Romania is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and underrated countries in Europe. Full of incredible castles and epic landscapes, and home to a wide variety of wildlife, this country needs to be added to your bucket list.
Many travelers tend to visit during the summer months, but winter in Romania is truly something special. You’ll find plenty of fantastic things to do in Romania in winter like heading to the Christmas markets, admiring the traditional Bear Dance, and visiting some of the country’s many castles.
With so much to do, it can be difficult to decide what to include in your itinerary! Luckily, this guide is going to take you through the best places to visit in Romania during winter!
20 Things to do in Romania in Winter
1. Admire the traditional Bear Dance before New Year’s Eve
One of the most popular Romanian attractions in winter is the traditional bear dance. This dance takes place between Christmas and New Year’s eve and is an ancient ritual that dates back to pre-Christian times.
Men and women dress up in bear skins and dance to a rhythm to ring in the New Year and ward off evil spirits. The Bear Dance often takes the form of a parade, with the main ritual being performed in the center.
You’ll find this tradition taking place in most towns and cities across Romania, and it’s a great way to immerse yourself in the culture.
2. Husky Safari in Harghita County
No winter holiday in Romania is complete without heading out on a husky safari! These dogs are gorgeous and they’re born for this kind of environment. There’s no better feeling than exploring the countryside of Romania in the snow, and getting to admire the epic views whilst on your sled!
There are three safari options in Harghita, a 15-minute tour, a 90-minute tour, and an all-day experience. These husky tours range in price so it all depends on your budget. During the experience, you’ll also get to learn about the dog’s behavior and their daily routine.
3. Ski in Poiana Brasov
If you’re planning on visiting Romania in winter then you can’t miss out on the chance to ski. The conditions are perfect at this time of year, and the best place for this is Poiana Brasov.
Poiana Brasov is the largest and most luxurious mountain resort in the country, and it’s located deep within the Carpathian mountain range. With a total ski domain length of around 24.5 km (15.2 miles), you’ll find plenty of ski routes and slopes for all abilities.
The beauty of skiing here is that you’ll be close to plenty of awesome attractions too, including Bran Castle, Rasnov and Brasov!
4. Try the incredible bobsled on rails in Toplita (the longest in Romania)
If you’re wondering what to do in Romania during winter, then why not check out the alpine coaster?
Situated in Toplita, this bobsleigh track is one of the best things you’ll experience in the country. It’s the longest bobsled track in Romania and is one of the most modern too.
This track will take you primarily through the forest reaching up to speeds of 50 km/h, and the total descent lasts for around eight minutes. You can either hop on by yourself or tackle the coaster in two as long as you don’t weigh over 150 kg together.
5. Take the cable car to Babele and the Sphinx
Babele is one of the best places to visit in Romania during winter, as the views from here are spectacular, especially as the surrounding mountains will be covered in snow.
You can actually take the cable car up to Babele and the Sphinx from the town of Busteni, and on the way, you’ll be treated to scenic views but just wait until you reach the top. This place is famous for its unique rock formations, so during your time here, make sure you head to the the Cross of Heroes too.
6. Go to Sibiu Christmas Market
Sibiu is easily one of the most beautiful cities in Romania, especially during the winter when its backdrop of mountains is covered in snow. Located in the region of Transylvania, this city is home to a wide variety of awesome tourist attractions including the Bridge of Lies, the Holy Trinity Cathedral, and the old city center.
However, the highlight of spending winter in Transylvania is that you can visit the fantastic Sibiu Christmas market! It’s located in Sibiu’s main square, and the area is covered with decorations and light shows are projected onto the historic buildings too. You’ll also get to taste delicious food, shop for souvenirs, and admire the city from the Ferris wheel.
7. Admire Dracula’s Castle (Bran Castle) covered in snow
Bran Castle is undoubtedly one of the best places to visit in Romania during winter! Also known as Dracula’s castle due to its association with Bram Stoker’s book, this castle is one of Romania’s most famous landmarks.
You’ll find plenty of fantastic things to do here as the museum is dedicated to Queen Maria who was the last resident of Bran Castle, so there are lots of cool displays to see.
The castle also has exhibits based on Romanian vampire lore and Vlad the Impaler, although the highlight of your visit will be getting to see Dracula’s Castle in the snow.
8. Try some Romanian traditional food
One of the best Romania winter activities has to be indulging in traditional food! This country has created some truly delicious dishes over the years, with the highlights being Boeuf salad, sarmale, and Papanasi.
If you’re heading to the capital then Caru cu Bere is the best restaurant in Bucharest for traditional food. This place has a history of over 140 years and you’ll be spoilt for choice as there’s an extensive menu. Offering everything from soups to salads, and a wide variety of homemade and grilled dishes, this restaurant has a lot to offer.
9. Try one of the many beautiful hikes in Romania
Romania is home to endless hikes and many of them offer spectacular views, so the question is which one do you tackle? There are plenty of areas in the country known for their hiking trails, and this includes the Apuseni Mountains, the Bucegi Mountains, and the Fagaras Mountains.
However, one of the most beautiful regions is Piatra Craiului and here you’ll find a wide variety of hikes that vary in difficulty and length. Heading out on a hike is one of the best things to do in Romania in winter as you get to appreciate the true beauty of the country whilst it’s covered in snow.
10. Visit the Peles Castle (one of the most beautiful castles in Romania)
If you’re spending some of the winter in Romania then make sure you head to Peles Castle! Located at the foot of the Bucegi mountains, Peles is easily one of the most beautiful castles in this country with its neo-renaissance architecture and forested backdrop.
The castle was commissioned in 1873 and served as the summer residence of the royal family until 1947. Today, however, you can go on a guided tour of the castle’s interior and admire its intricate design. Not only that, but exploring this place in the snow is a magical experience!
11. Discover one of Romania’s beautiful small villages (Viscri and Biertan)
If you’re looking for things to do in Romania in winter, then make sure you explore some of the country’s small villages. There are plenty to choose from but the two most popular options are Biertan and Viscri. Both of these villages are located in Transylvania and they’re UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Viscri is actually one of King Charles’s favorite destinations, and he even owns a house here! However, Biertan is just as beautiful – especially when the ground is covered in snow and the church is lit up at night.
12. Visit Sighișoara, the last inhabited medieval fortress in Europe
Sighisoara is a must-see if you’re visiting Romania in winter! It’s the last inhabited medieval fortress in Europe and is one of only seven walled Saxon cities in the country.
Boasting a UNESCO World Heritage Status, incredible architecture, and lots of history, this isn’t a place you want to miss. It’s even thought to be the birthplace of Vlad the Impaler but no one knows for sure!
During your time here, you’ll want to wander around the citadel’s cobblestone streets, explore the torture museum, and visit the famous clock tower among other things.
13. Listen to traditional Romanian carols (colinde)
There are plenty of Romanian winter traditions but if you’re traveling to this country near Christmas, then make sure you listen to some traditional carols. This is one of the oldest holiday traditions in the country (and Europe in general), and it came about due to marking the birthdate of Christ and celebrating the winter solstice.
Generally, Christmas caroling starts on Christmas Eve and there’s no better way to appreciate this tradition than by heading to a small village.
14. Escape the cold at Therme Bucharest
Therme Bucharest is one of the most popular Romanian attractions in winter and it’s not hard to see why! Boasting thermal water pools, around 1600m of fun waterslides, and the largest sauna complex in the country, it’s the perfect place to escape the cold.
If the hot temperature of the water here isn’t enough to convince you then there are plenty of other fantastic facilities too. This includes the Palm Recreation Area, several pool bars, a wave pool, and a variety of awesome lounges. There’s even a restaurant, a ‘snacks & sweets corner’, and you can also have different spa treatments here.
15. Spend a few days in a spectacular accommodation
You’ll find plenty of awesome accommodation options in Romania, but one of the best has to be the spectacular Wegloo! A igloo is a unique type of accommodation and is essentially a geodesic dome that promotes a style of glamping.
There are lots of them scattered throughout the country but Wegloo is a fantastic option! It’s situated in Azuga and has direct access to a ski slope, an on-site restaurant, and a bar. There’s also a shared lounge on the property and a garden area!
16. Spend a few days in Brasov
There are plenty of places to visit if you’re spending some of the winter in Transylvania, but Brasov should be at the top of your list. It’s one of the most-visited cities in the country and is home to lots of awesome attractions including Piața Sfatului (the council square), the Biserica Negara, and Catherine’s Tower.
You’ll also want to hike up the Knight’s Road to Mount Tampa or catch the cable car to the top. As you can see, there are plenty of things to do in Brasov but this city truly comes alive during the winter with festive Christmas markets, awesome New Year celebrations, and unique traditions.
17. Discover the famous Merry Cemetery
The Mery Cemetery is one of the more unique places to visit in Romania! Located in the town of Săpânța, this cemetery is full of quirky headstones that are decorated with bright colors, cool pictures, and quirky limericks.
Some of them are rather humorous tales written by family members, and they offer a unique and clever perspective on remembering their loved ones after death. If you decide to visit just make sure you’re respectful as you’re still in a cemetery!
18. Visit the Libearty Bear Sanctuary in Zarnesti
When planning your Winter holiday in Romania, don’t miss out on the Libearty Bear Sanctuary! Unfortunately, it was a common thing to see bears used in circuses or as pets and public attractions back in the 1990s.
However, one woman decided to do better and it became her life mission to rescue these bears (and ones from abroad) and allow them to live out the rest of their lives in peace. This sanctuary is now home to over 100 rescued bears, and they have over 69 hectares of land to roam around.
19. Explore Oradea and admire its Art Nouveau buildings
Located in Northwest Romania, Oradea is just 13 km (8 miles) from the Hungarian border and has a lot to offer. It’s considered to be one of the best Art Nouveau destinations in Europe and once you get here it’s not hard to see why!
Boasting plenty of striking historic buildings, you won’t be short of places to visit but there are three spots that you NEED to see. These are the Black Eagle Palace, The Darvaș-La Roche House, and Moskovits Miksa Palace.
With its unique architecture, historical building, and culture, it’s no wonder that so many people are flocking to this city.
20. Get warm with a glass of Tuica
You’ll find plenty of things to do in Romania in winter, but just make sure you try a glass of Tuica. It’s a Romanian spirit that’s traditionally made from plums and has an impressive alcohol percentage of up to 85%.
Tuica is the national drink of the country and it’s the perfect way to warm yourself up from the inside on a cold winter’s day! Even better? It’s often very cheap too.
Transport in Romania
Uber is now available in 20 cities in Romania and is a handy way to get around. You don’t have to haggle as the price will be shown on your app, and that means you can’t be ripped off either.
However, if you’re looking to get around by taxi outside of the cities then your best bet is a maxi taxi.
2. In Bucharest – the subway
Bucharest is the capital of Romania and it’s the only city in the country with a subway system. If you’re planning to stay in this city (which you should) then the metro is by far the easiest way to get around.
It covers a distance of around 70 km (43 miles) and there are four lines in total; M1 (the yellow line), M2 (the blue line), M3 (the red line), and M4 (the green line). There are around 60 stations at the minute but the subway is currently being expanded!
Traveling by train is one of the best ways to get around Romania if you plan to use public transport.
There are stations in nearly every town or city so you’ll be able to visit all the major attractions easily enough. Tickets are extremely cheap, and the timetables are displayed at the train stations and online so you can plan your visit.
If you’re doing a longer journey, then there are ‘sleeper trains’ where you’ll get your own bed.
4. Rent a car
Renting a car is the best way to get around Romania in winter as you won’t be subject to any delays or timetables. However, just keep in mind that you’ll need winter tires for safety.
Either way, hiring a car gives you the ultimate flexibility over your trip and allows you to visit areas that aren’t covered by public transport.
If you’re wondering what to do in Romania during winter then you won’t be short of options! From husky safaris to the iconic Dracula’s Castle, this incredible country has so much to offer.
Although beautiful at any time of year, Romania in winter is truly magical with its fantastic Christmas markets, winter sports, and of course – snowfall. Even better, the peak season in Romania is between June and August so you can find some great bargains when it comes to hotel prices during this time of year.
May the travel bug bite you!