Romania Travel

Romania, Number One on Lonely Planet’s “Best in Travel 2016” Region Destinations

I am sure that Lonely Planet didn’t read my recently published article with the top reasons why you should never visit Romania, but they certainly surprised a lot of people when they placed the country – or, better said, the Transylvania region – at the top of their list of best places in the world to visit in 2016. That’s really nice!

The list is divided into three categories: Best Country to visit (Botswana is the surprising #1 here, just ahead of Japan and the US), Best City to visit (Kotor in Montenegro is here – and the country’s really close to Romania, so you can shoot two rabbits with one shot!) and the Best Region to visit in 2016. And, surprisingly or not, Transylvania is the top destination people should pick in 2016 when it comes to regions!

Corvin Castle in Hunedoara. Photo: Wikipedia
Corvin Castle in Hunedoara. Photo: Wikipedia

Here is what Lonely Planet said about their top pick: “Put the crucifix away and discard that bulb of garlic – you won’t be needing them in today’s Transylvania, which blows away stereotypes faster than the flapping wings of a bat out of hell.

Yes, horses and carts still rumble through the wooded countryside, but they’ll soon share the roads with Uber cabs ferrying visitors to chic Airbnb lodgings. Look past the ‘Count Drankula’ T-shirts and you’ll notice an ever-increasing number of art galleries, good value ski resorts and epic nature tours.”

You should really check out the link to the article for their complete overview of the region.

So… what and where exactly is this Transylvania in Romania? Basically, it’s the region surrounded by the Carpathian mountains, with major cities including Brasov, Sibiu or Cluj Napoca, but it’s also the nature itself and the other smaller cities and villages that must be visited. Here is Romania’s map, with Transylvania in tan:

transylvania mapSo, there you have it! More reasons to make 2016 the year when you really pack your things and get here to Romania!

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  1. Everybody’s coming around it seems. I saw this on lonely plant and hoped no one would read it and come drive up prices for me, haha!

  2. Hi Calin: So the tourist offices in Romania need to up their game. Take advantage of the good press and capitalize on it! Tarom should rethink resuming flights to US. (I would have a one-class service which is affordable with great amenities including better than “cattle class legroom,” free meal service(s) with Romanian cuisine and wines, Wi-Fi, etc.)
    p.s. If one visits the US (#3) it’s highly recommended to pack bullet-proof clothing.;-()

  3. Calin: Yes, they should! I know Malev (Hungarian state airline) went bust.
    Let’s hope Tarom “wises up”! (Are they private, or state-owned?)
    You probably already know this, but the first (and best) sound film Dracula (or “Drank-ula–ha, ha!), Bela Lugosi was born Be’la Ferenc Dezso Blasko on October 20, 1882, Lugos, Hungary, Austria-Hungary (now Lugoj, Timis County, Romania), to Paula de Vojnich and István Blaskó, a banker. He was the youngest of four children. During WWI, he volunteered and was commissioned as an infantry lieutenant, and was wounded three times.
    Now, I guess Romania should claim him as a “native son.”;-)

    1. Tarom is state-owned, so there might not be a ton of chances for them to wise up :)) I never knew about Bela Lugosi’s origins, I just knew that the original Tarzan was of Romanian origins.

  4. Calin: I just heard about the tragedy at the Colectiv Club. I hope the death toll won’t rise more. I know the people were there trying to enjoy their Friday night. I hope you or wife Romanian didn’t lose any friends or family!
    I always try to stay away from crowded venues with unsafe conditions. (Look at what happened recently at the hadj/hajj in Mecca!)
    Fireworks and other pyrotechnic displays inside nightclubs are a recipe for disaster, especially when there are crowds, and little room for escape.

    1. Teil, you’re faster than us with our own news! We don’t watch tv and I just found about it this morning. They are encouraging people to donate blood, as there are still more than 160 wounded. From the 27 people that died there were some without IDs, so that will be awful for some of the families 🙁 Wished I was in Bucharest to donate!

    2. Yes, the people there were enjoying a Halloween party. It’s really sad what happened, especially as it was in a good area in Bucharest. As you said, mixing fireworks and closed spaces is a recipe for disaster and extremely stupid. Hopefully everybody who’s guilty will pay dearly for this.

      The response of the population was great after the tragedy (there’s always need of extra blood for transfusions in Romania and there are long lines of people willing to donate). Hopefully they will all get better!

  5. Sorry tragedy had to strike Romania and looks like it will be more sad news to come. Good to see people step up to it and help.

    On the great news about Transylvania.. do not overlook the original capital of Alba Iulia for it has some great history and seeing a lot of change and development take place. The Citadel has been greatly renovated looks better and better every year and is a great tourist draw as largest in Romania and dating back to Roman times they have exposed Roman ruins. I think Sibiu is a beautiful city.. but not in the same league when it comes to history.

    Transylvania area is the best in Romania… look forward to arguing this point as Romania has plenty to offer.

    1. We have already started to plan for a train-tour in Transylvania next year (similar to our European trip this year) to see a few of the major cities. We’ve never been to Sibiu, for example 🙂 I am sure I’ll have a lot more first hand information to share with you next year!

  6. I’ve vacationed in Romania NUMEROUS times and I’m so glad to see it’s finally getting recognition it deserves. I’ve been to Bucharest, Sibiu, Brasov, Miklosoara, Sighisoara, Cluj-Napoca, and many other places. I’ve had the pleasure of photographing many Romanian models there. One of them is now a big star in your country. So I’m glad I had the pleasure of working with her before she became famous! Go Romania!

  7. Well, l have known that for a while, thanks to your blog. I have definitely also been talking about it to people too!!!! Let’s hope l make it before the “rush”..

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