1. Local time
Romanian local time is GMT + 2.
On the last Sunday of March, Romanian time switches to summer time and clocks are set one hour forward (3 AM becomes 4 AM).
On the last Sunday of October, Romanian time returns to winter time (4 AM becomes 3 AM).
The official language is Romanian. You will not have any trouble communicating in English or French in tourist areas. In rural areas you can communicate through signs.
The supply voltage is 220V AC (alternating current) and the frequency to the national network is 50Hz.
Plugs are European standard format.
Generally speaking, travelling to Romania does not involve any risks in terms of health. No special preparation (vaccines/pills) is required prior to travelling. There is a reciprocal health agreement with most European Union countries stating that citizens can receive emergency medical care and treatments, by using their European Health Insurance Cards. We also recommend you get a travel medical insurance.
You can find full information on visa requirements at the Romanian embassies and consular sections in your country – http://www.mae.ro/en/node/2035
It is not mandatory to tip, but this is a widespread habit and the staff expect to receive tips. Usually, the margin is 10% in restaurants, bars, pubs, taxis. You can also offer small financial gifts to hotel staff – bell boy, room service, hairdresser (if you have been satisfied with the services they have rendered for you).
7. Information about driving cars
Driving vehicles in Romania is on the right side of the road, cars having steering wheels on the left. In general, the speed limit is 50 km/h in towns, 90 km/h on national roads, 100 km/h on European-level national roads and 130 km/h on highways.
Romania is regarded as a safe country. However, tourists must be alert for pickpockets especially in tourist areas, on public means of transport or in train stations.
The national currency is the Leu (RON) and the subdivision is Ban (1 Leu = 100 Bani). There are coins of 1 Ban, 5 Bani, 10 Bani, 50 Bani and banknotes of 1 Leu, 5 Lei, 10 Lei, 50 Lei, 100 Lei, 200 Lei and 500 Lei. It is good to have cash with you, especially banknotes of a small value such as 5 Lei, 10 Lei or 50 Lei. The cards accepted are MasterCard, Visa, American Express which can be used especially in pubs/restaurants rather than while going sightseeing.
10. Mobile networks and communications
The Romanian prefix is +40 (0040) and in order to call outside the country, the prefix is 00 followed by the country code (ex.: 0049 for Germany).
The most common mobile networks are Vodafone Romania, Orange Romania, Digi Romania and Telekom Romania (a unit of the Deutsche Telekom group).
11. Food and drinks
Many people say that the Romanians eat very well, so it is worth trying a traditional meal. Traditional dishes are sour soups (with meatballs, pork, beef, vegetables), meat rolls in cabbage or vine, “mici”, stews of meat and potatoes or other vegetables, fruit cakes.
Local drinks are “țuica”, ”pălinca”, wine, but indigenous beers are also recommended.
In the mountain areas, there is a tradition of preparing various specialties of cow milk, sheep milk, goat milk or buffalo milk – “Telemea” cheese, ewe-cheese, green cheese, “Burduf” cheese, yogurt, buttermilk, kefir, sour cream.
It is recommended you have a traditional Romanian dinner accompanied by folklore music.
12. Drinking alcohol in public
It is prohibited to drink alcohol in public, except in restaurants, bars, pubs, on terraces or at organized events.
13. Smoking in public places
It is prohibited to smoke in public places – in restaurants, bars, pubs, clubs.
Smoking is allowed in specially designated outdoor spaces.
14. Emergency number
The single emergency number is 112 and there you will be redirected to the Ambulance, Fire and Police departments. The number can be accessed from any fixed or mobile device, without any area code. The call is free.
Please note: The number must be used only in emergencies. Abuse is punishable by law.
15. Holidays in Romania
1 January, 2 January – New Year
24 January – Day of Romanian Principalities’ Unification
The first and second day of Easter
1 May – Labour Day
1 June – Children’s day
The first and second day of Pentecost
15 August – Dormition of the Mother of God
30 November – Saint Andrew
1 December – Romania’s National Day
25 December, 26 December – Christmas
Souvenir shops in tourist areas are open Monday to Saturday from 09.00 AM to 08.00 PM, and some may be open on Sundays, too. Usually, malls are open Monday to Sunday from 10.00 AM to 10.00 AM.
17. Units of measurement
Measurement systems in Romania are:
– For weight – gram/kilogram – 1 kg = 2.20 lbs
– For distances – metre/km – 1 km = 0.62 miles
– For temperature – Celsius degrees – 1 Celsius degree = 33.8 Fahrenheit degrees (the formula to calculate Fahrenheit degrees is T(°F) = T(°C) × 1.8 + 32)
There are a large number of pharmacies, also in tourist areas. Many are open 24/7. A pharmacist is competent to recommend that you should see a doctor or to suggest a treatment.
Internet services are among the best in Europe. The coverage in Romania is very high. You can find wireless Internet in most hotels, tourist sites and restaurants.
20. Public transport systems in Bucharest
There are 4 types of public transport in Bucharest:
- STB (Societatea de Transport Bucuresti) which has buses, trolleybuses, trams, express lines (Henri Coandă International Airport – Northern Railway Station), suburban lines (connecting the capital to satellite towns), Bucharest City Tour tourism line, night buses (they travel only during the night). Buses are fully accessible, trolleybuses and trams are partially accessible.
- METROREX (Bucharest Underground Transport Authority) – it facilitates quick access to tourist areas of the capital. Subway trains exclusively travel underground. There are accessible underground stops, especially downtown.
- CFR (Romanian Railways) – The rail network is quite developed, with trains linking Bucharest to Romania’s tourist areas and trains linking tourist towns together (for example Braşov – Sibiu). The main railway station is the Northern Railway Station but there are also Obor, Băneasa or South Titan Stations which are rarely used by locals, never by tourists. There are facilities for people with special needs.
- Taxi – In Bucharest there are a multitude of taxi companies and the single fare is 0.30 Euro-cents per kilometre. A taxi is not the friendliest means of transport, we recommend increased vigilance both at the rate shown and at the driver. We advise you order a taxi at the hotel reception where you have your accommodation. There are no taxis for adapted transport.
- UBER / BOLT / YANGO – alternative transportation