Constanţa is Romania’s largest port city on the Black Sea; in summer, it’s also the entrance to its seaside resorts. Most visitors pass through on their way to a beach holiday or spend the day as part of a Danube river cruise. The city’s delicious restaurants, clean hotels, and a combination of impressive museums scattered around the port area warrant an overnight stay.
How to reach Constanta?
Mihail Kogalniceanu International Airport is an international airport in Constanta. It is located is about 20 km north-west of the city.
Wizz Air operates flights to London(London Luton) 2 times a week; Milano flights are served a couple of times weekly. Turkish Airlines flies Constanta from Istanbul every alternate day.
The most popular way to reach Constanta is by driving. The new and excellent Bucharest-Constanta A2 highway will take you there. If you love bike adventures, Eurovelo route six from Germany through Slovakia, Austria, Croatia, Serbia, Hungary, and Romania arrives at the Black Sea in Constanta.
Top Attractions in Constanta:
National History and Archaeological Museum
This is the town’s most prestigious museum. The stunning exhibits of jewelry, vases, and statuary from the Roman and Greek periods, lasting until about 520CE, easily justify the admission price. Open hours: 1 May-29th September: daily 8 AM-5 PM; 30th September-30 April: Wednesday-Sunday 9 AM-5 PM. (Monday, Tuesday closed)
Great Mahmudiye Mosque
This majestic mosque is the mufti’s seat and was constructed in 1910 by King Carol I. It’s the religious home of the 50,000 Muslims who populate the coastal region. The highlight is the gigantic Persian rug, said to be the biggest carpet in the nation. You can scale the 140 steps of the minaret.
Natural Sciences Museum Complex
The museum network is more of a zoo than a traditional museum, with exhibits on plants and animals, including live birds and mammals general to the Black Sea region. The complex highlights a dolphinarium, with regular performances of trained dolphins. Bear in mind that sea-animal games and similar shows have drawn criticism from animal-welfare groups who claim the bondage of marine life is stressful and debilitating for the animals.
This adorable lighthouse, which rises to an elevation of only 16m, dates from the midst of the 19th century and is valued more for the excellence of its construction, octagonal and built of a natural stone block, than its efficiency as a lighthouse. It operated until 1905 when it was decommissioned and granted new life as an ornamental object.
Things to do in Constanta:
- Beach: You can go for sunbathing, or you can swim in the Black Sea in Constanta. There is a vast beach called Modern right in the town center, which both locals and international tourists love. Very very shallow waters (you can walk for 25 meters and the water won’t pass your knees) so it’s good if you want to take your children there and let them play harmlessly in the water. The most notable beaches are in the Mamaia resort, which is in the northern region of Constanta. It consists of about 7 kilometers of powdery beaches with no rocks; its breadth varies from 20 to 140 meters. It’s also full of clubs, hotels, and bars and remarkably fashionable and famous in the summer. Moreover, in the offseason (September-March), they are an excellent place for walks, taking pictures, or rides with the ATVs.
- Walk: You can roam the city’s roads, the ancient peninsular area with a unique charm, the Tomis marina, the sea coast, or one of the many parks on the lake-side or through the remains of the ancient Greek colony Tomis.
What to eat in Constanta?
A regular meal at an eatery is around €9 per person, including drinks. Waiters know basic English. International cuisine is present; you should plan to have some wines. They are great and not that expensive.
You will find many fast-food joints selling shawarma (a nice mixture of grilled chicken, sauces, and French fries wrapped in a lipia (a sort of thin pancake used as a replacement for bread by Turks), and kebab. They’re delicious and not that expensive (around 8 lei for a small one and 13 lei for a large one).