If you’re looking for a charming and relaxing city to explore, Craiova should be at the top of your list for a city break.
Craiova is known for its creative and generous people, beautiful old buildings, green spaces, lively atmosphere, fascinating traditions, and delicious cuisine. It’s a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Local artists add colour to every urban area - from pedestrian alleys to parks, walls, benches, and gardens - transforming them into authentic micro-cultural centres.
Craiova boasts the largest natural park in central and eastern Europe, Nicolae Romanescu Park. This park spans over 100 hectares and contains a middle-age castle, lakes, waterfalls, a suspended bridge, a hippodrome, a velodrome for bikers lovers and a zoo, and abundant vegetation. It’s the perfect place to relax in the shade of trees and enjoy artistically placed flowers. The Summer Theater, Craiova’s largest open-air showroom with a unique dome and excellent acoustics, hosts various summer cultural events.
Craiova boasts a stunning historic centre renovated “La Belle Epoque” stle. Every June 24th, the streets come alive with colourful traditional blouses worn by the most beautiful girls, while every April-May, famous theatre companies from around the world gather as part of one of the most essential Shakespeare festivals in the world.
Explore Craiova’s harmonious blend of past and present by strolling through Calea Unirii Street, the old town, and the city’s parks and gardens. Along the way, admire the fragrance of flowers, the variety of churches and urban art, both old and new, and the magnificence of numerous historical monuments.
Craiova’s museums, including the Art Museum - Jean Mihail Palace, Bania House, and Oltenia Museum, showcase masterpieces and artefacts ranging from works of Constantin Brancusi to a 30,000-year-old woman’s skull, testifying to the ancient history of this region, one of the oldest human settlements in the Balkans.
The most essential personality formed in Craiova was Constantin Brancusi, Rodin’s disciple. A museum in Paris is dedicated to him, while the Art Museum of Craiova exhibits the most important collection of his works in Romania. The Art Museum is an impressive palace built in 1907 by Constantin Mihail, the wealthiest noble of Craiova.
As a tourist in Craiova, you must experience the famous street parade of oversized puppets and allegorical floats during Puppets Occupy Street. It’s the second biggest festival for children in Europe. It animates the city every year from August 25th to September 1st with live performances from puppet artists worldwide, concerts, exhibitions, video projection, sand art, video mapping, street animation, and visual and fine arts.
Craiova has many exciting events, including street food festivals, sculpture camps, urban movie festivals, the Craiova Super Rally Show in September, and the Christmas Fair in November and December.
In Craiova, sports are deeply loved, especially football. The Ion Oblemenco Football Stadium, with over 30,000 seats, offers an incendiary atmosphere for football fans. The stadium was voted the 4th most beautiful in the world in 2018 by StadiumDB.com, following Moscow, Paris, and Atlanta.
If you’re a sports enthusiast, you have various options in Romania. You can watch an athletics competition at the largest and most modern stadium with over 5,000 seats. Alternatively, you can relax at the Aquatic Complex Water Park, which spans over 54,000 square meters. You can try biking at local parks if you prefer a family-friendly activity. Lastly, you can enjoy a coffee at the Barcicleta Social Bike Shop.
Craiova is located in southwestern Romania, 71 km from the Bulgarian border and 227 km from Bucharest, the capital. The city has an international airport, and its regional location provides good connectivity to the Carpathian Mountains, the Danube, and European transportation routes.
When you visit Craiova, you can explore the city’s attractions while also taking trips to nearby Danube beaches (Cetate or Calafat), the enchanting Danube Gorge by boat (Orșova, Dubova, Eșelnița), or the mysterious Oltenia caves (Muierilor Cave, Polovragi Cave, etc.). You can also easily and quickly enjoy the freshness of the Carpathian Mountains, where you can admire the landscapes from Transalpina (the King’s Road) - the highest road in Romania - or discover the virgin forests of Oltenia, where wild horses run free.
Discover mountains, caves, narrow gorges, monasteries, fortified houses, wineries, royal vineyards such as Domeniul Coroanei Segarcea, crafts, traditions like Horezu pottery, Oltenia carpet weaving, and woodworking, as well as various events, all located within 60-150 km of Craiova.
Lastly, Craiova is a memorable destination for its traditional cuisine. As you indulge in local delicacies like roasted duck rolls with fried polenta, spicy dried red peppers, leek dishes, stuffed crayfish or meat rolled in cabbage leaves, wine and traditional plum brandy, you will fall in love with Craiova and its people. You will also learn about the local history and how grandparents gathered in homes to make plans and share memories, joys and sorrows.