If you’re planning a trip to Romania and you’re a first time visitor looking for travel tips and what to visit, then here’s a list of the most important things we locals think tourists should know about visiting Romania. There are many interesting things to do in our country and we’re going to tell you everything!
Located in Eastern Europe, Romania is the 9th largest country in Europe by area, with a very diverse geography and beautiful nature. It ranks 6th by population (approx. 19 mil) composed of 85% Romanians and other ethnic minorities such as Hungarians, Germans, Italian, Turks or Rroma. Romania is a NATO member since 2004 and part of the European Union since 2007.
The capital of Romania is Bucharest with approx. 2,2 mil people.
1. Visa requirements – none!
Citizens of European Union member countries do not require a visa when entering Romania. Citizens from most countries of the world can get a visa on arrival at the airport (US, Canada, Australia, etc). Unless you’re on this official list from the Foreign Affairs Ministry of countries that need a pre-approved visa letter (mostly from Africa, Middle East or Asia) there are no special visa requirements for tourists to enter Romania.
The Romanian currency is Leu (RON) or Lei in plural and can be found in notes of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100, 200 and 500, all plastic and almost indestructible! 1 Leu is divided into Bani which are coins of 50, 10 and smaller-don’t-matter coins. Although most prices in Romania are also displayed or calculated in Euros, using Euros for cash payments is not accepted and if someone offers you an ‘in-house’ exchange rate, you should check official rates before accepting.
2. Budget, travel expenses and shopping in Romania
Two things you should know: Romania is a relatively cheap and affordable destinationthat offers excellent value for money for lots of things. It is a developing economy where the average medium wage is around 550 Euros / month, except for Bucharest and major cities where wages (and costs!) are considerably higher (towards 800-1,000 Euros).
Second, Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Sibiu are the top 3 most expensive Romanian cities for tourism, accommodations and going out, compared to others such as Brasov, Timisoara or Oradea.
A reasonable budget per day for visitors in Romania should be about 25-35 Euro (100-150 Lei) excluding accommodation. In restaurants in major cities a main course starts from 20-25 Lei, soft drinks from 7 Lei while wine and beer from 10 Lei. Entrance fees to major attractions and sights range between 10-20 Lei. Hostels rooms in Romania start from 15 Euro while accommodations with hotels or AirBnB from 35 Euro / night. A double room in a guesthouse in the countryside starts from 20 Euro but most ones are usually priced between 35-50 Euro with breakfast included.
Tipping in Romania is very common and usually expected.
Located in Eastern Europe (depends if your map includes Russia or just the EU) Romania has a very rich geography with numerous attractions: the Black Sea in the East, endless agrarian fields in the South, plenty of forests, soft rolling hills in Transylvania, low mountains (800-1400m) and the raw and wild Carpathian Mountains (or Transylvanian Alps as some call them) with 100 peaks over 2.300m.
3. Weather, climate and when to visit Romania
Romania has a temperate continental climate with the regular four seasons still largely present. Summers (June-August) are hot with 33-38 C degrees, winters (December-Feb) are cold -20-0 Celsius while spring (March-May) and autumn (Sept-Nov) are unpredictable as ever: cold in the mornings and evenings (8-18 C), warm and sunny during the day (18-26 C). Average rain, no spontaneous floods or draughts. Morning frost in spring, thunderstorms in the summer, foggy in autumn and snowy and freezing in the winter. The best time to visit Romania is anytime between early April – end of October.
4. Emergency number, medical services and insurance
In Romania the single nation-wide emergency telephone number is 112. An operator will ask if you want to talk to the police, fire or medical services. There are no particular health concerns or issues you should be aware of before travelling to Romania. No special insects, health or food issues around here and we don’t have a pollution problem (except for Bucharest during summer heat). On the contrary – Romania has plenty of greenery and salt mines that are good for your health.
4. Romania means MUCH more than Dracula
Romania is very popular thanks to vampire stories surrounding Bran Castle also known by its tourist name Dracula’s Castle. But there’s so much more to our country than doing a castle tour or the massive Palace of Parliament. Romanian cities have a vibe of their own which is worth experiencing but if you want to see the major tourist attractions in Romania you need to travel deeper in the country to the regions of Transylvania, Bukovina or Maramures. Romania’s major attractions, unspoilt natural beauty and true local life is best experienced outside of major cities – just have a look at the map of Romania to see for yourself.