Most beautiful city in Romania

8 Most Beautiful Cities in Romania

Have you ever considered a city break in Romania? I bet you haven’t, although this relatively undiscovered Eastern European country prides itself with some really exciting destinations to choose from, whether you’re looking for rich culture, vibrant nightlife, or a romantic weekend away.

While the scenic Carpathian Mountains, with their lovely resorts, breathtaking views, and buzzing ski slopes, draw plenty of overseas visitors to the country during winter, the Black Sea Coast greets them with sunshine and beach parties throughout the hot summer months. The Romanian cities, however, make for excellent year-round destinations, blending old and new in unique, interesting ways.

Have a look at Romania’s most beautiful cities and find the one that’s suits you the best:

Timisoara

Timisoara, Romania

Located in western Romania, in the Banat region, Timisoara is a cosmopolitan metropolis with a distinct university vibe and lovely architecture to marvel at. It is also the symbol of Romania’s democracy and one of the most beloved cities in the country.

Prestigious cultural institutions stand side by side with chic cafés and restaurants, while the vibrant nightlife and chock-full events calendar only add to the city’s allure.

Sibiu

Sibiu, Transylvania

Located in the charming Transylvania region, the medieval city of Sibiu is the Gothic fairy tale of Romania. After enjoying a year in the spotlight in 2007, when it was elected the cultural capital of Europe, Sibiu became one of the country’s most sought after destinations.

This is small town feel in a big-city format, so expect a rich cultural heritage, storied squares, and lots of windy cobblestone streets lined with gorgeous restaurants crossing its beautiful Old Town.

The lovely Christmas Market taking place here every winter, the captivating medieval festivals in the fall, the blooming trees’ fragrance shrouding the town in spring, and the colorful cafés spilling out on the sidewalks during summertime make Sibiu an ideal year-round destination.

Cluj

Cluj-Napoca

The second largest city in Romania, Cluj-Napoca, or simply Cluj, is an ancient metropolis with a young soul, located right in the heart of Transylvania. With a rich history, plenty of medieval castles, fortified churches, museums, and a highly artistic sense, it’s no wonder Cluj is the poetic hub of Romania, a very elegant and romantic one.

Nicknamed “The Treasure City”, Cluj boasts impressive baroque and neoclassical architecture, as well as a remarkable cultural life due to the 11 universities that enliven its spirit each year with tons of exultant students.

The city lies in the province of Ardeal, one of the most picturesque, traditional, and genuine corners of Romania, a place where locals – honest and peaceful – love their land more than anything else, where deep-rooted traditions are carefully kept alive, and where the food has a truly special taste.

Nevertheless, Cluj-Napoca has been designated European Youth Capital in 2015, and never looked back ever since. Nowadays, it’s overflowing with hip designer cafés and fabulous festivals, including Electric Castle the world-famous UNTOLD.

The city’s hipster-meets-historic character makes it an ideal getaway for romantics, culture devotees, gourmets, and generally anyone looking to discover Romania as it is – charming and distinctive.

Brasov

Brasov Old Town

Surrounded by mountains and filled with fairytale-like architecture, Brasov is another delightful medieval chapter of Transylvania.

Home to the narrowest street in Europe (Rope Street), a plethora of towers, bastions and cathedrals, first-class museums, an animated nightlife, and the most beautiful landscapes in the country, this big stylish city has something for everyone.

Brasov’s main draw, however, remains its privileged location near Romania’s finest alpine resorts, which makes it an excellent choice for mountain enthusiasts seeking to combine art and culture with endless outdoor adventures.

Bucharest

Bucharest, Romania

Calling all visiting artists and musicians – Bucharest is the capital of Romania and has nothing to do with Budapest, the Hungarian capital. This being cleared, let’s see what Bucharest has to offer its visitors.

We used to call it “Little Paris” once, then it became the city of malls, but the eclectic Romanian capital is definitely much more than that. Just think about it: fabulous nightlife, striking architecture, verdant parks and gardens, modern galleries, prestigious museums, stylish shopping, and a story-book Old Town lined up with hip cafés – all eagerly waiting to be explored and discovered.

While in Bucharest, make sure you have a drink in the charismatic historical center or pay a visit to the open-air Village Museum on the shores of Lake Herăstrău, for a fascinating insight into the history of Romania’s rural architecture.

Although a decidedly modern city, Bucharest still retains the elegance of times gone by along with bitter concrete bits of its communist past, which gives it a truly unique atmosphere and makes it the perfect city break destination for those in love with history, architecture, and all modern-day distractions.

Sighisoara

Sighisoara Medieval Town

Part of UNESCO’s prestigious list, Sighisoara is one of the prettiest and best preserved inhabited citadels in Europe. Home to the notorious Vlad the Impaler, the character who inspired Bram Stoker’ Dracula, the city seems straight out of a mythical bygone realm, with impossibly narrow alleyways, surreal candy-colored houses, and lots of frightening legends entwined between its fabled towers and ramparts.

I would recommend Sighisoara to anyone visiting Romania, from thrill seekers to incurable romantics.

Iasi

In the beautiful city of Iasi, every stone, museum, monastery, park, or memorial house talks about the nation’s literary past. Located in northeastern Romania, the former capital of Moldavia stretches over seven rolling hills (just like Rome), offering visitors not just a valuable history lesson, but also wonderful landscapes at every turn.

Despite its important role in the history of Romania, Iasi is also the city that gave birth to some of the most remarkable Romanian writers, and the place that is praised most often in their works. Today, however, the past and present cohabit astoundingly in its museums and on its streets, where slick lounges and ancient inns share the sidewalk.

Constanta

Situated in southeastern Romania, on the Black Sea shore, Constanta is the largest port and coastal city in the country. Founded under the name of Tomis, by the Greek colonists from Miletus in the VII century BC, this is a unique blend of Roman, Greek, and Turkish influences, and the place where some of the most valuable archaeological sites on the Romanian territory can be found.

Glued to Mamaia – the country’s swankiest seaside resort, Constanta makes a convenient base from which to explore the attractions of the Black Sea coast, from charming fishing villages and fine sand beaches to world-famous nightclubs and music festivals. During summer, tourists take by storm its hotels, beaches, and cheerful Old Town, bursting with restaurants and cafés, but once the high season ends, everything gets back to normal.

What is your favorite city in Romania?

  1. Thanks Julie, Cluj is a very interesting city. However, next time you’re in Romania make sure to visit Sibiu (a true fairy-tale) and Timisoara, the most beautiful and cosmopolitan city in Romania.

    1. Avatar david holdcroft says:

      hi miruna,

      Have been to romania 4 times, enjoyed every trip, myself and my wife are planning our next trip in october and have decided on romania again 🙂 ,,,,, we are flying into cluj and going to make our way down to bucharest , we will be visiting sibiu and brasov ,,,,,,, could you recommend a stop ( 1 night ) between cluj and sibiu on the train route and also a 1 night stop between brasov and bucharest.

      David
      ireland

  2. Great post! I spent a couple of summers in Cluj when I was in high school, and really loved the city.

  3. When I think of Romanian cities I had the picture of concrete high rises in my mind – however, they seem to be lovely towns worth a visit. What is the best time to visit?

    1. Hi Andre,
      Many people think of dull concrete buildings when it comes to former communist countries. However, that’s not totally true. Transylvania area in the heart of Romania is brimming with lovely old towns, medieval citadels and historic edifices. During summer you’ll find plenty of tourists, festivals and a vibrant atmosphere. Winter is a great time to visit, as well – fairytale scenery, traditions and skiing. Spring and autumn are extremely pleasant due to the great weather and the low amount of tourists.

  4. I wonder what is the purpose of the building depicted at the last photo? Do you know it? Thanks!

    1. Yes, it was a famous casino, built in Art Nouveau style in Constanta, Romania. Now is almost in ruins, but still beautiful.

  5. sibiu the most beautiful city and visited from romania

  6. Avatar Cristi M. says:

    I have visited every single transilvanian cities but the most beautiull of all it seems the city of Cluj.The beautifull downtown with its beautifull buildings,though lots of them need to be restored,a vibrant city with so many students and the surroundings offers beautifull landscapes.

  7. Avatar Dragos Suteu says:

    Error – Cluj is the 4th largest city, after Bucharest, Constanta and Iasi.

    1. To end this debate, Cluj-Napoca is the fourth most populous city in Romania, but it is the second largest city in Romania by area.

  8. Hi Miruna,
    Judging by the name and the extent of your knowledge on Romania, I am assuming you are Romanian, as I.
    Firstly, I really appreciate your command of English and, more so, fell envious of you. I would very much like to have a pen pall to practice my English with, and I was wondering if you were interested, at all?

    Secondly, my husband (Canadian) and I are seriously looking into relocate to Romania (from Canada). I hail from Bucharest and have no experience ,what so ever, on other Romanian cities, except for Constanta and some fading memories of Brasov. Since I was a child, I have heard about Timisoara , Sibiu and Cluj as competing for the supremacy in the top notch Romanian cities. Can I have more of your thoughts on this matter? What city would you prefer if you were in my shoes?

    Hope to hear from you,
    Mihaela

  9. Avatar Parth sharma says:

    i am going to Romania for my intern ship this January….damn exicted..

  10. I am going to have an internship in Cluj this summer and this post help me to make some lists of cities I should visit later! Great post anyway 🙂

  11. Avatar Mehul Doshi says:

    Hello Miruna,
    I am likely to visit Romania for 3 days…probably on May 28th.

    What would you suggest as best place to visit..

    Your guidance will be highly appreciated..

    Thanks & Regards

    1. Considering that you only have 3 days, I would recommend visiting Sibiu and Brasov in Transylvania.

  12. Hello Miruna,
    I am considering moving to Romania next year. What hoops must I jump through? My biggest concern is finding work in a place where I don’t speak the language. Given that, I suppose I should find an affordable language school. Sibiu does indeed seem to be a great place to start. Hope to hear from you.
    Chad

    1. Hi Chad,
      Overseas relocation is not easy, especially in a country with so much bureaucracy like Romania. Unfortunately, I can’t help you with many details, but I guess a proper research will give you an idea about the steps you need to take. Sibiu is indeed a great place to start as there are many foreigners living in the city. On the other hand, finding a job in a small city like Sibiu can be a daunting task. The language won’t be your biggest problem as almost everyone speaks English, but that depends very much on what area of expertise you have.

  13. Salut, Miruna!
    Yes, I agree. It can be difficult, for sure. I lived abroad for a year and a half. First in Spain and then Mexico. I found that the bureaucracy in Mexico was simply awful. Spain, on the other hand, was a breeze. There, I opened a bank account the day I arrived, no questions asked, rent was more affordable and I traveled back and forth to Portugal by train well after my tourist visa expired. Never once was there an issue except of course for the language barrier. As far as Romania goes… I suppose there is only one way to find out. Thanks for getting back with me.
    La revedere

    1. Chad, I was wondering if you could provide an update if you did indeed decide to move to Romania? how did the bureaucracy work out & were you able to find work? I ask because I’m considering doing the same!

      Miruna, thanks for writing this guide and responding to all the comments, it has given me quite a few ideas and now I’m considering Sibiu, but in your opinion which cities are most hospitable for a foreigner to find work (without knowing the language)?

      1. Hi Aimee,
        Sibiu is a charming, compact, and multicultural town, so I think you couldn’t choose a better location. Compared to other Romanian city, it has a truly international vibe and there are many foreigners living and working here, so I don’t think you will have many problems finding a job. On the other side, please keep in mind that Sibiu is much smaller than Bucharest, Cluj, or Timisoara, which may have more job opportunities available.

  14. Avatar Laura cross says:

    I’m a Brit living in Oradea and I must say, how beautiful and civilised this city is makes me want to never leave.those of you who judge Romania as a communist concrete Balkan Bradford? You could not be more wrong or more insultingb

  15. Hi,
    I liked this article… which city is more suitable to live in for studying and for family life… some people recommended Timisoara and Cluj…any other advice?

    1. Hi Mustafa,

      As major university centers, Cluj and Timisoara are excellent for combining studying with family life. Both cities are safe, vibrant, cosmopolitan, and rich in culture.

  16. Avatar John Campbell says:

    Hi Miruna,
    I was excited to find your site here! I plan to retire within the next year, and have narrowed down my research and choices to two Romanian cities. I am an American 62 year old retiree who will be living on my retirement benefits, so I don’t need any income locally. I love hiking, and the mountains and real seasons. Do you see any big advantage or have any particular recommendations between Brasov and Sibiu? I appreciate aspects of both from my research, and there are certain advantages to Brasov being larger, but also to Sibiu being smaller. Please, do you have any suggestions to help me decide? Of course I can always check out both once I get to Romania, but I want to settle someplace first and then over the next months, check out the rest of the country. Thanks so much for any advice! Best Regards, JC

    1. Hi John,
      I would definitely recommend Sibiu. Both cities are welcoming and surrounded by mountains, but I find Sibiu more “European” and culture-oriented. There are plenty of beautiful festivals (theater, film, art) taking place there throughout the year, and the locals are way more friendly than in Brasov. Brasov’s only advantage would be the location – close to Romania’s Prahova Valley (a string of picturesque ski resorts), and well connected to Bucharest, the capital. Sibiu feels a little more remote, but is also a good base to explore the rest of Transylvania (Sighisoara, Cluj, etc). I also think Sibiu is a safer and more authentic city and has a better dining scene.

      Regards,
      Miruna

      1. Avatar John Campbell says:

        Hi Miruna,

        Wow, thank you so much! That’s incredibly helpful info, which I appreciatefrom someone who knows both areas well! I was leaning toward Sibiu for the size anyway, as you really nailed it, I want as authentic an experience as possible, and like with any country, the smaller cities offer the best chance for that. I didn’t mention, but I plan to learn the language over the next coming months, but as I recall with French years ago, if you don’t use a new language regularly, it tends to go away. So, I doubt I’ll have more than just common greetings and expressions down when I get there, until I can practice with real Romanians! Are there a fair number of English speakers in Sibiu? This is so exciting for me to be able get this info from you, as it’s been really hard for some reason, to find sites where I can ask questions and discuss Romania with someone who knows it well as you. I am so looking forward to living in Romania, and indulging my hobbies of hiking in mountains, writing short stories and taking lots of nature photos. And to of course make some new Romanian friends! Miruna, thanks again so much for taking the time to respond to me!
        Best Regards, John

        1. Hi John,

          I’m happy I could help you with your decision. As for the language, I don’t think this will be a major problem here. Sibiu is a multicultural city, there are lots of foreigners visiting and living in the city, and both English and German are widely spoken. If you have any other questions, feel free to contact me via the contact form on my blog.

          Regards,
          Miruna

        2. Avatar John Campbell says:

          Hi Miruna,

          I tried to contact you via your contact form, but I’m not sure if it actually went through over there. Sorry if this is a duplicate request, but I did have a few more inquiries if you don’t mind. Since you are so familiar with Romania, I just wondered if there are other cities I should have considered besides just Brasov and Sibiu? I did look at Sighisoara and Alba Lulia as well, but they may be too small to be practical for me to retire in, but certainly places to visit once I’m settled. Also, if Sibiu is truly the best fit for me, do you have any suggestions as to what part of the city to look for an apartment, a fairly quiet area, yet within walking distance of main part of town? I would appreciate any suggestions you may have, as well as any sites you could recommend for me to either continue researching and/or talk with other expats or English speaking Romanians to find out more info about the city, if such sites exists. Thank you so much for your help!

          Best Regards,

          John

        3. Hi John,
          I’m sorry, but I don’t think I could help you with these last inquiries. I visited Sibu many times in the last years, but I’ve never lived there, so I’m not familiar with all its neighborhoods. Sighisoara is a gorgeous town, but I’m not sure it would make for a great place to live as it is fairly small and touristy; as for Alba Iulia, I’ve only been once (when I was a child) and don’t remember much about it. All in all, I think the best thing you could do is traveling to Romania and spend a month or so here visiting all these cities before deciding where to relocate.

          Best,
          Miruna

        4. Hello John! Did you make it to Sibiu? I too wish to go there. Maybe retire there someday. I would love to hear your updates!

  17. Hi Miruna,

    This is an impressive summary of the Romanian cities and you have captured my attention. Thank you, it has been a fun read! I will be moving to Constanta for work in the near future. I will have a nice lodging allowance while there for at least 18 months. Do you have advice on how I might begin my search for spectacular lodging in or near Constanta in advance of my move?

    1. Avatar John Campbell says:

      Hey Scott,
      Your best bet before getting therewith time to check out your surroundings is Airbnb. It’s safe and reliable and there are reviews for most places listed. Use that service to find a place for the first month, and after you get there and get a lay of the land, you’ll better be able to find an ideal spot through local sources, many that aren’t even advertised. Good Luck!

  18. Of course the “City of Flowers” Timisoara is the best… some call it Little Vienna!

  19. This is my second visit to Romania, and this time I am spending 2 months here. I have just spent 3 fabulous weeks in Timisoara and loved it. It seems to be a secret from Western tourists which is a shame. I’m now in Sibiu for 2 weeks, so I think I am doing Romania proud. Lovely country, super people with a great sense of fun.

  20. Avatar Rawi Srouji says:

    Hi Miruna,
    I really liked your article..
    we are family of five planning to spend a week in Romania next week..
    what cities you recommend us to visit ( we’re staying 7 days )

    1. Hi Rawi,

      Considering that you’ll only have 7 days to spend in Romania, I would recommend Transylvania, including Sibiu, Brasov, and Sighisoara.

  21. Hi Miruna,

    I enjoyed your article but am now more confused then ever. So many have differing opinions on where to go. Coming from NYC and spending @ 8-10 days this summer. Original thoughts were to fly to Bucharest then take train to Brasov. Then was told not to miss Sighisoara. I’m a history lover and recently went to Prague and was blown away! Your country is beautiful and love the idea of going to Transylvania. In your article Sibiu is often mentioned. My three choices not so much. Want to see as much as possible but don’t want to spend a day on train. Our main pleasures are seeing history, some bring home shopping and local dining. Your thoughts please.

    1. Hi Jay,

      Brasov is a nice mountain city, but I would opt for Sibiu + a daytrip to Sighisoara instead. Sibiu might be a compact town, but it packs a punch when it comes to dining, shopping, sightseeing and wonderful local events. It’s laid-back and cosmopolitan, and has a charming old town bursting with chic cafes and artisan’s boutiques. Sighisoara is a bit touristy, but it looks and feels like an outdoor museum, with excellent medieval architecture.

      I haven’t spent so much time in Brasov, but I’m sure there’s plenty to see and do, as well. Plus, it will be easier to get to Brasov from Bucharest, and you can combine your stay with some excellent mountain climbing or a trip to Sinaia, home to the Peles Castle (one of the most beautiful castles in Europe). Bran, where Dracula’s Castle can be found, is also a short bus ride away from Brasov.

      Best,
      Miruna

    2. Avatar Marius Muresan says:

      Hi Jay, if you have 8-10 days at your disposal you can easily cover all these locations. It’s a two-three hours trip between them, say from Bucharest to Brasov to Sighisoara to Sibiu and back to Brasov-Bucharest. Sighisoara being so small, a three-four hours break would suffice. Regarding Sibiu vs Brasov: I grew up in Sibiu county and I love Sibiu, but frankly, unlike Miruna, I couldn’t choose so easily between the two. Sibiu is beautiful and cozy but Brasov is bigger, more spectacular and equally cozy… Besides, from Brasov you are closer to a lot of interesting sites (Capital, ski resorts, Dracula Castle/Bran-Rucar, etc). If you can, try to see them both.

  22. Hi Miruna!
    I’m considering going to Romania for an internship of 6 weeks so I wanted to know which city would be better for me as a young student going for an internship. Options I have are Craiova, Pitesti, Iasi, Galati, Oradea, Arad and Sibiu. I also have a chance for Bucharest and Cluj but that’s very low.
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Kchanani,

      I would definitely recommend Sibiu. Although much bigger and more cosmopolitan, Cluj is an excellent choice, too.

      Good luck!

      1. Thanks Marina!! Cluj and Bucharest almost seems impossible. Also can you please tell reasons for choosing Sibiu? Btw what about Craiova and Iasi?

        1. Sibiu is a charming little city with a European soul. You’ll find everything you need here, from welcoming, creative people to wonderful culture, art and events. Iasi is big and bustling, while Craiova is neither the safest not the most alluring Romanian city.

  23. Ok lastly, if you had to recommened the best city for youth out of all the options, what would it be?

      1. Heyy Thank you so much Miruna!! Would let you know where I go!!

  24. Avatar Christian says:

    Hi Miruna,

    This is a very beautiful site and it makes me want to travel to Romania instantly. It’s one of a very few countries in Europe I have not been so far and now I feel inspired more than ever to visit it. Now I will go to Sibiu in September/October and travel around for some weeks visiting some of the cities you are mentioning above and also stay in an old farmer’s guest house in a little village on the foot of the Carpathian Mountains – the perfect place to read some classic books…!

    Best regards from Hamburg,
    Christian

  25. Hi Miruna.
    thanks for the article. I couldn’t enjoy it more. I’m planning to come to Romania next summer. I’ll be working as an English teacher for three months. I’d like to be able to visit all the cities mentioned above. Can tell us a bit about the expenses in Romania please? Do you think i’ll do well with an amount of 300 Euros a month? my accommodation is already provided!
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Moin,

      I’m really happy that you enjoyed my post and found it helpful. While prices in Romania are a bit lower than most Western European countries, I’m afraid 300 euros/month is still below average.

      Good luck!
      Miruna

  26. Avatar June Flavin says:

    I was just in Romania for the first time in June. Hit Bucharest, Brasov, and Constanta. Beautiful country. I need to come back and spend more time in the mountains.

  27. Avatar Daniel Saft says:

    I am American and I love to travel somewhere new each year, with that said I’ve gone back to beautiful Romania 7 times as it never gets old and I only get more nostalgic each time I leave Romania. Piatra Neamt, Sinaia, Oradea and the painted monasteries in Bucovina should make it on this list as well. Eu iubesc Romania! 🙂

  28. Oradea reborn in the last years! I think that should be on the list! 😀

  29. Hi im thinking of visiting oradea? How is it there?

  30. Avatar Tyler Schultz says:

    Hey Miruna!

    I’m 27 and thinking of choosing just one place in Romania to stay for the month of August. I am looking for something beautiful and charming with plenty of young people to meet and things going on. However, I’m not really looking for a big city/metropolitan vibe. Any suggestions?

    I was thinking Sibiu and Brasov could be possible options? What do you think?

    Thanks!!!

    Tyler

    1. Hi Tyler,

      With lots of excellent restaurants, foreign visitors, and wonderful events, Sibiu will certainly not disappoint. Also, the city’s beautiful architecture and charming small-town feel only add to its appeal.

  31. Avatar Francesco Trinchera says:

    Sunt italian dar iubesc România. Am fost la București, unul dintre cele mai frumoase orașe, curate și sigure pe care le-am vizitat vreodată. În această primăvară voi încerca să vizitez la Cluj. Într-o zi voi vedea toate orașele din această listă. Traiasca România

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