Top 10 free tourist attractions in Romania

by Alice

Romania, a country rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, offers a wide array of free tourist attractions that cater to every type of traveler. From medieval castles and charming villages to stunning landscapes and ancient churches, Romania has something for everyone. Here, we delve into the top 10 free attractions that you should not miss when visiting this Eastern European gem.

1. Bucharest’s Old Town

The heart of Romania’s capital, Bucharest’s Old Town (Centrul Vechi), is a vibrant area that reflects the city’s history and culture. This pedestrian-friendly district is filled with historical buildings, lively bars, cafes, and restaurants, all set against a backdrop of cobblestone streets and beautiful architecture. Notable landmarks include the Stavropoleos Church, built in 1724, known for its intricate wood carvings and serene courtyard. Strolling through the Old Town is a great way to experience Romania’s past and present without spending a dime.


2. The Merry Cemetery of Săpânța

In the Maramureș region of Romania lies one of the most unique cemeteries in the world, the Merry Cemetery of Săpânța. Unlike traditional cemeteries, this one is renowned for its colorful tombstones and humorous epitaphs that celebrate the lives of the deceased with a light-hearted approach. Each wooden cross is painted in vibrant colors and adorned with a picture of the deceased and a short poem that captures their personality or story. This open-air museum offers a fascinating insight into the local culture and traditions of northern Romania.


3. The Painted Monasteries of Bucovina

The Painted Monasteries of Bucovina, located in northeastern Romania, are a series of Orthodox monasteries renowned for their stunning exterior frescoes. These monasteries, including Voroneț, Sucevița, and Moldovița, are adorned with vibrant paintings depicting scenes from the Bible and the lives of saints. The intricate artwork, combined with the serene landscapes, makes these monasteries a must-visit. Entry to the grounds is free, allowing visitors to marvel at the artistic and spiritual heritage of Romania.


4. The Transfăgărășan Highway

Described by many as one of the most scenic drives in the world, the Transfăgărășan Highway winds through the Făgăraș Mountains in central Romania. This 90-kilometer road offers breathtaking views of the Carpathian landscape, including lush forests, alpine meadows, and crystal-clear lakes. Along the way, visitors can stop at Bâlea Lake, a glacial lake that provides a stunning backdrop for photos. Driving the Transfăgărășan is free, and the experience of navigating its twists and turns is unforgettable.

5. Sibiu’s Historic Center

Sibiu, a city in the heart of Romania, boasts a beautifully preserved historic center that reflects its Saxon heritage. The city’s main squares, Piața Mare (Great Square) and Piața Mică (Small Square), are lined with colorful buildings, medieval towers, and Gothic churches. Visitors can wander through the narrow streets, visit the impressive Council Tower for panoramic views, and explore the Bridge of Lies, one of the oldest cast-iron bridges in Romania. The city often hosts free cultural events and festivals, adding to its vibrant atmosphere.

6. The Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve

Nature lovers should not miss the Danube Delta, one of Romania’s most extraordinary natural treasures. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the second-largest river delta in Europe and is home to an incredible diversity of wildlife, including over 300 species of birds. Visitors can explore the delta’s maze of waterways, wetlands, and forests by foot or by boat. Many local operators offer free guided tours, especially during the off-season, providing an opportunity to witness the stunning flora and fauna of Romania’s wild frontier.

7. The Village Museum (Muzeul Satului) in Bucharest

Located in Bucharest’s Herăstrău Park, the Village Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into traditional Romanian rural life. This open-air museum features over 300 authentic houses, barns, churches, and windmills relocated from different regions of Romania. Each structure is furnished with period-appropriate artifacts, showcasing the diversity of the country’s cultural heritage. Admission is free on certain days, allowing visitors to step back in time and experience the charm of Romania’s countryside.

8. The Black Church in Brașov

Brașov, one of Romania’s most popular tourist destinations, is home to the Black Church, the largest Gothic church in the country. Located in the city’s medieval old town, the Black Church is famous for its impressive architecture, including towering spires and intricate stone carvings. While there is a fee to enter the church itself, exploring the surrounding area and admiring the exterior is free. The nearby Council Square (Piața Sfatului) is also worth a visit, with its colorful buildings and vibrant atmosphere.

9. Corvin Castle in Hunedoara

Corvin Castle, also known as Hunyadi Castle, is one of Romania’s most striking medieval landmarks. Located in the town of Hunedoara, this Gothic-Renaissance castle features imposing towers, drawbridges, and a large courtyard. While there is an admission fee to enter the castle, the exterior and the surrounding grounds can be explored for free. The castle’s dramatic architecture and historical significance make it a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Romania.

10. Poiana Brașov

For outdoor enthusiasts, Poiana Brașov is a popular mountain resort located near the city of Brașov. While it is known for its winter sports facilities, Poiana Brașov also offers plenty of free activities year-round. Visitors can enjoy hiking and mountain biking on the numerous trails that wind through the surrounding forests and meadows. The fresh mountain air and stunning views of the Carpathian Mountains make Poiana Brașov a perfect destination for nature lovers looking to experience the beauty of Romania.


Romania is a country that offers a wealth of free attractions, from historical sites and cultural landmarks to natural wonders and scenic drives. Whether you are exploring the vibrant streets of Bucharest’s Old Town, marveling at the painted monasteries of Bucovina, or experiencing the wild beauty of the Danube Delta, Romania has something to offer every traveler. These top 10 free attractions highlight the rich history, diverse culture, and stunning landscapes that make Romania a must-visit destination. By taking advantage of these free experiences, visitors can immerse themselves in the unique charm and beauty of Romania without breaking the bank.



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