Romania is a central European country known for the forested region of Transylvania, preserved medieval towns such as Sighişoara and many fortified churches and castles, notably clifftop Bran Castle, long associated with the Dracula legend. The area is ringed by the Carpathian Mountains, which are popular for trekking, climbing, skiing and bathing in natural thermal spas.
With its 19.9 million inhabitants, it is the seventh most populous member of the European Union. Its capital and largest city is Bucharest with approx 2.2 million inhabitants. It is the cultural, industrial, and financial center of Romania. It is located in the southeast of the country, lying on the banks of the Dâmbovița River.
Romania is a country of natural beauty: The Carpathian Mountains draw a wide arc through the center of the country, leaving a swath of exposed rocky peaks surrounded by groves of pine and deciduous trees, and stretches of bright green meadow below. Europe’s second-longest river, the Danube, marks Romania’s southern border before turning suddenly northward and emptying into the Black Sea. The Danube Delta is a vast and unique protected wetland, perfect for hiking, fishing, boating and birdwatching.
The land that gave us Dracula has no shortage of castles and medieval villages: Spooky Bran Castle, for instance, with its spurious connection to Bram Stoker’s fictional count.
When in Romania, make sure to connect with the locals: Romanians in every region are known to be open, friendly, proud of their history and eager to share it with visitors. Let them spoil your taste buds with specialties of authentic Romanian cuisine, which has greatly been influenced by Ottoman cuisine. Specialties include ‘tochitura’, a meat stew seasoned with onions and spices, ‘ghiveci’, over 20 vegetables cooked in oil, ‘sarmale’, pickled cabbage leaves stuffed with a mix of minced meats, rice and spices and ‘mititei’, small skinless grilled sausages.