When I first learned that I would be traveling to Romania for my day job this past fall, an eastern European bucket list was top of mind. Of course one of the items on that list was to stick my toes into the Black Sea. A short 135 mile train ride later, I arrived in Constanta, Romania. Only one small hiccup in this story. What do you do beyond the beach in a town known as a summer getaway?
Personally, one of my favorite times to visit New England beaches is the off season. What other time of year do you have the whole place to yourself? OK so by all means it is not the most desirable weather to sunbathe in, but in the case of Constanta, I found plenty activities to keep me busy for a weekend getaway!
This beautiful port town has no shortage of dining establishments to fit your whole gang’s tastes. My personal favorite was a small Greek restaurant across the street from city hall called Nikos. Every single one of my colleagues recommended this spot as long as it was still open during the off season. Not only was it open, there was zero wait! Rose all day with a side of Gyros fit for a queen. Be sure not to miss this spot if you find yourself beyond the beach in Constanta.
For more establishments to spend a lazy Saturday afternoon, head over to Tomis Harbor. Virtually available from every side street in this small town, you can enjoy a lazy afternoon cocktail or two in any number of restaurants with a view of the Black Sea.
Explore Beyond the Beach
For the more adventurous people in your pack, there are a handful of museums ranging from natural history, folk art, and the Romanian Navy. Constanta dates back over 2000 years, with a rich culture and history to discover. One of my favorite things I did was discover the preserved Roman mosaic tile floors. The remains most likely were public baths. Despite major language barriers, the friendly staff gave me a personal tour of the facility!
No trip to Constanta can be complete without taking a proper selfie in from of the Casino! The Casino was commissioned by King Carol I and completed in 1910, decorated in the Art Nouveau style. Known as Romania’s Monte Carlo, the casino is one of the most beautiful abandoned buildings in the world. Take a stroll along the promenade in the fall and you will find plenty of bridal party photography sessions, which can be entertainment in of itself!
If time allows pay the 5 lei to climb to the top of local mosque to capture the best views of the port and Black Sea.
Do Your Digital Nomad Thing
As nerdy as it sounds, I’m always scoping out the best cafes, libraries, and lounges for digital nomads. One advantage to traveling to beach destinations in the off season is the ability to travel at a much slower pace, and make that work life balance thing work in your favor.
The great thing about Romania is that their stellar wifi speed can be found, and they take their caffeine very seriously. I enjoyed a cup of Turkish coffee at Arabica Sunday morning before hitting the town for some sightseeing.