Bucharest is my hometown and I can recommend you the best 1-day trip from Bucharest!
There are many things to see in Bucharest and most foreigners don’t realise that there are many day trips you can take from Bucharest.
That’s why I want to give you the best tips about where to go and what to do if you want to explore more than just Bucharest.
Most tour agencies will sell you trips to Dracula’s Castle, Brasov or the seaside. All good, but there is so much more you can see and do (and you will not have to breathe the same air as hundreds of other tourists.
If you don’t have the time to rent a car and drive outside Bucharest, then make sure to check out the most amazing places in Bucharest, Bucharest’s rooftops, Vacaresti – the hidden delta of Bucharest and some amazing vegan restaurants in Bucharest.
Why you need to travel outside Bucharest
Most places get really crowded in summer because we also have a lot of Romanian tourists visiting all these places. Actually, we have a lot of Romanians who prefer to travel in Romania rather than go abroad.
That’s why not all places are so well displayed online. Or why is so hard to find English information about some locations.
They already have their Romanian customers and tourists and don’t want to deal with the hassle of trying to bring foreigners.
To tell you the truth, outside Bucharest and a few other cities in Romania, it is very unlikely to bump into foreigners. Not because there’s nothing to see. I believe that it’s more of a logistical and planning problem.
That’s why I want to point out some beautiful places you can add to your Romania itinerary. Here are the best ideas for a 1-day trip from Bucharest, Romania
The best way to plan your 1-day trip from Bucharest
How to get to these places for a 1-day trip outside Bucharest?
The best way is, by far, renting a car.
Consider renting a car for a day, and you will see so much more than if you would pay for a spot with a tour agency. And it will be cheaper.
I recently saw an ad in the old town of Bucharest (where all the foreigners pass by), and it was advertising a day trip to Dracula’s Castle for 80 Euros. It might not seem like a lot, but it is.
For Romania, that’s a lot of money and I would argue that you can spend an entire weekend outside Bucharest with that amount. Renting a car for 1 day will cost less and give you absolute freedom.
You’re here because you want to make the most out of your money and you chose Romania because it is a cheap destination, right?
So let’s make a list of the things to see outside Bucharest.
5 Day Trips to Take from Bucharest
I want to start with the most obvious destinations for 1-day trips in Romania, but I also want to mention some less touristic destinations, that are worth visit.
A day trip to the seaside
Romania is proud of it’s Black Sea coastline and some even compare some parts of it to Ibiza. The prices are comparable too.
If you have a weekend or only 1 day to spare, then a day trip to the seaside in Romania is one of the best options, if you love the sea.
That’s what we all do, and during the summer, it’s our favourite activity for the weekend.
It’s easy to get to the seaside and visit the Black Sea in Romania. There’s a highway connecting Bucharest and the largest coastal city in Romania, Constanta. It’s a 2.5 hours drive and about 250 km.
But there’s more than just a city. The entire coastline is sprinkled with seaside resorts and villages, and there’s a place for everyone.
Mamaia is just next to Constanta, where all the expensive cars park and all the clubs remind you of Ibiza. bUt you will also find other resorts, which are more suitable for families, young adults or budget travellers.
Which brings me to Vama Veche, the last stop before crossing the boarder to Bulgaria.
Over the past decade, Vama Veche has transformed itself from a seaside village into an international renown seaside resort.
I used to like going to Vama Veche, and a lot of my friends still do, but I have some reasons to dislike it now. I wrote more about it here: What nobody tells you about Vama Veche.
Tip for a day trip to the seaside: Try to plan your day during the week, if you want to avoid traffic jams on the highway. Sunday evening is usually very crowded on the way back to Bucharest. And watch out for mobile speed cameras.
A day trip to the mountains
During the how summer weekends, most locals trade Bucharest for the fresh mountain air.
There is a highway which will get you to Ploiesti and from there you will have to drive on a national road, which tends to get crowded, if you don’t plan your trip accordingly.
Busteni, Predeal and even Brasov (although a bit further away), are preferred destinations for a 1-day trip from Bucharest. The views are extraordinary, the air is refreshing and the temperature is perfect during those hot summer city days.
These are just a few of the many mountain resorts you will discover in Bucegi mountains. Also, you will discover many hiking trails starting from each of these resorts. Most of these trails are short enough to be completed in a few hours and you’ll have enough time to get back to Bucharest in the evening.
There’s no summer without hiking for us. Here’s some more info on how to get there and what trails you can do in the area: Hiking in Bucegi mountains
Mountain resorts and places to visit:
- Sinaia, Peles Castle (check their website for visiting hours) and Cota 2000 (the cable car which takes you to 2000m high)
- Busteni, Cantacuzino Castle (check their website before visiting to make sure there isn’t any event booked) and the Spinx (there is a cable car to get you there or you can drive up the mountain)
- Predeal (Susai area is beautiful in winter)
- Râșnov and Râșnov Fortress (check the visiting hours)
- Zărnești, Libearty Bear Sanctuary Zarnesti
- Bran and Dracula’s Castle (check the Story of Dracula’s Castle)
- Dâmbovicioara Cave (Peștera Dâmbovicioara)
Parcul de Aventură Comana (Comana Adventure Park)
A bit closer to Bucharest is this oasis called Comana Adventure park. As the name implies, it’s a park, free to enter and roam around and it has an adventure park inside, a few restaurants and you can walk all around and even rent a bike.
For this place you don’t even need the entire day, you can go just for the afternoon.
The Mud Volcanoes (Vulcanii Noroiosi)
The mud volcanoes are a rare sight that not a lot of foreigners visit in Romania.
I visited this place for the first time two years ago, although I was born not too far away from this place.
If you are intrigued by nature and want to see something different, then make the mud volcanoes near Buzau the goal of a 1-day trip from Bucharest.
On the way back to Bucharest, you can stop by Slanic Prahova Salt Mine, and enjoy the beneficial salty air.
A day trip to Bulgaria from Bucharest
Yes, you can visit Bulgaria on a 1-day trip from Bucharest.
Going to Ruse for the day is a nice day trip if you think about it like vising another country. Ruse isn’t a big city, but a chance in scenery might come across as interesting enough.
And you don’t have to stop at Ruse. That’s just the gateway to Bulgaria.
You can plan day trips in Bulgaria to visit multiple spots. Here are some ideas for day trips in Bulgaria from Bucharest:
- Ruse ( History Museum, Alexandrova street, Saint Paul’s Cathedral, The Holy Trinity Church) and a 1-hour cruise on the Danube.
- Plevna (the Panorama Museum), Lovech, Veliko Tarnovo – Go a bit around Veliko Tarnovo if you want to see more of the Bulgarian countryside.
- Balcik (Queen’s Mary Castle, Botanical Garden), Kaliakra Cape, Kavarna – This part is more comfortable to reach these places if you drive first to the Romanian coastline and then head South
If you decide to go to Bulgaria, all you need is your passport and a few lei (lei is the Romanian currency) to pay the fee for passing over the bridge over the Danube to Bulgaria (you have to pay both ways). Or you can drive to Constanta first and then drive south towards Bulgaria if you want to visit the Bulgarian coastline.
While Bucharest is amazing and will fill many of your days if you are willing to explore it, there are so many places you can visit around Bucharest and on a 1-day trip from Bucharest.
How many of these places have you visited already and which one is your favourite?