Constanta, historically known as Tomis, is Romania’s largest port on the Black Sea coast and a popular destination for summer holidays.
I’ve been living here for 9 months now (at the moment of writing this article) and I guess it’s the right time to update this article and share my opinions about the best things to see and do in Constanta.
I am sure that when visiting this historical coastal city, you will fall in love with its great attractions, the sandy beaches, and alluring museums.
When visiting Constanta for the first time, you will discover there are plenty of things to do and see.
We are talking about an ancient town, which is worth exploring solely for its ancient ruins. Who wouldn’t want to visit a town that offers the perfect blend between the old and the new?
With these in mind, let’s move on and check out the best things to do in Constanta, Romania!
Visit the old town area
Each city has its own old town area and it’s usually one of the main attractions. Constanta’s old town makes no exception, as this is where you will find most of the attractions below.
But walking around the old town area, starting from the City Hall and ending by the sea near the Tomis Touristic port is something that has to be done.
You will explore the old streets and enjoy the architecture, but also the Capitoline Wolf where, during the summer season, you’ll have a small Roman guar area set up there and enjoy the hourly change of guards.
Constanta’s old town has been recently restored, and another of it’s attractions is Ovid’s Square, right at its center.
Here, you can find the statue of Publius Ovidius Naso, the Roman poet who was exiled to ancient Tomis, hence the connection to the city today.
On the statue, one can read a few lyrics written by the poet himself. Legend says that these were also engraved on this tomb, even though no one knows its location.
Apart from this, the Old Town area is perfect for checking out various stores, small but charming bars and pubs as well as all sorts of restaurants – and other attractions I’ll talk about in depth below.
The Constanta Casino
Located in a prime spot on the seafront, close to the old town square, the Constanta Casino is an amazing art nouveau style building and it’s mighty impressive.
For a long time, this impressive historical building was abandoned, but the authorities have recently started rehabilitating it.
While it’s not done yet and you can’t enter the building itself, you should still go there and take some photos of this amazing place.
Around the casino, there is a pedestrian area, which offers a splendid view of the sea. You can take a walk and enjoy the air dance of the seagulls, almost tasting the saltiness of the air.
Plus, many of the other attractions in Constanta are in the same area!
The Grand Mosque of Constanta
Built in 1910 by King Carol I, the mosque delivers one of the most impressive sights Constanta has to offer. And it’s also conveniently located in the old town area.
It’s also known as the Carol I Mosque or the Kral Camii (so if you see these names, they’re all referring to this particular mosque).
Muslims, either Turks or Tatar by origin, come to worship their faith here. Each day, the muezzin climbs the steps to the minaret and makes the call to prayer.
Byzantine architectural elements decorate the outside of the building, and the interior is just as beautiful. A large Turkish carpet, a gift from Sultan Abdul Hamid, is the centerpiece of the mosque.
The minaret, with a height of 47 meters, offers a spectacular view of the harbor and the historic town center.
Bonus tip: if you like buildings of this kind, you might also want to visit the Hünkar Mosque, also in the area. I
It was built in 1869 by an Ottoman Sultan for the Turks who had settled in Constanta after fleeing the Crimean War. The building also has a minaret, though not as tall.
Since it’s lesser known, I’ve marked it on Google Maps here.
Ride the Constanta Ferris Wheel
A brand new attraction that was introduced in the Marina in 2023, the Ferris Wheel is extremely cheap (4 euros per ride) and shows you some amazing views of the city and the Black Sea.
Officially named the Tomis Eye Ferris Wheel (or, in Romanian language: Roata Panoramică “Tomis Eye”), it’s open daily from 12 PM to 10 PM.
We took a ride and it was amazing – just a quick 5 minutes or so at very slow pace. My son loved it and I am sure you would too.
Make sure you have the phone fully charged before entering the Ferris Wheel in Constanta, as you’ll take PLENTY of photos.
As I said, this is a brand new attraction added to the city in 2023 and you can find it in the Tomis Marina (marked on Google maps here).
The Archaeological Park
If you are curious to see what has remained of Ancient Tomis, a visit to the Archaeological Park might be a good idea.
Located in an area with lush greenery, at the border of Constanta’s old town, it houses ancient vestiges. Near of the remaining towers, you can check out a map of Dobruja, which shows ancient cities of the area.
Tourists can walk on its alleys, discovering the history of the Tomis Fortress. There are columns and amphorae, capitols and tower fragments to be discovered and explored.
According to experts, these historical artifacts date from the Roman-Byzantine period. You can still see a part of the Roman wall and two gateways.
The Genoese Lighthouse
Located on Constanta’s promenade, close to the Casino and old town, this historic monument was originally built around the 1300s, in honor of the Genoese merchants who had established a flourishing sea trade here.
It was rebuilt in the 1860s at the order of the Danubius and Black Sea company.
The lighthouse has a height of 8 meters and it was in use until 1910. Today, it can only be observed from the outside, being considered an important attraction in the are. On its walls, you can observe a Genoese ship (coat of arms).
And since you’re there, make sure to take a stroll around and enjoy the sea. It’s an amazing area, rehabilitated and perfect for a walk:
Visit the National History and Archaeology Museum
You shouldn’t skip the National History and Archaeology Museum, which is located in the Old City Hall (yup, also in the old town area!)
Here, one can find an impressive collection of ancient art, including archaeological finds. The exhibitions dedicated to Dobruja are particularly impressive, offering a glimpse into both ancient and medieval history.
Archaeological vestiges of rare value are exposed within the walls of this museum.
These include the Glykon Snake, the statue of an ancient snake god, statues depicting the protective deities of Ancient Tomis, the Sitting Woman and the Thinker, terracotta sculptures belonging to the Hamangia Culture.
I do have to be honest and admit that, compared to history museums in other larger cities, this one seems a bit small. But there are still great things to see and learn about Romania and Constanta’s history, so still worth a visit.
At least look at the good part: you won’t spend hours exploring it. We completed it in under one hour, I would guess.
A visit to the Romanian Navy Museum
The Romanian Navy Museum offers an interesting perspective on both the military and civil navy life.
Visitors can explore the museum’s collection of ships and anchors, as well as the impressive display of knots, lighthouse bulbs and navy uniforms.
If you are traveling with kids, they might enjoy the mockup submarine.
A tour of the museum is highly recommended, so you can see everything that it has to offer, including naval devices, torpedoes, and guns.
There are also pieces from old ships and submarine models, ideal for anyone who is passionate about naval history.
A day of fun at the Natural Sciences Museum Complex
Families with children can plan an entire day of fun at the Natural Sciences Museum Complex, which includes the Dolphinarium and Planetarium, as well as an Exotic Birds Exhibition and a Micro Delta (known as Microrezervatie).
This was the first main attraction that we visited after moving to Constanta, and everybody was impressed, especially my 9-year-old son.
The Dolphinarium is one of the most popular attractions in Constanta, especially during the summer. Visitors can watch shows with dolphins, as well as sea lions (and also take photos with them).
Right now, we have more dolphins here than usually – the rescue dolphins from Ukraine are housed here until things are safer in the country.
But the show itself is incredible and definitely worth the visit. Make sure to get your tickets online from the official website to avoid waiting in line.
After visiting the Dolphinarium, take a stroll in the mini-habitat in the area. A mini-zoo of sorts with a few animals, a garden and a nice lake to enjoy, offering insight into the complexity of Dobrogea’s fauna and flora.
The Planetarium, along the Astronomical Observatory, offers a unique journey into the world of stars and galaxies.
This is a bit outdated at the moment, the videos presented there are old and the entire place needs some TLC. So don’t be upset if you miss booking a spot here.
A trip to the Constanta Aquarium
Opened in 1958, the Aquarium in Constanta houses over 100 species of fish and other sea creatures. It’s really small, but definitely a fun place to visit, located right next to the old Casino building.
If you decide to visit it, be sure to check out the basin that holds a collection of impressive sturgeons. Additional attractions of the marine section include sea horses and sea stars.
Enjoy the sandy beaches
Visiting Constanta during the summer? If yes, then visiting one of the city’s beaches is a must.
Some of Constanta’s beaches made it on my list of the best beaches in Romania, so it’s definitely worth checking them out. I prefer the one near the Tomis Marina (seen above) as you have amazing restaurants nearby.
The Modern beach is also a good choice, but it’s usually more crowded or go up north and explore less popular ones (although they can all get crowded during the peak of the season).
Visit the Tomis Marina
Passionate about sailing? You can rent a boat and cruise on the Black Sea, enjoying the salty breeze.
Or just watch the boats from a short distance, taking a stroll near the water and maybe stopping to eat something with a view to the sea. Or just enjoy an ice-cream, like my son did in the photo below:
Depending on your experience, you can go out to sea on your own, or accompanied by an experienced crew.
Often, the same companies also offer scuba diving lessons, so you might consider this opportunity as well.
The St. Peter and Paul Orthodox Cathedral
We’re getting back to the old town, where the impressive St. Peter and Paul Orthodox awaits. There is no entrance fee to visit the place, which is an added bonus!
The cathedral’s exterior – in Byzantine Style – features beautiful domes, arches, and intricate carvings, while the interior is decorated with beautiful frescoes and mosaics.
The Modern Art Museum
Located in a beautiful Belle Époque building, the Art Museum showcases works by Romanian artists, but also renowned artists from all over the world.
Here you can see amazing displays including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.
When we went there, there was a Pablo Picasso exposition that we really enjoyed, so expect to have all sorts of special displays. But even without them, it’s worth a vitis.
The Modern Art Museum in Constanta is located close to the city center and the main beaches.
Enjoy a day at the Aqua Magic Waterpark
If you’re visiting during the summer and you get bored of the sea, a visit to the Aqua Magic waterpark is a great idea. Cheap and nice, it will provide fun for the entire family.
You have various waterslides available, various pools and a lazy river, plus two restaurants with surprisingly tasty and decently-priced food.
Make sure to visit during the week, as this place is packed over the weekend.
Gondola trip to Mamaia
Mamaia is considered the pearl of Romania’s beach resorts and it’s just a stone’s throw away from Constanta.
And while you can definitely get there by taxi, Uber, bus or even walk there, I recommend taking the Gondola ride at least once.
You start close to the Aqua Magic Waterpark (you can actually see the Gondolas in my photo of the waterpark) and you’ll travel for a few minutes to Mamaia, taking in some nice views during the way.
And once there – why not spend the rest of the day in Mamaia, enjoying its beaches and tasting some of the delicious food there?
Then take a walk back to Constanta through the Luna Park and then down through the area filled with restaurants serving traditional Romanian food.
A final word
Constanta is definitely a worthwhile destination in Romania, especially for sun and sea lovers during the season.
It offers a bit of everything: fun in the sun, a lively entertainment scene, and historical exploration with interesting things to see and do – most of them conveniently in the Old Town area.
Double-decker buses offer a unique sightseeing experience during the summer, and popular Black Sea resorts are only a stone’s throw away.
And if you decide to make Constanta your home, I’ve got you covered! You can read my article about the best areas to live in Constanta to make sure you make the perfect choice.
If you decide to visit, you can also choose Mamaia which is Romania’s top seaside resort. If that’s the case, make sure to check out my recommended hotels in Mamaia.