Jewish tours to Romania: An untouched Eastern Europe

A visit to Romania-Hungary is a journey into the untouched heart of Eastern Europe – unique and timelessly well-preserved. A mixture of Sephardic Jews from Constantinople and Ashkenazic Jews from Poland and Russia began arriving here in the 14th century; their contribution to art, crafts, culture, and trade can be traced everywhere.

Gypsies, known as “Romany,” also play a significant part in Romanian folkloric culture. You will hear their soulful music, see charming rural lands, view historic towns, and – of course – Dracula’s Castle in legendary Transylvania. In Hungary, immerse yourself in magnificent Budapest, home of the largest Jewish community in this part of the world – not to mention the Dohany synagogue, the largest in all of Europe.

Tour Information
Jewish tour to Romania
Bucharest – Brasov – Bacau – Iasi – Botosani – Suceava – Raudati – Cluj Napoca – Targu Mures – Sighetu – Maramures – Satu Mare – Drebrecen – Budapest
Duration: 12 days
(With extension in Budapest 13 days)
2020 Departure:
June 1 – June 12
Price per person:
$ 3490 Land Only
$ 940 Single supplement
11 breakfasts
5 lunches
5 dinners
Bucharest, 3 nights
Radisson Blu hotel
Brasov, 1 night
Kronwell Hotel
Iasi, 2 nights
Unirea hotel
Raudati, 1 night
Gerald’s Hotel
Cluj Napoca, 2 nights
Beyfin Hotel
Satu Mare, 1 night
Satu Mare City Hotel
Budapest, 1 night
Zara Continental Hotel
with extension:
Budapest, 2 nights
Continental Hotel
Included Services:
Deluxe air-conditioned coaches.
Deluxe & First Class hotels.
All Hotels are with air-conditioning.
In-depth touring program with focus on the Jewish history.
Meetings and lecturers throughout the tour.
All entrance fees as per the itinerary.
Professional tour director.
All taxes and fees.
Not Included:
R/T flights from the USA.
Tips to guides, drivers & tour directors.
All expenses of personal nature.
Passport and Visa:
No visa is required for this tour.
Always make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the tour ends.
Pre/Post Tours:
We can accommodate pre or post tour arrangements in conjunction with this departure.


Day 1 Monday Arrival in Bucharest

Welcome to Bucharest, often described as the Paris of the East. One of the most uniquely fascinating cities in the world, Bucharest is the cultural, industrial, and financial center of Romania, and its influences, including Byzantine Christian, Turkish Ottoman, Gypsy (Romany) and Jewish, add unique flavor to its atmosphere. Upon arrival, meet your Tour Director and transfer to your hotel to rest and refresh. Later, enjoy a Welcome Dinner. Radisson Blu Hotel. (D)

Day 2 Tuesday Bucharest

Today is dedicated to the rich Jewish heritage of this part of the world. Enjoy a lecture on Jewish Romania, and Bucharest in particular. You will meet a prominent Rabbi from the community, who will offer insights and answer questions. Next, enjoy Lunch. Later, visit the richly-decorated Choral Temple Synagogue, as well as the Jewish Museum, located in the former Tailor’s Synagogue. In the afternoon, visit the Jewish cemetery. Return to the hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure. Radisson Blu Hotel. (B/L)

Day 3 Wednesday Bucharest

This morning, a walking tour of Bucharest will offer a real feel for the deep history and culture of this capital. Next, embark on a panoramic tour of the city, including the Arch of Triumph, the Romanian Atheneum, as well as the Parliament Palace, second-largest building in the world (after our Pentagon). Explore the bustling downtown area, including landmarks such as the Palace and University Squares. Later, stop for Lunch at a local restaurant. Remainder of the day at is at leisure. Radisson Blu Hotel. (B/L)

Day 4 Thursday Bucharest – Brasov

Today, journey to the center of Romania. First stop is Brasov, one of the most important Saxon cities, known as Kronstadt. Strategically situated on one of the major trade routes between Central Europe and the Balkans, Brasov displays its history in the well-preserved medieval Old Town. Thereafter, what visit to Transylvania would be complete without a trip to Bran Castle – better known as the home of Vlad the Impaler, or Count Dracula? Dating back to the 14th century, his story inspired Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel – as well as an undying interest in vampires that continues to this day. Later, experience the deeply Jewish side of Brasov – including the quietly exquisite synagogue known as the Jewish Temple. In the evening, enjoy Dinner. Kronwell Brasov Hotel. (B/D)

Day 5 Friday Brasov – Bacau – Iasi

This morning, depart Brasov and head northward towards Iasi. On the way, stop at Bacau and visit the “Grain Merchants’ Temple,” the only Jewish sanctuary remaining out of twenty-two synagogues. Before WWII, Iasi was a flourishing town, home to the largest and arguably most sophisticated Jewish community in Romania. Upon arrival, begin your tour with a visit to the 17th century Great Synagogue. Restored in the 1970s, it is the oldest Jewish synagogue in Romania. Next, pay respects at the Cemetery and Monument to Iasi’s pogrom victims. During the early part of the 20th century, pogroms ravaged the Jewish community, and hundreds of Moldavian shtetls were destroyed (leading to a large migration to America). Later, participate in an informative meeting with members of Iasi’s proud, surviving community. Friday Night Dinner. Unirea Hotel. (B/D)

Day 6 Saturday Iasi

Today, enjoy the Shabbat spirit with a morning at leisure. In the afternoon, enjoy time at leisure to relax as well as time to explore Iasi on your own. Unirea Hotel. (B)

Day 7 Sunday Iasi – Botosani – Radauti

This morning, depart Iasi and journey to Radauti, located in the heart of northern Moldavia, or Moldova. Geographically, this area is a continuation of the Ukrainian steppe, which lies between the Carpathian Mountains and the Black Sea. Treasured as one of the most hospitable and picturesque parts of Romania, it also boasts a rich Jewish heritage. En route to Radauti, stop in Botosani and visit its Great Synagogue, or “Hoihe Sil.” This is the only remaining synagogue in the city, and it is one of the oldest and most richly decorated in the region. Next, visit Suceava and see the only synagogue remaining out of eighteen; it is uniquely handsome and well-preserved. Later, arrive at Radauti. In the evening, enjoy Dinner. The Gerald’s Hotel. (B/D)

Day 8 Monday Radauti – Cluj Napoca

In the morning, journey to the city of Cluj Napoca. Home to the second largest Jewish community in Romania, the city is named after Castrum Cluj, the citadel that encloses it. On the way, pause for Lunch in Bistrița (Bistrita means rushing waters in Slavic). Upon arrival at Cluj Napoca, first visit the new Synagogue, Poale Tzedek (workers of justice). This place of worship was restored in 1951 with the support of Romania’s Jewish community. Today, it is the proud cultural center of Jewish life here. Afterwards, see Cluj Napoca’s Jewish Community School, which educates the next generation. Later, check into your hotel. Remainder of the day is at leisure. Beyfin Hotel. (B/L)

Day 9 Tuesday Cluj Napoca

Today, embark on a sightseeing tour of Cluj Napoca. First, visit its Union Square (a large plaza and marketplace), and then see Banffy Palace, an 18th century Baroque building once owned by Hungarian Duke Gyorgy Banffy.  This palace, in quintessentially Transylvanian high style, once hosted Francis II, head of the Holy Roman Empire, as well as Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria. It now houses a well-regarded art museum. Afterwards, enjoy Lunch in a local restaurant. This afternoon, you may choose to rest or – if you prefer – join an excursion to Targu Mures, home to one of Romania’s most ornate synagogues. Remainder of the day is at leisure. Beyfin Hotel. (B/L)

Day 10 Wednesday Cluj Napoca – Sighetu – Satu Mare

Depart for Sighetu (or Sighet), bordering of Ukraine in northwestern Romania.  Here was a significant center of Jewish cultural life, and notably the hometown of Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. Visit his childhood home, as well as the Holocaust Cellar, which offers a poignant picture of the Romanian Jewish experience during WWII. Lunch. Next, visit the Wijnitzer Klaus Synagogue and the Old Jewish Cemetery (including the Soap Monument, where soap from Auschwitz is treated with the honor that its Jewish victims deserve). Continue to historic Satu Mare. Here was the former seat of the Teitelbaum and Gruenwald families – heads of the Chassidic sect known as the Satmar. The community thrived here until  the desecration of WWII. (Their strong renaissance is now evidenced in Brooklyn, New York.) A Holocaust memorial stands between Satu Mare’s two remaining shuls – the Great Synagogue and Sha’ar HaTorah. City Hotel Satu Mare. (B/L)

Day 11 Thursday Satu Mare – Debrecen – Budapest

This morning, travel onward to Budapest, Hungary. En route, stop in Debrecen, home to one of the largest Jewish communities in Hungary. Here, you will meet and have Lunch with members of this community. At the end of the day, continue on to Budapest. Upon arrival, check into your hotel. In the evening, enjoy dinner. Continental Hotel. (B/L/D)

Day 12 Friday Budapest – Home flight

First an early breakfast. Afterwards, transfer to the airport for the home flights, or continue on a post-tour extension in Budapest or beyond. (B)

Or extend the stay in Budapest

Day 12 Friday Budapest

Begin this day with a drive to the hilly Buda side of the city to enjoy panoramic views of the Danube (which divides the city into “Buda” and “Pest”). Continue to Castle Hill, where Austro-Hungarian Emperors once ruled one of Europe’s most powerful entities. Pass the Royal Palace, St. Matthias Church, the Fisherman’s Bastion and the Citadel for spectacular views. En route back to Pest, visit the Raoul Wallenberg Memorial, commemorating the noble Swedish diplomat who rescued thousands of Jews. Next, walk in Budapest’s famed Jewish District. Here, visit the birthplace of Theodore Herzl, the Jewish Museum, and the Weeping Willow Memorial, dedicated to the 600,000 Hungarian Jews who perished in the Shoah. See the former ghetto, the Holocaust and Karl Lutz Memorials, Kazinczy Street Synagogue, and the famous Dohány Street Synagogue — the largest in Europe — where Liszt once played the organ. Later, return to the hotel. Continental Hotel.

Day 13. Saturday Budapest – Home flight

First an early breakfast. Afterwards, transfer to the airport for the home flights. (B)

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