Stunning natural landscapes, rich culture, a great variety of traditions, delicious food, and picturesque villages. There is no doubt that Romania covers it all and even more. As Romanian infrastructure has improved significantly, accessible tours and holidays became a more viable option for people with different disabilities. Let us give you a virtual tour of the most important accessible attractions worth visiting while being in Romania!
Bucharest: Old Town, Palace of Parliament, and the Village Museum
The Old Town with its narrow cobble stone streets closed for the car traffic is much friendlier now with its visitors. Once the heart of the trading commerce in Bucharest, this neighborhood still bears the marks of the different guilds working here. Almost every street was named after the specific of the merchants or artisans having their business located there.
The National Romanian Bank is one of the most iconic buildings in the Old Town, dating back to 1880s and displaying a beautiful French Renaissance Style. On one of its side, the Vilacrosse passage takes you into a bohemian walk down the memory lane to late 1890s and early 1900s. It is also a very chic way to get to the famous avenue Calea Victoriei.
Bouncing from one historical time to another, a visit to central Bucharest has to take you to the massive communist building that made it to the World’s Records Book as the 2nd largest administrative building in the world. Palace of Parliament, or the House of People, as locals refer to rises from the ground as a huge reminder of Nicolae Ceausescu’s madness and desire to show off. It was made almost entirely of local materials, and only by Romanian workers. There dozens of intriguing facts and stories about this building, and the best way to learn them is during an accessible wheelchair tour inside the Palace.
At the other end of the spectrum lies a visit to the Village Museum, a place where visitors get a taste of how the countryside villages look like in Romania. Open in 1930s it was the third of its kind in Europe after the village museums in Sweden and Norway. The open door museum has large and well-kept alleys so the wheelchair users can admire and learn many stories about the specifics of every region. Wallachian houses are low, wagon-like shaped, and with a generous porch at the entrance, while Saxon houses of Transylvania are taller, with high brick fences that give them the air of a fortress. Even the materials used can give you interesting details into their origins; those made of reeds are from the Danube Delta while the briquette is specific to hillside regions.
Sinaia: Peles Castle
Peles Castle is renowned all over Europe for its beauty, and ranks as the third most popular attraction in Romania. The fairy-like aspect, the natural setting at the base of Carpathians, the story of Romanian Royal family, and the fact it was world’s first castle fully powered by locally produced electricity make it unique and a “must see” in Romania. The first King of Romania, Carol, commissioned this palace to use it as his residence during the hot summer weather that made life in Bucharest almost unbearable. He had three foreign architects (Johannes Schultz, Carol Benesch and Karel Liman) and hundreds of workers coming from 12 different countries to bring this jewel to life. The construction started in 1870s and finished only in 1916 when the king died. Many joked about the construction lasting even long if Carol 1st would have lived longer.
During the accessible tour of the castle, one can admire the unique mix of different architectural styles and admire the intricate details of the interiors.
Sighisoara: the UNESCO medieval citadel
Located in the beautiful hilly Transylvania, Sighisoara is an UNESCO World Heritage site being the only still inhabited medieval citadel in this part of Europe. With its colorful old houses, nine towers watching over the narrow streets since 14th century and its vibrant atmosphere takes you back in time. Vampire fans will not be disappointed as Vlad Tepes (the one who inspired the famous vampire Dracula) House lies not far from the main square. Vlad Tepes or the Impaler spent just a few time in this house, most of his life unfolding in the Ottoman Empire and Wallachia (southern part of Romania). Thanks to Bram Stocker, our historical figure became a very famous and ruthless blood-sucking supernatural creature – the Transylvanian vampire Count Dracula!
Most of the cobblestone was replaced with more practical dales that make the old streets more accessible to wheelchair users. However, Sighisoara is on a hilltop and the streets have a slope.
Cluj Napoca: Union Square
It is one of oldest towns in Romania, as the first documented traces about Cluj Napoca date back to 124 AD. The most beautiful square in town is Union Square surrounded by beautiful buildings in varied architectural styles, Baroque, Gothic, Renaissance, and Neoclassical. Banffy Palace and St. Michael’s Church are the most famous, while the statue of Matthias Corvinus overlooks the area. Cluj Napoca is a very friendly city to the disabled travelers, and tours for the visually impaired are available upon request.