5 Days in Romania

Romania has been on my radar for about 10 years, but I never found the right time to visit. This year I am trying to visit new countries, so Romania had to be one of them. I decided to finally fly out to Romania this spring, after seeing it gain popularity on Tiktok for the Therme Spa. I spent 5 days in Romania, and have decided to make this blog post a bit different and provide a general review of the country based on my experiences in Bucharest and the Transylvania region.

The Language

I find Romania to be a really interesting country culturally and linguistically because they have influences from many countries. Romanian is a Latin language, but sounds like it is spoken with a Slavic accent. As someone who can speak some Spanish and Italian, I was able to read and understand some things in Romanian. Many words are very similar to English as well.

The Food

Romanian food

Romanian food is an interesting blend of influences from various cultures. Some dishes are more Slavic, and others have a more Turkish influence like other Balkan food. It’s worth noting that most of the dishes are meat focused, which would probably be a challenge for vegetarians and vegans. As someone who doesn’t eat meat regularly, it was difficult to eat it for every single meal. Food portions in Romania are MASSIVE! I did not finish a single meal in those 5 days. I met a fellow British tourist at a restaurant in Brasov who said the same thing. He tried to give me half his dessert because it was too big (haha!). I felt really bad leaving half the food on my plate in every restaurant. The good thing is that you get value for money with food here. If you love to eat and want to “pig out”…go to Romania!

The Prices

Transylvania Romania

It’s definitely cheaper than western Europe, but the price depends on the location. I found the Transylvania region to be quite cheap for food and souvenirs, and many things were half the price of the capital city. I have been told that Bucharest is quite over priced by Romanian standards, and sometimes restaurants will try to add random charges to your bill, so check everything before you pay. Uber and Bolt are very cheap and this is what I used to move around Bucharest most of the time. They do have good public transport but it’s a very big city, and there is a lot of traffic. A 10-15 minute drive with Bolt was always around £3. So cheap! For 5 days in Romania, I had around £200 in spending money and had to force myself to spend the remaining £50 on the last day. There was no point converting it back, because the rate would have been bad.

The Locals

Bucharest Romania

My experiences varied depending on the location. I felt like the locals in the Transylvania region were very friendly and welcoming. Random people waved at me in the street and shouted “hello”. I had some interesting conversations with some shopkeepers too. They seem to have a culture of hospitality and it reminded me of many Balkan countries. Anyone spending 5 days in Romania could easily enjoy staying in this region for the whole trip 🙂

Reflecting on my time in Bucharest, it’s not a city I would be eager to revisit. Many different things caused me to feel this way, but my main issue was the behaviour of the locals. I saw many instances where tourists were frustrated due to being ignored in museums and restaurants. Language didn’t appear to be a barrier, as many locals, especially those under 40, are multilingual (usually with some knowledge of English, French, or Italian) There were other challenges while exploring Bucharest, where I didn’t always feel embraced as a person of colour. I experienced instances of unwelcome behaviour from some locals, in the form of verbal insults related to ethnicity.

Therme Spa Bucharest

Therme Spa Bucharest

This attraction is getting more and more popular and I can understand why. I visited the day after I arrived and it was worth it. I paid around £30 for the full access ticket and would recommend buying it online in advance as tickets sell out fast. This spa is amazing! I had been struggling with a few skin issues for months, and they completely cleared up after taking a 5-minute dip in each of the 3 mineral pools in this spa. Bring your own flip flops, and you can rent a towel or robe for quite cheap.

The spa is very close to Bucharest Henri Coanda (OTP) airport, so it is probably easier to visit on your arrival or before you leave. I ate at the Thai restaurant in the Elysium area…and it was 10/10. I have been to Thailand…and can confirm that the green curry tasted Thai (and it was spicy!). As previously mentioned, I didn’t like Bucharest but I wouldn’t mind going there for a day trip just to visit the spa. From what I’ve seen on social media, many people from England seem to do that anyway. They fly to Bucharest in the morning, spend a day at the spa, and then catch the last flight back home at night.

My overall view of Romania is quite neutral, as I had different experiences in different regions. If you have 5 days in Romania, I wouldn’t recommend spending more than a day in Bucharest. I say this because there are a few interesting attractions in the old town, but you can see them all within half a day. The country is quite big and there are plenty of other cities and towns to explore :).

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