I already passed Râmnicu Vâlcea in 2014, when I travelled by bus from Varna, Bulgaria to Bratislava, Slovakia. More than the city itself, I was fascinated by the area north of it. I am talking about the valley of the predatory river Olt, which winds between the forested Carpathians. The area is famous for Căciulata, Călimănești and other spa resorts. On the way through this valley, I fell in love with Romania. This time we stayed in the city only for the night on the way from Craiova to Alba Iulia. So I will provide you with at least basic information about the city.
How to get to Râmnicu Vâlcea?
Râmnicu Vâlcea is located in Vâlcea County in western Wallachia, Oltenia region, in southwestern Romania, 180 km / 2.5 hours by car northwest of Bucharest.
Râmnicu Vâlcea has excellent road access. Several national roads pass through the city, one of them is part of the European road:
- DN7 leads on the route Bucureşti – Pitești – Râmnicu Vâlcea – Sibiu – Deva – Arad – Nădlac to Hungary. In the city, it identifies with the E81 European road (which begins in Constanţa, Romania and continues on the route Bucureşti – Piteşti – Râmnicu Vâlcea – Sibiu, but then turns north and continues on the route Sebeş – Alba Iulia – Turda – Cluj-Napoca – Satu Mare – Halmeu to Ukrainian Mukachevo)
- DN64 runs from Caracal in South Romania to Râmnicu Vâlcea
- DN67 leads from Drobeta-Turnu Severin via Târgu Jiu to Râmnicu Vâlcea
- DN73C leads from Câmpulung via Curtea de Argeș to Râmnicu Vâlcea.
Râmnicu Vâlcea has 2 bus stations:
- Autogara Antares Transport (1 Mai) – located 1 km / 12 minutes walk south of the center; 1 km / 13 minutes walk southwest of the train station and 2 km / 24 minutes walk southwest of the Autogara Dacos bus station.
- Autogara Dacos – 1 km / 12 minutes walk northeast of the railway station; 2 km / 22 minutes walk northeast of the center and 2 km / 24 minutes walk northeast of the Autogara Antares Transport bus station.
Some buses also stop at the county hospital (Spital Județean; 2 km / 25 minutes walk north of the center) and at the former Dacos station (Peco Socar (pe centura) fosta Dacos; 4 km / 6 minutes by car northeast of the center).
The railway station (Gara Râmnicu Vâlcea) is located 1 km / 12 minutes walk east of the center, northeast of the Autogara Antares Transport bus station and southwest of the Autogara Dacos bus station.
The train journey from Craiova (131 km) took 2 hours and 32 minutes and the ticket cost 39.50 lei / 8.17 eur / person.
What to do, see and visit in Râmnicu Vâlcea?
In Râmnicu Vâlcea you can visit the Vâlcea County Museum (Muzeul Judeţean Vâlcea), which exhibits its collections for visitors in several buildings throughout the county.
Vâlcea County History Museum (Muzeul de Istorie a Judeţului Vâlcea; 400 m / 6 minutes walk north of the center) focuses on the history of the county from prehistory to the beginning of the 20th century.
Simian House Art Museum (Muzeul de Artă Casa Simian; 450 m / 7 minutes walk northeast of the center) – exhibits works by Romanian authors of 19th – 21st century and regional sacral art of 16th – 19th century.
Vâlcea County Village Museum (Muzeul Satului Vâlcean; 4.5 km / 7 minutes by car north of the city) is located in the village of Bujoreni. In the open-air museum you will find everything a real village should have: houses, a church, a school, an inn, craft workshops and technical facilities in the region.
Anton Pann Memorial House (Casa Memorială „Anton Pann”) is 250 m / 3 minutes walk west of the center). Anton Pann was a composer and Romanian poet who composed music for the contemporary Romanian anthem. It was first heard in this city in the revolutionary year of 1848.
Where to stay in Râmnicu Vâlcea?
Vila Victoria is located 1.2 km / 16 minutes walk north of the center; 1.7 km / 23 minutes walk west of the Autogara Dacos bus station; 2.1 km / 27 minutes walk northwest of the train station and 2.1 km / 28 minutes walk north of the Autogara Antares Transport bus station.
Vila Victoria owners live direct in the guest house. They are an elderly couple who do not speak English, but are very nice and helpful. They accommodated us in a spacious and very nicely furnished double room with a private bathroom with shower and balcony. It was interesting that you did not get to the balcony from the room, but from the bathroom. There is no need to book a free private parking space nearby. Free Wi-Fi internet access is available throughout the property.
We paid 159 lei / 32.88 eur for accommodation. The price included a room, 5% value added tax, 1% city tax and breakfast for 2 people. At the guest house you can pay by credit card in local currency.
We did not catch breakfast, because they serve it from 8.00 am and we already were on the way to the bus station. It didn’t come to my mind to make arrangement with the hosts a day before. I assumed it would be served from 7.00 am as in most accommodation facilities.
Also, our departure from the guest house was slightly chaotic. Since there was no one at the reception, we had to leave the keys and hurry to the bus.
Vila Victoria is rated (in terms of accommodation facilities) as the 2nd best accommodation in Oltenia and the 3rd best during our last visit to Romania.
Where to eat in Râmnicu Vâlcea?
Ristorante D’amici (300 m / 4 minutes walk east of the center) is a pleasant family restaurant almost in the city center. I did not taste any Romanian specialty in the restaurant. I had an outrageous taste for tuna pizza, which I finally ordered. The rich pizza with crunchy edges was very tasty. Fast and English speaking service. They had a wide selection of wines in the restaurant, so I was sorry we didn’t order a bottle of wine for dinner. The draught beer won again! We paid 74 lei / 15.30 eur for dinner for 2 people.
As I mentioned above, more than the city itself, I am attracted by its surroundings. Less than 40 km west is the UNESCO site of the Horezu Monastery or the so-called residential towers from the period of the Turkish invasions in the village of Măldărești. Maybe next time.
Prices were converted according to the current exchange rate of the National Bank of Slovakia valid on 8 April 2020 (1 euro = 4.8365 lei).
I did not accept freebies in exchange for positive coverage of the services provided by tourism businesses, institutions and organizations.
© Ing. Adam Vanečko