Home to the rugged Carpathian Mountains, old medieval towns and soaked in a rich Latin culture – forget the Dracula clichés, Romania offers a myriad of attractions that are far from frightening. In Bucharest, with its café culture and neoclassical monuments, a cosmopolitan vibe sits alongside an intense national pride. Explore the grand halls and marble rooms of ‘People’s House’, the largest parliament building in the world, climb the Arcul de Triumf for panoramic views, or find a quiet spot in the old Lipscani quarter to take in the vibrant mood. This dynamic outlook flourishes in other cities, like Braşov, Iași, Timişoara and – most enchantingly – Sibiu, but Romania’s greatest assets arguably lie in the more remote pockets. See Dacia’s rolling vineyards in the central Brasov region, visit the reed-built villages of the Danube Delta, or admir the wood-carved churches of Maramureş, a rural northern village where century-old traditions are still part of daily life. But the green and fabled region of Transylvania remains Romania’s calling card. Here, Gothic castles and fortified churches cling to cliff tops, overlooking swaths of mythical forests. Take a tour of Bran Castle, long associated with Bram Stoker’s fictional vampire, to learn about the region’s fascinating past. You’ll find plenty of hotels, hostels and apartments to rent in Romania’s bigger cities, especially Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca, home to one of Europe’s largest universities. Accommodation is also widely available in the more remote areas.