Romania: on the other side of stereotypes

experience-romania

If I would be in a room full of people from all around the world and I would ask: “What do you know about Romania?”, I would probably get a few confused looks (as in “…about what?”), I’d get a few “Dracula & Transylvania” and probably some would say “a country full of gypsies*“. And you know what, I would not even be surprised by these answers, to be honest, because I’ve heard them way too many times. But you know what my immediate reaction would be? “Come and see it for yourselves!”

The past couple of weeks I had the immense pleasure of spending quite some time with 40+ bloggers from around the world in “Experience Bucharest” and “Experience Romania” press trips. From The Americas to Australia, from South Africa to India and from all corners of Europe, there were a lot of countries & cultures packed in one bus. It was one of the most fun and amazing group of people that I have ever met. Some were on their first Romanian experience, some already knew what they were getting involved in.

Even from the first day of Experience Bucharest I saw some surprised reactions. And because I didn’t want to get into a “he/she said” debate,ย  I kindly asked them to share their impressions. And here is what they said.

@viajandocomgabi – digital nomad from Brazil & my Portuguese expressions teacher, traveled in over 75 countries

Impressions of Romania coming in this experience: “Dracula, cold, alcohol”

Impressions after Experience Romania: “One of my favorite countries. Sunflowers, good food, amazing landscape”

@oldkyrenian – award winning photographer EFIAP & down to earth guy, from Cyprus

Kenan does not have photos of himself on the IG account, but he has some of the most stunning pictures I have ever seen.

Impressions of Romania coming in this experience: “I was thinking the people were unapproachable. I do not know why, but it was what I was feeling. That’s why I did not think to recommend to anybody to go and visit Romania.”

Impressions after Experience Romania: “After I saw and felt that Romanian people were so friendly and helpful, I would recommend to everybody to visit and enjoy the natural beauties of Romania.”

@fivelittledoves – family travel blogger with a huge heart, from UK

Impressions of Romania coming in this experience: “Stray dogs, gypsies, theft”

Impressions after Experience Romania: “I actually feel quite annoyed that I have been lied to for so long by the media. So many people are missing out on the most beautiful country because of the lies we seen told by British media. Romania is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries I have ever visited and I felt so safe during my stay, something I have never experienced before especially in large cities.”

@fernwehmarkus – rarely in front of the camera, but always supporting @fernwehsarah, travel bloggers from Germany

Impressions of Romania coming in this experience: “Dracula, gypsies, Transylvania”

Impressions after Experience Romania: “Romania has beautiful nature and charming medieval towns that I had no idea of before. The Dracula legend is only a nice icing on the cake :)”

@all_about_rosalilla – travel blogger & awesome duo together with @mister_lavin, from Ireland

Impressions of Romania coming in this experience: “We would be robbed, the place is over run with stray dogs, there would be gypsy/romani families everywhere “

Impressions after Experience Romania: “I felt extremely safe, only saw one stray dog who was very friendly and only wanted some food, I loved learning about the romani culture and didnโ€™t feel intimidated “

@brownieonthego – travel blogger from Slovenia & contestant on Masterchef

Impressions of Romania coming in this experience: “Lot of gypsies, very poor, dangerous.”
Impressions after Experience Romania: “I couldn’t be more wrong. People are amazing, as well as the nature and cities. Beautiful country that I can’t wait to return to.”

@patadegatotv – Youtuber, cat lover & top dancer from Mexico

Impressions of Romania coming in this experience: “I knew nothing about Romanians, just that were ex-communists.”

Impressions after Experience Romania: “Kind people, amazing country, very interesting history and stunning landscapes.”

So here you go folks, you’ve read it from people that have been traveling around this Globe for a while now, and have seen their fair share of countries. I encourage you to check out their Instagram accounts and blogs for the full stories about Romania. And while I know we are far from perfect, the other side of the stereotypes is not as harsh as one might think coming to Romania. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section below, and I will do my best to answer them. Hey… and if you still don’t believe me… Come and see it for yourselves!

Enjoy it? Pin it! ๐Ÿ™‚

romania-on-the-other-side-of-stereotypes

*Disclaimer – I did not use the term “gypsy” to offend or be racist about any ethnic group. I simply used the term as a quote for the descriptions mentioned in the media to describe Romania. The term “gypsy” has negative connotations and should not be used. The correct term to describe this ethnic group is Romani or Rroma.
Photo credit for header: Tudor Maxim
Photo credit for pin: Cristian Macedonschi



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21 Replies to “Romania: on the other side of stereotypes”

  1. I love this Ana and am overjoyed that not one person left your beautiful country with a bad impression. Iโ€™m already planning a return trip with my family, something I would only ever do to a country I felt sure was safe and had a lot to offer. I have 39 years of missing out on Romania to make up for! Xx

    1. You cannot imagine how overjoyed I am when people start discovering Romania. And like I said it before and will say it again, we are far from perfect. We have still a lot to make up on sooo many levels, but we also have a great deal of potential. I am so happy hearing people want to come back and discover even more. I set out this year to actually write about Romania, because I have been a local ignorant for 34 years :). And Experience Romania has helped me and has opened my eyes even more than is has done for you. Anytime you decide to return, let me know. Promise to explore more myself by then.

  2. Romania has truely amazed me 100% – I almost feel bad that I had no idea about how beautiful the country is! I guess we all had the same stereotypes – more or less at least. Hopefully, we can now contribute to sharing a different picture about that country!

  3. Thank you Sarah! I finally got around to answer to your comment. For me, the best feeling is when people discover that we do have an amazing country and we are completely different the picture painted in the media. I literally warms my heart <3. Thank you for coming here and enjoying and spreading the word ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I am constantly baffled and heartbroken over the negative image Romania has in other countries so I just wanted to take a moment and thank you for this heartwarming post! Transylvania truly is magnificent and there is so much more to discover in Romania, it makes my heart happy to know people are finally looking beyond stereotypes into the real experiences. Thank you for contributing to making this world brigther and more connected!

    1. Anamaria, I am just the messenger that tries to share the real reactions and thought of some amazing travelers that have been around this planet and know a thing or two about discovering destinations and people. I am happy that their real impressions are the way they are. And, while we are far from perfect, I am happy that these people come and discover we have a lot more colors than the dark and grey pallet described “out there” ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Great post Ana. Having been to Bucharest twice I can safely say that I also found Romania to be nothing like the typical stereotypes. Initially mine were probably dracula, gypsies, poverty and bad weather. Bucharest is a beautiful and interesting city and I didn’t see any visible poverty (I notice more homeless in Melbourne or London!) and the weather I had in May this year was outstanding. In fact – too hot! It’s a really underrated city destination, thanks for helping to expose it for its true colours!

    1. Thank you Tamara for the kind words. I’ve been living in Bucharest for my whole life, but only past 3-4 years I’ve really started to really see it. I am glad you enjoyed it here. Any time you want to come back to Romania, drop me a line. I’d be more than happy to give you some tips ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. It was so nice to be on this trip with you and break down those stereotypes which is what I feel traveling is all about. I can honestly say that Romania is one of the most beautiful countries that Iโ€™ve been to and I feel very lucky to have experienced it firsthand.

    1. Thank you so much Nicola. I can’t help buy to get goosebumps with every comment and reaction to this post. I loved this trip to my home country and experiencing with such amazing people just made it even more fun and inspirational. Anytime you want to return, know you have a friend here ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. I stayed in Romania for a month about ten years ago. It’s a beautiful and very underrated country!

    1. Dear Lisa, you have to come back then! Still beautiful, still underrated ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Wow, this was really so beautiful to see. Travel really opens people’s eyes to different cultures and customs – it’s the best way to learn about other people and places. This made me smile today, and I can’t wait to visit this beautiful country one day

    1. Kay your comment made me smile.. no, all the comments make me smile and give me goosebumps. I love what people have to say after they passed those initial thoughts and to be honest in some cases fears, coming here. Let me know when you want to visit. I’ll be happy to give you some tips ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I absolutely LOVE this concept and think we need posts like this for every country in the world – so awesome! And I learned a lot too. I have not been to Romania yet and truth be told what I do know is from movies, so I appreciate getting to learn from locals!

    1. Thank you so much Andi! I completely agree. As much as I try not to go to a place with a preconceived ideas… we all know it happens anyway. But the more we travel the less preconceptions we make. And I think that is a positive thing.

  10. I love this idea for a post! One of my favorite things about traveling to new places and learning what they are really like for myself. It is easy to have negative ideas about a place from the media and stereotypes only to go and fall in love with the place. Hope I can make it to Romania one day!

    1. Thank you so much Christine. I am a bit overwhelmed on the impact it had until now. I has been so well received. Looking forward to having you in Romania. Just make sure it’s spring or beginning of summer ;).

  11. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this post Ana. I followed Nicola from All About Rosalillaโ€™s photos on this trip and I could not believe the beauty of Romania. The media has always painted Romania as a country filled with poverty and crime, failing to show the fairytale architecture and picture-perfect scenery. Bucharest is now somewhere Iโ€™d very much to like to visit to see with my own eyes and I will be reaching out to the Tourist Board to see if I can visit/share the beauty of Romania too.

    1. I know. Media is always showing what sells… scandal, poverty, crime. But somehow fail to sell what people might actually be interested in: castles, beautiful landscapes, medieval towns, the Delta… how many countries have this beautiful ecosystem and so on. To be honest, I don’t know how much the Tourism Board will help you, but for sure you can give it a try. If not, contact Experience Bucharest. I think they are doing another trip in autumn, or for sure, next year.

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