The ideal 5-day itinerary for visiting Romania: discover Bucharest and the southern part of Transylvania, a land full of history and fairy tales, castles and medieval cities. This ultimate itinerary for a trip to Romania includes all the must-see places, both on and off the beaten track! So, grab your luggage and get ready for some serious sightseeing!
Day 1: Arrival in Bucharest & city tour
Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, is bursting with life, offering diversity and contrasts: glorious Belle Époque buildings, communist giants like the Palace of Parliament, the 18th century architecture of the Old Town or glass towers topped by sky bars.
Bucharest is the European capital with the largest number (per square mile) of clubs, bars and lounges. The Old City in particular teems with life from early in the afternoon until sunrise. In the last years, this area was fully restored and it once again looks and feels like it did between the World Wars when Bucharest had earned a new nickname – “The Paris of the East”.
You can either explore the city with the hop on/hop off sightseeing bus or you can opt for a private city tour. Time Travel Tourism is our specialty, that’s why we’ve designed our day tours based on certain historical themes. You can choose the Ashes of Communism Tour (visit the Palace of Parliament, learn about the last European dictator, see massive structures and unhealed scars) or the Charm of the Belle Époque Tour (Golden age, 19th century, beautiful architecture & palaces). If time allows it, you can delve into Bucharest’s traditions and enjoy a visit at the Village Museum and a wine tasting session.
Day 2: Bucharest – Peles Palace – Bran Castle – Brasov
The 2nd day is about castles and medieval cities. Take a ride to Sinaia and visit the gorgeous Peles Palace, former private retreat of Romania’s royal family and currently one of the greatest art collections in Eastern Europe.
Next, go to Bran Castle and discover a stone giant guarding the passageway to Transylvania. While exploring the mighty castle, learn about the myth of Dracula, the stories of Vlad the Impaler and the iconic figure of Queen Mary. After having lunch, go to Brasov, a medieval gem resting at the feet of Mount Tampa and founded by the Teutonic knights in the 12th century. In Brasov, visit the Old Town with its charming streets and feasts your eyes with a breathtaking view over the entire city from atop of the White Tower.
Day 3: Brasov – Rasnov Citadel – Viscri – Sighisoara
This day is more relaxing (less driving) but with beautiful attractions nevertheless. First, stop at Rasnov Citadel, a superb medieval fortification placed on top of a hill.
Next, go to Viscri’s Fortified Church (UNESCO monument). Discover a village where traditions are still intact, where you can feel like you’re travelling back in time. Continue on the path of discovering local traditions and stop in Saschiz (UNESCO) to have a traditional Romanian lunch in a beautifully decorated guesthouse. The last stop of the day is Sighisoara (UNESCO), one of the best preserved medieval citadels in Europe. There are a few hotels & guesthouses right within the citadel, among the colorful streets, old workshops, fortifications, gatehouses or Boehme cafes. In a few words, Sighisoara is a medieval fairy tale.
Day 4: Sighisoara – Biertan – Sibiu
The first stop of the day is at Biertan (UNESCO) and its Fortified Church. Biertan is probably one of the most beautiful Saxon villages in Transylvania. Next, head to Sibiu – another medieval marvel of Transylvania and the European capital of culture in 2007. Founded over 800 years ago by German settlers, the old city is surrounded by well-preserved 15th century fortifications. With a mix of Gothic, baroque and renaissance architecture, the pedestrian free Old Town looks like medieval Vienna and was ranked as Europe’s 8th most idyllic place to live by Forbes.
Day 5: Sibiu – Transfagarasan – Bucharest
This day is about incredible scenery. On your way to Bucharest, cross the Carpathians on the Transfagarasan, “the best road in the world” (by Top Gear). From the highest point, near the shore of a glacier lake, you can see the entire Transylvanian Plateau (if sunny). Please keep in mind that the Transfagarasan road is open between June and October. If you’re planning your trip during November and May, you can always return to Bucharest by passing through Olt’s Valley – another amazing road that crosses the southern Carpathian Mountains.
Do you need help in organizing a customized, self-driven trip to Romania or would you rather rely on the assistance of a local guide to lead you?
Let us know of your travel plans by filling in our Request Form and one of our travel consultants will help you make the best decision!
Itinerary details & map
Overall itinerary: Bucharest – Brasov – Sighisoara – Sibiu – Bucharest
Number of days: 5
Distance covered: approx. 800 km
Suggested type of transportation: car