Romania is a beautiful country. It really needs to be more appreciated by people that live here and of course by people that visit. Compared to 12 years ago when you rarely met a foreigner visiting my country(one of them is now my husband haha), Romania’s visitors certainly increased in the last couple of years. Some of our really good friends in UK visit Romania at least once a year and that is not because they come and visit us.
They sometimes come to Romania to go skiing in the Carpathian Mountains or to sunbath on the beach along side the Black Sea. Yes, we do have a lot to offer as a country although we still have a lot to catch up and have the motorways and All-inclusive hotels like in the western European countries.
But Romania has its own charm and it definitely deserves to be visited. I did entice you with articles about Constanta or Brasov before on my site but despite all its glamour here are 10 things you should know before visiting Romania to make your time here easier and more enjoyable.
What you should know before visiting Romania
It’s a big country
Romania is a big country – the 12th largest in Europe, bigger than England even although with a lot less people living here. Make sure you plan before visiting as because of it’s size it might take a while to go from one place to another, Luckily we have 4 international airports so no matter where you might want to go there’s always an airport nearby. The biggest is still in Bucharest though but if you hire a car you get to the nearest mountain resort or the seaside in a couple of hours.
As I said, we still need to improve our motorways but believe me they are far less busy than the motorways in England.
Sometimes accidents happen so you might need to visit the emergency room in some hospital in Romania. Unfortunately, outside big cities like Bucharest, Brasov or Cluj the hospitals are not so good looking as you might expect and want them to be.
However, we have good doctors that we even “export” them to western countries like France, Germany or England so you will be in good hands. The nurses and dome of the doctors might expect “bribe” for a better service.
So better get health insurance to some private clinics. Again you can always check online for suitable clinics.
One thing you will really need to do before visiting my country is to check and see what vaccinations you need to have done especially if you are travelling with your kids.
So i recommend you to check with your family doctor or even before simply find out by checking online if you might need to have a hepatitis A vaccine for example.
Like in any other European country, it is absolutely safe to travel through Romania wether you like travelling solo or with you family. Make sure you are still cautious though like in any other country.
Don’t worry Romania is not the country where thieves and muggers will be waiting around for you or where you will simply be eaten by stray dogs.
You do need to be careful in Bucharest though like in any other big city. Watch your pockets like you would in London, Amsterdam or Berlin and don’t fall for petty theft like street games or performances or beggars.
Also, if you plan travelling with a taxi be careful as taxi drivers in Romania are as terrible here as anywhere else. Make sure you always have the meter running or agree on the price before you get into the car.
My advice would be to download one of the apps for the taxi. I love the Speed Taxi app as its so easy to use and the taxis arrive really quickly. Oh and now Uber is available in Bucharest and other major cities.
Most people know that Romania is part of the European Union now but despite that fact it is not part of the Schengen Area along with Ireland and United Kingdom, Romania, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Cyprus
This is why when entering Romania you will still have to go through passport control and visa requirements might vary depending on where you are travelling from.
Again it is best to check before travelling by visiting here. At the moment travellers from most of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, USA or Canada do not require visas.
Romania is one of the countries that although is now part of the European Union didn’t switch to the Euro currency.
The national currency of Romania is the Leu (RON) so you might need to exchange some currency in your home country before boarding the plane or you could simply use any cash machine to take out money when you need.
The exchange rate is actually quite good for anyone visiting from countries where euro, dollar or the pound is the currency. You can always check the exchange rate before travelling on the National Bank website but the exchange rate is very roughly 5 RON to 1€ or 1£.
Our Romanian money are made out plastic so we are quite cool because of it don’t you think?
Tips will be appreciated
In Romania, waiters get tips. Like in any other countries it is usually nice to leave behind 10 percent of the bill. Always check the restaurant bill, especially in the tourist areas, if there is something you don’t understand, ask, and always check to make sure they didn’t include the tips in the bill already
As you might’ve deducted our national language in Romania is Romanian. Romanian is a latin language and it is very similar to Spanish or Italian with minor influences including Slavic or Turkish.
What it is really good in Romania is the fact that most of its people are speaking a second language which might very well be one of the languages mentioned above. However, most of its people and especially the younger generation speaks English really well. So no matter where you might go or visit you will stumble over lots of people able to communicate with you in English.
A few basic phrases to help you get by include Buna which means ‘Hi’ or ‘Hello’; Mersi for ‘Thank you’ similar to French; Bine for ‘Okay’; and Da and Nu for ‘Yes’ and ‘No’.
Dracula was a real person
Yes that it is true but he’s real name was Vlad Tepes – translated as Vlad the Impaler in English. He was a real person and not a vampire, Vlad III Dracula was a ruler in Romania in the 1400s after whom Bram Stoker patterned his character Dracula.
Vlad was a very cruel and truly inhuman some historians might say. He gained infamy for simply impaling his enemies upon spikes while they were still alive! It is assumed that Vlad might’ve lived in Bran Castle during the 1400’s and also fought battles in the area. However, Bran Castle was not his main residence.
There is plenty to see
As I said before In Romania you can find everything you want in one place – mountains, seaside, beautiful traditions and authentic experiences, folklore and history. I really wish more people could see it as it’s true value.
So give Romania a chance. Start with Bucharest as it is a fascinating city with plenty to see – Palace of the Parliament or the Peasant Museum are a must see. However, Bucharest is certainly not representative for the whole country. Brasov, Sibiu or Sighisoara are beautiful charming medieval old towns that show what the towns looked like hundreds of years ago. Different again is the Baroque and Art Nouveau architecture of Oradea, a city on the western border of Hungary.
The landscape changes wildly depending on where in the country you visit. You have the huge and dramatic Carpathian Mountains near Brașov in the centre of the country; there’s the tranquil rolling hillsides of the northern Maramures region; the vast plateaus and plains like the one Bucharest is found in; and the coastline by Constanţa on the Black Sea. Basically, if you have the option to spend a little more time in Romania, take it so you can see more of what my country has to offer.