Constanta Travel Guide
When summer arrives in Romania, it arrives with a vengeance. When the heat becomes too much, many Romanians head to the Black Sea coast for relief. Of all the spots on this inland ocean, Constanta is among the most popular.
However, there is more to this place than just the beach. Our Constanta travel guide covers the myriad fantastic museums, mosques, and cathedrals that will keep cultural travellers happy as well.
Come check out our Constanta travel guide as we cover the best things to do in Constanta, Romania.
Begin your time in Constanta by visiting The Mosque of Constanta. Opened in 1913, it became known as the Carol I Mosque after the monarch of Romania inaugurated it. Today, many simply call this place the King Mosque.
The architecture of this mosque is primarily neo-Byzantine and neo-Egyptian, with elements of neo-Romanesque influence. This mosque’s minaret stands out from the rest of the structure, as architects built it in the neo-Moorish style. With a height of 48 metres, it looms over its neighbourhood in Constanta.
Unlike others, you can climb the minaret in this mosque. The climb is arduous, but it is worth it, as this tower boasts commanding views over Constanta. There is an entry fee. However, at 5 lei (1 USD), it is very affordable.
After touring the mosque, learn more about the history of Constanta at the Museum of National History and Archeology. The building itself is attractive, as its architects built it in the Romanian style in the late 1800s.
Within, you’ll find local artifacts stretching from the Paleolithic to modern times. In all, this institution has over 400,000 pieces in its collection. These items span an eclectic range – tools, weapons, ceramics, and coins are just a few of them. In addition to Romanian artifacts, you’ll also find things from Ancient Rome, Greece and other medieval kingdoms.
Note that some exhibits lack English captions. However, given the quality of artifacts and the 1 USD entry fee, this museum is still worth a visit.
Next, make your way over to the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul. Founded in 1895, this church’s crafters built in in the Greco-Roman style. It had a close brush with destruction in the Second World War. One night, a bombing raid partially destroyed this beautiful structure.
Fortunately, authorities restored this landmark after the cessation of hostilities. Standing 35 metres above the street below, it remains a defining feature of this city. Inside, its wooden iconostasis and frescoes are its highlights.
Its beauty makes it a favourite among visiting tourists. However, don’t be like the disrespectful ones – remain quiet, don’t use flash photography, and dress modestly.
This stately building took its last bet a while ago. Despite this, the Constanta Casino continues to draw visitors. This Art Nouveau beauty sits in ruins today. However, back in the early 1900s, it was a favoured hang out of Romanian elites.
This golden age ended with the Second World War, as Russian, Romanian, and Axis troops fought over it. After the war, the Communist Party took over the building, turning it into a house of culture. It served as an office for the Ministry of Tourism, after which the government abandoned it in the 80s.
Officially, visitation is not allowed. Unofficially, however, local guides may be able to arrange a low-key visit to this gorgeous structure. If this makes you uncomfortable, the exterior of this building is still worth a visit.
Romanians love Constanta as a resort destination, as it sits on the coast of the Black Sea. There are many beaches in the area, but locals love Mamaia Beach best. Its fine sands help it stand out among its competitors. During peak season, though, sun lounger availability can be scarce – get there early!
After the sun goes down, the action moves to the restaurants, bars, and clubs nearby. Join Romanians on holiday there and have a great night out. One last note – try to visit earlier in the summer. As the season wears on, the water warms up, promoting the growth of unsightly algae.
Get a great view of the coast and the city of Constanta from the top of the Mamaia Gondola. The ride carries you over Constanta’s downtown and beach over a distance of three kilometres. We don’t recommend going during the heat of the day, as its cars lack air conditioning. The view at night is illuminating, and with cars running until 11:30 pm, a trip then is more alluring.
Need a break from the beach? Check out the Aquarium of Constanta. Sitting adjacent to the defunct Constanta Casino, it used to be a restaurant for that resort. In 1958, the government converted it into an aquarium, a function it continues to serve to this day. With over 100 species of fish, it’s a fun diversion from the usual resort town shenanigans.
Lastly, spend some time chilling out in Ovidiu Square. It’s a popular hangout spot for locals, and by night, its restaurants and pubs are the places to see and be seen.