Romania is not only about Dracula
Romania is associated mostly with Count Dracula and his precursor, the merciless Vlad the Impaler, whose image can be found on most Romanian souvenirs. However, many tourists are oblivious to the number of stunning places that await the travellers who choose this country as their holiday destination.
Romanian mountains, along with the breathtaking Transylvania, are among the most scenic places in Europe, whereas the country’s towns are riddled with medieval landmarks and castles characterised by splendour and long history. This culturally rich land, where Roman, German, and Turkish influences intertwine, is a place full of tourist attractions which will surprise even the most experienced globetrotters.
Despite the fact that you need to summon up some patience while driving around Romanian roads not only due to their state but also due to motorists' behaviour, a rental car will be an ideal means of transport.
Discover Road Trips in Romania
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You can't miss it in Romania!
The best place to start your journey around Romania is surely Bucharest, known as "the Little Paris" in the past. Beautiful architecture, neoclassical facades, and scenic plazas have survived not only earthquakes but also war.
After a visit in Bucharest, it's worth heading to the beautiful Sibiu located at a stone's throw from Sighisoara, which can boast one of the best preserved medieval urban complexes. Located 40 km away, Medias is an ideal retreat from the crowded streets. Once a trading village, today it is a perfect option for trying Romanian delicacies and an interesting stop in your trip around Transylvania.
In Gura Humorului, you can find architecturally interesting Orthodox churches. From there, a straight path follows to Vorones with a defensive monastery and a small Orthodox Church of St George. In order to see more excellent religious edifices, it's best to travel to the Moldovisa Monastery dating back to the 15th century or to the Sucevi?a Monastery, which can boast a charming Orthodox church.
Central Romania is as beautiful as the country's highlands. It is enough to pay a visit in Brasov or at the Red Lake, located nearby the colourful Bicaz Canyon, to grasp the charm of this land. This part of the country is riddled with defensive churches. Examples of such constructions are the church in Prejmer or the church in Hărman - both dating back to the 13th century. Among all of the bastions in Romania, the most popular one is probably Bran Castle which is advertised as a fortification connected with Vlad the Impaler.
Tourists directing their steps towards the Black Sea should visit country's largest commercial port, namely Constanca. Around the central Ovid's Square, you will find numerous medieval constructions and charming cafés. While travelling around the province, it is also worth heading to Histria, which was originally established by the Greeks. Unfortunately, you won't get there without a car as it is located away from the popular towns.
The Black Sea is also a synonym of sunbathing, warm water, and superb tourist infrastructure - all of that and even more can be found in Mamaia which is the largest seaside resort in this region.
Tulcea is another town that welcomes tourists with an idyllic climate and picturesque location in the Danube Delta. Here, the lovers of active spending of their free time will find a small paradise, where sightseeing trips around the nearby nature reserve will have no end.
Romania: car rental, traffic rules, and roads
Before starting your journey around the beautiful Romania, you have to choose an appropriate rental car and insurance type. All of the major Romanian cities and main airports can boast a number of car rental spots which will provide you with a detailed offer concerning the best and the most convenient options - after choosing your rental vehicle, it's time to hit the road!
While travelling around Romanian roads, it's vital to remember to observe the speed limits. These are: 50 km/h in built-up areas, 90 km/h in rural areas, and 130 km/h on motorways.
In Romania, you need to have your dipped headlights on when travelling in urban areas, but only at night. During the day, motorists use them only in case of adverse weather conditions. Outside the cities and built-up areas, automotive lighting has to be used both at night and during the day.
Unfortunately, Romania can't really boast impeccable roads; therefore, it's worth staying extra cautious, especially while driving at night. Many Romanian roads are also poorly marked.
Remember that motorways and expressways are all toll roads. However, the whole system is pretty easy to follow as there are special vignettes that solve the whole problem. Vignettes are available at post offices. They can also be purchased online and at petrol stations. Make sure that you've bought it as lack of a vignette results in high tickets.
Drinking and driving is heavily penalised in Romania and there is zero tolerance for any blood alcohol level. Tickets for drinking and driving range from €80 to €200, but sometimes such situations end with the seizing of your driver's licence by authorities.
Documents and car equipment
While driving around Romania, you should always carry the following documents: driver's licence, liability insurance, a passport or an ID, and registration document. At any moment during a road check, the motorists can be asked to show one of the above-mentioned documents.
The law requires that each driver has the following car equipment: a warning triangle, a first aid kit, reflective vests for the driver and all passengers, and a fire extinguisher. Moreover, it's best to have an additional set of side-view mirrors if you are driving a vehicle equipped with a road trailer that is wider than the car itself. Summer tyres should have tyre tread that is at least 1.5 millimetres deep.
Parking in Romania
In most cities, you'll find free parking lots - take your pick! Additionally, there exists a possibility to leave your car on plazas and streets. There are also special stopping areas on motorways where you can take a break and stretch your legs.