The “Bucharest-Budapest Tour” crosses two countries, Romania and Hungary. It starts in the vivid city of Bucharest, crosses the Carpathian Mountains into the exotic Transylvania where you’ll discover forgotten villages, well-preserved medieval towns and terrifying legends. On the way you’ll experience the rural life of Maramures, while in Hungary you’ll admire the medieval town of Eger and the magnificent city of Budapest.
Type: private tour, cultural tour
Distance: 1600km / 994mi
Countries: Romania, Hungary
Accommodation: 4/3-star hotels and superior guest houses
Group of 2-3 persons – €1849/person
Group of 4-8 persons – €1452/person
Single Supplement: €226
Arrival in the capital of Romania. You’ll be transferred from the airport to Bucharest.
Overnight in Bucharest
BUCHAREST – FULL DAY TOUR
The day starts with a tour of Bucharest. The capital of modern Romania since 1859, Bucharest is by far the country’s largest city, boasting a rich history, fascinating architecture, a vivid street life, lush green parks, and a large number of excellent restaurants. You will soon discover that Bucharest is a city which has everything.
The tour will include the famous Revolution Square, where thousands of people put an end to a 45-year-long vicious Communist regime. Get to understand the horrors of the Communist period and the sufferings that an entire nation had to endure. Around Revolution Square there are many impressive buildings such as the National Art Museum, the Kretzulescu Church, the Central Library University, and several others. You’ll be given explanations about all of them, and of course, you won’t leave the area before visiting the exquisite art-nouveau Romanian Athenaeum, the symbol of Bucharest.
In the Old Town, you’ll get to roam its quaint little streets packed with restaurants, bars, inns, and many buildings with outstanding architecture.
The tour of Bucharest continues with the famous Parliament, also known as the Palace of the People. Built at the command of Ceausescu, the former Communist leader, the Palace is the world’s largest civilian administrative building, as well as certainly having been the most expensive to build.
After lunch, you’ll be taken to the northern part of Bucharest. On the way, you’ll enjoy a driving tour while you admire the wide, green boulevards, the impressive private houses and impressive monuments such as the Aviators’ Statue and the Arch of Triumph.
The Village Museum is the last stop of the day. Inaugurated in 1936, this outdoor museum boasts old traditional houses representative of the whole country, and in a short period of time you’ll be able to admire the many different architectural styles that contribute to Romania’s fascinating architectural heritage.
The rest of the afternoon is at your leisure.
Overnight in Bucharest
BUCHAREST – SINAIA – BRASOV – BRAN
In Sinaia, located at the foothills of the Carpathians, you’ll visit the local monastery, the oldest building in the town. Further on, you’ll be literally overwhelmed by the splendor of Peles Castle*. Built by the order of Carol I, the first king of Romania, Peles Castle is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Europe. The unique architecture and exquisite interiors are matched only by the beauty of the Carpathian Mountains themselves.
The next stop is Brasov, a city built by the German colonists 750 years ago which boasts a wonderful medieval architecture. Surrounded by massive walls, towers and gates, the city was also protected against different invasions by the steep hills of the mountains. Located on an important trade route, the city developed quickly, and the residents built one of the most impressive Gothic churches between Vienna and Istanbul, today known as the Black Church**.
The famous castle of Bran is the most visited tourist landmark in Romania. Built about 800 years ago when Transylvania was controlled by Hungarian kings, the castle became a major attraction in the ’60s when it became known as “Dracula’s Castle.” You’ll get to admire its beautiful rooms renovated by Queen Marie of Romania, and of course, you’ll be told the story of Dracula.
In the afternoon you’ll take a stroll on the roads of the village and you’ll get to know the real life of a Transylvanian village. You’ll admire the landscape, the traditional houses and courtyards, and the farm animals passing by.
* Peles Castle is closed on Mondays between May 16th and September 15th. For the rest of the year it is closed on both Mondays and Tuesdays. Each year the castle is closed for the entire month of November. Pelisor Castle or the Cantacuzino Castle in Busteni may be used as alternatives.
** During the cold months between November and April, the Black Church will be seen only from outside.
Overnight in Bran
BRAN – VISCRI – SIGHISOARA
It’s time to discover the forgotten world of the former Saxon villages. On the way to Sighisoara we’ll make a detour to the remote village of Viscri, a great UNESCO site. There is no asphalt in Viscri, just two or three dirt roads, the main one being quite wide. It also serves as a thoroughfare for cows heading out to pasture. This road is lined on both sides with beautiful and unique houses, built in the Saxon style. They stand there like immortal soldiers of the past, telling of a medieval history. To all of this, add one of the oldest fortified churches of Transylvania. Located on a hill at the outskirts of the village, this 16th-century fortified church still stands tall and proud.
The tour of Eastern Europe continues with Sighisoara, another UNESCO site in Transylvania. Built by the Germans about 800 years ago, the medieval citadel of Sighisoara looks like a perfect picture-postcard. It is the best preserved citadel in Romania, a stunning combination of cobblestone streets, medieval walls, massive watch towers and magnificent architecture. Add to these the House of Vlad Dracul, allegedly the birth place of Dracula, the Clock Tower, the symbol of Sighisoara, and the Church on the Hill, one of the oldest buildings of the citadel.
Overnight in Sighisoara
On the way to Sibiu you’ll make a detour for the UNESCO site of Biertan. Located in a beautiful rural area of Transylvania, the castle-church of Biertan is perched on a hill surrounded by old Saxon houses which preserve the medieval atmosphere. You’ll enjoy a tour of the fortress and church, where you’ll learn the history of this place as well as hear the funny story of the matrimonial prison.
In the second part of the day you’ll enjoy a walking tour of Sibiu. Hermanstadt, to use its German name, was founded by Saxon colonists about 800 years ago. In a short time, Sibiu became one of the most important cities of Transylvania. Sibiu boasts several medieval squares, including the Great Square (Piata Mare) which is the largest of its kind in Romania. It is surrounded by old houses, impressive palaces such as the Brukenthal Palace, and by religious buildings including the Catholic Cathedral. The tour of Sibiu continues with the other squares, the oldest cobblestone streets, and you’ll find out more about the legend which surrounds the Bridge of Lies. The tour of Sibiu ends with the Evangelical Cathedral and the former medieval towers.
Overnight in Sibiu
SIBIU – HUNEDOARA – ALBA IULIA
In the first part of the day you’ll be transferred to Hunedoara for the spookiest buildings of Europe, the Corvin Castle. Built around the 14th century, it became an important stronghold of Transylvania. At this castle you’ll find out two interesting legends and you’ll roam through the halls of this impressive Gothic castle. More than that, you’ll be astonished to discover the real place where Dracula stayed imprisoned for several weeks.
After the lunch you’ll get to see the biggest and the best preserved Vauban-like citadel in Romania. Built at the beginning of the 18th century, the citadel of Alba Iulia has been restored recently to its once former glory. Beside the two cathedrals, the Orthodox and the Catholic ones, you’ll be shown the intricate gates of the citadel, the 3rd gate being the most impressive. The old Roman castrum and the medieval citadel known as Balgrad are now integrated in the Austrian citadel. Their ruins are part of the tour.
Leave behind the cities and once again enter the forgotten world of the Transylvanian villages where you’ll discover the beauty of the Hungarian rural architecture. The lovely guest house, surrounded by a beautiful garden, is being guarded by the ruins of a former medieval citadel perched on top of a hill.
Before dinner you’ll take a walking tour of a village, an exquisite example of the Hungarian villages. The winding dirt roads are flanked by wonderful houses boasting the purity of the rural life.
Overnight in a village – lovely traditional Hungarian B&B
ALBA IULIA – TURDA – SIGHETU MARMATIEI
The tour of Romania continues with a very different tourist sight. The salt mine of Turda, probably the best in Europe, has received a major investment and it was transformed into an important tourist attraction of Romania. Along its interesting history, impressive size, underground lake and long corridors, the salt mine boasts a fantastic game of lights.
In Cluj Napoca you’ll enjoy a panoramic tour of the city. You’ll see the main central squares, the Orthodox and Catholic cathedrals and the beautiful architecture.
Passing through Baia Mare, the capital of Maramures, you’ll arrive in the village of Surdesti which the first wooden church from this trip. This UNESCO site, boasts the purity of the locals’ faith, their outstanding talent of building wooden constructions and a great level of modesty through its traditional simplicity.
You’ll arrive at your final destination, a traditional guest house located nearby Sighetu Marmatiei. After a walking tour of the village you’ll taste a great traditional home-made dinner.
Overnight in a village – home stay
VADU IZEI – SAPANTA – SATU MARE – EGER (HU)
In the morning you’ll be taken to a local market where you can see the farmers selling their products. The cheese market is a must. Further on, we’ll change dramatically the register.
Not far away from Sighetu Marmatiei lays the village of Sapanata. In this village a local carver had the great idea of carving wooden crosses which were painted in bright colors. Each and every cross depicts an image of the buried one and more or less funny epitaphs. Don’t miss the cross of the drunker or mother-in-law.
Passing by Satu Mare you’ll cross the border into Hungary. In the afternoon you’ll roam on the streets of Eger, a town full of history, beautiful buildings and good restaurants.
Overnight in Eger
EGER – BUDAPEST
In the morning you’ll be transferred to Budapest, one of the most beautiful cities of Eastern Europe. You’ll take a walk around the building of Parliament, the third one in the world of this kind. It became the symbol of the city and the construction began in 1884. It was inaugurated in 1902. The architect, Imre Steindl got his inspirations for the design from London’s Houses of Parliament.
Next, you’ll cross the Danube into Buda. The Chain Bridge, one of the most known landmarks of Budapest, was built in 1849. Guarded by two lions at each end, the bridge became in 1989, when people demonstrated against communist regime, a symbol of freedom.
Built for the first time in the 13th century and defended by thick walls, Buda Castle, was many time modified. It became a real castle in the 14th-15th centuries, during the reign of Sigismund of Luxemburg. After the Turkish invasions from the 15th century, the castle was rebuilt in the 18th century by King Charles and his daughter, Empress Maria Theresa. Affected by the Second World War, it was renovated and it was brought to its former glory.
Further on, you’ll admire the beautiful building of the Castle District and you’ll reach Matthias Church, the first parish church of Budapest. The church was built for the first time in the 13th century but it was many times modified.
Right next to the Matthias Church one can see the Fisherman’s Bastion built in 1905. The edifice, a combination of neo-Gothic and neo-Romanesque styles, attracts the visitor’s attention with its seven towers, which are symbolizing the seven tribes that came to Hungary in 896.
Overnight in Budapest
BUDAPEST – AIRPORT
Today you’ll be transferred to the airport according to your schedule.
End of the tour
- Airport/hotel pick-up and drop-off
- Transport by modern car
- Accommodation for 9 nights in 3/4-star hotels and superior B&Bs
- Licensed English-speaking tour guide/driver
- Entrance fees to sites included in the program
- Flight ticket
- Hotel extras (telephone, mini bar, etc)
- Drinks (other than water)
- Other meals except breakfast
- Photographing or filming fees at the visited sites
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses