Romania. Raw and untouched nature, incredible wildlife (largest bear population in Europe), and quaint towns and cities speckled throughout the country. Romania is a destination not to be missed. Whether you are looking for a fun time in Bucharest or to see a little bit of Dracula’s history in the countryside, Romania offers it all. You can see castles, go bear watching, go trekking, and sleep in a treehouse all in the same day. The country has much more to offer than most people would think and it is truly an underappreciated tourist destination.
If you are looking to visit Romania just for the partying and casinos and gambling that is offered, this is not the article for you. Our trips to Romania were much more focused on the nature, the history, and the culture and so we are ready to share those experiences and tidbits with you. Although Bucharest is quite possibly the party capital of the world, it certainly was not our favorite place to visit in the country (on the contrary). So here is our list of incredible, fun, and unique things to do in Bucharest.
1. Thermal Spa in Bucharest – Therme Bucuresti
No trip to Romania is complete without visiting Therme Bucuresti, the thermal luxury spas located just 20 minutes outside of Bucharest (fairly close to the airport). This spa complex is unlike anything you will find in other countries around the world. This spa center costs only about $30 per person for an entire day in the multi-level spas. They have thermal pools, both indoors and outdoors, countless different types of saunas (including Himalayan salt saunas), red light therapy, swim-up bars, massages, and even an indoor water park area with countless different water slides. They also offer three different restaurants in house if you are looking for something to eat while you visit. The location is not only beautiful, but enormous and well equipped with countless fun and relaxing activities.
There are also other thermal spas throughout the country, however, this is one of the most impressive and extensive ones in Romania and also in Europe.
2. Go Dog Sledding in the Mountains
Hands down on of the best experiences of our lives was going dog sledding in Romania. This activity is not offered in many places around the world and is usually famous in Alaska and Finland, however, it can also be done in Romania (for a fraction of the price you’d have to pay in other countries). In the Harghita Mountains of Northern Romania you’ll find Zoltan who has a whole team of huskies (all rescues) who go for daily trips in the mountains. The experience was one of our most memorable and was a wonderful way to enjoy the mountain views while having an amazing time.
Check out the full post here: Dog Sledding in Romania | Experience of a Lifetime
3. Go Trekking in the Mountains
The nature of Romania is stunning and you might be surprised by the amount of trekking options that are available. Just about everywhere you go has a new set of trails and potential treks. There are the Bucegi Mountains with in central Romania and near the city of Brasov. They even have a Sphinx-like rock formation that is definitely worth a visit. If you’re looking for more of an adventure there is the Via Ferrata of Romania that gives you a rock-climbing feel while also hiking. There are so many more trails throughout the country, with options for day hikes or multi-day hikes. You’ll be able to see some of Romania’s wildlife and might even stumble across one of the famous European brown bears.
4.Take an E-bike Tour
If you want to explore some of the incredible countryside that Romania has to offer, but would rather not walk or hike it, there is also the option to rent an electric bike and go on an E-bike tour. It is fun, fast paced, and you get to see some of the more hidden gems and locations throughout the country.
5. Explore the Castles of Romania
Want to visit a fairytale castle on your trip to Romania? If so, you are in luck! There are countless options scattered throughout the country. You can see Bran Castle, which is famous for its connection to Dracula or Peles Castle which is tucked away in the mountains and truly looks like it came right out of a fairytale. The Corvin Castle, in Transylvania is perfect for those who want to typical moat and bridge castle experience and is undoubtedly one of the coolest castle structures in Europe. No matter what you’re looking for in the castle world, be it history or creepiness or mystery or beauty, Romania’s castles have a little bit of everything.
6. Skiing in the Mountains
The Carpathian Mountains in Romania make it one of Eastern Europe’s most loved skiing destinations. Combine that with the relatively low prices and beautiful scenery and you will be able to have a ski trip that is both affordable and very memorable. Check out the resorts in the Brasov area if you are ready to have your next ski adventure in Romania.
7. Go Bear Watching
Did you know that Romania has the largest bear population in Europe? They are home to 60% of the brown bear population in Europe meaning that there are over 600,000 brown bears in the Romania. Most of them are in the Carpathian Mountains, roaming in the forests there. Since they are so prevalent, there are many parks and locations where you can go and look for bears (if you don’t just happen to see them naturally in the wild on your hikes or when they get close to some of the small towns). March and April are the best times to catch a glimpse of the bears as they are coming out of their hibernation and start wandering the mountains and forests.
8. Horseback Riding in the Countryside
Horseback riding is an amazing way to see a country from a different perspective. You can to enjoy the views and the scenery while riding through some small towns and villages. Romania offers many different horseback riding day trips and trekking options for beginners and more experienced riders alike.
9. Explore Romania’s Many Unique Cities
Many people come to Romania and make the mistake of staying in Bucharest the entire time. Although Bucharest is a very interesting city with lots of partying and casino options, it is not the city with the most culture and character in Romania. Some of the smaller cities in the countryside and the mountains offer much more than the capital of Bucharest. Brasov, located in Transylvania, for example offers colorful promenades, mountain views, and delicious cafes. Sighișoara also has quaint, storybook like streets and a romantic city center.
Check out the full list of amazing cities and towns to visit in Romania: 10 Spectacular Cities to Visit in Romania | From Big Cities to Quaint Villages
10. Stay in a Treehouse
Have you ever wondered what it was like to stay in a treehouse? Well, in Romania you can try it out. There are treehouses and log cabins and countless other unique and cool places to stay throughout the country. Be sure to book them far in advance though as they are in high demand!
11. Explore Transylvania
Although Transylvania may have a bit of a bad reputation due to its association with Dracula, it is actually an incredible place. In my opinion, it is some of the best that Romania has to offer. It has mountains and the castles, along with cute towns and cities selling local Romania goods. You can really get a feel for the real Romanian culture when you explore some of the amazing things that Transylvania has to offer.
12. Go White Water Rafting
If you’re looking for a water-based adventure, you might be surprised to find out that there are actually a few places where you can go white water rafting in Romania. It’s best to go in the warmer months as the waters are pretty cold all year round.
13. Visit the Lakes and Waterfalls
As with any mountainous or forest-filled location, where there are mountains there are usually also waterfalls. Romania has its fair share of beautiful waterfalls and lakes that you can visit for beautiful scenery and quick swims. You will not be disappointed by the raw nature and rustic beauty of these lakes and waterfalls.
14. Experience the Life of Dracula
There’s almost no way that you haven’t made the connection of Dracula and Romania. The story of Dracula takes place in Romania and while visiting the country you can explore all the places mentioned in the story. From his home town to his castles, you can follow in his footsteps. Whether you love the Dracula story or are terrified of it, you can’t deny its connection with Romania and should learn about it and embrace it.
If you’re looking for something fun and unique to do in the Bucharest area (or if you are visiting Cluj-Napoca) there is the option to go on a fun and adventurous Go Kart ride at VMax. They have multiple courses and it is a fun adventure for the day.
If you’re looking to check out some of the cities that Romania has to offer, check out: 10 Spectacular Cities to Visit in Romania | From Big Cities to Quaint Villages
Lots of Love and Safe Travels,
Danielle and Brooke, Colorful Sisters