Romania isn’t on TripAdvisor’s top winter recommendations…but it should be!
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! And you’re probably dreaming of the perfect holiday with your loved ones. Experiencing a snowy Christmas in a cozy chalet, skiing and exploring a Christmas market may be pretty expensive, especially if you choose a country such as Switzerland or Italy. However, you can have a magical Christmas holiday even if you are on a budget.
If this sounds like it might be for you, here you can find five ways to spend your winter holiday in this beautiful Eastern-European country.
1. Visit Poiana Brasov
Poiana Brasov is, without a doubt, the biggest and the most luxurious mountain resort in Romania. Located in the Carpathians, it is one of the most well-preserved mountain areas in Eastern Europe with trails, an ice-skating rink and an indoor recreation centre. The resort is famous for the luxury hotels, ski shops and breathtaking views.
2. Try traditional Romanian food
Romanian cuisine combines a mix of ingredients and is influenced by Balkan, Turkish and German recipes. It is also known to be varied, filling and savory. For example, sarmale are cabbage rolls made of minced meat and mixed with spices, rice and onions, rolled up in cabbage leaves. You can smell them on the streets during Christmas markets. But there is no Christmas without cozonac, a Romanian traditional dessert filled with walnuts, rum, raisins and cocoa. They can be found in stores or fayres, but nothing compares with the taste of a homemade one.
3. Enjoy Bucharest Christmas Market
The capital celebrates the holiday season with a delightful Christmas market which brings along farmers and villagers from all over the country to share their traditional products. You can also find gifts, decorations, and all sorts of baked goods, regional pies, mulled wine and more. There’s a gorgeous Santa Claus House, an open-air ice skating rink and the atmosphere is animated by a beautifully lit Christmas tree, live carols and concerts.
There are many direct flights to Bucharest from London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol or Edinburgh
4. Explore the wonderful Bran Castle
The Bran Castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Romania, being associated with the famous vampire story of Dracula. Located in the forested region of Transylvania, it is a medieval castle with narrow passages and even a torture room. The castle can be visited anytime, but it’s more spectacular in the winter time, covered in snow and offering unique instagrammable panoramas.
5. Discover picturesque villages
Romanian villages are the best places to get to know an important part of Romanian culture by seeing ordinary people wearing traditional folk attire on holidays. These villages are also known for the sculpted woodwork found on magnificent gates of houses, as well as on the many wooden churches. You can experience genuine hospitality and meet friendly people who make you feel at home in their country.
As American Novelist Edna Ferber said: “Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling.”