Explore The Legend Of Transylvania
Transylvania is a very interesting region of Romania filled with myths, legends and wonder. Famous for being the mysterious land of bloodthirsty vampires and howling wolves, Transylvania is in fact a real place and though it’s a journey away from Bucharest, it’s definitely worth a visit when you’re in the country.
Vlad Dracula, also known as Vlad the Impaler, inspired Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel which was based on Vlad’s real life exploits where he was said to have skewered up to 80,000 of enemies on long spikes. Despite his wicked ways, he’s considered a hero in Transylvania, so not everyone’s thrilled with the region’s bloodsucking reputation. After many years of objections from locals, the Romanian tourism board announced plans to develop ‘vampire tourism’.
You can take part in a one day tour from Bucharest to Transylvania which will take you to all the exciting sights like Peles Castle, which is the tour’s first stop. Peles Castle is an amazing sight, and was built by the first Romanian King, and took 40 years to build. Other parts of the tour along the way include Dracula Castle and its breathtaking view, learning about Bran Castle’s fascinating history, admiring the 13th century fortress of Rasnov and wandering around the charming old town centre of Brasov.
Cultural Hot Spots
Bucharest has been dubbed as the New Berlin, and much like the German capital, Bucharest’s cafe culture is going strong. There are plenty of speciality coffee shops and cool streetside cafes across the city with terraces where you can watch the world go by while enjoying a hot cup or two.
Bucharest’s Old Town is pretty small when compared to others across Europe, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a visit. There’s still a wide range of things to see and do, as well as so much beauty packed into a small area. It’s right in the centre of the city, and blends Byzantine and Baroque architectural styles which add to the Old Town’s charm. Some of the must-visit spots include the 18th century Stavropoleos Monastery and the Caru cu Bere, which is one of Bucharest’s first ever bars. It takes its old world style from a typical Bavarian beer house, and is a great place to enjoy a stein or two with your friends.
A Taste Of Romania
If you’re hoping to sample authentic Romanian cuisine during your travels, be prepared to search around a little and pay a little more than in most other restaurants. This is because, when the locals head out to eat, they prefer to enjoy other cuisines, and keep the authentic cooking at home, who can blame them! Many of the restaurants will serve up Italian, Chinese and Turkish dishes, so you’re sure to find something you really like.
Romanian Mici is a hit dish in Bucharest, particularly in barbecue season. They are grilled skinless sausages made from ground beef, pork, plenty of paprika, thyme and some garlic seasoning. They are best enjoyed with a dollop of mustard, if you like it of course!
Another popular treat in the city, and across the country, is papanasi. Papanasi is a much-loved dessert – they are deep fried doughnuts topped with a large helping of soft cheese, sour cream and sour blueberry jam. Delicious!
If you’re looking for something to wash it all down with, feteasca neagra is the perfect choice, especially for wine connoisseurs. Feteasca neagra, Romania’s best known wine, is made from a dark-skinned grape grown in the Moldova and Muntenia regions. The wine is a beautiful ruby-red colour and blends smoky and fruity flavours for a delicious glass of red wine.