practical information

Romania

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Romania - a country to explore

Romania is a country in Southeastern Europe. Its neighboring countries are: Hungary and Serbia to the West, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova to the Northeast, and Bulgaria to the South.

To the East, Romania has a stretch of sea coast along the Black Sea. The country is located roughly in the lower basin of the Danube River, with almost all of the Danube Delta being located within its territory.

The capital city of Romania is Bucharest and its time is the same as Eastern European Time (UTC +2.00). The official language is Romanian, and the country's currency is the Romanian Leu (RON). As far as weather is concerned, the average summer temperature is 22/ 240C, while the average winter temperature is -3/ -50C.

Places to visit

Geographically, Romania is made up of roughly equal mountainous, hilly and lowland territories. The country?s incredible scenery and natural ecosystems, unique architectural patterns and impressive historical vestiges have been recognized by the inclusion of over 25 landmarks from 7 different locations on the list of UNESCO world heritage sites.

If you are passionate about historical places, you will love the Dacian fortresses in the Orastie Mountains (dating from 1st centuries BC and AD), the Mediaeval Fortresses in Sighisoara, the impressive star-shaped Alba Carolina Fortress, Bran Castle, most famously known as the Castle of Dracula, R?ov Fortress, Peles Castle and Pelisor Castle in Sinaia, etc. Rural Romania attracts many tourists through its quaint villages, folk customs and monasteries. Among them, we mention: the merry cemetery in Sap?a; Horezu ? the place to observe traditional pottery while being made; the monasteries in Northern Moldavia; the wooden churches of Maramures a.o.

If nature is what you want to explore, here is a list of unforgettable landscapes: Danube Delta - the best-preserved delta in Europe; the Transfagarasan Road in the heart of the country, named "the best road in the world" by former Top Gear BBC Journalist Jeremy Clarkson; the Bear Libearty Sanctuary from Zarnesti, near the city of Brasov; the Mud Volcanoes from Buzau County, the Red Lake in Harghita.

Romania is also known for its Black Sea resorts, as well as for several renowned spas and health resorts spread throughout the country, such as Baile Herculane, Baile Felix and Sovata. If you want to practice your skiing or learn how to ski, there are many sky resorts juts a few hours away from Bucharest.

In short, Romania has a lot to offer you in terms of exploration opportunities. It is up to you to choose whether to spend a weekend in the mountains or at the seaside, or to join a two-week trip around the country to see the most of it!

Means of transport

Due to its geographical position, all means of transport can be found in Romania : automotive transport, rail transport, air transport and maritime transport.

As far as air transport is concerned, there are public airports in several of the Romanian major cities, such as: Arad , Bacau , Baia Mare, Bucharest (2 airports), Cluj-Napoca , Constanta , Craiova , Iasi , Oradea , Satu Mare, Sibiu , Suceava, Targu-Mures, Timisoara and Tulcea.

As far as maritime transport is concerned, there are several Black Sea ports, ports on the Danube, as well as ports on the Danube-Black Sea Canal . The first category includes Constanta , Mangalia, Sulina and Navodari. The second category includes Galati , Braila , Tulcea, Giurgiu . The third category includes Cernavoda, Poarta Alba and Agigea.


Visa information

Before coming to Romania, check with your local authorities whether visas are required or not.


History

Antiquity

The Greek historian Herodotus was the one to record the earliest written evidence of people living in the territory of the present-day Romania in 513 BC. In one of his books, he describes a military confrontation between the tribal confederation of the Getae and the Persian Emperor Darius the Great during his campaign against the Scythians .

The Getae or the Dacians were a branch of Thracians that inhabited Dacia (corresponding to modern Romania , Moldova and northern Bulgaria ). The Dacian kingdom reached its maximum expansion during King Burebista , around 82 BC.

Later, historical sources mention several confrontations between the Dacians and the Roman Empire , with the latter defeating the former under Emperor Trajan in two campaigns stretching from 101 AD to 106 AD. As a result, the core of Dacian kingdom was turned into the Roman province of Dacia .

Because the province was rich in ores, and especially silver and gold, the Romans heavily colonized the province, but in the 3rd century AD, with the invasions of migratory populations such as the Goths , the Roman Empire was forced to pull out of Dacia in 270 AD.

Middle Ages

Between the 3 rd century AD and the 14 th century AD, Dacia was in turn invaded by several nomadic peoples, among which the Huns, the Gepids, the Avars, the Bulgarians, the Pechenegs, and the Cumans. To defend themselves against such invasions, the Romanian principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia were founded around 1310 and 1352, in the Souhern and Eastern parts of today's Romania , respectively.

Romanians lived in three distinct principalities: besides Wallachia and Moldavia , there was also Transylvania, in the Western part of today's Romania , which was a part of the Kingdom of Hungary between the 10 th -16 th centuries.

1600 During the reign of Michael the Brave (Mihai Viteazul), the three Romanian principalities were for the first time united under a single rule. The unification lasted for less than a year and due to difficult historical conditions, the three principalities were separated again.

1859 Moldavia and Wallachia were reunited as a result of elections held in the two principalities. Their inhabitants chose Alexandru Ioan Cuza as their common ruler. Bucharest , the capital of the former Wallachia, became the capital of Romania .

1878

In the Treaty of Berlin, Romania was recognized as an independent state by the Great Powers.

1918

At the end of the First World War, Romania achieved its greatest territorial extent, uniting all the historical Romanian territories (including Transylvania, Bessarabia and Bukovina ). Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina were again separated from Romania in 1940.

1947-1989

In 1947, Romania became a people's republic, under a Communist rule. Subsequently, it became a socialist republic during Nicolae Ceausescu's regime, which started in the late 1960's.

The Communist regime was overthrown as a result of the Romanian revolution of December 1989.

Present-day Romania

After the fall of the Communist regime, Romania adopted a new constitution and started intense economic and political reforms.

Romania joined NATO on March 29 , 2004 , and is also a member of the Latin Union , of the Francophonie and of OSCE .

On January 1, 2007, Romania joined the European Union. Moreover, Sibiu , a large city in Transylvania , was chosen as European Capital of Culture in 2007.