With the implementation of the visa-free regime with the EU, Ukrainian citizens no longer need a visa to go to Romania from Ukraine. The citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and most European countries do not need an entry visa as well.
If the duration of stay doesn't exceed 90 days in a 180 days period, all you need is a valid passport.
While many people choose to travel from Ukraine to Romania for business, sightseeing trips are none less popular. After all, the country is filled with numerous medieval castles, intriguing architecture from various eras and national parks with a luxurious nature.
Quite literally, the most prominent landmark in Bucharest is the huge Palace of Parliament once built for the notorious dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu. The palace has more than a thousand rooms, 12 floors and 8 underground levels. National Museum of Contemporary Art located right near shows a collection of modern Romanian artists and hosts eclectic exhibitions.
To dive into the more ancient history, visit Curtea Veche, the vast palace built in the 15th century during the reign of the Vlad III Dracula, or the baroque Kretzulescu Palace built at the beginning of the 20th century.
The city preserved its history well: tourists can visit the 14th-century Fortress of Suceava, which hosts an exhibition of medieval weaponry and an interactive book of medieval history.
Another important location to drop by in Suceava is the Saint John the New Monastery. The Romanian Orthodox church is one of the 8 sanctuaries in Romania that are included in the UNESCO World Site Heritage list. The monastery was built in 1514-1522 and is opened for visitors.
Those who'd like to explore the connection between Romania and Ukraine can visit an open-air Bucovina Village Museum, which hosts several typical regional houses and a wooden church. Both the interior and the exterior reflect the best traditions of the region.
The national monument of Romania and one of its most famous castles, Bran, is often associated with Dracula, the character of numerous legends. It's interesting to note that Bram Stoker, author of the Dracula novel, never visited Romania. However, the castle depicted in the novel is strikingly similar to Bran and is considered the original prototype.
The history of Bran castle is just as captivating as the myth. It was built in 1212 by Teutonic Knights and soon it was demolished by Tatar invasion. It was restored centuries later and used as a defensive fortification up until the 18th century. In 1920, it became the royal residence of the Kingdom of Romania and a favorite home of Queen Marie. Nowadays visitors can witness the interior decor, art and furniture collected by the queen herself.
While the castle wasn't largely attended by the notorious communist dictator Ceauşescu, it was noted by many historical personas starting from Kaiser Franz Joseph I and Queen Elizabeth of Romania to Sarah Bernhardt and Richard Nixon. Thanks to its fairytale look, Peleș Castle often appears in movies.
The guided tours take visitors through the grand rooms, each showcasing unique interior style from the classic Louis XIV to Oriental.
As for the natural landmarks of Romania, it's necessary to point out Danube Delta. This region is protected by UNESCO and is essentially a birdwatcher's paradise. The vast delta is home for more than 300 species of birds with ibises being its signature dweller.
As Danube river flows through several countries, including Ukraine, and four capitals, Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade, exploring the area might take several days. It's best to visit the natural sanctuary as a part of the river cruise.
Romanian cuisine is quite diverse and just like Ukrainian is essentially a fusion of Austrian, German, Hungarian and Greek influences. The pillars of Romanian cuisine are corn and potatoes, as well as numerous vegetables. Pork is the main type of meat used in the region.
Mămăligă, a yellow maize flour porridge, is one of the most common and iconic Romanian dishes. While historically it was known as peasant food, nowadays it, in fact, is beloved by healthy food fans: the dish is high-fiber, fat-free and cholesterol-free.
Fried chiftele meatballs is an iconic Romanian meat dish that also can be commonly found in Ukraine. The round meatballs formed from minced pork are mixed with spices and mashed potatoes, and then deep fried. They can be served with mashed potatoes or pilaf.
Ardei umpluți or stuffed bell peppers is another popular meat dish served in Romania. As a rule, the vegetables are stuffed with ground pork, rice, onion, and spices. To give a more intense flavor, the bell peppers are then boiled in a sauce made from tomatoes, and spices.
Cozonac is a type of bread typically prepared for major religious holidays in Romania. The sweet leavened bread is decorated with raisins and sprinkled with large sugar bits. Other ingredients may include walnuts, rum, orange or lemon zest depending on the region.
The country is also a notable wine producer of the region, so the local red and white are served in numerous restaurants. Order Fetească Albă, Fetească Regală, and Riesling to get familiar with the white wine and Băbească Neagră, Fetească Neagră to acquire the taste of red.
How to get there
At the moment, there are several ways to easily reach Romania from Ukraine: via flights, buses, trains and carpool.
The fastest way to get to the capital of Romania is booking a non-stop flight. There are two flights that connect Kyiv and Bucharest operated by Ukrainian International Airlines and Windrose airlines. The trip takes approximately 2 hours. The ticket price depends on the ticket type but as a rule, it starts at UAH 2000.
A newly-introduced flight to Romania is available from Odesa thanks to a Romanian company, TAROM airlines. The flight appears on the timetable three times a week (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays). The ticket price starts at UAH 3000. You can choose a suitable flight via services like momondo.
The second convenient way of traveling is taking a train to Romania from Ukraine. Currently, there's only one train that travels in this direction - #117 Kyiv-Bucharest. The train departs every Friday and makes stops in large cities in like Vynnytsia, Khmelnytskyi and Chernivtsi. The ticket price starts at UAH 2100.
As for the buses to Romania from Ukraine, the range of options isn't that wide. The stable option is a daily bus that departs from Chernivtsi Bus Station at 4 P.M. and arrives in Bucharest at 4 A.M. The ticket price starts at UAH 750. Booking is available on sites like busfor.ua.
Finally, Bla Bla Car is an option mostly used by locals that reside in Western Ukraine. Drivers that often travel to Romania and back usually depart from Chernivtsi and go to Suchava, where you can take a bus to Bucharest. The price of such a trip usually starts at UAH 50. As for the direct trip to Bucharest from Chernivtsi, drivers usually charge UAH 400 and more. Make sure to check the driver's rating via app before booking the trip.
Photo sources: depositphotos.com, thetravel.com, whereismyspoon.co, teoskitchen.ro, muscleandfitness.com, cozonaculdolofan.ro