Romania is a picturesque country with beautiful nature, and amazing landscapes. Its traditions deepen far back into the past, and till nowadays many of them remain intact. The cities of Romania give you a lot of opportunities to explore any kinds of activities. If you want to make a relaxing trip to the seaside, you can choose to go to Mamaia or Constanța, the most popular beach resorts in Romania. If you are a more active person, you can opt for a winter vacation in the Carpathian mountains, the main ski resorts being: Brașov, Predeal, and Sinaia.
Romania is also famous for its balneological resorts, where you can combine the pleasant and the useful. So those who want to have a wellness vacation can focus on their health betterment in the resorts as: Techirghiol, Băile Olănești, Covasna, Slănic-Moldova, Sovata, Băile Tușnad. If you are eager to discover the historical sites of Romania, then you can visit its medieval castles like the Bran castle, also known as the castle of Vlad-Dracula, or the Peleș castle, which was the royal summer residence. So don’t hesitate to discover the broad range of options that are the best cities to visit in Romania.
Romania City List
Located in western Romania close to the Serbian and Hungarian borders, Timisoara has long been at the crossroads of a number of different civilisations. Over the centuries this important city in Romania has come under the auspices of the Romans, Ottomans and Austro-Hungarian Empire, the latter of which has left strong Hungarian, German and Serbian cultural links which are clearly seen in the architecture, art galleries and museums.
Romania’s third-largest city is popularly known as ‘Little Vienna’ and there is plenty to see and do and known for its churches, grand municipal squares, parks and gardens. Highlights include Union Square with its Roman Catholic and Serbian Orthodox cathedrals, the Habsburg-era architecture of Freedom Square, the grand Romanian Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral and three beautiful Jewish synagogues.
In a country of elegant and historic cities, Sibiu may just be the most handsome. One of the oldest cities in Romania, Sibiu has a distinct Germanic feel to it and, along with Brașov and Sighișoara, was an important Saxon centre. Today, much of this heritage remains. Most of the historic defensive fortifications including 39 towers and four gates are still intact and within the city’s original medieval street layout there is a beautifully maintained collection of 17th-century buildings and numerous churches all still standing. Explore the graceful squares of the Upper Town – including the UNESCO protected Great Square – and Huet Square with its gothic architecture and Evangelical Cathedral, the Bridge of Lies, Brukenthal Palace and 13th century Council Tower.
Romania’s second city, Cluj-Napoca is the gateway to Transylvania. Originally a small Dacian settlement that expanded during the Roman era, Cluj-Napoca was a major commercial centre and an increasingly important medieval Saxon stronghold. Trade links with many of the most influential cities of the region and immigration from central Europe fuelled economic growth which, over time, resulted in grand building works and a reputation for being a centre for education and the arts. Today Cluj-Napoca is a vibrant university city of galleries and gardens, bars and cafes. This most visited city in Romania is home to the 15th century gothic St Michael’s Church and baroque Banffy Palace, both of which overlook Union Square, and a number of museums including the Cluj National Museum of Art and Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania.
Delightful Brasov is home to one of the best preserved medieval old towns in Europe. Bordered by the Carpathian Mountains, Brasov was established by Teutonic Knights during the early 13th century, then settled by the Saxons as one of their seven walled citadels. Over the centuries this one of the best cities in Romania to visit amassed great wealth from trade due to its location between Western Europe and the east and the result of this can be seen in the city’s fine gothic, renaissance and baroque architecture.
Major points of interest in Brasov include the Black Church, the largest gothic church in Romania, Council Square and the impressive defensive towers, gates and bastions that once protected the city. To the north of Brasov, the 800-year-old fortified church at Prejmer can also be visited.
The modern capital of Romania and the most populous city in the country, Bucharest has had a tumultuous history. Made capital in 1862, the layout and the architecture of this famous city in Romania has been shaped by events of the last 150 years with the city flourishing in periods of cultural creativity and industrial productivity during late 1800s and early 20th century but also afflicted by two World Wars and the redevelopment that took place during Ceausescu’s communist rule. The best-known building that survives the Ceausescu era is the mammoth Palace of Parliament which is the second-largest administrative building in the world and contains an astonishing 1100 rooms. Also of interest is the opulent Romanian Athenaeum concert hall, Patriarchal Cathedral, Palatul Primaverii and Revolution Square
Located in the heart of Romania, Sighisoara is a beautiful medieval town and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Settled by the Romans and developed by the Dacians, this popular city in Romania is best known as the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler, the powerful ruler who later inspired Bram Stoker’s epic tale. Little altered over the centuries, the heart of the city has survived almost entirely intact with the winding cobbled alleys, original pastel-coloured burgher homes, 14th century Clock Tower, Dominican monastery and 500 year old church all tightly set within the confines of Sighisoara’s ancient citadel walls. The citadel itself dates to the 14th century and once defended Sighisoara from Turkish attacks whilst the Clock Tower and Church on the Hill are two of the most elegant buildings in Romania.
Iasi is one of the important provincial cities in Romania. In modern-day Romania Iasi is known as a major cultural, literary and educational centre – it was here that the first Romanian newspaper was printed, the first university founded and the first theatre established. For centuries Iasi also played a prominent role in the trade of the wider region, benefitting from a location that allowed its merchants to tap into the affluent commercial routes between the Ottoman Empire and countries like Poland, Hungary, Russia. Much of this wealth was invested back into the city, churches were built (Iasi is home to almost one hundred Orthodox churches), parks laid, palaces constructed and leafy avenues created. The opulent century-old Palace houses a library and four museums.
Constanta is thought to be one of the most popular cities in Romania. Settled by the ancient Greeks and conquered by the Romans, a wealthy Genoese trading outpost and long-term Ottoman settlement, Constanta’s prominence is linked to its coastal location overlooking the Black Sea. A considerable amount of Roman history remains to be discovered in Constanta – the city’s main square is named after the poet Ovid who was exiled to the city by Emperor Augustus, there are a number of wonderfully preserved mosaics and an extensive collection of artefacts in both the National History and Archaeology Museum and the open-air Archaeological Park. Visit the Art Nouveau casino, St Peter and Paul Orthodox Cathedral and climb the minaret of the Great Mahmudiye Mosque for city-wide views.
One of the charming cities in Romania once the capital of Moldova, is located in the far north-east of the country close to the astonishing UNESCO protected painted monasteries of the Bucovina region. Undeniable masterpieces of Byzantine art, the exterior walls of these monasteries are elaborately decorated with colourful 500-year-old frescoes that depict everything from the life of Jesus and other key Bible scenes to portrayals of heaven and hell and illustrations of prominent saints and prophets. Three of the most important monasteries are Moldovita, Voronet and Sucevita (all a morning’s drive from Suceava). Moldovita’s frescoes show the Siege of Constantinople and the Tree of Jesse, those at Voronet are renowned for their quality and preservation whilst Sucevita has the largest number of paintings and a collection of priceless manuscripts.
It is no surprise that Busteni would have made this list for its natural beauty, with a name that translates to ‘tree-logs’ in Romanian. Hidden away in the Prahova Valley and surrounded by the Bucegi mountains, Busteni offers outdoor opportunities for tourists year-round. Coming in the summer will set you up for great hiking with beautiful views, whereas you’ll want to bring your skis for a winter visit. The wood-roofed buildings, gorgeous mountains give the small city an Alpine feel, and forest surrounding them only complement their appearance. You can even check out the nearby Cantacuzino Castle, for some history.
Little-visited Oradea is undeniably a hidden gem and, for centuries, has been one of the main gateways to the country. Oradea is a stately city best known for its grand Art Nouveau and Baroque architecture, located only a few miles from the Hungarian border and lining the banks of the Crisul Repede River. Places of interest in this best city of Romania include Black Eagle Palace, Oradea Fortress, with its classic five-pointed star layout, the Bishop’s Palace, the Church of the Moon, and the baroque Roman Catholic Cathedral which is one of the best-preserved Art Nouveau buildings in the city. Oradea also has a proud Jewish heritage and is home to one of the region’s oldest and most important Jewish communities.
Elegant Targu Mures sits in the middle of Romania and the heart of Transylvania. For a city of relatively small size, the architecture of Targu Mures is considered to be some of the finest in Romania. This, in part, is a reflection of the distinct cultural heritage of the city (for centuries Targu Mures has been home to a large Hungarian population) and also the fact that since the medieval period the city has been a major centre for the arts and crafts. The most important building of this must-see city in Romania is the Culture Palace, an Art Nouveau masterpiece completed in 1913, but also of interest is the baroque Apollo Palace, 17th century Palffy House and wooden orthodox church of St Michael.
13. Alba Iulia
Alba Iulia is an important city for the history of Romania as we know it today. The major city in Romania is a symbol of the unification of the Romanian territories back in 1918 into the big country of Romania. But this is just one fact about Alba Iulia, and there are more things to learn and to see from this beautiful city like the Alba Iulia Citadel is one of the most beautiful places in the area and one of the biggest attractions in Transylvania. Inside the fortress, there are buildings with high importance in history, since the Roman Empire era to our days.
The major attraction of this most popular city in Romania you can visit the Union Hall, the National History Museum of Unification, the Princely Palace (Voivod Palace), the Roman Catholic Bishop’s Palace, the Apor Palace, the University of Alba Iulia, the Orthodox Cathedral, the Roman Catholic Cathedral, and the Batthyaneum Library.
14. Baia Mare
One of the most important mining centers and small but an amazing city of Romania. Baia Mare has a history of more than 2,000 years of gold, silver, and other nonferrous metals extraction. First mentioned in 1329, Baia Mare has preserved some of its medieval past around the main town square, Piata Libertatii. You will find the oldest house here, dating from the 1440s, stands on the east side of the square, a lone remnant of a long-gone castle built by Transylvanian prince Iancu de Hunedoara for his wife Elisabeta. All are houses and natural beauty here inspires tourists here to visit this city.
The mountain resort of Sinaia, which lies at the heart of a region of outstanding natural beauty, is best known for being the location of majestic Peles Castle. Set on the eastern edge of Bucegi Natural Park, Peles Castle is a masterpiece of German Renaissance architecture, was completed in the late 1880s and was the summer residence of the royal family until 1947. No expense was spared in the construction of the castle, each room is decorated in a different theme using priceless paintings and artefacts and at that time Peles was the only castle in Europe to have electricity. Also of interest is the 300-year-old Sinaia Monastery, still a working monastic centre, and, further afield, the towering turrets of ancient Bran Castle which dates to the 1300s and was chosen by Bram Stoker as the legendary stronghold of Count Dracula.
Attractive Bistrita is one of Romania’s best-preserved medieval towns. Established at the beginning of the 13th century by Saxon settlers, towers, defensive walls, and gateways once surrounded Bistrita and although little of these remain today. The cobbled streets of this most beautiful city in Romania are home to a collection of charming pastel-coloured 15th and 16th-century merchant homes. Explore the remnants of the original city walls, visit the 800-year-old Orthodox Church and gothic Saxon Evangelical Church which overlooks Bistrita’s main square and take time to see some of the city’s most important medieval buildings. For literature buffs, Bistrita features in Bram Stoker’s novel ‘Dracula’ whilst, outside of the town day trips can also be made to a number of traditional Saxon villages.
Romania City List is letting us know all the best cities in Romania to visit as it is providing a brief description of the top 10 cities in Romania to visit and some Romania major cities. Hope this article would be beneficial for you as it provides the name of cities in Romania which must not be missed and kindly share your views.