Best Day Trips from Bucharest
Bucharest is rich in history and ancient structures that perfectly blend with its modern features and identity. It is home to numerous 16th- to 18th-century buildings, striking Neoclassical facades, Art Nouveau mansions, and old buildings that have survived natural disasters and wars. These and its natural and cultural attractions, including the best museums in Bucharest, make an exciting visit to this charming city.
As the capital of Romania and the main gateway to the country, Bucharest makes an ideal starting point for day trips and discovering the Romanian countryside. Just a few hours’ drive from the city will take you to some of the imposing towers and medieval walls enclosing the Gothic churches of Transylvania. You can easily escape the city center and begin your journey at the Old Town. Then head to the gorgeous Fagaras Mountains, visit Dracula’s Castle, or see the former European Cultural Capital in Romania.
There’s no limit to what you can do and where you can go on your day trips from Bucharest. But instead of dragging all your bags around, why not keep them stored in a reliable luggage service in Bucharest? It’s a convenient way to travel while making sure your belongings are safe and secured.
How to get out of Bucharest
Many Bucharest day trips can be undertaken using public transportation. It’s an inexpensive and efficient way to discover the country and explore the areas close to the capital.
Romania’s most important train station and the largest in Bucharest is Gara de Nord, located near the city center. It connects to all areas and cities in the country, including Bucovina and Transylvania, or if you want to go across the border and the coast. The regional and interregional trains cover long distances, while the InterCity trains serve most cities over short distances.
Alternatively, you can take advantage of organized tours, allowing you to explore different points of interest without a guide and other people. It’s a convenient way to discover the neighboring areas without worrying about getting lost or driving.
But if you want to be in control of your schedule and time and stop by places to take photos, renting a car or driving your own is your best bet. There are numerous car rental companies in Bucharest, so pick one where you can get the best deal. We also have a guide on how to get around Bucharest to help you navigate the capital city.
From Bucharest to Peles Castle
Peles Castle is a historic tourist destination in the Carpathian Mountains in the scenic Sinai town. Constructed in 1873, the castle was originally built to serve as the summer house of the Romanian royal family. Now, it has become one of Europe's most beautiful and visited castles.
The Peles Castle boasts outstanding architecture and design on its interior and exterior. It has once become the leader in modern construction during its time and was the first castle in Europe to ever have electricity and central heating. Inside the castle, there is a Music Room filled with various musical instruments, a Theatre Room with colorful frescos, and other rooms fully furnished and richly decorated.
Aside from its rich history and architecture, the place is also situated in a scenic location. Enchanting, captivating, and mysterious are just some words you can describe during your visit here. Peles Castle is considered the highlight of every Romanian trip, so you certainly wouldn’t want to miss it during your day trips from Bucharest.
How to get to Peles Castle
There are plenty of ways to go to Peles Castle from the Romanian capital, including booking day tours to make your visit easier. If you wish to travel on your own, the easiest option is to take the train from Bucharest to Sinaia. Travel time is around one and a half to three hours. If you are planning a day trip, it is better to take the express train.
From Bucharest to Bran Castle
When you think of Romania, one cannot help but think of Transylvania. This region contains many historical places, one of which is the famous Bran Castle, also known as Dracula's Castle. It's located in Bran, a commune in Brasov County that’s about a 30-minute drive from the city of Brasov.
Bran Castle dates to the late 1300s, with its completion in 1388, originally acting as a fortress against the Ottoman Empire. Throughout the ages, the castle has had many different owners and stewards. After many wars and border changes, Bran Castle no longer served as a strategic military location. That is why from 1888 to 1918, it was abandoned for 30 years.
It wasn’t until 1920 that Bran Castle was given to Queen Maria as a gift from the people of Brasov after Transylvania became a part of Greater Romania in 1918. Since then, Bran Castle was turned into a summer residence for the royal family. In fact, Bran Castle was particularly the favorite residence of the Queen.
Today, Bran Castle is a museum that visitors can discover through a guided walking tour or explore on their own. It opens daily, from 12 PM to 6 PM on Mondays, and 9 AM to 6 PM on Tuesdays through Sundays.
How to get to Bran Castle
To get to Bran Castle from Bucharest via car, it can take up to 3 hours heading towards Rasnov. If you wish to take public transport to Bran, you will have to catch a train to Brasov from Bucharest first, then hop on a bus or taxi to Bran Castle as the train is not an option.
From Bucharest to Mogosoaia Palace
Situated only about 10 kilometers from Bucharest, Romania is the Mogosoaia Palace. The palace bears the name Mogos, a widow Romanian boyar who owns the land on which it is built. It was built in the Romanian Renaissance style or Brâncovenesc style by Constantin Brâncoveanu.
Over 300 years later, the architecture of the palace remains one of the most beautiful monuments not just around Bucharest, but in the whole of Romania. It holds the history of the lives of the great families who once lived there, and now the place where their stories took place is open to the public for viewing.
Mogosoaia Palace is just thirty minutes away from the busy capital of Bucharest. The palace has become a tourist attraction and is the perfect place for people who want to feel like they are in a different world. It is best to take a day trip and visit in May when the palace garden turns purple from the bloom of the iris flowers.
How to get to Mogosoaia Palace
If you are already in the capital, Mogosoiaia Palace won’t be too far from you. The travel will take only thirty minutes, so you can just book a taxi to get there. There are also options for public transport. Some buses depart the Laromet terminal in Bucharest every 15-20 minutes on weekdays and every 45 minutes on weekends, and minibusses from Gara de Nord multiple times per hour.
From Bucharest to Danube Delta
It may not be the first place that comes to mind when planning Bucharest day trips, but wildlife enthusiasts will find a paradise in the glorious Danube Delta. It’s Europe’s second-largest river delta and its biggest remaining natural wetland, making it one of the most significant wildlife habitats on the continent.
Explore Danube Delta and see what this UNESCO World Heritage Site has to offer. It’s perfect for a boating trip, fishing, and bird watching to see hundreds of bird species that call it home. There’s also a diverse community of animals, including wolves, foxes, wildcats, and occasional deer and boar.
When the mighty river of the Danube meets the Black Sea, it created this massive delta that makes an expansive wetland area. If it doesn’t convince you to plan a day trip to Danube Delta, the fresh air, natural environment, spectacular landscapes, and wildlife adventures waiting for you here should be enough to compel you to visit.
How to get to Danube Delta
The ancient port city of Tulcea is your gateway to the Danube Delta. You can drive there for three and a half hours, then arrange a boat excursion to the tiver. To get there quickly, you may want to organize a tour from Bucharest, which includes a boat trip to the National Reserve.
From Bucharest to Buzau
Buzau isn’t as popular as other Romanian cities, but don’t let its size fool you. It may be small, but it’s a spectacular upcoming tourist destination worth visiting. While tourists are visiting Bran Castle or flocking to the medieval city in neighboring Bulgaria, Buzau will surprise you with places to explore and things to do at this hidden gem. Plus, it’s only about a hundred kilometers from Bucharest, making it an easy day trip from the capital.
Your first stop can be the Mud Volcanoes of Buzau. But don’t worry, as they aren’t real volcanoes, scientifically speaking. It’s a geological phenomenon that forms a unique landscape and is the only place on the continent to find these rare types of volcanoes. Since it’s close to other tourist spots, it’s definitely worth a detour.
While in the city, don’t miss the chance to explore Parcul Crang or Crang Park, Buzau’s most important and largest park. It features a man-made lake called Heleşteu lake for boat rides, children’s playgrounds, an obelisk, and more.
How to get to Buzau
Buzau is an easy one-and-a-half to two hours drive from Bucharest, but there are also buses connecting these cities. The fastest bus can take about two hours from Bucharest to Buzau, with a ticket price of about $15.
From Bucharest to Ploiești
If you don’t want to travel far and can only spare a few hours during your day trip from Bucharest, Ploiești is the ideal place to go. It is the capital of Prahova county, nestled between the Teleajen rivers and Prahova valleys, north of Bucharest. It’s a convenient one-hour drive from the country’s capital and an excellent stop when you want to venture further and see more of the Romanian countryside.
The Nicolae Simache Clock Museum is a famous attraction in Ploiești. Established in 1963, this museum displays a chronological collection of essential timepieces, including pocket watches, sand clocks, mantle clocks, sundials, travel clocks, and more. It also houses the 1544 and 1562 astronomical clocks, the museum’s oldest mechanical timepieces to date.
Also, check out the Prahova County History and Archaeology Museum. It is housed in a stunning building and includes information about the events and life of people in the region. It’s a prestigious institution open to the public for learning and discovery.
How to get to Ploiești
The fastest way to get to Ploiești from Bucharest is by train, which takes about 34 minutes. You will leave from the North Railway Station and stop at Ploiești Vest train station. Alternatively, you can travel by bus with a travel time of about one hour and ten minutes.
From Bucharest to the Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo
The Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo are a unique tourist attraction and undoubtedly one of the best day trips from Bucharest. It’s in the northeast of Bulgaria, not far from Bucharest, so it’s worth traveling here for an hour and a half to two hours.
This historical landmark is a complex of small medieval religious buildings delicately hewn out of rock. It includes rock-hewn churches, cells, monasteries, and chapels in the Ivanovo village area. They are only about twenty to thirty square meters each, with walls covered with well-preserved murals from various ages.
Wear proper shoes, as it is a steep climb to the church complex from the parking area. Not all churches are open for visitors and you may be required to pay a minimal entrance fee.
How to get to the Rock-hewn Churches of Ivanovo
You can participate in a guided tour, including visits to other attractions in the village. But if you only want to visit the rock-hewn churches, renting a car is the most cost-efficient way to get there.
Take a day trip from Bucharest
Complete your Romanian adventure and elevate your experience by organizing thrilling day trips from Bucharest. You can combine different tours and maximize your travel so that you can cover more places. But before setting aside time for a day trip, make sure you’ve seen most of the city, wandered around its vibrant neighborhoods, tasted its delicious food and the local delicacy, and enjoyed its lively nightlife scene. That way, you can go home and bring with you unforgettable memories.