Most of us trying to plan a European getaway this spring are struggling to find a place that is both intriguing and cheap.

The continent’s biggest hubs have become too expensive for their own good, while more affordable towns and cities are often so small and off the beaten path that it’s hard to determine whether the trade-off is worth it.

Luckily for travelers scrambling to find that perfect destination, there’s one criminally underrated southeast European country that seems to check all of the boxes: Romania.

What many of us know as the land of Dracula and Transylvania is actually one of the best-value destinations in all of Europe.

Having had the chance to experience it firsthand, I want to give you 7 reasons (though there are plenty more) why you might want to give Romania a try this spring.

You’ll Get A Lot Of Bang For Your Buck

mountain landscape Fundatura Ponorului, Romania

A recent report by Go Banking Rates named Romania as one of the best affordable travel destinations of the moment, and I have to say, I couldn’t agree more.

If you’re traveling solo, it’s easy to find a good, hearty meal (plus a drink) for less than 45.64 Romanina LEU or $10, whereas a three-course meal for two people at your average restaurant rarely surpasses the $45 mark.

Hotel rates follow a similar trend, with plenty of gorgeous places located right in the center of Bucharest, the capital, charging well under $100 a night – in fact, I’d say that the average stands far lower, at roughly $60.

There’s More To Romania Than You Might Expect

Parliament building or People's House in Bucharest city. Aerial view at sunset

While I certainly wouldn’t recommend leaving Romania without seeing the famous Bran Castle, I still want to point out that there are plenty of other attractions that are well worth your time.

In Bucharest, the Palace of Parliament or Palatul Parlamentului, as the locals call it, should be the first place you see.

According to our tour guide, it’s the heaviest building in the world.

Underneath it, there’s a network of underground tunnels and bunkers rumored to have been designed as escape routes for government officials, though this remains an urban legend that’s yet to be proven.

Other places to add to your itinerary include the Old Town, Cismigiu Gardens, the Romanian Athenaeum, and the Arch of Triumph.

Those who want to explore Romania beyond Bucharest will fall in love with Brașov, Sinaia, Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca, Sighisoara, Iasi, and Constanta.

The Locals Will Welcome You With Open Arms

Bucharest Romania

If there’s one stereotype about Romanians I know to be true, it’s that the locals are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever come across.

They’re always happy to lend travelers a happy hand, strike up a conversation, and even invite you into their homes for a snack or drink (at least in more rural areas), so don’t be surprised if you get dragged into a long storytelling session or a traditional dance.

Getting To Other European Hubs Is A Breeze (And Very Cheap)

Tourists Boarding A Ryanair Flight In Europe

Whether Romania’s your ultimate destination or you’re just looking for a place to stay in between your European adventures, I can assure you you’ll have an amazing time here.

Flights from Romania to almost all other European hubs are abundant, and if you fly with a cheaper carrier like Ryanair or Wizz Air, they’re dirt cheap, too.

Now, these are some of the most affordable airlines in the world, so don’t expect great in-flight perks.

However, given that they have a great safety record, offer round-trip tickets for as low as $30, and most of their routes don’t take more than one or two hours, I’d say the overall experience is worth it.

Plenty To Do Year-Round

Hall of Salt Mine Salina Turda museum

When it comes to a country as rich in traditions as Romania, the events you, as a tourist, can discover year-round are endless.

Between Sâmbra Oilor taking place this May, the Traditional Crafts Fair in June, and the Maidens’ Fair in July, the festival calendar these upcoming months is jam-packed.

For more info on these and other fun events to look forward to in Romania, head over here.

It’s Safer Than Most Travelers Think

Transylvania Romania colorful street

Being a more obscure southeastern European country, Romania has long been dismissed by travelers as simply too dangerous to explore; however, that’s a pretty unfair assumption.

The U.S. government itself has named Romania a Level 1 Travel Advisory country, which means that as long as you exercise normal precautions, you don’t have much to worry about during your travels here.

As always, though, if this is your first time traveling to the country, and especially if you don’t speak any Romanian, I’d recommend sticking to bigger cities and avoiding going to more remote areas alone.

However, even in these more touristy areas, you should be aware of petty crimes like pickpocketing since they do occur.

If you’re wondering how you’ll get around, I’d recommend studying and using the public transportation system – the Bucharest metro is pretty punctual and efficient.

If you need to get a taxi, make sure to insist on the meter being used to avoid being overcharged, but I wouldn’t recommend getting a rental car at all since traffic can be pretty chaotic.

You’ll Never Go Hungry

Close up of Romanian dessert Papanasi with cream and blueberry jam

Last but certainly not least, I want to quickly mention how incredible the local cuisine is.

Between staple dishes like sarmale, mămăligă, mici, and papanasi and traditional drinks like ţuică or that famous Romanian coffee, one thing’s for sure – you’ll never go hungry during your visits here.

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