joi, 21 februarie 2013

Top 10 most interesting small towns in Romania

Knowing Romania from inside, but also through the avid eyes of foreign tourists I am working with, gives me the happy occasion to be able making such classification and rankings. I take the chance for the possible mistakes, I must repeat: this is my personal opinion, and I am waiting for yours, if you have one!

 First of all, let's set up the basics. A town is a settlement of no more than 100 000 inhabitants. And a nice time, worth to your visit, time and money is simply a nice town. You can recognize it as you enter and see it. Might be very well kept, with very friendly people or with something really special, e.g. historic buildings, picturesque position or fantastic neighborhood. Many of the Romanian small towns have been destroyed during the communist time due to the forced industrialization policy.

After all this long, but necessary introduction, here you are! Please find bellow my favs among the Romanian small towns.

1. Sighisoara is maybe the most historic and touristic Romanian town, with an amazing Medium Age fortress, which is really unique as still inhabited. The many medieval festivals, street parties and budgets or exquisite hotels make this town a perfect winning choice for any occasion.
From this Suceava fortress, Stefan cel Mare ruled over the all Moldavia

2.Suceava. Make the right difference please between downtown and the industrial area, please. Don't miss the railway station, it is one century old, big, interesting and totally functional at today standards. Don't miss the Medieval fortress, where the legendary Stephen The Great had his headquarter, and try to figure the life in the Royal court! Around, in the neighboring area, on a 50 km range you can find the fantastic painted monasteries, an UNESCO protected heritage.
Tulcea port is the town's main hub, as all the town day or night life turns around.

3.Tulcea. Or translated in English. the gate to the Danube Delta. Maybe the town is not so spectacular, despite intense night life on the docks, but has many hotels, and is the bast place for discovering the breathtaking Danube Delta, Europe's youngest land!

4.Alba Iulia. It means a lot from any point of vue. The new town is charming, but the fortress is overwhelming. Alba Iulia has been for decade the Capital of Transylvania. At 1784 three Romanian leaders of an liberating uprise have been drawn on wheel. Further, during a huge popular assembly of 1918 the Romanian representatives decided and sealed the Unification with Romania. This is nowadays our National day, and is celebrated yearly in Alba Iulia at 1. of December.
Drobeta Turnu Severin is nice, well kept and bears a Historic charge

5. Drobeta Turnu Severin. Drobeta is the ancient Roman name. Here, at 100 a.C the Romans build a bridge, crossed the river and fought with the local Dacians, which had no chance but fought heroic and desperately! The Dacian King Decebal commited suicide, rather than falling alive prisonner to the Romans. Through the interesting mixing of those 2 people emerged the Romanian people and language.
Satu Mare and one of its many interesting architecture monuments

6.Satu Mare. Charming town, very close to the Hungarian border, with many wonderful historical buildings and museums.
Piatra Neamt, viewed from the Mountain Pietricica

7.Piatra Neamt. Very picturesque town, at the hems of Mountain Pietricica. Even on the Mountain Pietricica you can stay on the terrace of restaurant Popasul Gospodinelor, and enjoy the fantastic view. Not far, a few significant monasteries (Agapia, Secu, Bistrita), many hiking trails or the amazing Bicaz gorges, near lacul Rosu.

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