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Western Romania

Culture & History

Our most recommended Western Romania Culture & History

Timisoara: Classic Walking Tour

1. Timisoara: Classic Walking Tour

This tour will start with a brief introduction about the country’s situation today, so you get a feel for Romania and a basic understanding of the story of Timisoara. Learn the history of the city, starting with the Mongol invasion centuries ago through the contemporary revolution against the communist regime in Romania. During the tour, hear about the years of the Turkish occupation and see where the Turkish public bath, the bazaar, or the Central Mosque used to be located in the past. Everything changed when Timisoara was conquered by the Austrian imperial troops at the beginning of the 18th century. The city was completely rebuilt during that time. Wooden buildings from the Middle Ages disappeared and new streets and houses, as well as a fortification system were set up. Learn about how one of the first trams in the world to connect people from the suburbs to the city center was built in Timisoara. Timisoara was also the first place in continental Europe, where electric street lights were used. Discover these and many more interesting and entertaining facts, anecdotes, and stories on this walking tour.

Bratislava: 6-Hour Carpathian Wine Tour and Tasting

2. Bratislava: 6-Hour Carpathian Wine Tour and Tasting

Be picked up from the lobby of your hotel and embark on the journey towards the Small Carpathian Wine Region. This area is located on the south-eastern slopes of the Small Carpathians and is one of the eight winegrowing regions of Slovakia. Arrive at the Red Stone Castle, one of the most romantic castles of Slovakia, with vast cellars which were once used as warehouses for copper. To enter, you can pay an additional fee. Continue towards the historical town of Modra. Modra is famous for being the birthplace of Slovakian national hero Ludovit Stur, who fought for the autonomy of Slovakia in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Stur also had a significant influence on the revival of the Slovak language and introduced the Slovak language standard. Learn more about his importance in Slovak history as you wander around the medieval town center. Next, visit Pezinok, the capital city of Slovak wine production. Enjoy a walking tour in the historical city center of Pezinok with the option of entering the Majolica Pottery Factory. Continue towards the small town of Svaty Jur to discover its charming streets. Finally, visit a local vineyard and see the traditional production of local wine, free from colorants or additives, by local farmers. Sample this local fine wine with a small snack before returning to Bratislava at approximately 6:00 PM.

Day Trip to Sighisoara Rupea Fortress Viscri from Brasov

3. Day Trip to Sighisoara Rupea Fortress Viscri from Brasov

Discover Sighisoara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and its medieval fortress, which is still inhabited to this day. Learn about the fortress’ history, from its construction in 1280 to the history of the site it was built upon. View the former Saxon settlement and its famously well preserved walled Old Town, which earned Sighisoara its distinction as a UNESCO site. Experience the beauty of Rupea Fortress, recently restored in 2014 and originally built by the Saxons and first documented in the 1300s. Learn about the history of the surrounding site, one of the oldest archaeological sites in Romania, where signs of human settlement date back to 5500 BC - 3500 BC. Travel to Viscri (Deustchweisskirch), known throughout Europe because Prince Charles purchased a house in the village in 1996. Visit the village, which attracts 15,000 tourists annually and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take in Viscri’s beautiful sights while learning about its history as a former Saxon village. See the famous Viscri fortified church, originally built in 1100.

Brasov: Transfagarasan Highway and Balea Lake Tour

4. Brasov: Transfagarasan Highway and Balea Lake Tour

Your tour will begin as you are taken from your hotel in Brasov by a professional guide. Once having departed Brasov, you will travel to the most spectacular road in Europe: Transfagarasan. You will stop first and visit the Brancoveanu Monastery, an ancient Orthodox monastery built at the foot of the Fagaras Mountains. Its mural and interior paintings were made in 1766 by the painters Ionascu and Pană, and you will leave the silence and harmony of the monastic life of this Orthodox monastery. You will then continue to the mountains which host the Transfagarasan Highway, the most spectacular and beautiful mountain road in Europe. The road has been featured on the UK motor show Top Gear, and traverses up through the mountains uniting Transylvania with Valachia. Whilst there you will experience great scenes, noisy waterfalls, and with some luck you may even see wild animals such as the brown bear or black goats. Moving onward, you will travel to the Balea Glacier Lake, where you will have lunch at the Lake Balea Chalet. You can then take a walk around the lake, and in summer can also climb up the slope near the lake. From the top of this ridge you will have wonderful pictures with the peaks of the surrounding mountains and the lake and cottage Balea. In the winter between December and March you can visit the ice hotel, as well as the neighboring ice church. You will later return to Brasov in the evening, with wonderful memories of your trip into the sky.

From Cluj-Napoca: 2-Day Bucovina & Painted Monasteries Tour

5. From Cluj-Napoca: 2-Day Bucovina & Painted Monasteries Tour

To begin this two-day tour, you will be picked up from your hotel in Cluj-Napoca by your guide and start the journey to Bukovina. On your way to Bukovina, you will make a quick stop in Bistrita, the northernmost fortified Transylvanian town. In a short walking tour through the town, you will enjoy the medieval legends and explore its narrow streets. Bukovina is especially famous for its painted monasteries, and over these two days, you will visit the most representative of all seven. During the second part of the day, you will have the chance to visit the most famous painted monastery in the world, Voronet Monastery. The frescoes of the monastery are dominated by intense shades of blue, and the southern wall depicts the best-preserved ‘Last Judgement’ fresco in Romania. The monastery was built in 1488 by Prince Stephen the Great in order to commemorate one of his victories against the Ottoman Empire. Enjoy a traditional dinner with a folkloric dance show at a nearby restaurant then stay overnight in Gura Humorului. You will start the day with a short drive to Humor Monastery, a small cross-shaped church built in 1530, dedicated to the Dormition of Virgin. Red hues dominate the exterior frescoes showing scenes from the lives of saints, as well as significant moments from the locals’ lives, such as the wars with the Turks. Moldovita Monastery is the next stop on your itinerary. The highlight of the day is Transrarau Highway. With a total length of 28 kilometers (17 miles), it is known as the Treasury Road. You will be amazed by its curves and the scenery. It goes up to 1400 meters in altitude, and from there you will have a hike through the Rarau Mountains. You will have the chance to see the rock formations that emerged from the ground millions of years ago in order to give birth to these mountains. After you have filled your lungs with fresh air it is time for lunch at a fish farm.

From Bucharest: Vlad the Impaler Royal Court Private Tour

6. From Bucharest: Vlad the Impaler Royal Court Private Tour

Forget about legends and travel to see Vlad the Impaler's Royal Court and his Fortress in Poienari village, where Vlad use to hide the country's gold. Stop to see Curtea de Arges Monastery, a real beauty of the Royal Family, and where the graves of the Romanian Kings are located. See the biggest dam in Romania nearby, Vidraru Dam, and get ready to take pictures. You will travel by private car and have your own guide while visiting some of the most historical and interesting sites in the area. Travel to Targoviste Fortress, one of the most important medieval monuments in Romania with a history that goes back to the 15th century. Explore the former princely court, that was used as a residence by some of the most famous princes of Southern Romania, including Constantin Brancoveanu and the legendary Vlad the Impaler who built the emblematic Chindia Tower. Learn the history of Tragoviste, from its small beginnings as a fortress to its expansion to a princely residence by Vlad Dracul. Move on with a walk up to Chindia Tower, the symbol of the princely court of Targoviste. Admire the view from the tower’s balcony, especially the ruins of the two princely palaces, and also observe the silhouette of a church dated back to 1415. Finish walking around what remains of the palace and visit the two churches that still survive in the area, the small Holly Friday Church and the Great Princely Church, the only monument built in the 15th century in Southern Romania still conserved in its original form. Reach the old town of Curtea de Arges, with its rich and eventful history, and see the ruins of the Wallachian princely court, the 13th century Royal Church, as well the famous Arges Monastery. Learn the interesting and sad history of the sites from the guide. Enjoy visiting Poenari Castle, a perfect stop for history lovers and fans of Dracula. Experience the perfect chance to discover the wildlife in Transylvania.

Brown Bears and Dracula's Castle in Transylvania

7. Brown Bears and Dracula's Castle in Transylvania

Stop at the Libearty Brown Bear Sanctuary, which is the largest of its kind in the world. Money raised from tickets and donations contribute to the welfare of the animals. See the impressive medieval Rasnov Fortress. Its main attraction is the panoramic view over the Piatra Craiului Mountains and Brasov Depression. The 11-hour program continues to the famous Bran Castle, better known as Dracula’s Castle. Built in 1377-1382 as a fortress, it became famous after Bram Stoker’s Dracula was published and then made into a movie. Stop in Brasov, a lovely medieval town located in southern Transylvania, and enjoy a walk along its picturesque streets.

Transfagarasan Road Trip with Curtea de Arges

8. Transfagarasan Road Trip with Curtea de Arges

Visit the Curtea de Arges Monastery on this 12-hour trip. Completed in 1517, it serves as the necropolis of the Romanian royal family. Continue the drive on a highway that crosses the Carpathian Mountains. Next on the itinerary is cliff-top Poenari Castle, dating from the 13th and 14th centuries. Vlad the Impaler forced many of his enemies and political opponents to work on expanding the castle. Near the castle make another stop to see Vidraru Dam: at 525 feet, it is one of the tallest dams in Europe. A highlight of the tour is a drive on the Transfagarasan Highway. At the northernmost point of the tour, enjoy a short hike near Balea Lake.

Bucharest: Transylvania and Dracula's Castle 2-Day Tour

9. Bucharest: Transylvania and Dracula's Castle 2-Day Tour

Follow in the footsteps of the Count Dracula legend on a 2-day tour to Peles Castle and Bran Castle in the Transylvanian mountains. Wander the ornate rooms and gardens of former royal residences, and see Saxon houses that date back to the 16th century. The scenic drive takes you high up into the Carpathian Mountains where time has stood still at enchanting villages, and where Romanians head in the winter to ski at the mountain resort of Sinaia. Day 1: Bucharest - Sighisoara Following a pick-up from your hotel in Bucharest (or from Revolution Square at 09:00), cross the Carpathian Mountains en route to Sibiu, stopping at the Monastery of Curtea de Arges to explore the complex founded by Prince Neagoe Basarab in 1514-1517. During the summer (1 June - 15 September), the route to Sibiu takes the unique Transfagarasan Road across the Carpathians, climbing to an altitude of 2,000 meters at its highest point. Upon arrival in Sibiu, enjoy a quick tour of the medieval city center. Then, drive to Sighisoara on the picturesque Tarnava Mare River. Marvel at the beautifully preserved citadel, and wander the enclosed walls and cobblestone streets of the Old Town. See Saxon houses that date back to the 16th century, and the 9 surviving towers, including the iconic Clock Tower. From the balcony of this former main gate to the city, enjoy beautiful views across the town and countryside. Immerse yourself in the medieval atmosphere at sights such as the former Church of the Dominican Monastery, where valuable relics include a fresco of the Saint Trinity, a carved altarpiece, and Oriental carpets. Day 2: Sighisoara - Brasov - Bran - Bucharest Today you will drive to Brasov to discover where Vlad the Impaler led his raids against the German Saxons. Explore the medieval city center on a tour of the Black Church, Town Hall, Black Tower, and Ecaterina Gate. Then, continue to “Dracula’s Castle,” located between the Bucegi and Piatra Craiului Mountains. More commonly known as “Bran Castle,” the important monument depends on the legend of Count Dracula for its reputation, but is also acclaimed for its beauty. Learn the history of the castle, from the 14th century to the day in December 1920 when the castle was donated to Queen Marie of Great Romania. Admire the fountains, lakes, and halt terraces of the former royal summer residence, and see the "Tea House" of Queen Marie. Continue to the beautiful mountain resort of Sinaia, known as "The Pearl of the Carpathians." Here, you will visit Peles Castle, one of Romania's most exquisite palaces. Learn about the Romanian kings that used the castle as their summer residence as you admire its intricate façades and see wooden towers that reach for the sky. Discover the fountains and statues built by Viennese architects in the grounds, and imagine the balls, concerts, literary events, and theatrical performances of Romanian high society in days gone by. Wander the opulent interiors to find ebony, walnut and mother of pearl. Go to the terraces and grand outhouses of the castle complex, such as Pelisor Castle and Sinaia Monastery. Venture inside the Monastery, built by the "Spatar" (a high ranking noble of the Valahian Kingdom), Mihai Cantacuzino following his pilgrimage to Mount Sinai. The monastery contains religious icons and rare books, as well as an exhibition of pottery and porcelain that dates from the 16th to the 19th centuries. There will be time to visit the 19th-century wine cellars from Azuga, built by the Rhein family, official suppliers to the Royal Court. Purchase some authentic still wines and sparkling wines of Romania, before transferring back to Bucharest in the evening.

From Bucharest: Transfagarasan Highway Private Day Trip

10. From Bucharest: Transfagarasan Highway Private Day Trip

Discover the most scenic high-altitude road in Romania named by Top Gear "the best road in the world" with this Transfagarasan Day Trip from Bucharest. Visit the Curtea de Arges Monastery and see the mighty Poenari Citadel. Your first stop will be in the town named Curtea de Arges, at the bottom of the Fagaras Mountains to see the remarkable ruins of the Wallachian princely court, the 13th century Royal Church, as well the famous Arges Monastery. Next, head to the foot of the Poenari Citadel, a stronghold that became famous thanks to Dracula's Legend. Climb the 1480 stairs that lead up to the castle. Continue to the spectacular Transfagarasan Highway and experience the incredible views and stunning scenery that this paved mountain road offers.

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What people are saying about Western Romania

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 11 reviews

Such an amazing tour! we visited several places, each with a meaningful historical background for the country, specially about Vlad Tepes legacy. Tour guide was very friendly and kept a nice conversation and profesionalism, even when Poenari castle was closed, he filled the time with other nice places around and the oportunity to try traditional food, I learnt a lot thanks to his knowledge of every place we saw.

A great day without stress. we had ample time everywhere and a super guide who had a huge knowledge of the country and the attractions. However, one should mention in the description, it is a good idea to have a snack with, as lunch is very late. And takes part of the time in Brasov.

The tour was amazing! Nicolas is a very knowledgeable guide who prioritizes the guest experience. I definitely recommend checking it out! Very fun adventure that I would do again.

A very good day out! Our tour guide, Mr Rasem, was extremely friendly and knowledgeable about everything and he made this a fantastic experience for me and my partner.

Mr Rasem is very patient and kindly, also very knowledgeable about the local history and culture. We had a very memorable day.