Romania – 9 days self-drive travel itinerary

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Summer months are best for traveling around Romania. It might be their high season, but there are still parts, which are hardly visited by any tourists. And on the other side, Romania has lots of mountain roads, which are only opened during spring to autumn, so if you want to enjoy them, including with the blueberries, this is the right time to go.

Romania can of course be explored by local transport, but if you ask us for advice, we definitely recommend you to do a self-drive tour. You will be able to stop wherever and believe us – you will want to make stops in between, as the nature and sceneries are breathtaking.

If you are not traveling to Romania by your own car, you can rent it at www.economycarrentals.com, which we successfully used for several travels and had no problems with it.

Some visitors are concerned about safety when traveling by your own car, but we had not got any bad experiences. In fact, we found people really kind and trustworthy. We have never parked a car on a security parking. The roads around Romania are nice if you take the main roads.

Romania self-drive travel itinerary

Day 1 – Bucharest, Romania

Arriving at the Bucharest airport, where you rent a car (we find best deals at www.economycarrentals.com). Check-in at your hotel (we stayed at hotel Ambiance, offering free private parking and it is not far from the city center either – take a taxi). If you are good enough for some exploration, you should at least visit the Parliament, which is known as the second largest administrative building in the world. If you are fit for more, wander around the city and get to know its vibe.

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The palace of parliment is a symbol of Bucharest (Romania self-drive travel)

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Hotel Ambience, Bucharest (Romania self-drive travel)

Day 2 – The Black Sea

Start your day after breakfast and drive all the way to the popular holiday destination Constanta at the Black Sea. The city beach can be very crowded so luckily you have a car and you can drive somewhere else, if crowds are not your business. A really nice and remote sandy beach can be found at the NP Grindul Chituc, where you can also pitch your tent and do wilderness camping together with locals. If that’s not your style of accommodation, you can book your hotel in Constanta or any other town along the Black Sea. Check out the hotels here.

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Constanta – Black Sea (Romania self-drive travel)

Day 3 – Danube Delta

The Danube Delta is one of our favorite tourist attractions in Romania, so make sure to have time for its exploration. The best way to see the Danube Delta is by a boat tour, which you can book at the spot with the locals. If you have some extra days to spend, staying the night can be very interesting and rewarding. If not, at least make a 2 hours boat tour.

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The Danube delta (Romania self-drive travel)

If not spending the night at the Danube Delta, you can find a place in Galati town.

Day 4 – Painted monasteries and Maramures region

The painted monasteries will definitely amaze you and that’s not just because they are on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Having your own car to explore them will make your life a lot easier as there are rarely any local buses towards them.

Bucovina painted monasteries, Maramures Romania

Bucovina painted monasteries (Romania self-drive travel)

Also the Maramures region itself offers beautiful sceneries and according to the architecture style of the houses, you might think you are somewhere in the Alps.

Day 5 – Merry cemetery and Mocanita steam train

If you are looking for unique sites, the Merry cemetery is the place to visit and so is the historical steam train Mocanita, which takes you to a remote gorge, where wild bears can be seen if lucky.

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The Merry Cemetery (Romania self-drive travel)

A small town of Sighetu Marmatiei, right next to the Ukrainie border is also a nice stop – even more if you are interested in the dark side of the history. We would recommend you to pay a visit to its holocaust museum.

Stay the night in Sighetu Marmatiei – check the accommodations here.

Day 6 – Cluj Napoca

The city itself is nothing special as it is more or less an industrial city of Romania. But it is close to the Tudra salt main, so stay the night there – find your hotel at booking.com.

Day 7 – Turda salt main – Medias – Biertan – Sighisoara

Today you’ll get to know a really interesting site – the Turda salt mine. It is not special only because of the salt, but more because it was turned into one of a kind family amusement park.

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Turda salt mine (Romania self-drive travel)

Continue your way to Medias, which has a nice old town center, perfect for a stroll and a coffe in one of the caffees on the main square.

Your last stop, before reaching the Sighisoara is Biertan and its church under UNESCO World Herritage protection.

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Biertan Saxon fortified church (Romania self-drive travel)

Last but not least, you will reach Sighisoara late in the afternoon, but soon enough to explore the old town, visiting the Dracula birth house, climbing up to the clock tower and museum, see chamber of torture etc.

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Sighisoara (Romania self-drive travel)

Stay the night in Sighisoara – check the accommodations here.

Day 8 – Transfagaras mountain road – Bran – Brasov

Start your day early, as you have a tight schedule in front of you. According to the Top Gear TV show, you’ll be driving on one of the best roads in the world – Transfagaras mountain road.

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The numerous stands with locals cheeses and salamis at the top of the Transfagarashan Highway (Romania self-drive travel)

You’ll be also stopping at the Bran castle or better known as the castle of the count Dracula. End your day in a beautiful Brasov town.

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The main square Piata Sfatului, Brasov (Romania self-drive travel)

There are lots of accommodations there, but we stayed at the Casa Cristina and loved it.

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Casa Cristina in Brasov (Romania self-drive travel)

Day 9 – Bucharest

You can wonder around Brasov in the morning (visit the black cathedral) and then continuing your way back to Bucharest, where your Romania adventure will end.

For the complete self-drive travel around Romania you will need at least 9 days, but if you can spend few days extra, you definitely won’t be sorry to do so, as Romania is indeed a gorgeous country to explore.

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2 Comments

  1. avatar

    Hello Nina! I think you are right, 9 or 10 days is the perfect timeframe to see the “highlights” of Romania, but of course, for a longer stay you can still find plenty of things to do. I like how you incorporated a little bit of everything: Maramures, Bucovina, Transylvania, the Black Sea…great travel itinerary!

    • avatar

      Hi there, glad to read you like our Romania travel itinerary. And yes, you can easily spent more day in this amazing country. There’s still so much more to see, so we cannot wait to return. 🙂

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