can be seen throughout Bucharest, the opposite of the stone-cold walls a few decades ago.

Because of the various universities in Bucharest, the city boasts a very energetic crowd. If you are young (or young at heart), you will surely fit in Bucharest.

17. Concerts At The Romanian Athenaeum

Romanian-Athenaeum

Credit: WikiCommons

The Romanian Athenaeum is a concert hall located in the center of Bucharest.

Opened in 1888, the ornate structure resembles an ancient Greek temple and features a 41-meter-high dome. The interior decor is even more stunning, featuring spiral staircases and marble balconies. In the concert hall itself, a 75-meter long and 3-meter wide fresco depicting major events of Romania’s history can be seen.

Because of its significance, the Romanian Athenaeum is on the list of the Label of European Heritage sites since 2007.

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

Why-Visit-Bucharest-Pinterest

Those are the 17 reasons why Bucharest is worth visiting! What are you waiting for? Go pack your bags and book a flight to Bucharest now!

Any questions? Leave a comment below!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Why-Visit-Bucharest-Pinterest
The Epic One Day In Bucharest Itinerary: The Best Of Bucharest

The Epic One Day In Bucharest Itinerary: The Best Of Bucharest

Not sure what to do in Bucharest in one day? Don’t worry we are here to help.

Tackling the capital of Romania can be difficult, especially if you have a short amount of time such as a day or a layover in Bucharest.

That is why we have created the following Bucharest itinerary to help you maximize your time and see as much as possible.

Enjoy!

Is 1 Day In Bucharest Enough?

Bucharest-Landmarks

If you are planning a trip to Bucharest, you must wonder how long is the ideal time to spend in Bucharest.

After all, is 1 day in Bucharest enough to see all the famous attractions the capital of Romania is known for?

The answer is: Unfortunately, yes.

While I would’ve loved to spend more time in a city known as Paris of the East, there really isn’t much to do outside of the historical attractions.

Bucharest Old Town is unquestionably beautiful, riddled with stunning medieval buildings and interesting history. However, all of that can be seen in one day, leaving visitors with a busy metropolitan city filled with congestion and noise.

If you are in Bucharest to see its culture and heritage, one day would be sufficient. If you enjoy city life, maybe even a bit of nightlife (Bucharest has some amazing nightlife), you can spend more time in Bucharest, especially given how affordable this city is!

The nightlife and historical attractions are the main reasons why Bucharest is worth visiting. 

One Day In Bucharest Itinerary: The BEST Things To Do in Bucharest, Romania

Morning: Bucharest Free Walking Tour

Rise and shine early because you have a long day in Bucharest ahead of you.

Given the years of history and amount of historic monuments in Bucharest, exploring Bucharest independently is a tough task. That is why the first thing you will be doing in Bucharest is attending a walking tour. But this isn’t any walking tour, this is a FREE walking tour of Bucharest.

Luckily for you, Bucharest is filled with free walking tours run by expert local guides. Local Romanians that have been living in Bucharest long enough to offer a great introduction to the capital of Romania.

Visitors looking for more specific information can also ask the tour guides, whether that is places to eat, must-see attractions, and so on. 

Bucharest-Tours

How do the tour guides make money? Great question.

At the end of the walking tours, involuntary tips are collected. Obviously, tips are encouraged but you don’t have to give anything, especially if you felt like it was a total waste of your time. On the other hand, if you liked the tour, you can give your entire life savings!

While there are many Bucharest free walking tours, we went with Civitatis. We absolutely loved our guide (if we remembered correctly, her name was Adriana); she was professional, knowledgable, and humorous!

The free walking tours usually start in the morning and lasts for 2-3 hours. If your hotel doesn’t offer breakfast, find one that does! 🙂

Alternatively, there are many coffee shops and restaurants in Bucharest Old Town, where you should be staying to maximize your time in Bucharest.

Bucharest-Streets

Afternoon: Exploring The Must-See Attractions in Bucharest

Now that your free walking tour has ended, we hope that you have learned a lot about Bucharest and its traumatic history. Evidence of the old communist Soviet regime can be easily seen throughout Bucharest, and the slow transformation has piqued our interest.

Before we spend the afternoon visiting some of the best attractions in Bucharest, we must first take care of that rumbling stomach. You must be starving after that long walking tour!

If Bucharest is the first stop on your Romania itinerary, it is time to familiarize yourself with some delicious Romanian cuisine. There is no better restaurant in Bucharest to do that than Caru’ cu Bere.

With over 130 years of history, Caru’ cu Bere is the oldest restaurant in Bucharest. Though originally a brewery, this iconic symbol of Bucharest is now one of the best places to try traditional Romanian dishes.

Caru-cu-Bere-Bucharest

Credit: Caru’ cu Bere

While many people come here for the food and the ambiance, there is no denying how beautiful this place is.

The lavish art nouveau interior decor can be seen from the wood-paneling and gorgeous stained-glasses windows. The aged-wooden furniture complements the moody ambiance, and for a second you have to remind yourself you are not in a museum.

Usually, when something is so beautiful, they have something to hide, such as the food. But at Caru’ cu Bere, the food is absolutely delicious and the service is impeccable. Don’t miss the roasted pork knuckle and the traditional polenta soup, a dish made from boiled cornmeal!

Caru-cu-Bere-Bucharest-food

Credit: Caru’ cu Bere

Now that your stomach is happy, let’s make the rest of you happy by seeing some of the best places to visit in Bucharest. Here are our recommendations:

1. Palace of Parliament (Palatul Parlamentului)

Palace-of-Parliament-Romania

As the heaviest building in the world, the Palace of Parliament is one of the most famous landmarks in Romania. Weighing a little over 9 billion pounds, the Palace of Parliament has a height of 84 meters (276 ft) and has a floor area of 365,000 square meters (3,930,000 sq ft) in a total of more than 1100 rooms combined. 

It is the second-largest administrative building in the world, just behind The Pentagon in the United States. 

Built in the late 20th century by the communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu, the Palace of Parliament was supposed to be a symbol of wealth and prosperity in Romania. However, underneath the beautiful facades, the people of Romania were actually suffering from the rule of the communist regimes. 

Interior-of-Palace-of-Parliament

Visitors can visit the inside of the Palace of Parliament through a guided tour. Reservations must be made directly by phone. Because of its popularity, we recommend you to book at least a few days in advance.

Alternatively, check out our offer on tickets for the Palace of Parliament, you can even skip the line!

2. Visit the Cărturești Carusel (Carousel of Light) Bookstore

Carturesti-Carusel-Bucharest-Romania

The Carturesti Carusel (Carousel of Light) bookstore is one of the most beautiful places in Bucharest. If you are looking for the perfect photo opportunity or Instagram photo, the Carturesti Carusel is a place you must visit in Bucharest.

On the outside, this 19th-century restored building does not amaze. However, the magic happens when you step inside. The breathtaking spiral staircase and intricate symmetry bring this unique bookstore to life. Compared to the cold and grey streets of Bucharest, this bookstore in Bucharest is a complete 180.

Comprised of 6 floors and a total of 10,000 books, you can spend hours getting lost between the bookshelves. When you are tired from walking up and down those dramatic spiral staircases, go up to the top floor and grab a coffee or a snack from the bistro.

Featuring large windows, the bistro also offers great views of Bucharest Old Town.

3. Visit The Stavropoleos Monastery and/or The New St. George Church

Stavropoleos-Monastery-Bucharest

Bucharest is the home to many Orthodox Churches, but none are as famous as the Stavropoleos Monastery and the New St. George Church.

Located in Old Town Bucharest, the Stavropoleos Monastery is a small Eastern Orthodox monastery. Built for nuns in 1724, the famous building has a unique Brâncovenesc style exterior that exudes elegance.

The interior of the Stavropoleos Monastery is equally stunning, featuring tasteful paints and ornate ceilings. On the side of the monastery is also a small garden where visitors will find peace and quiet.

The Stavropoleos Monastery, though exquisite, is not big by any means. If you wish to see more Orthodox churches, then the New St. George Church should be your next stop.

New-St.George-Church-Bucharest

From Stavropoleos Monastery, take Strada Lipscani, one of the most iconic medieval streets in Bucharest Old Town, to arrive at the New St. George Church. The walk only takes about 5-minute but it will surely take you longer because of the gorgeous buildings along the way.

Once you have entered the grounds of the New St. George Church, you will either immediately notice a metal globe that is the Kilometer Zero Monument (Monumentul Kilometrul Zero), the Constantin Brâncoveanu Monument, or the church itself.

The Kilometer Zero Monument features a metal globe that acts as “Kilometer Zero”. Around the metal globe are a bunch of notable Romanian cities’ names with a number next to it. The number next to it is the distance that the city is away from “Kilometer Zero”, or the globe. 

New-St.George-Church-Bucharest-1

Near the entrance of the church itself is the Constantin Brâncoveanu Monument, a monument for honoring Prince of Wallachia between 1688 to 1714. 

Constantin Brâncoveanu was known for many achievements in his life, such as the unique Brâncoveanu style (also known as Romanian Renaissance) that can be seen in art and architecture around Bucharest.

Nestled in the rear is the New St. George Church, the biggest church during Constantin Brâncoveanu’s reign. Inside are some of the most stunning paintings and artwork we have ever seen, so don’t miss this place when you are visiting Bucharest.

4. “Dimitrie Gusti” National Village Museum

Dimitrie-Gustie-Village-Museum-Bucharest-1

Anyone yearning to learn more about traditional Romanian life must not miss the ethnographic “Dimitrie Gusti” National Village Museum. Featuring hundreds of traditional peasant homes and farms, the village museum is devoted to provide guests with a Romanian heritage experience.

Located in King Mihal I Park (Parcul Regele Mihai I), visitors must find a means of transport to get there. Buses and Metro trains both leave regularly from Bucharest Old Town to the park, but the system is a bit complicated when purchasing your ticket.

If you take an Uber, it will take around 15 minutes instead, but beware of the horrendous traffic Bucharest is known for.

Avoid rush hour if you are taking a bus or an Uber.

Most of the houses in this open-air museum dates back to the mid-19th century, and entering this museum feels like you have stepped into a time machine. If you are lucky, you will be able to enter the majority of the houses, catching glimpses of the type of living environment of traditional Romanians.

All the houses come from a different region in Romania, and it is interesting to see their differences and similarities.

Dimitrie-Gustie-Village-Museum-Bucharest

The Dimitrie Gusti National Museum is a must-see on any Bucharest itinerary.

Admission cost to the village museum in Bucharest is 10 lei for adults and 5 lei for children or students. Audio guides are available for hire for 50 lei, or alternatively, you can have the audio guide on your smartphone for 8 lei! Official guided tours are also available, but they cost 300 lei and you must call in advance.

In our opinion, the audio guide on your smartphone is sufficient and economical, perfect for anything traveling Romania on a budget.

The Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum is open from 9 AM to 7 PM daily, except on Monday when it is only open until 5 PM.

Note: Though the museum is open on Mondays, the individual houses are not! Avoid visiting on Mondays!

5. Macca-Vilacrosse Passage

Bucharest-Free-Walking-Tour

If you are looking for a place in Bucharest that is just oozing charm, you must visit the Macca-Vilacrosse Passage on your Bucharest trip.

When we arrived in Bucharest, we didn’t necessarily encounter the Paris of the East. Most buildings were dilapidated, abandoned buildings dotted the city, and it was difficult to find the charm of this so-called Paris of the East. That was until we stumbled upon the Macca-Vilacrosse Passage.

The Macca-Vilacross Passage is a fork-shaped arcade street covered with gorgeous stained-glassed ceilings. When we stepped in, it immediately reminded us of Paris. Built in 1891, the Macca-Vilacrosse Passage is now the home to many cafes and bars.

If you want to admire its beauty, visit in the day time as it is less busy. Once night falls upon Bucharest, the passage is filled with people smoking hookahs (shishas), drinking beer, and chatting away.

If you are not sure what to do in Bucharest at night, the Macca-Vilacrosse Passage will definitely offer you a great time!

6. Old Town Bucharest

Bucharest-Old-Town

You should be no stranger to the Old Town of Bucharest (Centrul Vechi) at this point. Many of the sights you have been seeing today were located in Old Town Bucharest. However, the Old Town actually spans a huge area.

Defined by the area that borders the Dambovita River to the south, Calea Victoriei to the west, Bulevardul Brătianu to the east, and Regina Elisabeta to the north, Old Town Bucharest is full of charm in every corner.

To wind down your afternoon, spend some time just strolling down the streets, admiring what is remarkably left after World War II and the gruesome USSR communist regime. Stop at the numerous cafe and watch the sun set over the historical buildings, amplifying their beauty!

Night: Enjoying Bucharest’s Nightlife

Now that it is night in Bucharest, it is time to enjoy its famed nightlife. Everyone knows the recipe for a good night starts with an amazing dinner.

Luckily for you, there is plenty of amazing restaurant for dinner. If you wish to return to Caru’ cu Bere (where you had lunch), you may do so because that place does not disappoint. If are feeling adventurous and would like to try another place, we recommend Vatra Restaurant.

Serving authentic Romanian cuisine, patrons can dine in their beautiful Transylvanian interior decor, some of which dates back to the 1920s. The Vatra Restaurant is a combination of the village museum and a sublime eatery!

The papanasi dessert is one that you must not leave Bucharest without trying!

If you have been traveling in Romania for a long time and have been to some of the notable cities in Transylvania such as Sibiu and Brasov, you might be tired of Romanian food.

Other incredible eateries in Bucharest include the Excalibur, where you literally dine like a king; Or the Aubergine Restaurant, serving healthy and delicious Israeli/Middle Eastern cuisine.

Vatra Restaurant Bucharest
Credit: Vatra Restaurant

Now that you have all the energy you need for the night, it is time to enjoy the nightlife in Bucharest.

Start off with a nice and cozy outdoor bar called Gradina EDEN. Situated next to a beautiful green space, it is the perfect spot to chill out with a cocktail or beer in your hand.

If you are visiting in the summer or the weather is nice, you will find numerous hammocks and bean bags, and obviously no vacation is complete without laying in a hammock!

Their drinks are medium in price but for its unique atmosphere, it is a small price to pay.

Make sure you make a reservation or come early because this place does get busy!

Gradina-Eden-Bucharest
Credit: Gradina Eden

The real party in Bucharest starts at around 10 PM to 11 PM, but doesn’t get crazy until it is about midnight.

Surprisingly, the historic center of Bucharest (aka the Old Town) is one of the best places to experience the Bucharest nightclubs. Historical buildings have been turned into clubs and bars, and loud music can be heard through the old facades.

While we aren’t huge partygoers ourselves, we heard great things about Shoteria, Nomad Skybar, and Club A.

If you are traveling solo in Bucharest and would like some company to check out Bucharest’s night scene, here are our recommended tours:

If you aren’t huge on partying, don’t worry; there are plenty of things to do in Bucharest at night. Many of the historic landmarks of Bucharest light up at night, making them sights to be marveled at.

As the Paris of the East, it shouldn’t surprise you that Bucharest has its own version of the Arch of Triumph, or Arcul de Triumf in Romanian.

The Arcul de Triumf was built shortly after Romania gained its independence in 1878 so victorious troops could march underneath it. Nowadays it is one of the top tourist attractions in Bucharest.

Since it is located next to King Mihai I Park (where the village museum is), people see it in the day time and think that’s all. Little do they know that the Arcul de Triumf lights up at night, glorifying its majesty.

For anyone that doesn’t want to venture out to King Mihai I Park (possibly again), the Palace of Parliament also lights up at night. It is a short walk from the Old Town, perfect for anyone doing a short stay in Bucharest.

Arcul-de-Triumf-Bucharest

More Than 24 Hours In Bucharest Or Spending A Weekend In Bucharest?

This part of our Bucharest guide is for anyone visiting Bucharest for a layover, one day, or even a weekend. Here we will recommend other things to do in case you have extra time!

1. Pasajul Victoriei (The Famous Umbrella Street In Bucharest) 

Bucharest-Umbrella-Street-Pasajul-Victoria

The Pasajul Victoriei is a small alley where colorful umbrellas hang above the narrow walkway. Not only does this provide shade for anyone passing by, but the beautiful umbrellas make this place of the most popular photography spots in Bucharest.

Pasajul Victoriei is also the home of numerous cafes. In good weather, you can see patrons enjoying a nice meal or a cup of coffee in the outdoor seating area.

2. National Museum Of Romanian History (Muzeul Național de Istorie a României)

National-Museum-of-Romanian-History-1

Anyon that just cannot get enough of the rivetting history of Romania needs to visit the National Museum of Romanian History. Located on Calea Victoriei in Old Town Bucharest, the museum features historical artifacts dating from prehistoric times up to modern times.

The exhibit on the fall of Nicolae Ceaușescu (the last communism leader in Romania) is quite interesting and perfect for anyone that isn’t familiar with the USSR occupation of Romania.

The museum also features a copy of the Trajan’s Column, a replica of the famous landmark in Rome.

If you find history interesting, you can certainly spend some time in the National Museum of Romanian History.

Just keep in mind that it is open from 10 AM to 6 PM daily except for Mondays and Tuesday when they are closed.

3. Cișmigiu Park

Cismigiu-Park-Bucharest

If you wish to spend more time in the green spaces of Bucharest, head over to Cișmigiu Park. Located near the University of Bucharest, Cișmigiu Park is a popular location of students to hang out.

The park features an English-style garden with numerous fountains and a popular boating lake. In the summers, the park comes to life as you can see families out and about, kids chasing pigeons, and lovers on romantic dates.

Green space like Cișmigiu Park is rare in a big metropolitan city. If you are looking for a more peaceful Bucharest trip, consider adding a visit to the Cișmigiu Park to your itinerary.

4. Day Trip To Transfagarasan Road, The Best Driving Road In The World

Driving-in-Romania-Transfagarasan

If you are a huge fan of the British television series Top Gear, you might already be familiar with the Transfagarasan Road. Deemed as the best driving road in the world by Top Gear, the Transfagarasan Highway is why most people rent a car and do a road trip in Romania.

The twists and turns of the Transfagarasan Road (also know as DN7C) traverse the famed Carpathian Mountains, which acted as the natural protective barrier for the medieval Transylvania.

Nowadays this natural fortification is the home to one of the best places to visit in Romania. If you want to admire the Transfagarasan Highway, you must go to the Balea Lake viewpoint.

A glacial lake located at the top of the Fagaras Mountains, Balea Lake offers unparalleled landscapes of the natural landscapes surrounding the Transfagarasan Road.

Balea Lake is also the home of the famous ice hotel, as well as many street vendors selling traditional Romanian crafts and goods.

If you don’t have a car and would still wish to visit the Transfagarasan Road, check out our recommended Transfagarasan Road tour!

5. Bran Castle And The Legend of Dracula

Bran-Castle-Dracula-Castle-Romania

Because of the Legend of Dracula, Bran Castle is the most famous attraction in Romania. Inspired by the spine-tingling horror novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, Bran Castle has become the alleged Dracula’s Castle.

When Bram Stoker was writing Dracula, it is believed that he took inspiration from Vlad III (also known as Vlad Dracula).

During his reign of the Wallachia Empire, Vlad Dracula developed a reputation for his cruelty methods. Some say that he would impale his enemies and let them bleed to death. Rumors also said that he would drink his enemy’s blood.

Nowadays, the Bran Castle is mostly a museum for the art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. At the top level of Bran, there is a special exhibit dedicated to Dracula where visitors can learn about the truth!

Bran Castle is located about 2.5 hours north of Bucharest. Visitors can decide to take a day trip from Bucharest and drive themselves there, or they can decide to go on an organized tour.

Find our recommended Bran Castle tour from Bucharest here!

If you are planning to go to Brasov, we recommend visiting Brna Castle from Brasov instead. It is much closer!

Best Time To Visit Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest

The best time to visit Bucharest depends on what you are looking for. The climate is relatively mild in Bucharest and many compare it to the climate in New York City.

The spring and fall seasons are generally considered the best seasons to visit Bucharest. The warm temperatures and sunny weather bring out everyone, and parks are filled with the year’s blossom. Tourism at these times tends to be so-so as well, perfect if you want a more local experience in Bucharest.

Summer is undeniably the peak season in Bucharest. The streets of Old Town are inundated with locals and tourists having the best times of their lives. The Old Town is known to be ridiculously busy, with music playing from sunup to sundown. One drawback of visiting Bucharest in the summer is the hot temperature, which can be uncomfortable for some travelers. 

Winter in Bucharest sees very little tourism, and it’s because of the freezing weather. Strangely, the bleakness of winter combined with the lingering trauma of communism gives off a certain charm, and Bucharest feels like it is at its rawest form. 

Where To Stay In Bucharest, Romania

Whether you have a layover in Bucharest, a weekend, or even just a day in Bucharest, deciding on where you base yourself is going to be critical. Pick the wrong place to stay in Bucharest and you will be far from the places you want to visit.

For that reason, all of our accommodation recommendations will be located in the Old Town, which is the best place to stay in Bucharest. Most of the points of interest in Bucharest are walking-distance away.

Best Hostel In Bucharest (Old Town) – Little Bucharest Old Town Hostel

If you are looking for an affordable hostel located in the center of Old Town Bucharest, Little Bucharest Old Town Hostel is your best bet. This no-frills hostel is equipped with basic amenities but makes up for it with its great staff and communal spaces.

At night, noise can be an issue as the Old Town is filled with bars and clubs. The reception does give earplugs to ease the noise.

Click here for more details!

Best Hotel In Bucharest (Old Town) – Concorde Old Bucharest Hotel

Featuring a gorgeous interior decor and spacious rooms, the Concorde Old Bucharest Hotel is one of the best value-for-money hotels in Bucharest.

Each room is equipped with its own balcony, perfect for people watching and admiring the beauty of the Old Town, which is where the hotel is conveniently located.

The hotel also features free breakfast!

Click here for more info!

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

One-Day-In-Bucharest-Itinerary-Pinterest

This is the end of our guide on the one day in Bucharest Itinerary. We hope you have learned something to help you plan your perfect Bucharest trip!

Any question? Leave them in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

One-Day-In-Bucharest-Itinerary-Pinterest
Guide To Climbing Mount Kinabalu: Tips & Essential Info

Guide To Climbing Mount Kinabalu: Tips & Essential Info

If you’re hungry for adventure and LOVE a good hike, then you must make climbing Mount Kinabalu an essential part of your Malaysia trip.

Located in Mount Kinabalu National Park (the first UNESCO Heritage Site of Malaysia), Mount Kinabalu stands as the highest mountain in Malaysia. At a whopping 4,095 meters above sea level, hiking this beautiful giant is one of the best things to do in Sabah, the Malaysian state in Borneo.

This hike is not to be underestimated and can be challenging in some places, but is it worth it? Heck yes!

The views from the Mount Kinabalu summit as the sunrises from the east are ones that will stay with you for a lifetime. The hike itself trails through dense jungle, past comforting streams, and over daring boulders.

If you’re someone who likes a challenge, you’ll love this hike.

So, let’s get straight to it!

Mount Kinabalu Climb Difficulty

Mount-Kinabalu-Hike-Difficulty

Before you book put on your hiking boots and book your flight to Sabah, we have to warn you.

The Mount Kinabalu hike is hard, very hard in some places.

The Mount Kinabalu climb difficulty is attributed to several factors.

First, the height of Mount Kinabalu is a staggering 4,095 meters (14,345 ft) above sea level, an elevation that results in less oxygen in the atmosphere.

Second, the terrain of Mount Kinabalu is diverse. You climb through many different environments such as forests and jungles just to reach exposed granite at the summit, where the surface is so slippery you must use your arms and legs to pull yourself up.

Not every one that attempts the Mount Kinabalu hike succeeds. In fact, we saw many people that were unable to summit the day we hiked. A person with decent physical conditions and lots of perseverance is the bare minimum. 

Choosing The Right Mount Kinabalu Tour Operator

Kinabalu-Park-Transport-to-Timpohon-Gate

If you want to hike Mt. Kinabalu, unfortunately you cannot go independently, and you must use a tour operator.

Due to safety concerns after the tragic 2015 Sabah earthquake, hikers are no longer allowed to enter the mountain without a guide. Usually, that isn’t a great thing, but this actually made us feel much safer as there were some parts of the hike towards the summit that were a bit treacherous, especially at night (more on that later).

You can also no longer do a day hike, as no more day-hike permits are given at the Kinabalu Park HQ.  The only option to reach the Mount Kinabalu summit is through a 2 days 1 night tour.

If you want to take your time, you can opt for a 3-day hiking package which takes you through some of the mountainside villages along the way. However, from my experience, 2 days is enough to see the beauty of the Mount Kinabalu and feel the burn from the hike.

Keep in mind that Kinabalu Park allots 165 climbing permits per day, so make sure you reserve your tour package in advance. 

For that reason, the packages listed below are for the Mount Kinabalu 2D1N package.

Mount Kinabalu – The Most Reputable Company For Mount Kinabalu Hike

Mount-Kinabalu-Summit

If you want the most reputable company, then it would be a no brainer to book your tour directly with the Mount Kinabalu tour company.

The park employs some of the most experienced mountain guides who have a real knowledge of the mountain. Many of their guides have grown up in the Mount Kinabalu region, so you are guaranteed to be in safe hands.

For a 2D1N Kinabalu tour package, the more people in your group the cheaper the cost, but prices usually start from a pricey 2,230 Malaysian Ringgit per person (at the time of writing). But keep an eye on their website, as promotions are often added, and they also keep you up to date on park closures.

This is the Mt. Kinabalu company we decided to go with. Though it was pricey, it was worth the extra money spent.

DownBelow Adventures – The Cheapest Climbing Mount Kinabalu Package

Prices for hiking Mount Kinabalu vary so dramatically, so it is worth shopping around before booking.

The cheapest price we have seen so far is that of DownBelow Adventures who are offering a 2D1N Mount Kinabalu package for around 1250 Malaysian Ringgit for foreign tourists. (Cost is different for foreigners vs. Malay nationals)

Although, this price is only available if you book online from their website. This package includes everything from your transfer to the mountain from Kota Kinabalu, accommodation, guide, hiking permit (incl. insurance) and your meals.

Personally, we would say that’s a pretty darn good deal.

Klook – The Most Convenient Tour Company For The Mount Kinabalu Climb

Klook is one of the most reliable and affordable travel tour companies in Asia. The Mount Kinabalu tour is no exception. With Klook, you are in the hands of professional experts who will offer you compensation and great support if needed. 

Check out our offer with Klook here! 

Hidden Costs Of The Mount Kinabalu Trek

Mount-Kinabalu-Peak

Credit: WikiCommons

When booking your Mt. Kinabalu tour package, look carefully into the things that are included. Many companies will try to make their package more attractive by not including some fees, such as transport, lunch, park admission fees, and more.

Don’t just look at the price.

If some of the fees are not already included in your package, you might have to pay that in cash when you arrive at the park. This could seriously add to your climbing Mount Kinabalu budget.

Here is the list of park fees you might have to pay.

Most tour companies will not include a porter (someone to carry your bag up and down the mountain for you), but these are available to hire from the start of the hike for a reasonable price.

You’ll have to do some negotiating with the porters, but the going rate is around 130-200 Malaysian Ringgit per 10kg bag (at the time of writing).

You also have the option of leaving your bag in a secure locker at the Kinabalu Park HQ Reception, if you do not want to carry your entire suitcase up the mountain. This costs around 12 Malaysian Ringgit per bag.

Some packages include a certificate, but some do not. If you want to get a souvenir certificate to show you completed the hike, they cost around 10 Malaysian Ringgit.

Best Time To Climb Mount Kinabalu, Malaysia

Mount-Kinabalu-Hiking-Tips

The best time to climb Mount Kinabalu is from March to September during the dry season. The Northeast monsoon season in Sabah runs from October to March, so the terrain can be a little more treacherous.

The park rangers keep an eye on daily weather warnings. If they sense that the wind or rain is too strong, climbers are not allowed to summit. Because of this, the moonson season (October to March) is the low season for trekking Mount Kinabalu.

It isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because with the low season comes a bunch of ridiculously low prices on tours! If you are traveling Sabah on a budget, the best time to hike Mount Kinabalu might be during the monsoon season.

May to September can be very hot and humid, which doesn’t make comfortable hiking weather, though not impossible.

Another thing to consider is that Mount Kinabalu is located in an earthquake zone, which means that sometimes the park closes for safety concerns.

It is a good idea to keep an eye on the park website for details of park closures before your trip and invest in some good travel insurance in case of any unforeseen closures.

But don’t let this put you off, the park rangers are highly experienced and work round the clock to keep hikers safe. They would not open the park if they thought there is any danger.

Our Experience Hiking Mount Kinabalu: The Highest Mountain In Malaysia

Day 1: From Timpohon Gate (1,866 m) to Panalaban Base Camp (3,270 m)

Mount-Kinabalu-Park-HQ

Credit: WikiCommons

Because the tour package we selected included a stay in the Sutera Sanctuary Lodges inside the Kinabalu Park the night before, we didn’t need to get to the park early in the morning.

Some travelers stay in Kota Kinabalu and take the 1.5-hour public transportation to the Kinabalu Park in the morning. While that is also an option, it eats into valuable hiking time.

If you are coming from Kota Kinabalu, simply take the shared minivans at Padang Merdeka bound for Ranau. Tell the driver that you want to get off at the Kinabalu National Park.

If your tour package does not include a stay inside the park before your hike, you can elect to make your own reservation. We personally recommend Sutera Sanctuary Lodges because they were so welcoming and knowledgable.

Click here for more info about lodging inside Kinabalu Park.

After a delicious buffet at Balsam Buffet Restaurant (included in our package), we met the tour guide and got on the transport to Timpohon Gate (also included), which is the start of the hike. It was only a 10-minute journey, but necessary to get to the start of the Mount Kinabalu hiking trail.

After a little briefing from our tour guide, we started the hike promptly at 10 AM. Every minute counts because we needed to reach the Panalaban Base Camp, which is a 1400m ascent and a 6-kilometer hike. Though not much in distance, the hike actually takes around 4-6 hours due to the altitude.

Surprisingly, the first part of the hike is a descend into the forest (a little unnerving, as you want to be going uphill). This section isn’t long, but it’s slippery, especially after it has rained. 

Start-of-Mount-Kinabalu-Hike

Take your time and go slow as you do not want to fall down in the mud before you’ve even started.

After about 30 minutes going downhill, you need to cross the river and hike up the bank on the other side. Because of the tropical jungle environment, this section of the Mount Kinabalu trail was surprisingly one of the hardest parts of the hike.

The bank was really muddy and made worse by the sheer number of hikers that had been there before us. It was also congested, which meant we had to keep stopping…not a huge problem, except stopping in slippery mud felt a little uneasy.

After about another 30 minutes of hiking through mud, we reached the start of the trail up the mountain.

From here, it gets easier, though still not to be underestimated. The terrain changes from mud to rock which feels a lot sturdier under the feet, though can be slippery in places.

The trail leads through dense cloud forest teeming with wildlife. Be sure to take it all in as you go up the trail; some hikers have claimed to see tree shrews and flying squirrels. 

Mounta-Kinabalu-Squirrel

Credit: WikiCommons

As we ascended the hike there were huts every kilometer where we could sit and catch our breath. At around noon, we reached Layang Layang, the 4-km out pitstop where we had our lunch. Our tour guide gave us each a packed lunch, which was just a simple sandwich.

After a few more hours of hiking, we eventually reached the Panalaban base camp at 3 PM, where we will be staying for the night. At 3,272 meters above sea level, there are several accommodations in the area, but none as famous as the Laban Rata Resthouse.

In fact, it is so well-known that most people just call the whole base camp Laban Rata. 

Panalaban-Base-CAmp-Laban-Rata-Guesthouse

Assignment to the huts was random (unless you specifically requested a certain room or are a via ferrata climber), and luckily we were assigned to the Laban Rata Resthouse. But because we didn’t specify what we wanted, we were obviously put in the 12-bed unheated dormitory room.

(NOTE: Via Ferrata climbers always stay in Pendant Hut.)

The Laban Rata Resthouse features mostly unheated dormitory rooms, but it also contains 3 private heated rooms with heated showers. 

Laban-Rata-Guesthouse-Dormitory

A buffet-style dinner was served around 5 PM to 7 PM at the main hut in Panalaban, which was the Laban Rata Resthouse. Get here early because food could run out!

After dinner, we mingled with the fellow hikers before all going to bed, completely ignoring the colder shower (ice cold) that was available to dormitory guests.

After a tiresome day of hiking Mount Kinabalu, falling asleep was no difficult task. We rested as much as we could because the hike next day started at 2 AM!

Day 2: From Panalaban Base Camp (3,270 m) to Low’s Peak (4,095 m)

Now it’s time to reach the summit (if the park rangers allow it). Strap on your headlamp and follow your guide up the path to the summit. The path to the summit is only 2.7 km long but it will take you around 3 hours to complete due to the altitude and treacherous terrain.

When you leave the comfort of Laban Rata Resthouse, you’ll find around 300 hikers all leaving at the same time, so the first part of the summit hike can be a bit congested…but at least you don’t have to stop in the mud!

After about an hour, you might start to feel the altitude kick in. The good thing about this part of the hike, is that the incline is not quite as steep, but that does not make it any easier.

When I did this hike, I hiked with a professional athlete and a retired couple, and when you reach around 3000 meters, we were all at the same fitness level due to the altitude. Make sure you come prepared with some altitude sickness pills, or at least some medications for any potential headaches.

At around 3:30 AM, we reached Sayat Sayat, the entrance to the summit. The entrance to the summit closes at 6 AM because of strong winds, so you’ll want to make sure you walk fast to reach the gate in time. If you don’t make it in time, you won’t be able to summit!

In front of us were millions of years old bare granite, created by geological processes that gave birth to Mount Kinabalu. The geology near the peak of Mount Kinabalu is truly surreal. Without any vegetation, it felt like we were on the surface of a barren planet. 

Mount-Kinabalu-Trail

Starting here you need to pay close attention to your guide as there are what they call ‘danger zones.’ These zones are prone to falling rocks, so when hiking through them, you cannot stop.

There are ropes to help you climb up the steep bits and usually the danger zones are only around 200 meters long, so don’t worry too much about them. Just make sure to stick close together with your guide and group.

We reached the summit at around 4:30 AM, just before the sunrise. The last 700 meters were the hardest 700 meters of our lives, but from a distance you can see the very tip of Low’s Peak, the summit of Mount Kinabalu. 

Summit-of-Mount-Kinabalu

Just seeing the tip shining bright in the distance with the sun rising behind it, gave me the energy I needed to race to the summit.

Once at the summit, you can sit on the rocks of Low’s Peak and witness the sun illuminate 360 degrees around you. As the sun shines over the vast landscape of the Kinabalu park, all will become worth it. 

Views-of-Low's-Peak-Mount-Kinabalu

But once it hits 6 AM, don’t hang around, as the wind can become quite strong during the day.

Getting down is much easier and quicker, but don’t rush it, as the inclines are still very steep, and this is where accidents can happen. Now that the sun has come up, you can see just how far and how high you have come.

It takes about 1.5 hours to get back to Panalaban from Low’s Peak, so make sure you have enough time to grab breakfast at Laban Rata Resthouse before heading back down to Timpohon Gate. Breakfast ends at 10:30 AM.

At about 9:30 AM, we finished breakfast and began to head down the trail. Going down felt like flying, as our legs were exhausted from the hike up and our heads were in a state of awe from the experience. 

Mount-Kinabalu-Hiking-Trail

It is a good idea to have hiking poles for this bit, as it is still an 8.7-km hike and the rocky terrain can add pressure to your hips and knees.

We got to the end of the hike (Timpohon Gate) at around 3 PM and we were exhausted but exhilarated. We picked up our bags and climbed into a bus which took us directly to the Poring Hot Springs (included in our tour package) where we sat for hours in the hot water, soothing our aching limbs.

Climbing Mount Kinabalu Packing List & Tips

One of the best climbing Mount Kinabalu tips is to pack light. It is easy to make the mistake of packing as many things as you need and a little more. However, this will tire you out much quicker.

Here is our recommended Mount Kinabalu packing list with just the essential items to bring!

1) Comfortable & Spacious Backpack

Your backpack for this hike is probably the most important item. Too big and you will carry unnecessary weight. Too little and you won’t be able to carry everything. We found that 30L is the perfect Mount Kinabalu backpack size. Just make sure it is waterproof or bring a rain cover!

Find our favorite waterproof backpack here!

2) Headlamp

Typically a handheld flashlight will suffice on any hike, but you will need both your hands to hold onto big rock and ropes when you ascend to the summit.

Click here for our headlamp recommendation!

3) Altitude Sickness Tablets

Speak to your doctor before traveling about getting some altitude sickness tablets. Altitude sickness is a real thing and can be serious if not properly treated.

Click here for more info!

4) Warm clothing (Wool Socks/Gloves/Hat)

Though most of the hike you won’t feel cold, you will need clothing for your unheated rooms in Panalaban and the summit of Mount Kinabalu. At the summit, it can be as cold as 4 degrees Celsius (or 39 degrees Fahrenheit)!

5) A Good Pair of Hiking Boots (Him/Her) 

Not only is the hike steep, slippery, and wet, it is also very long. It took us almost 10 hours to get from the bottom to the top and back down again. The best hiking shoes for Mount Kinabalu are ones with ankle support. We wore Salomon hiking boots and they were ideal for this hike.

6) Lots of snacks

It is inevitable that you will get hungry on the Mount Kinabalu trek. Though you will be given lunch and dinner, you will still need some snacks to keep you at your peak performance. We highly recommend the Kendall Mint Cake if you can get your hands on some.

This delicious energy bar is what the British Army uses in training and provides you with a burst of energy when hiking long distances. Each 170-gram bar will give you more than 600 calories of pure carbohydrates, so you can pack light and still keep yourself replenished.

Click here for more info!

7) Hiking Poles

Though we aren’t big fans of the hiking poles, it is an item you must bring to the Mount Kinabalu climb. Hiking poles will assist you both on the way up and down the treacherous Mount Kinabalu hiking trail. A good set of hiking poles will make sure you’re still able to walk the next day.

Click here to see our recommended hiking poles!

8) Sun Protection Cream

Most of the hike is covered by vegetation and you’ll summit the mountain at night, but on the way down you may find the sun is a little stronger. If you are doing the via ferrata, sun cream is a must or your will burn!

Sun cream is a luxury in Southeast Asia. Bring a bottle from home to save money and ensure you have good sun cream!

Check our recommended travel-size sun cream!

Mount-Kinabalu-guide

9) Insect Repellent (With Picaridin) 

The first section of the hike is through dense jungle near a stream, which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Make sure you pack some insect repellent to protect you for this bit, because hiking with itching bites is definitely no fun!

When looking for insect repellent, make sure you find some with Picaridin and not DEET. Picaridin is a “newer” active ingredient in insect repellent and is shown to be more effective and better for the skin than DEET!

Click here for our Picaridin insect repellent recommendation!

10) A Portable & Good Camera

If you don’t have photos to show, have you actually hiked Mount Kinabalu? You’ll want a portable camera capable of taking amazing photos on this hike. We highly recommend the affordable and portable Sony a6300 mirrorless camera.

Find more info about the Sony a6300 here!

11) Passport

You should also remember to bring your passport, which you will need to get your climbing permit.

12) Waterproof Jacket (Him/Her)

The weather can be unpredictable in Kinabalu park, especially at high altitudes. You don’t want to be caught out if it rains!

13) Change of Clothes

Once you reach the rest stop at Panalaban base camp, you can take a freezing cold shower and change into some clean clothes that are more comfortable to sleep in.

14) Toiletries

When you get to the rest stop, you can take a shower, but soap is not provided. Make sure you pack the basic essentials such as shower gel, a toothbrush, toothpaste, and a towel!

15) Wet Wipes

If you are like the majority of the human population and hate taking a freezing cold shower, we recommend you to bring some wet wipes. Though they aren’t the most effective, it should do the job if you are only staying for a night.

Mount Kinabalu Via Ferrata

Adrenaline junkies who would like to add more spice onto their Mt. Kinabalu hike can participate in the Via Ferrata, a protected climbing route consisted of a series of rungs, cables, rails, and ladders all fixed onto the rock surface.

The world’s highest via ferrata is Mountain Torq and can be found on Mount Kinabalu. The via ferrata starts at an elevation of 3,200 meters and ends at 3,776 meters above sea level. Though it might sound dangerous, no experience is required to enjoy this simple mountaineering activity.

There are two via ferrata routes on Mount Kinabalu: Low’s Peak Circuit and Walk the Torq. 

Anyone intending to partake in any of the via ferrata must take an introductory briefing from 3 PM to 4 PM in Pendant Hut at the Panalaban base camp. Without doing so, you will not be able to participate in the via ferrata, which occurs the following day.

This means you must be physically capable of hiking to the base camp before 3 PM. We arrived just at 3 PM though we had a late start and there was a lot of congestion on the way up.

Not only will you need to arrive earlier on the first day, but you will also need to get down from the summit earlier too. You must arrive at the designated place at a certain time to partake in the via ferrata. If you miss it, you lose your chance and your money!

Via-Ferrata-Mount-Kinabalu

Credit: Flickr

Walk The Torq Via Ferrata Mount Kinabalu

For anyone looking for a beginner via ferrata experience, Walk the Torq is the ideal choice for you. As an introductory via ferrata route, Walk the Torq is much easier in terms of duration and distance traversed (vertical and horizontal).

The Walk the Torq via ferrata features a 109-meter vertical traverse with a total length of 430 meters. The highest elevation you will reach on Walk the Torq is 3,520 meters above sea level. Participators usually take about 1.5 hours to complete the route.

Hikers deciding to do Walk the Torq via ferrata must arrive at the Sayat Sayat hut (near the entrance of the Mount Kinabalu summit) at 7:15 AM the latest. Though it isn’t difficult to reach Sayat Sayat, it eats into valuable sunrise admiration time.

Though we haven’t done Walk the Torq (in fact, any of the via ferratas on Mount Kinabalu), we heard it is a great way to get to know a different way of exploring the stunning landscapes on the mountain!

Low’s Peak Circuit Via Ferrata Mount Kinabalu

Measuring at 1.2-kilometer long with a 365-meter vertical traverse, the Low’s Peak Circuit is the more difficult via ferrata option. Even though it is considered more challenging, no experience is needed to go on Low’s Peak Circuit. The highest point on the Low’s Peak Circuit is 3,776 meters above sea level.

The whole circuit usually takes about 5 hours to complete. Anyone willing to attempt this via ferrata must keep in mind the already difficult Mount Kinabalu hike that they are doing!

On the second day of the climb, hikers must reach the 7.5-kilometer checkpoint before 6:30 AM to participate in the Low’s Peak Circuit.

On the Low’s Peak Circuit, mountaineers will get to walk along the cliff and go on the monkey bridge, which are both incredible moments on Mount Kinabalu.

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

Climbing-Mount-Kinabalu-Sabah-Malaysia-Pinterest

This concludes our guide on climbing Mount Kinabalu in Sabah, Malaysia. We hope you will find our hiking tips and information helpful for your Kinabalu adventure! 🙂 

Any questions? Leave a comment!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Climbing-Mount-Kinabalu-Sabah-Malaysia-Pinterest
18 BEST Things To Do in Brasov, Romania (Day Trips Included)!

18 BEST Things To Do in Brasov, Romania (Day Trips Included)!

Not sure what to do in Brasov, Romania? Don’t worry, we are here to help.

As one of the most important Transylvanian Saxon settlements in medieval times, Brasov is filled with historical landmarks, charming streets, and more history than you can imagine.

Its strategic location meant that it was a link between the Ottoman Empire and Western Europe, something that would turn Brasov into one of the most fortified citadels in Transylvania at the time.

With such sophisticated history and beautiful architecture, experiencing Brasov to its fullest might be tough.

That is why we have written this blog post on the 18 best things to do in Brasov Romania, which includes some amazing Brasov day trips!

Enjoy!

What To Do In Brasov: 18 Best Things To Do In Brasov, Romania

1. Taking A Free Walking Tour In Brasov

Free-Walking-Tour-Brasov

As one of the seven walled citadels constructed by the Transylvania Saxons in the 12th century, Brasov is full of history. As you stroll down the cobblestone streets of Brasov, you are surrounded by historical buildings, famous landmarks, and untold stories.

Uncovering the vastness of Brasov’s history can be difficult, especially without a tour guide.

Luckily for you, the Brasov free walking tour can help you with understanding Brasov’s 800 years of history. Led by local tour guides, the Brasov walking tours are incredibly useful to see the city from a local perspective.

On the free walking tour, expect to learn about the complicated history of Brasov, get personal recommendations on the city, and make new friends.

Typically, the free walking tours happen daily and all you have to do is show up at the right place at the right time. The free walking tour company I personally recommend is Walkabout Free Tours Brasov.

I have used them in both Brasov and Bucharest and their expertise is unmatched!

Though the tours are completely free-of-charge, a tip is expected at the end. Depending on your satisfaction, you can decide how much you want to pay!

2. Check Out The Black Church, The Most Iconic Landmark In Brasov

The-Black-Church-Brasov

The Black Church (Biserica Neagră in Romanian) is one of the best attractions in Brasov, Romania. Standing at 89 meters (292 ft) long, 38 meters (125 ft) wide, and 65 meters (213 meters) tall, the stunning Gothic-style monument looms over Brasov’s historic center.

Many of you might wonder how the Black Church received its name. Churches were usually named after people or saints, but the Black church was not.

Why?

In 1689, a devastating fire ravaged the church. The walls were badly damaged and smoke-blackened. Ever since that day, it has been called the Black Church.

Anticlimactic? Maybe A little.

Before given its name the Black Church, it was a Roman Catholic church known as Church of Saint Mary. Its construction started in the late 14th century and took close to a century to complete due to the constant attacks from the Ottoman and Tartar armies. Resources were so scarce that a smaller version of the church was constructed instead.

Coincidentally, when the church was finished, the Protestant Reformation was sweeping through the nation, and the Catholic values of the church were replaced by Lutheran ones.

The history of this church is spectacular, but what is most spectacular is the treasure it currently houses. Home of the biggest mechanical organ in the country, a splendid collection of Oriental carpets, and much more, the Black Church is a must-see place in Brasov. 

3. Visit Mount Tampa For The Best Views Of Brasov

Mount-Tampa-Brasov-Romania

Anyone strolling down the charming old streets of Brasov will inevitably notice the Hollywood-style “Brasov” Sign on the top of a mountain. That mountain is Mount Tampa, one of the best places in Brasov for stunning panoramic views.

As part of the famed Carpathian Mountains, Mount Tampa soars close to 400 meters (1312 ft) over the city. The top of Mount Tampa sits an elevation of 960 meters (3150 feet). With such a beautiful natural wonder right at your doorstep, the instinctive move is to get to the top.

There are two ways to get to the summit of Mount Tampa: Taking the cable car (telecabina) or hiking.

The cable car is a great option to get to the top of Mount Tampa if you are traveling Romania with kids or the elderly. The ride costs 16 lei (<4 euro) for a round trip so it is hardly breaking the bank. Just be aware that the cable car runs from 9:30 AM to 4 PM, weather permitting.

Winter in Brasov can be unpleasant. It is wise to check with the attendants what the exact schedule is before taking the cable car.

Another option to get up Mount Tampa is by hiking. The 1.5-hour well-marked trail takes you through stunning landscapes of the Carpathian Mountains Range. You might even encounter some native species of birds and animals such as the Ural owl or the black woodpecker.

4. Explore Brasov Old Town, Especially Piata Sfatului (Council Square)

Old-Town-Of-Brasov Must See

If you are visiting Brasov, the Brasov Old Town is a neighborhood you must see.

Featuring important historical buildings, charming old streets, and delicious Romanian cuisine, the Old Town is one of the best places to visit in Brasov.

Located in the heart of the Old Town is the Piata Sfatului (Council Square). Every medieval town had a big square where trade was conducted, executions were held, and among other important activities. Piata Sfatului was that historic square.

Though nowadays you won’t find any public executions, you will find a gorgeous square surrounded by some of the most beautiful buildings in Brasov, as well as many fine-dining establishments.

The most important building in the Council Square is the former Council House. Built in 1420, it is now the home of the Brasov County Museum of History.

If you are exploring Brasov without a guide, the Council Square is the perfect place to start. Everywhere you go from the Council Square, you will encounter new sights in the historic center of Brasov. 

5. Stroll Down Strada Sforii (Rope Street), Eastern Europe’s Narrowest Street

Strada-Sforii-Brasov

Strada Sforii (Rope Street) is the third narrowest street in the world and the narrowest in Eastern Europe. Measuring a total of 80 meters (260 feet) long and a minimum width of 111 cm (44 inches), visitors can touch both sides of the wall at once.

The Strada Sforii was originally built in the 15th century for the fire fighting brigades. By giving them quicker access to the Old Town, officials were hoping to prevent more disaster.

Nowadays, this street has become one of the top places for sightseeing in Brasov.

6. Visit The Black Tower In Brasov, An Old Fortification Tower

Black-Tower-Brasov

Credit: WikiCommons

The Black Tower (Turnul Negru) was one of the first fortification systems set up in the medieval walled citadel of Brasov. Unlike the name suggested, the Black Tower is not exactly black. In fact, it is actually white.

The Black Tower was built in the 15th century to stop any attacks coming from the west side of town. In the year 1559, a lightning strike hit the exterior of the fort and blackened it. Ever since that day, it has been named the Black Tower.

Restorative works have been done on the old fortification. Nowadays, not only is the exterior white, but the Black Tower is also a museum featuring historical artifacts and exhibits.

The 4-story Black Tower also features a stunning glass roof, where visitors can get stunning views of the Old Town of Brasov from Warthe Hill. This is also the perfect spot to admire the Black Church, one of the top Brasov tourist attractions.

The Black Tower is open intermittently, make sure you check with the authorities before visiting! It is a short walk from the Council Square!

7. Visit The White Tower In Brasov, A Spectacular Medieval Fortification

White-Tower-Brasov

Credit: WikiCommons

Along with the Back Tower, the White Tower (Turnul Alb) was also one of the first fortification systems set up in Brasov.

The 20-meter tall semi-circular tower was built in 1494 on top of a rock and gets its name from the white-colored facade. The impressive structure has a 4-meter thick wall near the base, as well as five machicolations (opening where objects such as stone or burning liquid can be dropped onto attackers). 

In medieval times, the tin and coppersmiths guilds were responsible for the maintenance of the White Tower.

Unfortunately, the tower was badly damaged by a fire in 1689, but it was repaired in 1723. Newly renovated in 2006, the White Tower now features temporary exhibitions provided by the Brasov County Museum of History.

Visitors can reach the White Tower from a 250-meter staircase from Bastionul Graft. Alternatively, visitors can also take a path through the woods from the Black Tower.

Similar to the Black Tower, the White Tower is open irregularly. Make sure you call ahead to find out if they are open!

8. Admire The Catherine’s Gate, The Only Gate Survived From Medieval Times

Catherine's-Gate-Brasov-Things-To-Do

The medieval Catherine’s Gate looks straight out of a fairytale and is the only surviving gate from medieval times. The gate was built in 1559, after an old gate was destroyed by a flood in 1526. It received its name from the St. Catherine’s Monastery, which was situated adjacent to it at the time.

The Catherine’s Gate served as the only gate for Romanians to enter the citadel. During the Saxon rule from the 13th to 17th century, Romanians were not allowed to own property inside the fortified town, so they settled outside the town in an area that is presently known as Şcheii Braşovului.

Romanians were only allowed to enter the citadel at certain times and were only allowed to do so by paying a toll at the Catherine’s Gate.

Nowadays, it is one of the most incredible things to see in Brasov.

9. Visit Poiana Brasov, The Famous Ski Resort In Pristine Nature

Poiana-Brasov-Romania

If you are visiting Brasov in the winter, the popular Ski Resort in Poiana Brasov is a place you cannot miss.

Travelers from around the world come to ski at the pristine ski slopes in Poiana Brasov, also known as the Alps of Romania. While skiing is no rare commodity in Europe, many places are expensive. Not only is Poiana Brasov cheap, but the slopes are some of the best in Europe.

Skiing is available from late November to late February in Poiana Brasov.

If you are visiting during other seasons, you won’t be able to enjoy the winter sports Poiana Brasov is known for. However, there are many nature trails in the area, perfect for hiking, cycling, or even horseback riding.

The nature in Poiana Brasov is stunning, and any outdoor lovers will find this place a paradise.

Surprisingly, Poiana Brasov has some of the best traditional Romanian food you can find. The dishes vary depending on the season because local ingredients are often used.

Sarmale (Romanian cabbage rolls) and Mamaliga (Romanian polenta) are some of the popular traditional Romanian dishes. If you have a sweet tooth try the kürtőskalács, a traditional Transylvania street food popular in Hungary and Romania.

10. Explore Prund-Schei Neighborhood, An Off-The-Beaten-Path Attraction In Brasov

Brasov-Romania

It is not uncommon for travelers visiting Brasov to miss the Prund-Schei (Șcheii Brașovului) neighborhood, an area with ethnically Bulgarians and Romanians.

As you walk down the village-like neighborhood, you will notice that this small neighborhood contrasts drastically with the historic center of Brasov. Most of the buildings are quite simple compared to the Old Town of Brasov.

In medieval times, Romanians and Bulgarians were forced to live in the Schei neighborhood by the Saxons, as they were the only ones that were allowed to live inside the fortified walls.

Romanians were only allowed to enter the citadel at certain times and through the Catherine’s Gate, where they had to pay a toll to sell their produce inside.

Inside the Schei neighborhood are two historic places you must visit: The First Romanian School Museum and the St. Nicholas Church.

The First Romanian School Museum is an impressive museum featuring many Romanian “firsts”, such as the oldest letter written in the Romanian alphabet, the first Romanian Bible, and the first Romanian printing press.

Adjacent to the First Romanian School Museum is the beautiful Romanian Orthodox St. Nicholas, a stunning landmark in the Schei neighborhood. The church is actually made up of 4 smaller churches inside and all of them worth the short but sweet visit!

Visiting the Schei neighborhood is one of the unusual things to do in Brasov, but we promise you it will be worth the trip. It is also not too far from the historic center of Brasov.

Day Trips From Brasov, Romania

1. Bran Castle, The Famous Dracula Castle

Bran-Castle-Dracula-Castle-Romania

If you are visiting Romania, chances are you want to see Bran Castle, the alleged Dracula’s Castle. Inspiring by the skin-tingling horror novel Dracula by Bram Stoker, the Bran Castle is the most famous landmark in Romania.

Luckily for you, Brasov is the closest tourist city to Bran Castle, and getting from Brasov to Bran Castle is simple and quick.

It is no wonder why Bran Castle is one of the most popular day trips from Brasov.

Buses depart every half an hour on the hour on weekdays from Autogara 2 on Strada Avram Iancu. On weekends, the buses depart every hour on the hour. You can find the full schedule on the official site here. The journey takes about 45 minutes and costs 7 lei (<2 euros).

Since Autogara 2 is not located near the Brasov historic center, we recommend you to take an Uber to there.

Altnertiavely, you can rent a car in Brasov and drive from Brasov to Bran Castle. Renting a car in Romania is surprisingly very cheap. We highly recommend renting a car and doing a Romania road trip!

Besides being the home to the legends of Dracula, Bran Castle is now mostly a museum for the art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. On the top floor, there is an exhibit that will explain how Bran Castle received its spooky legend.

Don’t miss that when you are visiting Bran Castle.

2. Rasnov Fortress, A Historic Transylvania Fortification

Rasnov-Fortress

The region of Transylvania is filled with medieval fortifications, as you can probably already tell in Brasov. One of the most impressive ones in Transylvania is the Rasnov Fortress.

Located in a vital region of Transylvania, Rasnov Fortress was responsible for the defense of many nearby villages. It provided refuges for many of the nearby inhabitants, often for long periods of time. Because of that, houses, a chapel, and even a school were built inside the citadel.

When visiting the Rasnov Fortress, make sure you climb the watchtower located in the front. The watchtower offers stunning views of the Rasnov Fortress in its entirety!

There were hardly any tourists when we visited the Rasnov Fortress. Combined with the cheap admission fee, this hidden gem in Romania is a unique experience.

Stroll around the remains of the Rasnov Fortress and take in the sights. Some parts of the fortification walls are broken, and visitors can see the beautiful city of Rasnov through the fragmented walls.

Rasnov Fortress is on the way to Bran Castle from Brasov. We recommend you to combine the two for an exciting Brasov day trip.

NOTE: As of February 2020, Rasnov Fortress is closed for renovation. The anticipated duration of renovation is 3 years.

3. Sighisoara, A UNESCO Heritage Site

Sighisoara-Romania-1

Sighisoara, just like Brasov, was one of the seven walled citadels built by the Transylvania Saxons for defense in the 12th century. It is most famous for its well-preserved fortified Old Town, which is a UNESCO Heritage Site.

Though Sighisoara is by no means the biggest or the wealthiest of the seven Saxon walled, it is one of the most well-kept. Stroll down its cobblestone streets and you will find guild towers built by craftsmen guilds, as each guild was responsible for the fortification of Sighisoara.

The charming streets will inevitably lead you to the Clock Tower, a 64-meter high tower that was the city’s main fortification. Nowadays, you won’t find arrows, stones, or burning liquids inside, but a museum on Sighisoara’s history. The open-air balcony at the top of the tower offers stunning views of the town of Sighisoara down below.

When you are tired of exploring the historical buildings inside Sighisoara, stop by one of their cafes or restaurants. As Europe’s last inhabited citadel, the citadel feels like a city (an old one) within a city.

Sighisoara is also the birthplace of Vlad Tepes, otherwise known as Vlad III or Vlad The Impaler. Vlad The Impaler was known for its cruel methods of defeating his enemies, impaling them and leaving them to bleed out.

Legends also said that he drank his enemy’s blood, which allegedly led to the character Dracula from Bram Stoker’s famous book Dracula.  Here in Sighisoara, you can visit Vlad Tepe’s bedroom, where he slept until the age of four.

Sighisoara is located an hour and 45 minutes away from Brasov. Because of its distance, the only way to take a day trip from Brasov to Sighisoara is to have/rent a car. Alternatively, you can take public transportation, but the long journey means you will have to stay in Sighisoara for a night! 

4. Sibiu, The City With Eyes

Sibiu-Romania-Buildings

Sibiu was the wealthiest and largest of the seven Saxon walled citadels. With unique eye-like openings on the roofs of the buildings, Sibiu is also known as The City With Eyes or “Seebiu”.

Though Sibiu is located a 2-hour drive from Brasov, it makes for an easy day trip because all of the attractions in Sibiu are located in the historic center.

As the European Capital of Culture in 2007, Sibiu’s charm is omnipresent. The charming streets, the traditional Romanian gastronomy, the historic buildings, everything comes together and creates an elegant experience.

If you visit Sibiu, make sure you stop by the Large Square and Small Square. Both of these Squares were historical places where trade was conducted, executions were performed, and important gatherings were held.

5. Peles Castle, The Most Extravagant Castle In Romania

Peles-Castle-Sinaia

Many people visiting Romania will only know about the famous Bran Castle because of the Dracula legends. However, Bran Castle is not the biggest castle nor the most beautiful castle.

Located in a small town called Sinaia, the Carpathian Mountains surround the Neo-Renaissance Peles Castle, enhancing its lavishness. Its grandeur can be seen even before entering the 3-floor castle, as the courtyard contains intricate statues and beautiful fountains.

Built by King Carol I, Peles Castle took 10 years to complete. The 10 years did not go to waste, as the finished masterpiece has over 170 ornate rooms, including a concert hall and a movie theater.

Architecturally, a mix of Neo-Renaissance, Saxon, and Gothic Revival can be seen. The interior decor is most Baroque style, featuring carved wood and elegant fabric. It is also the home of one of the largest weapon collections in the world.

Every room has been meticulously designed and ornately decorated. It is a surreal feeling to be able to step foot into something so perfect in many ways. Matter of fact, you don’t just step foot into the Peles Castle. Plastic shoe covers must be worn at all times and a guided tour is the only way in.

Don’t worry though, guided tours happen multiple times throughout the day. Just rock up, buy your ticket, and wait for the next guided tour group!

If you want to take pictures inside the Peles Castle, an additional fee of 30 lei is charged!

Peles Castle is located in Sinaia, which is easily reachable via public transportation from Brasov.

6. Transfagarasan Highway, The Best Driving Road In Romania

Driving-in-Romania-Transfagarasan

The Transfagarasan Highway is one of the top attractions in Romania. Crossing the southern parts of the Carpathian Mountains range, the Transfagarasan Road is considered the best driving road in the world by Top Gear.

The Transfagarasan Highway (also known as DN7C) curves and twists along the sides of the Fagaras Mountains, and drivers have to remind themselves to look at the road instead of the incredible scenery.

Near the top of the Fagaras Mountains is a glacial lake named Balea Lake. Offering the best views of the Transfagarasan Road, Balea Lake is a popular place to stop on your visit. Here you will also find street vendors selling traditional Romanian food such as homemade cheese and handicraft, as well as the famous Ice Hotel.

Ideally, you would want to drive on the Transfagarasan Road and experience its madness firsthand. But if you don’t want to rent a car or drive one, then you can find tours departing from Brasov.

If you wish to secure your Brasov to Transfagarasan tour beforehand, click here!

7. Piatra Craiului Mountains, The Best Hiking In Brasov

Hiking-in-Brasov

The Carpathian Mountains surrounding Brasov acted like a natural defense barrier during medieval times, but nowadays it is one of the most popular places for hiking in Brasov.

If the hike up Mount Tampa wasn’t enough for you, I suggest hiking in the Piatra Criului Mountains. There are many trails in the region, so you can choose the length and difficulty suitable for you.

Because we were short on time when we visited Brasov, we decided to hike the Zarnesti Gorge. It took 4-hour and the autumn foliage was absolutely breathtaking, but nothing will triumph over the hike in Rimetea near Cluj-Napoca.

8. Hiking The Seven Ladders Canyon, The Most Adventurous Activity in Brasov

Seven-Ladders-Canyon-Brasov

Because of the vastness of the Piatra Craiuiului Mountains, there are many different trails. If you are like me and have difficulty selecting a single trail, consider the Seven Ladders Canyon hike instead.

The Seven Ladders Canyon hike is unique in that you can see up to 7 waterfalls, and some of which are adjacent to the ladders you will need to climb to further along the trail. Keep in mind that the ladders might be wet at times, depending on how much water is coming down the waterfalls.

In the winter, some of these waterfalls freeze, and you are left with magnificent frozen waterfalls! Though the trail can be treacherous in the winter, you are reward with nature at its best.

In the other seasons, the trail is ideal for anyone adventurous. There is also the option to do ziplining at the Seven Ladders Canyon. The whole trail out-and-back takes about 4 hours to complete.

Best Time To Visit Brasov

Brasov-Christmas

The best time to visit Brasov depends on what type of experience you are looking for. There is generally no bad time to visit Brasov, as it is a lively city with many activities to do.

In the winter months, Brasov is generally very cold and receives heavy snowfall. This makes it the perfect time to explore Poiana Brasov, a place renowned for its winter sports. If you are visiting during the Christmas time, the Brasov Christmas Market is an event that you will rejoice.

The summer is when Brasov receives the most amount of tourism. The vibe of the city is young and there is plenty of excitement to go around. The warm Romanian summers attract international and local tourists. However, with an influx of tourists comes a surge in prices. Expect to pay a little more than usual in terms of accommodation and food.

Spring and autumn are decent months to visit Brasov. Tourism is very quiet these months, so you won’t have to worry about crowds. Some say the weather might still be too cold, especially if you are up in the mountains. Prices are generally lower in these months, perfect for anyone visiting Romania on a budget.

How To Get To Brasov, Romania

How-To-Get-To-Brasov

Getting to Brasov might be a little more difficult than getting to Bucharest or Cluj-Napoca, as Brasov does not have its own airport (yet).  The Brasov International Airport is set to open in June 2021.

As of right now, the closest airport to Brasov is the Sibiu International Airport. However, because the Sibiu airport is small in comparison to the Bucharest airport (Henri Coandă International Airport), flights to Sibiu tend to be more expensive.

If you are traveling on a budget, we recommend you to fly into Bucharest and then take the train from Bucharest to Brasov.

The Palace of Parliament (the highest building in the world) is alone worth visiting Bucharest for a few days!

Where To Stay In Brasov, Romania

Best Hostel In Brasov – JugendStube Hostel

JugendStube Hostel is the definition of a backpackers hostel – affordability, comfort, and a lively atmosphere. Equipped with a staff that will answer any questions you might have about Brasov attractions, guests can feel confident exploring Brasov. The hostel also provides a free basic breakfast, which is the perfect way to start your day in Brasov! 

Click here for more details!

Best Hotel In Brasov, Romania – Safrano Palace

If you are looking for a luxurious hotel but don’t want to break the bank, look no further. Safrano Palace is the perfect hotel in Brasov for you.

Featuring spacious rooms, comfortable beds, and a modern decor fused with traditional elements, guests are in the perfect accommodation. The free breakfast buffet every morning is the perfect fuel for Brasov sightseeing! 

Click here for more info!

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

Things-To-Do-in-Brasov-Romania-Pinterest

This is the end of our guide on the top things to do in Brasov, Romania. Hopefully, this has given you an idea of what to do on your Brasov trip!

Any question? Leave them in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Things-To-Do-in-Brasov-Romania-Pinterest
17 BEST Things To Do In Sibiu, Romania (Day Trips Included)!

17 BEST Things To Do In Sibiu, Romania (Day Trips Included)!

Not sure what to do in Sibiu, Romania? Don’t worry, we were in your shoes once.

Ever since Sibiu became the European Capital of Culture in 2007, tourism has started rapidly increasing. What was once one of the best hidden gems of Romania is now becoming a top tourist destination in Europe.

With such sophisticated history and interesting architecture, exploring Sibiu without a guide can be difficult. 

That is why we have written this blog post on the 17 best things to do in Sibiu Romania, especially if you are visiting for the first time!

Enjoy!

What To Do In Sibiu: 17 Best Things To Do In Sibiu, Romania

1. Visit Piata Mare, The Large Square Of Sibiu

Sibiu-Large-Square

The Large Square (or Piata Mare in Romanian) is the most important landmark in Sibiu. Inside every medieval town is a huge space where gatherings occurred, executions are held, and among other important occasions.

Fortunately, nowadays you won’t find any executions, but a massive square surrounded by some of the most important historical buildings in Sibiu, Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, the Brukenthal Palace, and the Council Tower.

The Large Square of Sibiu is one of my favorite places to people-watch. Grab a cup of coffee from a local roastery and get comfortable on one of the numerous benches, and watch as Romanian daily lives unfold in front of your eyes.

Strike up a conversation with the friendly locals, and learn about what it is like to live in an idyllic city like Sibiu. Sibiu is filled with history that can only be told by the ones that live there! 

2. Check Out Piata Mica, The Little Square Of Sibiu

Little-Square-Sibiu

Adjacent to the Large Square of Sibiu is the Small Square (A+ for creatively right?), an area where trade was historically conducted. Though given the name “Small Square”, it is not small by any means.

Nowadays this area has become one of the best areas of food, featuring numerous top-notch bars and restaurants serving a diverse selection of cuisines.

One of our favorite things to do in Sibiu is sipping chilled wine in the outdoor seating of a restaurant, admiring the stunning baroque architecture and creepy eyes on the roof of these buildings. It is no wonder why Sibiu is also called “Seebiu” and “The City With Eyes”. 

Strada Ocnei (Ocnei Street) starts in the Little Square and connects the Lower Town of Sibiu with the Upper Town, perfect for anyone that wants to go for a stroll after a meal!

3. Visit The Transfagarasan Highway, The Best Driving Road In The World

Transfagarasan-Road-Romania

Though not located inside the city of Sibiu, a trip to the Transfagarasan Highway is a must on any Romania itinerary.

Known as the best driving road in the entire world, the Transfagarasan Road was made famous after a popular Top Gear episode filmed in Romania. The sharp twists and turns that slope along the southern parts of the Carpathian Mountains are not only fun for driving, but they also make for the perfect photo.

If you are doing a Romania road trip (which we highly recommend), then the Tranfsgarasan Highway is only a 1.5-hour drive away. Out of the other popular places to visit in Romania (Bucharest, Brasov, Cluj, and etc), Sibiu is the closest city to the Transfagarasan Highway.

If you decide to rent a car, make sure you have the proper documentation to drive in Romania. Though renting a car in Romania is usually cheap, you can’t drive it if you don’t have the proper documents.

The Transfagarasan Highway measures a total of 90 kilometers, and not every section of the road is stunning. The most beautiful place to see this marvelous man-made structure is the Balea Lake, a stunning glacier lake at the top of the Carpathian Mountains.

Here you will also find the famous Ice Hotel as well as many local street vendors selling traditional Romanian food and handicrafts!

Day tours to the Transfagarsan Highway can be found in Sibiu. Just ask your accommodation they should be able to set you up! Alternatively, if you do decide to visit Bucharest, the day tours from Bucharest tend to be more popular (though it is farther away).

4. The Council Tower, Best Place For Sightseeing In Sibiu

The-Council-Tower-Sibiu

The ~45-meter tall Council Tower is one of the most important buildings in Sibiu. Nestled in between the Large Square and Small Square of Sibiu, the Council Tower served as a defense tower in historic times. Nowadays, it is a tourist attraction in Sibiu that offers stunning views of the Old Town.

Though it was originally built in the 12th century, the tower has been rebuilt many times, each time with a slightly different look than the previous. The current model was constructed in the 19th century.

The entrance fee is 2 lei (less than 1 Euro), but the catch is the over 100 steps of stairs you need to reach the observation deck at the top. Since we were dying to do some hiking in Romania (after the stunning hike in Rimetea), it was a nice warm-up for us. If you have mobility issues, then the spiral staircase might be a bit cramped.

From time to time, art exhibitions also happen in the Council Tower. Anyone who has paid for the entrance can get an outstanding view and enjoy an art exhibition!

5. Learn About Romanian Heritage at ASTRA National Museum Complex

ASTRA-Museum-Sibiu

If you want to learn more about the heritage or culture of Romania, ASTRA National Museum Complex is a place you must visit in Sibiu. 

Located 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) south of Sibiu, the ASTRA National Museum Complex is easily accessible by walking, car, tram, or buses. The museum occupies a total area of 0.96 square kilometers (0.37 square miles) and is the biggest outdoor museum in Romania and one of the biggest in the world. 

Pre-industrial traditional folklore houses are showcased in this complex. With over 300 buildings and two artificial lakes, the informational museum is pristine for learning about the Romanian traditional ways of life.

The rural setting of the museum sets the perfect tone for historical Romania, and even a stroll there is pleasant. Don’t miss the antiquated windmills on the western side of the museum. They are seriously cool!

Because the museum is huge, you can easily spend a few hours or even a day here. Inside the museums are several eateries and a bar ready to replenish you to keep you going.

6. Visit The Lutheran Cathedral Of Saint Mary And Climb The Watchtower

Sibiu-Romania

If you are looking for a panoramic view of Sibiu, you might think about going to the Council Tower.

Here is an insider tip: The watchtower at the Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary offers a much better view at a higher vantage point than the Council Tower.

At close to 70 meters above the ground, the beautiful buildings of Sibiu dominate the landscape and create one of the most impressive views I have seen in Romania.

To get to the lookout tower, you must take a guided tour of the place. When we visited, the Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary was under renovation, and only parts of it were open to the public. We could’ve imagined how amazing it would’ve been to see the main hall.

The guided tour is run by a member of the church, and he or she will first tell you the interesting history and significance of the Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary.

Afterward, the guide will lead you to the top of the lookout tower. The path to the top was interesting, as there were parts of the wooden structure that had steel reinforcement because it was too weak. It is impressive how some parts of the church are so well-preserved!

7. The Bridge Of Lies, An Iconic Place To Visit In Sibiu

Bridge-Of-Lies-Sibiu

Credit: WikiCommons

As the first cast-iron bridge built in Romania (second in Europe), the Bridge of Lies is a symbol of Sibiu. The 10-meter pedestrian street was rebuilt in 1859 by Friedrich Hütte to replace an old wooden bridge. Since this was the first bridge not built on pillars, it was called the lying bridge, or the bridge that lies.

Legends have it that is how the bridge has received its modern name, the Bridge of Lies.

Another popular legend on the origin of the name is that the bridge would creak and make a noise whenever someone is telling a lie on it. There are plenty of interesting legends surrounding this beautiful rustic bridge in the middle of the Little Square, and anyone visiting Sibiu must not miss this place of interest!

8. Take A Photo At The Picturesque Stairs Passage

Sibiu-Romania-1

Sibiu is not short of charming cobblestone streets, well-preserved historical buildings, and eye-catching architecture. If there is one place that exemplifies the beauty of Sibiu, it is the Stairs Passage.

The Stairs Passage is a short passage filled with historical fortification walls and arches. On one side of the passage is the 1st fortification wall built around Huet Square and the Upper Town, on the other side are charming buildings where you the deteriorating walls tell their own stories.

It is no wonder why this is one of the top places to visit in Sibiu.

Without a tour guide, you won’t get to fully appreciate the Stairs Passage. To be honest, we had to research what was its significance after we had seen it. Nevertheless, the Stairs Passage is a great spot to stroll by and take some photos!

9. Learn About Romanian Culture At Brukenthal National Museum

Brukenthal-National-Museum-Sibiu

Credit: WikiCommons

In the Large Square (Piata Mare) is one of the most stunning baroque-style buildings in Sibiu. This important landmark in Sibiu is the Brukenthal National Museum, the first public museum in Romania established by Samuel von Brukenthal in the late 18th century.

The Brukenthal National Museum is known as one of the best art galleries in Romania.

Featuring a variety of authentic medieval Transylvanian artwork, visitors can get a glimpse of medieval Romanian life through the over 1200 paintings from the 15th to 18th centuries. Flemish, Dutch, and Italian paints are also displayed here.

Because the Brukenthal National Museum is 6 museums put into one, there are varying prices for admission. For example, admission to the Romanian Art Gallery costs 12 lei and the European Gallery costs 20 lei. You can find more information about the admission costs and the different museums here.

Unfortunately, taking photos is not allowed inside the property.

10. The Goldsmith’s Stairway Tower, A Beautiful Tower & Passage In Sibiu

Goldsmith's-Stairway-Tower-and-Passage

If you are looking to get away from the crowd, look no further. The Goldsmith’s Stairway Tower is one of the best hidden attractions in Sibiu.

Built in the 13th century as a pedestrian gate ower inside the second fortified precinct, the Goldensmth’s Stairway Passage is one small street with a lot of history. The date 1567 can be seen inside the archway when the tower was modified.

Sadly, besides strolling down the passageway and seeing the tower, there really isn’t much to do at the Goldsmith’s Stairway Tower. Its narrow passage gives off a very medieval vibe and makes for a great photo-taking opportunity.

11. Dine At One Of The Best Restaurants In Sibiu

Crama-Sibiul-Vechi-Sibiu-Restaurants

If you are not sure of what to do in Sibiu, dining at one of Sibiu’s finest restaurants can never go wrong! With such a rich history and international influence, you can find any type of cuisines in Sibiu with amazing quality.

However, when you are in Sibiu, you must try one of the traditional Romanian restaurants, and there is no better place to do that than Crama Sibiul Vechi.

Crama Sibiul Vechi takes your dining experience to the next level. The moment you step in, you are greeted by a friendly staff who will lead you to your seat in a rustic traditional Romanian setting. 

Though the prices can seem a bit high for Romania, the food is absolutely delicious. The polenta is a Romanian dish you must try here. 

If you are lucky, you might get to enjoy a live performance of Romanian folk music. Combined with the mouth-watering meal, it is an experience you won’t forget!

12. Sibiu Christmas Market, One Of The Best Attractions In Sibiu

Sibiu-Christmas-Market

Credit: WikiCommons

If you are planning on visiting Sibiu during Christmas, you cannot miss the world-famous Sibiu Christmas Market. 

Starting in October, the entire Large Square (Piata Mare) prepares for the yearly Christmas Market. Starting with the fairy lights that span from the center of the square to the perimeter, Sibiu slowly transforms into a Christmas wonderland.

Hundred of local merchants set up shop in their traditional wooden cottages. Visitors will find traditional elements of a German Christmas market (because of the Transylvania Saxon influence) fused with Romanian touches.

Selling a wide variety of products such as mulled wine, local traditional cheese, popular native sweets such as the kurtoskalacs, wooden toys and decorations, and much more, the Sibiu Christmas Market is nothing but joy and excitement!

Though the Christmas Market occurs at a slightly different time every year, you can expect it to at full bloom from the middle of November to early January of next year!

13. Check Out The Old Fortifications In Sibiu

Sibiu-City-Wall-Fortification

As one of the largest and wealthiest seven walled citadels built by the Transylvanian Saxons, it is not surprising that some of these old fortifications are still in place.  In fact, parts of the medieval walls are still standing, and visitors can see that at the Citadel Park (Parcul Cetății).

Out of the 39 towers,  five bulwarks, four gates, and five artillery batteries in Sibiu’s original fortification, four towers remain to this present day. They are the Harquebusiers Tower (Turnul Archebuzierilor), Potters Tower (Turnul Olarilor), Carpenters Tower (Turnul Dulgherilor), and the Thick Tower (Turnul Gros). 

Since they are located on the City Wall, it is easy to reach all of them if you are not sure what to see in Sibiu.

14. Stroll Around The Lower Town Of Sibiu

Sibiu-Lower-Town

Though most of the things to see in Sibiu are located in the Upper Town of Sibiu, you cannot miss the Lower Town of Sibiu as well. Where the Upper Town contains most of the landmarks, the Lower Town is home to well-preserved cobblestone streets and medieval houses.

Stroll down the Lower Town of Sibiu and you will inevitably fall in love with its rustic charm: The narrow streets, the exposed bricks in the buildings, locals going about their own business, the markets, and more.

Don’t forget to bring your travel camera!

Day Trips From Sibiu, Romania

1. Sighisoara, The Well-Preserved Walled Old Town

Sighisoara-Romania-1

Similar to Sibiu, Sighisoara is one of the seven walled citadels built by the Saxons. Its well-preserved Old Town is a famous UNESCO Heritage Site, and visiting it is like stepping into a time machine.

The Transylvania Saxons had tremendous influence in Sighisoara when they settled here, bring with them valuable knowledge and skills. Sighisoara quickly thrived and became a popular trading post, giving the Saxon craftsmen more riches than they could imagine.

The craftsmen created as many as 15 craft guilds, and each guild was responsible for creating its own fortification to protect their riches. Many of those guild towers still remain in Sighisoara.

If you are visiting Sighisoara on a day trip, the one place you must not miss is the 13th century built Clock Tower (Turnul cu Ceas), a 64-meter high tower that served as the main tower in the fortification.

Looming over the medieval town, its presence can be felt as you walk down the old streets of Sighisoara. Nowadays, it is a museum and the most recognized landmark in Sighisoara.

2. Corvin Castle, One Of the Seven Wonders Of Romania

Corvin-Castle-Romania-1-

Located in Hunedoara in the western part of Romania, many travelers don’t visit Corvin Castle. Known as one of the Seven Wonders of Romania, Corvin Castle is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Romania.

Sitting on a rocky outcrop with only a wooden connecting bridge, the castle looks magical. The elegant orange and red hues of the castle coat the outer walls and the soaring turrets, and for a second you have to remind yourself that you are not in a fairytale.

As one of the biggest castles in Europe, exploring it can take a few hours. Wonder around the corridor and learn about the history and legends that surround this medieval Gothic-Renaissance architecture.

Because it is a 1.5-hour away from Sibiu, visiting Corvin Castle is at least a half-day activity. We recommend that you combine a visit to the Corvin Castle with Citadel Alba-Carolina, which we will talk about next.

3. Citadel Alba-Carolina, The Biggest Medieval Citadel in Romania

Alba-Iulia-Citadel-Romania

Many travelers visiting Romania do not know much about the Alba-Carolina Citadel.

That is a shame.

As the largest medieval citadel in Romania, the Alba-Carolina Citadel is a marvelous attraction in Romania. Prince Eugene of Savoy built the star-shaped fortress in the 18th century to fortify the defense of the newly conquered parts of the Habsburg Empire.

About an hour away, travelers can easily visit Alba-Carolina Citadel in Alba Iulia with a day trip from Sibiu. The admission to this giant fortress is free. However, there are museums inside the citadel that require an entrance fee. 

To properly explore the historical place, the city has installed QR code at each point of interest in the citadel. By scanning the code, visitors can gain interesting historical information about the places they are seeing.

Bars, restaurants, gardens, and fountains are located inside the citadel, making it feel like a city inside a city!

Best Time To Visit Sibiu

Sibiu-Things-To-Do

The best time to visit Sibiu depends on what you are traveling for. Obviously, if you want to see the famous Sibiu Christmas Market, you should come in the winter. However, the weather will be much cooler and some of Sibiu attractions might be covered in snow, preventing you from fully indulging in their beauty.

Summer months (June to August) are the busiest times in Sibiu. The city is filled with tourists and a new sense of liveliness takes over. It is a great time to visit Sibiu, but keep in mind that lodging and food will also be the priciest of the year. There also tends to be more rainfall in the summer in Sibiu.

Fall and spring are great times to visit, as the overall cost of visiting Sibiu will be lower. However, the temperature might still be a little too chilly for some travelers, especially if you are not used to the cold. Occasional snowfall is also to be expected. 

How To Get To Sibiu, Romania

Sibiu-Town

Located in Translyvania, getting to Sibiu is not difficult at all. However, finding the cheapest way to get to Sibiu might be more challenging.

Sibu International Airport is a great way to arrive at Sibiu. However, given that it is not a popular destination, flights to Sibiu tend to be expensive.

Sometimes the cheaper option to get to Sibiu is from Bucharest. As the capital city of Romania, flights to Bucharest are cheap. From Bucharest, you can take one of the many trains departing for Sibiu.

Not only will you save money, but you can also spend a few days in Bucharest, exploring the so-called “Paris of The East”. 

Where To Stay In Sibiu, Romania

Best Hostels In Sibiu, Romania – B13 Hostel

B13 Hostel is the one-and-only hostel in Sibiu that will exceed your expectations. Located a 1-minute walk from the Large Square, sightseeing in Sibiu just got a whole lot easier. The hostel features spacious rooms and comfortable beds, so sharing a room with other travelers isn’t too bad. 

Featuring large common areas, guests can properly just relax and/or meet other travelers after a day of exploring Sibiu. 

Click here for more details!

Best Hotel In Sibiu, Romania – Rabbit Hole

Located in the Large Square, Rabbit Hole’s location is one of the best in Sibiu. With large windows facing the Large Square, guests can enjoy splendid views of one of the best Sibiu tourist attractions. Though breakfast s not included in the price, guests can pay a little extra to enjoy some of the best breakfast in town!

Click here for more info!

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

Things-To-Do-In-Sibiu-Romania-Pinterest

This is the end of our guide on the top things to do in Sibiu, Romania. Hopefully, this has given you an idea of what to do on your Sibiu trip!

Any question? Leave them in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Things-To-Do-In-Sibiu-Romania-Pinterest
Hiking Piatra Secuiului In Rimetea, The Most Beautiful Village in Romania

Hiking Piatra Secuiului In Rimetea, The Most Beautiful Village in Romania

Rimetea (also known as Torockó in Hungarian) is an idyllic village in the Alba County of Romania. It is a magical place where “the sun rises twice”, a strange phenomenon that happens because of the neighboring Piatra Secuiului Mountains (Székelykő in Hungarian).

The Piatra Secuiului mountains soar 480 meters above the small village of Rimetea, so the sun rises once above the horizon, dips behind the mountains, and then once again above the mountains.

It is no surprise that one of the most popular activities in Rimetea is hiking the Piatra Secuiului mountains.

The peak of the Piatra Secuiului offers unparalleled views of the surrounding Romanian countryside, a view worth dying for (figuratively).

Our blog post will tell you how you can do the Piatra Secuiului hike in Rimetea and have those views yourself!

Enjoy!

How To Get To Piatra Secuiului In Rimetea

The easiest trailhead to locate for the Piatra Secuiului Mountain is located in Rimetea, a village of about 1000 inhabitants located 1 hour away from Cluj-Napoca.

Because it is a small village in the rural areas of Romania, public transportation is lacking. The best way to visit Rimetea is to have your own car, as many of the locals in the villages do. We recommend you to rent a car in Cluj-Napoca and take a day trip from Cluj to Rimetea.

Alternatively, you can rent the car for your entire trip and do a Romania road trip!

Once you have arrived in Rimetea, the trailhead to Piatra Secuiului is located in the outskirts of town. You can park your car in the center of town and walk or drive a little closer to the bottom of the mountain.

Rimetea-Romania-Piatra-Secuiului-Szekelyko-1

Though it will save you 15 minutes or so, the roads leading to the outskirts of town are not well-paved. We visited in autumn when the weather is still decent and the road was gravelly, steep, and filled with potholes. We can imagine the road in the winter to be much more treacherous.

At the start of the trail, you will see a flag with a white square and a dark blue cross. That is the indicator for the trail and you are now on the proper route!

Half the struggle is locating the start of the trail. Now you get to enjoy the challenging hike and beautiful views!

Rimetea-Romania-Piatra-Secuiului-Szekelyko-10
Piatra-Secuiului-Trailhead

Our Experience Hiking The Piatra Secuiului (Székelykő) In Romania

At 480 meters above the village of Rimetea, we expected the hike to be quite difficult. The difficulty doesn’t start with the first step on the mountain, but the intimidation from the looming giant that can be felt from the town.

Nevertheless, we have seen photos from the top of the Piatra Secuiului and knew it was worth the trouble.

Using maps.me as our navigation, we managed to find the trailhead and a place to park our car, a nice patch of grass in a large field. At that point, we were already many meters above the town, and the view was incredible. 

Rimetea-Romania-Piatra-Secuiului-Szekelyko-15

Once you have located the trail, it is difficult to get lost. What makes the trail so difficult is the elevation gained. 480 meters of elevation is not a big deal. But 480 meters in one hour, now that is physically strenuous.

The hiking trail for Piatra Secuiului is not too technical. Most of the trail is covered in big rocks and boulders so you might need a little bit of flexibility or a good stretch before hiking. Parts of the path also contain loose sand.

Rimetea-Romania-Piatra-Secuiului-Szekelyko-12

Though it is easy going up, descending on loose sand is a serious issue, especially if you don’t have proper hiking shoes. Here in Piatra Secuiului is where I encountered my first hiking accident, slipping on the loose sand and hitting my face with my own camera. 🙂

On the trail, we noticed many Hungarian flags painted onto the rocks. Being an old Hungarian village for close to 1000 years, we weren’t surprised to see it. In fact, even though Rimetea is in Romania, most of the population speaks Hungarian. Some locals barely speak any Romanian.

Rimetea-Romania-Piatra-Secuiului-Szekelyko-13

On the way to the top is a small “waterfall”. We were taking a break there when we met three Hungarian hikers coming from the other direction. They stopped at the “waterfall” and just started drinking the refreshing cold water from the waterfall.

It was difficult to resist the urge, especially after hiking in the Romanian sun at midday. But since food poison seems to follow me around like the plague, I endured the temptation and moved on. If I had a LifeStraw Water Bottle or something similar, I would’ve indulged in it.

When hiking up, don’t forget to take your time and check out the scenery behind you. The hike is very scenic throughout, with jagged mountains framing the idyllic village of Rimetea. 

Rimetea-Romania-Piatra-Secuiului-Szekelyko

After about an hour of hiking, we reached the ridge of the mountain. Behind us is Rimetea and the Alba County, on the other side of the ridge is the Cluj County of Romania, both are marvelous sights.

However, this isn’t the top of Piatra Secuiului. At the top of the ridge, we followed a path to the right for around 15 mins. This path was mildly vegetated and a lot easier to hike than the previous parts.

Alas, we overcame the final small slope and the Romanian countryside came into sight one by one. The clear blue sky (hopefully), the colorful foliage in the distance, then the small geometric farms, and then finally, the hidden gem of Romania, Rimetea.

One by one, these beautiful elements combine to form the picturesque countryside Romania is known for.

Rimetea-Romania-Piatra-Secuiului-Szekelyko-14

The difficult hike we endured to get here definitely enhanced the view, as the views took our breath away as much as the trail did.

We sat down for a bit and enjoyed a packed lunch we bought from the convenience store in Cluj-Napoca. The crisp autumn air and the warm autumn sun were blissful on our sweaty bodies, and the cheap sandwich we bought tasted like the best meal in our lives.

Rimetea-Romania-Piatra-Secuiului-Szekelyko-5

After taking in the views and having our lunch, it was time to head back. We were traveling from Cluj-Napoca to Sibiu that day and didn’t want to arrive too late.

Because of the loose sand and steep declines, the way down was extremely treacherous. If you don’t have hiking shoes, we recommend you to go down very slowly. You might have to slide on your butt at times (like I did). Once you get to the rocky bits, the trail becomes a lot easier.

The whole hike took us a total of 2.5 hours and every minute was worth it!

Rimetea-Romania-Piatra-Secuiului-Szekelyko-11

Additional Things To do In Rimetea, Romania

If you are doing a day trip to Rimetea for hiking the Piatra Secuiului, you might want to spend some time exploring the village itself. Because we visited during off-peak season and on a weekday, most of the restaurants, museums, and attractions were closed.

However, that didn’t stop us from walking around and enjoying the beauty of a simple rustic village. With its traditional features, Rimtea has earned a spot on the tentative list for a UNESCO Heritage Site, and you can see the heritage in the well-preserved white houses and barns in town.

We heard that during summer, the parking lots in Rimetea would be filled with tour buses from Hungary. With such a big Hungarian population, it is no surprise Hungarians would come visit Torockó (Rimetea in Hungarian).

Rimetea-Romania-Piatra-Secuiului-Szekelyko-7

Here are some additional things to do in Rimetea, Romania.

1. Visit the Ethnographic Museum Rimetea

At the Ethnographic Museum of Rimetea, visitors can learn about the history of Rimetea and its former glory as a mining town. This small museum features many artifacts that tell the story of its complicated history and will help you appreciate Rimetea a lot more.

Don’t miss this attraction!

2. Visit A Local Pub Such As Könyvtár Kocsma

There are several pubs in Rimetea, the one that’s highly recommended is the Könyvtár Kocsma (Don’t ask me how to pronounce that). An affordable local bar with a friendly owner, you can properly relax with a cold beer and an amazing view of the Piatra Secuiului.

Rimetea-Romania-Piatra-Secuiului-Szekelyko-3

3. Try Local Transylvanian Food At Szarvas

If you are looking for food in Rimetea, you really don’t have many options. The popular restaurant Szarvas is the place to go when it comes to food in Rimetea. Serving traditional Hungarian food at an affordable price, guests can have a pleasant experience at their beautiful rustic location. 

Best Time To Visit Rimetea And Hike Piatra Secuiului (Szekelyko)

The best time to visit Rimetea is the summer peak season. Every establishment is open, villagers are out and about, and the village comes to life. However, the tourist crowd might be a little too much, especially on the weekend.

If your only intention of visiting Rimetea is to hike the Piatra Secuiului, it is probably better to visit in the autumn or spring.

The village itself might not be as lively as the summer, but the temperate weather and low rainfall are ideal for hiking. Fall and spring are generally the best seasons to do any type of hiking in Romania. 

Rimetea-Romania-Piatra-Secuiului-Szekelyko-8

Where To Stay In Rimetea, Romania

Though one day in Rimetea should be enough, there is nothing wrong with staying for a few days to enjoy the beautiful landscapes in this region.

Here is where we recommend staying in Rimetea.

Best Hotel in Rimetea- Pensiunea ARANYOS

Out of the few hotels in Rimetea, Pensiunea ARANYOS is the best among them. With traditional decor and rustic vibes, the property is absolutely gorgeous and fitting of Rimetea. Included in the price is a traditional Transylvania breakfast prepared using local ingredients.

The rooms are spacious and comfortable. Combined with the cozy decor, the place feels like a home away from home.

Click here for more info!

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

Rimetea-Piatra-Secuiului-Hike-Romania-Pinterest

This concludes our guide on Rimetea and how to hike the Piatra Secuiului. We hope you will enjoy this beautiful village in Romania as much as we did!

Any questions? Leave a comment!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Rimetea-Piatra-Secuiului-Hike-Romania-Pinterest
An EPIC ~2 Week Romania Road Trip Itinerary: The Best Of Romania

An EPIC ~2 Week Romania Road Trip Itinerary: The Best Of Romania

A country with a countless number of stunning castles and natural wonders, exploring Romania can be a bit tricky. In the 92,046 square-mile land contains some of the best attractions in Romania, and it seems like every corner you turn there is more waiting to be discovered.

That is why we highly recommend doing a Romania road trip.

With your own vehicle, this mysterious country is much easier to explore. However, driving in a foreign country like Romania can be both confusing and terrifying, which is why we have written this guide on the perfect road trip to Romania.

Enjoy!

Where Should You Start Your Romania Road Trip?

Romania-Transylvania-Road-Trip

The most common question I get about doing a road trip in Romania is where to start and end your trip. Most travelers opt to start their trip in Bucharest (the capital of Romania) for 2 reasons: flights to Bucharest are cheaper and car rentals are also cheaper.

While it is a nice option when traveling on a budget in Romania, Bucharest is not exactly an exciting city. Most of the attractions in Bucharest can be done in a day or two, and you are left with nothing but an overcrowded metropolitan city.

The other city to start your Romanian road trip is Cluj-Napoca, the capital city of the Transylvania region of Romania.

This is the perfect place to start your road trip because you can rent a car in Cluj-Napoca and drop it off in Bucharest and then get on your flight. The con is that it would be a little pricier, as flights to Cluj can be more expensive and you will have to pay extra to drop the car off at a different location than the one you rented it from.

Whichever city you decide to start your road trip, I would recommend dropping your car off at a different location than where you rented it so you don’t have to spend a day or two backtracking.

Check out our special offers with our partner Expedia on car rentals and flights

Driving in Romania (Parking, Roads, Regulations, And More)

Driving-in-Romania-Transfagarasan

Though Romania’s roads tend to get a bad rating, we found that the roads in Romania are generally pleasant to drive on, minus the few that are a little off-the-beaten-path.

Compared to the roads in New York City, Romanian roads are better maintained and less congested. (That is not really saying much I know.) In rural areas, you might share the road with livestock and horse-drawn wagons.

Driving in Romania is on the right-hand side of the road, so anyone from North America would have an easier time in Romania. At first, we were quite nervous about renting a car and driving in Romania, but then the beautiful scenery along the way and the easy-driving roads soothed our worries.

Most cars in Romania are in manual drive, just like the Dacia Logan sedan that we rented. Though there are automatic options, those tend to be a little bit more expensive.

To be able to drive in Romania, you must have the required license and documentation. For Americans, an International Driving Permit (IDP) and a valid U.S. state drivers’ license (DL) are required to drive in Romania. Requirements will be different depending on where you are from. Check with the respective laws before renting a car in Romania!

If you intend to do a road trip in Romania in the winter months, make sure you drive extra carefully, have snow tires, and preferably a 4WD vehicle.

Parking in Romania is generally effortless, though you might have to walk a bit to/from your accommodation. Generally speaking, the bigger the city, the harder it is to find free parking. Cities such as Bucharest will give you a headache if you try to find free parking, especially in the historic center. (Good thing you don’t need a car to explore Bucharest!)

Free parking is abundant in most of the tourist attractions in Romania. We didn’t have to pay a single dime for parking on our 2-week Romania road trip. 

Road Trip To Romania Tourist Map

Featured above is our Romania road trip itinerary. As you can see, it starts in Cluj-Napoca and ends in Bucharest or vice-versa.

The upper left corner contains a toggle that will give you more information about the interactive map.

Essentially, you will be basing yourself out of 4 locations: Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Brasov, and Bucharest. You will use these four cities as a base to explore the nearby attractions, which are color-coded on the map.

For example, the color green contains all the things to do in Brasov, and it is best to visit those attractions while you are in Brasov.

If you have any questions, leave a comment down below! 

The ULTIMATE Road Trip In Romania Itinerary

Cluj-Napoca, The Capital of Translyvania (2-3 Days)

Cluj-Napoca

(You can also do your road trip backward, starting in Bucharest and ending in Cluj-Napoca)

Cluj-Napoca, or commonly referred to as Cluj, is the unofficial capital of Translyvania, a region known for its medieval towns, impressive mountains, and stunning castles. It is a region so special that even Prince Charles has fallen in love and paid many visits.

As the second-most populous city in Romania, Cluj is famous for its prestigious universities, amazing student nightlife, exciting music festivals, and many historic buildings.

You will spend around 2 to 3 days in Cluj, exploring the best things to do in Cluj-Napoca. Most of the attractions are concentrated in the Old Town of Cluj Napoca, and accessing them on foot is easy and a great way to experience the city. 

As a result, we recommend you to rent your car in Cluj when you are done seeing the city and want to explore the places inaccessible by foot such as the Hoia Forest, arguably one of the most haunted places on Earth, or something like the impressive Turda Salt Mines.

Things To Do In Cluj Napoca, Romania

While there are many things to do in Cluj-Napoa, here are some must-do activities.

1. FREE Walking Tour Cluj-Napoca

One of my favorite things to do when traveling is to take advantage of the free walking tours offered in each city. The majority of these tours are run by locals that have lived in the area for a long time and know the city like the back of their hand.

What is best about these free walking tours is that they are completely free, but a tip is appreciated at the end. You are free to tip as much or as little you want, depending on whether you think the tour was worth it or not.

The tours usually include information about the city, its history, the best things to do there, and even personal recommendations on places to eat. Essentially, you have a local tour guide that can answer any questions you might have about the city without the hefty price.

It is also a great place to meet other travelers if you are traveling solo in Romania or looking for road trip buddies!

You can find more about the Cluj-Napoca free walking tour here.

Cluj-Napoca-Tour

2. Unirii Square Cluj-Napoca

As the biggest square in Cluj-Napoca, Unirii Square is the perfect place to hang out and just observe the local life. Besides being a good spot to chill out, the Unirii square is home to two very important landmarks – the St. Michaels Church and the statue of the King of Hungary Matthias Corvinus.

Why is there a Hungarian statue of a king in Romania? Because Cluj-Napoca has actually been under the rule of Hungary for close to a thousand years.

St. Michaels Church is the church with the tallest watchtower and the second biggest Gothic-styled church in Romania, a stunning display of the grandeur at the time. If there is one landmark in Cluj-Napoca that is worth seeing, it is the St. Michaels Church.

Though we weren’t able to enter because it was under construction, visitors are normally allowed to enter.

Cluj-Napoca-Unirii-Square

3. Central Park / Citadel Park / Botanical Garden

Anyone looking to enjoy some of the green spaces in Cluj-Napoca must not miss Central Park, Citadel Park, or the Botanical Garden. Though all these 3 places are similar, they are also different in many ways.

Central Park is located inside the Old Town, making it the perfect and convenient place to just relax after a long day. Grab a coffee and just stroll around the almost 200-year-old park. Make sure you don’t miss the serene lake that attracts many locals.

If you are looking for a panoramic view of Cluj-Napoca, the Citadel Park, or Cetățuia Park in Romanian, is the perfect place to go. Located on a hilltop across the Someșul Mic river, the Citadel Park is the perfect place to watch the sun set behind the gorgeous city of Cluj. 

The Botanical Garden is another great option for anyone looking for leisure activities in Cluj. During the summer, various species of plants are in blossom and it feels like nature’s paradise. The entrance cost of the Cluj Botanical Garden is 11 lei, a fairly low price for the amount of the plants it offers!

4. Piezisa Street (Strada Piezișă) for Nightlife

Anyone visiting Cluj-Napoca without experiencing some of its nightlife is missing out. Home of many students from universities, the nightlife in Cluj is perfect for anyone young or young at heart.

Many students gather on the popular Piezisa Street, also nicknamed Cluj’s student street. With dozens of bars and clubs concentrated on Piezisa Street, visitors will unquestionably have a crazy night here!

Cluj is also the home of many quirky bars and clubs, such as the steampunk-designed Enigma bar or the Fly Circus Pub, a bar with an inhouse arthouse cinema.

4. Hoia Forest (Hoia Baciu) / Turda Salt Mines

Once you have seen all the attractions inside Cluj Napoa, it is time to explore the surrounding areas, namely the Hoia Baciu ad the Turda Salt Mines.

Known as one of the most haunted places in the world, Hoia Baciu is a must for anyone that enjoys dark tourism or the supernatural. Inside the Hoia Forest are trees that grow in a zig-zag or spiral pattern, and scientists that have investigated the cause have come up with nothing.

Besides the numerous UFO sightings and shadowy figures that have been reported in the forest, a perfectly circular area named The Clearing is located deep inside the forest. Strangely, this circular area is the only place in Hoia Forest with no trees, and scientists again have failed to come up with a solution.

Many locals refuse to get near the Hoia Forest, and some tourists that have taken the taxi there are dropped off a 10-minute walk away from the entrance. However, there are some locals that use the Hoia Forest as a recreation area daily.

Hoia-Baciu-Cluj

Credit: WikiCommons

If the Hoia Forest is too spooky for you, visit the impressive Salina Turda salt mine instead. This amazing engineering feat has been named as one of the 25 hidden gems in the world worth visiting and it is not surprising.

The first record of the Salina Turda dates back to the late 11th century, making this salt mine almost one thousand years old. What was one of the most active salt mines has now become a museum, an … amusement park, and a spa. Yes, I said amusement park.

Inside the Rudolf Hall of the Salina Turda is a ferris wheel, mini-golf court, billiards, ping pong, and even a bowling alley. But that is not all; down another lift is a boating lake 120 meters below ground where visitors can rent a boat for 20 lei and row it around.

If you don’t fancy all these extra activities, visitors can stroll around the various halls and learn about the salt mine. Breathing in salty air is said to have positive properties and there is no shortage of that inside the mine. If you want a more professional halotherapy (salt therapy), guess what? They have a halotherapy spa at the Salina Turda!

Salina Turda is one of the most insane unique places to visit in Romania. Don’t miss it on your Romania itinerary!

Turda-Salina-Salt-Mines-Romania

Credit: Flickr

5. Rimetea

An idyllic small village about an hour from Cluj-Napoca, Rimetea is one of the most popular day trips from Cluj. It is a village where a magical phenomenon happens, the sun rises twice, once over the horizon and once over the Piatra Secuiului, or Rock of the Szeklers mountains. The Piatra Seciului mountain raises 480 meters above the town, attracting many avid hikers.

Rimetea was once a popular mining town, but now there are only about 1,000 residents. Most residents in the town speak Hungarian, just like many people in the Transylvania Region, because this part has been under Hungarian rule for about 1000 years.

Strolling through the idyllic village should take no more than an hour or two, but there are several restaurants, bars, and museums to explore. However, the most popular thing to do in Rimetea is hiking the Piatra Secuiului Mountain. At 480 meters above the village and the surrounding area, the picturesque views of the stunning Romanian countryside are all yours to enjoy when you set foot on the peak.

Though 480 meters higher in elevation, the hiking trail only takes about an hour. As you can imagine, the trail is not only steep but contains loose sand in certain sections. Be careful when you are hiking in Rimetea, but trust me, the views are worth the effort!

Because Rimea is on the way to on next destination (Sibiu), I highly recommend you to visit Rimetea on the day you are leaving for Sibiu.

Visit Rimetea in the morning, stop by Alba Iulia for some late lunch, and then check out the Red  Ravine. The sunset at Red Ravine will leave anyone and everyone in awe! Finally, head down to Sibiu!

Rimetea-Romania

Where To Stay In Cluj Napoca

Best Hostel In Cluj-Napoca – Retro Hostel

If you are looking for a social atmosphere to meet more potential road trip partners, Retro Hostel is perfect for you. Featuring friendly vibes, clean and spacious beds, free coffee and tea, and a sauna, Retro hostel knows how to make hostel life enjoyable!

Click here for more info!

Best Hotel In Cluj-Napoca – Modern Central

Modern Central is the perfect hotel in Cluj for anyone looking for a modern, spacious, and easy-to-access accommodation for an affordable price. This hotel (apartment) has the same luxury as some famous hotels in the city without the hefty price tag. Its location in the Old Town of Cluj means you are within walking distance to pretty much everything you might want to see! 

Click here for more info!

Sibiu, The Most Idyllic City in Romania (3 to 4 Days)

Sibiu-Romania-Buildings

Sibiu is that one city that no one has heard about before traveling to Romania and also the one that everyone talks about after being there. It is the place that you plan on visiting for a few days but then end up staying there longer because you have fallen in love with the city, bought a house, and have three kids.

The charm of Sibiu isn’t unheard of. In fact, Sibiu has been designated as the European Capital of Culture in 2007 because of its significance with the Transylvanian Saxons. In 2008, Forbes has named Sibiu as the 8th-most idyllic place to live. In 2019, Sibiu was named the European Region of Gastronomy. History, aesthetics, and great food, who wouldn’t love this place?

Sibiu’s most iconic feature is the eyes that appear on its houses, earning it the nickname of “The City With Eyes” or “Seebiu”. The “eyes “appeared on the houses as early as the 15th century and are part of Baroque architecture. The real purpose of the eyes is ventilation for houses’ attics, but some believe they were built to scare people.

The city is easily walkable, and most of the attractions are located inside the Old Town of Sibiu. Though the landmarks are stunning, the beauty of Sibiu lies within its everyday elements: the cobble-stoned roads, the beautiful houses, the relaxed vibes, the friendly people, and the delicious food.

We recommend you to spend a minimum of 3 days to explore Sibiu and its surrounding attractions. However, free feel to stay as long as you desire, whether that be 5 days, a week, or forever! 🙂 

Sibiu-Romania-1

Things To Do In Sibiu, Romania

Though there are many things to do in Sibiu, here are some of the attractions you cannot miss!

1. The Large Square & The Small Square (Piata Mare & Piata Mica of Sibiu)

Inside every medieval town is a massive square where trade is conducted, gatherings are held, and executions are taken place. The Large Square (A+ for creativity) is exactly that historical center. Nowadays, you won’t find any executions, but you will find a number of historical buildings surrounding the massive square, such as the Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church, the Brukenthal Palace, and many more.

If you are lucky to visit during Christmas, you will get to enjoy the renowned Christmas market in the Large Square (also known as Piata Mare). Numerous stalls are lined up in this beautiful cobble-stone square selling local food as the kurtoskalacs, handmade crafts, accessories, toys, and many more.

Along with the giant Christmas tree and the glamorous lights, it is no wonder why the Sibiu Christmas market has been considered the best Christmas market in the world in 2012 by El Mundo and the best in Europe in 2019 by About Times Magazine.

Adjacent to the Large Square (Piata Mare) of Sibiu is the Small Square (Piata Mica), known for its diverse dining establishments ranging from Mediterranean to Eastern European. Patrons are welcome to enjoy outdoor seating and admire the beautiful Baroque architecture surrounding the square with a glass of chilled wine.

After you are done enjoying your meal at the Small Square, head over to the Bridge of Lies and learn about its legends. Though there are many variations to the legends, one thing for certain is that it connected the Old Town of Sibiu with the New Town.

Sibiu-Large-Square

2. Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary

When we visited the Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary on our Romanian road trip, the cathedral was under renovation. Only a small portion of it and the lookout tower were available for sightseeing.

The lookout tower itself is enough to make your trip worth it; I can’t imagine how beautiful this place would be if the main halls were open.

Visitors must take a guided tour with one of the members of the church, who will first explain to you the significance and history of the Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary. Afterward, the guide will take you all the way up to the top of the watchtower, where you can get the best views of Sibiu in its entirety (much better than the Council Tower, or Turnul Sfatului). The roofs of the Sibiu houses are truly spectacular, as well as the mountains that surround the region in the distance.

Along the way up, you will see the beautifully preserved structural components of the building and the added steel in parts where the wood has become too weak. It is truly an adventure! At the observatory near the top, you are close to 70 meters above the ground.

The Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary is a landmark in Sibiu you must visit. 

Sibiu-Romania

3. Corvin Castle + The Citadel of Alba-Carolina (Day Trip From Sibiu)

Once you have finished exploring Sibiu, it is time to take some day trips from Sibiu.

Corvin Castle, or Castelul Corvinilor in Romanian, is one of the Seven Wonders of Romania, and is a must-visit for anyone on a trip to Romania. As one of the biggest castles in Europe, visitors can spend hours here, wandering up and down the corridors and admiring the Gothic-Renaissance architecture.

The drive from Sibiu to Corvin Castle is about an hour and a half, and we recommend you to start early in the day and pair that with the meticulous Alba-Carolina Citadel in Alba Iulia. That way you will have enough time to explore the significance that has earned the castle’s title as one of the Seven Wonders of Romania, as well as take enough photos at one of the most beautiful places in Romania.

After spending a few hours in Hunedoara seeing the Corvin Castle, head to the small city of Alba Iulia. Grab yourself a traditional Romanian lunch and then head off to the Citadel Alba-Carolina, the biggest medieval citadel in Romania.

Corvin-Castle-Romania-1-

The star-shaped fortress was built in the early 18th century by Prince Eugene of Savoy to fortify defenses of the newly conquered provinces of the Habsburg Empire. 

Nowadays, the restored citadel has become a top attraction in Romania. Its new QR code functions at every point of interest inside the citadel, ensuring that every visitor leaves with a newfound knowledge of this historical place. 

The Citadel Alba-Carolina is a huge fortress, and you can spend ages in there. Though the citadel itself is free to enter, there are museums inside that require an entrance fee. Visitors can also rent a bike to explore the citadel, as the length of the outer walls measures up to approximately 12 kilometers! Many bars, restaurants, gardens, and fountains are scattered throughout the citadel, making it feel like a city inside a city!

Alba-Iulia-Citadel-Romania

4. Sighisoara

Sighisoara is known for its preserved walled Old Town, a famous UNESCO Heritage Site. As one of the few remaining inhabited fortified towns in Europe, a visit to Sighisoara is like stepping in a time machine.

To understand the importance of Sighisoara, we must understand a bit of its history. The Old Town of Sighisoara was built in the 12th century, when the Saxons were invited by the Hungarian King to fortify its boundaries in Transylvania. 

Eventually, Sighisoara became an artisan hub and a popular trading post, attracting many craftsmen to come and settle there. The new craftsmen created as many as 15 craft guilds, and each guild was responsible for creating its own fortification to protect their riches.

Sighisoara was handed to Romania after World War I and is one of the few fortified towns that are still inhabited.

Here almost everything has been preserved in time, and a stroll down its colorful cobble-stone streets is a delight, as colorful houses line up on both sides. You will notice the numerous guild towers that were built for fortification by each craft guild, some of which are still standing today. 

The must-visit place in Sighisoara is the 13th century built Clock Tower (Turnul cu Ceas), a 64-meter high tower that served as the main tower in the fortification. Nowadays, it is a museum and the most recognized landmark in Sighisoara. Stunning views of the Mures County can be seen on the open-air balcony at the top of the tower!

Sighisoara-Romania-1

5. Transfagarasan Road (Transfăgărășan), The Most Beautiful Road In The World

If you have rented a car in Romania, chances are, you already know about the Transfagarasan Road or Transfagarasan Highway. Made famous by the TV show Top Gear, the Transfagarasan Highway is considered the most beautiful road in the world! No Romania road trip would be complete without driving on this well-paved road that crosses the southern parts of the famed Carpathian Mountains.

Is it safe to drive the Transfagarasan Road? Yes, it is! Though there are some sharp turns, the road is well-paved and easy to drive on.

Transfagarasan-Road-Romania

If you are coming from Sibiu, you want to arrive at the Balea Lake on the Transfagarasan Road (also known as DN7C). The glacial lake sits at the base of the surrounding alpine giants, offering views that belong on the front cover of a travel magazine. Here you will also find many “street” vendors selling various local crafts and food, as well as restaurants and accommodations, including the famous ice hotel.

The Balea Lake also offers the best views of curvy roads of the Transfagaran Highway, so there is really no reason to not come here! If you think driving it is insane, seeing the Transfagarason Road in its entirety will mesmerize you.

On the way to the Balea Lake, you have the chance to stop by and hike to the Balea Waterfall. At over 60 meters tall, the Balea Waterfall is the tallest stepping waterfall in Romania, and a short 45-minute hike away!

Because the Transfagarason Road is located between Sibiu and Brasov (our next destination), we recommend you to visit the Transfagarason on the day you are planning to depart for Brasov.

Balea-Lake-Transfagarasan-Highway

Where To Stay In Sibiu, Romania

Best Hostel in Sibiu – B13 Hostel

If you are looking for an affordable hostel located in the historic center of Sibiu, B13 Hostel is the one for you. Featuring comfortable beds and clean spaces, B13 Hostel will give you the sleep you need after a long day on the road. They also feature a big common area, which would’ve been perfect for socializing had there been more people staying when we visited. 

Click here for more info!

Best Hotel in Sibiu – Rabbit Hole

Located in the Big Square of Sibiu, the location of the Rabbit Hole hotel just cannot get better. When you are not exploring the city, guests can enjoy views of the Big Square from their stylishly decorated rooms or grab some food at their on-site restaurant. Though breakfast is not included in the price, guests can pay a little extra for one of the best breakfasts in town!

Click here for more details!

Brasov, One Of The Medieval Walled Citadels (4 to 5 Days)

Brasov

Other than Bucharest, Brasov is probably the most well-known and popular place to visit in Romania. Featuring medieval Saxon fortifications, mysterious gothic-style churches, and nostalgic cobble-stone streets, Brasov is one of the most stunning places in Romania.

Similar to Sibiu, Brasov was one of the seven Saxon walled citadels to protect the Hungarian empire. As a result, you will find many similarities in the architecture and types of buildings. However, the Carpathian Mountains loom over the southern parts of Brasov, and the historic streets now look so much more tasteful with the jagged mountains in the background.

We recommend you to spend 4 to 5 days in Brasov, exploring the city and learning about its history, hiking in the nearby region, and visiting some of the nearby castles such as the Bran Castle that inspired Bram Stoker’s famous novel Dracula and Peles Castle.

Things To Do In Brasov, Romania

There is a multitude of attractions in Brasov, but here are the things you must do!

1. FREE Walking Tour Brasov

As a medieval city with centuries of history, uncovering the depths of the information is a difficult task without the help of a professional tour guide. Luckily for you, Brasov has many FREE walking tours that will help you learn about the gorgeous city and its significance.

I personally have taken the Brasov free walking tour with Walkabout Free Tour. Their local guides gave us detailed information about the landmarks in Brasov such as the Black Church, Catherine’s Gate, and the Strada Sforii, the narrowest street in Europe.

Tours are completely free-of-charge. Voluntary tips are collected at the end and that is how the tour guides make their money. If you don’t think the tour was worth it, you don’t have to pay (that much).

Brasov-Romania

2. Hike Or Take A Cable Car Up Mount Tampa

At close to 400 meters above the city, the summit of Mount Tampa offers unparalleled views of Brasov from above. Here the vibrant orange hues of the buildings contrast with the monotonous mountains and trees, bringing the city to life.

Not only is the Tampa Mountain a great vantage point, but it is also the home of the giant sign that says “Brasov”. Anyone that has been to Los Angeles will find the sign quite similar to the Hollywood sign.

There are two ways to reach the top of Mount Tampa, hiking or taking the cable car.

The cable car runs from 9:30 AM to 4 PM and costs 16 Romanian lei for a round trip. If you want to watch the sunset from the mountain, this option might be a little more difficult.

If you decide to hike up to Mount Tampa from Brasov, you are in for a treat. The well-marked trail takes about 1 hour to the top and passes through some lush landscapes. It is a great way to move your legs after sitting in a car for so long!

Mount-Tampa-Brasov-Romania

3. Day Trip To Bran Castle And Rasnov Fortress

The biggest attraction in Romania has to be the famous Bran Castle, allegedly the birthplace of the legends of Dracula, Bram Stoker’s famous novel. Considered as the most recognizable landmark in Romania, the Bran Castle is also known as Dracula’s Castle in other parts of the world. 

When Bram Stoker was writing Dracula, it is said that he took inspiration from Vlad III (also known as Vlad Dracula), one of the best rulers of the Wallachia region of Romania. Vlad III had a reputation for cruelty and would often impale his enemies. There are rumors that he would drink the blood of his enemies when they bleed out.

However, the truth is that Bram Stoker has never been to Romania, let alone Bran Castle. Vlad III himself was never the ruler of Bran Castle, nor was he born there. (He was born in Sighisoara.)

Just how did the legend of Dracula come about? Visitors can find more about that in Bran Castle, which has now become mostly a museum for the art and furniture collected by Queen Marie. At the top floor of the castle features an exhibit that will explain everything about the legends of Dracula!

The trip from Brasov to Bran Castle is 30 minutes by car. Since it is located in the small village of Bran, you can easily find parking on the side of the road. Don’t pay for parking!

Bran-Castle-Dracula-Castle-Romania

On the way back from Bran Castle, stop by the Rasnov Fortress. The fortress was originally built for defending the nearby the Transylvanian villages, and its former glory can still be seen. Because of its strategic location, Rasnov Fortress often provided refuge for long periods of time. As a result, many houses were built inside the citadel, including a chapel and a school.

The remains of the Rasnov Fortress can still be seen today, and the watchtower at the entrance of the citadel is one of the best places to see it in its entirety!

NOTE: As of February 2020, Rasnov Fortress is closed for renovation. The anticipated duration of renovation is 3 years.

Rasnov-Fortress

4. Hiking the Piatra Craiului Mountains or Seven Ladders Canyon

If you are a hiking enthusiast and the hike up Mount Tampa only got you warmed up, head over to the Piatra Craiului Mountains for more hiking trails! Though there are many routes to choose from, the one we did was an easy 4-hour Zarnesti Gorge hike.

The trail guides you through the bottom of the gorge and offers a serene and placid atmosphere, perfect for anyone traveling in Romania with kids or family. 

If you want a more difficult hike, there are plenty to choose from the Piatra Craiului mountain range. Alternatively, you can visit the famous Seven Ladders Canyon hike, a hike that requires you to climb up a metal ladder. In return, you can see 7 stunning waterfalls! Though it sounds difficult, the trail is quite easy and safe.

Hiking-in-Brasov

5. Peles Castle, The Most Beautiful Castle in Romania

Though Bran Castle is the most famous castle in Romania, it is by far not the most beautiful.

In the Sinaia region of Romania is a Neo-Renaissance castle called Peles Castle, and it is considered one of the most beautiful castles in the world!

Built by King Carol I, Peles Castle took a total of 10 years to construct. By the end, the palace had more than 170 ornate rooms, including a concert hall and a movie theater. Architecturally, a blend of Neo-Renaissance, Gothic Revival, and Saxon influence can be seen. The interior decor is mostly Baroque influenced, featuring carved wood and eloquent fabrics.

Peles-Castle-Sinaia

Everything in the rooms is lavishly designed and furnished, and it is so meticulous that visitors have to put on plastic shoe covers to enter. The only way to enter the castle is with one of their daily guided tours.

When purchasing your ticket, you have to decide whether you are interested in seeing both floors of the palace or just the lower floor. A tour to only the lower floor costs 30 lei, while a tour to both costs 60 lei. Photography (even with your phone) is an additional 30 lei (Yes, they are strict)!

We did the tour of the lower floor and were impressed by the extravagant palace. It is no wonder why many people refer to the Peles Castle as a fairytale castle. The Peles Castle is a must on any Romania itinerary!

Peles-Castle-Sinaia-Romania

Where To Stay In Brasov, Romania

Best Hostel In Brasov – JugendStube Hostel

If you are looking for a no-frills hostel with decent free breakfast, spacious rooms, comfortable beds, and a nice common area to socialize with other travelers, then JugendStube Hostel is perfect for you. The staff at the reception is friendly and will answer any questions you have about Brasov.

Click here for more details!

Best Hotel In Brasov – Safrano Palace

Safrano Palace is a hotel in Brasov that offers luxury at an affordable price. The rooms are spacious, clean, and offer some of the most comfortable beds. The reception is always there to assist you with anything. The free breakfast is diverse and delicious, the perfect way to start your day in Brasov! 

Click here for more details!

Bucharest, The Capital of Romania (2 Days)

Bucharest

Alas, you have arrived at your final destination – Bucharest, the capital of Romania.

The metropolitan city of Bucharest is the center of culture, education, and finance in Romania. Nicknamed “Paris of the East”, the elegant architecture of the historic center will certainly make you fall in love if the delicious Romanian cuisine hasn’t.

When you are not strolling down Bucharest historical streets or enjoying the charming parks, visit some of the city’s hidden historic churches. With its deeply Eastern Orthodox religion, many churches here are stunning architecturally with lavish interior designs. There are many reasons to visit Bucharest.

Once you have arrived in Bucharest, there is really no need for a car. Most of the attractions in Bucharest are concentrated in the historic center. If not, then they are accessible by the convenient public transportation system.

In fact, we recommend you to get rid of the car as soon as possible after arriving in Bucharest, as traffic and the lack of parking can be a real issue.

Two days is the optimal amount of time in Bucharest. Outside of the historic center, there really isn’t much to do.

Some visitors might even stay just one day in Bucharest.

Most people tend to take day trips from Bucharest, visiting places such as Bran Castle and Brasov, but we have been to those places already.

Things To Do in Bucharest, Romania

Here are our recommended things to do in Bucharest, Romania.

1. FREE Walking Tour Bucharest

Yes, this is the third time we have talked about the free walking tours in Romania and it will be the last time! These free walking tours are just so great when you are trying to discover a new city on your own, especially one as big and rich in history as Bucharest.

The free walking tour company we recommend is still Walkabout Free Tours. We’ve had nothing but delight with their professional and humorous tour guides!

Find out more information here!

Bucharest-Free-Walking-Tour

2. Palace of Parliament

The Palace of Parliament, or Palatul Parlamentului in Romanian, is the most famous building in Romania. Weighing about 4 billion kilograms or 9 billion pounds, the Palace of Parliament is the heaviest building in the world.

Well, that is not surprising considering that this administrative building is 84 meters (276 ft) tall and has a floor area of 365,000 square meters (3,930,000 sq ft) in a total of more than 1100 rooms combined. It is the second biggest building in the world, after the Pentagon in the United States.

Built in the late 20th century by the communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu, the Palace of Parliament was a display of Romania’s grandeur at the time. However, behind the facade of splendor, many Romanians were suffering from hunger and malnourishment.

The street that leads up to the Palace of Parliament (Bulevardul Unirii) was filled with buildings with elegantly designed front facades. However, if you visit the back of such buildings, you will notice many of them are dilapidated.

Guided tours of the Palace of Parliament occurs daily almost every hour. However, you must make a reservation by phone before. Because of its popularity, we recommend you book a few days before your desired date of tour.

Palace-of-Parliament-Romania

3. Visit the Orthodox Churches and Monasteries

Bucharest is the home of many Orthodox churches and monasteries, and none are as famous and gorgeous as the Stavropoleos Monastery and New St. George Church.

Stavropoleos Monastery is a small Eastern Orthodox monastery built in 1724 in the charming Old Town of Bucharest for nuns. Boasting an elegantly-designed exterior of Brâncovenesc style, the monastery is one of the most beautiful buildings in Bucharest.

Though the space is tiny, the interior is visually stunning with tasteful paintings and enchanting ceilings, and visitors can spend a good amount of time here admiring the ornate features. The entrance is free for the Stavropoleos Monastery, but a donation is always appreciated.

Known for its amazing paintings and artworks inside, the New St. George Church is another one of Bucharest’s churches worth visiting. The outside of the church features a statue of Constantin Brancoveanu, the ruler who was executed by the Ottomans when he refused to renounce his faith.

He became a saint of this Eastern Orthodox church and his remains can be found on display inside this church, the biggest church built during his reign.

Stavropoleos-Monastery-Bucharest

4. Dine at Caru’ cu bere, The Oldest Restaurant in Bucharest

Dining at Caru’ cu bere is a quintessential experience in Bucharest. Translating to the “Beer Wagon”, Caru’ cu bere is the oldest restaurant and brewery in Bucharest, and one of the best places for traditional Romanian cuisine.

Situated in an old historical building, stepping inside feels like you are stepping into a museum. With colorful ceilings, old wooden furniture, and stained glass windows, the atmosphere is warm and cheerful.

Now usually, a place like this is a tourist trap, selling you subpar food at a high price. Caru’ cu bere is the opposite.

Not only is the food delicious, traditional, and reasonably priced, the waiters are polite and ensures you have a good experience. If you ask any local Romanians for a restaurant recommendation, it is likely they will suggest Caru’ cu bere.

When dining at Caru’ cu bere, you cannot miss the signature roasted pork knuckle. Pair that with the traditional polenta soup, a dish made from boiled cornmeal!

Caru'-cu-bere-bucharest

5. Visit the Cărturești Carusel (Carousel of Light) Bookstore

Inside the historical buildings of Old Town Bucharest is one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, the Cărturești Carusel. Visiting bookstores is one of our favorite things to do when traveling because it just tells us so much about the country, and Cărturești Carusel is no exception.

The exterior of the bookstore isn’t exactly spectacular, but upon entering, you are transported to a cathedral for books. The elegant interior design, the geometrical layout, everything is just gorgeous. If you are looking for an Instagrammable spot in Bucharest, Cărturești Carusel is the place to go. 

Carturesti-Carusel-Bucharest-Romania

Where To Stay in Bucharest, Romania

Best Hostel in Bucharest – Podstel Bucharest

Hostels in Bucharest are abundant, and choosing the perfect one cannot be more difficult. We highly recommend Podstel Bucharest. As a hostel run by travelers, it is designed perfectly to meet the needs of travelers. Featuring daily activities and communal dinner, Podstel Bucharest is a social hostel perfect for meeting other travelers!

Click here for more details!

Best Hotel in Bucharest – Concorde Old Bucharest Hotel

Featuring a snazzy decor and comfortable rooms, the Concorde Old Bucharest Hotel is one of the best value-for-money hotels in Bucharest. Each big and spacious room comes with its own balcony, perfect for anyone that wants to bathe in the sun or just admire at the views of Old Town Bucharest, where the hotel is conveniently located. The free breakfast buffet is a plus!

Click here for more info!

Additional Places To Visit On Your Romanian Road Trip

If you have followed our Romania itinerary to the T, you will have yourself the perfect 2 weeks in Romania road trip. However, if you can allocate more time for your trip to Romania, there are plenty more amazing places to be discovered.

Below we will talk about some of our favorite places in Romania that you could add to your visit to Romania!

1. Constanta, The Romania Beach Town Next To The Black Sea

Constanta might be the only beautiful beach town in Romania, but it certainly does impress. Bordering the Black Sea, the beaches in Constanta are stunning. In the summer, you can expect locals and travelers from all over the world in this small city with over 2000 years of history.

If the weather permits, we would recommend visiting Constanta from Bucharest, potentially as a day trip or for a weekend.  The drive is a little more than two hours to get from Bucharest to Constanta. 

Constanta-Romania

2. Timisoara, European Capital of Culture for 2021

Because of its location, Timisoara is one of the places in Romania that is not often visited by tourists. However, that will change in 2021, when Timisoara earns the title of the European Capital of Culture.

As the third-largest city in Romania, Timisoara has its own small-town lively vibe. The interesting history and the charming architecture of Timisoara make it an exciting place to visit for any type of traveler.

Timisoara is located in Western Romania, and it is a 3-hour drive from Sibiu and Cluj-Napoca.

Timisoara-Romania

3. Maramures County

Maramures county is considered the most traditional region in Romania. Home to many villages where century-old traditions are preserved, a visit to the Maramures county is like stepping back in time. Many women still wear their traditional dresses, living in their farmhouses, and go to wooden churches. 

The natural landscape in this region is incredible, as miles of greenery stretches beyond the horizon. I would highly recommend adding the Maramures region to your Romania trip!

Maramures-County

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

Romania-Road-Trip-Itinerary-Blog

This concludes our Romania road trip itinerary blog post. We hope you will enjoy visiting Romania as much as we did!

Any questions? Leave them in the comments!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Romania-Road-Trip-Itinerary-Blog
19 BEST Peru Hikes and Treks That Will Leave You Breathless!

19 BEST Peru Hikes and Treks That Will Leave You Breathless!

Home of the impressive Andes Mountain Range, mysterious Amazon Rainforest, and complex archeological sites, Peru’s geological diversity makes it one of the best places for hiking in the world.

With so much to explore, it can be overwhelming for anyone planning any type of hiking or trekking in Peru. Rainbow Mountain, Machu Picchu, Colca Canyon – the list goes on and on. 

Our hiking guide features 19 of the best Peru hikes and treks, as well as all the information you need to do them. Finally, we finish off with safety information and a packing list to help you prepare for your hiking trips in Peru.

Enjoy!

Best Day Hikes In Peru

1. Gocta Waterfalls (Catarata de Gocta): One of The Tallest Waterfalls In The World

Duration: ~4 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Highest Elevation: ~2000 m

Nestled in the lush jungle of the Amazonas region of Peru is the almighty Gocta Waterfall (Catarata de Gocta), the third to the sixteenth tallest waterfall in the world. (Depending on how it is measured)

Many travelers aren’t aware of such beauty because this attraction is located in Chachapoyas, a small city in the seldom-visited Northern part of Peru. Along with Kuelap, also known as the Machu Picchu of the North, they make up the top things to do in Chachapoyas.

Visiting this amazing waterfall is no difficult feat, as there are many travel agencies offering day tours from Chachapoyas. If you are traveling in Peru on a budget and would like to DIY, you can take public transportation from the city as well.

There are a total of three hikes for Gocta Waterfall, that is because you can either reach the lower falls, middle falls, or upper falls. The most popular option is the hike to the lower falls of the Gocta waterfalls. The 4-hour out-and-back trail that starts at the small village of Cocachimba, and reaching as far out as the bottom of the 771-meter waterfall.

The hike is not too treacherous, but due to the location of the waterfall in the Amonzas, the weather can be unpredictable and rain is always around the corner. Always bring waterproof gear and don’t even consider going in for a swim. It is dangerous due to flash floods (first-hand experience)!

The mist created from the 771-meter giant will be enough to give you a proper shower!

Catarata-de-Gocta

2. Laguna Wilcacocha (Wilcacocha Lake), The Beautiful Hike For Altitude Acclimation

Duration: ~3 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Easy

Highest Elevation: 3680 m

As the home of the Andes mountain range, Peru has some incredible hikes and treks. However, many of them are situated high above sea level, and proper altitude acclimation is required.

The Laguna Wilcacocha is the perfect day hike in Peru to acclimatize to the potentially-dangerous altitude, especially for anyone that wants to do any hiking or trekking in Huaraz, the hiking capital of Peru.

To hike to Wilcachocha Lake, you would want to base yourself in Huaraz. Many travel agencies offer a tour to the lake, but honestly that is just a waste of money. Public transportation can easily take to the start of the trailhead for less than a few USD.

Though the trail is rather easy, do understand that it is an altitude of 3680 meters, an elevation that could easily cause altitude sickness. Though we consider this hike suitable for acclimatization, it still has the potential to cause you altitude sickness.

Being a relatively easy hike, the views are spectacular. the serene lake offers the perfect foreground for the stunning snow-capped mountains in the distance. Make sure you pick a day with no clods or you might not see anything!

Photo Credit: WikiCommons

Laguna-Wilcacocha-Huaraz-Peru

3. Laguna Humantay (Humantay Lake), The Perfect Day Hike From Cusco

Duration: 3 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderate

Highest Elevation: 4200 m

The stunning glacier Humantay Lake, or Laguna Humantay in Spanish, is one of the most popular hiking day trips from Cusco. Nestled in the snow-capped mountains of the Andes region, Humantay Lake and its surrounding landscapes belong on the cover of National Geographic magazine. 

The minerals from the rocks deposit into the lake water, giving it a surreal blue color that either looks like laundry detergent or photoshopped.

The hike to Humantay Lake starts at around 3800 meters above sea level. After a gradual incline for 1.5 hours, you arrive at 4200 meters, where the beautiful lake is situated. 

Daily day tours can be found in the numerous travel agencies in Cusco. Most of them are around 80 Peruvian Soles ($25 USD) and will include transportation, lunch, and a guide to lead the way (You really don’t need one). 

There are advantages of taking one of the arranged tours from Cusco but a huge disadvantage is the crowd that will be there. If there is one thing we learned from visiting Machu Picchu, it is how much a relentless crowd can ruin natural beauty.

Alternatively, you can hire a taxi from Cusco for around 75 USD a day. It is three times as much as a tour but if you are traveling with other people, not only can it be more affordable but also give you a better experience!

Humantay-Lake

4. Pastoruri Glacier, A Fleeting Glacier in the Cordillera Blanca

Duration: 2 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Highest Elevation: ~5000 m

The Peruvian Andes are the home of 70 percent of the world’s tropical glacier, and no Peru itinerary is complete without a visit to at least one of them!

The one we highly recommend you to visit is Glacier Pastoruri.

By definition, the Pastoruri Glacier can no longer be considered a glacier because it no longer builds up ice in the winter. It is just a huge block of ice with fleeting memories of its once glory. Visitors used to be able to step foot on the glacier itself, but conversationist has restricted that to extend its goodbyes. 

Make sure you see this before this place is no longer one of the top things to do in Peru.

Though at an altitude of 5,000 meters, the Glacier Pastoruri hike cannot be considered difficult. The hiking trail is well paved and you only ascend about 150 meters or so. If you have been doing a lot of hiking in Peru, you can reach the Pastoruri Glacier from the trailhead in around 30 minutes.

To visit the Pastoruri Glacier, you have to base yourself out of Huaraz, the hiking hub of Peru. Here you will find many agencies offering day trips to the Pastoruri Glacier. Visiting the Pastoruri Glacier independently is not recommended because of how inaccessible the location is.

Pastoruri-Glacier-Huaraz-Peru

5. Laguna Paron (Paron Lake)

Duration: 2 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Highest Elevation: 4200 m

As the biggest lake inside the Huascaran National Park, Laguna Paron (Lake Paron) is one of the must-visit places in Peru. Featuring beautiful blue glaciated water surrounding by dramatic snow-capped giants, Laguna Park offers a hypnotizing landscape unlike anywhere else in Peru.

While most of the prized views appear at the end of a treacherous hike, the trailhead of the Laguna Paron hike starts on the shore of the glacial lake, offering incredible views of the surroundings already.

Visitors can then hike up to the nearby mirador (viewpoint) along a clearly marked trail but with numerous boulders near the end. It is at the mirador that hikers can see the famous Artesonraju mountain, the same mountain illustrated in the logo of Paramount Pictures, a famous film company.

The hike to the viewpoint is only about 45 minutes to an hour and should be fairly easy for hikers of any level of experience. It is at 4,200 meters above sea level, so some degree of acclimation is required.

The Laguna Paron hike can be done independently, though we recommend a tour because they are safer, easier, and affordable. You can easily find many travel agencies offering tours in the streets of Huaraz, just don’t forget to haggle! 

If you want to secure one of the best Huaraz hikes, the Laguna Paron hike, beforehand, click here!

Laguna-Paron

6. Laguna 69, The Most Beautiful Day Hike In Huaraz

Duration: 6 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Highest Elevation: 4600 m

If there is a one-day hike you have to do in Peru, it has to be the Laguna 69 hike (Lake 69) in Huaraz. It is a beautiful and challenging hike, high in the Cordillera Blanca mountain range. The trail begins at 3900m above sea level and reaches a breath-taking 4600m.

Before attempting to hike to Laguna 69, make sure that you are fully acclimatized to the altitude, otherwise, you probably won’t be able to make it to the lake.

Those who make it to Laguna 69 will be rewarded with beautiful turquoise waters that flow into the lake from the mountain glaciers. It makes for a refreshing (and cold!) swim if you fancy a dip or sit back and enjoy the view before heading back along the same trail. The whole hike takes around 5-6 hours.

It is possible to hike to Laguna 69 independently, but the lack of reliable public transport makes it much easier to join a group tour from Huaraz, which costs around 45 Peruvian Soles per person. Each person would then have to pay an additional 30 soles at the entrance of the Huascaran National Park.

Your driver picks you up at around 5 AM at your accommodation before driving for around 3 hours to reach the beginning of the trail, passing through the UNESCO listed Huascaran National Park where you may spot some vicuña, a rarer relative of the llama.

If you wish to secure one of the best hikes in Peru, Laguna 69, beforehand, click here!

Laguna-69 Huaraz

7. Marcahuasi

Duration: 6 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderately Hard

Highest Elevation: 4000 m

Though it is not known for hiking or trekking in Lima, there is one hike that is worthing the effort: the pre-Inca site Marcahuasi.

The hike to Marcahuasi is one of the lesser-known hikes in Peru (definitely not nearly as known as the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu), and that’s one of the things that make it special. Located at about 100 km from the capital Lima, Marcahuasi is the kind of place that not even Peruvians usually know about.

The origins of the place are unknown – to date, there is still no certainty if this is a man-made site or a natural one that was formed through erosion. Locals believe the site has cosmic energy.

Though the trail is very easy to follow and to walk, the fact that the hike starts at 3200 meters above sea level and that you gain a further 800 meters during the walk makes it incredibly hard.

You will start walking in San Pedro de Casta, and it will take you around 3 hours to reach the main site. Make sure to carry enough water and food for the day, as there is absolutely nothing and nobody (save for a few farmers near the village) along the way. Start hiking as soon as the sun rises, and plan to be back by 2:00 pm at the latest as that’s when it starts raining, pretty much any day.

In order to reach San Pedro de Casta, you need to take the colectivos (public transport vans ) to Chosica stop. Once in Chosica, get a bus to San Pedro de Casta. The overall drive will take you more than 5 hours even if it is less than 100 km. The views along the way are stunning, but the road isn’t exactly in good conditions hence the bus moves really slowly.

Alternatively, you can try to find a tour in Lima. Given its lack of popularity, you might have to get lucky!

Though it is possible to accomplish the hike in one day, you should factor in at least one night in San Pedro de Casta due to the unreliable public transportation. The village is tiny – no more than 300 people live there.

You will have to register your name at the office right in front of the bus stop – don’t worry about finding it: the lady that works at the office will find you as soon as she sees an unknown face getting off the bus!

You can sleep at the Hospedaje Municipal, which is very basic (no hot water, very cold rooms) and eat in one of the two comedores (local eateries) which prepare a few basic but genuine Peruvian dishes.

If you wish to camp in Marcahuasi, there is a section named the “Amphitheater” that is popular for camping. Camping is also another popular option, but you must be well-equipped (especially for the cold) and experienced!

Don’t worry if hiking is not what you planned to do in Lima, there are many delicious and cheap seafood restaurants and plenty of other things to do in Lima!

Marcahuasi-Lima-Peru

8. Huayna Picchu, One of The Most Dangerous Peru Hikes

Duration: 2 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderate

Highest Elevation: 2693 m

Many travelers visit Machu Picchu and not realize that there are many hikes you can do inside Machu Picchu. Yes, I am not talking about the Inca Trail or the Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu itself, but the mountains inside.

Huyana Picchu is one of the hikeable mountains in the Machu Picchu citadel. It’s also known as “Wayna Picchu,’” or young mountain in the indigenous language Quechua.

The Huayna Picchu hike is a popular option for both those who are visiting Machu Picchu for the day and also the multi-day trekkers. At an altitude of 8,835 feet (2,693 meters), the summit gives you a spectacular view of the Machu Picchu citadel.

Due to conservation efforts, only 400 people can hike Huayna Picchu per day and reservations book up quickly. You’ll want to get a permit to hike in advance and you can do so on the official Machu Picchu government website. A guide is not needed for this hike and it can be completed in about two hours.

It’s a short hike but you’ll have an elevation gain of more than 1,000 feet. The hike is mostly a series of steep steps so being acclimated to the altitude is preferred.

The iconic hike ends at the summit of the peak, a staggering 1,180 feet (360 meters) above the lost city of Machu Picchu. With dramatic drop-offs and steep steps along the trail, you’ll want to not only be physically prepared but mentally as well.

If the weather is just right you’ll have a view to remember and bragging rights that you did not only one of the most dangerous hikes in Peru, but also one of the most dangerous hikes in the world.

Huayna-Picchu-Hike-Peru

9. Rainbow Mountain

Duration: 3 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderate

Highest Elevation: 5200 m

Rainbow Mountain is one of the best day hikes in Peru. Also known as the Vinicunca or La Montaña de Siete Colores (Mountain of Seven Colors), Rainbow Mountain was only discovered in 2015 but has become very popular since then due to the mountain’s unique colors.

While it is possible to do the hike on your own, it’s very difficult to reach the trailhead unless you have your own car. Therefore, most people opt to join a tour from Cusco which includes transportation and a guide.

The hike itself is relatively short at 7km round-trip, but what makes it difficult is the altitude. The trail starts at just under 5,000m and goes up to 5,200m. Starting at this kind of elevation makes it much more difficult to breathe, so it’s important to take your time going up.

It takes about two hours to get to the top. If you aren’t up for hiking, there is also an option to take a horse up rainbow mountain.

Despite its physically demanding nature, the hike’s breathtaking views will keep anyone motivated to the summit. The trail passes along snow-capped mountains, fields of llamas, and colorful valleys. Rainbow Mountain itself is not visible until the very end of the hike but upon reaching it, you will be rewarded with an explosion of colors.

When selecting a tour in Cusco for the Rainbow Mountain, pick one that includes extra time to explore the literally adjacent Red Valley, or Valle Rojo in Spanish. A short 30-minute hike from Rainbow Mountain is one of the best hidden gems in Peru, a place that is more stunning than the Rainbow Mountain!

It is recommended to visit the Rainbow Mountain in the dry season between May and September. In the rainy season, you might encounter snow and rainfall that will make the hiking path much more treacherous.

Though if you are an avid photographer, the rare sight of the Rainbow Mountain partially covered by snow is very picturesque.

Rainbow-Mountain-Peru

10. Machu Picchu Mountain

Duration: 3.5 hours out-and-back

Difficulty: Moderate

Highest Elevation: 3082 m

By: Susan of Thrifty After 50

Visitors to the historic site of Machu Picchu have a choice of two hikes; Huayna Picchu and Machu Picchu Mountain. Machu Picchu Mountain, also known as Montana Machu Picchu, is the easier and safer of the two climbs.

It can be easily done without a guide and is suitable for all ages, the mountain is 3082m above sea level making it physically challenging if you are not used to hiking at altitude.

The hike is primarily stone steps the entire way up the mountain with a few narrow sections of the pathway that might challenge someone with a severe fear of heights.

You should allow three to four hours for the return hike as well as plenty of time on top of the mountain to enjoy the amazing 360-degree views. The view from the top makes it the perfect place for a picnic lunch.

If it is a beautiful sunny day then the climbing Machu Picchu mountain is well worth the pain of all those stairs, but you may wish to reconsider if it is cloudy as the best part about the hike is those stunning views from the top.

Tickets to both the hiking trails are purchased online and also include your entry to the Inca City. The tickets to both Huayna Picchu (400 per day) and Machu Picchu Mountain (800 per day) sell out fast and should be purchased well in advance.

On the day of your visit, make sure you carry your passport as security guards will check that the name on your ticket matches the name on your passport. You should also carry plenty of water and dress for a wide range of weather conditions.

Climbing-Machu-Picchu-Mountain

Best Multi-Day Treks In Peru

1. Choquequirao

Duration: 5 days 

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Highest Elevation: 3050 m

The Inca Trail to Machu Picchu might be the country’s most famous hike, but for those in the know, there’s another incredible trek that should be added to your list of must-visit places in Peru.

Meaning Cradle of Gold in the original Quechua, Choquequirao is an archaeological site located in the Vilcabamba mountain range close to Machu Picchu.

The trek to reach Choquequirao is a challenging two days, with over 13 kilometers of steep ascent through the Apurimac Canyon – comprising a series of switchbacks and false summits and a maximum elevation of 3,050 meters above sea level – across the 32-kilometer trail.

After a brutal climb to reach the site – which sits on a flattened hilltop at 2,950 meters above sea level – you can spend a day exploring the agricultural terraces and temples of Choquequirao that have been excavated from the encroaching jungle. The best bit? There are hardly any visitors each day, meaning you might well experience it alone.

From here, you can continue on to Machu Picchu (a further five days’ trekking and an additional 78 kilometers that is only for the brave and the acclimatized) or return the way you came, taking the total hiking distance to 64 kilometers. It’s possible without a guide, although you might want the hiking experience and someone to bring all camping equipment.

The most popular trekking duration is 5 days: 2 days of getting there, one full day for exploring Choquequirao, and 2 days to return back.

Choquequirao-Peru

2. Inca Trail, The Most Famous Peru Trek

Duration: 4 days

Difficulty: Moderate

Highest Elevation: 4215 m (Dead Woman’s Pass)

The Inca Trail to the lost city of Machu Picchu is not only considered one of the best treks in Peru, but one of the best treks in the world. Though there are many other hikes and treks to Machu Picchu, the famous 4-day Inca Trail provides you with a cultural experience unlike any other.

Trekkers hike through the Sacred Valley of Peru using the same paths that used to connect the Inca settlements. Nowadays, most of these settlements are abandoned, and you are left with historic ruins that your tour guide will elaborate on.

The Inca Trail is unlike other treks to Machu Picchu where you arrive at the Aguas Calientes, the closest town to Machu Picchu. On the last day of your Inca Trail, you arrive through the sun gate, the exact way the Incans used to take! You don’t even go through the entrance to buy the tickets; you arrive inside Machu Picchu from the mountains!

This once in a lifetime experience is definitely a must-do in Peru, and it is not surprising how early in advance you have to reserve this tour. Because the trail only allows 500 people per day and 300 of them are porters and guides, the classic Inca Trail books out far in advance.

We recommend booking at least 6 months in advance. While there are many online travel agencies, only a tourism agency authorized by the Ministry of Culture of Peru can take you on the Inca Trail.

The Inca trail is a high-elevation hike, so it’s a good idea to spend a few days before in Cusco so your body can acclimatize to the altitude. The highest point on the hike is on day 2, where you go over a section of the trail known as Dead Woman’s Pass at a height of 4,215 meters above sea level.

Inca-Trail-Peru

3. Colca Canyon, One of The Deepest Canyons in the World

Duration: 1, 2, or 3 days

Difficulty: Moderate

Highest Elevation: ~3,300 m

One of the most stunning Peru treks actually lies 376 kilometers away from Machu Picchu in a unique city called Arequipa. Known as the “White City” due to the construction material, Arequipa is home to the impressive Colca Canyon trek.

While most travelers know the fantastic trekking in Cusco, only a handful might know of Colca Canyon. Colca Canyon is the second deepest canyon in the entire world! And if you think the Grand Canyon in the United States would be No.1, the Colca Canyon is actually twice the depth of the Grand Canyon.

Though trekking Colca Canyon is doable without a tour, we hardly recommend choosing one of the treks offered. In the travel agencies in Arequipa, you will find tours for the 1-day Colca Canyon trek (which involves close to no hiking), the 2-day Colca Canyon trek (which we recommend), and the 3-day Colca Canyon trek (which is a prolonged version of the 2-day tour).

On the 2 or 3-day tour, you start the tour at Mirador Cruz del Condores, a viewpoint to observe the majestic condors. Locals believe that condors are spiritual creatures and represent Hanan Pacha, or the heavenly world.

After the viewpoint, you are transferred to Cabanconde, a small village where your hike will start.

The unique thing about the Colca Canyon trek is that Cabanaconde, the starting point of your hike, is actually the highest altitude you will reach at ~3300 meters. That is because you will spend your first day or two descending into the canyon, staying in the beautiful Sangalle Oasis, and ascending back to Cabanaconde on the last day.

Though many consider the Colca Canyon a difficult trek because you have to ascend more than 1100 meters on the last day, the relatively low elevation makes the trek a moderate difficulty.

Reserve your Colca Canyon trek beforehand here!

Colca-canyon-5

4. Lares Trek To Machu Picchu

Duration: 2 to 5 days, depending on if you visit Machu Picchu

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Highest Elevation: ~4,400 to 4,600 m, depending on the hiking route

One of the most beautiful things about the Lares region hikes is that they are very customizable. The shortest Lares hikes are 2 days, the longest 5 days. As a Lares region trek can take a variety of routes, you can cross a number of different passes of up to 4600m, though most are around 4400m.

The majority of the Lares Treks finish in Ollantaytambo, a town and archaeological site in the Sacred Valley where visitors can take the famous train to visit Machu Picchu.

What makes the Lares Trek in Peru so unique is not only the stunning landscapes, but also the different Quechua-speaking indigenous villages you encounter.

Until recently the Lares region of Peru was totally inaccessible by car. As a result, many typical villages remained living a traditional lifestyle high up in the mountains, largely unaffected by the world outside.

They still farm using Incan agricultural practice, amongst other fascinating facts. Their clothing remained the same and their agricultural practices handed down from the Incas. Trekking the Lares route was like stepping back in time.

This mountain region near Lares contains many paths taken by the locals as they go about their daily lives, such as the herding of llamas, using them for transport, and so on. If you are an experienced outdoors person and speak a decent level of Spanish, you should have no problems trekking through this region independently. Even though many women don’t speak Spanish, the majority of men do speak some and nearly all the children.

Lares can be trekked all year round, meaning it’s the perfect wet season trek should you visit the Cusco region from December through March. Tours can be arranged with the multitude of travel agencies in Cusco. Since it is an off-the-beaten-path Peru trek, you won’t need to reserve your spot beforehand!

Lares-Trek-Peru

5. Alkipo-Ishinca Trek

Duration: 3 days

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Highest Elevation: ~5,000 m

By: Thea of ZenTravellers

Trekking in Huaraz Peru’s incredible Cordillera Blanca range is an unforgettable experience. There is a multitude of treks that are suitable for many skill sets and desire for adventure.

One great option for those looking to do a multi-day trek amid breathtaking scenery and sky-high glaciated peaks without the crowds found on the Santa Cruz trek is the 3-day Alkipo-Ishinca route.

Leaving from Huaraz, the first day of the trek climbs gradually on a trail that winds through a picturesque valley to a beautiful creekside campsite where the starry night skies are sure to impress.

On the second day, you’ll climb over a 5000m pass and walk along the stunning shores of Laguna Alkipo before arriving at Ishninca base camp where you’ll spend the night with views of the impressive Toccaraju glaciers. There you can take a shower and even have a drink in the refugio (camp) if you so desire.

With most of the hard work behind you, the trail meanders mostly downhill on the third day with views of the Sierra Negra range in front of you. For those seeking a trek in the Cordillera Blanca without the crowds of some of the more famous trails, Alkipo-Ishinca is a great option for trekking in the Huaraz region.

Akilpo-Ishinca-Trek-Peru

6. Santa Cruz Trek

Duration: 3 or 4 days

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Highest Elevation: 4750 m (Punta Union)

The Inca Trail may get all the credit, but if you’re looking for one of the more adventurous treks in South America, look no further than the Santa Cruz Trek.

The Santa Cruz Trek is a 50km hike between La Vaquería and Cashapampa. Within Huascaran National Park, there are more than 400 lakes and jagged peaks climbing to 6768m. Over the course of four days, you’ll get to experience many of these brilliant lagoons and high passes along the trail.

The hike hits its max elevation of 4,750 meters at Punta Unión, making the Santa Cruz a relatively moderate acclimatization hike for the region. The hike can also be made easier depending on where you begin; the route starting from Cashapampa is the Classic Route, but if you get dropped off at La Vaquería and hike it in the opposite direction, your uphills will be easier.

Because its less known, the Santa Cruz trek is inexpensive whether you hike with or without a guide. Organized tours range from $150-$300, and can be easily found in Huaraz. while an independent trek can be organized for a bit less (though transport to the trailhead can be a tough logistic to navigate),  you will need to rent all the gear in town.

This is not an easy trek by any means and weather can be unpredictable at such high altitudes, we recommend going with an organized tour for safety reasons.

Peru-Huaraz-Santa-Cruz-Trek

7. Salkantay Trek, The Perfect Alternative to the Inca Trail

Duration: 5 days

Difficulty: Moderately Difficult

Highest Elevation: 4600 m (Salkantay Pass)

The 5-day Salkantay Trek to Machu Picchu is the most popular Inca Trail alternative and it is not difficult to see why. Along the trek, hikers will see pastel blue glacial lakes surrounded by some of the tallest snow-capped mountains in Peru, as well as traversing through many local villages.

On the second to last day, trekkers can walk on the train tracks from Hidroelectrica to Machu Picchu town, or formally known as Aguas Calientes. Finally, on the last day, hikers rise up early to see Machu Picchu in all of its glory, the perfect reward to a tiresome 5-day trek.

Many people compare the Salkantay Trek to Inca Trail, but they are very different in my opinion. Salkantay Trail gives more stunning natural landscapes but the Inca Trail is more cultural and informative, as it passes through ancient Inca settlements.

The Salkantay Trek is also more demanding, perfect for avid hikers. Lastly, the Salkantay Trek is considerably cheaper than the Inca Trail and doesn’t require booking in advance.

Stroll along the cobblestoned streets of Cusco and you will undoubtedly stumble upon many travel agencies offering the Salkantay Trek tour. Scout around and try to find the best deal and don’t forget to negotiate.

I would highly recommend getting acclimatized in Cusco before attempting the Salkantay Trek, as the highest elevation on the hiking trail is 4600 meters.

Salkantay-Trek-Day-1(3)

8. Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit Trek, The Most Challenging And Beautiful Trek In Peru

Duration: 4 to 12 days

Difficulty: Very Difficult

Highest Elevation: 5000 m

If you are an experienced hiker looking for the ultimate trek in Peru, the Cordillera Huayhuash Circuit Trek is perfect for you. The Huayhuash Trek has been considered one of the most beautiful treks not only in Peru or South America, but the entire world. It is the dream of many hikers in the world to complete this trek!

The Classic Huayhuash Trek is a 12-day trek that takes you up to enormous ice-capped peaks, down the surreal cascading rivers, and around the breathtaking turquoise glacial lakes. 

On the trek, you will see many famous mountains in Peru, such as the Yerupajá, the second-highest mountain at 6635 m. You will also see Siula Grande, a 6344-tall mountain made famous by the book and movie, “Touching the Void.” If you have seen that movie, you will know how stunning those mountains are!

Most of the trek involves hiking in altitude more than 4000 meters and some passes are more than 5000 meters, so proper acclimatization is needed. Though it is possible to trek the Huayhash Trek independently, we highly advise against it, as hiking in such difficult conditions can be quite dangerous. 

If you want a piece of the Huayhuash experience, there are easier treks with a duration of 4 days. If I were to decide for you, I would say go big or go home!

Tours can be found in the many travel agencies scattered throughout Huaraz. 

Cordillera Huayhuash Trek

9. Ausungate Trek

Duration: 5 days

Difficulty: Difficult

Highest Elevation: 5161 meters (Palomani Pass)

If you enjoy tough hikes and jaw-dropping scenery with a fraction of the tourists on the Inca Trail or Salkantay Trek, then the Ausangate Trek is perfect for you.

This lesser-known 5-day circuit trek is gifted with fantastic turquoise lakes, hanging glaciers, snow peaks of the Andes, impressive waterfalls, indigenous animals such as llamas and alpacas, and even a visit to the famous Rainbow Mountain if you decide to take a short 1-hour detour.

As beautiful as it sounds, the Ausangate Trek will test your physical and mental capabilities before rewarding you with its best features.

The entire route of the Ausungate Trek is over 4000 m above sea level with two passes around 5000 m; the Palomani Pass – 5161 m and the Arapa Pass – 4850 m. Not only would you need proper acclimatization before attempting the Ausangate Trek, being in relatively good shape is essential. The hiking days are long and many parts of the path are very physically demanding.

Though the trek can be done independently, we would highly recommend you to be prepared and experienced at hiking in such weather and altitude. There are hardly any villages or settlements along so hikers must carry camping gear and food supplies, let alone attempting to seek help in case anything goes wrong.

If you do decide to trek the Ausangate without a tour, the start and finish of the trail are at the remote village of Tinque (Tinki), about 100 km from Cusco. If you would like to go with a tour company, you can easily find a travel agency in Cusco!

Ausangate-Trek

How To Prepare for Your Hikes And Treks In Peru 

Due to the towering Andes Mountain Range, hiking in Peru is unlike hiking anywhere else in the world. Many of the hikes and treks in Peru are over 3000 meters in elevation, an altitude that could easily cause altitude sickness.

As someone that has had a potentially-fatal incident with altitude sickness in Peru, I am here to tell you that proper acclimatization is needed. Altitude sickness can be potentially fatal even for the fittest athlete. Don’t be an idiot!

If you are hiking anywhere above 3000 meters, stay a few days in the nearby city to acclimate. Huaraz, Cusco, and Arequipa, are great high-elevation cities with plenty of things to do. Just stroll around those cities, check out the attractions, and take things slowly until you have gotten used to the elevation.

Besides acclimation, there is one thing you need to have: Mate de Coca, or Coca Tea.

Mate de Coca is one of the most famous Peruvian drinks. Known as the Peruvian coffee, Mate de Coca will help ease the effects of altitude and make you stronger in general. You will find them nearly in every market, grocery stores, and even in your accommodation.

Just don’t bring some back to your country. It is considered drug trafficking in some countries!

Photo Credit: audrey_sel

Mate-de-Coco

Ultimate Packing List For Hiking And Trekking In Peru

Hiking in Peru can be dangerous, and that is why you need the perfect packing list you make sure you have the perfect Peru trip. Here are some things we would highly recommend to bring with you if you intend to hike or trek in Peru!

1. Cold Weather Sleeping Bag – A warm and light sleeping bag is essential if you intend to hike independently in the Andes.

2. Reliable Backpack (Him/Her) – The perfect backpack for transporting all the camping equipment you will need. These are fitted with a light aluminum frame for long hiking, but also big enough to carry everything you need.

3. Tent (1 Person/2 Person) – What is camping without a tent? You want to have a tent that is reliable, waterproof, windproof, light, and generally tough. Though you can rent a tent in many places in Peru, you can never trust the reliability of them.

4. Camping Stove – A light and portable camping stove for cooking if you will be trekking without a guide in Peru.

5. Torch/Headlamp – A torch or headlamp is extremely useful whether you are hiking with a tour or alone. Many times you will hike before the sunrise or need to navigate around your camp at night.

6. Swiss Army Knife – A versatile tool for various scenarios. A must-have.

7. Cooking Set – A portable cooking set for your long treks!

8. Trekking Poles – The Peru hiking trails aren’t necessarily always in the best condition. Trekking poles will help you manage your hiking in Peru! 

9. LifeStraw Water Bottle – Allows you to drink from any water sources. Did you find a stream or a waterfall on your hike? Now you can drink from it with the LifeStraw water bottle.

Listed above are some of the many essentials you will need. We won’t mention the obvious items here such as hiking shoes, warm clothing, padlocks, towels, and etc.

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

Peru-Best-Treks-and-Hikes-Pinterest-2

This is the end of our guide for Peru’s best treks and hikes. We hope you will enjoy one of the best countries in the world for hiking!

Any questions? Leave a comment!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Peru-Best-Treks-and-Hikes-Pinterest-2
18 BEST Indoor Activities In Hong Kong On A Rainy Day

18 BEST Indoor Activities In Hong Kong On A Rainy Day

Hong Kong summers can be extremely hot, or extremely wet, which is why you should always plan some indoor attractions to visit in Hong Kong to do, just in case!

Just because the weather is not the best doesn’t mean you can’t have a great time!

Here we will talk about the best indoor activities in Hong Kong, perfect for anyone (un)lucky enough to visit during the Hong Kong rainy season or the infamous heatwaves!

Enjoy!

18 Best Indoor Activities in Hong Kong

1. Challenge Your Friends At Wheat And Wood Board Game Cafe

What better way to spend a rainy day than play board games? There are half a dozen board game cafes in Hong Kong, but our personal favorite is Wheat and Wood in Kennedy Town because of its relaxed and chilled atmosphere, friendly staff and decent collection of games to play.

Boardgame cafes in Hong Kong are one of the most popular rainy day activities in HK, and is a great way to kill time while spending time indoors.

At Wheat and wood, you can battle your friends at one of Asia’s favorite board games such as Catan, Rummikub or Codenames whilst drinking delicious coffee or herbal tea.

And if those games don’t take your fancy, then the classics such as Monopoly, Scrabble, Risk and Uno are also available.

Board-Game-Cafe-Hong-Kong

2. Visit Hong Kong’s Best Museums!

One of my favorite indoor activities in Hong Kong is o take my time admiring some of Hong Kong’s top museums. My personal favorites are the Hong Kong Museum of History and the Hong Kong Science Museum in Tsim Sha Tsui. Not only are they across the street from each other, but they are completely free and have some cool and interactive exhibits – perfect for anyone traveling in Hong Kong with kids!

Another favorite museum in HK is the Hong Kong Heritage Museum in Sha Tin (also free to enter). While a little out of the way in the East New Territories, this is definitely worth a visit! The Heritage Museum is a little bigger than the other Museums and contains exhibits about Hong Kong history, culture, and art. If there’s one museum in Hong Kong not to miss, it’s this one!

Other notable museums in Hong Kong is the Hong Kong Space Museum, Tai Kwun Art Museum, and the Hong Kong Maritime Museum (for you boat enthusiasts). Some exhibitions are free, and others charge a small fee. It is best to check on the website for fees and charges.

Museums-In-Hong-Kong

3. Bounce Around At Ryze HK

For those traveling with kids in Hong Kong, you’ll love Ryze HK. This is the biggest and best trampoline park in Hong Kong with an obstacle course, a huge trampoline field, and a trapeze.

For those wanting to do something more active and tire the kids out, this is the best indoor activity in Hong Kong with kids on a rainy day.

Though it doesn’t come cheap. Adults can expect to pay around $150 HKD per hour, while children under 6 can expect to pay $95 HKD an hour. The price is cheaper the more hours you book, so it’s better value for money if you allow a couple of hours.

Make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment!

Ryze_Hong_Kong

Credit: WikiCommons

4. Fish Your Own Shrimp Dinner At HA Cube

This is by far one of the most fun indoor activities in HK. At HA Cube, you can catch your own shrimp (actually massive prawns) from their indoor shrimp fishing pool, which they will then cook for you at the end.

Although this activity is exciting, it’s not the cheapest attraction in Hong Kong. At $130 HKD an hour, you might want to plan another activity to fill your day after. Similar to most places in Hong Kong, the rate goes down the more hours you spend there.

We would also recommend standing at the sides of the pool, as this looked like the best place to catch shrimp. 🙂

Or you could be like us, standing there for an hour with a fishing rod in your hand, jealous of everyone else catching several prawns on the side. Though a little pricey, HA Cube makes up for it by cooking the shrimp to perfection! And don’t worry if you only catch one or two shrimps in an hour (or none!), they will cook a few extra for you so you have a full plate.

HA Cube is also conveniently located in Diamond Hill in eastern parts of Kowloon, adjacent to the famous Chi Lin Nunnery Temple.

Ha-Cube-Indoor-Shrimp-Fishing

5. Go Yum Cha And Stuff Your Face With Dim Sum

In Hong Kong, dim sum is not only one of Cantonese favorite cuisine, but a quintessential part of life. Locals referring to the act of going for dim sum as “yum cha”, literally translating into “drinking tea” in Cantonese.

Why? Because any dim sum restaurant will immediately serve your tea of choice when you sit down. There are specific types of tea served at a dim sum restaurant, and they all have specific names.

For black tea, Pu-erh (pronounced bo-lay in Cantonese) is your closest bet and the most popular choice. Chrysanthemum (pronounced Gook-Fa) is another popular choice among locals. Then you have the regular oolong tea and green tea.

For locals, yum cha or dim sum is more about a family gathering, spending time outside, and just hanging out for hours with tea and a newspaper. Though this seems to be a dying culture year after year.

Now that you have a brief understanding of yum cha and dim sum’s significance to the locals, it is time to talk about where you can find some!

Hong Kong is inundated with dim sum restaurant. In Hong Kong, you don’t find dim sum, dim sum finds you. Though most of them are quite decent, we are here to tell you the best ones.

Tim Ho Wan is a popular choice amongst locals and tourists. Known as the “world’s cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant”, Tim Ho Wan is a dim sum restaurant chain in Hong Kong. Though there are 5 branches of Tim Ho Wan in Hong Kong, the original Tim Ho Wan can be found in Olympian City (here) in Kowloon.

Tim Ho Wan has delicious dim sum, but it is by no means a fancy place. It is not a comfortable spot to sit in and just hang out for a long time, which is why it is not getting as many locals a cheap Michel-starred restaurant should bring.

Other great options include the famous Maxim’s Palace or the Victoria Habour Restaurant, both with great food and comfortable seating. 

Dim-Sum-In-Hong-Kong

6. Try Your Chances In LOST Escape Rooms

Escape rooms are a lot of fun, but they are not for the faint-hearted! Those traveling Hong Kong with friends may enjoy an afternoon testing their friendship and knowledge in one of Hong Kong’s most popular escape rooms.

There are several escape rooms across the city, but the one we would recommend is LOST Escape Rooms. LOST has multiple locations in the city, and each one presents a different context and degree of difficulty.

If you fancy escaping from Treasure Island (moderate difficulty), then head to their Causeway Bay room. If you want to battle your nemesis (hard difficulty) then their Mong Kok room is for you. For your first escape room experience, we would recommend the Tangata Manu room in Causeway Bay (the easiest room).

Each escape room lasts around 45 minutes and can fit 2-10 people depending on the room.

The escape rooms are said to not be scary, but it is recommended for kids under 13 to be accompanied by an adult. It is best to book online to avoid disappointment, but you can just turn up on the day also. 

Hong-Kong-Escape-Rooms

7. Cuddle Some Cute Animals At A Rabbit Cafe

We have all heard of cat cafes, but have you ever heard of a rabbit cafe? In the heart of Hong Kong’s bustling Causeway Bay district is Hong Kong’s one and only rabbit cafe: Rabbitland cafe.

Rabbitland cafe is a unique place to kill an hour or so on a rainy day in Hong Kong, with it’s cute and comfortable interior and warming selection of herbal teas…and of course, the abundance of bunnies!

While petting and feeding the rabbits are allowed, don’t expect to be able to pick them up and smush them in a bear hug because hugging is not allowed. Personally, I agree with this policy, as being picked up all day by strangers must be pretty weird for a rabbit.

Rabbit-Cafe-Hong-Kong

8. Try Your Hand, Or Your Foot, At Ice Skating

The Rink @ Elements HK shopping mall in Olympic has to be one of the most convenient indoor activities in Hong Kong. Though the rink is small, there’s barely any queue due to it’s flexible access time and ‘no schedule’ policy.

The Rink is the first ice-skating facility to install a ‘pay-as-you-skate’ system. Not only can you now pay by the minute, instead of booking for an hour or so like most places, you can also pay for your time using Hong Kong’s electronic contactless card, the octopus card.

Ice-skating equipment is available to hire from the free spectating area, and as it’s conveniently located in a shopping mall, it is not far from food and beverages when you’re done!

Elements-The-Rink-Hong-Kong

Credit: Wing

9. Test Your Strength At Attic V Indoor Rock Climbing Gym

Indoor rock climbing in Hong Kong has become a huge trend over the last couple years, with indoor rock climbing gyms opening up across the city, it’s hard to choose which one to check out!

Our personal favorite is Attic V, the pioneers in rock climbing gyms in Hong Kong. For travelers visiting Hong Kong in the hopes of hiking and climbing all the wonderful mountains of Hong Kong, Attic V is the next best thing for a rainy day activity in HK.

Having recently relocated to expand its indoor facility, Attic V has climbing walls for all abilities and ages. Not only that, but visitors can purchase a day pass for $120 HKD, meaning you can climb for as long as you like all day – you can even leave, and come back later. Not bad at all!

Indoor-Rock-Climbing-Hong-Kong

10. Battle Through A Zombie Apocalypse At VR Arena

If you’ve ever tried a VR game, the experience is unlike anything else in this world! If you haven’t, then maybe your first rainy day activity in Hong Kong should be to spend some time at VR Arena in Causeway Bay.

Here you and your friends can run, hop and skip through a 360-degree virtual world shooting zombies for as long as your hearts content…or until your time runs out, which at $160 HKD per hour you may want to consider putting a timer on.

Though a tad pricey, it is no doubt a unique and entertaining experience and perfect for a rainy day in HK. Make sure you reserve your spot before turning up by visiting their website or Facebook page.

Indoor Things To Do On A Hong Kong Rainy Day At Night

1. Enjoy Tasting Some Of Hong Kong’s Craft Beers

Possibly one of my favorite things to do indoors in Hong Kong at night is to enjoy an array of elegantly crafted craft beers at Hong Kong Island Tap House in Tin Hau, Hong Kong Island.

This unique bar advertises over 40 locally brewed beers and ciders, but every time I’ve visited, there’s been at least 60 beers on the menu! And for those who cannot decide what to drink, you can order a tasting flight of 6, 200ml beers for around $160 HKD.

The food is pretty simple and pretty pricey, so we wouldn’t recommend eating there, but for beer lovers you cannot find a better evening indoor attraction in Hong Kong.

2. Dine At One Of Hong Kong’s Top Rooftop Restaurants

Hong Kong has plenty of rooftop bars and restaurants and they usually come with a hefty price tag. If you’re only in Hong Kong for a short visit, it is worth spending a bit extra to enjoy some delicious food with a view you’ll never forget.

Wooloomooloo Steak House is one of the most popular rooftop restaurants and boasts the best steak in the city. If you want a special evening, this is no doubt the place to go.

If you want to save the pennies but still experience the luxury of a rooftop restaurant, Piqniq offers a small but affordable menu and outdoor seating. The view overlooks the high rises of Central, and not of the harbor, but it’s still impressive.

For those that don’t fancy eating and just want a drink and an awesome view, head to Sugar for some insane views and cocktails. If you’re not staying at the hotel you do need to book your table in advance because it’s so popular, but don’t worry, it’s free and easy to do on their website.

Hong-Kong-Fine-Dining

3. Laugh Your Socks Off At An Open-Mic Comedy Night

This is possibly one of the more under-rated  Hong Kong indoor activities as comedy is not hugely popular. However, comedy nights are frequent and are often free, so it’s worth checking one out if you have nothing better to do.

Though we must warn you, a lot of the “comedians” are often amateur and inexperienced…so just remember, it is free!

At least you won’t get wet from the rain, and it’s a good place to meet new people.

Check out the comedy events calendar here.

Comedy-Show-Hong-Kong

4. Sing Your Heart Out In A Karaoke Room

I know what you’re thinking, karaoke…really? Yes, really! Karaoke in Asia is not like it is anywhere else in the world.

In Hong Kong, you and your friends can hire your own karaoke room where you can each take turns to serenade one another with your beautiful song. Meanwhile, your friends battle each other at beer pong, Xbox games, darts and other entertaining distractions from your poor, I mean wonderful, singing…

There are a number of karaoke rooms in HK, some offering free-flow drinks…some offer BYOB…some even offer headphones so you can really hear the soprano in all its glory.

But our personal recommendation is Red Mr, a top karaoke room in HK who offers comfortable and luxurious rooms as well as top of the range sound equipment. They have rooms in Causeway Bay, Wan Chai, Tsim Sha Tsui and Mong Kok, so you’ll surely find one near you!

Karaoke, or sing-k as the HKers call it, is a traditional indoor activity in Asia. So if you really want to party like a local, head over to a karaoke room!

Karaoke-Hong-Kong

Credit: Flickr

Relaxing Indoor Attractions In Hong Kong

1. Shop At Harbour City Mall

While Hong Kong is not short of malls, Harbour City Mall is one of the best malls in Hong Kong. Not only does it have an enormous array of luxury and retail shops, but it has possibly the best air con in all of HK. No kidding, it’s like walking into a fridge!

But seriously, there is nothing you can’t find in this mall. It has plenty of restaurants and cafes too, for those serious shoppers who need a little pick-me-up.

Though while we would not choose shopping as our first indoor pastime in Hong Kong, it is certainly one of the easiest.

Harbour-City-Mall-Hong-Kong

2. Immerse Yourself In An Independent Film At An Art-house Cinema

Hong Kong is teeming with cinemas. You can find a blockbuster movie in nearly every mall and every district. However, if you want to watch an alternative, independent movie, you may have to look a little harder.

Broadway Cinematheque in Yau Ma Tei, Kowloon is one of the few cinemas in Hong Kong showcasing independent European movies. In one of the oldest and most authentic districts in Hong Kong, this art-house cinema is a must-see attraction in Hong Kong.

And because of its niche market in movies, the price is a lot less than the super snazzy blockbuster cinemas at around $95 HKD a movie.

Broadway-Cinematheque-Hong-Kong

3. Enjoy Some Afternoon Tea

I know what you’re thinking, tea and scones? Jam sandwiches and cake? Why would I go to Hong Kong for this? Afternoon tea in Hong Kong has been the number one luxury indoor activity in Hong Kong for many years, even after it stopped being a British Colony.

On a rainy day, many tourists and locals flock to the five-star hotels for afternoon tea of scones, cakes, and mini sandwiches. The most popular hotel has always been Hong Kong’s oldest and most treasured hotel – The Peninsula.

The Lobby at The Peninsula is a beautiful restaurant with an elegant and luxurious interior, and not to mention the delicious selection of cakes available for afternoon tea. The only downside is the price. At a minimum spend of $350 HK, this is no doubt a place to go for a special occasion.

Guests should also note that there is a strict dress code at The Peninsula and guests are required to wear smart casual clothing (no sportswear). So please leave your Hawaiian shirt and flip flops for another day. Make sure you book in advance if you don’t want to be disappointed! The Peninsula is extremely popular.

If you want to taste some authentic and delicious British afternoon tea in Hong Kong, then you don’t need to break the bank. Teakha in Sheung Wan has some of the best-rated scones in Hong Kong and a top-rated Victoria Sponge cake, which is a cake that’s hard to come by in Hong Kong, for some reason!

Teakha is a reasonable $25 for scones, and they even have a deal where scones and any selection of tea can be purchased for $30. So if you want delicious food at an affordable price, this is the place to go! 

Afternoon-Tea-In-Hong-Kong

4. Check Out A Book Shop Cafe In Yau Ma Tei

For book lovers who fancy chilling with a good book and artisan coffee, then you’ll love Kubrick. This book shop cafe combo is the perfect place to pass the time on a rainy day. You could literally spend hours here immersing yourself in a good book and quenching your thirst.

And, if you’re planning on visiting the art-house theater we mentioned above, you might want to add Kubrick to your list of things to do indoors as it’s literally next door. Perfect!

Kubrick-Hong-Kong 1

When Is Rainy Season In Hong Kong?

Hong Kong receives the most rainfall from the month of June to August, coincidentally on some of the hottest months of the year. Luckily, with this Hong Kong blog post, not only will you have indoor things to do in Hong Kong on a rainy day, but also something for the excruciating hot days.

However, even on “cool” days, Hong Kong can be humid and warm, and nothing is better than visiting some of these indoor places in Hong Kong with air conditioning!

Like this post? Don’t forget to save it on Pinterest! 🙂

Indoor-Activities-in-Hong-Kong-on-A-Rainy-Day-Pinterest

This is the end of our guide for top indoor activities to do in Hong Kong! We hope this has at least given you a rough idea of what you can do on those rainy days!

Any questions? Leave a comment!

Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links. That means if you book or make a purchase through the links, we will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you! The money will help run this site! Thank you 🙂

Indoor-Activities-in-Hong-Kong-on-A-Rainy-Day-Pinterest