Christmas market in Sibiu Romania

Private Christmas and New Year Holiday in Romania

Celebrate the most beloved holiday in a magical land
15 Days

Spend the Christmas holidays and New Year’s Eve in Romania and witness well-kept customs and traditions coming to life!

As you’ll tour the country you’ll take part in exciting winter activities and relax in scenic places. Add to this a stay in an ice hotel and a ride with a dog-drawn sleigh and you’ll make your winter dream trip a reality!

Yearly dates: December 22nd – January 5th 

Highlights of the Christmas and New Year Holiday Tour in Romania
  • Ride a sledge drawn by horses through the countryside
  • Listen to a Christmas carol concert
  • Taste a traditional Christmas meal
  • Attend local festivals and witness interesting customs
  • Spend the night in an ice hotel
  • Ride a narrow-gauge steam train and enjoy the beautiful winter landscape
  • Visit the best Christmas market in Romania
  • Celebrate the New Year’s Eve with a fireworks show


Suggested Itinerary
This is a private and self-drive tour. It will be organized for you only, so you will not be part of a larger group.

Day 1  22nd of December 

Welcome to Romania!

Your Christmas Holiday Tour in Romania will start in one of the “last truly rural places of Europe”: the region of Maramures.  It is a place where unique traditions are still kept as centuries ago and Christmas time is one of the richest periods when you can witness them.

Depending on your arrival time you can start exploring the village where you will stay or you can enjoy a relaxing evening at the charming rural guesthouse which will be your home for the next five days.

Accommodation in Maramures.


Day 2  23rd of December 

It’s time to hit the road to discover Maramures region! You will start with a visit to probably the only happy cemetery in the world called the Merry Cemetery. Its crosses are decorated with lively colors and some funny poems about the life of the deceased.

Sapanta merry cemetery

Then you will travel to Sighetu Marmatiei where you will learn about the communist time and its impact on our country at the Memorial of the Victims of Communism.

Accommodation in Maramures.

Drive time: 1 h


Day 3  24th of December 

You had some time to get used to Maramures so it’s time to start acting like one of the locals! In the first part of the day you will enjoy a horse-sledge ride through the village and countryside.

Then, as every “maramuresean” does on Christmas Eve, you will prepare to greet the carolers wandering from house to house dressed in traditional clothes. Caroling or “colindat” in Romania is a very rich tradition and its uniqueness was recently acknowledged when it listed as part of the UNESCO intangible world heritage. And Maramures is the best region to experience this fascinating custom.

Accommodation in Maramures.


Day 4  25th of December 

On Christmas Day you will delight yourself with a traditional festive lunch prepared by your hosts.

Then you will find out why Maramures is called “the land of the wooden churches”. You will visit some of the beautiful small churches, made entirely of wood, which are specific to the region. Their uniqueness is internationally appreciated and some of them are part of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

Wooden Churches from Maramures in winter

Accommodation in Maramures.

Drive time: 1h 30’


Day 5  26h of December 

Today you will be introduced to the beautiful nature of the Carpathian Mountains. You will have a ride with the only narrow-gauge steam train in Europe which is still functional today.

The train takes you to spectacular landscapes of mountains and valleys and when you are up in the mountains you will enjoy a meal there before returning on the same very scenic valley.

Accommodation in Maramures.

Drive time: 2h


Day 6  27th of December

In the nearby town of Sighetu-Marmatiei the end of each year is marked by celebrations of the traditional local customs which have emerged into an appreciated festival. In the first part on the day you will take part in a festival where people from villages all around Maramures gather to celebrate together and to display their unique Christmas customs.

Christmas in Romania - Caroling on Christmas Eve

Then you will leave Maramures behind and head to the much more famous Transylvania region. You will arrive in Sovata where you will stay at a hotel with a spa so you will enjoy a sauna, Jacuzzi and pools.

Accommodation in Sovata.

Drive time: 4h 30’


Day 7  28th of December 

I hope you like a little adrenaline as today you will experience a sledge ride, pulled by Husky dogs.  Depending on how much you are used to handle the cold, you could go for an uninterrupted 1 hour-ride or for shorter turns between which you can warm up.  If there is not enough snow to do the sledge-ride we can plan a wheel-cart ride or other activities instead.

Back at the hotel you will be able to enjoy again the spa.

Accommodation in Sovata.

Drive time: 3h 30’


Day 8  29th of December 

You will leave Sovata early morning and head towards Sibiu, a charming town exuding a bohemian atmosphere where you will spend the next days of your Christmas and New Year’s holidays in Romania.

On the way you will stop in Sighisoara, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best preserved medieval citadels in Europe. Walk along the cobbled streets to feel the atmosphere of old times and admire the views from the top of the historic Clock Tower. Next on your journey is Biertan, a place of Transylvanian Saxon heritage where you will visit the fortified church, an imposing monument that overlooks the entire village and valley.


Accommodation in Sibiu.

Drive time: 3h



Day 9  30th of December 

Today you will enjoy a day trip and travel east towards the neighboring counties of Hunedoara and Alba.

Hunedoara is home to Romania’s most important Gothic architectural monument, Corvin Castle. Don’t hesitate to cross the long entrance bridge and find out the various legends of the place.

Alba Iulia, a city of historical importance is a must-see attraction. Spend a few hours in the place where the three main regions united to form the present Romania and explore the fortress, after which you will travel back to Sibiu.

Accommodation in Sibiu.

Drive time: 3h 30’


Day 10  31st of December

This day will be fully dedicated to discovering Sibiu and its captivating attractions. You can stroll through the Old Town to admire the colorfully painted houses and find out the stories behind their walls, visit Romania’s oldest museum or take in the picturesque views from one of the tall towers. Sibiu is also famous for having the best Christmas Market in Romania, so leave aside a few hours for enjoying the festive atmosphere.

Christmas in Romania - What's so great about it

At night you can gather in one of Sibiu’s many squares and count down to the New Year. Welcome 2019 with fireworks, good food and music.

Accommodation in Sibiu.


Day 11  1st of January 

As most shops and attractions are closed on the first day of the year you can choose to spend the day relaxing or walking along the beautiful streets of the town.

If you wish for a more active day you can travel to Paltinis, a famous area amongst sport lovers where you can ski or ride a bobsled or just have a walk in nature.

Sunshine in Winter

Accommodation in Sibiu.

Drive time: 1h 30’


Day 12  2nd of January 

It’s now time for one of the highlights of your time in Romania – spending a night in an ice hotel.

Christmas in Romania - The Ice Hotel

You will drive from Sibiu towards the Fagaras Mountains and then take a cable car up to Balea Lake, where the ice hotel is built every year. The hotel has everything one would expect from such a place: rooms or igloos decorated with furniture made entirely of ice, soft blankets that will keep you warm at night, an ice restaurant and even a park where you can have fun and enjoy winter sports.

Accommodation in Balea.

Drive time: 1h


Day 12  3rd of January 

In the morning you will say farewell to your ice room, descend the mountain and head to Brasov, a medieval city surrounded by the Carpathian Mountains. On the way there you may stop in the village of Prejmer, home to the largest fortified church in Transylvania.

In Brasov you can walk around the old town, admire the defensive walls and towers. Not to be missed are the views from the nearby Tampa Mountain, where you can arrive by hiking or taking the cable car.

Accommodation in Brasov.

Drive time: 2h


Day 14  4th of January 

In the morning you will go to Zarnesti to visit the Libearty Bear Sanctuary, a place where formerly captive bears are now kept in safe conditions. You’ll be able to observe them in their natural habitat and find out their moving stories.

Next on your itinerary is Bran Castle, famous for its association with Dracula. Built in the 15th century, the imposing monument manages to bring to life the long-forgotten atmosphere of medieval times.

Bran Castle in winter

Accommodation in Brasov.

Drive time: 1h 30’


Day 15  5th of January 

On the last day of your Christmas holidays in Romania you will leave Brasov and travel to Bucharest, from where you will take a flight back home.

Drive time: 3h


We designed this Christmas tour to start from Maramures (Cluj Napoca airport is the closest) and to end in Bucharest but we can adapt the tour to other places of arrival and departure as well. 


Why travel with us

Suggested Itinerary Viewed On Map
Suggested Accommodation
Borlean Guesthouse

“Casa Borlean” Guesthouse 3* – Vadu Izei

Casa Borlean is a 100-years old wooden house, recently renovated. It is decorated in a traditional way, specific to the region of “Maramures”, with woven carpets, ornamental ceramics and hand-painted icons hung on the walls. The guesthouse is equipped with all modern facilities, so guests can enjoy a pleasant stay and learn about the local traditions from Mr. Borlean, a warm-hearted host.

Bella Muzica 3* – Brasov

Located in the Old Town of Brasov, the building which hosts the hotel dates back to  the XVIth century and has elegant interior decorations that help conserve the charm of old times. The hotel features 34 rooms, beautifully furnished, each one of them having a private bathroom. Guests can also enjoy spending time outside in a little, peaceful courtyard or eating at the hotel’s restaurant, which offers traditional and international dishes.

Casa Luxemburg 3* – Sibiu

Casa Luxemburg is one of the oldest buildings in Sibiu, with a rich history and beautiful 13th century architecture. Its privileged location, in the heart of the old town of Sibiu makes it a perfect choice if you are eager to explore the town just as you step out of the hotel door. Each of the 8 rooms has its own design and unique view, from your window you may see some of the most important attractions such as the Liar’s Bridge or the Council Tower. The quality of the accommodation together with the diversity of dishes will complete your stay in this unique boutique hotel.
The Ice Hotel

The Ice Hotel 3*

Romania’s one-of-a-kind hotel, it is built every year at an altitude of over 2000m using ice blocks from a nearby lake. The 14 double rooms and 6 private igloos are decorated with furniture made of ice and equipped with heavy blankets to keep you warm during the night. The memorable experience is completed with a meal or a drink at the Ice Restaurant and Bar, a visit to the ice church or playing in the snow at the Winterpark.
Included Services
  • Trip planning and assistance before and during the tour by email and phone. You will receive a personalized self-drive booklet with vouchers for accommodation, detailed information about the places you are visiting, directions, useful contacts and recommended things to see and do along the way
  • Accommodation for 14 nights in standard double rooms with breakfast (B) included
  • Rented car to be used on the above itinerary: 4×4 car for up to 4 people (Dacia Duster or similar) and minivan for 5-8 people (Renault Trafic, VW Caravelle or similar). Cars usually have manual transmission but if you want to to drive automatic, please let us know.
  • Tickets for the ride with steam train, the horse-drawn sleigh and the dog-drawn sleigh rides
  • 5 dinners (D) in Maramures
  • 2 lunches (L): 1 in Maramures, on Christmas Day and 1 during the ride with Mocanita (the steam train)

Services which are not included in the price of the Christmas and New Year Holiday Tour in Romania:

  • Entrance tickets to tourist sites, except those mentioned above. Per person you are likely to spend up to 50-70 USD
  • Meals, except those included above. On average you can pay for a meal 10-15 USD
The prices are calculated for a self-drive private tour for groups of the sizes mentioned below. If you are interested in a guided tour, please send an inquiry for the prices. 
Group Size
Price per person – EUR
8 persons
6 persons
4 persons
2 persons

1650 EUR

1750 EUR

1900 EUR

2350 EUR

Traveler’s Reviews
Sveta from Australia
“We would have never seen and experienced all the wonderful things we have, has it not been for their local expertise – and true passion for sharing their country. I’m usually not one for taking tours, but the ease or organization (transport makes a big difference), private tour just for our small group, and such a tailored approach was faultless. I’ve been to over 40 countries, and this trip to Romania is one of the best travel experiences I’ve ever had!”
Steven from UK
“They organised a self-drive tour through Transylvania for us and it couldn’t have been better. Organising the tour was a breeze with easy communication to ensure we got exactly what we wanted to out of our trip. We were provided a comprehensive itinerary and guidebook which was extremely useful and made everything easy. The accommodation was great, a combination of hotels and local Guesthouses that provide a real look at the Romanian culture. I can’t recommend enough their services!”

Are you looking for something else? Check our other suggested tours focused on culture, history and traditions.