Whenever someone talks about Romania, there’s always one character that comes to mind – Count Dracula. But this country is so much more than its blood-sucking, vampire bat-turning, caped character. This Eastern European nation is known for its unusual yet equally cool attractions. When coupled with its rich cultural heritage, you’ve got a country that’s full of wonder just waiting for the outside world to explore. Here are 6 things you simply have to do when in Romania.

1. Marvel at fairytale castles

For a more Cinderella-like castle, you’d definitely want to visit Peles Castle when in Romania. Fans of Games of Thrones will love the Gothic architecture of Corvin Castle while followers of Bram Stoker and his most famous creation, Count Dracula, can feel the mythical walls of Bran Castle, although it is also known that Vlad the Impaler inhabited Poenari Castle. As it turns out, Bran Castle is where Vlad the Impaler was imprisoned. There are other castles, fortresses, and citadels all over Romania. You could spend a week or two and you won’t be done with each one.

2. Watch wildlife in their natural habitat

The Danube Delta is regarded as birdwatchers’ paradise, not only in the country but in the whole of Europe. The country boasts of the largest biodiversity in the EU including brown bears, chamois, wolves, European bison, and deer. It’s the perfect excuse not to visit the city zoo as nothing can compare to wildlife in their natural environment.

3. Enjoy winter sports

The country is consistently ranked as one of Europe’s least expensive skiing destinations. The Carpathians provide numerous slopes with which to try out your skiing skills while taking in on breathtaking scenery. Be mindful of others, though as seasoned skiers flock to the country for the same reason as yours.

4. Partake in a delicious feast

Known for its delectable comfort foods, Romanian cuisine is like no other. The sarmale is always a must-try especially when combined with the country’s staple dish mamaliga. Papanasi and mititei are also a must especially the former as it is a very rich and creamy version of your favorite doughnut. 

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5. Scale the Carpathians 

There are numerous hiking trails in the Carpathians for both the seasoned climber and the absolute newbie. Along these trails are waterfalls and lakes that are beckoning hikers to take a short dip. And if you’re in luck, you could easily pick a strawberry or blueberry along the way. This is perhaps the best introductory climb for any beginning adventurer.

6. Try sunbathing by the Black Sea

It’s not actually the Mediterranean, but the shores of the Black Sea have many resorts to come in various types of accommodations. While the resorts may vary, you’ll still be getting clear blue waters and exceptionally wide sandy beaches, perfect for sunbathing. And as soon as the sun sets, it’s party all night especially at Mamaia.

Romania may be Count Dracula’s home, but it sure is filled with mysticism, culture, and breathtaking scenery that are just waiting to be explored and enjoyed.

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