Romania has amazing landscapes, great food, and many many cultural festivals. The most popular areas to visit are Bucharest, the Brasov mountainous area, Bran castle, Sighisoara medieval castle and the seaside. However, did you know there are many other interesting things you can find in Romania? We have listed 16 of them here.
- Wild bears
There are around 200,000 brown bears worldwide, 8,000 in Slovakia, Poland, and Ukraine from which 6,000 bears reside now in Romania. In fact, Romania has the second largest population of bears in Europe after Russia. They are found in the areas of the well known and popular Brasov, but also in Harghita, Covasna, Mures, Arges, Bistrita and Sibiu. They are large and they can weigh up to 350 kilograms. If you are curious, we do not recommend you venture into the forests to look for bears, it is best to go on an organized tour for an amazing bear watching experience with an expert.
- Wild Lynx
Romania has between 1,200-1,500 wild lynx. This is around 14% of Europe’s population. You can go on a lynx watching experience in the Brasov area as there are many tours since spring to autumn.
- The world’s heaviest building
The Palace of the Parliament is located in Bucharest and it is also the largest administrative building in the world. It is 84 meters high and it occupies 365,000 square meters! It weighs 4,098,500,000 kilograms.
The building hosts the Senate, the Chamber of Deputies, three museums and also a conference center. Apparently, Rupert Murdoch wanted to buy the building for 1 billion dollars in 1990 but his offer was rejected. We wonder what he could have done with the building?
- The world’ most beautiful road- Transfagarasan
Praised by British TV show Top Gear as the best road in the world, Transfagarasan was deemed beautiful as it goes through the mountains on an altitude of 2,042 metres. It has many narrow curves so this might be appealing to those who love challenges. If you drive on this road, it will take towards Balea lake and Balea Waterfall and it also goes through 5 tunnels.
- Europe’s largest mammal- the bison
The bison was slowly reintroduced in several forests in Europe, including Romania. Some bisons reach the weight of one ton. Originally, the bison was hunted until it completely disappeared. The last bison in Moldova was killed in 1762 and in 1900 only 12 bisons were left in the world. Currently, there are over 100 bison in Romania and you can visit them in 5 reservations: Hateg Slivut, Vanatori Neamt, Bucsani, Valea Zimbrilor ( Acris village) and Magura Zimbrilor.
See photos of the Romanian bison reservations on drumliber.ro
- Sculpted mountain- Decebal sculpture- Danube
You have certainly seen the Mount Rushmore sculptures in many American movies, but did you know that Romania has something similar but perhaps more…beautiful?
The statue of Dacian king Decebal was sculpted near the Danube shore, close to Orsova. The sculpture is 55 meters high and 25 meters wide and it was done between 1994-2004. It was financed by a businessman who loved history. It is the largest stone sculpture in Europe and it can be visited only by boat.
- The living fires of Buzau
If you love nature’s mysteries you will love the living fires. The fires used to be known only by the locals as they were not promoted by the authorities. The fires are an unusual phenomena which is unique in Europe, but they are not unique in Romania as there are other fires at Andreiasu, Vrancea county, and Reghiu commune, Vrancea.
According to experts, there are natural emanations of gas which lit at the surface. The flames may go up to 1 meter and it is best advised to view them at night if you want to take great photos.
- Steam train!
Romania has the last running steam train used for timber transport in the world! If you decide to take a trip, you are in for some spectacular views. The mocanita goes through the beautiful area of Maramures. This area is also famous for the fact that it has villages where the locals have kept century-old traditions, which means they also still wear traditional clothes. You can visit wooden churches in the area and admire their carved wooden gates.
Check the mocanita web page here
- Mud volcanoes
The Berca mud volcanoes are located in Scortoasa commune, in Buzau county. The volcanoes are small and only a few metres high and they erupt mud and natural gases from 3,000 metres deep towards the surface. Similar mud volcanoes can be seen in Italy, Ukraine, and Russia. Apparently, the area has a lunar landscape so it might make up for an interesting trip.
10 Michael Jackson’s statue
If you travel to Bucharest, you might want not to miss Michael Jackson’s statue. It is located in Herastrau park. The statue was unveiled on September, 2009 the year the singer died. The monument can be found on the Michael Jackson alley in the Herastrau park. As a side note, the park also has a statue of Prince Charming, in case you wanted to visit some other unusual things.
- Hoia- Baciu forest
Love the supernatural? You will love this forest. There are many strange stories that surrounds this forest, located to the west of Cluj-Napoca city. Its name comes from a shepherd that disappeared in the forest with 200 sheep! Many locals are afraid to enter the forest due to its strangeness.
There have been reports of ghost sightings, people disappearing and appearing after many years in the same place and UFO sightings. Apparently, some people have a feeling of anxiety when they are in the area. The trees and the vegetation have also strange shapes.
- Europe’s best preserved delta, the Danube Delta
The second largest and best preserved delta in Europe can be found in Romania. This is truly a bird watcher’s paradise. You can see here many bird species: Egyptian white pelicans, Arctic geese, cormorants, white-tailed eagles. There are more than 300 species of birds but also many species of animals, such as foxes, boars, deer and many fish. As well, there are over 1,700 plant species here. You can visit this amazing place by boat or on a cruise. There are many restaurants that serve fish dishes and there is also a Danube Delta museum that can be visited.
- Underground amusement park
This might sound odd, but you can have fun underground, at a 112 depth. The Turda salt mine has been opened since 1992, however now it has been truly developed to offer you lots of fun while you breathe in the healthy air. You can go on the Ferris wheel or row a boat on the underground lake.
The place has been declared the coolest underground place in the world and it was ranked among the 25 hidden gems around the world.
- Eastern Europe’s largest beer hall
It is called Beraria H and it is located near Herastrau Park. It is 4,300 square metres wide and it can house 2,500 people. The building used to be an exhibition centre and a shopping centre. You can eat here grill food and many types of beer. The place hosts concerts quite often if you enjoy this type of entertainment.
- Europe’s largest population of wolves
It is believed that Romania has the largest wolf population in Europe, which is of 2,500. According to research, there are around 2,000 in Spain, 2,000 in Belarus and 1,200 in Bulgaria. They are a rare sight, however, if you want to see them there are organized tours for wildlife watching in Transylvania, mainly in the Apuseni and Maramures areas.
- Authentic traditional country life
Maramures is a county where you can still observe the traditional way of life. You will see wooden churches, beautiful landscapes as it is a mountain area and you can witness ancient customs. The local population has managed to preserve their culture and lifestyle. You can also visit here the Merry Cemetery and take a ride on the steam train. Maramures is definitely worth a visit.
- “Museum of Senses”
Location: Bucharest. In this museum you can stimulate your senses as you will touch, smell and see objects that will play with your mind. The museum has over 40 exhibits in different rooms called the Infinite room, the inverse room and the Ames room.