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The Complete Guide to Cycling in Romania

By Kamalpreet Singh

Understanding Romania


Romania is a country in southeastern Europe located between the latitudes 43° and 49° N and longitudes 20° and 30° E. It shares borders with five other European countries — Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Moldova. It also has a coastline along the Black Sea where the Danube, Europe’s second largest river, drains.

Romania has a varied topography, characterized by the rugged Carpathian mountains, fertile plains, and rolling hills of Transylvania. This makes cycling in Romania, an exciting adventure filled with new and varied sights each day.

Fauna and Flora

With over 27% of its land area covered by forests, Romania has some of the largest undisturbed forests in Europe.

Wildlife found in the country includes the Eurasian lynx, the brown bear, the gray wolf, the red fox, the golden jackal, the chamois, and the Carpathian boar among others.

In fact, the country is a wildlife lover's paradise. Romania has the largest population of brown bears in Europe. The over 6,000 bears living in the country’s forests and mountains account for nearly 50% of Europe’s bear population. Romania is also home to about 20% of the gray wolf population in Europe.

Romania has over 32 species of bats with the numerous caves located in its remote mountains providing ample sanctuary for bat colonies. In fact, two of Europe’s largest bat colonies are located in Romania. These are Huda Lui Papara and the Topolnita Cave, where thousands of bats belonging to different bat species form living carpets on the roofs of caves.

Danube Delta horses are another animal found in large numbers in Romania. Numbering around 4,000, these horses are the last remaining population of wild horses in Europe. Herds of wild horses are a common sight cyclists encounter when biking in Romania.

The golden eagle is Romania’s national bird while the Eurasian lynx is the country’s national animal.

Trees commonly found in the country include fir, oak, beech, and pine. Oak is also Romania’s national tree.


Romania has a predominantly Continental climate due to its latitude and its distance from the sea. This means it has four clearly distinct seasons with moderate amounts of precipitation.

On the whole, average annual temperatures range from 11 °C (52 °F) in south Romania to 8 °C (46 °F) in the north of the country.


With an average annual income of $38,721 in 2022, Romania is classified as a high-income country by the World Bank. It is also one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union (EU). Romania’s chief exports include electronics, information technology, software, automobiles, and chemicals. Romania is the leading exporter of automobiles and information technology services in eastern Europe. Germany and Italy are its main trading partners.

Tourism accounts for only 5% of the country’s GDP, as the country has so far been a low-key destination.

Romania has considerable reserves of natural resources for a country of its size. These include sizable reserves of oil, natural gas, coal, copper, iron, uranium, gold, etc.

The agriculture sector of Romania remains one of its largest employers, with over 26% of the country’s population engaged in agriculture and allied activities. Romania is one of the largest agricultural producers in the EU.

Moreover, much of the agriculture in the country is non-mechanized. So it is not an uncommon sight to see horse-drawn agricultural tools when cycling in Romania.


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Why Go Cycling Romania?

Here are four reasons why you need to pick Romania for your next biking adventure:

1. Romania Is the Most Bio-geographically Diverse Country in the European Union

According to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Romania possesses 5 out of the 10 biogeographic regions recognized by the European Union — alpine, continental, panonic, pontic, and steppe. This makes it the most bio-geographically diverse country in the EU.

Therefore, when it comes to cycling, Romania offers a diversity and variety of landscapes no other country in Europe can match.

2. The Transylvanian Wonderland

Transylvania is perhaps one of the most mysterious and mythical places in western culture. Located at the heart of Romania, Transylvania has been associated for a long time with howling wolves, vampire bats, scary castles, and above all, Count Dracula. And for good reason.

Romania’s abundant wildlife includes large populations of wolves and bats. However, Transylvania is much more than just myths and legends. The word Transylvania literally means the “place beyond the woods”, and in reality, it's a charming wonderland of hills, meadows, forests, and well-preserved medieval villages.

3. Rich Cultural Heritage

Romania is home to 9 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, a fairly large number relative to its land area. While 7 of these are cultural heritage sites, 2 represent its natural heritage. Among these sites are some of the beautiful medieval churches in Europe, several of which are covered in beautiful frescoes. Also included are ruins of fortresses dating back to the 1st century BC.

Bucharest, the Romania capital is a reason in itself to visit the country. A charming city that is known as little Paris, Bucharest has quaint art deco, neoclassical, interbellum, and communist-era architecture that makes it a memorable place to visit.

4. The Food

You’ve probably enjoyed Romanian food without even knowing it. Pastrami, for instance, is a dish of Romanian origin which is widely enjoyed the world over. Romanian cuisine blends influences from the Balkans, Turkey, Hungary, and Germany, with its own culinary traditions to produce some of the most delicious food in Europe.

Romania is also known for its excellent wines. The country is the world’s 9th largest wine producer, and the 2nd largest plum producer in the world, after the United States. Romanian plum liquor is just one of the delicacies you should be looking forward to when cycling in liquor.

Which Are the Best Places to Cycle in Romania?

Romania horses.webp

The following the are the best places for cycling in Romania:

1. The Transylvanian Tableland

The Transylvanian tableland is a region of low, eroded hills surrounded on three sides by the towering Carpathian mountains. Besides being located roughly in the country’s geographical center, it is also Romania’s cultural and agrarian heartland. The region is home to several well-preserved medieval villages centered around fortified churches. Cyclists get to ride through quaint rural countryside away from the bustle of urban life.

2. The Danube Delta

The Danube Delta in southeastern Romania is where the Danube river drains into the Black Sea. It is the largest and best-preserved river delta in all of Europe. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its lakes, wetlands, marshes, and forests that harbor over 300 species of birds and numerous species of aquatic flora and fauna.

There are several trails that wind through the delta’s relatively terrain, providing for excellent cycling.

3. The Carpathian Mountains

The Carpathian mountains run in a scythe-shaped curve from north-eastern Romania, curving sharply westwards into central Romania. They enclose the Transylvanian plain within themselves. The mountains are home to Europe’s largest unfragmented, virgin forests outside Russia.

Cyclists can expect to find both mountain biking trails as well as road biking routes along the major roads.

Which Are the Best Cycling Routes in Romania?


Below are the best routes for cycling in Romania:

The Bucharest-Sighișoara-Sibiu Transylvania Route

This cycling route starts from the Romanian capital Bucharest and heads northwards to Brasov in Transylvania. From here, the route moves westward through the heart of Transylvania, Talisoara, Viscri, Sighisoara, and Carta to end at the charming medieval town of Sibiu.


  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Viscri and Sighisoara
  • Explore Bucharest, Romania’s capital, known as the Little Paris
  • Ride through the mesmerizing Transylvanian landscape
  • Visit Sibiu, one of the most well-preserved medieval towns in Romania, known especially for its distinctive “houses with eyes”

Orsova to Socol Along the Danube

This is a route that follows the Danube as it flows across a section of Romania’s western border with Serbia. This region is known as Clisura Dunarii, which in Serbian means gorge of the Danube, on account of the numerous gorges and valleys the Danube forms as it passes through the gentle Banat mountains. The route starts from the port town of Orsova on the Danube and heads in a northerly direction to the commune of Socol, with the Danube as its constant companion.


  • Visit the Mraconia monastery in Orsova, situated on an inlet in the Danube as it passes through mountains. It is believed to have been founded in the 11th century AD.
  • Explore the historical region of Clisura Dunarii, known for its multi-ethnic heritage deriving from a mix of Serbian, Romanian, Czech, Roma, and Hungarian cultures.
  • Enjoy cycling in the beautiful Danubian landscape comprising of hills, valleys, and meadows
  • Visit the Bazjas monastery in Socol, a Serbian Orthodox monastery dating back to 1225 AD.


Dive into our curated Romania cycling adventures today!

When Is the Best Time to Cycle in Romania?

Best Season

The best time for cycling in Transylvania is generally from May to October. The average temperature during this period varies between 5°C to 20°C (40 to 68 °F). During this period, expect warm temperatures, clear skies, and minimal rainfall. Additionally, the scenery during autumn, with the changing colors of the foliage, can be particularly beautiful for a cycling tour.

Shoulder Season

Summers (July to August) are the shoulder season for biking in Romania, as it can get hot, especially in southern Romania. The temperature in northern Romania and in the mountains, however, remains conducive for cycling for those who don’t mind a little extra heat. The average temperature in these months is between 20°C to 26°C (68 to 79 °F). Another upside to cycling in this season are the reduced crowds. However, the Carpathian mountains tend to receive higher than average precipitation during this season.


Winters (November to April) in Romania are the off-season for cycling. The weather is cold with high precipitation in the form of snow.

Enjoying Romanian Cuisine

Being located at the geographical center of Europe, Romanian cuisine has absorbed influences from its neighboring cultures, and added its own flavors to develop a distinctive Romanian cuisine.

Here are five Romanian dishes you need to try when biking in Albania:


Perhaps the staple of almost all Romanian cuisine, mamaliga is prepared by boiling water, salt, and corn in a cast iron skillet, until it achieves a thick, semi-solid consistency. Slices are then cut out using a sewing thread instead of knife as mamaliga sticks to the metal surface. Although technically a porridge, mamaliga can be eaten like bread. It resembles the Italian polenta, except that mamaliga tends to be a little thicker. It is best enjoyed with sour cream and cheese, although Romanians love their mamaliga with almost everything.


Sarmale, a type of stuffed cabbage roll, is often called Romania’s national dish, and a definite must-have on any visit to Romania. It is made by filling cabbage with meat or vegetables and baking them slowly in an oven. They are usually served with mamaliga, a type of cornbread, and samantana, a yogurt sauce. Each region of Romania has its own variant of sarmale.


Tocanita is a simple meat and potato stew prepared using tomato, garlic and paprika. The dish originated from the cuisine of central Romanian shepherds, but is today consumed all over the country. As with most Romanian dishes, it is served with mamaliga bread. It is especially consumed during Christmas. The meat used could either be veal, lamb, pork, or chicken.


Balmos is another shepherd dish from Transylvania that pays tribute to the ubiquitous mamaliga. It is prepared by boiling butter with sour cream and salt, then adding cornflour and fermented cheese to the mix. The result is a rich, silky, and creamy dish that serves as the perfect comfort food on cold Transylvanian nights.


Tuica is often called the national drink of Romania. It is prepared only from plums, with Romania being the second largest producer of plums in the world. After fermentation and distillation in copper vessels, tuica is left to age in mulberry barrels for anything between 6 months to 10 years. The resulting liquor usually has an alcohol content of between 40-50%, although tuica with up to 80% alcohol content is not unknown. So when you’re tired from taking in all the gorgeous scenery when biking in Romania, make sure to try a sip or two of Romanian tuica.

Romania Visa Requirements

As of January 2024, Romania is a member of the European Union (EU), but not a member of the Schengen Area. However, Romania is set to join the Schengen Area from March 2024. This means that members of other Schengen Area countries can freely cross the border into Romania.

This would also mean that Romanian visa requirements would be similar to those for other Schengen Area countries such as Croatia.

Until then, however, visitors must apply for a Romanian visa by visiting the Romanian consulate or diplomatic mission in their country of residence. There is no provision for applying for a Romanian visa as of now. However, the required visa forms can be downloaded from the official website of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Citizens of several countries including the USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Japan, Israel, and New Zealand, to name a few, are exempt from requiring a Romanian visa for short-term stays of up to 90 days. The complete list of countries who are exempt from requiring a Romanian visa for short-term stays can be accessed on the website of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Please note that this visa exemption policy might change once Romania joins the Schengen Area in March 2024.

From March 2024 onwards, visitors who are not citizens of any of the Schengen Area countries may need to apply for a Schengen Visa or a Romanian national visa to visit Romania.

The Romanian visa type that applies to short-term travel of up to 90 days for tourism purposes is called a Type C visa.

As of January 2024, there is no provision to apply for a Schengen visa online.

Applicants would need to the following documents when applying for a Schengen visa to travel to Romania:

  1. A valid passport
  2. Two passport size photographs
  3. A printout of the duly filled out visa application form
  4. A cover letter explaining the purpose of visit to Romania. This should include the proposed travel itinerary
  5. Schengen travel insurance
  6. Proof of sufficient funds to cover your duration of stay in Romania

Handy Info


Romania’s official currency is the Romanian Leu or simply Leu. As of January 2024, 1 USD = 4.51 Romanian Leu (RON).

Visitors can use their credit cards to pay for goods and services at most major Romanian cities. In the smaller towns and remote areas, however, cash would be needed.

Most business transactions are carried out using the Leu itself, and the Euro, Dollar, or other major currencies are not commonly accepted. It is advisable to exchange your currency to Leu at the airport or at a currency exchange.


Romania has 12 international airports and major tourist destinations such as Brasov, Timișoara, and Sibiu are connected by air. The Henri Coanda airport at Bucharest is the main port of arrival for foreign tourists.

Romania has a good road and railway network along with an efficient public transport system. Visitors can commute by both bus and train both within and between Romanian cities. However, during peak season and on weekends, trains are a better option as traffic movement can be slow on roads.

Visitors can also use taxis for commuting within cities. Uber is available in Bucharest.


Romanian is the national language of Albania and its most widely spoken language. It is an Indo-European language with close affinity to Italian.

However, English is widely spoken in Romania, and tourists can get by using English in most cities and major tourist areas.

Culture and Religion

Romania is a secular state with freedom of religion guaranteed to all people. However, religion plays an important part in the everyday life of Romanians, as is evident from the numerous churches spread throughout the country.

Christianity is the most popular religion in Romania, followed by over 99% of the population. Among Christians, Eastern Orthodoxy is the most dominant sect, being professed by over 86% of all Christians, followed by Protestantism and Catholicism.

Romania has an unusually rich cultural heritage. It is home to nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and has several entries in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of the World List, including

Horezu Ceramics

Horezu ceramics are a special type of pottery unique to the Romanian town of Horezu. The pottery is made by hand by families of potters, with different stages of production divided between the men and women. The craft has been passed down from generation to generation, giving the pottery a distinctive look.

Traditional Wall Carpets of Romania

Traditional, handmade Romanian wall carpets are produced by specialized weaver communities, and have occupied an important place in the cultural life of Romanians. They were traditionally a part of a bride's dowry, and were also used in funeral rites, symbolizing a soul’s passage to the next world.


Calus is a Romanian traditional dance performed by members of a fraternal society who are sworn to secrecy. These dancers, known as Calusari, dress in colorful, traditional attire, and sometimes carry sticks and swords. They travel the Romanian countryside, especially between Easter and Pentecost, performing their dances to the accompaniment of music performed by fiddlers.

Appliances and Devices

Like in the rest of Europe, electricity is supplied in Romania at 230 V and 50 Hz. This is also the voltage used in most other parts of the world, except the US, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Japan, where 200-127 V is used. Travelers from these countries might need to use a voltage converter if their device does not support these voltages.

Romania uses Type C and Type power plugs. If your device does not plug into these sockets, you might need to use a travel adapter.

Mobile Coverage

Romania has good mobile coverage at most places, except in the remote mountains. 5G is widely available in Romania.

International travelers can use their mobile phones in Romania for calling and accessing data as long as they have global roaming activated.

If you intend to stay for long, it would be good to buy a local SIM card. These are available in most convenience stores, phone stores, and airports. Vodafone and Orange are the most popular telecoms in Romania.

Time Zone

Albania follows Eastern European Standard Time, which is GMT+2.

What You May Find

Castles and medieval churches, herds of wild horses, picture postcard villages

Through the Notes

Read: The books of Mircea Eliade, a Romanian novelist and historian of religion, the novels of Herta Muller, a Romanian-German writer and recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature

Listen: Manele, a style of Romanian pop-folk music, Angela Gheorgiu, a world-famous soprano

Watch: 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days a 2007 film by Cristian Mungiu that won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes film festival

Eat: Sarmale, or stuffed cabbage rolls, knowns as Romania’s national dish

Drink: Tuica, Romanian plum wine

Learn: The art of making fine pottery in Horezu

Experience the Joy of Exploring Romania by Bike

Our Romania bike tours are designed for travelers who want to take the scenic route, allowing the sights, sounds, and scents of the destination time to sink in. Each guided bike tour comes with expert local trip leaders, a comfortable support vehicle, and world-class bikes. Electric bikes are also available for this trip.

Come, explore Romania by bike with us.


Get started with your cycling adventure now!