Romania is one of the cheapest travel destinations in Europe. It is situated in south-eastern Central Europe, bordering the Black Sea. It’s a year-round attraction which travelers all around the world need to know about.
As a first-time visitor to Romania, it comes in handy to know some facts about the country.
From stunning rural scenery to great beaches, breathtaking mountains, and cool cities, this European country has something to offer for anyone.
In this article, we compiled some useful tips and advice we have when visiting Romania for the first time, so you know what to expect.
Entry and Visas
Romania is part of the European Union, which means that if you’re a citizen of a country that’s in the EU, then you will need only your National Identity Card to travel to Romania.
If you’re traveling from a country that’s outside the EU or overseas, then you’ll need a valid passport that should not expire sooner than you intend to leave the country.
Moreover, to avoid any unpleasant situations with certain airlines (some may refuse boarding at the origin point), make sure that your passport will be valid for at least three months prior to the date of your departure from Romania.
If you’re an American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealander citizen, you don’t need a visa to enter Romania.
You can check here to see if your country is on the list whose nationals require a visa.
You can enter and leave Romania with a maximum of 10,000 euros (or the equivalent) in cash or traveler’s checks.
You have to declare the amount if you’re going to enter the country with more than 10,000 euros. Also, you need to declare items such as art objects, historic artifacts, weapons, ammunition, explosive materials, toxic and hazardous substances.
For additional custom regulations, including alcohol, tobacco, and other products, you can access this link.
Traveling to Romania
Figuring out how to get here is one of the most important aspects that a first-time visitor to Romania needs to know.
If you live in Europe, you’re in luck because there are quite a few low-cost airlines that connect up to 100 European destinations to Romania’s airports. Moreover, most flights won’t take more than four hours, so you’ll get here pretty fast as well.
Traveling from Asia or the US is easy as well because there are a lot of commercial airlines such as KLM, British Airways, Turkish Airlines or Lufthansa that you can fly with.
If you’re a fan of trains, then you can choose this means of transportation, even though the number of cities is more limited in this case. Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Sofia, or Debrecen are the main cities you can travel from by train.
Romania’s currency is Leu (it actually means lion) and the plural is Lei (which is pronounced “lay”). The common abbreviation that you’ll find anywhere in RON.
The foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks or at authorized exchange offices that can be found in International airports, in some larger hotels, or in the cities.
However, we recommend avoiding the exchange offices located in airports or in central areas of a city because they usually don’t offer good rates.
Romania’s currency may not be available for exchange in all countries, so make sure to convert the Romanian Lei that you don’t want to keep into the currency of your choice before leaving the country.
ATMs and Credit Cards
As a first-time visitor to Romania, you need to know that only VISA, MasterCard, Maestro, and American Express are accepted in this country.
Prior to leaving your home country, we recommend notifying your bank that you’ll be traveling to Romania, so they won’t block your card due to potentially illegitimate use.
There are plenty of ATM machines in the cities, so if you need to withdraw cash at any time, you can do it.
At the same time, we advise bringing cash with you if you’ll be visiting rural areas. Villages don’t usually have ATMs, so you’ll risk having to drive to the closest city to find one.
Driving in Romania
In Romania, driving is on the right side of the road. If you have a US, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, or European drivers’ license, then you can use it in this European country as well.
If you’ll be traveling and entering Romania by car, you’ll need to purchase the road toll sticker, called “RoVinieta”. You can buy this from border-crossing points, postal offices, and most gas stations.
A RoVinieta that’s valid for 30 days costs less than $10.
At the moment, Uber, the popular transportation on-demand service, is available in a few cities in Romania: Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Brasov, and Timisoara.
It’s definitely an affordable and safe means of transportation which you can use in these four cities.
Bucharest is quite a large city, so you can also consider taking the subway if it’s necessary. Being the capital of Romania, it’s one of the busiest cities in the country, which is why the subway is the quickest transportation method you can use.
We also recommend exploring the city on foot because you’ll get to explore some areas that you might not get the chance to see otherwise.
Weather and Climate
Even if no one can predict the weather 100% accurately, the climate of a country can give you an overview of when it would be best to visit a certain country.
Romania has a temperate continental climate and it has four seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
April, May, June, September, October are the perfect months you can choose as a first-time visitor to Romania.
It’s not too cold and it’s not too hot either during those months. July and August are the hottest months of the year, so it’s something to keep in mind if you’re sensitive to heat.
Winters can get pretty harsh due to massive amounts of snow and low temperatures, so it’s best to avoid traveling in December, January or February.
Smoking and Drinking
If you plan to hang out in a bar, go out dancing in a club, or party out in the town, then you need to know what the law says about smoking and drinking.
You are allowed to smoke on the street and in closed spaces such as private residences and personal cars, but you are not allowed to smoke in closed spaces such as bars, restaurants, clubs, or any other public building.
Drinking is forbidden on the streets, so if you want to enjoy some alcohol, we recommend doing it in a bar, pub, club, or at the hotel where you’ll be staying.
Most taxi drivers expect to receive a tip, so if you’ve enjoyed your trip and your driver was nice, you can reward them for it.
The restaurant prices include taxes and service, but it’s recommended to leave a 10% tip if you liked how you were served. If the service was over the top, you can leave up to 20%.
Romania is definitely one of the cheapest travel destinations in Europe. Entrance fees to museums and other attractions are rarely more than $5.
If you want to go to the National Theatre or Opera, you will have to pay approximately $30.
The cost of accommodation can start somewhere around $40 (or less), depending on the area you’ll be staying in. For approximately $100 per night, you can book a double room in a nice hotel that has breakfast included as well.
A two-course meal (including wine) for two people starts at $30 and go up if you want to go to a fine-dining place. There are definitely a lot of restaurants that serve amazing food, so there are plenty of options for every budget.
Public transportation is extremely cheap as well. A bus ticket for one trip does not cost more than $0.50 in any Romanian city. Bucharest is the only city that has a subway and the price for two trips is $1.27.
When buying groceries at the supermarket, you can expect to pay $0.50 for a bottle of water (tap or mineral) or a soda that has 0.5 l, $0.7 for a beer, $0.30 or more for bread, or $0.40 for a bag of potato chips.
If you’ll be traveling to Romania with a big group of friends, then the best option cost-wise and in terms of space would be to rent an Airbnb. There are plenty of selections near the city center as well, which means you’ll be close to the most important attractions.
Additionally, you can find great hotels or hostels at great prices which are wallet-friendly, as long as you avoid the city center, where the price for one room is usually higher than $100, especially in Bucharest.
So, if you want to save money on accommodation, Airbnb or a hostel is the way to go.
First-Time Visitor to Romania? Book a Tour with Us
Romania is a country of contrasts due to the diversity you can find here – you have mountains, beaches, remote areas, traditional rural sports, and city life.
Regardless of how much time you want to spend here, it’s important to make the most of your trip and travel all around the country to discover its beautiful landscapes.
We have plenty of tours which include sightseeing of Bucharest, its surroundings, and many others which will help you explore Transylvania, the mountain region and other treasures of Romania.
If you want to request additional information about our tours or book one, feel free to contact us at 40 735 525 710.