Practical information about Romania

Romania is a year-round tourist destination. However, from the end of April to the beginning of July and from end of August to the end of October are the most popular sightseeing periods, with generally mild and pleasant temperatures. Summers can be hot especially in Southern Romania, including Bucharest, but along the Black Sea Coast, sea breezes offer moderate temperatures. The mountain resorts and higher elevation areas are warm and pleasant during summer. Winters can be very cold, especially in the mountains and snow is common throughout the country from December to mid March. Skiers can usually enjoy their favorite sport in the Carpathian Mountain resorts from December until mid-April.

Money and Budget Guide

Currency exchange

Romania’s currency is Leu (plural “Lei” – pronunciation: lay).
Abbreviation: RON

Banknote denominations: 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 lei
Coins: 1, 5, 10 and 50 bani pieces. (pronunciation: bahnee)
1 leu = 100 bani

Foreign currencies may be exchanged at banks or authorized exchange offices (called: “casa de schimb” or “birou de schimb valutar”). International airports and larger hotels also offer currency exchange services.

Romanian currency cannot be purchased or sold outside of Romania’s
national borders.Make sure that, before leaving Romania, you convert your leftover
Lei into the currency of your choice.

ATM (Bancomat)

ATM machines are available at main banks and at airports and shopping centres. There are very, very few ATMs in remote areas or villages.
ATMs that have symbols for international networks such as STAR and PLUS
will accept US/English banking cards.

Credit cards

Major credit cards including American Express, Mastercard and Visa are accepted in large hotels, car rental companies and stores in the main cities. However, credit cards are unlikely to prove useful in small towns or away from tourist areas.

Contrary to practice in the United States, a PIN is usually required to make credit card purchases.  Many English banks allow cardholders to establish such a PIN prior to travel, in case one is needed.  Regardless, you should notify your bank of your international travel, and the potential legitimate use of your card abroad, prior to leaving the U.K.

Travelers’ Checks

Preferably in US dollars or Euros, Travelers’ Checks can be cashed in large banks, some hotels and selected exchange offices but most of them charge
considerable commissions.

Do not count on cashing such checks outside Bucharest and a few other major cities. For travel around the country it is a good idea to carry cash.

Small stores and restaurants might accept U.S. Dollars or EURO’s in small denominations
(1, 5, 10 and 20) but the exchange rate offered will not be the best.
Street handicraft vendors prefer Romanian currency.

Electricity

Romania’s electrical current is 230 V; 50 cycles and sockets take the standard continental European dual round-pronged plugs.

Image of a plug adaptor - required for non-European appliances.A plug adaptor is required for non-European appliances.
Please remember that simple adapters do not convert voltage or frequency.

A power converter is necessary for appliances requiring 110 V.

 

Communications

Telephone:
International direct dialing service is available throughout Romania.
Most public telephones require the use of a calling/ telephone card.
It is very easy to rent or buy a cellular telephone in Romania.

Dialing within Romania:

0 + three digit area code + six digit telephone #
when dialing anywhere in the countryside or

0 + 21 + seven digit telephone # or 0 + 31 + seven digit telephone #
when dialing a number Bucharest.

Three digit telephone numbers are local toll-free numbers
for emergencies or businesses.

International dialing from Romania:
00 + country code + area code + telephone #

Dialing from a foreign country directly to Bucharest:
International Access Code +40 (country code) + 21 + seven digit telephone #

Dialing from a foreign country directly to any other city in Romania:
International Access Code + 40 (country code) + three digit area code + six digit phone #

Romania has several Internet access providers offering advanced services such as Internet messaging via mobile telephone, Internet paging, international roaming and more. A number of Internet retail outlets and cyber-cafes in almost every town offer convenient Internet access. An increasing number of hotels offer data ports with high-speed modem connections for guests to access the Internet and retrieve e-mail in the comfort of their rooms.

Disabled visitors

Access for people with disabilities to Romania’s tourist attractions has improved in recent years, and it remains a priority. However, it is advisable to check with all service providers prior to your visit, ensuring that they are able to meet your particular needs. Advance notice and reservations will also help ensure that you receive the best possible assistance.

Restrooms

There are no too many public restrooms so your best bet might be large hotels, department stores or fast-food restaurants. Use of some public rest rooms may be subject to a small fee. Some public facilities in crowded areas, including those in trains and train stations, occasionally run out of toilet paper or might not be cleaned often enough. Carrying a packet of tissues with you is always a good idea. Restrooms signs will indicate “Femei” (for women) or “Bărbați” (for men).

Smoking

It sometimes looks like almost every adult in Romania smokes.
Unfortunately, some of those who do smoke have little consciousness of non-smokers’ rights. However, the Romanian Government recently approved legislation that bans smoking in every public place but as in many countries in Eastern Europe some smokers have might ignore smoking laws.

Currently smoking is not allowed on planes, on buses and on most trains.
Luxury hotels have designated no-smoking floors and most restaurants must
have no-smoking sections.

Smoking is also prohibited in public places such as hospitals, concert halls,
and theatres.

Safety and Emmergencies

Although violent crime against tourists is almost non-existent visitors should take customary steps to safeguard their valuables. Leave your valuables and passport in the hotel’s safety deposit box or use a money belt kept out of sight. Be aware of pickpockets and scam artists in major cities.

Do not attempt to exchange money on the street; you will likely be short-changed or receive a pile of worthless bills. Beware of con men masquerading as plainclothes police; they may pretend to check your papers or accuse you of exchanging currency on the black market. In fact they might try to steal your cash. Real plainclothes police officers might only ask to check personal documents but never your credit cards or your cash. Not having your passport with you will not be a problem. The officer will come with you to your hotel to see your passport if he really has to check it.

General emergency phone number : 112

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