Transylvania, Romania’s central region, is not as spooky as it is portrayed in the book ‘Dracula’. The region charms visitors with its medieval towns, iconic castles, and opulent churches. And no, there aren’t any vampires here… at least, that’s what they say.
Bucharest, like many capital cities in Eastern Europe, is often overlooked. When I told people I was going to Bucharest, they asked me, “Why would you go there?”. Even in Romania, passing travelers told me to skip it. I didn’t have a choice, I was flying out from Bucharest and ending my three-month long Balkan adventure.
I loved it. In fact, I wish I’d had more time there.
Bucharest at first looks like a post-apocalyptic Paris but is very much alive. This inexpensive city is a great weekend getaway or the beginning of a trip through Romania.
Growing up, I remember learning European geography: England, France, Spain, Germany, and all those little countries in the East. This summer, I realized that ‘those little countries’, the Balkans, are some of the most enchanting (an inexpensive) places in Europe.
I spent three months in the Balkans and fell in love with the cultures of this small but dense European region. I already want to go back and see everything I missed!
Based on criteria of natural beauty, architecture, food, friendliness/accessibility, and history, these towns are the Best of the Balkans.* (For more in-depth Balkan Backpacking check-out “Three Months in the Balkans” coming soon).