Constanta

Overview

Introduction

Constanta is Romania's second-largest city and the major Romanian port and resort city on the Black Sea. The older part of town is the most interesting, and it's pleasant to walk the winding streets that lead to the water. Major sites include the Museum of National and Archaeological History, the Naval History Museum, and the mosque, Moscheia Carol I, which is home to one of the world's largest Oriental carpets. Other sites to see are the 1,700-year-old ruins of a Roman market, with a huge mosaic floor and sacrificial altar. If time permits, look for the statue of the Roman poet Ovid (he was banished to Constanta after his lascivious poetry offended Augustus).

Located just north of Constanta, Mamaia Beach is gaining popularity as a summer beach resort located on the Black Sea. Many hotels, including international chains such as Best Western, have facilities to provide tourists with first-rate accommodations that include fitness centers and saunas. Near the beach, visitors also have access to tennis courts, horseback riding and golfing.

South of Constanta is Eforie Nord, which specializes in therapeutic mud and water treatments. Its sister resort, Eforie Sud, is the oldest resort in the area—the current resort was founded in 1892, and there was a Roman spa in the area 2,400 years earlier. Additional resorts located farther south include Neptun and Costinesti. Neptun is known for its two freshwater lakes and fine cuisine; Costinesti is popular with younger Europeans for its nightclubs and inexpensive restaurants. If you visit any of the resorts in the summer, be prepared for big crowds. Constanta is 125 mi/200 km east of Bucharest.

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