Castles, Churches & Collections of Romania: Bucharest to Transylvania

Castles, Churches & Collections of Romania: Bucharest to Transylvania



During this nine-day tour, we will enjoy special access to a variety of museums, including the National Museum of Art in Bucharest, as well as meet local experts, from a Romanian-language professor to expert from The Met who has launched an ambitious art conservation project in a tiny village. Travel with Dr. Helen C. Evans, Mary and Michael Jaharis Curator of Byzantine Art, Department of Medieval Art and The Cloisters.

Pricing from
Trip Type
Individual Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
Departure Dates
May 28, 2020 - Jun 7, 2020


Romania map


  • day Thursday, May 28

    Depart for Bucharest on an overnight flight.

  • day Friday, May 29

    Bucharest, Romania

    Arrive at Henri Coandă International Airport and transfer to Bucharest, Romania’s capital city. This afternoon, enjoy an orientation walking tour to see the Palace of Parliament (also known as the People’s Palace), one of the world’s largest administrative buildings, and visit the gracious Stavropoleos Church. This exceptional model of Brâncovenesc style combines local elements with Italian and Byzantine influences. Gather this evening for introductory remarks by lecturer Helen C. Evans, followed by a welcome dinner.

  • day Saturday, May 30


    A quarter century ago, former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, were toppled following a dramatic uprising across the country. It was a pivotal moment in Romania’s historic transition to democracy. After a morning lecture, take a curator-led tour of the National Museum of Art, housed in the former royal palace. The Neo-Classical building is now home to an extensive collection of medieval and modern Romanian art, including a consistent group of early works by Constantin Brâncuși. Next, visit the exquisite Athenaeum, the majestic heart of Romania’s classical music tradition. This afternoon, stop at an elegant teahouse for a taste of local delicacies. Then, discover the eclectic and well-curated collection of the Cotroceni National Museum, housed in the eponymous 19th-century palace. Dinner is at leisure this evening.

  • day Sunday, May 31

    Bucharest / Sinaia / Brasov

    When King Carol I of Romania visited the small village of Sinaia in the foothills of the Bucegi mountains in the 1860s, he was captivated by its scenic location and commissioned the construction of a palace there. The resulting fairytale-like Peleș Castle is one of the most stunning in all Europe. Today, tour this iconic Romanian landmark featuring lavishly decorated rooms filled with unique art treasures, including an outstanding arms collection. Lunch is at the nearby Azuga Rhein Wine Cellars. Recognized between the two World Wars as Romania’s
    “Royal House Official Purveyor,” currently they are the country’s oldest wine cellars where sparkling wine has continuously been produced over time using the traditional champenoise method. Continue to the city of Brasov, the heart of Romania settled along one of the oldest trade routes between Wallachia, Moldavia, and Transylvania.

  • day Monday, June 1

    Brasov / Sighișoara / Sibiu

    This morning, enjoy a walking tour of the well preserved old town of Brasov, whose medieval squares are surrounded by small colorful houses and cobblestone streets. Highlights of the tour include a visit to the Black Church, with its impressive collection of Anatolian carpets, and a talk with a professor at the First Romanian School to learn more about the national language. In the afternoon, drive further into Transylvania to reach the city of Sighișoara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. At the imposing Monastery Church, see the fine carved altarpiece. Continue to the lively 12th-century Saxon city of Sibiu, your home for three nights.

  • day Tuesday, June 2


    Begin the day with a stroll through the ASTRA Museum of Folkloric Traditional Civilization, an open-air museum stretching over more than 230 acres devoted to preserving all aspects of Romanian folk heritage, from musical and literary traditions to traditional house building. We plan to meet the director for an introduction and a tour of this remarkable site. This afternoon, set out on a walking tour of the old town, featuring the Baroque Roman Catholic Cathedral, the Evangelical Church, and the expansive Old Square, the center of this historic walled city. Enjoy some time at leisure, then gather for dinner.

  • day Wednesday, June 3

    Sibiu / Alba Iulia / Baita / Sibiu

    Today travel to Alba Iulia’s star-shaped citadel, one of Transylvania’s most overlooked sights and the place where the proclamation of the union between Transylvania and the Kingdom
    of Romania was announced. The walls of this magnificently preserved citadel enclose grand monuments, museums, glittering churches, and archaeological treasures. Continue to
    Baita to meet Dr. Florica Zaharia, the director and co-owner of the Muzeul Textilelor, who is a Conservator Emerita of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Learn about this private
    museum’s mission and textile conservation, and admire a collection of over 12,000 textiles and tools. After the tour, transfer to a local farmhouse, where you will be served a delicious
    dinner before returning to the hotel.

  • day Thursday, June 4

    Sibiu / Targu Mures / Gura Humorului

    En route to Gura Humorului, stop in Targu Mures, a city with a rich blend of Romanian. and Hungarian history. Our tour features the Palace of Culture, the synagogue, the Orthodox Cathedral, and the Teleki-Bolyai library, named after its founder Count Sámuel Teleki de Szék. Now a public library, this remarkable collection boasts over 200,000 books, maps, and scientific papers dating back centuries. Cross the Carpathians through the Tihuţa Pass, a mountain pass which connects Transylvania to Moldova. Dine and spend the night in Gura Humorului.

  • day Friday, June 5

    Gura Humorului

    After a morning lecture, spend the day exploring the Bucovina monasteries. Renowned for their arresting beauty and quality of artisanship, they are also among the most distinctive in all Christendom. Start with the Humor Monastery, unique with its original architecture and decorative diversity. During the 15th century, it was among the most important monasteries in the country. Next, visit Voronet Monastery, and admire the marvelous Last Judgment fresco, where against a vivid blue background, biblical figures, saints, and even animals await their judgment on passing to heaven or hell. Conclude with a tour of the stunning Moldovita Monastery. The monastery’s small museum houses several fine tapestries, 15th century manuscripts, and Prince Petru Rareş’ original throne. Return to Gura Humorului for a festive farewell dinner.

  • day Saturday, June 6

    Gura Humorului / Iasi / Bucharest

    Early this morning, visit the Patrauti Monastery, the smallest among the monasteries and the only one intended to be for nuns. Attend a choir performance before heading to the Dragomirna Monastery. Enjoy the hospitality of the local nuns for lunch, then continue to Iasi, also known as the cultural capital of Romania. Time permitting, take a walking tour of the city before transferring to the airport to fly to Bucharest for an overnight stay.

  • day Sunday, June 7

    Bucharest / Return

    Bid farewell to Romania this morning, and transfer to the airport for flights home.

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