The Perfect Romania Itinerary: Budget & Tips
While we were staying in Bucharest for a month, we decided to plan a trip around the country for a little more than a week. Here’s a break down of our Romania itinerary with some budget and tips!
As soon as we settle somewhere as digital nomads, we always try to plan a small round trip. Just to get away from our computers, and enjoy the landscape outside the city where we live temporarily. We decided to rent a car and do a nice road trip around Transylvania. In our small journey, we saw some beautiful castles, cities, villages, parks, and even some bears.
Our whole week-long trip took about about nine days in total, though you could probably shorten it to a week or lengthen it into two weeks.
You can then rent a car to continue your trip. I always rent at Sunny Cars because of the All-Inclusive formula.
A Romania Road Trip Itinerary Guide
2 Nights: Bucharest
There is a big chance that you will arrive in Bucharest if you are going on a round trip through Romania. The airport is located to the north of the city, and you will soon have to spend half an hour to an hour to get to the city.
I advise you to take one and a half days to discover the city. The old center is not that big, but you’ll have to spend some time visiting the Palace of Parliament (tickets here) and possibly some museums. Perhaps you, just like me, have to get used to the city. There is a lot of traffic, and many buildings look a bit run down. But when you look further, you see that the city is full of beautiful Art Deco architecture, palaces, and full of nice restaurants.
Read More: 25 Perfect Things to Do in Bucharest
Some Tour Ideas
Where to Stay?
Since we were based here outside of the trip, we rented an Airbnb. However, if you’re looking for a nice hotel, try the Grand Boutique Hotel.
2-3 Hours: Peles Castle
On your way from Bucharest to Brasov, stop by Peles Castle for a few hours.
In the Netherlands everyone will know the castle of Dracula, but no one has ever heard of this castle. Yet I found this a much nicer castle. In fact, I am a fan of castles, and it is one of the nicer ones I have ever visited.
Tip: Take a guided tour and admire the beautiful interior.
2 Nights: Braşov
From Peles Castle, continue on to Braşov in the afternoon. Around 6:00pm, you can join the free walking tour from Walkabout Tours. This way you can immediately see all of the city.
I actually liked Braşov better than Bucharest because it was not as big and less crowded. It has a nice center, where you can see the most important sights in half a day.
Some Tour Ideas:
Where to Stay?
We stayed at Hotel Apollonia. It was comfortable and not far from the city center if you’re looking for a budget-friendly hotel.
2-3 Hours: Castle Bran
While you’re still staying in Brasov, you can take a morning to visit the famous Castle Bran. If you want, instead of driving, you could also book a tour like this local one that’ll also take you to a Transylvanian village, bat cave, and some of Brasov’s center.
Although at first sight, Castle Bran may not tell you much, I promise you will know it under its other name: Dracula’s castle. According to legend, this would have been the castle that served as a model for Dracula’s castle in Bram Stoker’s famous Dracula novel. I did not find the castle so very impressive, but if you still like to make a stop in Transylvania, then you should of course go there.
You do not need more than a few hours, so you can spend the rest of the day in Braşov and seeing more of the city, like the bear sanctuary.
2 Nights: Ceahlau National Park, Romania’s Jurassic Park
You have never heard of this obscure nature park, but if you want to walk, or just enjoy the rugged Romanian nature, then I recommend going here. It is located in northern Romania and is truly magical. Stop along the way at the Pink Lake and the Bicaz Canyon.
Where to stay?
1 Night: Sighişoara
The cutest town in Romania is Sighişoara, which is so small that you can see all of it in a few hours. But if you come from Ceahlau National Park, you’ve probably driven long enough that you need an overnight stay. Moreover, I always enjoy spending a little longer in smaller places because then you can take it easy.
Admire the cute city center, visit the birth house of Vlad Dracula, and more!
Read More: 7 Dreamy Things to Do in Sighisoara
Tours in Sighisoara
Where to stay?
We stayed at Hotel Villa Franca. It was nice and spacious with a delicious breakfast spread.
2 Nights: Sibiu
Sibiu is also seen as one of the nicest cities in Romania. If you stay here for two nights, you will have enough time to discover the surrounding area with cute villages such as Biertan or, for example, visit the ASTRA complex, where you can get an insight into how Romanians used to live in rural areas.
Read More: 6 Things to Do in Sibiu: A Full Travel Guide
Where to stay?
We stayed in the super cute Maison Elysée. It was only a few minutes from the city center and the decor was so romantic!
2-3 Hours: Transfăgărăşan Road
Roughly between Sibiu and Bucharest you will find the Transfăgărăşan Road, voted the most beautiful road in the world. If you are here in the summer months (July to September) then you are lucky and you can drive it. This is exactly what we did, and it really was beautiful. You do not want to skip this! We even saw a bear!
Where to stay?
We did the stopover, but if you want you can stay in Făgăraş.
Finish in Bucharest
This road trip will bring you right back to Bucharest where you can continue staying, like us, or fly out to your next destination!
Romania Road Trip Budget
Here’s an estimate of our road trip budget. Remember this was for two people, so for things like food and sightseeing, split by two if you’re going solo.
- Hotels: ~ €440
Since we were living in Bucharest, we stayed in an Airbnb, which was much cheaper than staying in a luxury hotel like the Grand Boutique Hotel. However, even if you “splurge” a bit on your two nights in Bucharest, it’s still relatively inexpensive for what you get.
Hotels, in general, are not that expensive in Romania. During our trip, we slept at 4 different hotels. Twice we spent about €20/night and the other times it was about €50/night. Without factoring in Bucharest, that’s less than €300. With the Grand Boutique Hotel, it comes out to be about €440.
Budget Tip: Hostels are as low as €11/night, so if you’re on a tight, tight budget, you can easily spend less than €150 on accommodation.
- Parking: €3.23
- Petrol: €99.47
- Car rental: €159
For the entire time we were in Bucharest, we spent a total of €50. If you’re there for 2 nights, you’ll be able to walk everywhere, and if you do need to take an Uber, rides averaged €2.15 total. All the other stops you’ll need a rental car for anyway, or they’re easily walkable.
For our one-week tour we rented a car for €22.70 per day. We refueled a couple of times, which amounted to an average of€24.80 at a time. Petrol is a lot cheaper in Romania.
- Eating Out: ~€270 – €774
Keep in mind, for our entire time in Romania, we spent less than €600. That included eating out for dinner and cooking at our apartment.
However, in terms of eating out, we spent anywhere from €15 – €43. So on the cheaper end if you ate out for both lunch and dinner at €15/meal, it’d be around €270 and if you really splurged and spent €43/meal, it’d be €774. You can probably eat cheaper or even more indulgently, so it’s up to you!
For us, we splurged on eating out for dinner. After all, we have to try out all the restaurants under the guise of “research”, right? We are both Romanian and other cuisines, and we weren’t picky about your meal budget.
Sightseeing in Romania
- 2 Free walking tours: €21.57
- Parliament: €15
- Peles Castle: €12.94
- Castle Bran: €17.26
- Churches: €7.76
- Museums: €15.96
Attractions luckily aren’t too expensive in Romania. Our biggest expense was actually our two free walking tours where we tipped our guides. Remember these tour guides are doing this for free and sometimes they even have to pay to give tours, so don’t forget to tip them!
Not too bad for 9-day Romania itinerary! This was such a beautiful country, and it’s incredibly affordable for a European trip.
For more on Romania, check out these books
- A Concise History of Romania
- The Other Land of Gods: The Mysteries of Romania
- Lonely Planet Guide to Romania & Bulgaria
Do you have any tips for other stops during a Romania road trip?
General Travel Tips
- For accommodation, I always check Airbnb or Booking.com for the best prices.
- If your insurance at home doesn’t cover travel, you may want to look into SafetyWing for an affordable option.
- I always recommend checking Get Your Guide for the best tours in Europe.