Little known Romania – things to see apart from its greatest attractions
Little known places in Romania are so numerous and valuable that one could write a separate tourist guide about them. So, if you have already seen the country's greatest attractions and historic monuments, the time has come for an adventure with some hidden gems!
Although Bucharest is the capital of the country, it can be regarded as one of Romania's most underestimated attractions! It was covered with infamy under Nicelae Ceaușescu's dictatorship, when lots of its valuable buildings and structures were barbarically demolished. They were replaced with many modern edifices, including the famous Palace of the Parliament, one of the city's tallest buildings. Although a large part of the city was lost irreversibly, you still can find many beautiful townhouses, palaces, temples and museums there, as well as a multitude of contracts and inconspicuous places. All this gives the metropolis a unique character. One thing is certain, Bucharest is now in a period of bloom, and you are not going to get bored there.
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The informal capital of the Banatu ragion, it has gone down in Romania's modern history with a bang. It was there that a mutiny caused by a forced transfer of a Hungarian vicar sparked the revolution that swept Nicelae Ceaușescu from power. In addition to its important role in the country's liberation, Timișoara is an important economic centre, and it attracts tourists with some nice buildings, including the Hunyadych Castle, Old Townhouse, Cathedral and Orthodox Church.
Right at the border with Hungary, you will find a city with typical Central European architecture. At the same time, it is also one of Romania's best economically developed centres. It offers tourists plenty of Baroque and Art Nouveau buildings erected under the Austrian-Hungarian monarchy. It is an excellent, albeit little known site in Romania, which you can treat as a "warmup" before you continue sightseeing of the country. It also has a botanical garden, a zoo and a water park.
Although Iași is not ranked among Romania's most popular places today, you definitely should visit it. Iași has great history behind it – it is a formed capital of Moldova, and architecture – with an elegant and majestic Palace of Culture, the Orthodox Church of Three Hierarchs and a number of other very interesting buildings. Although somewhat greyish and patined, the city still shines with its former glory and combines some influences of different cultures.
Romania is naturally not just cities and towns, but hidden natural gems as well. Among such unknown gems is the Bigar waterfall in the Cheile Nerei-Beuşniţa National Park. Although not too tall (some 8 metres), it has an interesting shape – a moss-covered large rock formation from which swift water flows down. In addition to the waterfall, there are many other scenic locations, so don't hesitate and set out to enjoy nature – caves, cascades and streams are waiting for you.
Romania's natural attractions include mud volcanoes, a great peculiarity of that country! They are not like Etna billowing with smoke, that's for sure. But they are there! And instead of lava, they erupt with mud, naturally. Vulcanii Noroioși Pâclele Mari in the town of Berca will surprise you with virtually moon landscape, strongly contrasting with the green neighbourhood, and… the sound of bubbling.
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