What were your impressions of visiting Romania?

I visited Romania mainly out of a desire to see my Romanian friends again, some of who I had not seen for roughly two years.

I had never set foot in Europe before this, so I was pretty pumped to get out of the country. This was a very fitting decision since I had been working with Romanians for about two years, as well as learning the language on my own for about a year at that point (going on nearly two years now).

After buying the plane ticket for the week of spring break, I started to really buckle down on learning the language and working out plans with my friends who I planned to see while I was there.

My trip was nine days in total with two of those days spent en route to and from the country. With the rest of those seven days, I would visit three cities, Bucharest, Sibiu, and Timișoara, all of which I had friends in.

Made my plans, budgeted out money, went through the rigmarole, and soon the day came for me to leave. Drove myself to the airport, got on the plane and took my first trans-Atlantic flight ever. After about 12 hours and a layover in Switzerland, I set foot in Romania for the first time.

My friend picked me up and we took the bus to my hostel to get situated. While she went home to prepare some stuff, I unpacked my things and talked a little bit to the other travelers there, and I found out pretty quickly that Romania was a bit of a fun little get away weekend trip for a lot of European students, as well as international foreign exchange students studying in Europe.

It was then I met my first monolingual Romanian speaker; a nice older man who found it absolutely amazing that I had learned Romanian, so he took me out to the terrace to rack my brain and give me some life lessons (entirely in Romanian of course, he didn't go easy on me lol). I still remember some of them, but I missed a bunch of what he was telling me due to my brain not switching over yet. It probably also didn't help that all my friends I was visiting speak great English, but hey, what can you do.

After this, I spent the next night and day running around Bucharest with my friend visiting the parks, old town, and numerous orthodox churches. I tried Shaorma for the first time, as well some more quintessential Romanian foods such as sarmale and slanina. I tried using my Romanian some more, but aside from a few shop keepers and a gypsy, most people spoke decent English.

The next day I took an early morning bus to go to Sibiu. The architecture and landscape drastically changes the closer you get to the mountains. Bucharest and some other southern cities have more of the communistic architecture, whereas as you cross into Ardeal (Transylvania), you start to see more and more German architecture.

In addition to seeing one of my friends in Sibiu, I also saw there one of my Romanian tutors who really helped me with the language. We visited several museums and talked about half in Romanian and more in English towards the end of our meeting. If you are learning Romanian, talking to people from Ardeal is great because they generally speak so much slower! I had heard this stereotype before, but I hadn't really believed it until I arrived.

I pretty much covered most of the city's attractions in two days as Sibiu is a much smaller town than Bucharest, but it is nonetheless is very charming town, and I definitely will visit it again.))

Took another early bus the next day to leave for my final Romanian city, Timișoara.

Now, after Bucharest and Sibiu, I thought I had seen most of what the towns looked like, but Timișoara really surprised me. There are two things that you will probably notice in Timișoara if you visit (especially in the spring).

  1. It is very, very green.

Timișoara has several policies in place for the creation and maintenance of their public parks, as well as the upkeep of their old town. The streets, buildings, and churches are all kept very clean, showing off the vibrant colors of the city in a very bright and positive manner. The parks nestled between sections of the city are gorgeous and are highly upkept as well

2. It has a very young vibe to it.

Timișoara has several universities that attract students from all over the country so the students comprise a huge chunk of the population of the town. These were the people I saw the most since I was staying with a friend, who lived next to a hospital which was right next to a university.

This was my final city on the trip, but it was the one I was looking forward to the most since it was in this city that my oldest Romanian friends lived. Seeing them after so long was a great experience, and it definitely made me miss them more when I left.

Thankfully though, I'll definitely be visiting Timișoara again, as I have another fellow American and Romaniaphile living there with his Romanian girlfriend (we're all part of that oldest friends group), so I have ample reason to return.)

***

All in all, my impressions of Romania were superbly positive. I felt that I had a little insider look into the country and it's people due to the friends I have there, which only made it that much more fulfilling. The only semi-negative thing I experienced while there was that the food is so rich that you can't eat very much of it (at least for us Americans).

There are still many places in Romania I want to visit. Among them include Târgu Jiu, Craiova, Iași, Constanța, Cluj-Napoca, Brașov, Sighișoara, Maramureș, and more of the country side and villages as well. I don't think I'll run out of reasons to not visit it anytime soon.)

Special Note- la prietenii mei români

România a fost prima țara mea europeană în care am călătorit vreodată. Mereu va avea un loc în inima mea, și e datorită toți voi, știți cine sunteți.) Fără voi, nu aș afla niciodată despre țara voastră. Sunt norocos să cunosc oameni așa frumoși, așa drăguți, și așa onești. Mulțumesc la toți ce mi-ați arătat. Nu pot să-mi cer nimic altceva.)


I've visited Romania twice on holiday. Obviously I returned, so my impressions were positive overall (and I plan to go back). To me it seems like quite a cultured country, even small towns seem to have prominent theatres and book shops. There's a charming, quirky sort of eccentricity that I can't quite put my finger on, a pleasing jumble of different styles. A sort of ‘make do and mend' approach was more evident on my first visit, the country now seems markedly richer. Old people dress well and make more of an effort in their appearance than I am used to in my native UK. Nice cakes. Almost everyone I've met has been friendly and welcoming, and glad that you've made the effort to visit (in marked contrast to London); the stereotype of former Eastern-bloc unfriendliness really doesn't apply here. Excellent hiking amongst beautiful scenery, on well marked trails. Homeless, sad looking dogs that keep you company as you hike (and seem to know where the trail is headed). Some beautiful old towns; Bucharest also has a strange appeal, with buildings that hint at a much grander past. I also have the sense that a grander future awaits, Romania has got a lot to offer. I once heard someone refer to it as the tiger of Eastern Europe, which I can see.

On the negative side, far too much litter in the countryside. A bear encounter walking near Sinaia cast a bit of a shadow over my walking.


I live in Romania but I am a foreigner and so I believe I am qualified to answer.

Romanians are typically well mannered and cultured. They are also for the most part very polite. It wasn't always like this. When I arrived here in 2009 things were different but now things are a lot better.

I live in Bucharest and have travelled quite a bit. People in the villages and other cities outside Bucharest are generally less stressed and as a result more welcoming. I just got back from the city of Sighisoara and had a great time there.

So in conclusion Romanians are generally a very pleasant bunch.

In the Romanian Mountains you will find some of the Most wonderful places on earth. Wonderful Cities in Transylvania - Medieval European Cities with a lot of things to do and to see, famous castles like Corvin Castle, Peles Castle or you can be part of Fantasy and Myth - http://www.amazingtransylvania.n....


This year I visited Romania twice. My impressions are more than pleasant. People are very nice and friendly. Cities are extremely beautiful and create the impression that I am in Central Europe - Timisoara, Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu, Brasov, etc. Also the nature is very beautiful.

I visited Romania with YYZ Travel Corporate. I wish I had had more time to explore it during my business trip


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