Romania is a country on the move. After years of languishing under a dictatorship and as an Eastern European backwater, the country has joined the European Union. Walking along the streets of Bucharest and in other parts of the country you can sense the optimism. The young people are ready for change and they are ready to lead their country in a new direction.

What to do

Bucharest is one of the largest cities in Eastern Europe. It's modernizing quickly now, but it's still filled with plenty of old Soviet-era architecture and kitsch, so it has an interesting feeling to most new visitors. There are plenty of museums, but the historic old center of the city is like a museum in itself.

Transylvania is a gorgeous mountain region with fewer vampires than most people expect. There are also ski resorts, medieval fortresses, and monasteries mixed in to this prosperous and tourist-friendly region.

Getting there

You can book a flight into Henri Coanda International Airport (code: OTP) located in Otopeni, 18 km north of Bucharest. Most flights originate within Europe, but of course you can fly into London, Paris, or Amsterdam and have Bucharest be your next stop. The country's central location makes it a great stop for Eurail Pass holders, but the aging infrastructure keeps track speed and efficiency low so the journeys tend to take longer than you imagine they would.

Where to stay

There are many hotels in Romania and a growing number of hostels as well. The tourism infrastructure is mostly new and some of the older hotels might be of lower standard than you'd expect if you are coming from North America or Western Europe.