Bucketlist2Life

The perfect 1 week Romania road trip itinerary – see a lot in a short time

Author Carina Klein
Carina
· 6 min read · 9 comments

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TL;DR

This is the perfect itinerary for you if you only have a limited amount of time, but still want to explore Transylvania, the Danube Delta, the Black Sea coast, and the capital Bucharest.

Yes, more time is always better but sometimes it is just is as it is. It's still possible to see the highlights and some hidden gems of Transilvania, the Danube Delta, the Black Sea coast, and the capital Bucharest in just one short week. This is the perfect road trip itinerary if you don't want to move every night and you don't want to drive excessive hours each day.

Day 1 – Arrival at Bucharest Airport and drive to Transilvania

To make the most of your time make sure to get an early start from Bucharest. Make the most of your trip and drive the scenic route. The Transfăgărășean is one of the best panoramic roads in the world and the views will blow your mind! Yes, you won't be as fast as on the main road but it's well worth it! Stop along the road to buy one of the traditional cheeses as the perfect road trip snack. On the way, you'll also come past Poenari Castle, the real Dracula castle. Contrary to the popular Bran castle, Vlad the Impaler or Dracula as you might know him, really stayed here. Additionally, the Argeș Lake makes for a scenic stop along the way.

Hotel: Sibiu

Distance: 360km (224 mi)

Picture of View of Transfăgărășean panoramic road
View of Transfăgărășean panoramic road

Day 2 – Exploring Transilvania

Sibiu is the perfect base to explore Transilvania. It's a cute town with lots of restaurants and bars to relax after a full day of sightseeing. We enjoyed the Delis Restaurant for some traditional Romanian food. The old town with its two town squares is charming and of course, it has a small citadel.

The number one highlight you should not miss in this area is Hunedoara Castle. This Gothic-Renaissance castle is one of the largest castles in Europe and is hands down one of the prettiest we've ever seen. If you are looking for a real hidden gem, explore one of the fortified churches of Transilvania. We loved Câlnic – and the best part is that they produce their own wine. Romanian wine is a total recommendation by the way.

Other noteworthy stops for you to explore if you have more time or stamina are the salt lake of Ocna Sibiului or the amusement park in an old salt mine Salina Turda.

Hotel: Sibiu

Distance: Variable

Picture of Hunedoara Castle
Hunedoara Castle

Day 3 – Driving from Transilvania to Buzau

Today, we explore the eastern part of Transilvania. Here, you'll find the famous Bran Castle, which is overpriced and over-touristy if you ask us. But go ahead and see for yourself, maybe you'll have a better experience. The much better alternative for us is the Râșnov Citadel. It is heavily fortified. Walls have shielded it from invasion and two courtyards provided space for a well and with living areas on the inside. It's beautiful, there are tons of areas to explore and the view is breathtaking – and did I mention that they have a Hollywood type sign?

Buzau is a good place to interrupt the long journey towards the Danube Delta and get a nights rest.

Hotel: Buzau

Distance: 320km (200 mi)

Picture of Râșnov Citadel
Râșnov Citadel

Day 4 – Exploring the Berca mud volcanoes and driving to the Danube Delta

Buzau is a great stop in Romania because you are very close to the Berca mud volcanoes. They are small volcano-shaped structures typically a few metres high caused by the eruption of mud and natural gases. And they are nothing like we've ever seen.

After you've explored the mud volcanoes drive to the Danube Delta and base yourself in Tulcea. Here, you can explore the town or the Danube by kayak. Make sure to get enough rest before your full day of exploring the Danube Delta tomorrow.

Hotel: Tulcea

Distance: 240km (150 mi)

Picture of Berca mud volcanoes
Berca mud volcanoes

Day 5 – Exploring the Danube Delta

Today your car gets a rest day! If you've been following us for a while you've probably heard us rave about the beauty of the Danube Delta. Definitely take at least one full day to explore the area in depth. We recommend you to take a fast boat, which will take you to the charming settlement of Mila 23 and Letea Forest, the oldest natural reservation in Romania, where you'll have the chance to see wild horses. On the way, you'll have plenty of opportunities to spot the local wildlife, especially the birds. Don't miss the chance to taste the local fish and the local booze Țuică. Make sure to end your trip in Sulina at the Black Sea beach. This beautiful beach is just the best place to relax!

Hotel: Tulcea

Distance: /

Picture of Danube Delta
Danube Delta

Day 6 – Drive to Bucharest via the Black Sea coast

On your way to Bucharest make sure to check out some of the Black Sea beaches. Vadu and Corbu are two beautiful natural beaches. If you are looking for a bit more infrastructure and beach bars, check out Constanta. Constanta also has a nice city centre. Make sure to explore the casino and the archaeological park with Roman-Byzantine relics.

Enjoy your evening out in Bucharest and hit the amazing bars!

Hotel: Bucharest

Distance: 350km (220 mi)

Picture of Black Sea beach
Black Sea beach

Day 7 – Bucharest

To make the most of your time in Bucharest, do a free walking tour. This will give you an overview of the history and the most important sights in a short time. Next to the charming old town itself, our must-see recommendations are the Parliament Palace, the largest parliament building in the world, the Revolution Square, the Macca Villacrosse Passage, and the Patriarchal Cathedral. Make sure to leave enough time to relax in one of the many restaurants. We thoroughly enjoyed the traditional restaurant Caru' cu Bere, which translates to the beer wagon.

Hotel: /

Distance: /

Picture of Parliament Palace, Bucharest
Parliament Palace, Bucharest
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9 Comments

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Gabby Rainville

13.06.2021, 17:22

That road looks like so much fun to drive! Reminds me of lots of our mountain passes in Colorado. The castles definitely look like they're out of a fairytale from your pictures. Romania isn't first on my list of places at the moment but definitely looks like it's worth visiting someday and that there is a little bit of everything to see!

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

15.06.2021, 18:06

Romania is a great choice when you want a European experience with great hearty food and castles and mountains without the crowds!

Tango & Rakija

09.06.2021, 21:16

It was a great reading! Looks like a fantastic trip. Transilvania is high on our bucket list, all that spooky stories make us want to visit soon. How was the food? I heard that is also fantastic.
Fantastic post, thanks for sharing!

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

10.06.2021, 15:27

The food was so good. The baked goods in the mornings and the very meaty and hearty dishes throughout the day. And Romanian wine is quite nice too.

Smalltownplussize Tom

09.06.2021, 04:12

Hi Carina. Road trips through slower scenic routes are our thing and we would flip out to drive the panoramic road. Romania is definitely a country we’d like to visit, especially the Hunedoara Castle and Danube Delta.

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

10.06.2021, 15:31

Romania is such a stunning country to visit. We took countless photo stops driving the panoramic road. Might have been the best road we have ever driven...

wendy white

09.06.2021, 03:08

This sounds like the perfect one week Romanian itinerary. We are always short on time when we visit Europe so this would be perfect for us. Transfăgărășean looks incredible. Saving for future travels.

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

10.06.2021, 15:28

That's great to hear! I wasn't sure if one week would be to short for most people...

The Educated Traveler

09.06.2021, 01:18

After visiting Edinburgh Castle and Linlithgow Palace, I discovered that I like the history and heightened sense of dread when exploring narrow corridors that have withstood the test of time.
I will definitely have to add the Hunedoara Castle to my list of must see places!

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

10.06.2021, 15:38

Do so! If you like castles Romania is the country for you!

Chalk and cheese travels

08.06.2021, 21:33

Soumds like a great road trip. Not somewhere I know a lot about but seems great.
We wouldn't be ones for taking it slow we love to get in as much as possible in a short .period, tbis is perfect Thanks for showing us some of Romania

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

10.06.2021, 15:29

That is so great to hear! We normally want to do and see as much as possible when were away that's why we came up with a one week road trip that covers the whole country.

Stefan (BerkeleySqB)

08.06.2021, 17:09

I remember you mentioning Transfăgărășean panoramic road before. What a mindblowingly beautiful road. Your post makes me think I'll definitely have to return to Romania again soon. So many great sights still to discover. Btw, we loved Caru' cu Bere too, even though I hadn't realised their pork knuckle is supposed to be a meal for two, not one... oh well.

Carina | Bucketlist2Life

08.06.2021, 17:23

I can't count how many photo stops we took on Transfăgărășean^^ I think the pork knuckle is for two regular people but one German :D

Rj

08.06.2021, 16:38

Sounds a nice road trip, I've visited most on there albeit a bit slower. I've just got off a boat in tulcea and heading towards Transylvania at the moment.

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Carina | Bucketlist2Life

08.06.2021, 17:21

Our goal at the moment is to show that you don't necessarily need a lot of time to travel a country. Although I personally always prefer to have more. The jealousy is strong with me...

lannie

08.06.2021, 13:55

I've been to Romania, but only for work. This road trip looks incredible! the mud volcanoes look so weird..? now i'm going to google them haha

Carina | Bucketlist2Life

08.06.2021, 15:27

The mud volcanoes are such a hidden gem. They were so interesting to visit!