Here are 11 of the best day trips from Bucharest to take on your trip to Romania. We have ideas from epic road trips and castles of Transylvania to ancient sites and spots for nature lovers.
Being Romania’s capital and main entrance gate to the country, Bucharest is often the main place visitors reach when visiting Romania. The city, which offers many exciting places to visit and things to do, is also a great place to stay when exploring nearby areas.
Of course, the best way to do so is by embarking on one of the many day trips from Bucharest available. Whether joining an organized tour or planning the trip yourself, these are some of the most exciting day trips from Bucharest that you can enjoy in Romania.
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Getting Around In Romania
Places are easy to get to by public transport, and it is a cheap and efficient way to discover the areas not too far from Bucharest. The bus can be a good and reasonably inexpensive way to move around the country and take short journeys from and to Bucharest. An alternative to buses is maxi taxis (or minibusses), which are comfortable and convenient but often have reduced space for luggage.
Train travel is an excellent alternative to buses. Train fares are very affordable and can be a great way to move around for budget travelers. Although the national railway service is not among the most reliable in Europe, some scenic train routes are worth the experience, for instance, in Transylvania.
Cost of public transport: Generally, prices in Romania are pretty on the lower side when it comes to public transportation.
If traveling in a large group, it is always wise to compare costs. Sometimes renting a car can be more convenient than paying for tickets for the whole family. On the other hand, a car will offer the opportunity to plan flexible itineraries with more independence, allowing you to handle your schedule as you please.
Renting a car: The best fares for car rental are often found online; however, if you rent a car once in Bucharest, prices start from 30-40 euros per day. Depending on the size and model of the vehicle.
Remember that the longer the rental period is, the lower the fee will result. Main roads are in reasonably good condition, while secondary roads conditions can vary, be careful and avoid driving at night in unfamiliar areas.
Booking a tour: Those who are not interested in driving and do not want to use public transport can also join an organized tour to enjoy some of these trips. They offer great value for money, sometimes even combining more destinations in just one day trip from Bucharest.
They can often be booked online, and some even offer to pick up and drop off, so you won’t need to deal with the hassle of moving around. Booking a tour online enhances your chances of finding better fees and spots in the most popular excursions.
Let’s take a look at the best day trips from Bucharest.
1. Day Trip To The Danube Delta From Bucharest
Although not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about Romania, the Danube is also part of the Romanian landscape, the country home to the river’s impressive delta and wetland habitat.
One of the most popular ways to see the best of the delta area is to see it on a boat. The trip is perfect for those who love to explore natural landscapes, admire the flora and fauna of the region, and learn about wildlife diversity. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this place finds refuge in endless varieties of birds and deer, wild horses, foxes, turtles, and wolves, among others.
The Danube Delta is located in Tulcea, about 4 hours from Bucharest. You can quickly get there with an organized tour from Bucharest that includes a boat ride in the Natural Reserve.
2. Day Trip To Sibiu
Considered one of the most charming cities in Romania, Sibiu is a former European Cultural Capital and one of those places you cannot skip during your Romanian adventure. Although a trip to Sibiu can be long and tiring, and maybe for many, not close enough to be a contender for their Bucharest day trips, if you can deal with the travel time, the experience is worth the long travel hours.
This important city is located in Transylvania and offers enchanting places to visit, especially in the old town where it is possible to discover ancient Saxon palaces, impressive staircases, and the magnificent Bridge of Lies. One thing not to miss in Sibiu is the unique Lutheran Cathedral with its high tower, from where you can enjoy beautiful panoramic views of the town.
More things to do include a visit to the protected village of Sibiel and its museum of glass icons. Since a trip to Sibiu can take almost a whole day, bus travel is not recommended; we suggest you drive or — even better — book a private tour like this one that provides access to different buildings and experiences, including the ones in Sibiel.
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3. Day Trip From Bucharest To Bran Castle
It is impossible to visit Romania and not visit the best-known attraction in the country, Bran Castle. Since this castle resembles the castle described by Bram Stoker in his masterpiece, the castle is known everywhere as Dracula’s Castle.
This is why the beautiful castle of Bran is one of the most popular day tours from Bucharest and among the most visited places in the country.
And even if you have a hard time believing that this was where Vlad the Impaler once dwelled, the castle is so beautiful and imposing that a visit should be included in your Romanian itinerary.
A trip from Bucharest to visit Bran Castle can last from 4 to a bit under 5 hours if you use public transport; therefore, we recommend driving or, again, choosing one of the several tours available; this way, you will also be able to discover other nearby attractions which you would otherwise miss if traveling on your own. You can read more by checking the official Bran Castle site here.
For instance, this tour includes stops in Peleș Castle and Brasov and a skip-the-line entrance ticket. You can save a few euros and book this regular tour, which visits the same places but has no skip-the-line alternative. You will be picked up from your hotel.
4. Bucharest To Brasov Day Trip
Although this is a great day trip to combine with a tour to Bran Castle, visiting Brasov alone is one of the best day trips from Bucharest that you can imagine.
Brasov is one of the most interesting cities in Transylvania, featuring an eclectic urban landscape made of baroque buildings, medieval walls, and the imposing Gothic Black Church. This Brasov landmark is a 500-year-old church and the largest Gothic church in Transylvania, which took about a hundred years to be built, from 1380 to 1477.
Brasov is located at the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, and this is one of those trips we recommend taking the train. The ride is about 3 hours and transports you on a magical journey that takes you through the stunning landscape of Transylvania.
5. Bucharest To Rasnov Citadel
Still did not have enough of Transylvania? Then check out this fantastic day trip that takes you from Bucharest to Rasnov. Once the modern city of Rasnov is left below, visitors are greeted by the imposing citadel of Rasnov, located on top of the hill and proudly dominating the landscape.
If you’ve already seen some of the most famous castles in Romania, this citadel will undoubtedly surprise you… and the first word that can come to your mind to describe it will probably be “different.”
Surrounded by fortified walls, you will find a picturesque small city that seems miles away from the surrounding landscape, both in style and atmosphere. The fortress was built in the so-called Fliehburg style and was part of a defensive system made of those Transylvanian villages that used to undergo foreign invasions.
A trip from Bucharest to Rasnov from Bucharest can take up to 5 hours if using public transport (either bus or train; the travel times are more or less the same). Check out a guided tour with other stops in the area like this one, including Bran Castle and even Brasov, which can be a better alternative.
6. Day Trip To Constanta
If castles, gothic sites, and medieval citadels are not your thing, then choose a completely different getaway from the capital. A day trip to the coast of the Black Sea can be the right alternative for you.
Constanta is the oldest town attested on the Romanian territory. During a visit to this coastal town, there are a few sites that you should check out to understand the different aspects of the local idiosyncrasy.
Start by heading to the History and Archaeology Museum to glimpse the Greek and Roman past of the area; here, it is also possible to check out the complex of Roman mosaics. In the Old Town, you can see the important Orthodox Cathedral and the Great Mosque of Constanta (also known as Carol I Mosque).
For a more modern site, approach the waterfront of Constanta and discover the once glamorous city Casino, a perfect example of Art Nouveau that remains old and abandoned but nothing short of impressive and mysterious.
The best way to reach Constanta is either by train (about 2 hours) or bus (a bit more than 3 hours). If you prefer the comfort of a hotel pick up and drop off, as well as professional explanations by a licensed tour guide, check out this conveniently organized visit from Bucharest.
7. Bucharest To Piatra Craiului National Park
If you are more into nature than monuments, old towns, and sculptures, don’t miss a visit to Piatra Craiului National Park to look at the fantastic nature of Romania.
The perfect destination to go hiking, this is a great outdoor alternative to understand how diverse and unique the Romanian geography is, featuring woods, high mountains, deep gorges, and crystal clear glacial lakes.
If visiting with the family, there are hiking alternatives for children, including horse riding. For adrenaline junkies instead, rock climbing is also a possibility (only recommended in summertime).
The park is located around 4 hours from Bucharest, about 170 kilometers from the capital. The most comfortable way to visit is by car (or taxi), although there are also very convenient multi-day trip tours like this one. They are organized and allow you to see other areas as well.
8. Day Trip To Slanic Prahova Salt Mines
How would you fancy traveling 208 meters underground to explore these unique salt mines surrounded by a healing atmosphere of pure air? I bet you’d love this day trip from Bucharest experience!
In the area, it is possible to check out the Salt Museum and this all-season spa resort known for its curative mineral waters and its spectacular Salt Mine, one of the biggest in Europe.
The breathtaking salt mine hall stands 70 meters high. An imposing circuit runs around the pillar that supports the mine. Inside the mine, you can discover a history museum, a soccer field, and a playground for kids. A guided tour like this one is ideal for checking the entire area.
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9. Bucharest To Transfagarasan Highway
We have already discussed this popular Romanian attraction; however, it remains one of the most fascinating day trips from Bucharest that you can imagine. Only completely open to the public during summer, this fantastic engineering work is a unique scenic drive that goes through and over the Fagaras Mountains.
The most beautiful portion of the road starts near Lake Balea, where the road takes a serpentine shape down the valley. This trip is a joy for those who love to drive unique roads worldwide; the journey is about 3 hours or a bit more if you frequently stop for photography, which — trust us — you will! However, it is also possible to be driven along this highway.
10. Day Trip From Bucharest To Bulgaria
Wouldn’t it be great if you could visit two countries for the price of one? Well, on this day trip from Bucharest, you actually can. You’ll find that getting from Bucharest to Bulgaria is not far and is doable as a day trip. Therefore, you can take advantage of the many organized tours that take you across the border to discover the wonders of the neighboring country/
The best places to visit during your stay in Bucharest are:
From Bucharest to Veliko Tarnovo: This day trip lets you check one of the most picturesque Bulgarian towns, once the country’s medieval capital, and other nearby towns. Roam the ground and admire the old fortress before stopping for a Bulgarian lunch.
From Bucharest to Medieval Bulgaria, including the UNESCO Ivanovo Rock Churches: Another incredible private day trip to Bulgaria is this one; it takes you to see the best of Bulgaria in one day. Tour the UNESCO Ivanovo Rock Churches, the twelfth-century Tsarevets Fortress, and the village of Arbanassi.