London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies

Road trip Romania with kids or without: 10 days itinerary

Romania is still little known, especially for such a close European destination; authentic in so many parts and quite affordable. So here are our suggestions for a road trip Romania with kids or without, based on our extensive knowledge of the country – afterall our country of origin despite leaving it 18 years ago!  Romania itinerary 10 days to make most of Bucharest and Brasov and around.

Romania travel Poiana Brasov

Horseriding in Poiana Brasov

Bucharest is a good starting point given how well connected is the airport and how poor the road infrastructure remains in the country. From London there’s quite a number of flights and some convenient airports and timetables: BA and Tarom (Romanian airline)  from Heathrow as well as few low costs: RyanAir,  Blue Air (Romanian low cost) and Wizz Air (Hungarian low cost) from Luton and Stanstead. Bucharest in a nutshell: urban delights from gastronomy and vibrant nightlife, eclectic mix of architecture – beautiful houses French style that managed to survive the communism fury and dictatorship madness; orthodox churches, communist ugly blocks of flats for brutalism aficionados; the second largest building in the World after the Pentagon with the kitschiest mix of marble, grandeur and terrible history; old cobbled streets that used to be commercial centre and now host a myriad of cafes, pubs and restaurants; next door to old graceful buildings (like CEC / Romanian National Savings Bank). 2/3 days in Bucharest are a good introduction for  and late spring or early fall months are best given how temperatures soar in here above 30 and even 35 degrees in July and August.

The perfect pied a terre in Bucharest is Athenee Palace Hilton, we wrote about in here. Bucharest culinary scene is delightful and very diverse. Caru cu Bere remains a charming Romanian culinary institution, with typical dishes at very good value for money in atmospheric gorgeous house – high ceilings, dark wooden stairs and seating areas, stained glass. That is to be paired with a stroll in the old city centre. For something more contemporary and delicious – head to Caju – Joseph Hadad cool restaurant next door to the Romanian Atheneum. We spent 2 evenings out of 3 at Caju with friends indulging in tuna tartar, octopus and calamari dishes washed with great Romanian white wines – few kids around even late and no one batting a lid. And for best Sunday brunches, live music and kids activities, head to Athenee Palace Hilton’s Roberto’s – a delight for all parties.

A second day in Bucharest I’d recommend spending at National Village Museum – to soak in Romanian regional village culture – from houses to clothes and habits; Herastrau and Antipa. For travellers with kids, Herastrau or Kiseleff are great parks for kids to run off some steam or simply relax in the greenery by the lake with a frappe (Romanian ice coffee with ice-cream and cream that I can not recommend enough).

7 days in Romania: Pescariu Aqua and SpaA trip to Antipa (National History Museum) takes between 30 min to an hour and could be quite educational; just go prepared with modest expectations especially for London based kids who regularly go to NHM of Kensington. To soak in views of Bucharest from above, 18 lounge is a great place – delicious trendy cuisine and chilled vibes. On the other side of Herastrau, for dinner Il Calcio or Embassy Park; first with a play area, second just next to the park.

If you are in desperate need like us to relax and take a break from urban pace, Pescariu swimming pool is a great place – lunch by sunchairs and kids splashing just in front of you are a magic combo. It is rather expensive for Romania, on the other hand this keeps the crowds away at least during the week and makes it properly Zen. Therme are another alternative but a bit further. Our dedicated Bucharest article with kids in the summer in here.

Romania travel Castelul Castelul Peles

Castelul Peles, Sinaia

Rent a car for the next 7 days of your road trip Romania and take the trip to Sinaia and/or Busteni to discover Peles Castle and Castelul Cantacuzinilor and enjoy the Romanian Carpati. Aldovia isn’t real, but fear not the castle in A Christmas Prince is, so there’s still a chance at royal romance, right at Peles Castle. Rather cheesy, bizarre and romantic the Netflix viral hit of 2017 (and its sibbling Royal Baby movie) may be cheesy, bizarre and romantic, but they do a great job in depicting the charm of Peles and winter lanscapes in Sinaia. And how funny it was, we attended some of the filmings on one of our trips!

The infrastracture is rather poor again, so do expect an average of 3 hours for 100km. Ioana hotel in Sinaia is a good base for the night, we dedicated an article earlier this year. We also discovered one week ago Castelul Cantacuzinilor for a delightful afternoon and dinner – amazing sunset over majestic Bucegi and the Heroes’ Cross.

Romanian itinerary - Brasov

Brasov city centre

Brasov is the next place on road trip Romania, we’d recommend 2 full days to enjoy it properly. Our dedicated article in here – for a 2 days trip I’d pick the City centre paired with Parc Aventura for one day and the other Poiana Brasov, a mountain trek and/ or horse riding.

If you get tired of packing and unpacking like me, you could chose Brasov as a base for the next 4 days and also opt for a couple of daytrips. Dinoparc and Rasnov fortress will keep both kids and parents happy for one day and are quite must I would say.


Summer 2017 discoveries and delights have been Yaz (wakeboarding, SUP and kayaking) and Fish 4 Life 7/8 minutes further drive – both Harman based (20min drive from Brasov city centre) and delightful. This would make a second daytrip from Brasov chilled but still active  – best to leave it for the 6th day and before embarking on the trip & day back to the airport.

7 days in Romania: Fish 4 life

Fish 4 life, Brasov

Fish for life has next door a working farm – lots of geese and ducks that our boys loved chasing; a stunning traction horse and a funny donkey, lots of pigs, goats, sheep and chickens. Next door there are 2 trampolines and swings, a pond/ little lake and even  boat – our kids have been so mesmerized and unwilling to leave even after 5 hours. The food is great – best tarama salad I had in a long while; trout baked in maize, butter and so on, fish soup etc – our never stay still 16 months old spend 30 minutes with us at the table eating solidly the soup and the fish.

Romania itinerary 10 days - Bran castle

Romania itinerary 10 days – Bran castle

For the last day and returning to Otopeni, one could opt for the road via Bran – Dracula castle – its stories are fascinating but the immediate surroundings a bit on the touristy side.

road trip Romania with kids - Fundata

Road trip Romania – Fundata

For lunch better off head to Fundata and after; landscapes are just amazing, with mountains both side with great Romanian cuisine . My personal favorite spot it’s been few years is Garden Resort; we also been recommended Cetatea Carului next door.

Road trip Romania with kids - Cetatea Carului

Road trip Romania with kids – Cetatea Carului

Romanian Carpati and their crisp air, the hay stacks and mountain flowers, the hills and the friendly people, the gorgeous heavy dishes will charm and delight; off the beaten track, still unspoilt and stunning – little known gems.

For more suggestions on Brasov, check our dedicated article Top things to do in Brasov with kids.

Romanian itinerary - Cetatea Carului

Should you find an extra day in your Romania itinerary 10 days, our 2018 discovery has been Vinalia Conacul Ceptura, a mansion beautifully restored with love and care in the picturesque Romanian wine regions, where one could spend the night in one of the best Romanian wineries. We raved about extensively in here – it’s also conveniently just an hour drive from Otopeni and worlds apart Bucharest fast paced life.

27 comments on “Road trip Romania with kids or without: 10 days itinerary

  1. Zen Babytravel
    September 2, 2017

    Country Kids

  2. RaisieBay
    September 2, 2017

    Such a lovely place with so much to do. what a great guide to Romania.

    • Zen Babytravel
      September 3, 2017

      Thank you, nothing like a word of praise from a fellow blogger! Have a lovely Sunday!

  3. Coombe Mill
    September 2, 2017

    Oh my this is such an extensive guide. We went to Romania years ago pre kids and loved it there, everything was ridiculously cheap and we were advised in advance to tip in American 1 dollar notes! This was all pre the Euro and your post brings back how beautiful the country was and clearly still is. I think I like the off the beaten track places best and if we get to return I’ll certainly be looking back on this post.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    • Zen Babytravel
      September 2, 2017

      Pleasure Fiona! Great to hear you liked it pre kids, it changed quite a bit in the last 10 years in terms of new great restaurants and hotels, sadly the roads are not keeping up with the private sector. But the Romanian countryside remains wonderful and unspoilt! Just let me know if you are planning to go back and will suggest some further ideas.

  4. Angela Milnes
    September 3, 2017

    What an interesting place to visit. I would love to go here one day and I think it looks amazing. I would love to visit the museum, I like museums, especially historical ones!

  5. Dean B
    September 3, 2017

    This looks amazing! Romania is actually on my list of countries to visit. Want to go to Count Dracula’s castle! Yes, I know, how very “touristy” of me. My daughter has recently caught on with my fascination with the count, so hopefully, we’ll manage a visit soon 🙂 #countrykids

    • Zen Babytravel
      September 3, 2017

      Thank you and haha Dean, let me re-phrase that : Count Dracula history and tales are fascinating, the castle is a must see if you get to Brasov but the immediate surroundings are a bit touristy these days, hence me recommending lunch a bit further 😉 Glad my childhood region and history caught your and your daughter imagination! And do email me if you get to go and need more input. Have a lovely Sunday!

  6. Zen Babytravel
    September 3, 2017

    Thanks Angela for stopping by! Have a lovely Sunday!

  7. Kara
    September 4, 2017

    Castelul Bran looks stunning, I love to explore historic buildings

    • Zen Babytravel
      September 5, 2017

      Thanks Cara, it is a place which enchanted and fired so many people imagination!

  8. daisythebus
    September 4, 2017

    What an excellent guide to this fascinating country. I have been to Romania twice, but never with the kids. On both occasions we were shown around by some local friends and we had some unforgettable experiences. This is a country which is developing quickly, but your post shows that Romania still has some way to go to catch up with Western Europe, and THAT is precisely why it is so charming and interesting. Enjoyed this – thanks! #ThePlacesWeWillGoLinky

    • Zen Babytravel
      September 5, 2017

      So glad to hear you enjoyed it! Local friends are best in places like Romania, hoping you’ll go back with the kids one day so they get to know those beautiful lands. Danube Delta is another little known Romanian gem and Unesco heritage – you guys would really enjoyed canoeing and the canals. I am giving our boys another year or so 😉 Thanks for stopping by!

      • daisythebus
        September 5, 2017

        Oh, we went to the Danube Delta on both occasions. Absolutely fascinating place – I would love to go back, and the kids would be enthralled by the labyrinth of watery passages and, of course, the pelicans! Happy memories! 😉

  9. Sonia
    September 5, 2017

    SO many amazing things to do! I would love to visit! That zip wiring looks awesome! Thanks for linking up to #ThePlacesWeWillGoLinky xx

    • Zen Babytravel
      September 5, 2017

      Thanks Sonia, lots of zip wires many levels of difficulty! Parc Aventura is the largest outdoors park from Easter Europe, very cool and popular. Pleasure linking in and thanks for stopping by! X

  10. Emma
    September 6, 2017

    I love how the architecture changes the further east you go. We haven’t thought of visiting Romania, but it does look stunning so may have to rethink!

    • Zen Babytravel
      September 20, 2017

      Hi Emma, indeed the Romanian architecture changes depending on the area, National Village Museum is one great place in Bucharest to observe the specifics. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you get to visit soon!

  11. Annabel Kirk
    September 9, 2017

    Lovely photos. I visited Romania about 10 years ago. It’s amazing how different it is from Western Europe and yet so close. I’d love to go again! #theplaceswewillgo

    • Zen Babytravel
      September 20, 2017

      Good to hear Annabel, it changed quite a bit in the last 10 years! Hope you get to go again soon as I am sure you will find new amazing places to explore! Shout if you need any tips and if I can help!

  12. MummyTravels
    September 21, 2017

    Romania is somewhere I’d really love to explore – I keep reading more and more about it, especially on a couple of travel blogs lately, and it’s amazing to think there somewhere in Europe that’s relatively close but still seems off the beaten track. There’s an amazing driving road that tempts my husband (and I would want to join the hordes following the Dracula route) but this is such a great guide with more ideas to tart me off. Thanks for linking up with #citytripping

    • Zen Babytravel
      September 22, 2017

      Great to hear Cathy, it must be Transfagarasan that captured your husband imagination – also on our list with the kids next couple of summers. And rest assured no hordes per se for Dracula route, just avoid the weekend as roads are poor and tiny and those quaint villages can’t cope that well. Do shout if you pencil in a trip to Romania and I can help – been abroad for the last 17 years but afterall it is my country of origin and I am very fond, still in touch with many friends and very happy to put it on authentic travelling plans!

  13. Pingback: Best of Bucharest hotels – history, luxury & kids friendly: Athenee Palace Hilton - zenbabytravel

  14. Pingback: Bucharest with kids in the summer - zenbabytravel

  15. Pingback: Romania ski holidays and 7 reasons to go for it - zenbabytravel

  16. Sophie
    February 4, 2020

    Lovely to read this! We are going to Romania at the end of this month for 1 week with our 2 year old girl. We fly into Timisoara, our little one is hoping for snow! Any recommendations for where to take her for snowy activities? Maybe tubing or sledging? We will hire a car so happy to drive, but not too far as she’s not the best at sitting for long in the car! Xxx

    • Zen Babytravel
      February 4, 2020

      Hey Sophie, great to hear! My friends who know well the area recommend Semenic/ Valiug for sledging. She also says the most beautiful winter lanscapes in the area are Sibiu Mountains and Apuseni next to Sebes but that would be 3/4 hours of driving. Enjoy and keep us posted! xo

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: