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Romania

Welcome to the Ultimate Romania Travel Guide!

Romania is one of the least-visited and least-expensive countries in Europe, which is crazy to me because this country is beautiful! It’s got modern cities, picturesque villages, great outdoor activities, and a unique coastline along the Black Sea. Whatever kind of adventure you want to have here, this Romania travel guide has everything you need for planning a trip!

Romania is known for the Carpathian mountains, medieval fortresses, Transylvania and Dracula, the Black Sea, and monasteries. The whole country is a fantastic blend of Western culture and architecture and traditional towns that still look like they belong in the past.

Romania is also one of my Top Budget Destinations Around The World!
Ready to plan your trip? Then here’s your ultimate Romania travel guide!
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Top Places to Visit in Romania

Black Sea
Bran Castle
Brasov
Bucharest
Constanta
Peles Castle
Prahova Valley
Snagov
Here’s My Romania Itinerary
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Typical Costs When Traveling

Exchange Rate

The currency in Romania is the Romanian leu/lei (singular/plural). Exchange rates are subject to fluctuations, so be sure to check this as your trip approaches. On average, 1 leu is equal to about £.18 British Pounds, $.23 U.S., €,21, and 1.6 Chinese Yuan.

Accommodation

A hostel room or budget hotel is around 50 lei a night (£9, $11.50, €10,50, 79.50 Yuan). A mid-range hotel will be about 120 lei a night (£22, $28, €25, 190 Yuan). Higher-end accommodations start at 200 lei a night (£36, $46.50, €42, 318 Yuan) and go up from there.

Airbnb prices are usually one of the most expensive housing options in Romania, averaging around 230 lei a night (£41, $53.50, €48, 365 Yuan).

Food

Meals from markets or street stalls are relatively cheap around 40 lei (£7.25, $9.50, €8,50, 64 Yuan). A meal at a gourmet restaurant will be about 60 lei (£11, $14, €12,50, 95.50 Yuan). And lunch or dinner at higher-end restaurants will start around 80 lei (£14.50, $18.50, €16,50, 127 Yuan) and go up from there.

Romania has some of the lowest alcoholic drink prices in the EU. So budget around 2.50 lei for beer (£.50, $.60, €,50, 4 Yuan) and 9.50-24 lei for a bottle of wine (£1.75-4.25, $2.20-5.50, €2-5, 15-38 Yuan).

Transportation

Bucharest has an excellent metro system. The fare is about 2.50 lei (£.50, $.60, €,50, 4 Yuan) for a one-way ticket or 5 lei for a round-trip ticket (£.90, $1.15, €1, 8 Yuan). And there’s a day ticket for 8 lei (£1.50, $1.85, €1,65, 12.75 Yuan). The smaller towns and cities will have buses, trams, or trolleybuses, and the prices will be comparable to Bucharest’s metro costs.

Because most of Romania is in the Carpathian Mountains, ground transportation makes for relatively slow going. So even though trains will be slower, they’re a scenic way to see the country, and trains run to almost every city and town, even the smaller ones. First-class tickets will be between 50-100 lei (£9-18, $11.50-23, €10,50-21, 80-159 Yuan) depending on how far you’re going. You can buy tickets from the national railway system here.

If you want to reduce your travel times, then consider flights within the country. If you wanted to go from Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca, it would take you 7 hours by car or 10 hours by train, or only 40 minutes by plane. And ticket prices can be as low as 50 lei (£9, $11.50, €10,50, 80 Yuan) if you book far enough in advance. WizzAir, RyanAir, BlueAir, and Tarom offer the cheapest flights.

Car Transportation

Renting a car usually only costs around 23 lei a day (£4.25, $5.50, €5, 37 Yuan). I drove in Romania and loved the freedom of stopping whenever I saw something interesting. But be aware that roads in Romania aren’t great.

The network of highways, national roads, and local roads aren’t well-configured to connect, most of the streets are bumpy from being patched instead of repaved, and many roads (even larger and more main ones) are one lane. So, I would only recommend renting a car in Romania if you’re also going to hire a driver or if you’re very comfortable and experienced with driving.

Taxis are relatively cheap and very reliable. Drivers are required by law to post their rates on a door or window. The price should be around 1.80 lei (£.30, $.42, €,38, 2.82 Yuan) per kilometer. If a higher fare is posted, then it might be a scam, and you should find a different taxi.

Uber is available in Bucharest, Cluj Napoca, Brasov, Timisoara, and Lasi. Lyft doesn’t operate in Romania.

Other Expenses

I’d budget around 60 lei a day (£10.75, $14, €12,50, 96 Yuan) for entrance fees, tours, guides, snacks, tips, and souvenirs.

ATM’s are widely available for 24-hour withdrawals in lei. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted international bank cards.

Hotels, restaurants, and shops in cities and larger towns should accept credit cards. Visa and MasterCard are the most commonly accepted cards. You’ll need a credit card if you’re going to hire a car. In smaller towns and more rural areas, be prepared to pay with cash.

Romania Travel Guide
Tipping

You should tip 10% in restaurants. At hotels, you should tip cleaning staff 3-5 lei per night (£.50-.90, $.75-1.15, €,60-1, 4.75-8 Yuan). And tip doormen and concierges 5-10 lei (£.90-1.80, $1.15-2.25, €1-2, 8-16 Yuan). For a taxi, you should round up the fare. For tour or museum guides and hired drivers, you should tip around 10% per person.

Suggested Daily Costs

These budget estimates include eating and drinking out at least once a day and a couple of train, plane, or bus rides between cities.

Lower End: 200 lei a day (£36, $45, €40, 320 Yuan). Midrange: 300 lei a day (£54, $70, €62, 480 Yuan). Higher End: 400 lei a day and up (£72, $90, €85, 640 Yuan).

Money Saving Tips

1
One-Way or Multi-City Tickets Starting your trip in one city and finishing in another will help you save the money for the return trip to your first arrival city.
2
Eat Out for Lunch Lunch prices at restaurants will be lower than dinner prices. And to save even more money on lunch, order the ‘Meniul Zilei’ – the Daily Menu.
3
Local Drinks Buying local beers and wines will save you money. My favorite local beers were Ursus, Ciuc, and Silva.
4
BlaBlaCar BlaBlaCar is a ridesharing service with locals. It can be a more affordable alternative to trains and flights. But BlaBlaCar doesn't run as promptly as buses, trains, or planes. So only consider BlaBlaCar if you have a flexible travel schedule.

My Must-Have Guide Books

How to Prepare for Romania

Vaccinations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend the following vaccinations: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, and influenza.

Passport Health has additional information on current vaccinations and diseases in Romania, and I recommend visiting their website for the most up-to-date travel requirements.

Visas

Citizens of the U.S., Canada, and Australia need a valid passport AND a return ticket to enter Romania. EU and U.K. nationals require a valid passport but NO return ticket. EU, U.K. U.S., Canadian, and Australian citizens DO NOT need a visa if they’re staying less than 90 days.

If you’re a citizen of another country, you will need a visa to enter Romania. The World Travel Guide has a list of countries whose nationals need a visa to enter Romania.

Everyone entering Romania will need a passport that was issued at least three months before your arrival and is valid through the duration of your stay in Romania.

iVisa is an incredibly helpful resource for obtaining visas. iVisa makes the usually complicated and confusing process of getting a visa easy by taking care of everything for you. You fill out a simple online application, and then iVisa takes care of everything else.

Etiquette

If visiting a private home, always remove your shoes. It’s customary to bring flowers or a bottle of wine to private parties.

When meeting men, women, and children for the first time, shake hands. Then you’ll shake their hand again when saying goodbye. Close friends will typically greet each other with an air-kiss on both cheeks.

In churches, dress conservatively (no short pants or skirts or uncovered shoulders). You should also respect any restrictions on camera and phone use.

For Planning Your Trip

When To Go

Romania’s High Season is from June to August. During these months, everything is open – sights, tours, transportation, etc. But accommodation prices can be double what they are the rest of the year, and tourists and temperatures will be at their highest. Towns on the Black Sea are packed during these months with locals and tourists.

The Shoulder Seasons are from April to May and September to October. These are the best times to visit. Prices, tourist numbers, and temperatures are lower, and almost all transportation and sites should still be open.

The Low Season is from November to March when prices for everything drop. But many hotels, sights, and restaurants close or are only open on the weekends. Transportation around the country can be trickier this time of year due to inclement weather.

The best times to ski are from mid-December to early March.

Romania is one of the Best Destinations To Visit In July!
What To Pack

In addition to your usual travel essentials, you’ll want these items in Romania:

Day pack, water bottle, and hiking shoes since you’ll probably be hiking at least one trail or to at least one castle. If you’re doing any long treks, make sure you have any specialized clothing or equipment you might need.

Rain jacket because there’s always a chance of rain. If you’re here in the winter months, you’ll want several warm layers and a waterproof outer layer for rain, sleet, or snow.

Even if you’re here in the Summer months, you might want a warmer layer for the mornings and evenings in the higher elevations.

For coastal towns in the non-Winter months, you’ll want a swimsuit, towel, and sandals.

What To Wear

For the most part, Romanians dress casually and practically, so you can do the same. If you’re planning on attending the opera, you should have a nice outfit. Clubs can be dressier too, so have some casual-chic clothes if you’re going to party.

If you’re touring a monastery, you won’t be allowed in if you’re wearing shorts or short dresses or skirts, flip flops, or uncovered shoulders.

For the coastal towns in the summer, any kind of swimsuit is acceptable.

Have you been to Romania? Comment below with anything you’d add to this Romania travel guide!
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This Romania travel guide is not a sponsored post, and, as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Some of these links are affiliate links, and, at no cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

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Comments:

  • February 1, 2020

    I have always wanted to go to Romania. Now I want to go even more. Beautiful pictures. Thanks for the information.

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