Romania is an Eastern European country, bordered by Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, and Bulgaria. There are many attractions that Romania is famous for including the Black Sea on its southeast border. The coast is an especially popular destination during the summer. Additionally, Romania is one of the main Balkan countries and plays a huge role in influencing the region’s culture.
What Is Romania Famous For?
Romania is famous mainly for its Dracula legend, stunning castles, and charming old towns. There is also a strong sense of cultural identity which is reinforced by the delicious traditional foods and unique urban legends. Like many other Balkan countries, Romania is known for its natural landscapes including the Black Sea and the Danube River. Furthermore, there are many singers and athletes, which you may not even know were Romanian!
History, Culture, and Traditions Romania Is Known For
Romanian Orthodox Church
The Romanian Orthodox Church is an essential part of Romanian culture. 81% of the country’s population follow this religion, which is why the Church is regarded as so important.
This is one of the main religious things that Romania is known for. It is in full communion with other Eastern European Orthodox Churches, and out of the nine, is the second largest.
The architecture of these Churches is incredibly distinctive and really easy to spot. Often, they are domed with a cruciform on top and have a divine interior. You can find beautiful stained-glass windows, decorative altars, and elaborate icons coating the walls.
Martisor in the Spring
Every year, the people of Romania celebrate the beginning of spring.
On March 1st, they take an intertwined red and white string and tie it on their hand like a bracelet. This is worn for the entire month to bring good luck. However, this varies in some regions, and it is considered bad luck when worn for an extended period.
After March is over, this string is taken off and tied to a tree. This is believed to give health and joy to the season! In addition, Romania is famous for many of these beliefs, folklore, and traditions.
Traditional Romanian costume is worn by both men and women of all generations. These pieces constitute the beautiful folk costume that Romania is known for.
Firstly, there is a crisp white blouse called ‘ia’, which often has red embroidery and flower patterns. This is paired with a long, woven skirt and belt, and can be worn with a matching jacket.
The traditional shoes, called ‘opanci’, are made of brown leather and pointed. Similarly, men’s attire consists of a blouse and jackets paired with black trousers.
This folk costume is worn at weddings, dances, and other special celebrations.
Whilst there are countless variations of Dracula, a mythical vampire who drinks the blood of humans, they all originate from the same source. The person in question is Vlad III, the son of Vlad II Dracul, one of the most famous people in Romania.
Vlad III was notorious for torturing his enemies and was responsible for over 80,000 deaths during his reign. Whilst his main method of torture was impalement, he also strangled, burned, and boiled many of his victims.
Sometimes, he would even drink their blood! As a result, this inspired many fictional novels, and the legend of Dracula is now a global phenomenon. Bran castle is D
Despite the many beautiful castles in Romania, Bran castle has gained a solid reputation for being the home of Dracula. It attracts plenty of travelers looking to check out the legend for themselves.
Communism is the far-left belief that a society should be equal and exist as a classless system. It was derived from The Communist Manifesto written by Marx and Engels.
Nicolae Ceausescu was the last dictator of Romania, and one of the most famous Romanian people. His rule was terminated when he was executed for genocide, and this marked the last of the country’s dictatorship.
Although the fall of communism was in 1989, there are still many elements that remain today. The buildings, for example, reflect the similarity between families of that time. There are many tall blocks of apartments in the main cities, and this architecture type is prominent throughout the country.
Romania is famous for music and dancing, which are incredibly important to the population.
One of the most well-known dances is the ‘Hora’, which is popular in many Balkan countries. This is a dance whereby members hold hands and take steps whilst simultaneously spinning around the circle. This is done to traditional folk music.
Another similar dance is the ‘Sarba’, where dancers hold shoulders and also step in a circle.
Cities And Travel Destinations Romania Is Known For
Brasov is one of the highest populated cities in Romania, consisting of over 230,000 inhabitants.
There are beautiful natural landmarks here. If you are adventurous, you could hike the Carpathian Mountains which surround the city. Noua Lake is an important landmark that Romania is known for that is perfect for a family trip or a picnic.
There are many seasonal events here that are also becoming increasingly popular. The Christmas Markets, for example, are open for the entirety of December. Here you will find traditional Romanian food, picturesque lights, and festive music.
Bucharest is most known for being the capital of Romania. It is the perfect mix of historical and modern, therefore adored by everyone.
Romania is famous for the several religious landmarks in Bucharest, such as the Stavropoleos Monastery and Biserica Sf. Nicholae Orthodox Church. If you are a fan of Romain Renaissance or Baroque architecture, these are ideal to visit. Historical landmarks include Parliament and The Athenaeum.
Bucharest is commonly deemed as ‘Little Paris’. This is largely due to the similar style of buildings, but also because many migrants returned from France and began speaking the language.
Another coincidence is the Arcul de Triumf in Bucharest, consisting of a wooden arch. This is similar to the memorial of Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
Don’t miss these best things to do in Bucharest when you visit.
Sibiu is a city in the heart of Romania.
Most famously, the city has gathered attention for its distinctive houses, which have a unique structure on the roof resembling a pair of eyes. The reason for these eyes is objective, however, it stems from the communist beliefs that citizens were being watched by the governments.
Nowadays, it is believed to reflect the dynamic nightlife of the city that never sleeps!
Other famous landmarks include the Big Square known as Piata Mare. Aside from Town Hall, Brukenthal Museum, and the Catholic Church, there is also the famous Bridge of Lies. This was the first iron bridge in the country, which was not built on top of pillars. Hence, it is called the ‘lying; bridge.
Cluj Napoca is the capital city of Transylvania, and it is also the largest. If you prefer natural cities with beautiful, well-preserved landmarks, this is the perfect destination to visit.
There are several parks here such as the Alexandru Borza Botanical Garden, and the Simion Barnutiu Central Park. Also, Romania is famous for its beautiful historical palaces, like Szeki Palace, Banffy Palace, and Urania Palace. These have many art pieces such as classic European paintings.
Timisoara is one of the most multicultural and lively Romanian cities. If you are young or visiting with friends, this is the ideal spot to visit.
Timisoara has always been revolutionary. It was the first city in Europe to utilize electricity for its lighting, installing street lamps along its streets, which Romania is known for. It is also famous for its unique buildings, which you can recognize by the pastel colors such as blue and orange.
The nickname ‘City of Flowers’ comes from the variety of parks in Timisoara. One of the most popular is the Ștefan Plavăț Park, known for the 10,000 roses planted here. This park is found north of the Bega River, which flows along both Romania and Serbia.
Landmarks And Architecture Romania Is Famous For
Salt mines are natural underground mines that harvest salt or one of its derivatives. Romania is famous for its 17 known salt mines, however the most interesting is undoubtedly in Turda.
Although the Salina Turda salt mine was first founded in the 13th century, it did not open to the public until 1992. It has since then been renovated to be safer and more appealing. It is one of the most fascinating natural landmarks in Romania.
If you visit, be sure to explore the different mines here such as Iosif, Terezia, and Rudolf. They all have unique formations which you are guaranteed to never have seen before.
The Palace of Parliament is located in Bucharest. It is where the Romanian Parliament gathers, however, is also open to the public.
The building itself is inimitable, as it holds the record for being the heaviest building in the world! This is no doubt due to imperial fittings inside, such as hundreds of chandeliers and lights.
Access to almost every floor is granted, and you can visit via a guided tour. You should also consider the Panoramic Tour, whereby you can visit the terrace, which is an observation point.
The Black Sea lies east of the Balkan countries such as Romania, Bulgaria, and Turkey.
In Romania, the sea stretches from the Danube Delta, down to the neighboring Bulgarian coastline. Along this are many beaches and accordingly their resorts, which are popular in the summertime.
Romania is known for Mamaia, the most popular resort on the sea. It is visited mainly by students because it is affordable and has a dynamic atmosphere. The nightlife is renowned, and there are several available beach sports activities.
The Danube River is the second largest river in the whole of Europe. It runs through Germany, Austria, Croatia, Romania, and several other countries.
Romania is known for being one of the most important points of interest on the river. Its mouth, where it enters another large water body, is located here. This is where the Danube Delta flows into the Black Sea in Bucharest.
In Tulcea, Northern Dobruja, there are many activities to partake in along the river. For example, you can hire a boat and tour the canal. There are exotic birds, small fish, and beautiful plants to spot along the way.
Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum
The Village Museum of Dimitrie Gusti is an open-air museum in King Michael Park. It was founded by Dimitrie Gusti, a Romanian sociologist, and historian. Gusti is one of the most famous people in Romania.
Gusti founded this museum to showcase the cultural changes of the country and demonstrate the different ways of life throughout time.
The museum consists of houses and farms which you can stroll through, taking in the fresh air and exploring the grounds. This is a family-friendly activity that is perfect for combining adventure with exercise.
Food Romania Is Known For
Sarmale is a traditional Eastern European dish that is eaten on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. However, it is not limited to these celebrations, as it can be served at any special events, and is also eaten regularly.
Sarmale consists of cabbage rolls which can be stuffed with a variety of foods. Usually, they contain pork or beef and are heated with rice until they are evenly cooked. Vegetarian alternatives exist, simply by eliminating meats, however, this is uncommon.
Polenta is a porridge made out of maize flour. Romania is famous for naming polenta as Mămăligă, This is a staple dish that can be eaten by itself, or paired with other foods. This includes fruits, cheeses, and or meats.
Historically, polenta would be made in a ceaun, which is a round cooking pot. This would hold the porridge to keep its characteristic circle shape, and once cooked it would be rolled into balls. Traditionally, you should eat this with your hands!
Sweet Bread (Cozonak)
Cozonak is a popular Romanian dish eaten mainly on Easter. As the majority of the country celebrates this day, it is important to serve equally as important foods.
Cozonak is made by creating a sweet dough shaped like a roll, loaf, or other fun shapes. Whilst the dough recipe rarely changes, there are a variety of fillings that can be added to create different types of bread.
The versions in Romania are known for having chocolate, sultana, hazelnut, or plain sugar syrup.
Beef Tripe Soup (Ciorba de Burta)
Beef tripe soup is essential in Romanian households. During the cold winters, where temperatures can reach under 40 °F, this hearty favorite warms up the entire house.
Whilst this soup is popular globally, the Romanian version is simpler. It focuses more on the fresh vegetable element of the dish, including lots of celery, carrots, and onion. For spices, you can use salt, pepper, and garlic. This is because the main star of the show is the richness of the tripe.
As we have discovered, Romania is famous for its tasty and wholesome soups. Radauti Soup is a sour type of soup that can be eaten throughout the year, usually paired with warm bread and yogurt.
The main ingredients in this soup are pepper, celery, and carrot which are blended to create a flavorsome base. To this is added sliced chicken, and the soup is finished! Additionally, to add some sharpness, vinegar can also be added at the end.
Famous People From Romania
Gheorghe Hagi is undoubtedly one of the most eminent Romanian athletes. He is one of the most famous people in Romania for playing in the Brescia and Barcelona football teams. The role he played was attacking midfielder.
The player’s most infamous achievements include playing in three World Cups between 1980 and 1990. Hagi played for Romania, and although they never won, he played an instrumental part in their success. Hagi has also been nominated for the Ballon D’or multiple times, and his top attainment includes ranking in 4th place.
Currently, Hagi is the manager of Farul Constanța, a Romanian professional football club.
Elena Apostoleanu, commonly known as INNA, is a Romanian pop singer and songwriter. She was born in Mangalia, a city in Northern Dobruja.
Some of INNA’s hit songs include ‘Sun Is Up’, ‘Cola Song’ and ‘Ruleta.’ She has worked with some equally as talented singers such as Sean Paul and Daddy Yankee to produce internally recognized tunes.
INNA has produced eight studio albums so far in her career, making her one of the most accomplished and famous Romanian people.
Sebastian Stan is a prominent Romanian-American actor. Many people often claim they did not know he was Romanian, although he was born in Constanta. This is probably because Stan migrated to New York when he was a child, and this is when his fame began.
Stan is best known for his portal of Winter Soldier in many movies including ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’, ‘Black Panther’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame.’
Despite his success, Stan is a present figure in Romania and even supports Romanian charities such as Our Big Day Out, an organization caring for vulnerable children and the elderly. This makes him one of the most famous people in Romania.
Nadia Comaneci is a famous former Romanian athlete. She was born in Onesti, Romania.
Comaneci is a retired gymnast, who at the height of her career, attained five Olympic Gold Medals. She is best known for being the first gymnast ever to receive a perfect score at the Olympic Games, which she achieved whilst she was still a teenager!
Comaneci’s star moves included the aerial cartwheel-back handsprings, as well as double twists.
Discovering More Things Romania Is Known For
Romania is famous for its many natural wonders and landscapes, such as the Carpathian Mountains and Danube Delta. The country is also a great place to explore culture, with its ancient churches, castles, monasteries, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
While the most popular reason to visit is usually the natural attractions, let’s not forget that the people of Romania are known for their hospitality as well. Furthermore, you can enjoy classic Romanian foods such as warm soups and hearty meat dishes even in the winter.