The Romania Christmas Markets Tour is a private tour starting in Bucharest and it can have its final lap in Cluj, but depending on your flight deals, we can rethink the itinerary, being able to start or finish the tour anywhere in Romania.
All the transfers, including airport transfers, are included in the tariff and transportation is made with a modern minivan, fully licensed for tourist transport. You will be accompanied the whole time by our experienced tour guide, who will provide you with all the information you need and support you during the trip. Each day, a private walking tour of the city will be provided by the tour guide. Also, the guide will accompany the group at Peles, Bran Castle and Corvin Castle, and will give a private tour of each attraction. For the Christmas markets tours, the guide can accompany you and offer advice on what to buy, eat or drink (free optional service, only if it is required by the guests).
The highlights of the trip are:
The price starts from 300 EUR/person. This price is valid for a group of 8 persons and for an average price of accommodation of a maximum of 70 EUR/night for a double room, including breakfast. Please see below the price per person, depending on the group size. The hotels or guesthouses where we will stay will be chosen together; we will give you a few options and you will have the final word regarding the accommodation. Depending on the hotels you choose and the final itinerary, the price can change, so, for a custom offer please contact us.
Level of physical activity : Moderate. Our guests need to be able to walk a maximum of 5 km per day or climb stairs.
The Romania Christmas Markets tour will start in Bucharest: we will meet you at the airport, and then transfer to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, we will start the program on the same day or, if you arrive late, the program will start the next day.
Before the Christmas lights will be lit, we will have a quick tour of Bucharest, for the first contact with the city’s festive atmosphere. We will have a walk on the narrow streets of the Old Town, to admire the beautiful buildings from the glory days of the city and to learn more about the history of the place. If it’s cold outside we will warm ourselves in one of the cosy cafes in Bucharest. In the afternoon we will have a tour of the giant Parliament Building and in the evening we will head to Bucharest Christmas Market for the first mug of mulled wine.
We will leave Bucharest in the morning and head to Sinaia, to visit the Royal Palace of Peles. Built in a German Neo-Renaissance style between 1873 and 1914, Peles doesn’t need any Christmas decorations to look magical. For this reason, in 2017 Netflix shot at Peles the movie “A Christmas Prince“, a romantic comedy unfolding in the fairy-tale setting of Peles.
The next castle of the day will be Bran Castle, widely associated with Dracula’s castle. The 14th-century stronghold doesn’t have too much to do with the dreadful character, actually, we will learn the real story of the castle, which was in the early 20th century the summer residence of the beloved Queen Mary of Romania, the granddaughter of Queen Victoria.
In the afternoon we will reach Brasov, for the first Christmas Market in Transylvania.
After check-in at the hotel, we will have a short walking tour of the old town, seeing the Black Church, Rope Street, The Schei and Ecaterina’s gates. The tour will finish in Council Square, the usual place for the Brasov Christmas Market, where we can warm up our body with another mug of mulled wine, or if you want something traditional, a shot of hot plum brandy.
We will leave Brasov heading to Sighisoara. A former Saxon town, like Brasov and Sibiu, Sighisoara is the only one listed on the UNESCO list, due to the almost perfect preservation of the look of the medieval citadel. After a walking tour of the Sighisoara, we will head to Sibiu, the former European Capital of Culture in 2007. After checking in at the hotel, we will have a walking tour of the old town, before reaching the Christmas Market.
Sibiu Christmas market is the highlight of our tour and not because is our home town :). It was included in the Europe best Christmas Markets in 2019 by Conde Nast Traveller. Sibiu Christmas market is the first to open, at the end of November and it closes after New Year’s Eve. It found a perfect setting in the Large Square, surrounded by sumptuous old buildings. The Christmas Fair in Sibiu has everything it needs: a giant Christmas tree, a cupola of light covering the centre of the square, more than 100 merchants selling Christmas goodies, a skating rink, a Ferris wheel and of course, the recreation of the nativity scene.
We will leave Sibiu and head to Hunedoara, to visit the Corvin Castle. Erected in the 15th century, the fairy-tale-like gothic castle was the residence of the governor of Transylvania, Ioan Corvin, and his son, Matias Corvin, one of the greatest kings Hungary had.
After the visit to the castle, we will head to Cluj-Napoca, to see our 4th and last Romanian Christmas market. Before visiting the Christmas fair, we will have our habitual walking tour, to discover the soul of the city.
Cluj Napoca, the unofficial capital of Transylvania, was one of the most important cities in the eastern part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, being visited several times by Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife, Sisi. There is no wonder that part of the city’s charm comes from that period. Nowadays, Cluj is a large university centre and therefore a vibrant and probably the most cosmopolitan Transylvanian city.
Cluj Christmas market is up to the city fame: dozens of white stalls, a large cupola with fairy lights, an ice rink around the statue of Matias Corvin, and everyday concerts bringing the festive cheer.
You can extend your trip with 1 or 2 days in Maramures, which can be reached from Cluj. We can visit the Merry Cemetery, traditional villages and have a steam train ride. If we are close to Christmas Eve, we can experience the Christmas traditions which are best kept in this picturesque region.
What to expect
What to buy: you can find a wide range of Christmas-specific objects at the Christmas Market: all kinds of sweets, homemade cookies, chocolate, roasted chestnuts, glazed almonds and nuts, honey, local spirits, mulled wine, fast food and traditional food stalls, local cheese, Christmas decorations and porcelain jewellery, hand-painted mugs, wreaths, garlands, globes, gloves, hats, scarfs and many more.
Concerts: Depending on the program, you can attend Christmas carols concerts and Christmas traditions shows.
Weather: daily winter temperatures in Romania are around 0 degrees C, but they can vary a lot. It is possible to have snow during the trip, but rain or sleet can occur as well. In the last 2 years, winter has been rather mild, with less snow or freezing temperatures. Please consult the weather forecast before the trip to know what type of clothes to wear. Prepare waterproof winter boots, with non-slip soles, warm clothes and gloves.
Prices: prices in Romania are below the European average, but it varies a lot depending on the place. For example, a cup of coffee is 1-2 EUR, a beer is 2-3 EUR, the main dish at a restaurant is 6-12 EUR, and a mug of mulled wine is 1-2 EUR. The entrance fees at between 6-10 EUR.
Tips: it is expected to give around 10% of the value of the bill at the restaurant. The tip is not included on the bill, it can be paid only in cash and you can choose not to give any tip if you didn’t like the service.
Currency: Romanian currency is RON (leu, plural lei, subdivision ban = 0.01 RON). Is not possible to pay with EUR or USD, but it is easy to change money at exchange offices or banks. Credit cards are largely accepted (Visa and Mastercard) but it’s good to always have some cash with you.
Safety: Romania is, in general, safer than most of the western European countries, but you always need to pay attention, especially in crowded places. Keep your money and valuable documents safe, in the interior pockets.
*for groups larger than 8 persons, please ask for a customised offer