You’ve probably been reading a lot about Romania and all the reasons why you should go. Maybe you have friends who just got back and are telling you to get there now. Or perhaps you’re a curious traveler who likes to visit places that aren’t struggling with over-tourism.
At any rate, Romania has moved to the top of your destinations list. What do you need to know before visiting? We’ve gathered some useful information to help you plan your trip to our beautiful country.
Romania is safe. Don’t let all those Count Dracula stories scare you. com, the website that measures the safety of the world’s countries, ranks Romania ahead of Italy, Belgium, Greece, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Risks are low in all categories: pickpockets, muggings, transportation, terrorism, tourist scams, and for female travelers. “Romania is a safe country for tourists, and for recent years, the worst that happened with a foreigner is that his phone was stolen.” says SafeAround.com. Of course, every journey requires a traveler to be prudent and aware of their surroundings. And you already know never leave your belongings unattended.
2.It’s outside the Schengen zone. Although Romania is a proud member of the European Union, it’s not part of the Schengen Area. If you’re stopping in the Schengen zone before or after your visit to Romania, you’ll need to show your passport in both places.
3. Speaking of passports….be sure yours is valid for at least three months after your departure date from Romania. There must also be at least two blank pages in the passport. As with all countries, your passport must be in good condition, with no significant damage. If your passport has a large tear, water damage, missing pages, a hole punch, or unofficial markings on the data page, you should replace it before any international travel.
4.You don’t need a visa. As with all European Union countries, foreign visitors may stay for 90 days in any 180-day period. During the 90 days, you may leave Romania and return. After 90 days, you will be denied entry until the next eligibility period.Visitors who wish to stay longer than 90 days must obtain an extension from the Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs.
5. Tipping is expected. Hospitality and service and workers rely on tips to supplement their wages. While tipping is not as generous as in other countries, plan on giving:
Hotel maids: 5-10 Lei per day (1-2 Euros or USD)
Hotel porters: 5 Lei per bag, 10 Lei for excellent service
Restaurant waiters: Servers are not paid well, and a service charge is not normally included in the bill. A 10% tip is customary.
Spa staff: Spa attendants are attentive and well-trained, so give them 10-15% of the bill
Tour guides: Guides are knowledgeable and friendly. Their ability to show you the country and arrange for special opportunities is valuable. Depending on your experience, the gratuity is 10-25% of the tour cost.
Taxi driver: Taxis are normally metered in Romania, so it is easy to tip 5 Lei more, or to round up the fare.
6. Romanian is a Romance Language. If you know or speak Spanish, Italian, or French, you’ll find enough similarities in words to help you get by in Romania. That’s because Romania was inhabited by…Romans! Consider Romanian numbers: Unu (one), Două (two), Trei (three), Patru (four), and Cinci (five). They look familiar to those who know Latin-based languages. You can pick up phrases in no time!
7. Get ready to drink plum brandy. Even at the market in the morning, vendors will ask you to try a sample of Tuica, Romania’s national drink. It will just be a tiny taste, but be warned: it’s potent! As you travel around the country, you’ll soon discover that hospitality includes an offer of Tuica, often as soon as you step in a door.
Part of the fun of travel is learning the customs of a new country. Romania, with its diverse regions and rich history, will delight you every day. Our people are friendly and eager to share traditions that are centuries old. We hope you’ll come soon!