While Dracula is the most famous name associated with Romania, the country has a lot more to offer. Most people heard something about the fall of communism, know its football team or acknowledge the talented sportspeople in the Olympics game. Visitors remain impressed by its unimaginably beautiful landscapes, the old medieval castles with centuries of history behind and the unique architecture. Its unaltered nature and the friendly people convinced the Prince of Wales to invest in a domain in this area.
Romanians are mostly informal and not very hard to deal with. Don’t get offended if they use sarcasm or irony, it’s their form of friendly teasing. Romanians have tons of superstitions. Don’t pay bills on Monday because you’ll waste your money during that week. At the end of November, during St. Andrews Eve, people used to hang garlic on the windowpane to chase away vampires and other bad spirits. It is like an Eastern European Halloween or Walpurgis Night, when spirits roam free in the night.
Romanians also have their own Valentine’s Day, named Dragobete, which takes place at the end of February. On its eve, girls sleep with some basil under their pillow, hoping to dream about their future love.
You can explore more of Romanian traditions in its ethnographic parks (Romania has one of the largest open-air museums). Start your tour with Moldavia. Romania is predominantly orthodox and Maramures and Bucovina offer a wide selection of religious places. The architecture of the monasteries belongs to an artistic style you can find only in this region. Don’t hesitate to go to Sapanta, the Merry Cemetery, filled with dark humor and naïve art. In Transylvania, a mixture of local art and German influences will welcome you into its cities. The Bran Castle and Peles are excellent choices. For the summer lovers, Romania has many sunny beaches. The Danube Delta is the most impressive natural reservation all throughout Europe. In the capital, you can find the one of the largest political centers in the world, People’s House, topped only by the Pentagon.