If you decide to go on your own, here is a short list of tips that might be useful.
Prices and cash exchange
Romania is not an expensive country compared to Western or Central Europe. Its prices satisfy all types of tourists, from budget travelers to luxury ones. Eating out lunch and dinner will cost you around 15 Euros, with lower prices outside Bucharest. Accommodation prices start from 10 Euro/person in local guesthouses, that are usually the best-budget option, especially in mountain resorts.
The national currency is Leu (RON). For the exact exchange rate please check www.bnr.ro
Don’t exchange your cash at the airport as the rate is very disadvantageous or in exchange offices that don’t mention a zero commission. You’ll find plenty of banks and exchange offices, usually opened until 6 p.m. on weekdays. Avoid exchanging money on the street or displaying your wallet or cash in crowded areas.
If you’re picking a taxi from the airport or the main train station from Bucharest (Gara de Nord), announce the driver from the beginning that you’ll need a stamped receipt so you’ll not run the risk of being overcharged. Don’t accept any rides from taxi drivers who are insistent or harassing. Look at the prices written on the taxi, a good price should be lower than 2Ron/km.
Trains, buses and subway
Check your train schedule before leaving in case you’ll need to make connections between different cities: www.mersultrenurilor.ro
Two express buses depart from Henri Coanda International Airport (Bucharest), 780 that goes to the main train station and 783 that goes to the city center. The buses usually depart every half an hour. If you need to use local transportation in Bucharest, go for the subway transportation as the buses are usually overcrowded.
Avoid driving in rush hours in big cities, especially in Bucharest. The traffic is chaotic at this time and, in almost all cases, the cultural attractions of the cities can be easily reached by foot.
While driving in the countryside, especially in the more isolated villages, keep a low speed as you may stumble on ducks, geese or even cows returning to their homes in late afternoons. The animals know very well their way and will not change their rhythm even if you rush them. So be patient and enjoy the atmosphere. Definitely take a map and a GPS with you if you’re planning a road trip around the country.
Romania is generally a safe destination for tourists. Nevertheless, you should take care of your belongings. Don’t forget to lock the car, don’t walk around with your bag or backpack opened and dial 112, the emergency phone number, in case you need it.
Avoid spending too many summer days in cities, as the temperatures are usually high in this season. Go for the mountains or the seaside. For a complete weather forecast, you can check www.meteoromania.ro
Don’t start a hike without proper mountain equipment, maps or useful information on water sources on the trail, weather forecast or position of the camping sites. In case you get lost or need medical help, call the mountain rescue service 0725826668.