Explore Eastern Europe's Hungary and Romania

From the beautiful Baroque churches of Budapest to the haunted castles of Transylvania, this ten-day journey across Hungary and Romania provides a fascinating insight into an intriguing region. Learn about the failed Turkish invasion of Eger and take a wine cellar tour in the Valley of the Beautiful Women. Become acquainted with traditional Romanian culture and customs in Maramures. Tour the medieval churches of Brasov, dine with a local family on an overnight homestay in Viscri and visit Bucharest's 12-storey Palace of Parliament. This jam-packed journey makes for a perfect introduction to two Eastern European treasures.

Start
Budapest, Hungary
Finish
Bucharest, Romania
Countries
Hungary,
Romania
Themes
Explorer
Code
WMSB
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 Max 12
Carbon offset
128kg pp per trip


Highlights

  • Unwind in beautiful Budapest
  • Sample Hungarian wine in Eger
  • Experience traditional peasant life in a Maramures village
  • Learn spooky stories while travelling through Transylvania
  • Get spooked at Dracula's Castle near Brasov
  • Delve into a communist past in Bucharest

Itinerary

Szia! Welcome to Hungary. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm today. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

Since the collapse of communism, Budapest has experienced something of a renaissance. The grand architecture and boulevards evoke a time gone by, while glamorous stores and restaurants make this one of the truly great cities of Europe. After the welcome meeting, you might like to head out to explore the city by night.
Today enjoy a free day to explore Budapest. Hiring a bike is a great way to move between the sights. If you're an art buff, visit the Museum of Fine Arts at Hero's Square, which offers free English tours of the permanent collections from Tuesday to Saturday. Perhaps head to Statue Park to see the communist monuments that were removed from the city after the fall of the Iron Curtain. One unmissable activity is a soak in Budapest's hot thermal baths. There are several around the city, ranging from elegant to simple outdoor types. The pools vary in temperature, and some even feature whirlpools or seats where you can play chess while you turn into a prune. You might like to take part in one of our Urban Adventure day tours, such as the Budapest Custom Tour or Bites and Sites. Check them out at urbanadventures.com.

Note: Many museums throughout Europe are closed on Mondays. If you are interested in a particular museum, you may want to check opening times and plan your arrival into Budapest accordingly.
Take a three-hour train east to Eger today. This beautifully preserved Baroque town is surrounded by hills and is home to some of the most renowned vineyards in Eastern Europe. Visit the wine cellars of the seductively-named Valley of the Beautiful Women with the group to sample some of the town's famous 'Bull's Blood' red wine. You might even join in song with the local folk musicians. In your own time, perhaps explore Eger's 13th-century castle, which was the scene of a historic siege that thwarted the Ottoman Empire's advancement into Western Europe. You may also like to check out the town's 19th-century cathedral or the Minorite church in Dobo Square.
Travel by bus to the pleasant town of Debrecen today (approximately a three-hour drive). While there, you'll have time to explore Deri Square with its fountains and colourful buildings. Continue on by train and private vehicle into the Maramures region of Romania. This journey should take around six hours in total. Time in Romania is an hour ahead of Hungary so don't forget to re-set your watch.
The region of Maramures ('mah-ra-moo-resh') seems frozen in time. Rich in tradition and folklore, the music, costumes, festivals and ancient superstitions of one of the last peasant cultures in Europe continue to thrive here. Each village is distinctive in its colourful outfits and style of hat. Maramures is particularly famed for its wooden churches, many of which are World Heritage-listed. Set out on a guided group tour to explore the region, visiting the Merry Cemetery in Sapanta, the village museum in Sighetu and various other traditional villages.
Today is a long day of travel (up to nine hours) through pastoral fields to the town of Sighisoara in Transylvania. While the name may conjure up images of haunted castles, gothic churches and vampires, this is only a small part of what makes Transylvania such an enchanting and exciting destination. Medieval Sighisoara is likely to seduce visitors more than any other place in Romania. Another World Heritage site, the town was first settled by the Romans but flourished under the Saxons from the 12th century. Those who are feeling energetic can take a walk around town, checking out the 64 metre-high clock tower that dominates the citadel.
While your next stop is less than an hour away, you'll feel like you've entered a different world. The small Transylvanian village of Viscri was originally inhabited by Saxons from the Luxemburg area. Visit the town's fortified church and museum, and learn about the Sock Project which supports the Roma community. Time permitting, you may even like to go for a horse ride through the area.

Tonight, experience a special village homestay in Viscri. The rooms are in different houses and you'll be sharing facilities with your host family. Eat dinner with them, sampling fresh produce, homemade wines and schnapps. This is a unique opportunity for local interaction and indulgence.
Today take a two-hour train trip to the 13th-century Saxon city of Brasov. Also known by its German name of Kronstadt, the city was once a major medieval trading centre. Enjoy free time to explore, checking out the ornate churches, townhouses and old city walls. It's worth visiting the town's main attraction, the gothic Black Church, which took its name from its blackened appearance after a fire in 1689. Perhaps explore nearby Rasnov Fortress or head to Bran Castle, the home of Bram Stoker's famous Dracula. For those looking for a little nightlife action, Brasnov has plenty of funky bars and restaurants to enjoy once darkness falls.
Head south to Bucharest today (approximately three hours). Romania's beautiful capital likes big things. It is home to one of Europe's biggest squares and its Palace of Parliament is the second largest building in the world. See for yourself on a guided tour. Alternatively, check out the Museum of the Romanian Peasant or indulge your inner foodie on a Home Cooked Bucharest Urban Adventure tour. Another great way to see the city is by bicycle.
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.
View trip notes to read full itinerary

Inclusions

Meals
6 breakfasts3 dinners
Transport
Bus, Metro, Private minibus, Private vehicle, Taxi, Train, Tram
Accommodation
Guesthouse (1 night), Homestay (1 night), Hotel (4 nights), Pension (3 nights)
Included activities
  • Eger - Wine Tasting
  • Maramures - Guided tour
  • Viscri Fortified Church

Dates

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Important notes

A single supplement is available on this trip, please see trip notes for details.

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what’s included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

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Reviews

Our Budapest to Bucharest trips score an average of 4.95 out of 5 based on 59 reviews in the last year.

Budapest to Bucharest , October 2015

Budapest to Bucharest , August 2015