What to see in Romania

Moldavia

Tourist attractions Moldavia

Moldavia, also known as Western Moldavia, is a historic region of Romania. Moldavia is situated in the northeast of the country, bordering Ukraine and Moldova. Historically, the principality of Moldavia, then much larger, joined with Walachia to create the nation of Romania in 1859. Covering roughly 18% of the country, Moldavia is filled with some of the most enchanting historic sights in Romania. From eye-catching painted monasteries to picturesque mountainside villages and soaring Carpathian peaks, a trip to Moldavia is an unmissable highlight of any tour of Romania.

The former capitals of the region offer insights into the diversity of this once huge principality. Whereas Iasi is home to fabulous religious monuments and a vibrant cultural scene, Suceava shows the Soviet influence on the region with its concrete highrises and industrial heritage. A stone’s throw away from Suceava is southern Bucovina, a land of verdant valleys and enchanting painted monasteries. 

A trip to Moldavia is a drive into the depths of Romanian history. Rural life is another highlight, plus a range of hiking routes cater for lovers of the great outdoors, weaving through a land of towering mountains, lakes and waterways.

Things to see in Moldavia

The most important city in the region is Iasi, one of the best places to visit in Moldavia. Situated in the northeast of the region this attractive city is home to a university and charming traditional architecture. More than 100 churches can be found in Iasi, making it a centre of the Orthodox church. Furthermore, it is one of the oldest cities in Romania. Here, you can uncover over 500 years of culture, history and religious life and it’s a great base for exploring the rest of the Moldavian region.

Another of the best things to see in Moldavia is Bistrita Monastery, dating back to the 15th-century. Located just west of Piatra Neamt, this Eastern Orthodox monastery is home to richly decorative Byzantine architecture and is considered one of Romania’s most important monasteries. This historic monastery is also home to an important sacred icon of Saint Anne and was one a cultural centre for Romanian calligraphers and chroniclers. 

When it comes to natural sights, Moldavia delivers in abundance. The Bicaz Gorge is one of the best things to see in Moldavia. The passageway connecting Western Moldavia to Transylvania, the gorge was carved by the Bicaz River. Nowadays, it is a popular rock climbing destination and visitors can enjoy the unique birdlife and scenic views, especially surrounding the Red Lake area.

Finally, if you travel to Moldavia, you cannot miss a visit to Ceahlau Mountain, the best-known peak in the country, at the heart of the Ceahlau National Park. Incredible flora and flora can be sighted within the national park, whilst the mountain itself is a source of many fascinating Romanian myths and legends. 

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