Romania was the first stop on our 7 month tour. Cheap and cheerful was the game plan being we that have a long road ahead. Romania was obliging to our budget while setting the bar extremely high. Bucharest reveals Romania’s mixed communistic past and the modern nightlife culture. Girls dancing behind windows are everywhere in Bucharest’s rampant nightlife, enticing drunk punters into a club scene similar to Prague. As fun as this can be, Romania’s real treasures lie in the natural beauty of the green country. Brasov and Bran are home to Lush hills and rolling mountains, hidden trails can be found and enjoyed by hikers of any experience level.
Get excited for cheap beers sunk’ after a huge day of exploring the sights and sounds of what Romania has to offer.
London to Bucharest with Ryan Air = 90GBP
From the airport you can catch the bus number 783 roughly 40min straight to the main square and the old town for 8 Lei. From here everything is in walking distance.
We have been told catching taxis are very cheap in Romania, though we did not have the need.
Located in the heart of old town makes it super easy to walk anywhere. Alley’s with amazing food places right at your doorstep. This hostel was very cheap, easy and the staff are all friendly and helpful. One downside was a lack of showers/toilets on each floor – which did mean a line for the toilet at peak hours. The rooftop bar, is a really cool place to relax after a big day exploring, you can chill at the top with a beer watching the bustling streets down below. 9-euro pp/per night.
Situated just outside of the old town, though it is not a far walking distance. The staff here are friendly and the accommodation is clean (all bedding included), there is a large common area and bar which makes meeting new people and socializing super easy. The hostel also offers some great pub-crawls, this is great in the weekends as during the week is quiet. They also offer a welcome drink, which won us over from the start. Slight downside is the loud and squeaky bed frames. 8.80 euro pp/per night.
Our favourite hostel in Romania – Kismet Dao Hostel has a chilled atmosphere, friendly/helpful staff and clean facilities. Not to mention they have a hostel dog named – Zara. They love it when people take her for a walk so much they will reward you with a cold beer! On top of the 2 free welcome drinks available upon check in I got the feeling that this place was trying to get me merry. This hostel ticked all the boxes and we would stay here again in a heartbeat. 9.70 euro pp/per night.
From a local we heard Romanians typically begin their meals with an alcoholic appetizer known as Palinka, followed by a three-course meal.
Palinka is a fruity liquor usually double distilled and packing a punch with its 40-60% Alc. The ladies can indulge in the 20% Visinata, a sour-cherry Liquor – This was what Bianca’s preferred.
First Course – Ciorba, a soup with vegetables and sour cream.
Main course – Sarmale, Minced meat rolled in sour cabbage like a spring roll, served with polenta and more delicious sour cabbage. – If you like German Sauerkraut then this dish will be up your alley.
Desert Course – Papanasi, Doughnut dough with fresh sweet cheese inside, deep-fried and served with sour cream and a cherry or raspberry sauce drizzling down the sides. This widow maker is delicious!
You can find all these dishes plus plenty of meat on the grill at the restaurant Caru’cu bere. If you’re not convinced yet, then they also do litre beers for the equivalent of under 4GBP.
There looked to be plenty of street food kicking around the Old Town but one can only eat so much! We didn’t get the chance.
Must see & do
- Jump on the train from Bucharest to Brasov then you are only a 45min bus ride away from Dracula’s castle. The amazing Castle Bran. Since you’re already in Brasov spend your evening strolling the beautiful old city.
- Check out the free walking tour of the city with walk about
- Hike up to the famous “Brasov” sign for some breath-taking views
- Tip – When visiting Bran castle, from the bus station carry on past the castle following the road round until you see a bridge to cross the river on the right side, follow the small dirt track up the mountain for the best view of the castle
- Free walking tour with Walk about. – We did the 6pm tour, The temperature was still in the 20’s but a lot more comfortable than what would be during the 10am tour finishing at 12.30.
- Walking along the Unirii Boulevard up to the impressive palace of parliament, the heaviest building in the world and second
administrative building behind the pentagon. The building is made nearly entirely out of marble and used up 80% of Romanians marble supplies in one swoop.
- Grab an ice cream and chill in one of Bucharests many beautiful parks. The Izvor Park right next to the palace of parliament is full of life with games of football and host to many pop-up concerts. Others to try are the more picturesque Cișmigiu Gardens or the larger Parcul Herăstrău.
- Admire the Arcul de Triumf located in the northern part of Bucharest. The Arch was built when Romania gained their independence and so the troops could march under it.
- Relax in the largest thermal wellness in Europe – Therme Bucuresti
Tips & Advice
- No Visa Required
- Romanian Lei is the currency.
- Tipping 10% to the wait staff is typical for sit down meals. If you want change we learned the hard way that you have to ask.
- Warmest months are June – August but in May and September have less crowds.
- Euro 2 pin adapter sockets.
Helpful words and phrases
The language Romanian is derived from Latin but with a heavy Saxon influence, Romanians can understand some Spanish, Italian and French but the reverse does not apply.
Goodbye La revedere
Please Va rog
Thank you Multumesc
You’re welcome Cu placere
Pardon me/ Excuse me Pardon