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The Ultimate Guide to Romania Trip Planning

Romania in a nutshell

Land of magnificent landscapes, featuring all possible landforms from plains to mountains, from the Black Sea to the Danube Delta, from modest and timeless villages to hustling-bustling cities, Romania is an Eastern European country that has it all. Ready to make its entrance in the big tourist circuit, equipped with heart-warming dishes and friendly locals, you will discover that Romania is so much more than the myth of Dracula, it is a country worth visiting and discovering.

Travel Romania from one end to the other to discover its many hidden gems. Travel Romania from winter to autumn to see the large variety of landscapes and colours from season to season. And travel across it to see the crashing opposition between the vibrant city and the timeless country!

Taste Romania is a mandatory experience. Taste is a palatable exploit. Whether it is salty or sweet, Romanians love eating and having hearty dinners! Together with a glass of tuica and friends! Noroc!

Feel the Romanian hospitality! And the deeper you delve in remote areas, the more genuine hospitality you will encounter! Feel the authentic countryside share its secrets!

In order to truly immerse in the Romanian experience, you need to know the basic information: the common sense general things, how to budget your trip and how to move from one place to the other.

So, here you are ….Help yourselves!

Countryside in Transylvania

Show Contents:

Quick Information

The Romanian currency is leu (sg), lei (pl). You can also find it as RON meaning the new Romanian leu.

Currency: RON/lei

1 euro = 5 ron

1 dollar = 4.60 ron

! Exchange rates can change due to inflation! There are lots of exchange offices in cities and most of them do not take commission, still, be careful!

Electricity Socket: 230V AC electricity. Power outlets are usually two-prong round sockets.

Visa: Romania is a member of the European Union.

Most foreign citizens may enter and remain in Romania without a visa for up to 90 days total in any 180-day period. Citizens who wish to stay longer than 90 days must obtain an extension from the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A visa is required for people coming from countries such as China, Russia, Turkey, or India. For the full list, check here.

Safety: Romania is regarded as a safe country. And it is, generally speaking. Still, risks exist, so beware of petty theft, mugging, and scams. Try to be vigilant especially on crowded means of transportation.

Insurance: is a must when travelling. A good comprehensive insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

@veronicassights

Climate/temperatures:

Situated around halfway between the North Pole and Equator, Romania features a continental climate temperature with hot summers and cold winters, generally speaking.

Temperatures fall as we go higher, so, in the mountainous area (the Carpathian arc) you should expect cooler weather than in the rest, associated with humidity. The south is characterized by mild winters and stronger rainfalls in autumn. Travelling north to Bukovina and Maramures, you are prone to cold and wet winters, so make sure you bring some warm clothes.

If you choose summer for your trip to Romania, you should know that temperatures can vary a lot from region to region. Usually, Romanian summers are reliable if you avoid the mountains. July and August can be really hot months, with temperatures that can reach up to 40 degrees (104 F) especially in the cities from the plain. Average summer temperature is around 21 degrees Celsius (70 F).

Insider tip!: A drawback of hot weather are mosquitoes (they love me, but not everyone). Sometimes, it is good to carry a repellent lotion to be sure you can enjoy nights in the open air.

Autumn can be very pleasant in thermometers, helped by some precipitation, so mid-August to October should be a good option to visit. If you plan skiing, winter is the perfect time if you opt for the mountains, as usually there is snow, but winter in the cities can sometimes be rather wet. Spring is perfect for the nature lovers, as the whole vegetation bursts back into life, but be aware that mornings and evenings are chilly.

For more detailed info, click here

@stefan.hogea

Budgeting your stay

Usually, the biggest expenses are accommodation and food. However, it is possible to budget for as low as 100-160 RON per day (euro), if you are staying in hostels, eating local or cooking your own meals, and using local transportation only when necessary.

Accommodation Budget

Romania is considered an affordable country. Here are the tariffs/person/night updated mid-2022.

Budget: hostel 65 lei – 150 lei/ budget hotel 120 – 160 lei

Mid-range 160-250

Splurge 300+

Food Budget

Cheap lunch: 30-50 lei

Dinner in a restaurant (1 main course + 1 desert): 70-100 lei

Main course in a top restaurant + a glass of wine: 100+

However, if you prefer to save money, you can cook for yourself or simply grab a snack, you can go shopping at discount supermarkets like Lidl, Profi and Penny Market. On average, you may spend around 30 lei/day.

The papanasi have become a must-try in Romania

Transportation

Getting from one place to another in Romania can prove challenging, but if you plan ahead there are always some solutions.

By plane

All major cities have an airport.Tarom, the Romanian carrier, offers various international flights from and to Bucharest.

If you wish to arrive in a different city, consider a low-cost company, such as Wizz Air, Ryan Air or Blue Air.

You can also consider domestic flights for long distances, such as Timisoara-Bucuresti that only takes 1 hour, while by train it takes 10.Prices are reasonable with low cost companies.

  • If you fly Ryan Air and book ahead you can pay for a fare as little as 10 euro/person. Luggage is not included in the price!
  • If you want to fly Tarom on the same route, a ticket can be around 70 euro, luggage included.
photo: CNAB

By train

Trains are not fast, but they are reliable, offer a magnificent view and are affordable.

There are 2 types of trains: Regio (R) that stop in every village and are recommended only for short distances, and InterRegio (IR) that stop in medium and big cities. If you need to travel long distances, you will most likely need an IR train.

CFR is the main Romanian railway company that operates most of the routes, although there are some private companies as well: Regio Calatori, Astra Carpatic, Transferoviar Calatori or Softrans. These companies operate mainly around Bucharest, are reliable, offer better service than CFR and can be slightly cheaper. However, a route takes around the same time, as the Romanian infrastructure hasn’t been upgraded for very long and trains cannot take up higher speed.

There’s usually 1st class and 2nd class, and if you travel on routes, such as Bucuresti-Cluj, Bucuresti-Sibiu, Bucuresti-Constanta or Constanta-Brasov there’s the option of grabbing something to eat and drink.

Train prices

To make an idea of what affordable means, here are some CFR prices updated mid 2021:

  • Bucuresti-Cluj is 101 lei/21 euro for second class, while on a night train you have to pay 150 lei/31 euro for a couchette car which sleeps 6, or 230 lei/47 euro for a more intimate sleeping car for 2 people for an average ride of 10 h.
  • A train Cluj-Sibiu costs 52 lei/a little over 10 euro for the second-class travel and takes 3 ½ hours.
photo; fb/ trenuri Trans Carpatic

By bus/coach

There are several private bus companies that have emerged as a necessity. You can find the routes gathered under the same umbrella here. Sometimes, buses are more useful than trains as they can take you to places trains cannot.

Insider tip!: Pay attention, oftentimes buses leave from bus terminals that can be situated next to a railway station, but not always!

Buses are affordable, but in terms of speed you have to add some time compared to cars.

Here are some prices:

  • Cluj-Brasov costs between 80-90 lei/16-18 euro and the trip is 4-5 h long
  • Cluj-Bucuresti has a price of 110 lei/23 euro and the ride takes up to around 9 h.
View from Cheile Gradistei

By car

  • Travelling by car throughout Romania can prove a good solution because you do not let go of your independence, nor do you adjust to schedules. Plus, driving in Romania is a safe experience if you respect the general rules. Here are some tips about driving in Romania:
  • The speed limit is 130 km/h on highways, 100 km/h on European and National roads, 90 km/h on Regional roads and 50 km/h inside localities;
  • Most roads are not highways, especially not those that connect the main tourist attractions; they are National or Regional most probably;
  • Traffic is crowded at weekends, especially in areas like Bucuresti-Brasov, Bucuresti-Constanta;
  • The blood alcohol limit is 0.0%!
  • Beware of horse-drawn carts that can sometimes appear on smaller roads, so extra attention is required!

Renting a car is a good idea. Kayak is a comprehensive aggregator portal for many renting companies. Besides, Romania is home to the major car rental companies: Europcar, Hertz, Avis, Sixt, Thrifty or Budget. Besides the famous names, the Romanian market has come up with some names worth considering: Autonom, Autoboca or cars4rent.

Bucharest; @ionut.dobre

By ride-sharing app

  • Uber is present in 10 cities in Romania (Bucuresti, Cluj, Timisoara, Brasov, Iasi, Constanta, Craiova, Galati, Pitesti and Ploiesti). Bolt, a serious competitor for Uber is present in the main Romanian cities: București, Brașov, Constanța, Cluj-Napoca, Iași, Timișoara. In both cases all you have to do is download the app and enter your data.

Other apps that highlight the fact that sometimes it is better to rent a car (or a bike) than to own one are: Citylink that enables you to rent the car with your phone and you pay according to the time or mileage. GetPony boasts with the biggest car sharing service in the country. In both cases, all you need is a valid driving license, download the app via app store or google play and insert your card details. Unfortunately, for the moment Citylink is only available in Bucharest, while GetPony also works in Cluj and Alba Iulia.

citylink.ro

BlaBlaCar is a helpful ride-sharing app for intercity travel around Romania. It’s cheaper than the train or bus and is usually much faster! Besides, you’ll be in the car with a local heading in the same direction!

  • Cluj-Sibiu ranges between 25-35 lei (5-7 euro) in around 3-31/2 hours.

You need to enter the details of your trip and get in touch with the driver.

Helpful travel sites

Rome 2 Rio is a site that helps you get anywhere in the cheapest way possible.

Booking.com doesn’t need any presentation, one of the most famous accommodation sites;

Travlocals is a Romanian booking site that urges you to discover beautiful Romania through fantastic accommodations directly from the host;

Airbnb  is the famous booking platform where you can feel at home because in fact, you stay in a home, not a hotel.

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