Wondering when is the best time to visit Romania (or the best time to visit Bucharest)? Well the question is simple and straightforward, but the answer..oh well it just isn’t.
The country has a temperate-continental climate with moderate features, which is characteristic for Central Europe. With hot summers, long, cold winters and very distinct seasons, your visit will be quite different depending on the time of your trip here.
It’s cold everywhere in winter and warm in most locations in summer. That is why the ideal time for a visit depends on what you want to do during your holiday :Lounging on a sandy beach under the sun or wrapping up for a snowy adventure ? Hiking in the mountains or visiting the country side and discovering the traditions and Romania’s culture?
In this next article, we’ll try and link what we think is the best time to visit depending on what activities you might enjoy.
Best time to visit – for a general tour of the country
Abundant snowfalls may occur throughout the country from December to mid-March, especially if you are in the mountainous areas of Romania. Late autumn can see a lot of rain also. Mid summer ( July and first half of August) can be very very hot in the cities and on the black sea coast, but it can be excellent weather up in the mountains.
Therefore, for a general tour of the country the best time to visit Romania and its capital city is during the late spring months and start of the summer ( mid April and early July), and late summer -early autumn, (mid August to early October). In Bucharest and the big cities you might wanna avoid the dates around the Orthodox Easter Holiday , as there is a lot and I mean a lot of commotion everywhere.
Most tourist visit Romania and Bucharest mid summer. As that time coincides with the students and school kids holiday, the city is less crowded.
Between mid June and Late August, on any given weekend most of the locals flee from the city to the mountain resorts or seaside destinations. That means that weekends at the sea can see huge crowds on the beach and packed hotels. Great for the young crowds that love a big party, not ideal for those looking to enjoy peaceful walks at sunset.
So is there a high season , a crowded period, or a time one should avoid?
You might have noticed that we don’t really speak of the usual “high season” , “best to avoid tourist crowds” , type of thing.
That is because compared to other European capitals/countries- Romania and it’s capital city Bucharest are not yet popular tourist destinations.
Thus, generally you won’t have to plan your trip trying to avoid large crowds, and endless queues. There is a “high season” but it won’t mean you will not be able to find reservations at the hotel, or passes to a museum .
Instead, when travelling here, you are best advised to consider factors like weather, national Holidays and local events, rather than anything else.
1st of may is a national Holiday, for instance, and hotels are usually fully booked at the seaside and in the mountains. At the same time, in the large cities there seem to be less of a buzz, as everybody leaves for a couple of days.
The same is true for Easter and for the 15th of August, with the added fact that these being christian Holy days, the churches and monasteries will be packed full of people. Not ideal if you wanna see what “Voronet unique blue ” is all about…
Best time to visit Romania – Travel costs
For the Budget conscious traveler, a better time to visit Romania would be from September to June. If you are travelling by plane, the prices are likely to be lower in that period, and also most of the hotels would be cheaper. We would recommend either the spring and early summer (from March to June) or the late summer and fall (September & mid October) as good and cheap options.
Best time to visit Romania – traditions, customs, culinary experiences
If you wanna discover the roots of Romanian culture, admire the popular costumes, masks, listen to the carols, and experience the celebrations and rites – than the best time to visit Romania is either around Christmas and New Year’s eve or at Orthodox Easter . Many of the old traditions can be discovered in the countryside, in remote areas of the country like Bucovina and Maramures.
Unique foods are prepared and served only around this times. If you are a vegetarian, or even a vegan, it may interest you that prior to the Easter, most Romanians resort to fasting, and will only eat fish meat in some Sundays. If you are a meat lover, then some of the most unique traditional foods are cooked around Christmas time – when specially raised pigs are sacrificed and cooked.
Best time to visit Romania -Trekking, hiking, climbing
So you’re here for the Romania’s most impressive attraction of all, the Carpathians! Well then we would have to recommend you summertime, as the views tend to be more spectacular when there’s no rain, fog or snow blocking them 🙂 .
Romania is increasing in popularity as a trekking destination in Europe, and this is due tot the fact that tourists have plenty of things to see here. The flora and fauna diversity, the wealth of natural sights is impressive. Did you know that Romania has no less than 14 national parks?
And so we say that the best time to visit Romania if you want to go into the mountains would be Late July – mid September. But before taking our word for it , you should always check out the weather forecast and road conditions. And document yourself before heading out into the mountains.
Generally it rains less mid July and August, but on the mountain the weather changes in an instant. So please be prepared.
Best time to visit Romania – Skiing and snowboarding
Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned shredder the best time to visit Romania’s skiing resorts would be deep winter from January till early March.
We love winter sports over here so the slopes will be filled with people on weekends. That is why we recommend you plan your adventures during the work week days, for the best experience. It also seem to get quite busy after the winter holidays so keep that in mind when waxing your board.
Late season seems to be my favorite time as I can make the most of the longer daylight of February and sometimes early March .
Best Time to visit Bucharest – walking and sightseeing
Well, from mid-June, the school closes, the holidays begin and the city traffic decreases a lot.
At this time the weather is usually warm enough for t-shirts and shorts/skirts. (Mind you , if you want to visit old churches and sacred places – that outwear in not at all recommended. You might not be allowed to enter in some of those places if you don’t wear long trousers and “decent clothes”).
Otherwise, this makes for perfect walking weather. You can start early and go till quite late in the evenings. If it rains, the rain is usually warm and won’t affect your holiday in Bucharest or any other Romanian city.
July temperatures could get quite high an uncomfortable although the days are quite long, and there is less rain.
Same is true for August,
Best Time to visit Bucharest – taking photos
It does depend on your photography style but for enthusiast photographers the best general time to visit is late April -early May.
Don’t just take my word for it …
Mihai Doarna : „ I have seen great photos taken in Bucharest in the autumn and in winter time, but the ones I like most are more often taken in April or May ”.
The light is not that harsh mid -day, and there are always either puffy or dramatic clouds in the sky, luscious green leaves, wonderful flowers in bloom, and generally great backgrounds all over the place. If you want great Bucharest shots, this is the best time to visit.
With sunrise happening around 6 a.m. and sunset at around 8.20 pm, the golden hour when the light is soft, warm, dimensional, and just flat-out magical – is within reach even for the laid back, relaxed photographer.
Best Time to visit Bucharest – festivals, concerts and parties
The short answer : July to Mid August. Although there could be some overbearingly hot days, there never seems to last for more than just a couple of days at a time.
And as it rains very little and the days are very very very long, this makes for great large outdoor festivals, concerts and parties.
There is still some light in the sky at 9.30 pm and as early as 4.30 a.m.
The best time to visit Romania and its capital city Bucharest, of course, depends on your travel priorities.
Photo credits: Mihai Doarna (www.mihaid.ro), Raluca Ioana, and Claudiu Banu