Constanţa (prounounced Constantza) is a coastal Black Sea town in southern Dobrogea, Romania, the second most important city in the country and, during summer, a beautiful touristic city. It is the capital of the Constanta county and Romania's largest seaport, a great city to begin to explore the wonders of the sea.
Constanta, the third largest city in Romania with its 350,000 inhabitants, was founded by the Greeks as a port on the Black sea for trading with inland people and called Tomis (VIth C. BC). The city was renamed later after Constantia, sister of Constantine the Great (274-337). It was still a flourishing port city in the Xth and XIth centuries trading with the Byzantine Empire and the city of Genoa.
You can get to Constanta by land and air, but (oddly) not by water.
The most popular route is the Bucharest-Constanta highway.
The roads are good in Constanta compared to the rest of the country. But beware of speed bumps and speed traps in the center which are meant for reducing the cars speed.
There are daily buses that connect Constanta with the rest of the country.
Constanta's train station has connections with the rest of the country. The Intercity is usually recommended. In the summer there are some modern looking Siemens trains which look nice, but are very uncomfortable even at First class.
Constanta has an international airport called Mihail Kogalniceanu Intl. Airport  which is about 20 km north-west of the city.
Constanta is one of the largest ports in the Black Sea and the forth largest in Europe, but at this time there are no ferry services.
You can use the public transport system (buses, trams, trolleybuses and maxi-taxis) or cabs. To get to Mamaia you can take the 301 mini van called maxi-taxi but it s very crowded. The best option is a taxi; a legal taxi must be painted yellow and must have the fee on the cab door . Always insist on starting the meter and try to avoid the cabs right next to the train station who ,as in every major city try to take advantage of tourists. Walk 100 meters from the station and only then waive to a cab. The typical fee from the train station to Mamaia is between 5-10 euros.
Constanta has been continuously inhabited for 2500 years so there is a lot to see
- The old Casino at the harbor was opened in 1911. It was built in the Art Nouveau style and conceived by two architects, Petre Antonescu and Daniel Renard (of Swiss extraction but born in Romania).
- The statue of Ovid (Born 43 BC in Sulmona, died in AD 17 in Tomis/ Constanta). The statue by Ettore Ferrari was erected in 1887 after a public subscription (the same statue can be seen in Sulmona). In AD 09 Ovid was sent in exile by Augustus for obscure reasons. He wrote his Tristia in Tomis.
The history museum is an interesting place with foreign language guides available. It houses a great deal of unique Greek and Roman statues and glassware which is very rare; also outside the museum there are some marble tombs and artifacts.
- The Archaeological Park right in the center of the city is a nice place for a walk if you're in the area
- The National Museum of History and Archeology displays an impressive collection of pieces from the Greek and Roman antiquity (for example, the Glykon Snake, Fortuna and Pontos, Two-faced Nemesis and countless amphoras).
- The Popular Art Museum
- The Navy's Museum (under reconstruction, 2007)
- The Sea's Museum with the Genoese Lighthouse, behind the statue of Eminescu, on the sea front
- The Harbor's Museum
- The Ion Jalea Sculpture Museum
- The Great Mosque, a stone's throw from Ovidiu Square, was the first public building made of concrete in Romania (1910), a gift from King Carol I to the local Muslim community.
- You can do sunbathing or you can swim in the Black Sea. There is a large beach called Modern right in the middle of the city, which is favored by locals and is near the marina. Very very shallow waters (you can walk for 20-30 meters and the water won't pass your knees) so it's suited if you want to take your kids there and let them play safely in the water. The most significant beaches are in the Mamaia resort which is in the north part of Constanta. It consists of about 6-7 kilometers of sandy beaches with absolutely no rocks; the width of the beaches vary from 20 to 150 meters. It's also full of hotels, clubs and bars and extremely popular and fashionable in the summer. Moreover in the off season (September-April) they are a great place for taking pictures walks, or rides with the atv or enduro motorcycle and there are some centers for renting atv-s near the Cleopatra bar at the beginning of the resort. If you arrive by car from May to September expect to pay an entrance fee of 3 Lei (1,1 dollars or 0,7 euros) at the entrance ticket booth for your car, although last year (2006) the tax was off. The ratio of free parking/paid parking is around 40/60% and the parking lots with the fee are guarded and not that expensive (2 Lei per hour) and a good alternative especially if you are on a motorcycle because people will climb your bike to take pictures on it. The paid parking places are marked with a white P on a blue background.
- You can stroll the city's streets, the historical peninsular area which has a special charm, the sea coast, the Tomis marina (you can have lunch at a nice restaurant right in the marina, On Plonge, which is shaped like a wave, they have very fresh sea food delivered daily), or one of the many parks, on the lake-side or through the ruins of the ancient Greek colony Tomis.
- You can shop downtown, on the Ştefan cel Mare street where most big shopping centers are situated.
- Glendale Multiplex (in Tomis Mall), Str. Ştefan cel Mare, Nr. 36-40, Tel. +40-241-515-353;
- Bars and clubs
- There are many bars and clubs open in Constanta, especially during summer-time. Recommended locations, motor club ,morgana amnesia domino in constanta open all year round and a lot of summer clubs in mamaia:club xxi(21) ,megalos,amnesia(open air) la mania,k'my s,ultyma playa. there are international star dj s invited (everyone you can think of from deep dish to fatboy slim and david morales) in the summer .
- Lyrical Theatre, B-dul Tomis, Nr. 97, Tel. +40-241-615-268
- Drama Theatre Ovidius, Str. Mircea cel Batran, Nr. 97, Tel. +40-241-619-440
- Elpis, Str. Alexandru Karatzali, Nr. 16, Tel. +40-241-618-992
- "Fantasio", B-dul Republicii, Nr.11, Tel. +40-241-615-416
- Teatrul de Vară "Fantasio", Parc Tăbăcărie, Tel. +40-241-642-187
- Classical Ballet Theatre "Oleg Danovski", Str. Răscoala din 1907, Nr. 1, Tel. +40-241-660-346; Web - http://www.balletdanovski.ro
- Sea Tours
- You can get aboard a tour boat from the Tomis marina which will take you on a trip to the open seas and back.
You can do your shopping at one of the following shopping centers:
- Tomis Mall www.tomis.ro
- Complex TOM ( Carrefour + BricoStore )
- City Park Mall (under construction) www.city-park.ro
- Constanta Mall (coming soon) www.constantamall.ro
- Metro Cash & Carry I
- Metro Cash & Carry II
- Real Hypermarket
- Selgros Cash & Carry (Rewe) (north of Agigea)
- Billa (Rewe)
- Penny Market (Rewe)
- Mega Image (Delhaize Group) I
- Mega Image (Delhaize Group) II
- Prestige Center
- Casa Modei
- Doraly Mall
- Complex Cina
A typical meal at a restaurant is around 8-10 euro per person including drinks. Waiters usually know some English and menus are usually written in English. International cuisine is present, you should try the wines which are very good and not that expensive.
You will find a lot of fast food places selling kebab and shaworma (a nice mixture of grilled chicken sallads french fries and sauces wrapped in a lipia (a sort of thin pancake used as a substitute for bread by turks), very good and not that expensive (around 5 lei /1,3 euro for a big one)
- International fast-food
- McDrive (Delfinariu)
- McDonald's (Tomis Mall: ground floor, 3rd floor)
- KFC (Tomis Mall: 3rd floor; TOM)
- Pizza Hut (Str. Rascoalei; TOM)
- Acropolis, Str. General Manu, Nr. 1; Tel. - +40-742-692-234;
- Adris, Str. Lct. Economu, Nr. 30; Tel. - +40-241-550-611;
- Albatros, Str. Traian, Nr. 52; Tel. - +40-241-615-717;
- Amarilis, Str. I.C. Brătianu; Tel. - +40-241-511-185; Fax - +40-241-692-679;
- Ambient, B-dul Mamaia, Nr. 191; Tel. - +40-241-614-401;
- Aristocrat, B-dul Tomis, Nr. 279; Tel. - +40-241-692-021;
- Aspendos, B-dul Tomis, Nr. 48; Tel. - +40-241-617-612;
- Astoria, P-ţa Ovidiu, Nr. 5; Tel. - +40-241-611-285;
- Au Coq Simpa, Str. Ştefan cel Mare, Nr. 19; Tel. - +40-241-614-797;
- Avanti, B-dul Tomis, Nr. 334; Tel. - +40-241-693-992;
- Bad Rock, Str. Călăraşi, Nr. 1; Tel. - +40-721-204-000;
- Balada, B-dul 1 Decembrie 1918, Nr. 12; Tel. - +40-241-625-327;
- Bel Ami, Str. Poporului, Nr. 24; Tel. - +40-241-609-522;
- Beta Steak House, Str. Ştefan cel Mare, Nr. 6; Tel. - +40-241-673-763;
- Bianco, Str. Cişmelei, Nr. 8; Tel. - +40-241-551-391;
- Big Foot, B-dul Mamaia, Nr. 155; Tel. - +40-723-954-491;
- Bonjour, B-dul Tomis, Nr. 114;
- Bulevard, B-dul Mamaia, Nr. 294; Tel. - +40-241-831-533; Fax - +40-241-831-606;
- Can, Str. Theodor Burada, Nr. 1; Tel. - +40-724-978-822;
- Capitol, B-dul Mamaia, Nr. 69; Tel. - +40-241-520-522;
- Capriccio, B-dul Alexandru Lăpuşneanu, Nr. 89; Tel. - +40-241-542-151;
- Casa Ana, B-dul Tomis, Nr. 17; Tel. - +40-241-553-999;
- Casa Tomis, Str. Remus Opreanu, Nr. 8; Tel. - +40-241-619-486;
- Cazino Constanţa, Str. Carpaţi, Nr. 1; Tel. - +40-241-617-416; Fax - +40-421-617-416;
- China Town, Str. Zorelelor, Nr. 67; Tel. - +40-241-609-660; Mobil - +40-721-776-699;
- Chinese Garden, Str. Mircea cel Bătrân, Nr. 148; Tel. - +40-241-670-717;
There are many bars in the city especially during summer-time.
- Dobrogea, B-dul Alexandru Lăpuşneanu, Nr. 194; Tel. - +40-241-666-615; Fax - +40-241-655-503
- Florentina, B-dul I.C. Brătianu, Nr. 21; Tel. +40-241-512-535; Fax - +40-241-510-202
- Jolie, Str. Murgescu, Nr. 42; Tel. +40-241-697-638; Fax. +40-241-697-638
- Neco Metropol, B-dul Mamaia, Nr. 114; Tel. +40-241-831-883; Fax +40-241-831-584
- New Safari, Str. Karatzali, Nr. 1; Tel. +40-722-322-461
- Sport, Str. Cuza Vodă, Nr. 2; Tel. +40-241-617-558
- Tineretului, B-dul Tomis, Nr. 20; Tel. +40-241-613-590; +40-241-611-290
- Turist, B-dul Mamaia, Nr. 288; Tel. - +40-241-831-006; Fax - +40-241-831-006
Some hotels in Mamaia are open in the winter and you can get very good deals on accommodation in the off season.
- Adris, Str. Lct. Economu, Nr. 30; Tel. - +40-241-550-611; Fax - +40-241-550-611
- Amarilis, B-dul I.C. Brătianu; Tel. - +40-241-511-185; Fax - +40-241-692-679
- Capri, Str. Mircea cel Bătrân, Nr. 109; Tel. - +40-241-553-090; Fax - +40-241-553-090
- Cora, B-dul Mamaia, Nr. 201; Tel. - +40-241-555-575; Fax - +40-241-613-179
- Guci, Str. Răscoalei din 1907, Nr. 23; Tel. - +40-241-695-500; Fax - +40-241-638-426
- Intim, Str. N. Titulescu, Nr. 7-9; Tel. - +40-241-617-814; Fax - +40-241-618-285
- Maria, B-dul 1 Decembrie 1918, Nr. 2D; Tel. - +40-241-611-711; Fax - +40-241-616-852
- Millenium, B-dul Mamaia, Nr. 135; Tel. - +40-241-607-317; Fax - +40-241-607-341
- Minihotel Adry'S, Str. Lct. Economu, Nr. 30; Tel. +40-241-550-611; Fax. +40-241-550-661
- Oxford, B-dul Alexandru Lăpuşneanu intersecţie cu B-dul Aurel Vlaicu
- Palace, Str. Remus Opreanu, Nr. 5-7; Tel. - +40-241-614-696
- Bulevard, B-dul Mamaia, Nr. 294; Tel. +40-241-831-533; Fax. +40-241-831-606
- Dali, Str. Smârdan, Nr. 6A; Tel. - +40-241-619-717; Fax - +40-241-616-114
- Royal, B-dul Mamaia, Nr. 191; Tel. - +40-241-542-690; Fax - +40-241-545-882; www.hotelroyal.ro