If you’re dreaming about taking a road trip in Romania, this 2 week Romania itinerary is the post for you!
Romania is an incredible country and one that is well deserving of a visit! Whether you only have a week to explore the country or you have the luxury of two or three weeks, Romania will not disappoint!
With medieval castles and cities, spectacular scenery and a unique history, there’s something for everyone. Romania is sure to surprise you and is definitely worth a visit!
This 2 week Romania itinerary highlights some of the best places to visit in Romania. While I’m sure there are many more amazing places to see in the country, this Romania road trip will give you a glimpse of how amazing the country really is!
(And if you’re like us, you’ll want to come back and visit again!)
In this post, we’ll outline our 2 week Romania itinerary and provide some suggestions on what to see in each place. We crammed a LOT of places into our two week, so if you prefer to travel slower or are using public transportation, you might want to leave out some places (at the bottom of this post, we have a suggestion for a week’s itinerary).
And although I travel with kids – the ‘we’ that I mention – it’s definitely not a kid-focused itinerary and it’s perfect for anyone!
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Romania was our first stop on a two month trip to Eastern Europe this fall. I had always wanted to see Romania in the fall, specifically in October. We lucked out and the weather was fantastic for most of our time there. We rented a car for two weeks and drove around the country, starting and ending in Bucharest. The road trip took us two weeks to do, but you could easily stretch this itinerary to three weeks (or more!). With a car we had the luxury of leaving when we wanted which definitely saved some time by not having to wait around for other transportation. The trains are said to be slow in Romania, but it is possible to visit most of the places on our itinerary without a car (the exception being Breb and the Maramures).
How to Start your Road Trip in Romania
Chances are you’re arriving in Bucharest, if you’re flying into Romania. Flights also arrive in Cluj-Napoca from other European countries. If you are, just hop onto our itinerary from there!
The Bucharest airport is located in Otopeni, a few kilometres north of Bucharest. There are a few decent hotels near the airport, which is good to consider depending when your flight lands. Originally we had plans to drive north straight from the airport, but at the last minute we booked a hotel close to the airport, which turned out to be a good thing, as our flight was delayed, then re-routed and we ended up arriving in Bucharest over six hours after we were scheduled to, close to midnight.
>>If you’re renting a car, this is a good place to pick up your car!
Romania Itinerary at a Glance:
Day 1-2: Brasov
Day 3-4: Sighisoara
Day 5: Sighetu Marmatiei
Day 6-7: Breb
Day 8: Cluj
Day 9-10: Sibiu
Day 11: Transfagarasan
Day 12: Bran Castle (1/2 Day)
Day 12-14: Bucharest
Highlights from our 2 Week Romania Itinerary
Our first stop was in Braşov, about 2.5 hours from Otopeni airport. We had rented a car for our two weeks in Romania, which allowed us to see way more than we would have taking public transport. I had been warned about the driving in Romania (that it was slightly crazy) but honestly, I didn’t find a problem! Traffic in the cities is definitely trickier, but still not a problem. Outside of the city, watch for tractors and horse-carts and enjoy the scenery!
Braşov was absolutely lovely. We spent two nights there and easily could have spent more (we lost over a full day with our flight delays). If you have wiggle room in your itinerary, I’d suggest adding a day or two here. There is lots to do, both in and around the city. You can also take a day trip to Bran Castle and Rasanov Fortress, which are close to Brasov, but we opted to do those at the end of our trip, on the way back to Bucharest.
Highlights of Brasov:
- The Old Town
- Piata Sfatului, the main square
- Tampa Mountain
- Day trip to Bran Castle and Rasanov Fortress
Leaving Brasov, we headed northwest to Sighişoara. Google maps says it’s just under two hours, but I found Google always slightly underestimated the time it would take on Romanian roads.
Sighişoara is known for its’ pretty pastel coloured houses, medieval towers and well-preserved UNESCO-listed Citadel. It’s often said to resemble a medieval fairy-tale city…and I can see why. We fell in love with it! We stayed a few days in a wonderful little pension called Pensiunea Casa Sighişoreana, just off of the main street. It was an easy walk into the historic Citadel, which is a UNESCO Heritage Site. We spent a few days wandering within the Citadel, climbing the stairs up to the city walls (and down again!), visiting Dracula’s house, investigating the 9 remaining towers and soaking up the Romanian culture. You could see the town in a day or two, but we stayed a bit longer, waiting for our luggage to finally arrive!
Highlights to See in Sighisoara:
- The UNESCO Citadel
- Clock Tower
- Dracula’s house
- Scholar’s Staircase
From Sighişoara, we headed north to Sighetu Marmaţiei, which was supposed to be a 5 hour drive, but ended up taking us quite a bit longer. We finally arrived, after twisting and turning up these narrow mountain roads, all in the absolute darkness, and I don’t think I’ve ever had a trickier drive! But we made it! If you do this drive, make sure to use a GPS or leave with plenty of time! Google maps isn’t too accurate on Romanian roads….
Sighetu Marmaţiei is a small town in northern Romania and one of the main towns in the Maramures region. The town has quite a few historical attractions, including an outdoor Village Museum, the Elie Wiesel Memorial House and only a short 20 minute drive away is the Merry Cemetery, which is a must-see if you’re in the area! The town is on the border with the Ukraine and about a kilometer from the center of town is a bridge that you can walk across and enter the Ukraine! Now I’m not one for getting a stamp on a passport just because you set foot in a country, but how often can you say you crossed to another country on a footbridge?
Highlights to see in Sighetu Marmatiei
- The open-air Village Museum
- Elie Wiesel Memorial House
- Cross to the Ukraine
- The Merry Cemetery
Sighetu Marmatiei is a small town and it’s worth staying a day or two. We stayed at the Motel Perla Sigheteana which was walking distance from everything, and parking was included. Click below to check for other accommodation.
We left Sighetu Marmatiei and headed deeper into the Maramures, to a village called Breb. I had heard about this village a year ago and it was definitely an influence on how we planned our entire trip. It didn’t disappoint!
The Maramures are known for their traditional haystacks, beautifully carved wooden gates and unique wooden churches. Eight of these wooden churches in the Maramures are designated UNESCO Heritage sites.
It’s one of the last peasant cultures in Europe and a welcome break from the regular rush of day to day life. Villagers live a quiet and simple life, keep cows and chickens in their yards, and rely mainly on whatever food they produce. You won’t find many cars along the village roads but you will see quite a few tractors!
Highlights to see in Breb:
- Wooden churches
- Traditional peasant life
- Intricately carved wooden gates
As it’s a small traditional town, most of the accommodations are small, family run pensiuneanas, bed and breakfast type places. We stayed in the fabulous Zestrea Brebului and highly recommend it – it even had a swimming pool!
After reluctantly leaving Breb, we headed to Cluj-Napoca (again, Google maps was not accurate with the estimated time, and we didn’t have a GPS, so we arrived quite a bit later than I’d anticipated). We only spent a night here, but if you have time, it warrants a few days!
Cluj-Napoca, often referred to as just “Cluj”, is the second largest city in Romania and is definitely underrated. Baroque buildings, Gothic churches and medieval towers, alongside bohemian art galleries and a renowned Botanic Garden make Cluj a great place to spend a few days.
Highlights to see in Cluj:
- Old Town
- St. Michael’s Church, the second biggest Gothic church in Romania
- Alexandru Borza Botanic Gardens
Sibiu was our next stop. The city is known for its Germanic architecture and iconic houses with windows that resemble eyes. Sibiu is considered part of the Saxon triangle, with Sighişoara and Braşov, which are the usual tourist stops in Romania. Even though Sibiu is one of the main tourist destinations in Romania, it still holds its original charm.
Wander through the medieval center, pass under the Bridge of Lies, climb the staircases that separate the Lower Town from the Upper Town, stop for a rest in Piata Mare, the main open square and then climb the clock tower for a bird’s eye view of the town!
Highlights to see in Sibiu
- View from the top of the Clock Tower
- Unique eyelid shaped windows
- Bridge of Lies
- Piata Mare and Piata Mica
Driving the Transfagarasan Road
We left Sibiu and headed to what I think was the most exciting part of our Romanian Road Trip – the Transfagaraşan Road. Built by the Ceausescu regime in the 1970’s, the road is 115km long, twisting and turning as it rises up to a height of 2042 metres at Lake Balea. It’s the highest paved in Romania, and voted World’s Best Road by BBC’s Top Gear. The Transfagaraşan Road is only open from the end of June to the end of October, weather permitting. We made it just in time, driving it at the end of October. We had fantastic weather though, so it may have remained open longer that year. Even so, it was an amazing, but tricky and exhilarating drive. The hairpin turns, as you ascended to the top seemed like they would never end, but reaching the top, you were rewarded with the most fantastic views down the valley. We paused for a few well-deserved photos, then set out to continue the hairpin turns on the descent. We’ve got a full post on the Transfagarasan Road here.
We stopped for the night in the small town of Curtea de Arges, but not before passing by Poenari Castle. Perched atop a cliff, this castle was the home of Vlad the Impaler, also known as Vlad Draculea, who was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Although Bran Castle is more commonly known as Dracula’s caslte, Poenari is the ACTUAL Dracula’s castle. Unfortunately we were only able to view it from the road below, as it was recently closed due to bear sightings.
The next day we headed back towards Brasov to visit Bran Castle, commonly known as Dracula’s castle. It’s a national monument and definitely a popular tourist attraction. This castle is also high up on a hill, but no bears here! We wandered around the grounds, explored the castle and even had a few spooky-looking pictures!
Our road trip in Romania had come to an end and we dropped our rental car off the airport, just outside of Bucharest. Bucharest is the capital and largest city in Romania, and it’s easy to get around without a car.
The last few days of our Romania itinerary was spent exploring the capital of Romania! The gorgeous weather finally came to an end and although I think the rainy weather put a damper on our experience, we still managed to see quite a bit of the city.
Highlights to See in Bucharest:
- Palace of Parliament
- Herastrau Park
- National Village Museum
- Piata Unirii
- Cişmigiu Garden
We had an amazing time in on our road trip in Romania and I would definitely recommend putting Romania on your bucket list, if you haven’t already!
I hope this post has helped you to plan your visit to Romania. There’s far too much information to share every detail of our Romania itinerary here, but you can check out some of the posts on Romania that we’ve linked below. Those posts provide more detailed ideas of what to see and do in each place – especially if you are visiting Romania with kids!
If you do end up taking a road trip in Romania, let us know in the comments below or tag us on social media @threeisus! We’d love to hear how your adventure goes!
One Week Itinerary: Explore Transylvania and Bucharest
If you only have one week to visit Romania, spend your time exploring Transylvania and finish off your week in Bucharest. You could still rent a car and experience a road trip in Romania, but the cities listed below can also be reached by public transport. As the trains are often slow, renting a car will allow more time to explore each place.
Day 1-2: Brasov
Day 3: Sighisoara
Day 4-5: Sibiu
Day 6-7: Bucharest