I am planning a 5 day trip in Romania at the end of August. We will fly in to Bucharest and want to do some sort of trip to Transilvania but I do want to experience some of the culture too and I imagine these two places are generally quite touristy.
Any recommendations? Best route to take? Best ways to travel? Budget we should allow? maybe a tour that would make it easier??
I really am clueless....... please help
Spend the first day in Bucharest (visit the Palace of Parliament, the Village Museum and the old quarter), then take a train to Brasov (a historical city in southern Transylvania). Base yourself in Brasov for about two days; visit the medieval quarter, do a day trip to tourist sites nearby (like the so-called Dracula's castle in Bran about 40 minutes away, the Peles palace in Sinaia one hour away, Sighisoara citadel about two hours away etc.) and do some hiking in the mountains right next to the city.
Finally (for the culture part) either spend the other two days in a guesthouse in one of the old German villages north and west of Brasov or catch the night train from Brasov to Sighetu Marmatiei in Maramures (a predominantly rural region in northern Romania, best known for the traditional lifestyle of its inhabitants) and stay in one of the villages there.
In Romania the best way to travel long distances or between major cities is by train; timetables are available on http://www.cfr.ro/calatori/
For short/local routes it's better to use buses and minibuses; most bus schedules are on http://autogari.ro/?&lang=UK
I'd say to budget about £15-25/day without accommodations (hostels costs £9-£13/night, guesthouses start from about £15/night, hotels cost nearly the same as in Western Europe).
A tour might make it easier, but they are usually overpriced.
Well you cant beat a Romanian for advice on Romania but Id suggest leaving Bucharest as fast as you can and head to Brasov and Sighisoara. Id even go so far as to say use Sighisoara as your base as its a wonderful little town in the Carpathians.
The monasteries around Suceava are quite nice, altho train connections there might drag you back to Bucharest. And Suceava is a depressing place, much like Bucharest.
I agree with the replies before me except maybe for travelling within Romania. Sometimes, car hire might be more convenient than train. Trains are not available to often in 24 hours and it takes too long. A car might be more flexible although traffic between Bucharest and Brasov may be tremendous.
Places to see: Brasov and surroundings, Sibiu (European capital of culture in 2007) , Sighisoara, northen Transylvania (Maramures).
Accommodation could be cheap in the rural villages (and very nice also) (search for "pensiuni agroturistice"), while hotels in the cities have prices similar to western Europe.