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Romania / Bulgaria...Friendly advice for a fast traveler

Forewarned, I don't linger around in destinations long. I would like to Squeeze Romania (Sigisoara, Bran) into 2 nights if then Bulgaria (Sofia and Plovdiv) into 2 nights. If there are comments, I already anticipate the reactions of discuss at this pace of travel, but I only travel to experience a taste of a place/culture. It's what I enjoy.

I hear good things about Sibiu so its and option for a 3rd day in Romania.

My problem is I'm planning for two months backpacking in Europe and of course I would like to go everywhere, but time necessitates that I narrow down where I go to a few destinations with some stays being shorter than other people find ideal.

That said, my question is would it be relatively easy to transit between these locations mention quickly by either bus or train. Are their frequent routes that would connect me between those locations in relatively short time (without long stops)

Thanks!

Posted by
6758 posts

You have to actually look at the train schedule and distances between the cities...that will answer your question as to whether it's feasible or not. Trains in Romania are extensive, but they are slow - 30 miles an hour, so be sure to factor that in. If you're tight on time, consider renting a car.

http://romaniatourism.com/sample-itineraries.html

Posted by
6 posts

To get to Bran Castle you have to take a train to Brasov, and then get a bus or taxi. It's about 30km. I don't know about buses that run directly from Sigisoara or Sibiu, but I'm sure you have some options.

Sigisoara, Sibiu, Brasov, and Bucharest are connected by a fairly slow train service so you'll be spending longer on the train than you will elsewhere in Europe. I was much more impressed by Peles Castle than Bran, but your tastes may vary. Both are in picturesque areas. Peles Castle is near Sinaia which is a train stop on the way to Bucharest. I was very impressed by Sibiu and spent one evening, and most of the next day. I could have spent longer.

It's easier to drive between these places, but then it's a question of your comfort driving there, and the roads can be slow too. I'm guessing that you are not keen to drive, but depending on the time of year you could experience a drive along the Transfăgărășan (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transf%C4%83g%C4%83r%C4%83%C8%99an).

I'd take a day in the quirky Bucharest if you can spare the time. I don't know about Bulgaria so hopefully others can help you with that.

Have fun!

Posted by
12574 posts

For some it's about the sights, for others it's the journey. For you it seems to be the journey, and that's excellent if it works for you. I did that once when younger and have no regrets. You did pick a couple of difficult countries to move quickly through. But think of it this way, the longer it takes to get from A to B, in a very profound way, the further apart they are. So in a bizzare sort of way you are traveling quickly. I love Romania and Bulgaria, so I think you have chosen well. Do your homework and talk to lots if people along the way and have a great trip.

Posted by
19211 posts

Take heed of the others' warnings about slow trains and buses. Use rhe Deutsche Bahn website to check on trains. For buses, start with Rome2Rio, but you must drill down till you get to the name of the bus company providing service, then go to its website to find the schedule. Do not trust the fares or trip times given by Rome2Rio.

I spent very little time in Bucharest and Sofia, not really enough to give them a fair chance. They're probably necessary for logistical reasons, anyway. I very much enjoyed Timisoara, Sibiu, Brasov and Sighisoara (touristy). In Bulgaria I much preferred Plovdiv and Veliko Trnovo to Sofia.

Posted by
69 posts

Thanks very much, this is exactly the insight I was looking for and have come to expect from the Forum. My current thinking is that this corner of Europe deserves a few more days than I maybe am able to spare this time around. I'll make my final decision soon. Thank You very much!

Posted by
5093 posts

This was many, many years ago, but we needed a week to see a bit of Bulgaria, driving a rent-a-wreck VW, then took a sloooooow overnight train into Bucharest. When you visit Bulgaria, if your time allows, consider also going to Veliko Tarnavo. Happy travels!