I’ve just read Alina’s article about her take on 7 days itinerary in Romania (Romanian). And since she asked for ideas and comments , here is my take on this.
I would recommend coming to Romania by way of Budapest. Why? After Malev’s “death”, Ryanair and WizzAir have increased their presence at the city’s airport. Plus, EasyJet is there too, which means cheap flights from pretty much any major European hub.
So, from Budapest take the train either to Arad or Oradea (maybe spend 1/2 day checking out the city) then travel to Cluj Napoca.
Budapest – Arad/Oradea -Cluj
Budapest – Arad: 4 hrs by train; Arad – Cluj – 5 hrs by train.
Day 2 and 3: Cluj Napoca
Walk to Piata Unirii and spend a day checking out the sights and sipping coffee in an outdoor cafe. Browse the bookshops, visit the cathedral, take photos. Make your way up to Belevedere Hotel for some incredible views of the city. On the second day, pick one of the major sights you haven’t seen yet and check it out, along with the area around it. If you want to relax, head to the Botanical Garden.
Day 4: Alba Iulia
The city of the union of 1918, a historical place with lots to offer.
A superb medieval city with plenty of things to do.
Day 6: Sighisoara and Brasov
Sighisoara, the medieval citadel, can be visited in several hours. Visit the museum and walk up to the viewing “deck” in the clock tower. Walk all the way up to the church and see the city from above.
Catch the train to Brasov. Visit the Black Church and spend more time checking out the sights.
Day 7: Bucharest
Spend your day in the old center and if you have time, check out Herastrau Park and the outdoor museum.
You can catch a flight out of Bucharest, but the airport is not as well served by low cost carriers as Budapest’s airport.
However, if you are into nature and outdoors, I’d suggest a slightly different itinerary. From Budapest go to Arad or Oradea, then Cluj Napoca, skip Alba Iulia, head to Sighisoara then Brasov. Now take the road through Rucar-Bran and don’t stop until you reach Dambovicioara. It’s a small, yet lovely mountain village. You’ve got where to hike and recharge your batteries. Btw: the cheese is amazing! From here either go back via Brasov or to Bucharest (via Campulung) to travel back home.
(c) photos: Cristina P.