Traveling Luck for Romania

Romania is located in Southeastern Europe, bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Ukraine.

Romania has borders with Bulgaria for 608km, Hungary for 443km, Moldova for 450km and Ukraine for 531km.

Land in Romania is central Transylvanian Basin is separated from the Plain of Moldavia on the east by the Carpathian Mountains and separated from the Walachian Plain on the south by the Transylvanian Alps.

Romanian land covers an area of 237500 square kilometers which is slightly smaller than Oregon

As for the Romanian climate; temperate; cold, cloudy winters with frequent snow and fog; sunny summers with frequent showers and thunderstorms.

Romanian(s) speak Romanian (official), Hungarian, German.

Romanian National Map

Romanian Map

Regions of Romania

The principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia - for centuries under the suzerainty of the Turkish Ottoman Empire - secured their autonomy in 1856; they united in 1859 and a few years later adopted the new name of Romania. The country gained recognition of its independence in 1878. It joined the Allied Powers in World War I and acquired new territories - most notably Transylvania - following the conflict. In 1940, Romania allied with the Axis powers and participated in the 1941 German invasion of the USSR. Three years later, overrun by the Soviets, Romania signed an armistice. The post-war Soviet occupation led to the formation of a Communist "people's republic" in 1947 and the abdication of the king. The decades-long rule of dictator Nicolae CEAUSESCU, who took power in 1965, and his Securitate police state became increasingly oppressive and draconian through the 1980s. CEAUSESCU was overthrown and executed in late 1989. Former Communists dominated the government until 1996 when they were swept from power. Although Romania completed accession talks with the European Union (EU) in December 2004, it must continue to address rampant corruption - while invigorating lagging economic and democratic reforms - to fulfill the requirements for EU accession, scheduled to take place in 2007 or 2008. Romania joined NATO in March of 2004.


Romania Country Profile

Romania began the transition from Communism in 1989 with a largely obsolete industrial base and a pattern of output unsuited to the country's needs. The country emerged in 2000 from a punishing three-year recession thanks to strong demand in EU export markets. Despite the global slowdown in 2001-02, strong domestic activity in construction, agriculture, and consumption have kept GDP growth above 4%. An IMF standby agreement, signed in 2001, has been accompanied by slow but palpable gains in privatization, deficit reduction, and the curbing of inflation. The IMF Board approved Romania's completion of the standby agreement in October 2003, the first time Romania has successfully concluded an IMF agreement since the 1989 revolution. In July 2004, the executive board of the IMF approved a 24-month standby agreement for $367 million. IMF concerns about Romania's tax policy and budget deficit led to a breakdown of this agreement in 2005. In the past, the IMF has criticized the government's fiscal, wage, and monetary policies. Meanwhile, macroeconomic gains have only recently started to spur creation of a middle class and address Romania's widespread poverty, while corruption and red tape continue to handicap the business environment. Romanian government confidence in continuing disinflation was underscored by its currency revaluation in 2005, making 10,000 "old" lei equal 1 "new" leu.

Romanian natural resources include petroleum (reserves declining), timber, natural gas, coal, iron ore, salt, arable land, hydropower

controls most easily traversable land route between the Balkans, Moldova, and Ukraine

Romanian religion is Eastern Orthodox (including all sub-denominations) 86.8%, Protestant (various denominations including Reformate and Pentecostal) 7.5%, Roman Catholic 4.7%, other (mostly Muslim) and unspecified 0.9%, none 0.1% (2002 census).

Natural hazards in Romania include earthquakes, most severe in south and southwest; geologic structure and climate promote landslides.

Travel Advice on Romania

Romania

This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Health section.  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • Romania shares with the rest of Europe a threat from international terrorism.  Attacks could be indiscriminate and against civilian targets.

  • Around 75,000 British nationals visit Romania every year.  Most consular cases involve petty crime, lost or stolen passports and car theft.  Beware of young pickpockets in city centres especially in crowded areas e.g. buses, trains and busy streets.  Keep valuable belongings in a hotel safe where possible.

  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see:  Travel Insurance.


SAFETY AND SECURITY

Crime
You are advised to maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as in the UK.  You should also be alert to the risk of petty theft in large towns, especially in Bucharest, and for pickpockets and bag snatchers in crowded areas, particularly near exchange shops, hotels, on public transport (especially to the airport), main railway stations and inside airport areas.
Corruption is widespread.  There have been reports of policemen stopping foreign cars and demanding payment of fines in hard currency for spurious offences.  Bogus policemen may also approach pedestrians and ask to check their documents as a way of stealing cash.  If approached in this way, you should decline to pay any fine or hand over any documents but offer instead to go with them to the nearest police station.
We are aware of thefts of valuables including passports from hotel rooms.  Items of value, including passports and credit cards should be deposited in hotel safes.  However, you should carry a photocopy of the information pages of your passport as ID.
You should be aware that there are reports of credit or charge cards being 'copied' when used in some bars and restaurants, resulting in illegal charges being raised against the user account.
Political Situation
Romania Country Profile
Local Travel
Bucharest has cheap and plentiful public transport provided by underground, bus, and tram.  Yellow taxis are also abundant but make sure prices are listed on the side of the vehicle and that the taxi bears a company name.  There are frequent reports of foreign visitors being overcharged by taxi drivers.  Other cities have fairly good bus services.  Cities and towns are linked by extensive rail services.  If travelling on a domestic air flight, you should have your passport ready for inspection at all times.
If you are driving to Romania, please note that on entry you are required to pay a road toll to allow you to use the national roads.  Tolls are charged on motorways and main roads out of town, payable in Euros.  Upon payment, ensure you receive and display the windscreen stickers confirming you have paid the toll.  Please note that failure to pay the road toll or to display the sticker may lead to a heavy fine.
The cost for cars is three Euros for a one-week vignette or six Euros for one month, but prices may change.  Costs are higher for freight vehicles and coaches for eight or more passengers.  Tickets can be purchased at border points on entering the country or at post offices and at most petrol stations throughout Romania.
Road Safety
If driving, you need to be alert for horse-drawn carts and livestock especially at night.  The police carry out frequent checks, and it is essential that you observe the speed limit, ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy and have with you all your car documents including evidence of insurance valid in Romania.  Note that there is zero tolerance for drinking and driving.
In winter, equip your car for extreme conditions.
Rail Safety
If travelling by train, you should check with operators on the availability of sleeping compartments and whether bicycles can be taken on board.  This may vary between regions, and there may be additional charges.  Thieves operate on trains, so take particular care that documents and other valuables are safe.


LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS

It is illegal to change money on the streets.  Money should be changed in recognised exchange shops, banks and hotels.
The Romanian authorities treat all drug-related or sex offences very seriously (the age of consent is 18).  Custodial sentences can be expected for any foreigners convicted of such offences.
Homosexuality is no longer illegal, but attitudes to the subject tend not to be broadminded and the gay community keeps a low profile.
Most airports and military bases will have signs prohibiting photography.  It is always advisable to ask permission before photographing anything potentially sensitive (eg. official buildings, police cars).


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

You do not need a visa to enter Romania.  From 1 January 2007, British citizens who enter Romania have the right to stay for a period of 3 months from the date of entry. If intending to stay for a longer period than 3 months, British citizens can apply for a registration certificate issued by the Romanian Authority for Aliens.  There are no restrictions on British nationals working in Romania.  If a British citizen has been a legal resident in Romania for a continuous period of at least 5 years then they can apply for a permanent right of residence certificate from the same authorities.  For further information please visit the website of the Romanian representation in the UK.

All children entering Romania should have their own passport. Children included in parents’ passports will only be allowed entry if the passport also contains their photograph.  For further information on exactly what will be required please contact:  Romanian representation in the UK.


HEALTH

We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see:  Travel Insurance.

The Form E111 is no longer valid.  You should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK.  The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but entitles you to any medical treatment that becomes necessary on the same terms as Romanian nationals.  You will not be covered for medical repatriation, on-going medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature.  For more information about how to obtain the EHIC please see:  Europe and the EHIC.

There have been a number of Hepatitis A cases in Romania.  You are advised to seek medical advice about inoculations before travelling.  You should drink only bottled water.

Rabies is endemic in Romania.  It has largely been confined to the rural areas.  You should be wary of, and try to avoid contact with, the numerous stray dogs.  If bitten, you should seek medical assistance as soon as possible.  If visiting rural areas of Romania, you should consider having a course of rabies inoculations.

Stray dogs in Romania are also reported to carry the tick-borne African Typhus disease.  Those most at risk are the elderly, the young and the infirm.

You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date.  For further information on health, check the Department of Health’s website at: www.dh.gov.uk

 Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

There have been confirmed outbreaks of Avian Influenza in the Danube Delta, Transylvania and Bucharest.  The Romanian authorities have taken measures to contain the outbreaks including restricting access to affected areas.  No human infections or deaths have been reported.
The risk to humans from Avian Influenza is believed to be very low.  As a precaution, you should avoid visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where you may come into close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds; and ensure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked.
You should read this advice in conjunction with:  Avian and Pandemic Influenza Factsheet, which gives more detailed advice and information.

NATURAL DISASTERS

Earthquakes are not uncommon in southern and southwestern Romania and small tremors are recorded throughout the year without consequences. The last major earthquake occurred in late November 2005 but there were no casualties or significant damage.


GENERAL

If things go wrong when overseas, please see: What We Can Do To Help
Money
We recommend that you carry Euros in Romania.  Dollars and Sterling are not always easy to exchange for the local currency especially outside of Bucharest.  You may also have difficulties using travellers’ cheques and credit cards.  (And bear in mind the advice on card copying as mentioned in the Crime section).
Romania is in the middle of a process of redenominating its currency, moving from ROL to RON.  10,000 ROL = 1 RON.  Banknotes and coins of both denominations are in circulation.  Some shops, restaurants and taxis show prices only in RON.  Others show prices in both RON and ROL.  This can be confusing for foreign visitors.  There is a helpful guide on the National Bank website.