There’s a lot more to Romania than just Dracula!  It’s a fascinating country that is really just emerging into the modern era. The old and new clash here with the old country ways meeting technology and modern business head on. There’s so much to see and do (it’s great for skiers, walkers and bikers). Open your mind and give Romania a visit.

About Romania

Romania has borders with Serbia and Hungary to the west, Bulgaria to the south, Moldova to the east and Ukraine in the north. It also has beautiful and dramatic countryside made up of mountains, hills and plains dotted with cities, towns and villages.  A  little known fact is that Romania isn’t really a country in its own right as administratively it’s made up of 41 counties and the Bucharest Municipality.

Romania is one of the EU’s newest members and is quickly learning all about European ways – but it has an ancient and fascinating history. What’s more, it hasn’t always been ‘behind the times’. Timisoara was the first city in Europe and the second in the world after New York to use electricity to light its public streets. Timisoara led the way again in 1869 when it became the first city in Europe to introduce horse drawn trams.

Romania has been inhabited since the Palaeolithic Age and carved stones dating back to this era have been unearthed over recent years. Over the centuries, many different populations have invaded Romania and it has learned to fight for its survival. But what’s perhaps best known is that after WW II, Romania became a Communist bloc country under the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu. We all know that this phase ended in a rather ‘bloody’ manner and Romania emerged after nearly 50 years of Communist rule to a vastly different world.  Romania is now a semi presidential representative democratic republic and the Prime Minister is the Head of Government and the President is the Head of State.

Romania is struggling in the worldwide recession like so many of its neighbours. The official unemployment rate is around 4% as at 2019 and wages (and therefore cost of living) are lower than average.  But it is embracing modern technology fast, and in almost every city or town, you can see brand new cars vying for space on the roads with horse drawn buggies (really!).

Although most people visiting Romania take trips to Transylvania’s castles to learn about Vlad Tepes (the real Dracula), there’s so much more to the country. As well as Bucharest, visitors can see the dramatic paintings in the cemeteries and monasteries of Maramures and Southern Bucovina.

Lake Galbenu in Parang mountains

Romania also has its own unique cuisine. Most dishes are based on pork, but also expect to see chicken, fish, beef and mutton on the menu. Romanian food is defined by its history and is influenced by lots of different cultures. You can find Greek style sweet cakes such as baklava, halva and rahat, Turkish style pilafs, as well as wine, cheese and porridge based on recipes introduced by the Romans. Soup is widely served based on meat, vegetables or fish, all of which are ‘soured’ by lemon juice, sauerkraut juice, vinegar or, traditionally, bors.  A popular dish is mamaliga – a type of polenta – served on its own or as an accompaniment to a main course (often of pork).



At a glance facts

  • Languages: Romanian, Hungarian, Ukrainian and German
  • Population: 21,302,893 (2020)
  • International Dialling Code:  40
  • Time zone:  GMT + 2

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