Constanta is a seaside town on the Black Sea in southeastern Romania. Founded around 600BC, Constanta was originally called Tomis when the city was founded by Greek colonists. Then the city was conquered by the Romans in 71BC and was renamed Constantiana by the Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great. Then city fell under Turkish rule during 15th century and the name of the city was shortened to Constanta.
Today, you can visit the oldest city in Romania and see historical monuments and ancient ruins in the Old Town. Plus, you can also visit the defunct grand casino, museums and beach resorts in both Constanta and Mamaia.
Oh, and you may have heard that Constanta is a party town (and it is), but there are many things to see in Constanta for solo travellers. Whether you are taking a day trip from Bucharest or spending a few days in this seaside town, follow my itinerary so you don’t miss all the best things to do in Constanta Romania.
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What you need to know before spending one day in Constanta
Before you start your Constanta itinerary, take a look at some of these useful travel tips:
- The best time to visit Constanta is between June and September when there is at least 10 hours of sunshine each day. But it can also be quite busy.
- I highly recommend staying overnight in Constanta so you can experience the seaside town during the day and night.
- If you are only doing a day trip from Bucharest to Constanta, arrive in Constanta by 9:00 am so you can comfortably follow my itinerary.
- Romanian leu (plural: lei) is the currency of Romania. RON is the three-letter code for the Romanian currency.
- Constanta is a safe city for solo female travellers. I wandered around both day and night and didn’t feel unsafe.
- Plan your visit to Constanta city with the following festivals and events:
- Neversea Music Festival (early July) – annual 4-day and 4-night event at Neversea Beach.
- Assumption of May (August 15) – the most important local celebrates the ascension of the Virgin Mary.
- Navy Day (August 15) – watch a waterfront naval exercise, a parade and fireworks celebrating those who had dedicated their lives to the sea.
- Sunwaves Festival (alternate between May and August) – 5 days of music in Mamaia.
How to get from Bucharest to Constanta
The nearest airport to Constanța is Mihail Kogălniceanu Airport which is 26 km northwest of Constanta. Many flights from London, Rome and Istanbul fly to this airport daily.
However, most visitors will likely be travelling to Constanta from Bucharest. And the best way and easiest way to get travel from Budapest to Constanta is by taking the Romanian Railway, CFR Călători.
14 trains run from Bucharest to Constanta daily. I recommend taking one of the earlier trains to Constanta. Here are the details:
Bucharest to Constanta Train
- CFR Călători train: from Bucharest North Railway Station to Constanta Station
How to get around Constanta Romania
The Constanta metropolitan area is over 58sq km (22.3 sq mile). It is possible to walk to all the attractions in this Constanta itinerary, but the distances are quite far, and you may prefer to enjoy the city rather than walk from place to place.
So for the first half of the day, walk around Constanta Old Town.
Then in the afternoon, take the local bus towards Mamaia for the second half of the day.
The local bus in Constanta costs 2.5 lei for a single ride. Buy a ticket from a CT Bus ticket booth next to a major bus stop (see below) before getting on the bus. Once you are on the bus, validate the bus ticket with a timestamp.
Map: What to do in Constanta Romania
Below are all the best attractions of Constanta. Red pins are all the must-see attractions and are part of the one-day itinerary while the blue pins are other things to do in Constanta if you have more time.
And I organized all these attractions into an efficient itinerary. All you have to do is follow the numbered pins and read the description for each attraction.
Best things to do in Constanta Romania in one day
1, 2 & 3. See historic monument and ancient artefacts around Ovid Square
Piaka Ovidiu (Ovid Square) is the main square in Old Town Constanta and it has some of the best attractions in Constanta.
First, there is a bronze statue honouring the first major Roman poet, Ovid (Publius Ovidius Naso).
Behind the statue is the Muzeul de Istorie Nationala si Arheologie (Museum of National History and Archeology). It was previously an old City Hall building but now it contains a large collection of ancient art.
Moreover, you can see some of Romania’s best archeological finds at Edificiul Roman cu Mozaic (Roman Building with Mosaic). The Roman Mosaics complex has 850 m2 (9,150 sq ft) of colourful mosaics from 4th century AD.
4. See a panoramic view of the coast from Great Mahmudiye Mosque
Next, see Moscheea Mare Mahmoud II (Great Mahmudiye Mosque), the largest mosque in Romania.
Not only do you have to check out the Neo-Byzantine and Romanian architectural elements of this mosque, you also have to climb up 140 steps for a stunning view of Constanta harbour. The 50m (164 foot) tall minaret has a narrow spiral staircase that can take you all the way to the top.
Address: Strada Crângului, Constanța | Hours: 9am-7pm
5, 6, 7, & 8. Visit some of the best attractions in the historic Peninsula District of Constanta
Constanta’s Peninsula District is at the southeast end of the city. In this historic part of Constanta, there are a few highlights that you should look for:
- Casa cu Lei (House with Lions) (Strada Dianei, Constanța) – currently an abandoned building but you can still admire the pre-Romanesque and Genoese architectural styles. Look for the four columns with the sculptured lions.
- Biserica Sfântul Nicolae (St. Nicholas Church) (Strada Maior Gheorghe Șonțu, Constanța) – visit the Neo-Byzantine white church that was once a Bulgarian church.
- Catedrala Sfinții Apostoli Petru și Pavel (Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul) (Strada Arhiepiscopiei 25, Constanța) – visit the Greco-Roman style church that was partially destroyed during WWII. Look for the oak iconostasis, candelabras and candle stands, frescos and the relics of several Saints.
- Stradela Vântului (Strada Vântului 6-8, Constanța) – also called the Wind Street, is the narrowest pedestrian street in the Constanta, and second narrowest in Romania.
9. Peek through the scaffold to see the Constanta Casino
Cazino Constanța (Constanta Casino) is possibly one of the best attractions in Constanta because of its grandiose architecture. But these days, the casino is hiding behind a lot of scaffold.
But let me tell you what I learned about the Constanta Casino. It was originally built in 1880 in Art Nouveau architectural-style and was functioning as a casino for almost 40 years. Then it was a makeshift hospital during both world wars, a community centre and then abandoned until 2019.
And in 2021, renovation began and is still ongoing. Not sure what it is going to be though. But I’m excited to see the completed structure since the building considered to be the symbol of Constanta.
Address: Bulevardul Regina Elisabeta 4, Constanța | Hours: closed for restoration
10. See sculptures and monuments along the seaside promenade
Continue walking on the promenade along the waterfront. At the east end, there are several monuments and statues.
Seen in the photo is the Mihai Eminescu Statue, a statue commerating the great Romanian poet.
And behind the sculpture is the Farul Genovez (The Genovese Lighthouse). The 8m tall octagonal lighthouse was built around 1300 by Genoese who traded at the port and guided the ships at the sea. It was later rebuilt to honour the Genoese who established a thriving sea trade community in Constanta. It was a functioning lighthouse until 1905. Today, it is an important monument along the seaside promenade.
11. Enjoy some fun in the sun at Modern Beach
Visiting Constanta means visiting some of the best Romanian beaches and the Plaja Modern (Modern Beach) is one of them.
Not far from the Old Town is the big sandy beach with clear water. You can rent a lounge and an umbrella for a few hours or get a drink at a nearby beach cafe.
Modern Beach can get busy during the high season but it is not as crowded as the beaches of Mamaia. So enjoy!
12. Visit the wooden church aka St Mina’s Orthodox Church at Tabacariei Lake
There isn’t a whole lot to see at Tabacariei Lake. But the one thing I really enjoyed was visiting St Mina Orthodox Church
Built between 1995 and 1997, the church was constructed entirely with timber. Plus, the architecture is quite different from everything else in Constanta. It has all the characteristics of the traditional wooden churches of Maramures, which is in the mountainous region of northern Transylvania.
Peek inside and see all the wood furniture and decorative elements while you are there. Admission is free.
It is a 50-minute walk from Modern Beach to St Mina’s Church. Take bus 5-40 to save a bit of time and energy. This is the bus route to the church.
Address: Strada Soveja 21, Constanța | Hours: 9am-4pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday; 9am-6pm Wednesday, Friday; 8am-4pm Sunday | Admission: free
13. See the air-purifying mural at Reyna Beach
Even though you just spent a bit of time at Modern Beach, I think it is still worth seeing Plaja Reyna (Reyna Beach).
Reyna Beach has a similar feel to Modern Beach where there are lounge chairs, umbrellas, places for drinks, etc. But it has one special feature you can’t find anywhere in Romania.
On the north end of Reyna Beach, there is a spectacular mural painting called “Marine Reflections – The Unseen Face of Pollution“. The 2,000 sqm mural is a manifesto against pollution around the world.
But what is so unique about it is that the mural is the largest air-purifying mural in the world. It was painted with Airlite purifying paint, which the mural can clean the air, remove 112 kg of nitrogen oxides, and absorb 95 kg of CO2 each year. Pretty cool, huh?
After seeing the mural, walk north along the shore towards the next attraction.
14. Try traditional Romanian food at Luna Park
Luna Parc (Luna Park) is a small amusement park with classic carnival rides like ferris wheel, roller coaster, and bumper cars. It also has games where you can win prizes, miniature golf, and many souvenir shops.
But the highlight of Luna Park (for me) has to be the food. Many food vendors and restaurants line the main avenue in the park. Each restaurant cooks pretty much the same thing: barbecued meat. And there are many types of meat on the menu and a small selection of vegetables too.
Pick one of the restaurants, then order your food and drinks, pay and enjoy your meal in the outdoor seating area.
Address: Vacanța, Bazar Comercial zona Sat, Constanța | Hours: 4-11:30pm (closed Mondays) during Summer only
15. Enjoy the beach vibe at Mamaia
Mamaia is the perfect spot for the end of your day in Constanta. This popular beach resort on the Romanian coast is 8km (5 miles) long and is sandwiched between the Black Sea and Lake Siutghiol. There are many open-air restaurants and sporting facilities (windsurfing, snorkelling, biking, tennis, beach games, etc.)
At night, Mamaia transforms into a giant party. There are dance clubs and music playing on the beach all night long.
As for me, I’m not much of a party-goer myself, but I still enjoyed the vibe at night in Mamaia. I saw many young and old people strolling along the promenade and many families with young children.
Mamais is the busiest between June and September. But it is much quieter during the cooler months. So depending on when you go to Mamaia, it will definitely have a different vibe.
Other things to do in Constanta if you have an extra day
There are many more things to do in Constanta (mainly museums) besides the attractions mentioned in the itinerary. If you are spending another day in spend Constanta, here are a few more things to see (see blue pins on the map):
- Muzeul National al Marinei Romane (Romanian Navy Museum) – admire models of ships and learn about the history of the Romanian Navy.
- Constanta Art Museum – see over 7,500 Romanian contemporary art pieces (paintings, ceramics, upholstery furniture, etc.) spanning two buildings.
- Muzeul de Arta Populara (Constanta Folk Art Museum) – learn about Romanian folk art by seeing over 16,000 ethnographic exhibits including folk costumes, jewellery, household items and more.
- Ion Jalea Sculpture Museum – be in awe of the marble and bronze sculptures created by Ion Jalea, a well-known Romanian sculptor who completed many masterpieces with only his right arm.
Where to stay in Constanta as a solo traveller
There are a handful of hotels and Airbnb apartments in Constanta. But the selection of accommodation in Constanta isn’t too exciting in my opinion. Nonetheless, there are still a few places that are worth staying overnight.
- Artist’s House Apartment ($$) – a wonderfully spacious apartment with a balcony by the seaside promenade in Constanta.
- Check prices & reviews: Airbnb
- Peninsula Boutique Hotel ($$) – a 4-star hotel in the middle of Old Town Constanta.
- Check prices & reviews: Agoda
- Solid Magic Residence ($$) – a modern beachfront apartment at the south end of Mamaia.
- Check prices & reviews: Agoda
Where to eat in Constanta and Mamaia
The food along the Black Sea coast is phenomenal! Expect a lot of seafood options in Constanta and Mamaia. Moreover, many restaurants have al fresco dining options where you can people-watch or sit by the beach.
Here are some restaurants to check out while you are in Constanta and Mamaia
- La Ana si Ion – an excellent restaurant with patio seating in the Old Town serving hearty Romanian meat dishes.
- Nikos Greek Taverna Tomis 109 – a Greek restaurant in Constanta with al fresco tables for people watching.
- Cherhana Pontica – if you are super hungry, get a seafood platter for two at this beachfront restaurant.
- Terasa Cetate Mamaia – lots of seafood options, including Black Sea mussels, at this affordable Romanian restaurant.
- Nikos Greek Taverna Cazino Mamaia – the same Greek restaurant in Constanta but in Mamaia.
Are you taking a solo trip to Constanta Romania?
All the hype about Constanta, Mamaia and the Black Sea coast is true! The city is full of ancient artifacts while the seaside coast is relaxing and inviting. There is nowhere else in Romania where you can simultaneously enjoy city and beach life.
I hope you will add Constanta to your solo Romania itinerary. I highly recommend this affordable city with vibrant energy.
Let me know in the comments below if you enjoy this itinerary or have suggestions to improve it.
Thank you for reading my Constanta itinerary post
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