Romania is a safe country and it is a member state of the European Union since 2007.

Travelers to Romania must be in possession of a valid Passport or ID card.

If you travel with your own car you must have: valid driver’s license, auto insurance (with coverage for Romania), valid technical inspection of the vehicle. Vignette is mandatory on all Romanian roads. You can buy one at the border crossing, at most petrol stations or post offices. More information can be found at http://roviniete.ro. The road vignette can be also online purchased on http://e-rovinieta.ro.

Traffic in Romania can be sometimes messy, but you get quickly used to it. On the national roads outside the cities, it is recommended to travel during daytime, as there are vehicles on the roads that don’t have always lights (tractors, carriages, bicycles).

You are strongly advised to follow the traffic regulations (especially maximal speed). There are many traffic controls and even for a simple fault your driver’s license can be restricted for minimum 1 month.

During winter months (November till March) all vehicles travelling on public roads covered by snow or ice must use winter tires or all-season tires marked by letters “M” + “S”.

Taxis are relatively cheap and they are frequently used. Before stepping in, you must know that the price has to be wrote on the outside of the car. Each taxi must be equipped with a visible meter, power on at the moment when you step in.

Especially at airport and railways station you must be extra alert that the driver will not overcharge you.

The driver is not allowed to drink; if you will drive a car you must restrict yourself from drinking any alcohol. In case of a car accident with damage you are advised to call the road police.

Opposite of the Netherlands, in Romania is not allowed to possess or to use any drugs, otherwise one will be severely punished. Cancel any contact with drugs while in Romania.

In busy places (stations, markets, public transport), be aware of pickpockets.

The public healthcare is not at the same standard as in the Netherlands, while the private clinics have a high standard. Bucharest has several private clinics, but in the provinces the possibilities are more limited.

In Bucharest and in some other big cities there are problems caused by abandoned dogs. They may come in groups, and they can become dangerous. Please avoid them, especially during night.


Read more:

http://www.lonelyplanet.com/romania#ixzz2kKzYPiPU

http://www.romania-insider.com/bucharest-city-tales-10-things-to-know-before-coming-to-bucharest/60177/

http://travelguideromania.com/category/trips/

 

Payment in Bucharest: In Romania, is not really possible to pay with Euro. In Bucharest, it is possible pay with most credit cards, like Visa, and there are many places to exchange euros to Lei, just check that they don’t take a commission. You can also withdraw money from cash dispensers- they are placed on every major street, in bank offices.

Safety: Don’t worry about safety too much when walking around in Bucharest, the crime level is very low, however like in most of big cities, take care of your wallet or purse, particularly in crowed places, tourist areas and near the train station Gara de Nord.

Remember to bring good shoes that are made for walking: Anyone who likes to go sightseeing by walking around the town should bring decent shoes. Feet can begin to hurt quite quickly here in Bucharest, partly because the streets and pavements are lot less smooth than in most European countries, stumbling over uneven stones in the pavement is common, and look out for holes in the road, which can be alarmingly big. Remember to look down when walking! But don’t forget to look up to see some of the beautiful old buildings.

Water and food: In Romania, we don’t drink the tap water, so buy water in bottles to be on the safe side. When it comes to food, remember that most of the traditional food is meat based.

Romanians dress up: Romanians are well dressed, and accessories are a big thing here, especially watches, handbags, stiletto shoes and shiny jewelry, and if planning to go to the opera or the theater you should bring suits if you are a man, and dresses or a presentable blouse and skirts if you are a woman. During the summer it can be very warm here, so we advise to wear cotton or other natural fabrics and then remember a cap or hat to protect from the strong sun.

Tipping is a must do thing: In Romania, generally the waiters get tips, 10 percent of the bill is normal, but 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 haven’t added a little extra on the bill, it can happen.

 

Geography

 

Located halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, Romania is the 12th largest country in Europe. Romania’s terrain is almost evenly divided between mountains, hills and plains. Main point of interest are Carpathian Mounties, the Danube Delta and the Black Sea. Romania is a perfect destination for holiday, only two and a half hour from Amsterdam is located in Central East Europe, with the capital city Bucharest, is a nice place for spending time, also named as “Little Paris” is combining old and stylish architecture with communist and post-communist stile.

The Carpathian Mountains

The Carpathian Mountains extend over 600 miles in Romania, in the shape of an arch. They are divided into three major ranges: the Eastern (Oriental) Carpathians, the Southern Carpathians (also known as the Transylvanian Alps), and the Western Carpathians. Each of these ranges feature a variety of landscapes, due to the different types of terrain (glacial, karstic, structural, and volcanic).

Romania’s mountains are a great destination for outdoor activities: climbing, hiking, biking and river-rafting. Some of the most popular ski resorts are Poiana Brasov, Sinaia, Predeal, Vatra Dornei, Lake Balea and Paltinis.

The Danube Delta

Danube River ends its journey of almost 1864 miles through Europe in south-eastern Romania. Here the river divides into 3 branches (Chilia, Sulina, Sfântu Gheorghe) forming the Danube Delta. It is the newest land in the country, with beaches expanding almost 20 meters into the sea every year.
Overall, the delta is a triangular swampy area of marshes, floating reed islands and sandbanks. It is a UNESCO Biosphere Reservation as well as a protected wetland and natural habitat for rare species of plants and animals.

The Black Sea

The Romanian Black Sea Coast stretches a little over 241 kilometers.
The Black Sea is a continental sea, with a low tide and salinity and water temperatures of 25-26˚C in the summertime.  Its wide, sandy beaches facing east and south-east become a major tourist attraction from May until September.

The capital city- Bucharest

http://www.romaniatourism.com/bucharest.html

Known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards, glorious Belle Époque buildings and a reputation for the high life (which in the 1900s earned its nickname of “Little Paris”), Bucharest, Romania’s largest city and capital, is today a bustling metropolis. Romanian legend has it that the city of Bucharest was founded on the banks of the Dambovita River by a shepherd named Bucur, whose name literarily means “joy.”

Bucharest is the economic, administrative, and cultural center of Romania and has been the official capital since 1862.

The city has an area of 228 square kilometres, being the 11th largest city in Europe by population within city limits.

You will find a lot of foreigners in the city and especially in the Old Center, a part of the city full of pubs and clubs, mainly because Bucharest is quickly growing into one of the most appreciated destinations for a City Break. As for the fact that you don’t speak Romanian, don’t worry, it’s common among young Romanian people to speak at least one or two foreign languages, English being by default the most widespread known, followed closely by French, Italian and Spanish (Latin based languages).

During weekdays is a crowded city and usually during rush hours traffic jams are common in most crowded intersections. Being located close to the mountain and seaside, during the weekend inhabitants leave their home towns and run either to the mountain or seaside – by car you can easily be by the seaside in two hours or if you enjoy the mountains you can be there in two-three hours.

 

Practical information

Climate

Romania has a temperate climate, Spring is pleasant with cool mornings and nights and warm days. Summer is quite warm, with extended sunny days. The hottest areas in summer are the lowlands in southern and eastern Romania where 35° C is often reached in July and August. Temperatures are always cooler in the mountains. Autumn is cool and dry, with fields and trees producing colorful foliage. Winters can be cold, especially in the mountains. While not the rule, abundant snowfalls may occur throughout the country, from December to mid-March.

Average temperatures (°C)

Month

Bucharest

Western
Romania

Central
Romania

The Black Sea
Coast

January

-3

-2

1

-1

February

-1

1

1

1

March

4

5

6

4

April

11

11

11

13

May

17

16

16

19

June

21

19

19

24

July

22

19

21

26

August

21

18

21

26

September

18

18

18

21

October

12

12

13

17

November

5

6

7

11

December

1

1

2

6

Currency

Local currency is LEU (this also means LION) and also known as RON (Romanian New Leu). The plural is LEI.

Average June 2013 exchange rates were:

1 EUR =  4.4765 RON
1 USD =  3.3923 RON

Source: National Bank of Romania (www.bnr.ro)

Romanian Cuisine

Romanian cuisine is a diverse blend of different dishes from several traditions with which it has come into contact, but it also maintains its own character.

Quite different types of dishes are sometimes included under a generic term; for example, the category ciorbă includes a wide range of soups with a characteristic sour taste. These may be meat and vegetable soups, tripe (ciorbă de burtă) and calf foot soups, or fish soups, all of which are soured by lemon juice, sauerkraut juice, vinegar, or traditionally borş. The category ţuică or palinca (plum brandy) is a generic name for a strong alcoholic spirit in Romania, while in other countries, every flavor has a different name.

The main ingredients used by Romanian chefs are meats such as pork, beef and lamb, fish, vegetables, dairy products and fruit. A traditional Romanian meal may include:

Appetizers

All kinds of cheeses, cold cuts and vegetable spreads.

A traditional drink enjoyed with appetizers is ” ţuică “ or “palinca” (plum brandy) which varies in strength, dryness and bouquet according to the production area.

Soups

“Ciorbă de perişoare” (meatball soup), “ciorbă ţărănească ” (vegetable soup, with or without meat), “ciorbă de burtă ” (tripe soup).

Main dish

Fish: “Saramură ” (grilled carp in brine), “nisetru la grătar ” (grilled Black Sea sturgeon) or “scrumbie la grătar ” (grilled herring).

Tocaniţă ” or “tochitură ” (meat stew seasoned with onions and/ or spices),

ghiveci ” (over 20 vegetables cooked in oil), “sarmale ” (pickled cabbage leaves stuffed with a mix of minced meats, rice and spices) and “mititei ” (The “Little Ones” – small skinless grilled sausages) are among the favorites.

Dessert:

Papanaşi ” (cottage cheese donuts, topped with sour cream and fruit preserve),

“Clătite cu brânză ” (crepes filled with cottage cheese, raisins and spices) and

Cozonac ” (traditional holiday sweet bread filled with walnuts, poppy seeds or cream cheese).

 

Transportation in Bucharest

Bucharest has the largest transport network in Romania. The Bucharest transport network is made up of a metro network and a surface transport network. Although there are multiple connection points, the two systems operate independently of each other, are run by different organizations (the metro is run by Metrorex and the surface transport network by RATB) and use separate ticketing systems. RATB tariffs are:

  • 1,3 lei – ordinary route
  • 3,5 lei –Express lines

Since 2012, there is the possibility to buy unique ticket valid both on RATB and Metrorex, the following prices apply:

–       60 minute ticket (valid on all transportation areas, busses in this time interval) -5 lei

–       10 tickets, valid each for 60 minutes- 30 lei

–       1 day ticket -16 lei

More details on transportation map, routs you can find on:

For public transportation you can use this Bucharest free route planner – the portal also has apps for android, iOS and WP7.

 

Car rental: all known rent- a-car company are preset in Romania, for detailed information please contact one of the providers bellow:

http://www.hertz.ro/en

http://www.eurocars.ro/ro

 

Taxis are one of the cheapest transportation mode in Europe, the tariff is aprox 1.4 lei/km; but you should be careful when choosing a taxi: the company’s name should be visible on the car and also the tariff should be displayed, the best is to ask the taxi driver from the begging of the traveling invoice (rom. chitanta); most of the cars are local cars (dacia) and during the summer have no airco; if you want a bigger car (for more than 4 people, extensive luggage and airco) you should ask in advance at the phone operator.

As a rule of thumb, do not get into any taxi displaying the words Taxi Bucuresti or Taxi Arsenal: these are usually a lot more expensive than standard taxis.

Never pay more than 1.69 lei per kilometre.

Be extra careful when getting into a taxi around Gara de Nord, Baneasa Airport, Bucuresti Mall, Piata Universitatii, Piata Unirii and the Old Town / Lipscani area. When leaving a hotel or restaurant, always have the concierge or waiter order you a cab.

Some reputable taxi co, active on the market for more the 10 years are indicated below:

–       Speed taxi: http://www.speedtaxi.ro/

–       Taxi meridian: http://www.meridiantaxi.ro/index.php?lg=en

–       Taxi Cobalcescu http://www.taximetre.ro/companie/taxi-cobalcescu/

Some of Bucharest’s taxi companies now have iPhone/ Android apps which make use of your phone’s GPS capabilities to get the closest taxi to you as fast as possible.

The best is from Star Taxi. The Android version is here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ro.startaxi.android.client&hl=en

 

Population and Religion

Population as per July 2012 statistic is 21,848,504, with the following ethnic groups: Romanian 89.5%, Hungarian 6.6%, Gypsy 2.5%, Ukrainian 0.3%, German 0.3%, Russian 0.2%, Turkish 0.2%, other 0.4% (2002 census);

The official language is Romanian.

http://www.indexmundi.com/romania/demographics_profile.html

Romania is a secular state, and it has no state religion. However, an overwhelming majority of the country’s citizens are Christian. 81.04% of the country’s stable population identified as Eastern Orthodox in the 2011 census. Other Christian denominations include Roman Catholicism (4.33%), Calvinism (2.99%), Pentecostal denominations (1.80%) and the Romanian Greek-Catholic Church (0.75%). Romania also has a small but historically significant Muslim minority, concentrated in Dobrogea, who are mostly of Crimean Tatar and Turkish ethnicity and number around 64,000 people. According to the 2011 census data, there are also approximately 3,500 Jews, around 21,000 atheists and about 19,000 people not identifying with any religion. The 2011 census numbers are based on a stable population of 20,121,641 people and exclude a portion of about 6% due to unavailable data. Generally main national holiday are linked with the Orthodox ceremonies and Orthodox Saints days.

Romania is since 2004 member of NATO and since 2007, member of European Union.