5 Best Books about Romania to Learn Everything about the Country

If you want to move to Romania or just plan to visit the country, but you don’t know anything about it, you might be interested to check out a book about Romania if this blog doesn’t manage to answer all your questions. The advantage of a book (especially if you choose the traditional, paper product) is that you can carry it around at all times and it has all the info you need in an easy to access structure.

And today’s article will help you check out 5 of the best books about Romania, instantly available on Amazon, where you can learn a lot about this country, from its history to how things are today or top things to visit and even learn a bit of Romanian.

In other words, each of these books will provide extremely useful information about living in Romania or traveling to this beautiful country, each with its own unique approach and area of expertise, as you will see.

The number of books about Romania is pretty low and they might be lacking here and there in terms of up to date information a person moving to Romania might need, but the recommendations below are still pretty solid and you’ll learn a lot about this beautiful country especially if you are old school like me and still prefer books.

The funny thing is that I originally wrote this article back in 2014 and updated it in 2018 before the update today. You would think (or hope) that in all these years, a ton of new and exciting books about Romania came out… but unfortunately, things are not like that and we still have very few to choose from.

I did select the best on offer and I am sure that, despite the low pool of titles to choose from, you will still learn a lot about the country from these books. Or just stick to reading this blog – it’s free and I do my best to keep it as up to date as possible.

(Note: I get commissions for purchases made through links in this article)

City Compass Romania: Bucharest & Beyond

This is a really complex book about the life in Romania. The best part about it is that it is updated yearly, so it’s probably the most up to date book about Romania you will find. It focuses mostly on Bucharest, but has a lot of useful information about the rest of the country as well.

Featuring everything from finding a place to live, navigating the nightlife, discovering the cuisine and peasant markets, or living green to Romanian art and more, this is a professionally written book by the folks behind Romania-based website Romania Insider. Definitely check it out here.

The Rough Guide to Romania

This is also a guide book that gets republished regularly – so make sure that you do get the latest edition (the one I linked to below, at the moment). Here’s the complete description of the book, as published by its authors:

“Discover Romania with this comprehensive and entertaining travel guide, packed with practical information and honest recommendations by our independent experts. Whether you plan to go bear and wolf tracking in the Romanian wilderness, visit the opulent Peles Castle in Sinaia or go kayaking on the Black Sea, The Rough Guide to Romania will help you discover the best places to explore, eat, drink, shop and sleep along the way.”

This comprehensive guide reviews all the top hotel and restaurant options for every taste and budget, and includes informed background on Romania’s history, wildlife, literature, music, and, of course, Dracula so it’s perfect for those looking to travel here.

Click here to check it out.

Romania Explained to My Friends Abroad

books about romania 03

A Romanian’s approach to describing Romania for people abroad, interested in either moving here or visiting. See Romania from a Romanian’s point of view: the author has been working with National Geographic Romania for over a decade, so he’s somebody who’s seen a lot of our country and has some great stories to share.

As described by the author, “Romania explained to my friends abroad is not an exhaustive, academic paper on Romania; nor is it a travel guide. Iā€™m a simple journalist and this is just my own private Romania ā€“ a subjective puzzle of all the things I know from experience to be interesting for foreign tourists.”

This book was published in 2016, so it isn’t the most up to date one you can find, but due to the unique approach, the You can check it out here.

Insight Guides Romania

One of the more recent additions to the series of books about Romania, this one definitely offers a lot of eye candy thanks to the beautiful photos of the country that its authors have included.

But it’s not just eye candy! You also get important information about places to see in Romania, including in-depth, color maps, historical and cultural insights, key tips about visiting the country and much, much more. While this isn’t extremely useful for those looking to relocate to Romania, for those interested in traveling here, it will be pure gold!

You can check it out here.

Taste of Romania

books about romania 05

You can’t know everything about a country unless you know a lot about the country’s cuisine, and this book features 150 mouth watering Romanian recipes that you will surely fall in love with. The advantage with this book is that you don’t really have to come all the way here to test the delicious food it shares with its readers! Check it out here.

Bonus: Michelin Romania Map

And a bonus title for you, the Michelin Romanian Map. A must have if you plan a trip to Romania, as this updated map gives travelers an overall picture of their route, with practical road and travel information; and city maps containing extensive street indexes orient them quickly so they can find their way to their destination.

In a world where Google Maps is on everybody’s phones (or an alternative to it, that is), old school physical maps seem to be pointless… until you run out of battery in a country whose language you don’t speak, with no idea where you actually are. Better be safe than sorry, that’s what I always say!

And these would be the best books available right now to teach you more about Romania and help you uncover its secrets, as well as well known facts. I’ve been planning to write my own guide to Romania for several years now, but never got past the listing of the chapter titles.

So until I finally manage to get my own book ready for you, the ones above will definitely work great!

Share if you liked this!

7 thoughts on “5 Best Books about Romania to Learn Everything about the Country”

  1. Nice collection! Especially the bit about old Dracula! Great minds think alike. I have been working on an ebook about Malta. Nothing huge. I am like 90% done. It’s great that you are doing an ebook !!! Good luck with it.

    • Thanks, Kem! You already have the experience, being a published author, so it will be easier for you. I have mine in baby wraps, so it will surely take some time before I’m there, but there’s no real rush!

  2. Calin:
    Darn! I am #2 again–ha, ha!
    Great list of books! I will check them out. I am MOST looking forward to YOUR eBook, though. Any way you could discuss how both EU and USA residents can obtain temporary, then permanent residency after age 65 [in other words simple retired folks with adequate incomes, healthcare, and clean (no) police records]? I’ve been to the consulate site, but it’s all so confusing. “Wandering Earl” was lucky in obtaining his residency, but most people of an older (65 plus) age aren’t bloggers. I think there’s a Visa option “D” for other reasons, but it’s so generic. I know some countries offer a “golden retirement visa,” like Hungary and Portugal but it’s very expensive–way out of most people’s budget. (Apparently, the Chinese are all over these visas in Hungary and bring in millions and millions of Forints to the Hungarian government.)
    I look at Romania with the strictest gun laws as a place where I’d feel comfortable. I wouldn’t fear going to a movie, or to a mall, or to a school. (All places in the USA where gun massacres have occurred!) Here in the USA there is obviously too much gun violence. Unfortunately, the “right to bear arms” has been so perverted here, no one is really safe on the streets or in their own home. Most everyone, including the nutcases, have easy access to guns. “Give me your iPhone! No? Bang bang! Give me your Nike shoes! No? Bang bang! You talkin’ to me? Yeah? Bang bang!” Then there’s the nine year old girl who accidently killed her instructor with an Uzi! It’s just non-stop mayhem! Hell, even a dog (accidently?) shot his owner, recently. Every weekend at least 20 or more people are shot in Chicago. It’s absolutely insane, here! (Sorry for the rant;-()
    From the pictures, You Tube videos, and your site, it looks like Romania is a country which offers much to the US retiree (cold winters not withstanding;-) The only thing, I think which is worrisome are the stray dogs. Here in the USA, dogs have a great life. We Americans just love our dogs (I have a cat, though;-) The thought of packs of dogs roaming the streets is a little unnerving. Of course, most South American countries and cities have a lot of stray dogs and cats. Buenos Aires is notorious for their “poop problem”.
    Sorry to digress! Waaaay too much whining on my part;-0
    Thank you for posting this list of books. I am sure they are most informative.
    Blessings to you and to your family,
    ~Teil (USA)

    • Hello Teil,

      The story about the dog shooting his owner really made me laugh! šŸ™‚ But on a more serious note, it’s indeed crazy what this much freedom can lead to, and we don’t have that (or the concept that we need fire arms) here in Romania.

      I will look into the requirements for receiving residency here in Romania. I believe it shouldn’t be complicated, except for maybe a bit of bureaucracy, but I will look into it for sure!

      Regarding the stray dogs, the problem is no longer as big as it used to be. In my city, for example, I haven’t seen a pack of dogs for years and even stray dogs are more and more difficult to be seen. Central areas of the cities are generally clean of stray dogs and I am sure that as years go by, things will get even better as the government is investing (slowly, but it does) in keeping this under control.

      The poop problem is in Bucharest too, because many people here don’t pick up their dogs’ poop and leave it on the street. In areas with a lot of flats (which is most of Bucharest), you’ll see more than you’d like to. Hopefully this will also change soon as people understand that they have to clean after their dogs (and some are already doing this, both young and old).

  3. Calin: Yes, I had to laugh at the dog shooting his owner, too. The guy was a hunter, and he left his rifle cocked (really stupid!) leaning up against a tree. The dog, a spaniel mix, saw a squirrel and as he leapt for it, he knocked the gun over on to the ground and somehow it went off and shot the hunter in the a*s! Like I say, only in America;-)
    On an other note–totally unrelated–do you have window air conditioners in your apartment, or will you do with just fans? Also, I’ve noticed in pictures of apartments in Romania, there doesn’t seem to be any screens in the windows. Doesn’t that mean a lot of bugaboos gain unwanted entrance in the summers. I read that Oradea has a lot of moskies buzzing around (because of the river flowing through town), but none of the apartments I saw online had screened windows. Am I missing something?
    Thanks for your great and informative blog!

    • It tends to get really hot in here during the summer, so we will have to install air conditioners in the apartment. We haven’t done so yet because we were low on funds and winter was coming anyway, but I consider them a must.

      I believe that all houses and apartments with double pane windows (which are newer or renovated ones) also have window screens. Older apartments and houses indeed have no protection and yes, this means that a lot of bugs make their way in. However, I am sure that it’s pretty easy to find apartments with window screens (if not, installing one is about $30).


Leave a Comment