Romania travel info

Electricity

The electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Two-pin European-style plugs are standard.

Language

Romanian is the official language, but English will be understood in Bucharest and other tourist areas.

Money

The Leu (RON) is the official currency, which is divided into 100 bani. Money can be exchanged at banks, international airports, hotels, or authorised exchange offices (casa de schimb or birou de schimb valutar). ATMs are everywhere and give 24-hour withdrawals; international credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, restaurants and shops in cities and large towns.

Tipping

Tipping is becoming increasingly common in Romania, and is now expected in all restaurants and bars. A service charge is often included in restaurant bills but a further 5 to 10 percent tip is expected. Though it is not always necessary to tip them, taxi drivers can be rewarded for good service.

Health

Medical facilities in Bucharest are good, but poor in the smaller towns and basic medical supplies are often in short supply. There is a reciprocal health agreement with most EU countries, whose citizens are entitled to free or low-cost emergency medical treatment on presentation of a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), but travel health insurance is strongly advised. After Brexit, the Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) replaced the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for UK citizens. The GHIC allows UK citizens access to state healthcare during visits to the EU. The GHIC is not valid in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, nor is it an alternative to travel insurance. There have been a number of Hepatitis A cases in Romania and visitors are advised to seek medical advice about inoculations before travelling. Tap water is safe to drink, although bottled water is widely available. Stray dogs might carry rabies in remote regions and should be avoided.

Safety

Visitors should take normal safety precautions in Romania, such as keeping valuables safe and being aware of pickpockets and scam artists in major cities. Corruption is less rife these days, but visitors should be cautious of policemen demanding fines for spurious offences, or asking to see documents as a way of stealing cash. If approached in this way, visitors should offer to go with them to the nearest police station before handing over any money or documents. Travellers should not leave valuables, including passports, in hotel rooms, or near the window of a hotel room when they are not there.

Local customs

It is illegal to change money on the streets. Homosexuality, although legal, is frowned upon. A small and still largely closeted gay scene exists in the Romania's largest cities, particularly in Bucharest, which has a few gay clubs. Photography at airports is prohibited.

Doing business

Business can be quite bureaucratic and old-fashioned. The country adheres to an imbedded hierarchical structure and often it is the eldest who receive the most respect in business and social meetings. It is important to address each person according to their title followed by their surname; 'Domnule' for Mr. and 'Doamna' for Mrs. Romanians prefer a face-to-face approach and like to strengthen personal relationships. Appointments should be made in advance and confirmed. Although the visitor is expected to be punctual the host may be late to arrive. Meetings are often quite formal and a general 'Western' set of old-world manners applies. Business suits are appropriate for meetings. Romanians dislike an overt display of achievement or exaggerated conversation. Business hours are generally 9pm to 5pm Monday to Friday with an hour taken at lunch.

Duty free

Travellers visiting Romania from outside the EU do not have to pay duty on 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco. Two litres of spirits, 16 litres of beer, 4 litres wine, and gifts to the value of US$430 are also duty free. Those arriving from inside the EU do not have to pay duty on 800 cigarettes, 200 cigars or 1 kg of tobacco, 10 litres of spirits, 110 litres of beer, and 90 litres of wine.

Communications

The direct dialling country code for Romania is +40, and the outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the UK). Free wifi is available at cafes, hotels and restaurants. A local SIM card can be purchased as a cheaper alternative to using international roaming for calls.

Passport & Visa

Visitors must hold all documents required for further travel, onward or return tickets. It is highly recommended that travellers' passports have at least six months validity' remaining after their intended date of departure from their travel destination. Immigration officials often apply different rules to those stated by travel agents and official sources.

Entry requirements

United States nationals require a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay. No visa is required for stays of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.

UK nationals with passports endorsed 'British Citizen' require passports valid for period of intended stay, but no visa. British passports with other endorsements require either validity for period of intended stay, or three months validity beyond period of travel; all British passport holders are entitled to visits of at least 90 days visa-free within a 180 day period. UK nationals who are not British citizens are advised to check the specific requirements applicable to their status.

Canadian nationals require a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay, but no visa for stays of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.

Australian nationals require a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay, but no visa for stays of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.

South Africans require a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay and a visa to enter Romania. Holders of a valid Schengen visa, or holders of a short stay visa issued by Bulgaria, Croatia, or Cyprus do not require a visa to enter Romania for a stay of up 90 days within a 180 day period. South African temporary passports are not accepted by the Romanian government.

Irish nationals require a passport valid for period of intended stay, but no visa is required.

New Zealand nationals require a passport valid for three months beyond period of intended stay, but no visa for stays of up to 90 days within a 180 day period.

Useful contacts

Romanian Tourist Office, Bucharest: www.romaniatourism.com

Emergencies: 112.

Embassies / consulates in other countries

Embassy of Romania, Washington DC: +1 202 332 4846.

Embassy of Romania, London, United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 7937 9666.

Embassy of Romania, Ottawa, Canada: +1 613 789 3709.

Embassy of Romania, Canberra, Australia: +61 (0)2 6286 2343.

Embassy of Romania, Pretoria, South Africa: +27 (0)12 460 6941.

Embassy of Romania, Dublin, Ireland: +353 (0)1 668 1150.

Romanian Honorary Consulate, Auckland, New Zealand: +64 21 359 266.

Embassies / consulates in Romania

United States Embassy, Bucharest: +40 (0)21 200 3300.

British Embassy, Bucharest: +40 (0)21 201 7200.

Canadian Embassy, Bucharest: +40 (0)21 307 5000.

Australian Embassy, Belgrade, Serbia (also responsible for Romania): +381 (11) 330 3400.

South African Embassy, Bucharest: +40 (0)21 313 3725.

Irish Embassy, Bucharest: +40 (0)21 310 2131.

New Zealand Embassy, Brussels, Belgium (also responsible for Romania): +32 2 512 1040.

Send a link to this travel guide