With the sun shining and temperatures soaring into the 30s everywhere across Romania, even getting to 33 here in the Ewok Village (Chisinau), I thought it was about time to discuss the weather. After all, schools are out and tourists are strapping on their backpacks and sandals to explore this wide old world, wanting to know what to expect from the weather in Romania.
Obviously, you can check the weather using your smart phone/tablet/watch/brain implant with a variety of apps and sites, but here’s the basics of what to expect when sojourning in Romania and RM.
The Weather in Romania
Although both RM and Romania have a continental climate with four seasons, there really are just two: the months when the weather bites you in the ass the minute you step outdoors and the months when everything and everyone is beautiful, the food tastes like the nectar of the gods, and you get a glimpse of what life in the Garden of Eden was like.
Seriously though, the “bad” months are long, dark and cold, challenging even the most optimistic person’s ability to stay cheerful. “True” winter, otherwise known as “f–king cold” winter, kicks in around December and doesn’t let up until March or April. Yes, it does snow throughout Romania but there’s usually only a week or so in January where it snows a lot. The rest of the time, it’s a fun mix of ice cold rain and snow.
Spring is defined as when it’s still cold but the sun shines a bit longer, so you don’t mind it as much. This runs from about mid-April to the end of May or beginning of June. It looks pretty with all the trees and flowers blooming but you’ll need your jacket for sure.
Summer though… summer is glorious in this part of the world. The sun starts lighting up the sky around 4:00 am and doesn’t completely fade away until about 10:00 pm. The breezes are fantastic, there is almost no humidity, and life is sweet. Whether you’re on the road with your trusty backpack or enjoying a dip in the pool, you don’t want the day to end. Local fruits and vegetables are in season and the tomatoes are to die for. This runs from about mid-June to the first week of September.
Does it occasionally get “too” hot? Sure, I guess. But even the hottest day in Romania is nothing like the steaming humidity of a Dallas or Atlanta or the polluted smog-choked air of a hot day in London or New York. Green spaces, parks, lakes, and an elegant integration with nature keep even the megalopolis of Bucharest largely pleasant during the summer.
Autumn, which starts out with invigorating relief from the heat then quickly turns into a cloudy, dark, depressing season of cold rain, lasting from mid-September to early December.
Remember, Romania and Moldova are incredibly fertile agricultural countries so there’s going to be lots of precipitation throughout the year. I wish I could tell you when it will rain or snow, but it’s always changing. Last week there were monsoon rains and this week we’re in full sunny beach weather mode.
Variations in the Weather
Romania and RM have approximately 5 different weather zones.
Timisoara and the far west (Oradea, Arad, etc) – It always feels hotter here even if the temperature isn’t that much different because this area is on the dusty plain that runs all the way to Budapest in Hungary. Summers can be a bit too much, especially in August, but the winters are slightly more tolerable.
Transylvania – This mountainous area stays refreshingly cool in summer, so don’t miss trips to Cluj-Napoca, Brasov and Sibiu if you’re in Romania during the summer. The higher mountain elevations (Sinaia, Carpathian Mountains, etc) are often still cool enough in the summer that you’ll need a long-sleeved shirt. Winter is COLD, so be warned!
Bucharest and the South – Largely flat, these areas steam during the summer so be sure to stay near some shady green areas if you’re visiting during the hottest months. During the winter, the temperatures are a bit milder, which is nice.
Moldova – Whether you’re talking about Romania’s Moldova or the Republic of Moldova, the winters and summers both tend to be fairly mild. A mostly hilly region, you get the slightly cooler breezes during the summer and shelter from the icy winds during the winter.
Constanta/Black Sea coast – Delightful in summer, truly a wonderful experience. But skip this area in the winter as Game of Throne type cold winds come in off the water that will turn your heart into black ice. Ok, maybe that’s a bit exaggerated but summer definitely more than makes up for the suffering you go through in winter.
When to Come to Romania and the Republic of Moldova
First of all, why are you coming to Chisinau? LOL just kidding. I know the answer: you’re on your way to Odessa. Good choice, intrepid traveler!
Wherever you’re planning on going in Romania, the weather in early summer is by far the best time. Anything between mid-May and the first week of September should give you tons of daylight, lots of sun, and fresh air perfumed with a million growing plants, trees and flowers.
Stay out of Romania during December through February unless you’re getting paid to come or you’re too drunk to care about the weather. And be sure to bring an umbrella whenever you come because you never know when it will rain.
AND NOW YOU KNOW!