Fast facts:

Location: (Southeastern) Central Europe

Time Zone: GMT + 2

Area: 238,391 sq. km

Population: 19,942,000 (March 2014) – 7th most populous member state of the EU

Capital: Bucharest – 6th largest city in the European Union

Largest cities: Bucharest (over 2 million), Iasi, Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Constanta

Official Language: Romanian

Currency: Leu (RON) (plural Lei)

Climate: Temperate, four distinct seasons

Form of State: Romania is a semi-presidential democracy based on a bicameral Parliament

Romania is a member state of the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

Geography & Main Attractions

Romania’s territory features splendid mountains, beautiful rolling hills, fertile plains and numerous rivers and lakes.

The Carpathian Mountains traverse the center of the country bordered on both sides by foothills and finally the great plains of the outer rim. Forests cover over one quarter of the country and the fauna is one of the richest in Europe including bears, deer, lynx, chamois and wolves.

The legendary Danube River ends its eight-country journey at the Black Sea, after forming one of the largest and most bio-diverse wetlands in the world, the Danube Delta. It is a UNESCO Biosphere Reservation as well as a protected wetland and natural habitat for rare species of plants and animals.

Warm climate, miles of sand beaches, ancient monuments, vineyards and modern resorts invite travelers to seriously consider Romania’s Black Sea Coast as their summer vacation destination.

Romania’s collection of castles and fortresses perhaps best illustrates the rich medieval heritage of the country. While castles built from the 14th to the 18th centuries are strong and austere fortresses built mainly for defense against invaders, those erected beginning in the late 1800s are imposing and luxurious.

Surrounded by an aura of mystery and legend and perched high atop a 200-foot-high rock, Bran Castle owes its fame to its imposing towers and turrets as well as to the myth created around Bram Stocker’s Dracula.

Central Romania encompasses what is popularly known as Transylvania – a place that immediately brings to mind the legend of Count Dracula. While the legend is certainly intriguing and a genuine tourist attraction, the region has much more to offer. Some of Europe’s best-preserved medieval towns, most notably Sighisoara, Brasov and Sibiu, are located here.