Planning a perfect Romania itinerary can be a bit overwhelming – especially when you consider the size and off-the-beaten-path nature of this southeastern European nation. However, spending 5 to 7 days in Romania is a delightful way to see a lot of this gorgeous country.
From the cosmopolitan streets of Bucharest to the mountains and castles of Transylvania to the shores of the Black Sea, Romania is a fascinating and diverse country that is worth exploring.
So even if you have a short time in Romania, you can still cover a lot of ground and see a lot of what this country has to offer.
If you’re planning a trip to Romania and want to know how to map out your time, then follow the route below for the ideal visit to this beautiful nation.
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How Many Days in Romania?
It can be tough to figure out just how many days to spend in Romania to ensure that you can see a lot, visit a diverse range of places but not feel too rushed. Romania is quite a large country and it can take some time to get from point A to B, so this is something to keep in mind when figuring out how many days to allot for your itinerary.
In general, if you want to spend some time in Bucharest and see the highlights of Transylvania, then consider spending at least 5 days in Romania. With 5 days, you will be able to get a good feel for Bucharest, see some of the iconic castles and explore some beautiful little towns while not spending too much time in transit.
Ideally, you would try to spend at least 7 days in the country. Seeing Romania in one week allows you to build upon what you can in 5 days. You will be able to see more of Transylvania and spend time in larger cities as well as small towns.
If you only have a week in Romania, you still won’t have time to see everything, so that is something to keep in mind. For instance, it’s likely there is no time to head to the Black Sea Coast or to visit other cities – such as Timisoara.
Getting To & Around Romania
The logical starting point of any trip through Romania is in its capital city of Bucharest. Home to the country’s largest international airport, it’s easy to fly into the city from a range of different destinations.
That being said, there are airports in cities like Cluj-Napoca and Timisoara that serve plenty of budget airlines and a number of different European cities.
If you’re visiting Romania as part of a longer trip through Eastern Europe or the Balkans, most major cities in the region have overland connections to other cities in Romania. For instance, if you’re coming from Budapest, you can easily get a train to Cluj-Napoca and do the 7-day itinerary in reverse.
Once you’re in Romania, it’s important to figure out how to get around while you’re there. In general, the easiest way to go about the route outlined below is to hire a car. This will give you the most flexibility and allow you not to be at the mercy of the painfully slow and unreliable Romanian trains.
While in Bucharest, a car certainly is not necessary, so it can be worth it to spend your first few days there without a rental car and only pick it up when you head onto your next destination. You can view car rental options here.
If you don’t (or don’t want to) drive, you can get around Romania via public transport. There is a bus and train system that connects destinations throughout the country, just note that you will likely be in for exceedingly long travel times and unreliable connections.
The route below is generally doable without a car, however, there are going to be certain things that you won’t be able to do or organise. The benefits of having a rental car also means that you can make some stops along the way, which you cannot when on the train or bus.
5 to 7-Day Romania Itinerary
Day 1 – Bucharest
Spend your first day exploring Bucharest. The capital of Romania is a lively and dynamic city that is coming into its own as a tourist destination. Though seemingly a little rough around the edges, give Bucharest some time and it is sure not to disappoint.
We recommend spending two full days in the Romanian capital in order to get a good feel for the city, see the main sites, and also get a bit off the beaten path and maybe enjoy some of its famous nightlife.
If you want to get some good historical context here, then consider going on a walking tour of the city. There are both free walking tours (where the guides work for tips) and paid walking tours so you can choose whatever suits you and your travel style. Otherwise, you can always explore independently.
Begin your day taking in the massive and iconic Palace of Parliament, where you can also take a tour if that interests you. Move onto the Cismigiu Gardens and enjoy this beautiful park before taking in sites like the Romanian Athenaeum and the Triumphal Arch.
End your day exploring more parks and learning a bit while at the National Village Museum.
Where to Stay in Bucharest
Euro Hotel Grivita – Well-located for exploring the top sites in the centre of Bucharest, this mid-range hotel has a range of clean and comfortable rooms available to visitors.
The Mansion Boutique Hotel – This hotel is good for luxury travellers looking for an upmarket stay in the Romanian capital. They have several plush rooms and amenities like a restaurant, bar, room service and breakfast.
Bucharest Old Town Apartments – These furnished flats are a good option for visitors wanting their own apartment in Bucharest. There are several different apartments and they have a good location.
T5 Social – This centrally-located hostel is a good choice for budget travellers and backpackers. They have an array of room types, clean facilities and good common areas to enjoy.
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Bucharest hotels!
Day 2 – Bucharest
Day 2 in Bucharest should be spent getting to know more of the city. Grab a coffee in the grand Macca-Villacrosse Passage in the city centre.
Then, move on to the National Museum of Romanian History where you can see artefacts and learn about the country throughout the centuries. If the museum doesn’t interest you, consider taking a communism tour or a food tour to learn more about the city.
After visiting the museum, take the time to explore the Old Town of Bucharest. This is a great place to get lost and take in some historic buildings, pop into cute cafes and maybe pick up a souvenir or two.
You can end your day in the lush Alexandru Ioan Cusa Park. This is another of Bucharest’s beautiful city parks that is absolutely lovely and perfect to relax in and gear up for the rest of your Romania trip.
Day 3 – Brasov
Try to get an early start on day 3 and hit the road en route for Brasov, a cool town in Transylvania located north of the Romanian capital.
This is about a 3-hour drive from Bucharest (and an even longer train ride) so make sure you are ready to go as early as possible to make sure you can take advantage of your time.
If you’re driving, make sure to make a pit stop in the town of Sinaia, located about 2 hours from Bucharest and about 50 kilometres from Brasov. Sinaia is home to the iconic Peles Castle, one of the most beautiful castles to see in Transylvania.
You can tour the castle and walk around its grounds and learn a bit more about the history of the beautiful building and area. Then, continue on for another hour until you arrive in beautiful Brasov.
Once in Brasov, take the time to explore the lovely central square in the old town and take in the famed Gothic Black Church. Wander around its cobbled side streets and maybe people-watch a bit in one of the many streetside cafes.
One of the highlights of visiting Brasov heading up Mt Tampa to see the “Brasov” sign the iconic attraction in the city. You can opt to take the cable car up the mountain or, if you’re up for a hike, you can walk up there yourself. Either way, you will be greeted with beautiful views of the city and of the surrounding Carpathian Mountains.
Where to Stay in Brasov
Arce Boutique Hotel – This quaint boutique hotel is located right in the picturesque centre of Brasov. They have a range of spacious rooms along with free parking, an airport shuttle and an outdoor terrace.
Pensiunea Toscana – Those looking for a luxury option will like this hotel in Brasov. They have several lovely rooms, a central location and amenities including breakfast, a bar, a terrace, a garden and free parking.
Zozo Hostel – This highly-rated hostel in central Brasov is great for backpackers in Romania. They have a range of dorms along with great common areas, 24-hour check-in, and a good social atmosphere.
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Brasov hotels!
Day 4 – Bran Castle
On your fourth day, it’s time to take a day trip from Brasov and visit one of the most popular sites in all of the country – Bran Castle. Known for being “Dracula’s Castle,” this is a pretty touristy area but it’s worth going to if you’re interested in learning about this spooky place.
Bran is located only a short distance from Brasov, about 30 minutes by car or one hour on the bus. There are also a number of organised tours such as this full-day tour or this full-day tour. Once you’ve arrived here, you can take a tour of the castle and learn about its history.
You will find out that, despite all of the vampire kitsch being sold in Brasov and the village of Bran, novelist Bram Stoker never actually set foot in Romania and it’s only believed that he modelled the castle in Dracula after Bran – it is the only castle in Europe that fits his description.
It’s also worth noting that there is no documented evidence that Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Dracula, ever visited or set foot in the castle.
After visiting Bran Castle, it can be a great idea to make a stop at the beautiful Rasnov Citadel en route back to Brasov. This is a beautiful 13th-century fortress that is an interesting and picturesque place to explore. Plan to spend the night in Brasov again this night.
Day 5 – Sibiu
For some, day 5 may be the final day of their Romania trip. If that is the case, then plan to treat today as a day trip and spend the night in Brasov once more. If you’re spending a week, then plan to end your day in the town of Sighisoara, where you’ll be spending the night.
If you’re driving, leave Brasov early in the morning and head in the direction of the town of Sibiu. This is about a 2-hour drive or bus ride and about 4 hours on the train.
Once in Sibiu, take the time to wander around this gorgeous, picture-perfect Transylvanian town. Nestled in the foothills of the Carpathians, this is a lovely medieval town filled with gorgeous cobbled streets and stunning architecture. You can explore independently or join a walking tour.
You can take your time taking in the main square (Piata Mare) and visiting the many churches – if you want a great view, consider climbing the bell tower of the Sibiu Lutheran Cathedral where you can see a panorama of the entire time.
Of course, you can simply let your feet lead the way and simply get lost in the beautiful streets here. At the end of the day, it’s time to get back on the road and drive about 1.5 hours to Sighisoara or head back to Brasov to end your trip there.
Where to Stay in Sighisoara
Casa Adimi – This guesthouse is a great choice for mid-range visitors to Sighisoara. There are a number of cosy rooms available, a good location and parking available for guests.
Casa Savri – A good luxury option in a lodge-like setting, they have a location metres from the top sites in Sighisoara and amenities like breakfast, barbecue facilities and parking available.
Burg Hostel – This hostel has several private rooms and dorms to choose from, a great location in the centre of Sighisoara and a great social atmosphere perfect for solo travellers.
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Sighisoara hotels!
Day 6 – Sighisoara
Spend your sixth day exploring the beautiful UNESCO-listed town of Sighisoara. Another beautifully preserved town in Transylvania, Sighisoara is known for being the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, whose patronymic – Dracula – inspired Bram Stoker’s eponymous character. Though his Wallachian ruler was no doubt incredibly vicious, there is no evidence he was a vampire.
There are lots of cool things to do in Sighisoara, including plenty of Dracula-themed activities. You can visit the beautiful citadel, people-watch in the main square and see the famous clock tower, visit museums like Casa Vlad Dracul, see some historic churches like the Church on the Hill and just enjoy the atmosphere of this gorgeous town.
The entirety of old Sighisoara is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is a truly beautiful, traditional Romanian town. Consider joining a walking tour if you want to learn more about the history of the town.
You can end your day by driving (or taking the bus or train) to our final destination of Cluj-Napoca to ensure that you have enough time to devote to exploring there. It takes about 2.5 hours to drive there. Otherwise, plan to spend another night in Sighisoara before heading to Cluj in the morning.
Day 7 – Cluj-Napoca
Your final day of this trip through Romania should be dedicated to exploring the lovely and lively city of Cluj-Napoca. Considered to be the unofficial capital of Transylvania and Romania’s second-largest city, Cluj is compact but is a lovely place to visit with a laid-back vibe and plenty of cool things to do.
Cluj has a large student population and therefore retains quite a youthful vibe and it’s a great way to get somewhere a bit more lively than the small towns you’ve been exploring, however, somewhere smaller than Bucharest.
You can spend your day wandering around the historic old town and seeing sites like St Michael’s Church, the Church of Franciscan Monastery and the National Art Museum.
If you want to experience some good green spaces, then head to the Alexandru Borza Botanical Garden which has a lot of different gardens to explore. And those who want to head out at night, Cluj also has quite a booming nightlife and there are plenty of places to party into the wee hours.
Where to Stay in Cluj-Napoca
Hotel Capitolina City Chic – Located in the city centre, this hotel has a number of clean and comfortable rooms on offer, a great breakfast, room service and free parking.
Hotel Beyfin – This opulent hotel in central Cluj is great for luxury visitors. They boast beautiful rooms adorned with Swarovski chandeliers along with private parking, a restaurant/bar, room service and an airport shuttle.
Retro Youth Hostel – If you’re looking for a hostel, this is a good choice in Cluj. They have a number of rooms available and even offer tours to top areas in Transylvania.
Not quite what you’re looking for? Click here to browse more Cluj hotels!
Have More Time?
If you have 10 days in Romania or more, then there are a number of different options available to you. First off, you could opt to spend a day or two longer in Brasov as the town makes for a good base for exploring the Carpathians.
You could opt to go on a day trip to the famous Transfagarasan Highway, a mountain passage commissioned by Nicolae Ceausescu in the 1970s. Today it winds its way through the gorgeous mountains and provides incredible views of the surrounding area.
Otherwise, from Cluj, you could head onto the city of Timisoara and explore here for a day or two. This is another lively student city with a lot of history. It’s also known to be the starting place of the 1989 revolution that ended the Ceausescu dictatorship.
Finally, if you are interested in heading to the east of the country, consider spending some time at the Danube Delta or on Romania’s Black Sea Coast. The port city of Constanta can be a good place to visit if you want to see the coastal side of Romania away from the mountains of Transylvania.
Visiting Romania is a wonderful way to explore gorgeous medieval towns, massive European metropolises and everything in between. Though it doesn’t get the attention that other countries get, there is so much to offer here and Romania is very much worth exploring.
Are you planning to trip to Romania? Have any questions about this itinerary? Let us know in the comments!