Romania— The Basics
Wedged between a colorful cast of neighbors, Romania stands out from the crowd with its beautiful wilderness, charming cities, and a massive variety of things to do and see. To get the most out of your Romania travel aspirations, a little travel advice goes a long way in making your journey something unforgettable!
Sights and Attractions
Bucharest (pronounced Boo-Kah-Rest), not only has a wide array of museums, bars, antique buildings, and other attractions; it is also very safe and affordable! A mix of Baroque, medieval, modern, and soviet styles makes the aesthetic of Bucharest truly unique, especially compared to a lot of other global cities.
The Palace of Parliament , built in the waning days of the Soviet Union, stands at an impressive 276 feet! Big government decisions must be made in a big building! While it seems almost over-the-top on the outside, the interior is tastefully ornate for huge, important functions and events.
Don’t miss out on the National Village Museum . Located in the midst of King Michael I Park, this museum showcases over270 historically accurate representations of peasant lodgings and properties from all over the country. Truly a sight to behold for lovers of agriculture and those who want to take a step into the past.
See the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra at the Romanian Athenaeum . Right in the center of the city, this neoclassical building hosts cultural festivals, classical performances, tours, and other spectacles — a prime location for the discerning elite and the music lover alike.
Romania isn’t without its nightlife! Trendy, modern nightclubs can be found all across the major cities. For those who just want to kick back and chill, wine bars are pubs can be found at every corner. No matter your speed, there’s a place to drink or dance at your pace!
No Romania travel experience is complete without seeing some castles. Although there is an abundance of castles in the country, a couple of them really stand out. Built in the 1300s, Bran Castle stands atop a hill, towering over the surrounding forest. Ever heard of Count Dracula? Well, this castle played into the inspiration of this classic figure of literature. All these centuries later, and Bran Castle is still in pristine condition.
Corvin Castle is another must-see structure in Romania. Expanded multiple times since its first ramparts in the 1400s, Corvin castle is among the largest castles in Europe. With a collection of tall, cone-shaped towers, and a tall stone bridge for entry, Corvin Castle is the epitome of the popular image of fantasy castles and fortifications. It is open to the public every day from 9am to 5pm.
Romania Travel Tips
Romanian Currency Considerations
In Romania, they don’t accept the Euro, so don’t try using it! The official Romanian currency is the Romanian Leu. Romania is among the safest places in Europe, but that doesn’t mean that visitors should be careless. Simple things like keeping your wallet in your front pocket, and always keeping an eye on your purse can really pay off.
No one wants their stuff stolen! Leave Romania with smiles and stories. Don’t leave Romania with a frown and a police report. Romania is relatively inexpensive, and you can often exchange for Romanian currency at a favorable rate. It may be tempting to be fast and loose with your money, but you should still spend thoughtfully.
Random little trinkets from overpriced gift shops are not worth it, even if you saved plenty of money with online deals to travel to Romania. Save your money for something meaningful. In 20 years, you won’t remember that “I Heart Romania” t-shirt that won’t fit anymore, but you will remember that day trip to Bran Castle!
Romania has plenty of hotels, hostels, and homestays all around. Look for the best deals to travel through Romania without having to pay the big bucks. Every leu saved on a hotel is a leu that can be spent on something more exciting! A universal piece of travel advice: outside of the tourist season, homestays can offer incredible bargains, as property owners would rather not have a vacancy.
Flights and Transportation
Bucharest Airport is the primary international airport in Romania. Larger cities often have tram networks, and the country is trying to modernize and expand its railway infrastructure. Only Bucharest has a metro system. A large fleet of vessels is available for any passenger transit around the black sea. It’s an excellent opportunity to visit ports in Georgia, Russia, Bulgaria, and Ukraine, pending visas in some instances. Plenty of buses are available to take you visitors along a variety of routes.
Trains will take you to major cities, but the national railway system is not too extensive. Sometimes, flights, transportation, lodging, and attraction tickets are bundled as deals to travel around Romania even more frugally!
About 90 percent of Romanians speak Romanian, a romance language related to French, Italian, Spanish, and the like. Hungarian is the second most natively spoken language in the country, as Romania holds onto some historically Hungarian territories. 30 percent of Romanians can speak English to some degree. In large cities like Bucharest, you will be able to get around just fine with English. In more rural areas, especially close to Hungary, you may find it very difficult to communicate in English. It is advisable to keep a translation app handy.
A translation with a few pictures can often get the point across. A good piece of travel advice anywhere is to memorize some phrases in the local language, and that extends to minority languages, too. In the northwest, some very basic Hungarian phrases can help you immensely. Terms relating to hotels, numbers, and transactions are always useful.
Romania was an Axis power in the Second World War. That being said, Romanians aren’t necessarily giddy about this fact. The past alignment with the axis doesn’t speak to the attitudes of Romanians today. Regarding anything to do with the Second World War, the holocaust, fascism, and communism, tread lightly when discussing these topics, or avoid them altogether.
Many believe that Romania was a member state of the USSR. They weren’t. A part of Romania, known then as Bessarabia, was a part of the USSR, and they are now the independent country of Moldova. While Romania and Moldova have good relations, there are a variety of opinions regarding the possibility of Romania-Moldova unification. As a foreigner, expressing an opinion on this subject may not be well received.
Romania takes drugs very seriously. Anyone caught with controlled substances, or even just under the influence of controlled substances, can be subject to serious prison terms. This applies to tourists, too, so don’t think you’re safe because you’re not Romanian. It’s fun to stay for a while and take in all the country has to offer. It’s not fun to be confined in a dingy prison cell in Romania for a decade or more.
Foreigners are supposed to register with the local authorities within three days of entering the country. Failing to do so could result in stiff fines upon attempting to leave the county.
Stock up on Romanian currency, and take advantage of all the best deals to travel around Romania for less! With Romania, your dollar goes very far, so you want to save where you can and make the most of your Romania travel adventure. Hopefully, this travel advice convinces you to take that leap and visit this stunning, idyllic nation!
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