Romania

Today, Romania is known worldwide as the birthplace of Dracula and a lot of the modern vampire mythos that accompanies it. But Romania is so much more than Transylvania, the Carpathian Mountains, and the Black Sea – it is a country with a rich tradition that dates back to Roman times.

If you are planning on visiting this beautiful country, here are a couple of places you definitely shouldn’t miss.

  1. Bran Castle

Situated on the border between Wallachia and Transylvania, Bran Castle is more famous as the Dracula’s Castle. Although it has been proven that the castle has almost nothing to do with Vlad Țepeș, the Romanian national hero. This castle is still one of the national symbols of the country.

Today, the castle is open to tourists, where they can see the exhibition setting made up of art objects and furniture belonging to Romanian Queen Mary of Edinburgh, who lived in the castle in the first half of the 20th century.

  1. Brașov

Located in the very heart of Romania, Brașov is also one of the biggest cities in the country. Founded in the mid-13th century (1252), the old city core is exceptionally well preserved. Because of its buildings – churches, squares, and palaces, a large number of tourists from all around the world flock to Brașov each year. The so-called “Black Church” is the most important building in the city. It is a Protestant church, the largest in the area between former Constantinople and Vienna. It got its name after the 1689 fire, to which it owes its present color.

  1. Maramureș National Park

This important historical and ethnocultural region is located on the northeastern side of the Carpathian Mountains, along the upper Tisa, in the northern part of the country. It is a valley surrounded by mountains. This region is mostly forested and occupies an area of about 10 thousand square kilometers. Extremely rich in endemic plant species that grow only in this area, it is also a habitat for various animal species. It has been a National Park since 1930.

  1. Tâmpa Mountain

Near the city of Brașov sits Tampa Mountain, 960 meters above sea level. The majority of the mountain is a nature reserve because there are rare animal and plant species there. The top can be reached by cable car in only a few minutes, and from there you can gaze at the beautiful panoramic view of the entire city of Brașov.

Another interesting place to visit while you are there is the famous stone bench. Local legend tells the tale of two lovers who sat there when a huge stone fell and killed them, and the stone bench remains in the memory of them and their eternal love.

Related: 5 Best Places to Visit in Belgrade