Are you planning a family road trip in Romania and want to make the most of your vacation? Check our detailed itineraries with options and activities that are great even for cranky toddlers.
First is first. You’ll need a car because this is the best way to travel in Romania. As much as we’d like to limit our carbon footprint, the complicated connections and slow speed make train travel an unattractive option for families. Major exceptions are the train connections from Bucharest to Brasov and Bucharest to Constanta.
Second, our family road trips in Romania include some of the must-see landmarks in Romania, without planning to check all the sites on Trip Advisor. In the end, slow travel is the best way to travel with tired, sleepy, or hungry kids.
Both itineraries start and end in Brasov, but you can easily adapt them even if you start in Bucharest. The approximated distances are based on Google Maps navigation.
1. Road trip in Transylvania
Brasov – Rasnov – Zarnesti – Porumbacu de Sus – Hosman – Sibiu – Alba Iulia– Turda – Malancrav – Sighisoara – Rupea – Brasov
Duration: 8 days / Distance: around 775 km
Perfect for families with toddlers and preschoolers
Anyone who’s ever traveled with small kids knows how crucial it is to find playgrounds, amusement parks, and any fun activities to keep the little ones happy. You cannot possibly take a 3-year-old to see churches, squares, or museums and not offer him or her an awesome experience as well.
This itinerary fits well with most sightseeing tours in and around Brasov, Sibiu, Sighisoara, and Cluj. You can do it all or split it depending on where you start.
Day 1: Dino Parc, Rasnov Fortress, and Valea Cetatii Cave
Driving distance: 30 km /Spend the night in Rasnov
Starting in Brasov, drive to Rasnov and visit Dino Parc. This dinosaur-themed amusement park has many playgrounds for the little ones and opens daily from 10 am. It’s on the way to Rasnov Fortress and close to Valea Cetatii Cave, both family-friendly attractions.
Photo credits dinoparc.ro
Check Dino Parc’s schedule and fees
Day 2: The Bear Sanctuary and Zarnesti Gorges
Driving distance: 40 km / Spend the night in Porumbacu de Sus
If your kids are above five, visit on the following day the Bear Sanctuary from Zarnesti. Spend the afternoon walking in Zarnesti Gorges from Piatra Craiului National Park. It’s an easy walk, suitable even for toddlers, perfect to get them tired for a quiet drive to Porumbacu de Sus.
Buy the sanctuary tickets in advance on millionsoffriends.org
Day 3: Transfagarasan and Porumbacu de Sus
Driving distance: 200 km / Spend the night in Porumbacu de Sus
Start the day early and drive from Rasnov to Balea Lake to enjoy the landscapes of the nearby Transfagarasan. Stop for the night in nearby Porumbacu de Sus and take your kids to see the fairytale Castelul de Lut. This village from the foothills of the Fagaras Mountains is a great choice if you want to spend a few more days relaxing.
Photo credits valeazanelor.ro
Day 4: Mocanita train and Sibiu
Spend the night in Sibiu / Driving distance: 60 km
On your way to Sibiu, stop in Hosman for a morning ride with the steam train Mocanita to Cornatel and back.
You can buy the train tickets on sibiuagnitarailway.com.
Photo credits /AsociatiaPrieteniiMocanitei
Continue to Sibiu and spend the afternoon walking around the central squares of the Old Town. These pedestrian areas are great for kids to run around and eat too much ice cream in the summertime.
Day 5: Alba Iulia Citadel
Driving distance: 80 km / Spend the night in Alba Iulia
Add a bit of history to your family road trip to Romania. Drive to Alba Iulia and visit the Citadel, only one hour away from Sibiu. The changing of the guard ceremony is a great attraction for kids, and they have large spaces to run around while you try to visit at least some of the sites.
Day 6: Turda Salt Mine
Driving distance: 220 km / Spend the night in Malancrav
Take your kids to play in the underground, in the biggest salt mine in Romania, for a memorable family time.
Check the schedule and fees on www.salinaturda.eu
Photo credits alinaturda.eu
Head after lunch to the beautiful village of Malancrav where they can run around free and discover rural life. The fortified church and the idyllic surrounding give you something to look forward to as well.
Day 7: Cool down in Malancrav
Spend the night in Malancrav
Take a day to do nothing and relax. Book a guest house with a large yard and enjoy the peace until your kids wake up.
Day 8: Sighisoara and Rupea Fortress
Driving distance: 145 km / Spend the night in Brasov
This is the longest day of this family road trip in Romania. Start the day early and drive to nearby Sighisoara. The car-free medieval Old Town is perfect for family walks unless you must push a stroller around. Take your kids up in the Clock Tower and on the Scholars’ Stairs.
Drive to Brasov after lunch and stop to visit Rupea Fortress on the way unless they’re already asleep from all the walking.
2. Road trip in Romania with short hikes across the Carpathians
Brasov – Varghis Gorges – Piatra Craiului Mountains – Fagaras Mountains – Balea Lake – Brasov
Duration: 8 days / Distance: around 590 km
Perfect for families with active kids, at least 4-year-old of age.
This road trip combines easy day hikes in the Carpathians with some of the fun activities presented in the previous itinerary. It’s a great choice for active families who enjoy their time in nature. Be sure to buy a map, check the weather conditions, and pack enough food and water before each hike.
Day 1: Hike in Varghis Gorges
Driving distance: 145 km / Spend the night in Brasov
Discover one of the most beautiful hiking routes in Romania, set across the scenic Varghisului Gorges. The suspended bridges, the caves, and the panoramas are the main attractions.
It takes around four hours to do the full round trip, more with small kids, but there are no difficult parts to worry about unless your kids are daredevils who want to jump in the water no matter how shallow or deep.
Find more information on this hike on Muntii Nostri
Day 2: Dino Park, Rasnov Fortress, and Valea Cetatii Cave
Driving distance: 40 km /Spend the night in Brasov
Check Day 1 from the first road trip in Romania itinerary.
Photo credits pestera-valeacetatii.ro
Day 3: The Bear Sanctuary and Zarnesti Gorges
Driving distance: 70 km / Spend the night in Zarnesti
Check Day 2 from the previous itinerary.
Photo credits millionsoffriends.org
Day 4: Hike in Piatra Craiului Mountains
Spend the night in Zarnesti, Magura, or Pestera
You have many hiking routes to choose from in Piatra Craiului Mountains. Pick the right one depending on your children’s age and, of course, the weather. Book a nearby accommodation.
Check the detailed itineraries on Muntii Nostri
Day 5: Porumbacu de Sus
Driving distance: 105 km / Spend the night in Porumbacu de Sus
Drive to Porumbacu de Sus and spend the day relaxing. You can walk around the village to admire old houses and see the great views of the Fagaras Mountains.
Day 6: Hike in Fagaras Mountains
Driving distance: 15 km / Spend the night in Porumbacu de Sus or Negoiu Hut
Enjoy one of the few easy hikes in the Fagaras, from Porumbacu de Sus to Negoiu Hut (1,550 meters), following the blue triangle route. To make the most of your time, try to leave the car as close as possible to the stone quarry. The forest road is very bumpy, but it’s worth it and you won’t risk your kids getting too bored before the actual hike.
Take a short detour to admire Serbota Waterfall, one of the most beautiful in the Carpathians. If the hike up is too much, roughly around hours for an adult, book in time a room at Negoiu Hut and descend the next day.
Day 7: Hike from Balea Lake and the Transfagarasan
Driving distance: 100 km / Spend the night in Porumbacu de Sus
Drive on the high-altitude Transfagarasan, from Cartisoara to Balea Lake. You can take a short walk around the glacial lake, or you can escape the summer crowds with a short hike from Balea (2,034 meters) to Capra Lake (2,238 meters). It takes roughly one hour for a healthy adult to reach this lake, more with kids because of the steep terrain.
Don’t hesitate to take this route. With a bit of patience and attention, you’ll enjoy together with your children the great alpine landscape of the Fagaras.
Check the hike on Muntii Nostri
Day 8: Back to Brasov
Driving distance: 115 km / Spend the night in Brasov
Drive back to Brasov. If you still have the energy, don’t miss a visit to the ruins of Carta Abbey and Fagaras Fortress.
Discover more interesting ideas for your road trips in Romania.