1685372773 6 Reasons Why Tourists Flock To This Lesser Known Eastern | phillipspacc

6 Reasons Why Tourists Flock To This Lesser Known Eastern European Country

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Travelers looking for a vacation off the beaten path may find just what they’re looking for in this less-visited Eastern European country.

Vampire legends, a peculiar replica of the Arc de Triomphe, ancient thermal baths, a successful Netflix series, and some of the world’s fastest Internet services, all in one destination? Romania is definitely worthy of its new unconventional popularity.

Find out why tourists flock to Romania this year:

Colorful street of Transylvania Romania

Set Jetting to Wednesday sets

Romania has long been associated with creepy characters, cartoons dracula fans of Transylvanian castles for decades. This year, however, a new gothic character leads the jet-setting trend in Romania: the hit Netflix series. Wednesday.

Right in the heart of Bucharest, you can find groups of Wednesday fans peering through the windows of Casa Niculescu-Dorobantu, touring Casa Monteoru, and exploring the Bucharest Botanical Gardens, all to see the parts of Nevermore Academy with his own eyes.

The most dedicated superfans make the trip to the Carpathian Mountains to see the real facade of Nevermore Academy: Cantacuzino Castle in Busteni.

Even if you’re not a Wednesday For fans, Romania’s towering hillside castles and historic Baroque buildings are worth exploring.

Wednesday Castle Romania

The charm and affordability of ‘Little Paris’

If you didn’t know that Bucharest was known as the « Little Paris of the East » since the early 20th century, don’t worry: the replica of the Arc de Triomphe would have given you the clue.

For a fraction of the cost of the real French capital, travelers can revel in French architecture, charm and cuisine right in the heart of Romania’s capital.

From the romantic French architecture and pastry shops of Calea Victoriei to the distinctly Parisian glass-walled Pasaj Macca-Vilacrosse, Bucharest has earned its reputation as Paris’ protégé in Eastern Europe.

Locals can even be heard thanking each other with a French ‘merci’ (which is much less mouthful than the Bulgarian equivalent, ‘thank you‘). You will have the opportunity to practice your ‘merci’ when you order a genuine croissant mara mura or delight in the excellent French culinary experience at Here and there.

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Pasaj Macca-Vilacrosse French area in Bucharest Romania

Timisoara, cultural and creative capital of Romania

If Bucharest is « Little Paris », Timișoara is « Little Vienna ».

Timișoara just can’t seem to slow down its list of award winners. The United States honored Timișoara as one of the three European Capitals of Culture 2023, while TIME selected as one of the best places in the world 2023.

But Timișoara is used to topping charts and being at the forefront. It was the second city in the world to have electric lighting (after New York), one of the first in Europe to use horse-drawn trams and the “first free city in Romania” to shake off the yoke of communism through revolution.

Travelers can see Timișoara’s cultural prowess for themselves on an architectural walk through the city that begins at Unirii Square. Roman ruins, brutalist communist blocs, baroque palaces, gothic spires, colorful Byzantine churches and Art Nouveau splashes of color come together to compose an art lover’s paradise.

Cultural activities:

  • Catch a show at the Mihai Eminescu National Theater
  • Awaken your musical ear at the Romanian Opera or the Banatul Philharmonic
  • Enjoy the Timișoara Museum of Art, located inside the historic baroque palace of Old Timișoara
Timisoara Romania at night from above

Brasov old town

Located in the inner curve of the Carpathian Mountains, Brașov is one of the historic hearts of Romania. This 13th-century storybook city benefited from strong fortifications from the Middle Ages that helped protect and preserve it as the historical icon of Transylvania that it remains to this day.

The main historical attractions include:

  • The « Black Church », which got its charred color from the Great Fire of Brașov of 1689
  • Rope Street, the self-proclaimed narrowest street in southeastern Europe made only for firefighters
  • Strada Republicii pedestrian street and Council Square, the center of the bustle of Brașov
  • Pharmacy Café, offering craft cocktails with a time travel twist
Busy pedestrian street in Brasov, Transylvania, Romania

Thermal baths

Bucharest and Budapest share more than just a similar name: thermal baths.

The best known are the Herculean Baths. One of the oldest thermal baths in Europe, this two-millennia-old mineral spa has drawn health-focused travelers since the Roman empire, but it exploded in popularity among leisure travelers in the 19th century.

Romania is full of serene and rejuvenating thermal springs, often overshadowed by the famous Herculean Baths:

  • Balvanyos Baths
  • Verena Baths
  • Calimanesti Caciulata
  • Acas Thermal Baths
  • dorna’s home
  • Praid salt baths

Many resorts and spas in the Carpathian mountains offer rustic baths and wellness retreats for vacations focused on the health of travelers.

woman in thermal bath

perfect for a job

When travelers are done exploring gothic castles, taking in fascinating architecture and recharging in thermal baths, they can get to work with the world’s 10th fastest internet.

Romania is the perfect destination for a job. HomeToGowork Index lists a whopping four Romanian cities, including two in the top 20 locations for a working holiday.

Romania is Red Hot in the digital nomad scene right now. This up-and-coming remote work destination is generating buzz, attracting working travelers, offering visas for digital nomads and opening new coworking spaces to light gait.

two workers in line

traveler alert: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com