May is a great month to visit Romania, as it marks the beginning of the warmer spring season. During this time, the weather is generally mild, with temperatures ranging from around 10 to 20 degrees Celsius (50 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit). 

Our favorite part?! In May, you can also avoid the peak tourist season during the summer months, allowing you to enjoy popular attractions with fewer crowds. Remember that weather conditions can vary, so it’s advisable to check the specific forecast for your visit. Additionally, May is a great time for outdoor activities, such as hiking in the Carpathian Mountains or exploring historical sites and charming villages throughout the country.

Pleasant Weather and Blooming Landscapes

Whether you are drawn to the historic allure of medieval castles, the tranquility of nature reserves, or the charm of rustic villages, May is a month with extended daylight hours and a gentle embrace of warmth.

The country bursts into vibrant hues, with spring colors painting the landscapes and an array of blossoming flowers adorning the scenery. For those seeking a serene escape within the heart of Bucharest – the capital, a tip worth heeding is to visit the Japanese Garden in Herastrau Park. Here, amid the meticulously designed landscape, one can revel in the ethereal beauty of cherry blossoms and other ornamental flora, creating a perfect backdrop for contemplative moments and captivating photographs. 

Whether ascending mountain paths, meandering through picturesque villages, or exploring the hidden gems of Romania’s forests, May offers outdoor enthusiasts a harmonious blend of perfect weather and breathtaking landscapes.

Festivals and Cultural Celebrations

This month holds a special significance for Romanians, especially on May 1st, known as “Ziua Muncii” or Labor Day. It is a national holiday that not only commemorates the achievements of the labor movement but also marks the beginning of spring celebrations across the country.

On this day, Romanians revel in the joys of spring by taking a day off work and engaging in various outdoor activities. The air is filled with the aroma of barbecues and the laughter of people enjoying picnics in parks and scenic spots. 

If you get the chance to savor a Romanian barbecue on May 1st, we highly recommend trying “mici” – these juicy, small sausage-like delights are not only popular but also symbolize the essence of this special day and Romania’s culinary scene. For the perfect experience, pair them with some zesty mustard, freshly baked bread, and a cold beer. Trust us, you’ll thank yourself for this delicious and quintessentially Romanian treat!

The rural areas, in particular, celebrate with a unique tradition called “măsurarea oilor” or measuring the sheep. This age-old practice is conducted to enhance the shepherds’ productivity, protect the animals from evil forces, and ensure their health and beauty. It’s a cultural experience that encapsulates the essence of Romanian traditions and the strong connection between the people and the land.

Don’t miss the Ro-Wine International Wine Festival of Romania – 2024 edition from May 24th to 26th. This memorable event features a stunning selection of premium and super-premium wines, along with exciting innovations to cater to the preferences of both visitors and producers. Explore the diverse flavors from vineyards across Romania, making it a must-attend for wine enthusiasts and those eager to discover the richness of Romanian viticulture.

Attending cultural celebrations is a friendly way to immerse yourself in local traditions, fostering meaningful connections and enriching your travel experience. 

Hiking and Outdoor Adventures

Romania is a springtime paradise for outdoor enthusiasts! Imagine hiking the scenic Carpathian Mountains, cycling through the charming Transylvanian Plateau, or strolling through historic towns. The Danube River invites kayaking and leisurely river cruises for a splash of adventure. Take a gentle walk or horse ride in the enchanting woodlands, like the magical Apuseni Mountains, and feel free in the blooming nature. 

Romania treats nature lovers with enchanting hiking trails and scenic nature walks. One highlight includes the breathtaking “poienile cu narcise” (daffodil meadows) and the majestic “bujorii de munte” (mountain peonies), which are in full bloom during this month. For a unique experience during hiking, we recommend checking out the places where you can spot rare plants and flowers; here’s a whole list! 

Spring transforms the Danube Delta into a breathtaking spectacle, especially in late April and early May. Nature awakens with aquatic plants flourishing, riverbanks adorned in wildflowers, and reed beds regenerating. The absence of mosquitoes, typically bothersome in summer, adds to the appeal of this season. With fewer tourists, spring also offers more budget-friendly options, making it an ideal time to experience the Danube Delta’s beauty.

Culinary Delights and Farmers Markets

Romanian food is widely appreciated for its hearty and diverse flavors. It is often characterized by a rich mix of meats, fresh produce, and traditional spices, making it a delightful culinary experience for many.

In Romania, as in many other places, dietary preferences can vary based on personal taste, regional influences, and individual lifestyles. However, there are some general trends and traditional foods that Romanians often enjoy during the spring season. Here are a few items that might be popular during this time:

  • Fresh Vegetables – Lots of them! With the arrival of spring, there’s a shift towards lighter and fresher meals. Salads made with seasonal vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes, and green onions, are commonly enjoyed.
  • Wild Greens – Wild greens like dandelion, nettle, and various edible wild herbs are often used in salads, soups, or omelets. These ingredients are foraged or purchased at local markets.
  • Traditional Spring Soups – Soups made with fresh vegetables and herbs, and sometimes with a sour twist, are common during the spring. For example, a traditional dish is a nettle soup (ciorbă de urzici) or stew.
  • Lamb Dishes – Lamb is a traditional meat consumed during springtime, especially around Easter. Dishes like “miel la proțap” (grilled lamb) or “mâncare de miel” (lamb stew) might be on the menu.
  • Seasonal Fruits – Berries, cherries, and strawberries are in season during spring, and Romanians often enjoy them fresh or in various desserts and jams.

Exploring local markets, trying regional specialties, and participating in any local festivals or events can offer a deeper understanding of seasonal eating habits in Romania during spring.

In the heart of Romania, traditional flavors and seasonal produce take center stage. 

May, a month of culinary delights, offers many events, such as wine-centric gatherings featuring numerous wine-related festivities like Vin la Cultură – a festival about food & wine worth seeing!

Notable among them is the “Piața Artizanilor” – Slow Food & Gourmet Hub, set to unfold from May 25th to 26th, 2024, in the charming town of Berca, located at the entrance to the UNESCO Geopark of Ținutul Buzăului. This event promises a culinary journey showcasing local artisanal delights. 

Practical Tips for Traveling in May

Romania experiences mild and pleasant weather in May, so packing essentials include layers for variable temperatures. Bring a light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings and mornings, comfortable walking shoes for exploring, and sunscreen for sunny days. Packaging a mix of short-sleeved shirts and long sleeves is advisable to accommodate the day-to-night temperature changes. 

Since May is still off-season, take advantage of budget-friendly accommodation and services, enjoying the perks of fewer crowds. This allows for a more intimate experience at popular attractions and better activity prices. 

However, remember May 1st, when Romanians celebrate Labor Day, resulting in lively festivities, increased crowds in towns, and even city breaks to the mountains in regions like Sibiu and Brașov. Plan to embrace this public holiday’s unique atmosphere while still enjoying the benefits of Spring season tranquility.

Would you visit Romania in May?

Still deciding when to go to Romania? In summary, visiting Romania in May has many perks – the weather is nice, there are exciting cultural events, and nature is at its best. It’s a great time to explore without the usual crowds and enjoy budget-friendly options. Romania has something for everyone, whether you’re into traditions or outdoor adventures.

With Balkan Trails as your travel partner, your adventure is so easy to plan! We’ll ensure your May getaway in Romania is filled with memorable moments. Take the first step: complete our inquiry form, and let us create a special Balkan journey tailored to your needs and wants!