ROMANIA 2016

ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
ROMANIA 2016
When choosing cities to visit in Romania, you really can't go wrong with any of them. Almost every place we've visited had the quintessential European charm. Ornate facades, pretty fountains, artistic cobblestone sidewalks. All of the Old World loveliness.

In a hurry to get to Scandinavia before the summer end, we fast-tracked our vist in Romania and somehow squeezed everything we wanted to see in a week and a half. Our travel itinerary is as follows:

Bucharest >> Brasov >> Transfagarasan >> Sibiu >> Bran Castle >> Cluj >> Salina Turda >> Timisoara >> Bigar Falls.

I can see why most travelers prefer Romania over Bulgaria. It's cities are a bit more charming, aesthetically pleasing and pretty in pastels. The roads are surprisingly well-kept. The country is full of off the beaten track options, making it difficult to choose where/what to explore!

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// BUCHAREST //
Simply a quick rest stop for us, seeing as how Bucharest was like any other major bustling European city. We really didn't see any reason to stay longer than we should. A free walking tour and a lil jaunt around the very touristy (and very pricey!) Old Town, then we trained it to Brasov.
>> Stay: Antique Hostel. 20RON/person for 10 bed dorm.
>> Restaurants: Caru'cu Bere
>> Train: 49RON/person, from Bucharest to Brasov.


// BRASOV //
The perfect base city for our day trips to other parts of the Transylvania region: Transfagarasan, Sibiu, Bran Castle. When not daytripping and getting work done at local coffee shops, we explored the nooks and crannies surrounding the tiny picturesque town square. Also spent some time foodie hunting for Ciorba, Mici, Sarmale and Papanasi.
>> Stay: Kismet Dao. 45RON/person for 10 bed dorm. Walk hostel dog, Zara, for 30 minutes and get a free drink!
>> Restaurants: Beraria Ciucas, La Ceaun
>> Coffee: Foldo, Tipografia


// TRANSFAGARASAN ROAD //
One of the things I really wanted to see in Romania. Plans to hit this place up with a few hostel mates from Brasov fell a bit short, as the road is closed til mid June. We drove over anyways hoping to catch the cable cars to the very top in an attempt to glimpse the epic mountain road full of twists and turns. But that, too, ended in a dud. After an hour wait, the cable car operator never came back down the mountain and so we jetted off in search of dinner.
>> Car Rental + Gas: 400ish RON split 4 ways. Manual drive.

// SIBIU //
Reeling from the disappointment of the Transfagarasan fail, we drove over to Sibiu to catch an early evening dindin before driving back to Brasov. And to see why so many travelers pass through this town. A town surrounded by fort walls. What we found inside - the most charming medieval town painted in lovely pastels!
>> Restaurant: Crama Sibiul Vechi

// BRAN CASTLE //
Oh yes, the famous Dracula castle as popularized by Bram Stoker. Very touristy and very crowded. But how could we not? It's freaking Dracula! Though the castle itself is very unimpressive. And not as nice as other neighboring castles. It's quite small and devoid of decor, but still a nice walkthrough.
>> Entrance Fee: 35RON for Adults, 20RON with Student ID.
>> Bus: 7RON/person. To and From Brasov.


// CLUJ //
Another quick rest stop and transitional city for Team Jincent. Cluj itself if a lively college town with a vibrant night life. But the real reason why we're here is actually 30 minutes outside the city. Salina Turda. An off the beaten path that Vince stumbled upon while doing research.
>> Stay: Transylvania Hostel. 27RON/person for 8 bed dorm.

// SALINA TURDA //
I can see why Vince was immediately drawn to this site. Not just any ordinary salt mine, but a salt mine with an 'amusement park' deep in it's belly. An oddity that I'm sure most salt mines can't boast. Boat rides, ferris wheel, ping pong court, mini golf - none of these are state-of-the-art, but they're there. All for your curiosity.
>> Entrance Fee: 20RON for Adults, 10RON with Student ID.
>> Bus: 7RON/person. From Cluj to Salina Turda. 30 minute ride.


// TIMISOARA - BIGAR FALLS //
Timisoara is another lively college town with a very vibrant plaza. But, again, that's not why we're here. We're here because the Bigar Falls is 2 hours away. Other than the Bran Castle, the Bigar Falls was one of my must sees. I instantly became smitten with the picturesque falls when I first saw it on Instagram and ever since then, it's been on my mind. Whenever we go to Romania ... Well, we're here! Nevermind that it was expensive getting to the falls and certainly quite awhiles away, the falls itself quite tiny, but I personally thought it was worth it. Makes for beautiful photo ops!
>> Stay: Freeborn Hostel. 44RON/person for 8 bed dorm.
>> Car Rental: $38 through Economy Rental. Automatic drive.


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When: Late May / Early June 2016.
Temp: 77-83F
Cities: Bucharest, Brasov, Sibiu, Cluj, Timisoara
Stay: Refer to individual towns above. Most of the hostels mentioned are part of The Balkan Backpackers program. Get 5 stamps and receive a free shot or laundry service.


-jin-