When you mention Romania the ones that know a little about this country probably have in mind the famous attractions: Bran Castle, Brasov and Transfagarasan, at best. But it is time to get to know more than that, so read the below list with 9 less known places to visit in Romania.
The best way to reach them is on a private guided tour (see here some guided tours in Romania). Of course that when you visit this country for the first time, it is important to have an itinerary that includes the attractions everybody recommends. But don’t hesitate to add some of these off the beaten path landmarks for a full experience. You will have some nice surprises!
Scarisoara cave, located in the Apuseni mountains, hosts the second largest underground glacier in the world, after the one in Slovakia. You can visit it on a road trip in Romania (here you can find a road trip itinerary) because it cannot be reached by public transport.
If you want to visit it, you will drive around 10 km from the national road on an uphill, narrow road. Once you park the car and walk around 15 minutes through the forest, you will arrive at the ticket station. From there, the glacier is accessible on a descending iron ladder.
Inside the cave the temperature is constant, around 0 degrees Celsius, so during summer visitors need winter clothes when they get here. It is not a comfortable experience for the body, but what you will find here deserves all the effort!
Prejmer fortified church
Every Traveller that arrives in Romania usually visits one or two of the main cities in Transylvania and the most important villages. The fortified churches of Transylvania are UNESCO heritage sites and the best known of them is Viscri fortified church.
But on your trip, you can also explore the Prejmer fortified church. Prejmer is also a UNESCO World Heritage site but is less visited than the other fortified churches in Transylvania. It is the largest fortified church in Southeastern Europe and it was built in the 13th century by the Teutonic Knights.
Being so close to the city it can be included in any day trip from Brasov. Besides the church inside the citadel, you can visit also the rooms located in the surrounding wall and see what defensive system they used during that time.
The Blue Lake, Sprie Bath
A lesser-known natural attraction is the Blue Lake in Maramures, declared a nature reserve. The lake is unique in the world because it changes colour depending on the position of the Sun and the temperature of the water. Autumn has a darker colour, spring is blue, and summer acquires shades of emerald. It was formed by the collapse of a mine and is located in the middle of a wild landscape, which accentuates its beauty even more. you can visit it during your stay in Maramures. Here you will find some suggestions for pensions and hotels in which to stay in Maramures.
Culture Palace in Iasi
Renovated a few years ago, the Culture Palace in Iasi is the symbol of this city. It was built at the beginning of the last century and for many years it was considered the tallest building in town due to its central tower (55 meters). The palace can be visited every day from Tuesday to Sunday. Today it hosts several museums: The Moldavian History Museum, the Art Museum, the Moldavian ethnographic museum and a Science and technique museum. The entrance ticket to the palace covers all of them.
Banffy Castle in Bontida
Known because it hosts every year the Electric Castle music festival, Banffy castle in Bontida is a ruin today. But its visitors can still explore it and discover why it is called “the Versailles in Transylvania”. Named after the Banffy family that built it in the 18th century, in baroque style, the castle became a ruin because it was used as a hospital during the Second world war. It is said that the souls of soldiers that died here hunt the castle. If you get here, you can explore some chambers inside the castle, enjoy a walk on the green grass from the yard and get lost in the forest located on the lake.
God’s bridge in Ponoarele
Formed after the ceiling of the cave collapsed, God’s bridge in Ponoarele is the only natural bridge used for traffic. A national road passes by, but on foot, you can go also under it and explore a little cave nearby.
The oldest church in Romania that still host church services, the Densus church was built in the 13th century using the stone from Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa, the Roman fortress used as the capital after the Romans invaded Dacia. Historians believe that this is an old temple christened, due to its unusual architecture. It is not easily accessible, so prepare for a long road if you want to see it.
Iulia Hasdeu Castle
The most terrifying castle in Romania, Iulia Hasdeu castle in Campina was built by Iulia’s father, Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu after her daughter died at the age of 19. Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu said that Iulia designed the castle after her death and mentioned to him what the castle should look like. He said he communicated with her during their spiritism sessions. After you visit the building, you will have the feeling that it doesn’t belong to this world.
Seven ladders canyon
An amazing hike and very accessible even for those that are not doing that very often, the Seven ladders canyon is a trail inside the canyon. Starting in Timisu de Jos, near Brasov, after a 30-minute walk in the forest you will arrive at the entrance of the canyon. The seven ladders will help you pass through the canyon admiring the small waterfalls without getting wet. To return to the starting point there are 2 options: walking or using the flying fox.
This list of less known places to see in Romania includes something for everyone: natural attractions, old castles and mysteries that will draw your attention and will make you want to explore them. And these are only 9 of them.
Romania hides many other surprises. You just need to visit it with your heart open and eager to discover it. It will offer you more than you expect. So, which place from this list will be included in your next trip to Romania?