3 days in Romania are enough to see a bit of the country. If you’re heading to Romania for a long weekend, in this post, I will tell you about our Romania road trip itinerary for 3 days, so you can visit Bucharest and Transylvania including famous castles Peles and Bran.
If you’re new to this blog, hi, I’m Liza, 20-something travel addict based in London. I started this blog in 2016 out of passion for travelling and desire to share my itineraries and travel findings with other fellow travellers. Since then, I’ve written over 350 articles and published over 1100 photos on my Instagram, @lizatripsget. Most of the time, I write about Europe and weekend trips. In case you’re planning any weekend trips in the future, feel free to check this blog post category. And of course, you can also find me on Youtube! Finally, if you’re interested in my photo and video gear, here’s a link to my kit.
Tips for travelling in Romania (general information)
Population: almost 20 million
Currency: Romanian leu (Euro is sometimes (!) accepted, but make sure to change money in Romania or extract leu from the ATM). There are plenty of ATMs in Romania and most of the restaurants in Bucharest accept credit cards
Driving: on the right
Power sockets: standard European
Weather: very hot summers, very cold winters (with a lot of snow)
Spending level: low, Romania is a very affordable country
3 Days In Romania: Bucharest and Transylvania Road Trip Itinerary
Romania surprised me a lot. When I arrived in Romania, I was genuinely impressed by good roads, beautiful architecture and charming villages. Romanian countryside is really something special! After spending 3 days in Romania, I now want to come for longer and explore areas other than Bucharest and Transylvania on another road trip.
Our road trips are usually very tiring and pretty jam-packed, however, this road trip is an exception. I visited Romania with a group of friends and we decided that we will have a somewhat laid-back Romania road trip itinerary. Nonetheless, we managed to see most of the highlights in Bucharest and some of the main highlights in Transylvania including castles Bran and Peles and the city of Brasov.
Day 1 of Romania in 3 days: Exploring Bucharest
Our flight to Bucharest arrived in the morning, so picked up our car from the airport and headed to our hotel to leave the bags. We always rent cars from rentalcars.com due to their affordable full insurance. However, we also recommend Avis and Sixt.
We stayed at the hotel called RIN Central (it was affordable and decently located AND had huge parking), so overall, I would recommend this hotel.
There are so many places to see/ visit in Bucharest, so one day isn’t enough if you want to see all the landmarks and attractions of Bucharest. However, one day was enough to get the overall impression of the city. The city centre of Bucharest is pretty – it has many beautiful Christian Orthodox churches, beautiful theatres, and photogenic nice streets.
The city centre contrasts with the outskirts of the city, where typical grey multi-storey blocks of flats are located and where most people actually live. Finally, there are also traditional Roma (gypsy) neighbourhoods, that look very unique.
If you like walking tours, I recommend taking this great Communist Tour of Bucharest. If you want to explore Bucharest at your own pace, you can purchase this quest. Finally, if you want to experience nightlife in Romania, this tour is one of the best-rated tours.
If you just want to wander around the city, that’s totally fine as well! Bucharest city centre is pretty walkable and there are many things to do.
If you’re interested in the best things to do in Bucharest, you can check my post about 7 reasons to visit Bucharest >>>
Where to eat in Bucharest
Bucharest food scene is really good. For lunch, we enjoyed visiting Burger Van Bistro. There isn’t a lot of seating inside, so it’s not a place, where you can spend a lot of time, but the burgers are delicious!
The atmosphere was incredible: the place looked very fancy, the view was great and the service was good. However, the menu was a bit too elaborated, which made the dishes taste peculiar. The cocktails and a dessert were awesome, though. For Romanian standards, this place quite expensive, but we were after the views and the views were lovely!
Itinerary for 3 days in Romania: Our 2nd day – heading to Transylvania
On the next day, we woke up relatively early (for our standards) and left the hotel for Transylvania around 10:30 am. We could have left earlier, but we decided that we had plenty of time for Transylvania in 2 days.
The drive Transylvania wasn’t very long. It took us around 3 hours to reach from Castle Peleš from Bucharest. Peleš looked wonderful. I can honestly say that it’s one of the most beautiful castles I have ever seen. I even included it in my guide to the most Instagrammable castles in Europe!
Visiting castle Peleš
Peleš is a relatively new castle – it was completed in 1914, just before the start of World War I.
In order to visit the castle, you can leave your car in the parking lot for around 1-2 euros for 2-3 hours (which is enough to visit the castle on a guided tour). Then, you can start ascending to the castle. The climb is very easy, however, it takes good 10-15 minutes.
It’s quite chilly up there, so better bring a sweater or a light jacket like this one) with you. Even though it was +27 in Bucharest, in Peleš it was around 20-21, and I felt really cold in my summer dress.
You can’t visit the castle without an excursion, it’s actually pretty strict. You also need to follow your guide like a tiny baby duckling, no step to the right or to the left. But at the same time, it’s great, because that way the castle is safer and people get to know more about the history of the castle.
The gardens around Peleš are also very impressive. If you decide to stay around Peleš a little longer, you can walk further up to the mountain and see the castle from the above.
Exploring the Dracula Castle – Bran
After visiting castle Peleš, we headed to the famous Bran Castle (or the Dracula Castle). It was closing early, so we had to hurry up a bit. It takes around 1 hour to get from Peleš to Bran because the roads are very narrow and there is a lot of traffic during the high season.
Admission price: 8.5 EUR
For the latest working hours, you can check the official website here.
When we saw the castle for the first time, we were a bit disappointed, as it didn’t look as beautiful as Peleš (you probably already understood that I liked Peles a lot). However, that’s because Bran is a proper Medieval castle and it was built as a fortress. Bran was first mentioned in 1377, so as you can imagine, it’s a very old castle.
However, even after visiting the inside of the castle, we all felt disappointed. There were almost no furniture or decorations inside, however, there were so many people that it resembled a Disneyland queue rather than a castle visit.
Basically, half of the visit, you just walk with tiny steps in a massive flow of people. Just look at this photo and see how many people were behind us!
The only remarkable place inside the castle was the torture chamber. However, I (personally) don’t enjoy visiting torture chambers at all, so I skipped most of it.
Inside the castle, there were also some Dracula outfits made of plastic and paper.
However, my favourite part about the Bran castle was the inner yard view. It was very pretty.
We had an early dinner in a place right opposite the castle: it was actually pretty good and moderately cheap. Afterwards, we headed to our accommodation in Brasov. It takes about 30 minutes to get to Brasov from Bran.
Day 3 of the Romania road trip: exploring Brașov and heading back to Bucharest
We were a bit tired on the last day of our Bucharest and Transylvania road trip, so we didn’t wake up very early. We had breakfast at our hotel and left the hotel to explore Brasov around 11 am. Brașov is one of the most beautiful places in Transylvania and a must-visit if you have 2 days in Transylvania.
Brasov is a very old, 13th-century city. Some of the best things to do there is just walking around the city and exploring the beautiful Old Town, taking a cable car to the mountain and visiting the Black church. You can read more about the things to do in Brasov here.
After walking around Brasov and eating in a local cafe (sadly I forgot its name and couldn’t find the exact location), we headed back to Bucharest Airport to hop on our flight back to London. While the drive usually takes about 2-2.5 hours, it took us over 3 hours due to loads of traffic on the road. Luckily, we left early, so we were on time for our flight.
Summary of our Bucharest and Transylvania road trip
To summarise: Romania is a great country to visit and spend a long weekend. However, we were pretty satisfied with our itinerary for Romania in 3 days and our road trip including Bucharest and the main highlights of Transylvania. If you have just 3 days in Romania and you would like to get to know the country a little bit, you can repeat our Bucharest and Transylvania road trip.