A cosmopolitan city with an interesting cultural blend, Tulcea is an entry point into the spectacular natural décor of the Danube Delta. Tulcea has its own slow rhythm setting itself apart from the typical tumult of big cities, with its compelling provincial feel, its small cobblestone streets and the waterfront from where you can feel the lovely Delta breeze.
The old fluvial and maritime port - with a long history and by extension a rich historical legacy - leaves an impression not only with its multitude of religious edifices, museums (most remarkable of which is the Danube Delta Eco-Tourism Museum Center) but also with its beautiful panorama of the city and the Danube Valley from atop the Monument Hill.
Situated in an extremely advantageous position, the old Geto-Dacian citadel and Roman province has always had different coexisting ethnicities like Greeks Lipovans, Armenians, Bulgarians, Turks or Tatars. Lured here by trading interests, these peoples have historically and culturally enriched the city, giving it a cosmopolitan air. An important chapter in this city’s history is the over four centuries of Ottoman rule, up until 1878, when Dobrogea became the last historic region annexed by Romania.
The multiculturalism of the city, with a population of about 90,000, is reflected in its urban landscape, and its many religious edifices of different denominations. The most interesting of these are the St Nicholas Bishop Church, the Azizie Mosque, the Israelite Temple, the St George Church, the Church with the Clock, the Armenian Church or the Church of the Annunciation Cathedral.
The traditional way of life led by these ethnicities can be explored by visiting the Ethnographic and Folk Art Museum.
Make sure you visit the Art Museum, housed in a recently restored Neoclassical building. Here you can admire collections of religious icons, sculptures, artwork or oriental art. You can also add to the list of cultural objectives the History Museum and the Avramide House.
But the pièce de résistance of any travel itinerary in Tulcea is the Danube Delta Eco-Tourism Museum Center, known by most as “the Aquarium”, the biggest in Romania. Remarkable tanks are filled with many species of fish and the décor of the museum, faithfully reproducing the delta habitats, will immerse you in the atmosphere of the Delta.
To thoroughly explore Tulcea it’s best to go on foot. There is a heavily busy promenade on the Danube's waterfront where you can enjoy a cup of coffee on one of the terraces, with a great view of the busy Danube. Climb Monument Hill to take a closer look at Independenţei Monument, and enjoy a nice view of the city. Here you will also find the ruins of the ancient Aegyssus citadel.
The Ciuperca Park, by the lake of the same name and next to the station at the end of the cliffs, is considered the most beautiful recreational area in the city. You can take a walk or ride a bike around the lake, rent a boat or a hydro-bicycle, admire the spectacular fountain and the wind mill, or just take a rest on a bench in the park.
Tulcea doesn't lack any interesting events like summertime concerts and festivals on the Danube's waterfront. One such event is ROWMANIA FEST- the Ivan Patzaichin competition and the closing event of the Danube Marathon, part of the Danube International Tour. Other special events held in August are the Beer Festival, the Days of Tulcea and the Day of the Marines.
- Visiting the Danube Delta Eco-Tourism Museum Center, a modern and interactive museum opened in 2009.
Good to know
- You can get to Tulcea via national route DN22 (E87) after crossing the Danube at Galaţi or Brăila on DN22A national road from Hârşova. Another alternative way to access Tulcea is on water via the Danube.
- By train you can get to Tulcea from Bucharest and Constanţa.
- The city has its own modernized airport that offers a few charter flights strictly within tourist packages. The closest airport offering a bigger array of flights is Constanţa.
- The Tourist Information Centre is at 4 Gloriei Street.
- The ecological information and education centre can be found at the Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve Authority headquarters at 34A Portului Street. Here you can get general information as well as entry permits to the Danube Delta. Schedule: Monday- Thursday 8:00-16:30, Friday 8:00-14:00.
- The Post Office can be found at 5 Babadag Street. Schedule: Monday-Friday 8:00-19:00, Saturday 9:00-13:00.
- If you’d like to buy local made souvenirs specific to the delta, you can find them on the waterfront next to Harbour Master's Office at the “Souvenirs and ecotourism” shop. 10% of each sale is invested into development projects and ecotourism in the Delta by the Ivan Patzaichin- Mila 23 Association.