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Constanta is Romania's largest Black Sea port and one of the country's biggest cities, with a population of some 260,000. The modern port was built up rapidly by Romania's post-war Communist government, but the city's history goes back more than 2,500 years when it founded by the Greeks as a fishing village called Tomis. Constanta was captured by the Romans in 29 BC. The noted Roman poet Ovid was banished here in 8 AD for the last years of his life by Emperor Augustus after allegedly writing poetry that was too racy (even by the lax standards of ancient Rome). Ovid remains the city's most famous resident, and a large statue of him stands in the central square, Piata Ovidiu. Beyond the city limits of Constanta, the resort area of Mamaia (Romania's most popular seaside holiday destination) stretches out along a sandbar for a length of about 6 kms (4 mi). Bucharest is also within reach, though it is a long (150+ mi) drive.
Where You are Dock
Passenger cruise ships dock in the main port, just a short walk from the center of the city and the main museums and cultural sights. Though Constanta is a large city, the historic core is small and easily managed on foot. Most of the sights are clustered around the central square, Piata Ovidiu. By crossing the pier, you get to the terminal building. Built a couple of years ago, the terminal is quite neat inside, with small souvenir shops and a Travel Free store (this is an equivalent of Duty Free shops. Distance from Constanta to Bucharest  123 miles (198 Km)
If you opt to walk, then be prepared: the walk is not scenic at all. Constanta’s cruise port and cargo port are one location. Although not long, about half a mile, your walk will go through industrial area of the port. All you’ll see on your way will be a high concrete fence, which protects the road from sea waves to the right and yellow cranes loading cargo on the ships to the left. There’s a sidewalk, which you can take, so walking is safe. It’s just that it’s not enjoyable at all. The road will bring you to the roundabout and you’ll see the exit from Constanta’s port with the security guard booth and the gates. As you walk through the gates, you’ll see shoreline with a promenade and Constanta’s landmark sight – the Casino ahead and towering domes of the St Peter and Paul Cathedral to the left. Take the street where the Cathedral is to walk further into the Old Town. Don’t worry, Constanta’s Old Town is small and easy to get around, you won’t get lost.
Things to do & See
Edificiul Roman cu Mozaic (Roman Mosaics Building). The building houses the remains of 4th-century Roman warehouses and shops, plus a mosaic floor more than 21,000 square feet in area. The mosaic display stands not far from the Archaeological Museum. Piata Ovidiu 12. Admission charged.
Muzeul Arta Populara (Ethnographic Museum). The museum has a fine collection of regional handicrafts and costumes. B-dul Tomis 32. Admission charged.
Muzeul National de Istori si Arheologie (National History & Archaeological Museum). An impressive collection of artifacts from Greek, Roman, and Daco-Roman civilizations is on display in the building behind Ovid's statue on the city's main square.The National Museum of History and Archeology, Piata Ovidiu, (contact@minac.ro, +40241618763) displays an impressive collection of pieces from the Greek and Roman antiquity (for example, the Glykon Snake, Fortuna and Pontos, Two-faced Nemesis and countless amphoras). Also outside the museum there are some marble tombs and artifacts. Open hours: 1 May-30 September:daily 8AM-5PM; 1 October-30 April: Wednesday-Sunday 9AM-5PM. (Monday, Tuesday closed)
Parcul Arheologic (Archaeology Park.) This open-air park and garden contains 3rd- and 4th-century columns and fragments and a 6th-century tower. B-dul Republicii.
The Exotic Birds Exhibition On a 100 sqm covered surface, in large bird houses, with adequate compartments for food, nesting, flying and rest, one can admire the representatives of different bird species from Asia, Africa,Australia, New Guinea and South America.
The Micro DeltaThe patrimony of this objective has the aquatic avifauna (pelicans, swans, ducks and wild geese), the terrestrial avifauna (peacocks, pheasants) and mammals (mouflons, fallow deer, harts), that can be found in the Danube Delta’s Biosphere Reservation and the Negureni Reservation. Most part of these exemplars are natural monuments and rare species with a scarce representation in the natural biotopes.Some exemplars were obtained by exchange with the other Zoo Gardens and others were purchased or donated.
The Aquarium
The exhibition space is marked out for the presentation of the permanent aquatic flora and fauna exhibition in 57 tanks, and also for the temporary exhibitions with aquatic biological and ecological themes. An inedited museum institution for natural sciences in our country due to its exhibition patrimony made up entirely of living organisms, the aquarium in Constanta also has naturalized collections of marine and fresh water fish and invertebrates belonging to different geographical areas of the Earth.To facilitate the presentation of aquatic life and the visitors’ access to information, the exhibition patrimony consists of over 100 species (1300 exemplars) aquatic creatures and is structured into several sections. The distribution of aquatic organisms into sections is based on ecological and bio-geographical criteria, and within the sections the taxonomic criteria was taken into account for placing the different species into the tanks. Open hours:9am-8pm.Entrance fee: 20lei (~5euros) for adults; 10lei (~2euros) for students. Children under 5 free.
Bucharest is a sprawling capital of around 2 million people. The city is comparatively young as East European capitals go, having been founded only around the 15th century. Bucharest prospered during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The years between the two World Wars are now seen as Bucharest's golden age, when the city was known for a time as the "Paris of the East." Much of the splendor you see (though badly rundown) dates from this time. Modern Bucharest, admittedly, is an urban jungle. Cars, taxis, and buses compete for limited street (and sidewalk!) space. Many buildings remain in an appalling state of neglect, dating to the communist period. But change is in the air. Membership in the European Union has brought in a flood of investment capital, and the city buzzes with renewed vitality. Bucharest is a big city, and the main tourist sights are spread out and not easily covered on foot. There's a cluster of important buildings in the center near the Piata Revolutiei (Revolution Square), another cluster north of the center near the street "Soseaua Kiseleff," and a third group south of the center. For first-time visitors, the two "must-sees" are the award-winning Museum of the Romanian Peasant and former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu's massive Palace of Parliament.
Arcul de Triumf (Arch of Triumph). Echoing Bucharest's former pretensions as the "Paris of the East," the Arch, north of the center, commemorates the 1877 War for Independence and those who died in World War I. Climb the stairs for an impressive view over the city. Soseaua Kiseleff. Admission charged.
Ateneul Român (Romanian Athenaeum). Gorgeous inside and out, the 19th-century concert hall, home of the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, has a neo-Baroque dome and classical columns. Str. Benjamin Franklin 1-3.
Muzeul National de Arta (National Art Museum). This former royal palace houses the country's most important art collection, including 15 rooms of paintings and sculptures by European masters and a large collection of Romanian art dating from medieval times to the present. Among the collection are pieces by the noted Romanian sculptor Brancusi and marvelous works from the Brueghel school. Calea Victoriei 49-53. Admission charged.
Muzeul National de Istorie (National History Museum). This grand neoclassical building holds a large collection of objects dating from the Neolithic period to the 1920s. Downstairs, the treasury section contains a mind-boggling assortment of golden objects spanning from Roman days to the present. Calea Victoriei.
Muzeul National al Satului Dimitrie Gusti (National Village Museum). The open-air museum in Herastrau Park, north of the center, provides an excellent introduction to the myriad architectural styles of Romania's traditional houses, workshops, and churches. The structures, some complete with regional furnishings, have been brought here from all around the country. Sos. Kiseleff 28-30. Admission charged.
Muzeul Taranului Român (Romanian Peasant Museum). The museum has a collection of some 90,000 items, ranging from traditional costumes and textiles to ceramics and icons. It was the first museum in Eastern Europe to receive the "European Museum of the Year" award. There's also a fascinating exhibition on communist-era posters. The museum store is a good place to browse for traditional crafts. Sos. Kiseleff 3. Admission charged.
Palatul Cotroceni (Cotroceni Palace). The palace, which incorporates French, Romanian, art nouveau, and other styles of architecture, was constructed in the late 19th century as the home of Romania's royal family. After a devastating 1977 earthquake, it was rebuilt and now houses the official residence of the Romanian president. The lavish furnishings, art, and personal effects afford a glimpse into the lives of Romania's former royalty. Guides are required for the one-hour tour, but you must call ahead to reserve. Since the palace is a bit removed from other sights, consider taking a taxi. B-dul. Geniului 1. Admission charged.
Palatul Parlamentului (Palace of Parliament). This mammoth palace bears witness to Ceausescu's megalomania. While much of the country was starving in the 1980s, Ceausescu diverted some $10 billion toward construction of what would become the second-largest building in the world (after the Pentagon). Today, it houses the Romanian parliament. Unlike the royal palaces, every detail is Romanian, from the 24-karat gold on the ceilings to the huge hand-woven carpets on the floor. Forty-five-minute tours of the ground-floor rooms depart from an entrance on the northern end of the building (the right-hand side as you stand facing the building from the front). Calea 13 Septembrie 1. Admission charged.
Piata Revolutiei (Revolution Square). The square was at the center of Bucharest's anti-Communist revolution in December 1989, when crowds of protesters first began to jeer former Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu as he tried to a make a speech. The army and special police units opened fire on the protesters and hundreds died. Ceausescu and his wife Elena were forced to flee the capital by helicopter. Within days, they were captured, tried, and executed. Today, the focal point of the square is a striking statue-dubbed the "doughnut on a stick" or "olive on a toothpick"-commemorating the events. It's known as the Memorial of Rebirth and is dedicated to those who gave their lives in the revolution.
Just south of the city center, this ramshackle neighborhood-now in the midst of full-scale redevelopment-was once the heart of the city. It's worth a stroll to see some of the traditional architecture dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. You'll find some of the city's finest churches here, as well as several galleries selling art and antiques, and tons of cafes, bars and restaurants.
Biserica Stavropoleos (Stravropoleos Church). The church's exterior is adorned by lovely wooden and stone carvings and religious paintings. Inside the church, built between 1724 and 1730, are fresco-covered walls and a dome, plus an icon-filled gold-leaf iconostasis. Str. Stavropoleos.
Curtea Veche (Old Court). Dracula buffs can check out the ruins of this palace, which was built by Vlad ?epe?, the real 15th-century prince on whom the fictional count was based. There is a small museum. Str. Franceza.
You can do sunbathing or you can swim in the Black Sea. Constanta has a small city beach, situated about 2 km (1 mi) from the main port. It's fine for a stroll along the sea, but there are much better beaches in nearby Mamaia, about 5 km (3 mi) away. This is Romania's most popular seaside getaway, and in summer the wide, white beaches are jammed to capacity. Buses regularly run from the center of Constanta to Mamaia. If you're pressed for time, it's best to take a taxi.
There is a large beach called Modern right in the middle of the city, which is favored by locals and is near the marina. Very very shallow waters (you can walk for 20-30 meters and the water won't pass your knees) so it's suited if you want to take your kids there and let them play safely in the water. The most significant beaches are in the Mamaia resort which is in the north part of Constanta. It consists of about 6-7 kilometers of sandy beaches with absolutely no rocks; the width of the beaches vary from 20 to 150 meters. It's also full of hotels, clubs and bars and extremely popular and fashionable in the summer. Moreover in the off season (September-April) they are a great place for taking pictures walks, or rides with the atv or enduro motorcycle and there are some centers for renting atv-s near the Cleopatra bar at the beginning of the resort. If you arrive by car not registered in the county of Constanta from May/June to September expect to pay an entrance fee of 3 Lei (1 dollar or 0,7 euros) at the entrance ticket booth for your car, although in 2006 the tax was off. The ratio of free parking/paid parking is around 25%/75% and the parking lots with the fee are guarded and not that expensive (3 Lei per hour) and a good alternative especially if you are on a motorcycle because people will climb your bike to take pictures on it. The paid parking places are marked with a white P on a blue background. The unpaid parking lots are on the sides of the main boulevard.
Eating Out
A typical meal at a restaurant is around €8-10 per person including drinks. Waiters usually know some English and menus are usually written in English. International cuisine is present, you should try the wines which are very good and not that expensive.
You will find a lot of fast food places selling kebab and shawarma (a nice mixture of grilled chicken, salads, French fries and sauces wrapped in a lipia (a sort of thin pancake used as a substitute for bread by Turks), very good and not that expensive (around 7 lei for a small one and 10 lei for a big one).
f you have travelled before through Romania, you will soon realize that the Romanian cuisine from Constanta, or Dobrogea’s region, is quite different, very varied and with a lot of flavors, due to the intersection of many cultures. It is here that the menu is highly influenced by the Balkan, Italian, Serbian, German or Hungarian tastes. It includes the basic dishes but also the specific dishes prepared during holidays throughout the year. Romanian preparations are based on vegetables, milk, cereals, vegetables oil, meat or dairy products, but you should also keep in mind the Turkish Doner  “shaorma” or “kebab” that will make your senses go insane. Do not forget also about the sweets, jams and pies that have a special place in the local cuisine. La Scoica Resort represents a line of restaurants serving one of the best dishes in town, starting from huge pizzas and ending with delicious pancakes or ice creams. The prices are quite low but you might wait for 30 minutes for a free table, if you haven’t made a reservation in advance.

Constanta Nightlife is present mostly in the summer time when tourists from all over Romania and from across the world spend at least one week on the hot beaches of the Black Sea. The main attraction is definitely Mamaia Resort, a piece of heaven, with hundreds of hotels, restaurants, clubs, casinos and an exciting and full of adventure Acqua Park. If you are on a low budget, then find accommodation in Constanta and spend your nights in the heart of Mamaia, which is only a few minutes away from the town. There is an entrance fee for all tourists that enter the resort in their cars and the prices in the clubs and bars are higher than the ones in Constanta.

Adrenaline addicts will surely enjoy Acqua Magic Park, a breathtaking place with many pools and different water toboggans that will make your day an extremely exciting one.You can also make a short visit at the Casino, located in the port area and take wonderful pictures on the cliff of the Black Sea. Once you feel Constanta Nightlife has nothing more to offer you, just grab your baggage, browse Iasi Travel Guide or Bucharest Travel Guide and continue your adventure through Romania.
In Constanta, the main shopping area is the central B-dul Tomis, or Tomis Blvd, just a short walk up from the port area. It's a popular, pedestrian-friendly stretch of road filled with all types of shops and stores. Here is where you'll find the enormous, enclosed Tomis Mall, a Western-style shopping center with dozens of stores, a multiplex cinema, and a food court. Bucharest has a burgeoning fashion scene. Most of the city's trendiest boutiques are concentrated along the Calea Victoriei, particularly in the area near Revolution Square and the along the side streets around the Atheneum. The Lipscani neighborhood is the center of Bucharest's antique and art world. Be sure to check out the small galleries and shops in the small courtyard known as the "Hanul cu Tei" that begins just off of Str. Lipscani (Lipscani Street). For traditional handicrafts, such as embroidery and ceramics, visit the souvenir shops connected to the Romanian Peasant Museum and the Village Museum. You can shop  in downtown, on the Stefan cel Mare street where most big shopping centers are situated, including Tomis Mall , but also in the new, modern and bigger City Park Mall- in Tabacarie Park. Another shopping center is TOM (Carrefour). A new shooping, Maritimo  opened recently.

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