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Summary: Romania is located in southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, and between Bulgaria and Ukraine. The central Transylvanian Basin is separated from the Plain of Moldavia on the east by the Carpathian Mountains, and separated from the Walachian Plain on the south by the Transylvanian Alps - the literary home of Dracula.

Capital: Bucharest
Time Zone: DST +0300 UTC
Population: 22,355,551
Languages: Romanian, Hungarian, German
Power: 230 V, 50 Hz
Currency: Leu - Currently 1 ROL = 0.00004 USD $
Climate: Romania has a temperate climate with cold, cloudy winters with frequent snow and fog, and sunny summers with frequent showers and thunderstorms.

Bucharest: Once known as the Paris of the East, Bucharest is brightening and you can find cafes hidden on side streets, the Romanian Opera House, the huge national museum, traditional nightclubs, and restaurants serving local dishes. Of course, more traditional sights include the Palace of Parliament, a huge 12 storey complex, the Old Court Church, with beautiful frescos in the heart of old Bucharest, and the luxurious Athenee Palace Hotel.

Brasov: You can't leave until you hear the stories of Vlad the Impaler who became the literary figure of Count Dracula. A trip to the castles in Transylvania is definitely worthwhile, and should include Bran Castle, Rasnov Castle, and plan for a spooky day trip or overnight visit to Sighisoara, about a 130 km drive away from Brasov, where Vlad Tepes himself was born in 1431.

Romanian Riviera: Along the Black Sea coast is a major tourist area of Romania, home to a large number of resorts and thermal spas frequented mostly by Romanian families on vacation. The Byzantine port of Constanta is one of the oldest towns in the area, and around it are several Greek archaeological sites.

Mountains: Far and away the tourist attraction, do not be led astray by others who only want to see the cities. June is the best time to take a trip over, as people do go and camp in the foothills of the Carpathian mountains to see nature.

Pot Holes: The roads in rural areas can be in rough shape, so be careful when cycling or driving. Buses to these areas, though, can be very cheap, making the driving someone else's problem.

Food: Traditional foods include pork based staples like sarmale, pork balls in cabbage, or tocana, a pork stew.

Tipping: Check your bill, when a service charge hasn't been added, a tip of 10% - 12% is expected.

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