Your ultimate travel guide to Romania

Deemed Europe’s last wilderness, Romania stands out with its unspoiled natural landscapes, with villages where time seems to have stopped passing, and with energetic that glow with creativity.

Traveling to a new country can be scary, especially if you barely know anything about it. But fear not; our Romania Travel Guide will guide you through all the thing you need to know before coming to Romania – from weather and currency to important landmarks and other travel tips.

If you’d rather view the full infographic, you can find it here.

Common questions

What language is spoken in Romania?

Our official language is Romanian, a Romance language evolved from several Latin dialects. According to the Foreign Service Institute, it is one of the easiest languages to learn in the world. But don’t worry, because you won’t have a hard time getting along with Romanians. Most of the young population speaks English (around 31% of the total population), and while the older generations might not understand much in English, many of them are French-speaking (23% of the population).

Do I need a visa to travel to Romania if I am not an EU citizen?

Americans, Canadians, as well as citizens of Australia, New Zealand and most of the non-EU countries, do not need an entry visa to travel to Romania for stays shorter than 90 days. If you plan to stay longer than 90 days you will need to contact the Romanian Embassy to obtain a visa.

All European driver licenses, as well as U.S. and Canadian, are valid for driving in Romania for 90 days from the date of entry into Romania.

Entering and leaving Romania is free, no travel tax is charged.

What is the currency of Romania?

Although Romania is an EU member, the official Romanian currency is the Romanian Leu, with the international abbreviation RON. It is valued at around €0.21 or $0.25

The Romanian currency cannot be bought from abroad, so if you want to exchange foreign currency in RON it is best to find a local exchange office or a bank that displays 0% commission. In general, exchange offices located at the airport or near railway stations are more expensive, so it’s better to exchange currency at exchange offices or at a bank.

What’s the easiest way to find a location?

We recommend using Google Maps as it is highly accurate most of the time, but you can always ask a local just to be sure.

What timezone is Romania in?

Romania is in the Eastern European Time Zone (UTC+02:00), meaning we are 2 hours ahead of the Coordinated Universal Time. Romania also uses daylight saving time, so during the summer, we are using UTC+03:00.

What’s the weather like in Romania?

The weather in Romania can vary a lot, so be mindful of the period in which you are traveling. Summers in Romania are quite hot, with temperatures easily going over 35° C, and dropping as low as -20° C during winters.

The precipitations are quite modest, with spring being the driest season of all, but with thunderstorms and showers being quite common during the summer. During winter, there are usually heavy snowfalls, but most of the times they start closer to the end of the season.

What is the supply voltage?

The supply voltage is 220V, 50Hz and the electricity plugs supported in Romania are CEE 7/4, CEE 7/16 and CEE 7/17.

Internet and telecommunication

 

Which means of communication are available?

There are 3 big providers of mobile communication in Romania: Orange, Vodafone, and Telekom. The smallest price for a prepay phone card with 5 euro credit is almost 30 lei (€6 – 6.5) from one of those 3 providers.

There are no public telephones in Romania, and the dialing code of the country is +40.

What is the internet access like in Romania?

The Internet is widely available in Romania. Most of the hotels, restaurants, cafes, pubs, shopping centers, and even some stores provide free wi-fi access. You’ll only have to ask for the password.

According to a top made by Akamai in 2015, Romania ranks the 10th country in the world when it comes to internet speed and the 1st in Europe, with the average Internet peak connection at 73.6 Mbit/s.

Getting around Romania

 

Airports in Romania

There is a total of 16 airports in Romania’s cities, out of which the most important are:

  • “Henri Coandă” International Airport, Bucharest – OTP
  • “Avram Iancu” International Airport, Cluj-Napoca – CLJ
  • Iași International Airport, Iași – IAS
  • “Traian Vuia” International Airport, Timișoara – TSR

Bucharest’s “Henri Coandă” International Airport, also known as Otopeni Airport, is Romania’s largest and busiest airport. It has 72 international destinations and 6 domestic destinations, connecting Bucharest to numerous important European cities, as well as Romania’s most important regions.

Public transportation

Public transportation is usually cheap, with tickets costing somewhere between 2 and 5 lei (€0.43 – €1.1).

Taxis & car rentals

Taxis are also available at for around 2-2.5 lei/km (€0.44 – €0.55), depending on the city.  Car rentals are available in most cities, and prices vary in each location.

Money

 

What payment methods can I use?

The most widely used payment method in Romania is by cash. But most businesses also accept credit card payment. The main credit cards accepted in Romania are Visa International, EuroCard/MasterCard (EC/MC), Europay International and America Express.

But if you’re looking to use your credit card in rural settlements you might find it a bit difficult, so we suggest keeping some cash around.

Is Romania cheap to visit?

We like to think yes, but we’ll let you decide. Here are some prices that you will usually encounter. This should help you get a better idea of what travel budget you will need.

  • A cup of coffee – 8-10 lei (€1.75 – €2.15)
  • A glass of beer – between 4 and 10 lei (€0.9 – €2.15)
  • A glass of wine – 13 lei (€2.8)
  • Pack of cigarettes – 15 lei (€3.2)
  • 1 km for taxi – between 2 and 2.5 lei (€0.44 – €0.55)
  • Public transportation ticket – between 2 and 5 lei (€0.43 – €1.1)
  • One film ticket costs approximatively 26 lei (€5.7)
  • A small pizza – 25 lei (€5.5)
  • Dinner at a nice restaurant – around 110 lei (€24)

Tipping in Romania

Tipping is pretty common in Romania, especially to service workers such as taxi drivers, tour guides, waiters, or hotel staff. Usually, a tip of around 10% is sufficient, but feel free to tip more for excellent service.

At restaurants, the tip is usually not included in the bill.

Our services do not include tipping.

Health & Safety

 

Is Romania safe to visit?

Absolutely. In fact, Romania is one of the safest countries in the world, according to the # index. That doesn’t mean that you should be reckless with your personal belongings though. You should always be wary of pickpocketers and beggars, as pickpocketing is one of the most common crimes in Romania. We also suggest making sure that the driver has the taximeter running, so they won’t rip you off on the price for the fare.

You will also encounter a lot of stray dogs, but most of them are harmless, so there’s no need to be scared. Although, if you see large packs of stray dogs (e.g. more than 5 or 6), it would probably be for the best to avoid them.

If you want to read more about safety in Romania, we covered this in one of our previous posts, so be sure to check it out.

Do I need a health insurance?

Even though traveling to Romania doesn’t require any immunization due to the lack of infections and poisonous insects, we highly recommend getting health insurance before visiting us. Better safe than sorry.

Is it safe to drink tap water?

Usually, the tap water is considered safe to drink in Romania. But be careful about the waters found in fountains – you should never drink it without purifying or boiling it first unless assured that it’s safe to drink by a guide or the local authority.

What number should I dial in case of an emergency?

If you have an emergency you can call 112 from any phone, even if you don’t have a sim card.

Working hours & Public holidays

 

What are the opening hours in Romania?

  • Banks: 9 am – 5 pm.
  • Malls: 10 am – 10 pm.
  • Drugstores: 8 am – 9 pm from Monday to Friday. On Saturdays, they are usually open until 4 pm and most of them are closed on Sundays, but every city has at least one drug store that is open 24/7.
  • Cafes, restaurants and other eat&drink places: 9 am – 10 pm from Monday to Friday and 11 am – 24 pm during weekends. Some local places stay open until the last client, but the program usually varies depending on the restaurant policy.
  • Supermarkets: 7 am – 10 pm. There are also several supermarkets with a 24h program.

What are the public holidays in Romania?

There are a few public holidays when Romanians have the day off and banks, public offices, and many private businesses are closed. The holidays are:

  • 1st and 2nd of January
  • 24th of January – Union Day
  • 1st and 2nd day of Easter (16th and 17th of April for 2017)
  • 1st May – Labor Day
  • 1st and 2nd day of Whitsuntide (4th and 5th of June for 2017)
  • 15th August – Assumption of the Virgin Mary
  • 30th November – Saint Andrew
  • 1st December – Romania’s National Day
  • 25th and 26th December – 1st and 2nd day of Christmas

Romania travel tips

 

What’s the best time to visit Romania?

To be honest with you, it’s hard to pick the best time to visit Romania. All seasons have their ups and downs, so it really comes down to your holiday preferences. Winter is a lovely time to visit Romania as there are plenty activities to choose from and activities to experience. Since Romania is a country that still lives up to its tradition, this is probably the best season to explore its cultural heritage by discovering its Christmas traditions and not only.

When it comes to winter sports, Sinaia is one of the most extensive resorts in Romania, with mountain ridges as tall as 2000 meters and numerous authorized ski slopes. In case you didn’t know, in Sinaia, you will also find the beautiful Peleș Castle, the former residence of the Romanian royal family. But since almost a third of Romania’s surface is covered by the Carpathian Mountains, you can be sure that there’s more than just one resort for winter sports. Close to Sibiu, you will also find Păștiniș, the oldest ski resort in Romania, and if you are near Brașov you can’t miss one of the best resorts for skiing and snowboarding in Romania, Poiana Brașov. One last thing that we want to mention is that you can also practice other winter sports which don’t require as much practice as skiing and snowboarding. If you want to just ride a sleigh down a slope or try snow tubing, you can do that as well.

If you’re planning to visit Romania during the summer, the lovely weather can make up for some extraordinary outdoor activities: biking around Transylvania’s villages with fortified churches, hiking in the Carpathian Mountains, rafting on the rough waters of Jiu River, or birdwatching in the Danube Delta. Another great way to take advantage of the warmer seasons is taking a trip to some of Romania’s best preserved traditional villages such as Viscri or Breb and getting to know the locals, their cultures, and their traditions.

What are the best places to visit in Romania?

Talking about touristic points of interest, even though there are hundreds of landmarks in Romania, there are some that should be at the top of your list. But we will not talk about specific touristic attractions such as the Painted Monasteries of Bukovina or Transylvania’s Villages with Fortified Churches, Corvin Castle, the Vanatori Neamt Natural Park or Romania’s National Parks. Instead, we will cover the main Romanian cities that are worth visiting, as they are the perfect departure location to visit the before-mentioned landmarks.

1. Brașov

brasov main square

Located in the heart of Romania, at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains, Brașov is a city that was built in 1211 by the Teutonic Knights, although the oldest traces of human settlements in the area date back to 9500 BC. Some of the top attractions of the city are the Black Church, the city’s main square (also known as Council Square) and the Rope Street, one of the narrowest streets in Europe.

Brașov is also close to the famous Castle of Dracula, Bran Castle. This makes it a popular spot for Halloween and vampire-themed parties, as well as to several other medieval castles and fortresses. A tour of Bran Castle will help you discover all the details of Dracula’s legend, as well as the connection between the castle and Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula.

From Brașov, you can also take a trip to the Bear Sanctuary in Zărnești, a natural reservation where you can adopt a bear.

2. Bucharest

bucharest old town

The capital city of Romania, also known as „Little Paris”, is by far the center of Romanian culture and art. Bucharest succeeds in combining the architectural style of the interbellum and communist periods with elements of modern architecture, and one of the best ways to observe all of these is by taking a walking tour through Bucharest’s Old Town. Other important attractions in Bucharest are the Palace of the Parliament (also known as People’s Palace) and the Spring Palace, the former residence of Romania’s communist leader, Nicolae Ceaușescu.

3. Cluj-Napoca

cluj city streets

The beautiful city of Cluj-Napoca is located on the northwestern side of Romania and is considered by many the unofficial capital of Transylvania. Being one of the largest student cities in Romania, Cluj is filled with unique cafes and pubs, and it is a popular location for music festivals such as UNTOLD Festival.

If you find yourself in Cluj Napoca, make sure to take a walking tour around the Union Square and the Botanical Garden, and take some photos on the Mirror Street. Also, don’t even think about skipping a trip to Turda Salt Mine, one of the best underground theme parks in Europe, or to the stunning Alba Carolina Fortress.

4. Iași

iasi palace of culture

Iași, the city of romance. Famous for its romantic parks and rich culture, this city is located in the historic region of Moldavia, in northeastern Romania. The symbol of the city is by far the Palace of Culture, which is also known as Moldova National Museum Complex, hosting the Art Museum, Moldavia’s History Museum, the Ethnographic Museum of Moldavia, and the Science and Technology Museum.

Iași is also home to the oldest national theatre and one of the most prestigious theatrical institutions in Romania, the “Vasile Alecsandri” National Theatre. Around Iași, you can take a trip to the Bucium Relay Platform, a spot which offers a great view over the city, and you can visit several recreational parks such as Ciric or Hamak.

Being one of the main cities of Moldavia, Iasi is oftentimes used as a departure city for tours to the numerous historical sites in this region, such as the Painted Monasteries of Bukovina, that are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Marginea Black Pottery Workshop, or the Neamt Citadel.

5. Sibiu

sibiu main square

One of the most important cultural centers in Romania, Sibiu was designated the European Capital of Culture in 2007, along with Luxembourg. Located in the vicinity of Brașov, Sibiu is defined by its aristocratic elegance and its rich cultural life.

Walking through the city center reveals several beautiful landmarks such as the Bridge of Lies and the Brukenthal Museum, and we guarantee you will be impressed by the unique rooftops of the city.

From Sibiu, you can easily reach Sinaia, where you can visit Peles Castle. Sibiu is also close to the Păltiniș ski resort and to the ASTRA National Museum Complex, where you can see what the life of the Romanian peasants looked like.

A little bit about Romanian cuisine

If we were to describe Romanian cuisine in one word, that word would be diverse. Romanian cuisine has been influenced by many cultures, and somehow it managed to blend all of those tastes beautifully while maintaining its own characteristics. Romania shares many foods with the other Balkan Countries and with other countries in Eastern Europe such as Moldova and Ukraine.

The main meat used in Romanian cuisine is pork, and we even have a tradition called Ignat, right before Christmas, when rural families usually slaughter a pig in order to prepare traditional Christmas foods such as cârnați (sausages), caltaboș, tobă, tochitură (pork stew), piftie, or jumări (pork greaves). And while we’re talking about Christmas foods, the best way to serve them is with a small glass of our traditional home-made drink, palinka.

We also have a wide variety of soup dishes, which can be made from meat and vegetables, tripe, or fish, in various combinations.

Essential Romanian phrases

Romanian pronunciation is very phonetic. The accents and sounds are very similar to Italian, and most of the time the pronunciation is the same for each letter. Romanian also has a lot of words imported from English, French, Italian, and German, and that is why it is usually rather easy to understand. Some examples include Hospital (Spital), Police (Poliția), and Pharmacy (Farmacie).

Here are some basic words and phrases that will help you communicate better.

EN: Hello!
RO: Salut!

EN: How are you?
RO: Ce faci?

EN: Fine, thank you.
RO: Bine, mulțumesc.

EN: What is your name?
RO: Cum te numești?

EN: Nice to meet you.
RO: Îmi pare bine.

EN: Please.
RO: Te rog.

EN: Thank you!
RO: Mulțumesc.

EN: I’m sorry.
RO: Îmi pare rău.

EN: Good morning.
RO: Bună dimineața.

EN: Good evening.
RO: Bună seara.

EN: Yes.
RO: Da.

EN: No.
RO: Nu.

How can I book a tour on Rolandia Travel’s site?

On our “Tours” section you can find all the tours that are available. Filter the results according to your preferences, and once you found the tour that suits you the best, you can book it through our platform.

Your booking will be automatically confirmed once your payment has been registered, and one of our consultants will contact you in less than 24 hours, in order to further discuss the details of your booking.

If our standard tours aren’t quite what you’re looking for, you can always create your own custom tour in Romania.

If you have problems filling out the form, please feel free to contact us by phone: 0040.317.800.236 and/or by email at info@rolandia.eu.