The Dutch are quite traditional
If one takes note of the figures of the Continuous Holiday Survey (CVO) of NBTC-NIPO Research, the Dutch seem quite traditional in choosing their holiday destinations and it is only a small minority who deviate from the beaten track. This may be partly determined by the magazines or travel supplements that come with the same story every year. Is it an image problem for Romania? That seems unlikely because many nature lovers go to France; the country that has the most nuclear power plants in Europe. The cause is also on the Romanian side, because the poorly stocked treasury does not allow costly marketing campaigns to be conducted or traffic offices everywhere. Or – if your interest is aroused – purchase the National Geographic guide in Dutch, the data of which is reliable and up-to-date.

Why Romania?
A comprehensive answer to this question is impossible, because the preferences and tastes of the holidaymakers differ. By the way, Romania can be called a complete holiday destination, both do-it-yourself holidays in the Carpathians and a lazy holiday on the beaches of the Black Sea and a short city trip is also possible. It is a fairly exclusive destination for relatively little money, because fully organized trips to the country are a rarity.
So that requires a certain sense of adventure and good preparation.

A keyword for Romania is the unspoilt nature that is rarely found elsewhere in Europe. Just one example is the Retezat Mountains with its beautiful glacial lakes, but where no car traffic is possible and has therefore remained completely untouched. Or bison that can be found in three regions and the bear population that occurs in several places, making the country to some extent comparable to the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Of course it requires a sporty attitude and some sense of adventure!

A city trip?
Then the city of Sibiu (Hermannstadt) should certainly not remain unvisited! In 2007 it was declared the European Capital of Culture. It is nice to know that in the vicinity of Sibiu in the dialect that is common there, numerous (South) Dutch words, expressions and place names are found. The explanation for this is that the Saxons who settled in Romania around 1200 came partly from the Southern Netherlands, which we now refer to as Zeeland, North Brabant, Limburg, Flanders and Luxembourg.
Of course, the capital Bucharest should not be missed, if only that it is the only destination accessible from the Netherlands. There are flights with KLM or Tarom from Schiphol four times a day or twice a week with the low-cost carrier Wizzair from Eindhoven. Or if you just cross the border and want to leave from Düsseldorf, there are several Romanian cities such as Cluj Napoca and Timisoara approachable.
A few recommendations in Bucharest? Obviously the People’s Palace (Casa Poporului) of the late Ceaucescu or the Northern part of Bucharest with its parks and lakes. The old center of Lipscani is also a must if only to visit the Dutch “” settlements ”such as Gran Cafe Van Gogh, Hotel Rembrandt and the Dutch restaurant The Artist. Or the centuries-old stopping place Hanul Manuc.

If you visit Romania with your own car or rent a car, you will really get to know the country and sometimes make discoveries that are not described anywhere, such as suddenly in-the-middle-of-nowhere. For example, in the north of the Gorj district, near the village of Crasna, you suddenly find a small but ultramodern factory that produces the famous Belgian chocolates and whose owner is a Belgian piano teacher. You may know the British TV show Top Gear who have voted the Transfagarasan Highway the most spectacular road in the world. The road takes you along many hairpin bends to an altitude of 2024 meters and is therefore only open in the summer months. Outside the big cities you will find a very hospitable population who live up to the slogan on a tourist brochure “Come as a tourist and leave as a friend”!