Romania, 15 or 10 nights

Longer version, 15 nights

DayStart pointEnd pointDistanceDrive timeSpeedLeave start pointTime at stop 1Time at stop 2Time at stop 3 Arrive end pointExplore end pointComments/stopsLodgingMap
1Bucharest airportBucharest3.1 kms (walking)1 hr2:00 PM1 hr1 hr5:00 PM2 hrsFly in. Public transportation or rideshare from airport to hotel. Walk via Cismigiu Gardens, Romanian Athenaum, Central University Library.Hotel Capitolmap
2BucharestBucharest 8.7 kms (walking) 2.5 hrs9:00 AM2 hrs2 hrs 2 hrs 5:30 PM 1.5 hrsWalk around central Bucharest. Via churches, synagogues, Palace of the Parliament, National Museum. Dinner at Cara cu Bere.Hotel Capitol map 1

map 2
3Bucharest Sinaia150 kms2.5 hrs54 kph9:00 AM1.5 hrs2.25 hrs2.25 hrs 5:45 PM3.25 hrsRent car; via Natl Village Museum in Bucharest; via Sinaia Monastery, Peleș Castle.map 1 (walking)

map 2 (driving)
4Sinaia Braşov (or Bran)56 kms1.75 hrs31 kph11:00 AM1.5 hrs 1.5 hrs 1.5 hrs 5:15 PM4.75 hrsvia Caraiman Monatsery, cable car to Babele, Cantacuzino Castlemap
5Braşov (or Bran) Braşov 63 kms2 hrs31 kph 12:00 PM2 hrs2 hrs 6:00 PM1 hrHistoric center inc. Black Church in AM; day trip to Bran Castle & Râșnov Citadelmap
6Braşov Sighişoara199 kms4.25 hrs46 kph9:00 AM4 hrs5:15 PM4 hrsvia 4 fortified churches inc. Viscri; Viscri also supposedly a beautiful villagemap
7Sighişoara Sibiu123 kms2.75 hrs44 kph11:15 AM1 hr1 hr4:00 PM4.25 hrsvia Biertan, Valea Viilor. See ASTRA folk museum in Sibiu.map
8Sibiu Hunedoara195 kms4.25 hrs46 kph10:15 AM1.5 hrs2 hrs6:00 PM1 hrsvia Calnic Fortress & Dacian hill fortressesmap
9Hunedoara Cluj-Napoca195 kms 3.75 hrs52 kph9:00 AM2 hrs2 hrs4:45 PM3.75 hrsvia Corvin Castle, Alba Carolina Citadel, Salina Turda salt mine? Dinner at Roata in Cluj-Napoca.map
10Cluj-Napoca Săpânţa238 kms5 hrs48 kph10:30 PM2.5 hrs6:00 PM2 hrsvia 5 wooden churches, “Merry Cemetery”map
11Săpânţa Voroneţ256 kms5.25 hrs49 kph10:00 AM1.5 hrs0.75 hrs5:30 PM1.5 hrsvia 3 more wooden churches, 1 painted monasterymap
12Voroneţ Suceava181 kms3.75 hrs47 kph9:00 AM5.25 hrs6:00 PM5.5 hrsvia 7 painted monasteriesmap
13SuceavaIaşi161 kms3.25 hrs49 kph1:30 PM0.75 hrs5:30 PM6 hrsExplore Suceava in AM; via 1 more painted monasterymap
14Iaşi Iaşi Explore cultural stuff in Iaşi; Iaşi is the cultural capital of Romania.
15IaşiBucharest airport443 kms7.25 hrs61 kph9:00 AM 1 hr1:45 PMvia Berca Mud Volcanoes; return rental carmap
16Bucharest airport homeFly out.
totaltotal 2268 kms49.5 hrs
averageaverage 163 kms3.54 hrs46 kph10:27 AM5:24 PM2.88 hrs

Total accommodations cost: $1800
Total food cost: $480
Total rental car cost: $390
Total gas/petrol cost: $907
Total cost minus plane tickets & entry fees: ~$3600

As you can see, I’ve allotted three fairly leisurely days (days 4, 5, & 6) to get from Sinaia to Sighişoara; if you wish, you could easily cut that down to two by spending only one night in Braşov or Bran. Also, on Day 1, I do not have you leaving the Bucharest airport until 2 pm because I assume, whether you’re flying from North America or not, that you have to make a connection elsewhere in Europe that morning.

Shorter version, 10 nights

This version is identical to the longer version up through Day 6, but it does some cities in a different order and does not go north of Cluj-Napoca; it skips the wooden churches and painted monasteries, Suceava, and Iaşi. On the plus side, the last day driving back to Bucharest isn’t as long, and the last day does include a cool stop (the Clay Castle) that isn’t part of the longer version. Overall, this version features more than 900 fewer kilometers and 19 fewer hours driving of driving than the longer version, and requires less driving each day on average.

DayStart pointEnd pointDistanceDrive timeSpeedLeave start pointTime at stop 1Time at stop 2Time at stop 3 Arrive end pointExplore end pointComments/stopsLodgingMap
1Bucharest airportBucharest3.1 kms (walking)1 hr2:00 PM1 hr1 hr5:00 PM2 hrsFly in. Public transportation or rideshare from airport to hotel. Walk via Cismigiu Gardens, Romanian Athenaum, Central University Library.Hotel Capitolmap
2BucharestBucharest 8.7 kms (walking) 2.5 hrs9:00 AM2 hrs2 hrs 2 hrs 5:30 PM 1.5 hrsWalk around central Bucharest. Via churches, synagogues, Palace of the Parliament, National Museum. Dinner at Cara cu Bere.Hotel Capitol map 1

map 2
3Bucharest Sinaia150 kms2.5 hrs54 kph9:00 AM1.5 hrs2.25 hrs2.25 hrs 5:45 PM3.25 hrsRent car; via Natl Village Museum in Bucharest; via Sinaia Monastery, Peleș Castle.map 1 (walking)

map 2 (driving)
4Sinaia Braşov (or Bran)56 kms1.75 hrs31 kph11:00 AM1.5 hrs 1.5 hrs 1.5 hrs 5:15 PM4.75 hrsvia Caraiman Monatsery, cable car to Babele, Cantacuzino Castlemap
5Braşov (or Bran) Braşov 63 kms2 hrs31 kph 12:00 PM2 hrs2 hrs 6:00 PM1 hrHistoric center inc. Black Church in AM; day trip to Bran Castle & Râșnov Citadelmap
6Braşov Sighişoara199 kms4.25 hrs46 kph9:00 AM4 hrs5:15 PM4 hrsvia 4 fortified churches inc. Viscri; Viscri also supposedly a beautiful villagemap
7Sighişoara Cluj-Napoca189 kms3.75 hrs51 kph10:45 AM1 hr2 hrs5:30 PM3.5 hrsvia Biertan, Salina Turda Salt Mine. Dinner at Roata in Cluj-Napoca.map
8Cluj-NapocaHunedoara187 kms3.5 hrs54 kph11:00 AM2 hrs2 hrs6:30 PM1 hrsvia Alba Carolina Citadel, Corvin Castlemap
9Hunedoara Sibiu195 kms 4 hrs49 kph9:30 AM1.5 hrs2 hrs5:00 PM3 hrsvia Dacian hill fortresses & Calnic Fortress.map
10SibiuBucharest airport314 kms5.25 hrs59 kph11:00 PM2 hrs6:15 PM2 hrsSee ASTRA folk museum in Sibiu in AM. via Clay Castle. Return rental car.map
11Bucharest airport homeFly out.
totaltotal 1358 kms30.75 hrs
averageaverage 136 kms3.08 hrs44 kph10:31 AM5:30 PM2.67 hrs

Total accommodations cost: $1200
Total food cost: $330
Total rental car cost: $240
Total gas/petrol cost: $544
Total cost minus plane tickets & entry fees: ~$2300

If you feel up to some hair-rising driving, on Day 10, instead of the given route, take the famousTransfăgărășan pass essentially due south from the Clay Castle over the mountains to Curtea de Argeş, and then southeast to Bucharest airport from there. Allow 1 to 1.5 extra hours of drive time.

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