Romania looks amazing during autumn. There’s something simply poetic about the amber vegetation that complements the landscape, both urban and rural.
If you’re planning a trip to Romania, then you should get excited. The country boasts a large number of interesting places to visit. And the best part about this journey is that you don’t have to worry too much about your budget.
Compared to their Western counterparts, Eastern European countries are much more affordable to travel to. And Romania makes no exception to this rule. It is the ideal place to visit if you are planning to go on an inexpensive trip.
If this has sparked your interest, then keep on reading. This article will feature a set of 9 tips which will prove to be very handy for those of you who are traveling on a budget.
1. Getting to Romania
The first thing that should be on your mind is how you’re going to reach Romania. While there are many options for transit, each of them has its pros and cons.
Flying is hands down the most effective way to travel to Romania. Depending on what airline you are going to pick, the prices are going to fluctuate.
Furthermore, by traveling via a low-cost airline such as Wizz Air or Ryanair, you’re looking to save quite a lot of time and money.
Getting a coach can be a cheaper alternative. However, you have to consider that traveling by coach from most places in Western Europe to Romania will take upwards of 2 days. This is valuable time which can be saved by simply booking a flight.
Regarding this part of the journey, the choice is yours whether you want to prioritize either saving time or money.
2. Travel to the Countryside
Rural tourism has been quite popular in recent times, and Romania, for many years, has been one of the hottest destinations.
Romania’s countryside harkens back to simpler times when technology and the vices of modern life hadn’t made their presence felt.
As opposed to the city, the countryside offers you the chance to experience authentic Romanian culture.
In many of Romania’s villages, you can still see people working the farmland, cattle grazing the fields, practicing old customs, and preparing traditional cuisine. Many elements that you simply wouldn’t get the chance to see in the big city.
Another perk which comes with this decision is that the trip around the countryside is often much more affordable than a city break. You will generally get to see many interesting things without spending much money.
For example, the accommodation is much cheaper if you are going to stay in guesthouses rather than hotels.
3. Don’t Do Round Trips
It’s a common practice among travelers to go on a round trip. This leaves them having to return from where they first started. And, naturally, having to go through all the locations twice, ends up costing a lot of time, energy, and money.
What you can do during your trip to Romania is to start off your journey in a major city and have another one as your final destination point.
For example, you can start your trip from Bucharest and have your departure in Cluj-Napoca.
This way, you end up saving a lot of time and money. Besides that, without being constrained by having to do a return trip, you can spend that time to see much more of the country.
4. Go on an Organized Tour
Traveling to a country for the first time can be a confusing experience. Aside from the general preparations which you have to make in order to reach the country, there are also some which need to be made once you’ve arrived.
For example, depending on where you would want to go, you will have to book transportation and accommodation in advance.
In Romania, the keyword is diversity – from the forested valleys of Transylvania to the rocky mountaintops of the Carpathians, all the way to the busy streets of the modern cities – the country is filled to the brim with attractions.
A tour has the potential to save you a lot of time and money on the many bookings you would have had to make if you were to do them by yourself. That is why, depending on what you’re interested to see, going on a tour is more than ideal for a complete touring experience.
Here is a list of tours that you can browse through.
5. Money Exchange Tips
The Romanian currency is the Romanian Leu, denoted as RON. A thing to keep in mind is that the euro, the pound, and the dollar are stronger currencies.
As a result, many things will seem much cheaper for you if you come from countries that use those currencies.
Hotels, supermarkets, restaurants usually accept payment by card. However, keep in mind that some smaller shops or tourist attractions may not have it available.
If you’re planning to travel around the countryside, you are going to need cash.
As a rule of thumb, it is advisable to avoid exchanging currency at kiosks at the airport or around train stations. These shops charge additional fees and commissions which weigh quite heavily on your pockets.
A reliable way to exchange your money is through a bank, but you have to keep in mind that the exchange rates are usually much higher.
That is why, for a better exchange rate, you should look to change money at local exchange agencies. These can be found in droves around city centers or in circulated areas, such as squares or shopping malls. Keep in mind to look for the ones which charge no commissions.
Hotels or short-term rentals are perhaps the most convenient accommodating options. Yet, it shouldn’t surprise you that they end up being the more expensive choice.
Instead, if you’re looking to save quite some money, you should use booking services such as Booking.com or Airbnb. These services are very popular in Romania, with many owners renting their homes for tourists.
When you are visiting around the countryside, the chances are that you won’t be able to find offers posted online. For example, if you’re either commuting between cities or if you’re traveling around villages.
In this case, if you want to spend the night somewhere, you can search for boarding houses and see if they have any vacant rooms.
7. Foods and Drinks
When it comes to saving money on food, the best option would be to serve the “Daily Menu” at restaurants. It offers you a full course meal, dessert, and often times it comes paired with a drink for around 20 RON ( which is around 5 Euro).
Restaurants that have this option will usually display it via a board outside of the restaurant’s premises. And it is important to keep in mind that it’s available usually between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you plan to cook your meal, then you can buy all your groceries from supermarkets such as Kaufland, Lidl or Profi. You can also support the local economy by buying vegetables from smaller shops or markets.
In Romania drinking in public spaces is forbidden by law. So, if you’re planning to go outside for a drink, the best bet is to either go to a bar or to a restaurant. There, the prices for a bottle of beer go at about 6 – 8 RON, and a bottle of good wine goes upwards to 30 RON.
Transport in Romania is very affordable. When traveling around the city, you have taxis charging less than half a Euro per kilometer. However, it is advised that you only pick those that clearly display their prices in order to avoid fraud.
If you want to be on the safer side, UBER is available in the bigger cities such as Bucharest or Cluj-Napoca.
Public transportation is also a cheap alternative, with the ticket cost being around 2 RON. Nevertheless, depending on traffic conditions, there is the risk of spending a bit more time during transit.
When it comes to traveling from one city to another, your best option is to take a coach.
You can also use a ridesharing service such as BlaBlaCar. It is a platform that lists offers from locals that share their ride between cities and villages.
9. Telephone and Internet
From the get-go, it is important to know that since June 2017 all roaming fees have been removed from the European Union. This means that you can use your phone plan without any worries.
Yet, since Romania has one of the fastest internet connections in the world, you can save a lot of money by getting a mobile internet plan from a local telecom.
The biggest telecom operators in Romania are Orange, Digi, and Vodafone. They have a plethora of phone plans that go as low as 3 euros, for which they offer you a lot of calling time and high internet traffic.
This November, money and time should not be a concern if you’re planning to visit Romania. We hope that this article has proven to be useful in getting you up to speed with all the advice you need to travel on a budget.
Better yet, you can simply embark on a tour, and let look to potentially save a lot of time and money. Don’t hesitate to contact us or call +40 735 525 710 if you need help planning a trip.