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Americans Can Now Fly Nonstop To This Beautiful European Country For The First Time

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In the biggest news to have come out of the Transatlantic travel sphere in maybe years, Americans will finally have a nonstop flight connection to Romania, one of Europe's most beautiful countries and currently one of its trendiest.

An Eastern European gem famous for its rich Transylvanian culture and association with vampires and the legend of Count Dracula, Romania has numerous fairytale-like castles and gorgeous medieval towns, yet for over two decades, it lacked a direct link with the United States.

Panoramic View Of The Medieval Village Of Sighisoara In Romania, Eastern Europe

Europe-based airline HiSky has made it its goal to change that, and as early as next year, U.S. travelers will be able to reach Romania without long layovers in third countries:

Nonstop Flights Between The U.S. And Romania Are Launching Again

Following a two-decade pause, Romanian-Moldovan airline HiSky has finally obtained authorization from U.S. authorities to resume regular flights from New York's JFK Airport to Bucharest Otopeni, the main international hub serving the capital of Romania, on June 7, 2024.

Who cares?‘ you might be thinking. Well, trust us, you will want to get past this short first section to get to the actual good stuff at the end.

Don't say we didn't warn you.

HiSky Aircraft Arriving At An Unspecified Airport, Eastern Europe

HiSky is now the only Romanian airline to hold a Foreign Air Carrier Permit, enabling it to operate outside the European space, and also the only one to own an aircraft able to fly for up to 14 hours uninterrupted.

As Lulian Scorpan, CEO of HiSky has commented, this is a ‘significant milestone‘ as passengers wishing to travel between the U.S. and Romania will no longer be required to undergo long layovers in other countries, such as England or Germany, due to the absence of nonstop flights.

For the long-anticipated route, they have deployed an Airbus A330-200, the airline's first wide-body aircraft, as well as the only one registered in Romania currently.

Happy Woman in Airport

Flights To Romania For Less Than $400 One-Way

HiSky is a household name among budget carriers in Eastern Europe, with non-reclining seats and minimal comfort onboard, but notoriously affordable airfares for tourists country-hopping across the region.

The New York (JFK) – Bucharest (OTP) flights will, however, be ‘full service‘.

This means passengers traveling on this route will have access to multimedia content during the long-haul flight, as well as a hot meal and snack, available for every passenger regardless of seating category.

Airline Meal inside Plane

At this point, we are unable to assess the level of comfort offered onboard the new aircraft, but it's safe to suggest it will be an improvement over the Airbus A319 the company often deploys for intra-Europe or domestic routes inside Romania.

Flights from JFK are scheduled to depart at 1:25 PM, every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, landing in Bucharest (Otopeni) at 6:15 AM (local time), the following day.

Returning from Bucharest, flight dates are reserved again for the weekdays mentioned above, except they are set to depart at 8:00, landing back in New York at 11:25 (local time), for a total flight distance of just over 10 hours.

bucharest old town romania

There are two seating categories, and Economy tickets start from only €349, or $384.41 one-way, while Business customers are expected to pay around $2,091 (or €1,899).

Tickets can already be purchased, and once again, the route launches June 7, in time for the European summer, arguably one of the best times to visit Romania.

Why Visit Romania, Anyway?

Speaking of which, did you know Romania has around 152 continuous miles of pristine coastline along the Black Sea?

Jupiter Beach, Mamaia, On The Black Sea Coast Of Romania, Eastern Europe, Balkan Peninsula

Don't be fooled by its name: it is anything but dark in color, and it was named by Travel Off Path experts the New Mediterranean earlier this year.

Constanța, on the Romanian Black Sea Coast, is a hugely underrated summer destination: a budget-friendly casino town within driving distance of gorgeous sandy beaches and nature reserves; it is yet to be ruined by mass tourism as most Southern European hotspots.

In summer, the Black Sea provinces can get as warm as 80.6°F on average, though the thermometer easily exceeds that threshold on particularly hot July days, creating the perfect atmosphere for a subtropical beach getaway.

Landmark Casino In Constanta, A Coastal Town In Romania On The Black Sea Coast, Eastern Europe

Elsewhere, in the Transylvanian heartland, the enchanting Brașov should not be slept on: traversed by cobbled lanes and dominated by an imposing Gothic cathedral built in the Middle Ages, it is Romania's best-known international symbol.

Located a short half-hour drive from Brașov, Bran Castle is a popular day trip for visitors to the area: dubbed Dracula's Castle, it is linked to the historical figure of Vlad the Impaler, the bloodthirsty Romanian prince who inspired Bram Stoker to create his legendary character.

Bran Castle In Romania, Eastern Balkan, Balkan Peninsula, Eastern Europe

Gorgeous Medieval Towns And Other Hidden Gems

Deeper in Transylvania, the hilltop village of Sighișoara is a must-visit: with colorful, crooked houses lining cobbled lanes and tall, menacing church spires that might as well have been conjured up by Bram Stoker's twisted imagination, it is a hidden treasure most foreigners are yet to discover.

If you're in Sighișoara next summer, you definitely shouldn't miss the UNESCO-listed town's Medieval Festival, when locals flock into the streets wearing traditional village attires and dance to the tune of ancient drums and Balkan bagpipes.

Sighisoara Citadel, Romania

If castles are your thing, the majestic Peleș Castle, near Sinaia, and Corvin Castle, a short 20-minute drive from downtown Deva, should be on your bucket list.

The former served as a formal residence for Romania's deposed royal family, and it's a Neo-Renaissance effort with an impressive wooden interior set against the backdrop of the Carpathian Mountains.

As for the latter, it is essentially real-life Hogwarts, perched on a rocky elevation and with a series of round towers and red conical roofs that can be spotted from a mile:

Corvin Castle Near Deva, Transylvania, Romania, Eastern Europe

Further Northeast, along the border with Serbia, the enchanting Timișoara, the largest city in the historical Banat, is perfect for a laid-back city break, with its unique Secessionist architecture, landmark Orthodox cathedral, and traditional eateries.

Of course, Bucharest is a mandatory stopover on your trip to Romania: the capital city is where you'll be landing, and it's a bustling metropolis home to over 1.83 million people best known for its ethnic diversity, Brutalist heritage, and electric nightlife.

It's Easy And Cheap To Get Around In Romania

Woman Reading on a Train

From Bucharest, you can reach nearly every single destination in Romania, be it the Transylvanian provinces, the Black Sea or the Banat region by train.

Traveling around Romania by train is safe and affordable, with tickets from Bucharest to Brașov costing as cheap as $8.81, and you just can't beat the astounding views of the dense pine forests and towering peaks as you roll into Transylvania from the sprawling capital.

Train travel is one of the fastest-growing trends for 2024, and with its 13,823 miles of laid tracks linking medieval settlements to coastal zones to big cities, Romania has long been prepared for the resurgence of this romantic transportation mode.

european trains

Romania Is Incredibly Affordable

When it comes to affordability, there is a reason why so many digital nomads and budget travelers have been flocking into the country lately: it is ridiculously cheap.

As wages there are lower than in the rest of Europe, and the cost of living is comparatively much lower than in Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the like, tourists used to Western prices often get surprised when landing in Romania and being handed an $18 dollar bill after eating a lavish three-course meal in a cheap local restaurant.

Historical Clock At The Center Of Victory Square, A Public Square Lined With Austrian Hungarian Buildings In Timisoara, A City In Northeastern Romania, Eastern Europe

In fact, tourists have reported spending on average $39 per day when traveling in Romania on a budget, or only $545 in a week, including accommodation, food, local transportation and tourist attractions.

Naturally, if you're looking to splurge on five-star stays, mountain retreats in the Carpathian Highlands, or all-inclusive Black Sea Resorts, you will always find clever ways to burn those tourist dollars faster, but there is no denying Romania can be cheap if luxury is not a prerequisite, and you're simply there for the culture and sightseeing.

Learn more about Romania – and start getting inspired – here.

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