Low Budget Travel in Europe for the Summer: Romania

For this year’s summer vacation, we’ve decided to change things around a bit and stay right here in Romania, especially because Baby Romanian will be around 1 year old when we leave and we want to keep him away for now from airports and lengthy flights.

Another reason we’re doing it? Romania is one of the lowest budget travel destination in Europe, there are some amazing sandy beaches to enjoy here, the food is great and word has it that the girls in Romania are a joy to look at (not that I look, I am married, you know? *wink-wink*)

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Jokes aside, the Romanian beach resorts are indeed some of the cheapest places you can go to if you travel on a budget. There are few places in Europe that can compete with the vacation prices in Romania (Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey come to mind – although they’re all more expensive usually).

However, just like I said, this year it’s time for the Romanian beaches and hotels to host our tired bodies. And if you’re looking for a low budget travel destination, let me tell you a few things about the places you can should in Romania this summer without breaking the bank.


01 - mamaia

This is the flagship destination and most popular of them all. Probably it’s also the place where the most money were invested, there are carnivals and all sort of amazing parties and it’s impossible not to have fun going there.

It’s also the most expensive beach resort of them all thanks to its popularity and notoriety, but it’s guaranteed that you won’t get bored here. Not really the best cheap destination in Romania for families with kids – because of the parties and generally young people visiting, but certainly one to at least check out if you go to Romania.

I wrote a more in depth guide to the best hotels in Mamaia here, so make sure to check it out if you’re looking for some inspiration. Alternately, you can check out all the hotels in the area on Booking.com and be shocked at how cheap they are, even during the high season (which starts in June and ends in September).

The Aqua Park in Mamaia
The Aqua Park in Mamaia

Vama Veche

Fancy drinking beer at a table in the Black Sea? Anything is possible in Vama Veche!
Fancy drinking beer at a table in the Black Sea? Anything is possible in Vama Veche!

Basically Romania’s Woodstock, with some amazing pubs and bars to crawl, Vama Veche is the perfect place for one night hook-ups with people who don’t really care that certain substances are illegal in Romania, for sleeping on the beach in a stranger’s tent and making 100 friends per hour – plus living one of the most intense and amazing experiences of your life.

Vama Veche is dirt cheap (although its growing popularity is increasing prices here as well) and it might not be the best choice for more conservative people or families who want to rest and sleep a lot, but still a beautiful destination for open-minded people and one of the fastest growing beach resorts in the country.

You can check out the list of hotels here, but read the reviews carefully to make sure that you’re getting the best possible deal.

Olimp, Neptun, Jupiter and Venus

05 saturn venus

Finally, we get to some more family friendly destinations named after the Greek Gods and having nothing to do with them. Cheaper than the rest, with beautiful beaches and a bit less popular, these are the prefect destinations for those looking for a very cheap holiday, sun and relaxation, silence and beautiful waters.

These destinations are a bit outdated because not a lot has been invested in them in recent years, but they are still charming and of a high enough quality to be worth visiting. And even though there’s not a lot to do in terms of entertainment in these resorts, you can easily go from one to another – or even the others listed in this article – for some added variety.

Eforie Nord

This is actually a small city, with people living long term there, so you get some really cheap options for your already cheap holiday, from apartments to small hotels. There are also a lot of restaurants for the locals (which are cheaper) and many supermarkets with low prices, so overall you’re ready for some extra savings here.

We actually ended up spending a great and insanely cheap holiday at Hotel Fortuna after writing this article – make sure to read about the place and the city itself. You’ll find out that it’s great for families or people looking for a more relaxed place to spend their summer holiday.

And if Hotel Fortuna isn’t your thing, there are a lot more options to choose from here. And I really mean it when I say a lot!

How low are the prices for a summer vacation in Romania?

Please, take a seat, because you’re about to be amazed! If you’re not extremely picky and a three star hotel would be enough for you, offers start at $120 per person for 5 nights, with breakfast included. Or you can go for an all inclusive stay at a 4 star resort for about $350.

Prices vary greatly based on the time of the year that you visit: they’re a lot cheaper in May when it’s not the best weather for sunbathing or enjoying the Black Sea’s water. Prices start to go up in June when the weather is generally nice and warm, but the water is still cold. July gets even more expensive and it’s considered high season, together with August – the latter having the advantage of offering the warmest water all year long.

Finally, September marks the end of the season and if you choose to go towards the end of the month, you might not get too much sun either (although with the climate change, we’ve had some really hot Septembers lately…)

Here is an example of what you can get for a low amoung of money:

After doing my research, we’ve decided that most likely, we’re going to visit Hotel Dana in Venus (Later update: all my impressions about the hotel and Venus itself are here). For 10 nights with breakfast included, during the first half of July, we’ll pay close to $760 (which includes accommodation for two adults and our 1 year old). This is also a four-star hotel, which should offer some extra quality too.

We chose this particular hotel because of its amazing outside area (later update: and we were right to do so: everything was great about it, as my review above shows). Check out a few images:

hotel dana 01
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hotel dana 03
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hotel dana 10

It looks really nice, right? Not the luxury of a 5 star resort, but for such a low price, it’s an offer that’s too good to turn down.

All in all, I hope that this article proves that Romania is indeed a great cheap destination for your summer vacation! No matter where you go, you will have great options.

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16 thoughts on “Low Budget Travel in Europe for the Summer: Romania”

  1. The hotel looks really nice.

    In our case the Romanian seaside is not an option, since it would mean driving a lot from our city there. And we never really liked the people or the place. So we’re gonna take it West to the Adriatic and our ‘hot spot’ for 5 years now: Croatia.

  2. That is incredible, C! We are going to postpone our central Europe vacation until next summer, but maybe now we’ll visit Romania as well! Is it very easy to get to one of these locations by train, perhaps from Vienna, Prague, or Budapest?

    • Budapest is closest to Romania and there are trains in and out. We were planning too a train trip from our city to Timisoara – Budapest and Vienna so it’s certainly doable as there’s a several hour train ride from Timisoara to Budapest. There are some nice places to visit if you decide to come!

  3. It looks very pretty. I feel old, just reading the description of the first two places made me tired :0) you can’t beat the price of the Dana, and it looks quite nice. I wouldn’t mind staying there. I am hoping as summer gets in full swing, there will be more airlines flying out if Malta.

  4. Hi C.
    I live about 30 minutes away from the Pacific Ocean, and you wouldn’t get a room for under $120AUD a night for a 3-Star Hotel. The beaches look fantastic over on the Black Sea, and definitely, you are correct with Hotel Dana. The price and the appearance of the place are very appealing. I noticed that you didn’t mention Constanta. Is there any reason behind this?

    • Yes, Romania really is a cheap destination for those interested! Regarding Constanta, I didn’t mention it because it’s rarely if ever considered the destination for the summer holidays. It’s a big(ish) city that doesn’t give you the vacation feeling. The beaches are not great either and all tour operators ignore it from this reason. Plus, Mamaia is just several minutes away from Constanta and it tops it.

  5. C: The pictures are great, as is your article! It’s very interesting to learn how people enjoy their holidays. You’ll have to make sure baby Romanian has water-wings so he can splash around in the pool;-)
    The beaches and shore look super clean. And you don’t have to worry about “Jaws” making an unwelcome appearance.
    For travel between the main (larger) cities in Romania, is it better (or as cost effective) to fly, or is taking the train just as just as effective (albeit slower)? Did you say you’re taking the train, or driving your Dacia?
    ~Teil (USA)

    • Flying is really uncommon from a Romanian city to another and it’s considered very expensive. To be honest, I have no idea what the costs are and there are just a few cities you can fly to in Romania. Mine has no working airport so I’ll have to stick to either driving or taking the train. Most likely, it will be the train since we’ll split the trip in two anyways (it’s close to 5 hours to get to Bucharest, where we’ll visit my wife’s mother for a few days) than a couple of hours to our destination. But this way I will be sure that I would be able to drink a beer anytime I want to and not worry about driving 🙂

  6. The places look lovely…makes me want to plan a summer vacation too. Baby LRC will be around 1 and I’m not sure I want to fly either. There are beaches near NYC which we can go to on the weekends. But I’d like to take a few days off and go something…probably somewhere within driving distance.

  7. Thanks for reply C. I didn’t get the chance to go to the coast when I was there last year. For some unknown reason, and I suppose the lack of research, I thought Constanta was the place to go. Wasn’t I wrong. The ones you’ve listed look fantastic. I’ll keep them in mind if I get the chance to come back.


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