An EPIC Romania Road Trip: 2-Week Itinerary Thru Transylvania In 2024

Romania holds a special place in my heart. Out of all the places I’ve traveled to, it easily ranks as one of my absolute favorites. I’ve visited this country twice – once renting a car and doing a road trip, and the other time with just public transport.

And let me tell you, if you are planning a Romania itinerary, you should definitely consider doing a road trip. Its winding roads meandering through lush forests, majestic mountains, and rustic villages, provide the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable adventure.

Today, I’m here to share my personal 2-week Romania road trip itinerary, exploring everything from Transylvania’s Gothic castles to the charm of Bucharest’s vibrant city life.

This itinerary mostly focuses on Transylvania, the most beautiful region of Romania, and we also highlight some of the hidden gems in the region that can only be reached by car!

Renting A Car In Romania

If you are planning on doing a road trip in Romania, chances are, you will need to rent a car. Luckily, as part of the European Union, renting a car is easy, especially if you have a driver’s license from another country in the EU.

Surprisingly, the requirements for car rentals in Romania vary slightly by company. For example, some companies will allow you to rent a car when you are 18, but some only allow you to rent a car when you are 21.

Here are some of the most common requirements for car rentals in Romania:

  • Most car rental companies in Romania require you to be at least 21 years old. Rarely, you will find a car rental that requires you to be at least 18 years old.
  • The maximum age you can rent a car is 70 years old.
  • You must have held your driver’s license for at least 1 year.
  • A credit card to make the payment and hold a deposit (just in case something happens to the car).
  • For US citizens, you must have an international driving permit (IDP) as well as a valid US drivers’ license to rent a car in Romania. However, I heard of car rental agencies that let you rent a car without an IDP. You can get an IDP from the official AAA site here.
  • EU citizens do not need an IDP, just a driver’s license from their country to drive in Romania.

Looking for a reliable rental car company in Romania?
Check out our recommended car rental company here!

Driving In Romania (Parking, Roads, Regulations & More)


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.

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

Parking in Romania

Parking in Sibiu Romania

One of the biggest concerns when renting a car in a foreign country is parking. Luckily, 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 since most of them are located in the countryside of Romania. Just don’t park at the designated parking lot for the attraction (ex. Bran Castle parking lot) and you can save tons of money.

We didn’t have to pay a single dime for parking on our 2-week Romania road trip. 

Where Should You Start Your Romania 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
  • 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.

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.

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.

You will be basing yourself out of 4 locations: 

  1. Cluj-Napoca
  2. Sibiu
  3. Brasov
  4. Bucharest

You will use these four cities as a base to explore the nearby attractions, which are color-coded on the map.

Most of your road trip will be in the Transylvania region, which is definitely the most cultural part of Romania! Get ready for dramatic castles, fortified towns, vampire tales, and more! The other part will be in the old Wallachia region, still a really cool region in my opinion!

Road Trip In Romania: Step-By-Step Itinerary

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


Cluj-Napoca, or commonly referred to as Cluj, is the unofficial capital of Transylvania, 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. 

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 the impressive Turda Salt Mines.

Things To Do In Cluj Napoca, Romania

While there are many things to do in Cluj-Napoca, 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.

The tours usually include information about the city, its history, the best things to do there, and even personal recommendations on places to eat.

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. It is our favorite one in Cluj!

2. Unirii Square Cluj-Napoca
Piata Unirii Cluj

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.

3. Central Park, Citadel Park, or Botanical Garden
Cluj Napoca Central Park

Anyone looking to enjoy some of the green spaces in Cluj-Napoca must not miss Central ParkCitadel 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.

4. Piezisa Street (Strada Piezișă) for Nightlife

Anyone visiting Cluj-Napoca without experiencing some of its nightlife is missing out. Home of many 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 in-house arthouse cinema.

5. Hoia Forest (Hoia Baciu)
Credit: WikiCommons via C.C. 2.0

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.

6. Turda Salt Mines
Credit: Flickr

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 if you want a 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, and it is usually quite difficult to get to without a car, which is why it’s on this road trip itinerary!

7. Rimetea
Rimetea in between Piatra Secuiului

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.

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.

Because Rimetea 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 afternoon and then check out the Red Ravine. The sunset at Red Ravine will leave anyone and everyone in awe! Finally, head down to Sibiu!

Where To Stay In Cluj Napoca

Best Hostel In Cluj-Napoca – Retro Hostel

Retro Hostel Cluj Romania
Backpacker Hostel Cluj

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!

Best Hotel In Cluj-Napoca – Modern Central

Modern Hotel Cluj Center
Best Hotel Cluj Napoca Center

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 a 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! 

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

The unique houses of Sibiu

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 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?

Stairs Passage

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.

Things To Do In Sibiu, Romania

Because there are so many things to do in Sibiu, we have written a separate guide! But here are some of the attractions you cannot miss!

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

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 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.

Piata Mica (Small Square)

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. It used to be a place where merchants sold their goods.

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.

2. Saint Mary Evangelical Cathedral (Sibiu Lutheran Cathedral)
View from Saint Mary Evangelical Cathedral

Located in Huet Square, Saint Mary Evangelical Cathedral (Sibiu Lutheran Cathedral) is arguably the most recgonizable building in Sibiu at 73m tall.

The cathedral itself is gorgeous with its unique baroque-style organ and intricate details of the interior, but what we really came here for was the watchtower.

The lookout tower itself offers some of the best panoramic views of Sibiu(much better than the Council Tower, or Turnul Sfatului). Here you can see the spectacular roofs of the Sibiu houses and the mountains that surround the region in the distance.

3. Corvin Castle and The Citadel of Alba-Carolina (Day Trip From Sibiu)
Corvin Castle

Once you have finished exploring Sibiu, it is time to use that car and 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 road trip in Transylvania. It is an amazing hiden gem and usually only people with their own car can visit.

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.

🤯 Fun Fact: The Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest is a replica of the Corvin Castle, make you check it out when you visit Budapest!

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, the biggest medieval citadel in Romania.

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.

Citadel Alba-Carolina

The star-shaped fortress of the Alba-Carolina Citadel was built in the early 18th century by Prince Eugene of Savoy to fortify the defenses of the newly conquered provinces of the Habsburg Empire. 

The Citadel Alba-Carolina is a huge fortress, and you can spend ages 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 and its 12-km-long outer walls.

4. Sighisoara
Sighisoara, one of my favorite photo of Romania

Sighisoara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is renowned for its well-preserved Old Town, one of Europe’s few inhabited fortified towns.

Built in the 12th century by Saxons, invited by the Hungarian King, it became an artisan hub and trading post, leading to the creation of 15 craft guilds.

Each guild built their own fortifications, some of which still stand today.

After World War I, Sighisoara was handed to Romania. A walk through its cobblestone streets is like stepping back in time, with colorful houses and guild towers lining the way.

The must-see landmark is the 13th-century Clock Tower (Turnul cu Ceas), the main fortification of the town. It has now become a museum and at 64-meter tall, it offers stunning views of the Mures County from its open-air balcony.

5. Transfagarasan Road (Transfăgărășan), The Best Driving Road In The World
Transfagarasan Highway

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 best driving road in the world!

This picturesque route, which crosses the southern Carpathian Mountains, is safe to drive despite some sharp turns (which makes it exhilarating)!

If you are coming from Sibiu, you want to arrive at 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 (lots of cheese and cured meats), as well as restaurants and accommodations, including the famous ice hotel.

Balea Lake

Balea Lake also offers the best views of the Transfagaran Highway.

On the way to 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.

📝 Note: If you are visiting Romania in the winter, you’ll have to double check to see whether the highway is closed or not!

Where To Stay In Sibiu, Romania

Best Hostel in Sibiu – B13 Hostel

Budget Accommodation in Sibiu Romania
Hostel Sibiu for Backpackers

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.

Best Hotel in Sibiu – Rabbit Hole

Where To Stay Sibiu Romania
Luxury Hotel Sibiu

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!

Brasov, One Of The Medieval Walled Citadels (4 to 5 Days)

Beautiful 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.

2. Hike Or Take A Cable Car Up Mount Tampa
View from Mount Tampa

At close to 400 meters above the city, the summit of Mount Tampa offers panoramic 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”.

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 5 PM and costs 35 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!

3. Day Trip To Bran Castle And Rasnov Fortress
Bran Castle

Bran Castle, often associated with the legend of Dracula and Bram Stoker’s famous novel, is Romania’s most recognizable landmark.

Despite rumors, neither Stoker nor Vlad III, the ruler rumored to inspire Dracula, had any direct connection to the castle.

Today, Bran Castle serves as a museum showcasing Queen Marie’s art and furniture collection, and features very little information on Dracula, but it does have an exhibition on different scary myths and folklores of Romania.

It’s a 30-minute drive from Brasov and parking is readily available. I recommend parking in the village instead of the desginated parking spots to avoid paying for parking.

Rasnov Fortress

On the return trip, visit Rasnov Fortress, originally built for defense purposes of the nearby Transylvanian villages.

Its strategic location led to the construction of houses, a chapel, and a school within its walls. The remains, including a watchtower, are still visible today.

4. Hiking the Piatra Craiului Mountains or Seven Ladders Canyon
Piatra Craiului Mountains

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.

5. Peles Castle, The Most Beautiful Castle in Romania
Peles Castle

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.

Interior of Peles Castle

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 50 lei, while a tour to both costs 100 lei.

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 Transylvania road trip itinerary!

Where To Stay In Brasov, Romania

Best Hostel In Brasov – JugendStube Hostel

Cheap Place to Stay Brasov Romania
Backpacker Hostel Brasov

If you are looking for a no-frills hostel with a 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.

Best Hotel In Brasov – Safrano Palace

Luxury Hotel Brasov
Best Place to Stay Brasov

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 receptionist is always there to assist you with anything. The free breakfast is diverse and delicious, the perfect way to start your day in Brasov!

Bucharest, The Capital of Romania (2 Days)

Bucharest and its old buildings

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.

Things To Do in Bucharest, Romania

Here are our recommended things to do in Bucharest, Romania.

1. FREE Walking Tour Bucharest
Pasajul Macca-Vilacrosse

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!

2. Palace of Parliament
Palace of Parliament is a must on any Romanian itinerary

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 occur 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 the tour.

3. Visit the Orthodox Churches and Monasteries (such Stavropoleos Monastery)

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 in 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.

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.

The food delicious, traditional, and reasonably priced, and the waiters are polite and ensure 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! If you have an appetite, also try sarmale (traditional Romanian cabbage rolls) and Mititei (grilled ground meat rolls).

💪 Pro Tip: Caru’ Cu Bere is no longer a walk-in restaurant, so make your reservation in advance!

5. Visit the Cărturești Carusel (Carousel of Light) Bookstore
Carturesti Carusel Bucharest

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. 

Where To Stay in Bucharest, Romania

Best Hostel in Bucharest – First Hostel

Backpacking Bucharest Romania
Best Hostel Bucharest Romania

Hostels in Bucharest are abundant, and choosing the perfect one cannot be more difficult. We highly recommend First Hostel. As a hostel run by travelers, it is designed perfectly to meet the needs of travelers.

Featuring a clean kitchen and a small cozy common area, First Hostel is a social hostel perfect for meeting other travelers!

Best Hotel in Bucharest – Concorde Old Bucharest Hotel

Luxury Hotel Bucharest
Best Hotel Bucharest

Featuring 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 the views of Old Town Bucharest, where the hotel is conveniently located. The free breakfast buffet is a plus!

Other 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!

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. 

Timisoara, European Capital of Culture for 2021

Timisoara Piata Unirii

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 fourth-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.

Maramures County

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, live in their farmhouses, and go to wooden churches. 

The natural landscape in this region is incredible, as miles of greenery stretch beyond the horizon. I would highly recommend adding the Maramures region to your Romania trip!

Romania Road Trip FAQs

Is It Safe To Drive Through Romania?

According to the European Union, Romania has the highest per-vehicle rate of road fatalities of any country in the European Union. Though from our experience, driving in Romania is not dangerous. The roads near the cities are in good conditions, but you’ll need to be aware of horse-drawn carriages, stray dogs, and other hazards when you are in rural areas.

How Good Are the Roads in Romania?

The major highways that connect the big cities and towns of Romania are typically in decent condition. However, the roads in the rural parts of Romania can be unpaved, full of uneven surfaces, and have unusual hazards (horse-drawn carriages, stray dogs, and etc).

What’s the Best Time of Year to Go on a Romania Road Trip?

The best time for a road trip in Romania is early autumn (September and October). This period offer pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and scenic landscapes. The fall foliage makes for a picturesque drive.

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A road trip through Romania offers an unforgettable journey through a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

Whether you’re traversing the scenic Transfăgărășan Highway, exploring medieval Saxon villages, or immersing yourself in the legends surrounding Bran Castle, there’s always something fascinating to discover.

We hope you enjoyed our Romania road trip itinerary blog post, have a good time in Romania!

Any questions? Leave them in the comments!

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2 thoughts on “An EPIC Romania Road Trip: 2-Week Itinerary Thru Transylvania In 2024”

  1. Thank you for highlighting all these beautiful places in my native country. I will be visiting Romania after many years away so I will make sure I will be in some places that you have mentioned but that I have missed in previous visits.


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