TOURISM IN ROMANIA AND BUCHAREST: WHAT TO SEE IN ROMANIA, BUCHAREST, TRANSYLVANIA; WHY TRAVEL TO ROMANIA; THINGS TO DO IN ROMANIA; AND USEFUL INFORMATION.
Quick Links to some of our tours:
II. PRACTICAL INFORMATION – BEFORE TRAVELING
When to go & weather
How to get there
Driving in Romania
III. PRACTICAL INFORMATION- WHILE TRAVELING
Money, Tips and Safety
Eating and drinking
Avoid & Remember
Important visiting hours
I. GENERAL INFORMATION
- It’s special
Romania is Eastern Europe’s definition of diversity, brought together by the same language, surprisingly a latin one. An identity like no other that offers a unique experience to the traveler, with a familiar taste. On one side you feel a cultural difference for finding yourself in the east part of the continent, on the other you encounter a generally positive and friendly attitude of the people, usually speaking good English as well.
- It’s affordable
The prices are still low for a country that joined European Union in 2007. At the same time, the quality of services usually varies from good to very good, and this provides satisfaction and ease of spending. The special flavor of the country comes from a “sweet chaos” that one can experience here, but rest assured that at the end of the day things work out increasingly as they do in the rest of the European Union, although at a slower or different pace. Last but not least, Romania is still a relatively unknown destination and this makes a trip easier and more relaxed.
- It’s beautiful
Geographically, everything seems privileged and perfectly balanced as arranged by hand: a medium sized country; the Carpathian mountains with the last untamed forests in Europe and 40% of its brown bear population, shaped by waterfalls, caves and high peaks, disposed in an arch closing around a large Transylvanian plateau right in the center; fertile hills and plains descending towards the borders and crossed by rivers finding their way to the Danube River which flows through an unthinkable Delta into the Black Sea, with its mild coast. All of this still enjoying a temperate 4 seasons-climate.
- It’s unique
Unmatched blend of cultures offering incredibly diverse attractions and experiences such as: Bucharest probably the least boring capital in Europe, dazzling with life while still recovering from astonishing yet mad communist interventions like the 2nd largest building in the world; Transylvania, embracing Dracula’s story, and knocking you out through purely rural and precapitalist sites, truly central European cities, medieval castles and village fortresses; Christian-Orthodox unique churches from those marvelous through simplicity and entirely wooden made, going up to 74m, in Maramures, to overwhelming and completely painted on the outside ones, in Bucovina; and, across the country, genuine and traditional households of culturally rich and proud communities different from region to region, and abundant gastronomic insights with great wines and liquors, tasty food and local products.
- It’s safe
Romania is a safe country with a low crime rate, according to many trustworthy sources like osac.gov. Theft is less present in Bucharest than in the big cities of Europe and outside the capital even less. This is contrary to the idea that someone may have due to a certain class of Romanian emigration with negative impact, which is not representative of the country or the reality that can be found here.
Historical regions by importance and their most representative attractions:
Bucharest – the capital city:
– in the city: Palacio del Parlamento (second largest building in the world, known as Ceausescu’s Palace), Village Museum (open air synthesis of rural architecture), Old Town “Lipscani”, Arch of Triumph and the emblematic Athenaeum (Concert hall of the Philharmonic).
– from the city: Sinaia, with Peles Castle (majestic former royal residence in the Carpathians) and Sinaia Monastery; Curtea de Arges Monastery (royal pantheon and beautiful decoration) and the real “Dracula Castle” of Poienari.
– surroundings: Snagov Monastery (official burial place of Vlad the Impaler), Mogosoaia Palace (Brancovenesc Renaissance style), and Therme (the hot springs of Bucharest).
Transylvania: Bran Castle (Dracula’s Castle); cities founded by the Saxons in the Middle Ages like: Brasov (at the foot of Mount Tampa), Sighișoara (UNESCO protected medieval citadel), Sibiu (European Capital of Culture 2007); World heritage fortified churches: Prejmer (the best preserved) or Biertan (impressive and remote).
Bucovina: the Painted Monasteries, churches with the outside walls entirely decorated by frescoes. Most important ones: Moldovita, Sucevita, and Voronet. Plus the Painted Eggs Museums.
Maramures: The wooden churches of Surdesti, Barsana, Rozavlea, and The Merry Cemetery.
Dobrogea: Danube Delta, Constanta – oldest city and port in Romania, and the Black Sea Coast.
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Recently joining European Union has placed Romania on the map for many, raising curiosity and interest, even though it undeservedly remains a generally unknown destination. Trying to move away from the stereotypes, Romania has started to shape up its unique brand benefiting from recently good media like articles describing the fascination of Prince Charles with Transylvania, reports about Bucharest being a recomforting unique and entertaining experience freed of rules, or the much awarded New wave in Cinema. Romania is luckily still unspoiled by mass tourism and offers high value experiences and quality services to those wise and informed that have decided to visit it.
Location and Time zone
Romania is located in Eastern Europe and borders Hungary to the west (W), Serbia to the southwest (SW), Bulgaria to the south (S), Ukraine to the northeast (NE), and Republic of Moldova to the east (E). It also has a stretch of sea coast along the Black Sea to the southeast (SE). The country has an area of 238,391 km2 and 245 km of coastline.
Time zone: Two hours more than London (GMT + 2, winter time; GMT + 3, summer time). Same time zone as Bulgaria, Greece or Cyprus.
Capital city and Important cities
Capital city: Bucharest.
Great historical regions (medieval principalities that included the other regions for certain periods of time): Transylvania, Moldavia, Wallachia
Other important historical regions: Bucovina, Maramureș, Banat, Oltenia, Crișana, and Dobrogea.
Important cities: Brașov, Sibiu, and Cluj-Napoca (Transylvania), Constanța (Dobrogea), Iași (Moldavia), Timișoara (Banat).
The country is organized into 41 counties plus Bucharest.
Membership: European Union since 2007 and NATO since 2004.
Population: 19.53 millions (2018). Bucharest- 2.12 millions (2018).
Ethnic groups: 89% Romanians, 6.5% Hungarians, 3.3% Roma.
Religion: the majority is Christian Orthodox with 81%. Among the minorities: 4.3% catholics, 3% reformed, 1.8% pentecostal, 0.2% atheists.
Climate: temperate-continental: hot summers with frequent showers and storms, cold and cloudy winters with often fog and snow.
Elevation extremes: lowest point – Black Sea Coast 0m, highest point – Moldoveanu Peak 2544m.
Natural resources: oil, timber, natural gas, coal, iron ore, salt, arable land, hydropower etc.
Natural hazards: earthquakes, floods, landslides etc.
Political framework: Semi-Presidential and representative democratic republic where the prime minister is the head of the Government (executive power) and the President, elected by direct vote each 5 years (maximum 2 mandates), is the head of the state. Two-chamber Parliament elected each 4 years by universal vote.
Currency: Leu (plural Lei) with the symbol RON.
GDP: approx. 26.500 int. $ per capita (2018, according to the World Bank).
Unemployment: 4.2% (2018).
Calling code: +40 ; Internet TLD: .ro
Flag: three equal vertical bands of blue (hoist side), yellow, and red.
National Holiday: December 1, Unification Day.
Anthem: “Deșteaptă-te române” (“Awaken thee, Romanian!”).
Military service: voluntary, from 18 to 36 years of age, for both men and women.
II. PRACTICAL INFORMATION – BEFORE TRAVELING.
The recommended time to go on a tour is between March and October. Lately, April-May and September-October have become the most popular months due to mild temperatures and the beauty of nature on this time of the year. The summer (June-August) remains the high season and near the Carpathian mountains, which means in most tourist areas, the temperatures decrease enough during the night to reach a comfort level. In winter however, the itineraries should be more basic, using the main and most important roads, and adapted to daylight hours. On the other hand, some snow can bring a lot of charm to your vacation.
Romania has a balanced temperate-continental climate, with 4 seasons of 3 months each, and some influences in parts of its territory, like Mediterranean or Baltic. However, due to recent climate change, sometimes you might experience temperatures and characteristics that are not typical for that time of the year.
To enjoy Danube Delta’s wildlife, the most recommended time to visit is between April 15th and May 15th or in the first part of October, but also during summer. Regarding Transfagarasan, you should keep in mind that the famous road is only open between July and October.
We recommend checking the weather forecast by following this link: http://www.accuweather.com/en/ro/romania-weather
Major airlines arrive here as well as low-cost companies like: Wizz Air, Ryanair or Blueair.
Air Canada will most likely resume its direct flights from Toronto and Montreal in 2021. While Tarom, the state-owned Romanian airline, will probably start operating direct flights to the US also in 2021.
Cluj-Napoca Airport (Transylvania) is the second largest in the country.
Citizens of US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or Israel for example, may enter and remain in Romania as tourists without a visa for up to 90 days total in any 180-day period. They must have a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond the departure date from Romania, minimum 6 months recommended. Starting 2021, an ETIAS Online Authorisation will be a requirement to enter the countries in the Schengen Area, plus Romania and Bulgaria.
UK citizens, from 1 January 2021, will be able to travel to Romania for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa as tourists, and they will need to have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport.
Citizens of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) can travel to Romania only with a valid ID, if the stay is less than 30 days.
Being a member of the European Union, Romania has a visa regime similar to other state members. The states whose citizens need visas to enter Romania are published on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (http://www.mae.ro/en).
Citizens of the EU and the European Free Trade Association should carry their European Health Insurance Card. It covers a large part of the medical costs, except non-emergencies or emergency repatriation.
It is advisable, with or without the above mentioned card, to get/buy a travel insurance that also covers trip cancellation. We recommend: worldnomads.com, travelguard.com, allianzcare.com
First aid kit: in addition to the basic drugs and your medical treatments, put an antidiarrheal and an intestinal antiseptic in the suitcase.
Rovignette (road tax): for sale at gas stations or online. 7-day fee: €3, 30-day fee: €7. It’s usually included in the car rental service.
Drink driving limit (Blood Alcohol Content): 0.00%.
Minimum age of children in the front seat: 12 yo.
Minimum age of the driver: 18 yo. Mandatory use of seat belts in front (strict) and rear seats (less strict but totally recommended).
Motorcycles: compulsory helmet use for both the driver and the passenger.
Mandatory turning on the headlights (day and night) outside the urban area all year round.
Winter tires required during cold season.
Mandatory warning triangle.
Mandatory first aid kit.
Mandatory fire extinguisher.
Reflective vest recommended.
Standard speed limits (light vehicles)
In urban centers: 50 km/h.
On the road: 90 km/h.
On the highway: 130 km/h.
The maximum speeds should be reduced in the event / case of rain.
Driving in Romania is not easy and may be stressful due to infrastructure and local conditions. Generally you should take into account a real average speed of only 50-60 km/h. You must be calm, practice defensive driving and comply with speed limits, while paying attention to pedestrians, animals, potholes and overtaking, plus ignoring a certain general impatience of the local drivers.
We recommend the use of navigation apps as well as local advice and information from internet forums.
It is advisable to travel with both your Passport and your ID card but without carrying them all the time with you or in the same place. This way you will avoid losing them both in case of any event. If you lose your passport, you need to immediately contact your Embassy or Consulate. Citizens of the EU and the EFTA can travel to Romania with their ID card for less than 30 days. In case they lose it, they will be able to return home using their passport.
It is also recommended to bring your student card in order to get discounts or free admission to some tourist attractions.
You may also consider carrying your Driving license even if you don’t plan on driving or renting a car.
You don’t need to try and get Romanian currency prior to your arrival. It is better to carry euros or dollars in cash or credit card. Paying by card is possible in many places but it is recommended to have a minimum of 25% of your budget in cash.
We don’t recommend changing money at the airport because of bad exchange rates. If you need local currency for a taxi, then change only €20 / $25 or withdraw local currency from an ATM (always avoid Euronet ATMs and beware of the fees that your bank may apply).
The easiest way to get to the city and directly at your destination is by car, which is relatively inexpensive. There is also an express bus to the center, which might be crowded, and a train that takes you every 40 min. to the Main Train Station in the city. Works for a subway line are planned to start soon.
A cheap but tricky option by car is a taxi. We strongly recommend avoiding them as you can read below in Avoid & Remember. If you need to take one though, do it exclusively through the Touchscreen stands located in the waiting area. Wait for the taxi with the same number you have on your ticket and check that the driver activates the taximeter before the ride. For the standard fare of 1.99 lei/km, a ride to the city center shouldn’t cost more than 60 lei, about €12. When you pay what is written on the receipt, round up a leave a tip of at least 5 lei, about €1, if everything has gone ok.
UBER or BOLT are equally inexpensive, except for dynamic tariff, and represent a better option. If dynamic tariff applies, it might cost more than a taxi but it’s safer. A downside, especially if you carry a lot of luggage is that you cannot be picked up right in front of the airport, and you will need to get to a nearby meeting point. Also, your luggage might not fit if you were matched with a smaller car but you have the option of bigger cars when ordering one.
If you prefer more comfort and security, we recommend booking a private transfer prior to your arrival (€25 – €50 / transfer). The driver will wait for you holding a sign/screen, just after leaving the baggage claim area, and vehicles will generally be bigger and premium or in good condition.
All our tours include 2 transfers: arrival and departure.
Check and activate the roaming service on your mobile phone before leaving, to be able to use it abroad. Once arrived it is more difficult. You could also consider a local Prepaid Sim Card.
III. PRACTICAL INFORMATION – WHILE TRAVELING
Language and features
The only official language in Romania is Romanian, but there is also a significant Hungarian speaking minority in some parts of Transylvania. Romanian is a romance language with many words similar to those in French and Italian but also with some slavic influence and sounds that make it pretty difficult to learn and speak. Fortunately, in many cases you will be able to use English, but that depends on the age and education of the other person.
How to say.
Good day / Hello = Bună ziua / Salut
Please = Te rog
Thank you / Thanks = Mulțumesc / Mersi
Beer = Bere
Choose a local network: Orange, Vodafone or Telekom.
To call home, you will need to add 00 followed by the country code before the dialed number. For example, 001 to call US or Canada.
Most of the places (hotels, bars, restaurants etc.) have free wi-fi at good speed. Romania is among the first countries in the world for its Internet speed, but the connection will depend from one place to another.
When it’s 9 am in London, it’s 11 am in Romania. This means that the Romanian time zone is: GMT + 2. For convenience and to avoid misunderstandings, please set your watch and phone to local time.
Romania is not in the Eurozone, as neither are Poland, Hungary or the Czech Republic.
The local currency is called Leu/Lei (singular/plural) and its symbol is RON. The exchange rate for the Euro is around 4.8 RON, for the Dollar around 4 RON, and for the GBP around 5.3 RON, for example. These are correlated with the official exchange rates issued every day by the Central Bank, which you can check here.
The most commonly used banknotes are: 1 Leu, 5 lei, 10 lei, 50 lei, and 100 lei. There are also bills of 200 and 500 lei, but usually it is handy to have smaller bills.
1 Leu is subdivided into 100 bani (cents) and there are coins of 50 Bani, 10 Bani, 5 Bani and 1 Ban. The coins are used much less and people prefer to round up when they pay for services.
In some tourist / touristic places, foreign currencies might be accepted but it’s recommended to change and use local currency.
Hotels don’t exchange currency but there are many exchange offices. Most of them are fair and have good rates, but it’s better to check in advance with the hotel reception or your tour guide. You will need an ID. As said above, it is advisable to avoid the airport offices as they have bad exchange rates.
You can also change in most of the banks, which are usually open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but it usually takes longer.
Or you can withdraw from an ATM. Beware of the fees your bank may apply and always avoid Euronet ATMs because of their high fees. The conversion rate will probably not be the best but the difference it’s not significant for small amounts, and this method can be easier and more flexible.
Of course you can also pay directly by card in many places, especially in the cities (better ask before anyway).
If you already booked travel services (accommodation, transportation, tour guide), for meals and other expenses you will need around €20-30/day/person, depending on your preferences and way of spending.
Romania is a safe country with a low criminal rate. Pickpocketing in Bucharest is less frequent than in other European cities and outside of the capital even less so. But you need to be cautious.
Some tips valid for other trips as well:
– Leave your passport and cash in a locked suitcase in your hotel room or in the car, if you’re on the road and it’s parked in a secure parking space. Stealing from hotel room is very rare in Romania.
– Use a debit card without leaving large amounts available, or a credit card with limits and safety restrictions.
– If possible, keep documents and money separately, in 2 different places, and never leave the wallet in sight, for example on the table or in the back pocket.
Stray dogs are an occasional annoyance but rarely pose a danger.
It is almost mandatory. Contrary to some opinions / some might say, the reality is that tipping is part of the local culture and ethics, except the cases when the service has been specifically bad. Waiters: round up and leave minimum 10% (minimum 2-5 lei).
Tips for the guide and driver
If the service has been very good, the usual and recommended tip is: €15-25 / day for the guide and/or €10-20 / day for the driver.
In the case of a group tour (more than 20 tourists) accompanied by a guide and driver, the usual and recommended contribution for the tip, for both, is from €2 X Number of Days per tourist.
Example: 8-day tour with a group of 20 people. The tip would be from €2 X 8 days = €16 per tourist. That is €320, which is usually distributed 40% for the driver and 60% for the guide.
Generally in Romania you can eat well and in big portions, enjoying plenty of options. Local cuisine is versatile, mainly based on meat, with original elements whike having some regional influences as well: central european (sauces, potatoes, sour cream), russian (soups), or turkish (vegetables, spices and herbs). You will find restaurants ranging from Romanian cuisine (most of them) to European, Asian, contemporary or alternative cuisine. As for fast food, shawarma, also known as doner kebap, is extremely popular, especially in Bucharest, and is usually made with chicken or beef, fried potatoes, and a variety of ingredients and sauces that you can choose from. However, it is really essential to eat in rural houses or pensions, to get to know the aromas and flavors of true local cuisine.
The first course is almost by default soup or sour soup of many kinds: vegetables, meat and vegetables, cream, beans etc. The second course is usually meat plus side dish and salad: lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes or mixed. By all means, very popular is the barbecue and its specialty called “mici” or “mititei”, sausage-shaped minced meat similar to kebab, but very different in shape, size, and mostly flavor, served with classic mustard. The national dish is “sarmale cu mamaliga si smantana”, meaning cabbage rolls of minced meat, rice, and spices, wrapped in pickled cabbage leaves, with polenta and sour cream on the side and maybe hot chili. Last but not least, the dessert is usually one of many kinds of cake, thin pancakes with sweet filling, or the very popular “papanasi”: a kind of doughnut served with jam and sour cream.
Romania is not a “vodka country”. The strong liqueur is called Țuică, or Pălincă in Transylvania, and it’s a distilled or double-distilled fruit brandy, especially made of plums but other fruits as well. It’s usually served as an apéritif but it can also be a digestif and it contains around 40% alcohol by volume.
The most popular drink is beer. Some local brands: Ursus (the most famous), Silva (very good in black version), and Timisoreana (not premium but tasty). For beer fans looking for a craft beer, we recommend Zaganu, Ground Zero, and other local brands that can be found in some bars and shops. Lately, cider has been quite sought after and we heartily recommend a local brand called Clarks.
If you’re passionate about wines, for a good red wine you must go towards the higher prices. While the white and rosé wines are very appreciated and you can easily find a good one.
Coffee is generally from espresso machine (Illy, Lavazza, Julius Meinl), short or long, and served with condensed milk in small containers aside. You can also order caffe latte (coffee with milk), macchiato (milk with coffee) or cappuccino. In the big cities, there are some excellent coffee shops that offer more in terms of quality and atmosphere/experience. Hot chocolate is generally a good option as well and there are places and tea houses that serve good, and refined teas.
Remember that mineral water in Romania is sparkling water and the still one is called “plată”.
Beer: from 7 to 15 lei, from pints to mugs. Draught or bottled, romanian, craft or international brands.
Wine: from 60 lei, depending on the place, city, and wine quality.
Coffee: from 7 to 15 lei.
Tobacco: approx. 4€/pack (17-20 lei).
Customary is to receive a total bill at the end, and each person or couple does its math and pays its share, rounding up and adding a tip. Everything is settled among the clients and the waiter only steps in if help is needed.
Shops are open from 9-10 AM to 6-7 PM and Saturday during the first part of the day, except Holidays. In Bucharest and the large cities, there are shops and kiosks open for longer hours or 24/7, and the commercial centers (malls) are open all week.
You can buy them during your stay, preferably from local people, in Bucharest – at the end of the tour – with many choices and more convenient, or even at the airport if you want to leave it for the last minute.
What to buy
handicrafts: traditional blouses, and textiles (tablecloths, embroidered scarves, tapestries, and carpets); painted eggs- typical of Bucovina; pottery of Marginea and Horezu; religious icons.
classic souvenirs: photo albums, music cd-s, magnets, cups, t-shirts etc.
Gerovital cosmetics: famous anti-aging creams created by doctor Ana Aslan, a pioneer of geriatrics.
Wines like Davino, Vinarte, or Lacerta.
Liqueur: Tuica or Palinca made from plums. Also, Afinata (blueberry liqueur) or Visinata (cherry liqueur).
Honey: acacia honey or other varieties.
Sweets: Magiun de Topoloveni (a paste-jam made from plums, no added sugar), Green Walnuts Confiture (“dulceață de nuci verzi” in Romanian), ROM Chocolate (with rum flavour and the Romanian flag on its wrapping).
Cheeses: “Branza de Burduf” (a shepherd’s cheese with semi-strong flavor and crumbling texture, traditionally wrapped in fir bark), Telemea (from sheep, cow or goat milk, white, salted and similar to Feta), Cascaval (yellow semi-hard cheese, sometimes smoked).
Meat specialties: Sibiu Salami (best brands are Cris-Tim and Salsi) and many types of sausages, e.g. Cabanos or Plescoi.
The typical products can be bought in local markets, supermarkets, and specialized stores.
When toasting or when someone sneezes, they say “noroc” (good luck).
Little superstitions – Do not whistle inside a house, or sit on the corner of the table.
Give flowers to women. Roses would be a classic choice and the color guidelines are: white – for professional relationship, yellow – for friendship, red – for love and admiration.
January 1 and 2 – New Year
January 24 – “Mica Unire” (The Little Union)
Orthodox Easter – Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. It may or may not coincide with Catholic Easter.
Pentecost – Sunday and Monday. 50 days after Easter.
May 1 – International Workers’ Day
June 1 – International Children’s Day
August 15 – Dormition of the Mother of God
November 30 – Saint Andrew (patron saint of Romania).
December 1 – “Marea Unire” (The Great Union)
December 25 and 26 – Christmas.
Taxis in Bucharest
We strongly recommend avoiding taxis completely and using Uber or Bolt apps.
However, if you have to, you should follow 2 steps:
1. Choose a more reliable company, difficult to name one, and always through your tour guide or at the hotel reception, restaurant etc.
Warning! We don’t recommend taking a taxi on the street or at the taxi station. If you have to, it is not only a matter of choosing a taxi with a lower tariff, because if the taximeter is rigged, you end up paying much more than you should. You must choose a recommended company and, even more important, a driver with the right attitude, who inspires you more confidence than others.
You should ask if he’s available, even if their light is green, and tell them where you want to go. If he asks for a fixed price, instead of using the taximeter, walk away. Only if the distance is short, it is common to pay a minimum fare of 10 or 15 lei and even suggest it at the beginning so that they accept the ride. Taxi drivers usually try to avoid short distances because of the low fare that prevents them from accomplishing their daily income plan.
2. Check that the driver activates the taximeter before the ride. It’s a must! If not, ask him to stop and get out of the car. Be polite but firm, and don’t let yourself be intimidated.
When you pay what is written on the ticket (ask for it), and under no circumstances another requested amount, round up and leave a tip of at least 5 lei (approx. €1) if everything was ok. The taxi is cheap while the gas is not, and they rely on tips.
Warning! Always try to pay with small bills and pay attention to the process! This is to avoid a possible scheme: say you give him a 100 lei bill, without paying too much attention to it and waiting for your change, and he returns another lower bill, say 10 lei, falsely pretending that this is the bill you just gave him by mistake (and you’re probably not familiar with the bills), and it’s not enough to pay the ride. You’ve probably just lost 90 lei.
On the other hand, UBER or BOLT use a similar tariff (minimum 10 lei per ride) but offer more quality and guarantees. You don’t need to pay in cash (only if you want to) or interact too much with the driver. Card payment and all details are set through the app. We recommend UBER or BOLT even when the dynamic fare is up to 2x higher, because it is still affordable while the price and the payment are risk-free.
Orthodox Easter Sunday
Almost everything is closed, even in the big cities.
It is better to avoid tap water and drink bottled water (“apă plată” – still water or “apă minerală” – sparkling water). Nevertheless, tap water is drinkable even though it may have a stronger chlorine smell.
Traveler’s diarrhea may occur and it’s best to be prepared for it.
Emergency Telephone Number: 112.
Embassies and Consulates
4-6, Dr. Liviu Librescu Blvd., District 1, Bucharest, 015118 Romania
Telephone: (+40) 21 200-3300 – website
1-3, Tuberozelor St. 011411, Bucharest, sector 1, Romania
Telephone: +40-21-307-5000 – website
3 Praga St (The Group), District 1, Bucharest 011801, Romania
Telephone: +4 0212 062 200 – website
24 Jules Michelet, 010463 Bucharest, Romania
Telephone: +40 (21) 201 7200 – website
1, Dimitrie Cantemir, B. 2, Fifth Floor, Unirii Square, Bucharest, Romania
Telephone: +40 (21) 302 8500 – website
Electricity in Romania. Voltage – 230V, frequency – 50Hz, plugs – type C or type F.
Opening hours of the Main Attractions
In general, admission tickets are not expensive in Romania but you’ll have to pay extra in order to take photos. The visiting rules vary greatly from place to place. In monasteries it is recommended to wear a scarf and cover your shoulders in case your top doesn’t have sleeves. Also, if you don’t wear clothes that cover your knees, in places like the Painted Monasteries they will give you a type of apron and ask you to wear it.
Peleș Castle (website)
Opening hours in summer:
Tuesday: 09:15 – 16:15 (standard tour only); Wednesday: 09:30 – 16:15, Thursday-Sunday: 08:30 – 16:15
Entrance fee (standard tour):
Adults – 40 Lei
Seniors – 20 Lei
Students – 10 Lei
– last entry at 16:15. Tickets can be purchased until 16:10!
– to allow time for the rest of the program, most of our tours include the Peles standard tour (the most important part – the ground floor – approx. 1h), except when specified otherwise in your voucher. The optional tour (including the first floor) is allowed between 10:00 and 15:30 (last entry), except Tuesday.
– photo fee (non-professional): 35 lei / camera and flash must be disabled. Video fee (non-professional): 60 lei / camera.
– Peles Castle only allows guided tours. There are two entrances, one for foreigners and one for Romanian tourists, and slippers must be worn over the shoes to protect the floors of the building.
– Difficulty: low (a few stairs).
– NEW. Daily, between 12:30 and 13:00 ,there is a break for disinfecting measures against COVID-19.
Bran Castle (website)
High season (April 01 – September 30)
Monday: 12:00 – 18:00
Tuesday – Sunday: 9:00 – 18:00
Low season (October 01 – March 31)
Monday: 12:00 – 16:00
Tuesday – Sunday: 9:00 – 16:00
Adults : 45 Lei (approx. €9)
Seniors (65+): 35 Lei (approx. €7)
Students: 25 Lei (approx. €5)
Children: 10 Lei (approx. €2)
– last entry at 6:00 p.m. (high season) / 4:00 p.m. (low season).
– Photo and video (non-professional): free of charge.
– Due to the castle’s structure and the influx of visitors, after a general presentation, you will make the visit on your own or renting an audio guide. You will climb several stairs including a secret passage to the terrace with a panoramic view, and go down on a different set of stairs ending the visit in the central courtyard. During the tour, several rooms and halls are visited, the exit being different from the entrance.
– Difficulty: medium (uphill through the castle’s park to the access door and several stairs inside the building in order to make the visit)
Palace of Parliament (website)
Located in Bucharest, known as “Ceausescu’s Palace”, not to be confused with “Casa Ceausescu”, which was his personal residence (website)
Opening hours: daily.
March – October: from 9 to 17. Last tour at 16:30!
November – February: from 10 to 16. Last tour at 15:30!
Type of visit: guided tour in Romanian or English. Other optional languages, with previous group reservation.
Admission (standard tour): 40 lei – adults and seniors, 20 lei – students (19-26 years old, with a valid student ID), 10 lei – children / teenagers (7-18 years old), free: children under 7 years old.
Important: The palace can only be visited by leaving the original ID or Passport in custody during the visit or handing it to be scanned before the visit. Only these 2 documents and only in original.
– last entry at 15:30 / 16:30
– to allow time for the rest of the program, most of our tours include the Parliament standard tour (the most important part, approx. 1h), except when specified otherwise in your voucher.
– the gardens and the two legislative halls (Chamber of Deputies and Senate) are not allowed to be visited. Only the monumental halls used for meetings and conferences.
– Public access may be denied or restricted without prior notice in case of national and international events organized in the building.
– An original ID card or Passport is mandatory in order to make the visit. It is scanned before the tour, receiving a permit that allows you the access. Only these 2 documents and only in original.
– the visit can only be made after passing a security check.
– The Parliament only allows group tours guided by their own staff.
– Photo or video fees: only for professionals.
– Tasa foto o video: solo para profesionales.
– Difficulty: medium (a few long stairs, without being able to use the elevator).
Black Church (Brașov, see website)
April – October (exact dates to be communicated).
Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 – 19:00.
Sunday: 12:00 – 19:00.
October – April (exact dates to be communicated).
Tuesday – Saturday: 10:00 – 16:00.
Sunday: 12:00 – 16:00.
Closed on evangelical feast days and some other dates, for administrative purposes.
– only access for organ concerts from 5.30pm: on Tuesdays in June and September; on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in July and August.
– not allowed to take photos.
Prejmer Fortified Church
May 1 – October 31
Monday – Friday: 09:00 – 18:00.
Saturday: 09:00 – 17:00
Sunday: 11:00 – 17:00
November 1 – April 30
Monday – Saturday: 09:00 – 16:00
Sunday: 11:00 – 17:00.
Closed on Good Friday and Easter Sunday (feast days).
Clock Tower (Sighisoara, see website)
May 15 – September 15
Tuesday – Friday: 09:00 – 17:30
Saturday – Sunday: 10:00 – 17:30
September 16 – May 14
Tuesday – Friday: 09:00 – 15:30
Saturday – Sunday: 09:00 – 15:30
– It is not allowed to take photos (except from the balcony).
– The visit is preceded by a presentation. You will then visit the museum by yourself, from room to room, going up to the balcony with a panoramic view.
– Difficulty: medium (several stairs, some narrow).
Biertan Fortified Church
April – October
Daily: 10:00 – 17:00.
13:00 – 14:00: closed!
November – March: Closed!
Village Museum (Bucharest, see website)
April – October (exact dates to be checked)
Tuesday – Sunday: 09:00 – 19:00
October – April (exact dates to be checked)
Tuesday – Sunday: 09:00 – 17:00.