This website is intended to help travelers who are planning to visit Romania or would like to learn more about this country.
Authentic, Natural and Cultural are the words that best capture the essence of Romania, a dynamic country rich in history, arts and scenic beauty.
Romania offers countless unique travel experiences that are waiting to be discovered.
A journey of a few hours by car or train can take you from the Danube River to a beautiful, intact, medieval town in Transylvania; from Bucharest - Romania's capital city - to the Black Sea; from Southern Transylvania to Bucovina or Maramures. Take a step back in time as you visit one of the world’s famous painted monasteries in Bucovina, the ancient, hilltop citadel in Sighisoara or an authentic, centuries-old, folkloric village in Maramures.
Explore Romania's many architectural treasures and experience its vibrant and flourishing
Romania is situated in the southeastern part of Central Europe and shares borders with Hungary to the northwest, Serbia to the southwest, Bulgaria to the south, the Black Sea to the southeast, Ukraine to the east and to the north and the Republic of Moldova to the east. Roughly the size of Oregon, Romania is the second largest country in the area, after Poland.
Bucharest — the capital city of Romania — is located at the same latitude with the cities of Portland - Oregon; Montreal - Canada; Venice - Italy; and Bordeaux - France.Geographical location of Romania:
between latitudes 43°37’07" and 48°15’06" North and longitudes 20°15’44" and 29°41’24" East.
Romania extends approximately 300 miles North to South and 400 miles East to West.
Romania's territory features splendid mountains, beautiful rolling hills, fertile plains and numerous rivers and lakes. The Carpathian Mountains traverse the centre of the country bordered on both sides by foothills and finally the great plains of the outer rim. Forests cover over one quarter of the country and the fauna is one of the richest in Europe including bears, deer, lynx, chamois and wolves. The legendary Danube River ends its eight-country journey at the Black Sea, after forming one of the largest and most biodiverse wetlands in the world, the Danube Delta.
About a third of the country consists of the Carpathian Mountains (also known as the Transylvanian Alps). Another third is hills and plateaus, rich with orchards and vineyards. The final third is a fertile plain, largely devoted to agriculture.
- Mountains: 31% of Romania's territory
- Hills and orchards: 36%
- Plains: 33%
- Areas covered by rivers and lakes: 3.7%
- Total number of lakes: 3,500
- Lakes greater than 250 acres: 300
- Highest mountain peak: Moldoveanu Mt. — 8,349 ft. (2544 m.)
Located halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, Romania is the 12th largest country in Europe.
Romania’s terrain is almost evenly divided between mountains, hills and plains.
» The Carpathian Mountains
Although not as high as the Alps, the Carpathian Mountains extend over 600 miles in Romania, in the shape of an arch. They are divided into three major ranges: the Eastern (Oriental) Carpathians, the Southern Carpathians (also known as the Transylvanian Alps), and the Western Carpathians. Each of these ranges feature a variety of landscapes, due to the different types of terrain (glacial, karstic, structural, and volcanic).
Romania’s mountains are a great destination for numerous outdoor activities including: climbing, hiking, biking and river-rafting. Some of the most popular ski resorts are Poiana Brasov, Sinaia, Predeal, Vatra Dornei, Lake Balea and Paltinis.
» The Danube Delta
Danube River ends its journey of almost 1864 miles through Europe in south-eastern Romania. Here the river divides into 3 frayed branches (Chilia, Sulina, Sfântu Gheorghe) forming the Danube Delta. It is the newest land in the country, with beaches expanding almost 65 feet into the sea every year.
Overall, the delta is a triangular swampy area of marshes, floating reed islands and sandbanks. It is a UNESCO Biosphere Reservation as well as a protected wetland and natural habitat for rare species of plants and animals.
» The Black Sea
The Romanian Black Sea Coast stretches a little over 150 miles.
The Black Sea is a continental sea, with a low tide and salinity and water temperatures of 77 - 79˚F in the summertime. Its wide, sandy beaches facing east and south-east become a major tourist attraction from May until September.
98% of the Romania’s rivers spring from the Carpathian Mountains. The upper streams are usually more spectacular, featuring numerous gorges, caves and precipices.
The main rivers in Romania are Mures (473 miles on Romania's territory), Prut (461 miles on Romania's territory), Olt (382 miles), Siret (347 miles on Romania's territory), Ialomita (259 miles), Somes (233 miles on Romania's territory) and Arges (217 miles). In the east, river waters are collected by Siret and Prut rivers. In the south, waters flow directly into the Danube and in the west most of them are collected by Tisa River.
Europe’s second longest river, the Danube, flows through southern Romania forming part of the country’s frontier with Serbia, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Its blue waters run along 621 miles, from Bazias to the Black Sea. Virtually all of the country's rivers are tributaries to the Danube, either directly or indirectly.
The Danube is an important water route for domestic shipping, as well as international trade and tourist cruises. The main port, both for trade and tourism, is Constanta, linked to the Danube by a canal build in 1984. Tulcea, Galati, Calarasi, Giurgiu and Drobeta are other important river ports. The nearest Danube river port to Bucharest is Giurgiu. Older plans for construction of a 40 miles canal connecting Bucharest with the Danube River are now being re-considered by the Romanian Government.
There are around 3,500 lakes in Romania, most of them small or medium.
The largest are the lagoons and coastal lakes on the Black Sea shore, such as Razim (164 sq. miles) and Sinoe (66 sq. miles), or lakes along the Danube bank - Oltina (8.5 sq. miles); Brates (8.1 sq. miles).
Formed at the end of the last Ice Age, the glacial lakes in the Carpathian Mountainsare small, but spectacular. Worth mentioning are the glacial lakes in the Retezat Mountains: Zanoaga, the deepest lake in the country (95 feet) and Bucura, the largest (24.7 acres) as well as the lakes located in the Transylvanian Alps (Balea, Capra, Caltun, Podragu).
Lake St. Ana, located in Ciomatu Mare Massif, near Tusnad is the only volcanic lakein Romania, sheltered in a perfectly preserved crater and surrounded by vast fir-tree forests. The lake is solely fed by rain. Therefore, its waters are nearly as pure as distilled water.
The Red Lake (elevation 3,215 feet), located in the Hasmas Massif, near Bicaz Gorges, is unique in shape and landscape. It is a natural dam lake created in 1837 after a major landslide. The name “Lacul Rosu” (Red Lake) comes from the reddish alluvia deposited by its main tributary.
» Flora and fauna
Due to its varied terrain and climate Romania has a diverse flora and fauna.
Over 3,700 species of plants and 33,792 species of animals can be found in Romania.
Oak, beech, elm, ash, maple and linden made up 71 percent of Romania’s forests while conifers (fir, spruce, pine and larch) account for the remaining 29 percent.
» Soil and mineral resources
More than 58.000 square miles - almost two-thirds of the country's territory - are suitable for agriculture. Arable land accounts for about 40 percent, pastures for 19 percent, and vineyards and orchards represent some 5 percent of the total land area.
Significant oil reserves are concentrated at the foothills of southern and eastern Carpathians. Oil reserves have also been discovered a few miles away from the Black Sea coast. Large deposits of natural gas are located in the Transylvanian Plateau.
There are important iron ore deposits in Poiana Rusca Mountains, Banat and Dobrogea regions, as well as in Harghita Mountains (Eastern Carpathians). Most of the nonferrous metal reserves are concentrated in the northwest, particularly in Maramures and Apuseni Mountains. Some of the largest gold deposits in Europe are also located in Apuseni. Large amounts of pure salt are located at: Slanic, Tîrgu Ocna, Ocna Mures, Praid and Cacica.
Romania has a temperate climate, similar to the northeastern United States, with four distinct seasons.
Spring is pleasant with cool mornings and nights and warm days.
Summer is quite warm, with extended sunny days. The hottest areas in summer are the lowlands in southern and eastern Romania where 100 F is often reached in July and August. Temperatures are always cooler in the mountains.
Autumn is dry and cool, with fields and trees producing colorful foliage, much like New England.
Winters can be cold, especially in the mountains. While not the rule, abundant snowfalls may occur throughout the country, from December to mid-March.
There are significant regional differences of the climate between different regions of Romania.
Foreign visitors consider Romanians among the friendliest and most hospitable people on earth. Romanians are by nature fun loving, warm, hospitable, playful, with an innate sense of humor.
Romania is associated with big names in arts and sports:
Constantin Brancusi — one of the most acclaimed modern sculptors.
Angela Gheorghiu, one of the world's greatest opera soprano -www.angelagheorghiu.com
Alexandra Nechita — a young Romanian painter living in California, known for her distinct style. For more info about Alexandra and her art please visit:http://alexandranechita.com/
Ilie Nastase — Twice ranked as the world's number one men's player in the early 1970s, Ilie Nastase won two Grand Slam singles titles during his illustrious career - the US Open in 1972 and the French Open in 1973. One of the greatest touch players of the post-war era, Nastase was runner-up at Wimbledon in 1972 and 1976 and, in all, he won 57 career singles titles and 51 doubles titles. Nastase is still one of crowd's favorites at the U.S. Open.
Nadia Comaneci — Olympic champion gymnast, the first in the world to score a perfect 10.
Other world renowned Romanian artists include the writer Eugen Ionesco, pan flute virtuoso Gheorghe Zamfir, piano player Radu Lupu and musician George Enescu.
About 21,700,000 people live in Romania.
Ethnic breakdown is 89% Romanian 7.5% Hungarian, 1.9% Gypsy, German, Ukrainian, Armenian, Croatian, Serbian and Turkish. More than 55% of Romania's population lives in towns and cities.
There are 263 towns in Romania out of which 25 have a population of more than 100,000 while 8 cities count more than 300,000 inhabitants.
45 % of Romanians live in rural areas: 2,868 communes and 13,285 villages.
The administrative divisions are called "judet" (county).
There are 41 counties in Romania.
The capital city, Bucharest, has the status of a county.
Bucharest — the capital of Romania has a population of more than 2,200,000.
Main religions in Romania
Eastern Orthodox 78%
Greek Catholic 10%
Roman Catholic 5%
Unitarian, Jewish, other
Romanian, a Latin based language which is a continuation of the Latin spoken in ancient times in Dacia and Moesia — the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire.
A 31-letter Latin alphabet is in use.
Ethnic minorities (Hungarian and German) use their own languages in school and civil administration.
Literacy rate in Romania is 98%.
Most Romanians living in towns and cities are able to communicate in English, French or German. In smaller villages only younger people and children usually speak foreign languages.
• Around 80% of Romanians speak at least one foreign language
• 25% of Romanians speak at least 2 foreign languages
• 4% of Romanians speak more than 3 foreign languages
• Romania has over 100 universities, and the country annually produces some
30,000 engineering graduates; 8,000 earn their degrees in IT sciences
Did You Know ?
The Palace of Parliament, located in Bucharest, ranks as the biggest office building in Europe and second-largest in the world, after the U.S. Pentagon?
Voronet Monastery, located in northeastern Romania, is also known as theSistine Chapel of the East?
Romania has the second largest underground glacier in Europe (in terms of volume) ?
The 3500-year old Scarisoara glacier, located in the Bihor Mountains – 90 miles southwest of Cluj Napoca - has a volume of 2,649,000 cubic feet (75,000 cubic metres), making it the second largest European underground glacier, after the Eisriesenwelt ice cave in Austria. The 154 foot deep entrance shaft leads to some impressive ice structures, including spectacular 20 foot high ice stalagmites. Scarisoara ice-cave is open to the public.
The city of Brasov (Transylvania) is home to the largest gothic church between Vienna and Istanbul ?
Brasov's famous landmark and Romania's leading gothic church, the Black Church was built between 1385 and 1477 and got its nickname after the Great Fire of 1689 blackened its the walls.
The meaning of the word “Transylvania” is the land beyond the forest?
Transylvania was first referred to in a Medieval Latin document dating from 1075 as Ultra Silvam (Ultra meaning "beyond" or "on the far side of …" and Sylva (sylvam) meaning "wood or forest").
Romania has the second-largest outdoor museum in the world?
Astra Museum in Sibiu features more than 300 buildings as well as watermills and windmills, gigantic presses for wine, fruit and oil, hydraulic forges and structures representing village architectural styles from many parts of Romania.
Hollywood’s original Tarzan was born in the city of Timisoara, Romania?
Considered by movie-makers “the only man in Hollywood who’s natural in the flesh and can act without clothes”, Johnny Weissmuller (1904-1984) was a box-office hit in the 1932 Tarzan the Ape Man. The ship's roster from his family's arrival at Ellis Island lists his birthplace as Freidorf, now a district of the city of Timisoara. Freidorf maintains beautiful architecture, old German homes, and lots of green spaces.
(1799-1875)? The first fountain pen was invented by Craiova-born Petrache Poenaru
Mr. Poenaru's invention was patented in May 1827.
The movie Cold Mountain was filmed on location in Romania?
Hollywood celebrities Jude Law, Renee Zellweger and Nicole Kidman relaxed in Poiana Brasov after shooting the film Cold Mountain on location in nearby fields and farms.
The Romanian city of Timisoara was the first in Europe to have electric street-lighting?
Timisoara was the first European city to introduce horse-drawn trams (in 1869) and electrical street lighting (in 1889).
The Bruckenthal museum in Sibiu opened its doors to the public three years prior to the Louvre Museum in Paris ?
Founded in 1790 by Samuel Brukenthal, the governor of Transylvania, the museum opened to the public in 1817. It is the oldest museum in Romania and one of the first museums in Europe. The art collection includes paintings by Rubens, Van Dyck and Teniers, as well as works of German, Austrian and Romanian masters.
Insulin was discovered by a Romanian physiologist ?
Only after two Canadians received a Noble prize, some 50 years later, for the same invention Nicolai Paulescu’s precedence was finally recognized and he was rightfully acknowledged as the true inventor of insulin.
The jet engine used by modern airplanes was invented by Bucharest-born inventor Henri Coanda ?
Romanian inventor and aerodynamics pioneer, Henri Coanda designed and built in 1910 the world's first jet powered aircraft, known as the Coanda-1910, which he demonstrated publicly at the second International Aeronautic Salon in Paris. Coanda died in Bucharest November 25, 1972 at the age of 86. Romania's main international airport, Henri Coanda, is named after the great inventor.
Without a Romanian gymnast the computers wouldn’t have had the capability to display a perfect 10 ?
Nadia Camaneci got the first 10 in the history of gymnastics in Montreal in 1976.
castles ? Universal literature found valuable sources of inspiration in Romania's
The most famous novels written are "The Castle in the Carpathians" by Jules Verne, and "Dracula" by Bram Stoker.
Romania features the youngest continental land (Danube Delta) in Europe ?
The mighty Danube River flows 1,788 miles from its springs in Germany’s Black Forest to the Black Sea. Just before reaching the sea it forms the second largest and best preserved of Europe's deltas: 2,200 square miles of rivers, canals, marshes, tree-fringed lakes and reed islands. The Danube Delta is a wildlife enthusiast’s (especially a bird watcher’s) paradise. Formed over a period of more than 10,000 years, the Danube Delta continues to grow due to the 67 million tons of alluvia deposited every year by the Danube River.
Brasov is home to what is said to be the narrowest street in Europe ?
The Rope Street (Strada Sforii) is approximately four feet wide and links Cerbului Street with Poarta Schei Street. The street was initially used as an access route by firefighters.
Ten U.S. cities have ‘sisters’ in Romania ?
Here is the active list from the 2008 Membership Guide of Sister Cities International:
Baia Mare - Hollywood, FL
Bistrita - Columbus, GA
Brasov - Cleveland, Ohio
Bucharest - Atlanta, GA
Cluj Napoca - Columbia SC
Contanta - Mobile, AL
Medias - Mineral Wells, TX
Pitesti - Springfield, OH
Sibiu - Columbia, MO
» The Carpathian Mountains are home to one of the largest undisturbed forests in Europe.
» 400 unique species of mammals, including the Carpathian chamois, call the Carpathian Mountains home.
» 60% of European brown bear population lives in the Carpathian Mountains.
» The Carpathian Mountains are forming a semi-circle around Transylvania,which one of Romania's nine historical provinces.