4 Myths & misconceptions about Romania (ns)
4 Myths about Romania (ns) that you should let go of.
Romania, is probably the most misunderstood country in Europe. Romanians are judged for something they’re not, because of a general lack of information about the culture, the people and the country in general.
Even I, a very well traveled Western European had no idea of what to think when I went there. But one thought stuck with me: “Romania has such a bad rep, let’s see what I will find out about this country.” It turned out that I fell in Love with Romania and I was really sad to leave.
I was positively surprised and will return for a long visit in the summer.
So I decided to ask friends, family and readers to tell me what is the first thing that comes to mind when they think about Romania. Here’s their thoughts and my replies, based on my personal experience in Bucharest.
All questions and pre-defined ideas expressed here are honest and have no intentions to offend. I know some topics are sensitive and complex. If you’re Romanian, give us your feedback on the comment section bellow.
“I hear Romania and I think in Dracula, it is unavoidable. Nichole Optiz”
Hahaha, yes, this is probably the first thing that comes to mind, when we all think about Romania. Oddly enough, Bram Stoker, the author of the book, has never been there.
One of the reason why Stoker might have chosen the historical Count Vlad as the main character on his movie might have been the fact that before writing Dracula, Stoker spent seven years researching European folklore and stories of vampires, being most influenced by Emily Gerard’s 1885 essay, “Transylvania Superstitions”. Later he would also claim that he had a nightmare, caused by eating too much crab meat covered with mayonnaise sauce, about a “vampire king” rising from his grave. *wiki
Vlad, the Impaler is an important part of Romanian history and deeply connected to Bucharest as a capital city.
“Romanians are gypsies who come to Western European countries to beg and steal. They have tons of children who are forced to beg all day. Maria – Portugal”
I’m fully aware this is probably one of the most unfortunate stereotypical images of Romanians around Europe. Let me tell you something, based on my 6 days in Bucharest:
The very tiny minority of Romanian citizens who immigrate to Western countries to beg and rob are not a representation of the Romanian people.
The very tiny minority of Romanian citizens who immigrate to Western countries to beg and rob are not a representation of the Romani people.
The Romani or simply Roma have one of the most dramatic stories in human history, but few people know their ancient tale of travel, persecution and survival. Most of the ones who live back home are, according to many Romanians I’ve talked with, honest and hard working people.
These are misconceptions people have about Romanians and should be corrected, because once I got to Bucharest, I saw none of that! I see more of these beggars in Lisbon, Spain, London, etc, than I’ve ever seen in Bucharest in 6 full days.
This is because these tiny minority of Roma people, already go to other countries with that agenda in mind. They are right on your face all day and they harass you. Because of that, they seem to be a lot, but they really aren’t. They’re a drop of water in the Ocean.
The hard working Romanians who happen to live all over Europe blend in easily and are fully integrated. Maybe that’s why you don’t even notice them. They study, work, have their families, just like anyone else.
The Romanians I met abroad, were physiotherapists, masseurs and students. Normal people living a normal life.
During my 6 days I Bucharest, I can tell you I found people to be very warm, fun and welcoming. And I’m dying to return!
“I think of a beautiful country with sometimes violent and dangerous cities where you have to be on your toes at all times to be safe. I would love you to prove me wrong on this. I am very much looking forward to read the post.”
All capital cities tend to be more dangerous than small villages, that is a fact. I imagine Bucharest has its share of problems too. But after walking alone by myself or with friends, for 6 days and nights on the streets of Bucharest, I have to tell you I never felt any threat or danger…. or even insecurity.
I’ve also noticed the presence of police officers everywhere, way more than at any other city I’ve visited so far.
Before I traveled, someone told me to always keep my camera hidden while walking in Bucharest. I actually hold my camera on my hand for most of the time and never felt any threat.
My perception after my visit, is that Bucharest seemed to be safer than London and most American cities I’ve visited so far and at the same level of any other European capital. If safety is holding your back, then worry no more and buy your ticket to Romania!
“I think the Romanian countryside must be beautiful, but Bucharest somehow, gives the feeling of being dirty and ugly. Agnieszka – Poland”
I’ve heard wonders about the Romanian country side. Unfortunately, I haven’t been there yet, I’m planing that for this coming summer.
I didn’t find Bucharest ugly at all. And I didn’t find it dirty neither, at least the parts of Bucharest I’ve visited, which were mostly in the city center.
“Is Bucharest worth seeing at all?”
Yes it is. The city is a great door to the rest of Romania. There’s enough history, nightlife and restaurants to explore.
I was amazed with the vibe of the old town, the variety of restaurants, the cafes with nice esplanades. Bucharest is definitely recommended. Bucharest tourism is something that will grow as soon as people realize how special this place is.
I personally loved the mix of the old and the new buildings. I have a passion for Eastern Europe, so Romania and more specifically Bucharest, did tick all the boxes for me.
Romania is a gem if you love traveling. Because it’s still not touched by mass tourism, you can explore the beauty of the country without the crowds. People are friendly and welcoming and I’m already preparing my trip to visit the natural beauty of the smaller villages and cities.
WHICH CITIES AND VILLAGES IN ROMANIA SHOULD I VISIT NEXT? I NEED YOUR TIPS!
#EnjoyBucharest was hosted Eventur Bucharest, spported by ARCUB, Bucharest City Hall and Intercontinental Hotel. Sponsors: Telekom Romania, Travelport, Prestige Tours and Dent Estet Clinic. Logistic Partners: Blue Air, CDI Transport, The Harbour, Calif, Shoteria, Hanul lui Manuc, Palatul Noblesse, Journey Pub and Stejarii Country Club. Main media partners: Europa FM and Observator.tv.