When to come
Where to stay
Making the Most of Your Visit
Romania is situated in South-Eastern Europe, between
latitudes 43-37'07'' and 48-15'06'' North and longitudes 20-15'44'' and
29-41'24'' East, extending approximately 480 km North to South and 640
East to West.
The country has an area of 237,500 sq. km and a population
of over 23,000,000 of which 89% are Romanians, 7% Hungarians, 2%
Gypsies, with small minorities of Germans, Ukraineans, Serbs, Slovaks,
Turks, Czecs, Greeks, Jews, Armenians, Poles, Albanians...
The Carpathians form a mountainous arch in the centre of
the country, bordered on both sides by hills and plateaus and there are
great plains off the outer rim.
Forests cover over a quarter of the country and the fauna
is one of the richest in Europe including wolves, bears, deer, lynx and
The mighty Danube forms the southern boundary of the
country ending with the Delta or the Black Sea, a haven for countless
local and migratory birds.
Countries sharing borders with Romania are Hungary,
Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, the Republic of Moldavia and the Ukraine.
The territory of Romania has been inhabited since the
The ancestors of the Romanian people are the Dacians,
fierce warriors subdued by the Romans under Trajan in two extremely
difficult campaigns at the beginning of the 2nd century AD. However,
the relatively brief Roman occupation (165 years), left a lasting
legacy: the Latin language which survived the numerous subsequent
invasions of migratory peoples.
Over the years a Romanian identity developed progressively
with the formation of the feudal states of Wallachia and Moldavia in
the 13th and 14th centuries. Centuries of fighting against the Turks
ensued in these states. Meanwhile Transylvania was occupied
successively by the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires.
Finally Moldavia and Wallachia were united in 1859,
independence was achieved in 1877, and union with Transylvania in 1918.
The communist rule, established after the 2nd world war
lasted 45 years and ended with the revolution in December 1989.
The climate is continental-temperate, characteristic for
Central Europe (hot summers, cold winters, very distinct seasons,
abundant snowfalls especially in the mountains). The southern regions
are the warmest.
Annual rainfall averages are 677 mm, but they are higher
in the mountains (1,000 - 1,4000 m) and below the average on the sea
coast (below 400 m).
Average temperatures in different parts of the country are:
Major Cities and Their Population
|Black Sea Coast
Bucharest: 2,300,000; Brasov: 353,000; Timisoara: 333,000;
Iasi: 333,000; Cluj-Napoca: 318,000; Constanta: 316,000; Sibiu:
169,000; Targu Mures: 165,000; Suceava: 106,000.
The official language, Romanian, is of Latin origin.
English, French and German are widely spoken.
Most Romanians are Orthodox Christians (87%). Catholics of
the Oriental and Roman rites are well represented (5%). There are also
Reformed / Lutheran (3%), Unitarian (1%), Neo-Protestant, Armenian,
Muslim and Jewish communities. Religious freedom is guaranteed by the
The Political System and the Public Administration
According to the Constitution adopted in 1991, Romania is
a parliamentary republic with a bicameral Parliament. The president of
the country, the senators and the members of the lower chamber are
elected every four years by universal secret ballot.
There are numerous parties taking part in the Romanian
political life; over 100 political parties are currently registered,
but only the important ones are represented in Parliament. The ethnic
minorities also have such a representation.
Democratic rights and freedoms are guaranteed by the
The national flag is red, yellow and blue. Romania's
national holiday is December 1, the day when the national unitary state
was founded in 1918.
Romania's territory is divided into 40 districts
administered by prefects: the mayors of municipalities, towns and
villages are subordinated to the district administration. Bucharest,
the capital, has its own administration, similar to that of the
Regular and charter flights of Romanian airlines (namely
Tarom) and of the foreign airlines with offices in Bucharest ( Delta,
Air France, Lufthansa, Alitalia, Swissair...) connect Bucharest with
the world's major airports.
Romania's international airports are Bucharest - Otopeni,
Constanta-Mihail Kogalniceanu, Timisoara, Cluj-Napoca.
Otopeni International Airport in Bucharest is situated 18
km away from the city centre. The centre can be reached by airport
coach (fare 600 lei) or by taxi. In the latter case it is wise to agree
with the driver upon the price before beginning the journey. Check with
your travel agent as tour operators can often supply transfers at very
International express trains connect the main central
European capitals with Bucharest, the Black Sea coast and the main
cities in the country. Romania is a member of the International Railway
Tariff System RIT and Inter Rail.
The access ways to Romania are: Berlin, Warsaw,
Budapest-Petea E 81: Vienna, Prague, Budapest-Bors E 60 or Nadlac E64
or Varsand E 671: Trieste, Belgrade-Moravita E 70 or Portile de Fier E
70: Athens, Tirana, Sofia-Giurgiu E 85; Istanbul, Sofia- Vama Veche E
87: Moscow, Kiev, Kishinev-Albita E 580; Warsaw, Kiev, Chernowitz-Siret
E 85. All roads are marked in accordance with international
regulations. Cars are driven on the right side of the road and can
overtake on the left.
Distances between Bucharest and various main cities are:
Athens-1252 km, Berlin-2154 km, Berne ( Zurich)-2125 km, Brussels-2394
km, Bonn-2100 km, Budapest-893 km, Copenhagen-2587 km, Frankfurt-2100
km, The Hague (Amsterdam)-2428 km Helsinki-2900km, Istanbul -704 km,
Kiev-1065 km, Kishinev-445 km, Lisbon-4120 km, London-2577 km,
Madrid-3530 km, Minsk-1650 km, Moscow-1963 km, Oslo-2820 km, Paris-2401
km, Prague-1465 km, Riga-1955 km, Rome-2149 km, Sofia-407 km, Stockholm
-3100 km, Vienna - 1100 km. Warshaw-1797 km.
If you come to Romania by car , bring your driving
license, car papers and green card. The Romanian Automobile Club - ACR
- and the insurance company CAROM are at your disposal for technical
and any other kind of assistance with your car. Call ACR at 927 in
By sea and river
Cruise ships call at the Port of Constanta (on the Black
Sea coast), the country's biggest port. Passenger boats also operate on
the Danube and the new European riverway Rotterdam-Constanta, includes
the Romanian Danube-Black Sea Canal. The former calls at the ports of
Sulina, Tulcea and Braila and the latter at Drobeta-Turnu Severin and
Entry or transit visas may be obtained from the diplomatic
and consular offices of Romania abroad by all those in possession of a
valid passports, recognized by the Romanian state. Applicants must
prove they have the means to support temselves financially for the
period of their stay in Romania.
Entry or extension visa fees must be paid in hard currency.
Visas can also be obtained at the Bucharest International Airport on
arrival and at customs. The cost of a visa for individual travellers is
US $ 25 if obtained in advance and US $ 31, including handling charge,
if issued on arrival.
Romania applies the international regulations of the
Convention for Customs facilities for Tourist Traffic. Highly valuable
goods - jewelry and foreign currency ( over the value of $ 1,000 per
person) must be declared when entering the country. Endorsed customs
declarations must be kept as they are required when leaving the
It is forbidden to import, unless in possession of a
special license, lei (the Romanian currency) ammunition, explosives,
narcotics, pornographic material.. It is forbidden to export articles
of cultural, historic or artistic value, as well as lei in excess of
5,000 per person.
Car drivers must be in possession of relevant car
documents including the green card and the personal driving license.
Anti rabies vaccination certificates are required for cats
The national currency is the leu (plural lei). Coins come
in units of 500, 1000,and 5000 lei. Bills come in units of 10,000;
50,000; 100,000 and 500,000 lei. Dollar bills are the most readily
negotiated currency in Romania and it is a good idea to take some with
you preferably in bills of lesser value.
Avoid the black exchange market as this is an illegal
operation and subject to punishment according to the law.
Foreign currency can only be exchanged at banks and
authorised exchange offices. As rates can vary from one place to
another it is wise to shop around. Keep the exchange receipts as they
may be requested when you pay for things in lei.
When to come
Romania is indeed a country for all seasons. A country for
lazing in the sun and taking it easy, touring for cultural enrichment,
for winter sports, hiking, boating and activities of all kinds.
Thus, the best time to come over depends on what you want
to do! Holidays on the Black Sea coast are most enjoyable between June
and September. On the other hand, winter sports in the Carpathians are
best practised from Christmas to March. Spring and autumn are perfect
for touring vacations throughout the country, while Bucharest is at its
best from spring to autumn, although not lacking charm in winter too.
This is the time to enjoy the opera season, attend
concerts, and taste the hearty Romanian cuisine in warm and welcoming
Interesting festivals are often a good reason to come to
Romania at one time of the year rather than another. The following is a
list of some of the most interesting and colourful of the Romanian
- The International Festival of Amateur Theatre the
"Concordia Days", January 10-20 in Sfantu Gheorghe.- The "UNICEF Gala"
of lyrical theatre, on January 25 in Constanta
- The Secular Winter Customs Festival, February,
- The International Festival of Contemporary Theatre,
April 5-25 , Brasov;
- The National festival of Spring Agricultural
Customs " Tanjeaua de pe Marna", April Hoteni- Maramures District;
- The Feast of the Daffodils, May, Vlahita-Harghita
- The International Jazz Festival, May, Brasov
- The National Festival of Light Music of Mamaia,
- The International Pop Music Festival " The Golden
Stag", September, Brasov.
International Trade Fairs
The following are among the major exibitions taking place
- TIBCO - The International Fair of Consumer Goods,
- Rommedica - Medical Instruments and equipments,
- Horexpo - Hotels, restaurants, public houses,
- TIB - The international Technical Fair, October,
Apart from clothes fashionable for the current season, it
is always advisable to pack a warm pullover, a raincoat and good
walking shoes. Very warm clothing is recommended in winter. In any
event clothing is good value in Romania so you can always purchase
additional items once you get there there if necessary.
Organising Your Visit
Ask the Romanian tourist information offices abroad or
your travel agent to explain the interesting holiday ideas suggested by
tour operators specialised in vacations in Romania. A whole range of
possibilities is available, ranging from transport only to grand tours
of the country.
Some examples are:
Week-ends and Short Breaks
A short stay in Bucharest followed by the delightful and
picturesque towns of Sinaia and Brasov in the Carpathian mountains or
the Danube Delta are an excellent first contact with Romania !
Four days in Bucharest and Sinaia; 4 days in Bucharest and Brasov; 5
days in Bucharest, Sinaia and Brasov; 5 days in the Danube Delta.
Holidays at the Black Sea
The beach resorts by the Black Sea offer everything for
relaxing holidays in the sun that make a difference - fine golden sand,
swimming pools, comfortable hotels, sports facilities, restaurants with
a Romanian specific.
Each resort along the coast has its own personality and
style. Mamaia, Eforie Nord, Eforie Sud, Neptun, Olimp, Jupiter, Venus,
Saturn, Mangalia: take your pick!
The Gerovital treatment of Doctor Ana Aslan is renowned
throughout the world and much sought after. It can be followed at the
Black Sea or in Bucharest. Romania has been a country with renowned
spas ever since Roman times.You have a choice among 70 centres
throughout the country, providing the whole range of treatments under
the most modern conditions.
Free Drive Romania
Pick your own itinerary, collect your rented car at the
airport, and head off to discover Romania with your pre-booked hotels
or open vouchers.
Folklore, monasteries, the Grand Tour, the Prahova Valley
or even follow Dracula's footsteps.
One week, two weeks... The choice is yours.
Where to Stay
Hotels, motels, inns and camping sites are to be found all
over Romania, covering the entire range of standards of quality. There
also are alpine chalets at high altitudes for enthusiastic climbers.
You may make reservations at travel agencies.
Romanian hotels are classified according to a national
system of stars: 1to 5. Prices are very reasonable by Western
standards; a double room in a 4-star hotel in Bucharest costs from $ 10
a night and from $ 55 a night elsewhere.
Bed and Breakfast
There is a wide choice for accommodation of this type:
apply to ONT Carpati - Bucharest, 7 Gen Magheru Bd, phone: 6145160,
fax: 3122594; Litoral SA- Mamaia- Bucharest Hotel, phone:041831152,
fax: 041831276; Danubius Travel Agency- Constanta, 22/36 Republicii Bd,
phone" 041670129, fax: 041618010; Kron Tour- Brasov, 12 Baritiu Str.,
phone: 068142773, fax: 068151070; Bran Imex-Bucharest, phone:68236642,
fax:68152598, phone ( Bran): 92236642; the Tourist Association of "
Aref Village" in the County of Arges - Bucharest, phone / fax: 6666195.
Camping sites are characterized in a system of stars from 1
to 4, most being 1 or 2 star sites. For the location of camp sites
check the "Romanian Tourist and Road Map".
Transport within Romania
Local city transportation
Underground trains,buses, trams and trolleybuses in
Bucharest have a standard price of 1000 lei per journey, irrespective
State and private-owned taxis are equipped with metres. As
for many things in Romania, prices are more than reasonable.
Intercities transportation by bus
Bus services link the important urban centres and cover the
whole country. In Bucharest the main coach stations are to be found at
164, Soseaua Alexandriei, 1 Ion Ionescu de la Brad Bd, 1 Piata Garii
Filaret, 221 Soseaua Chitilei, 141 Pacii Bd, 3 Garii Obor Bd.
An extensive railroad network - 11,000 km in total -spans
throughout the country.
Tarom, the national airline company, has flights to major
province cities.However it is wise to remember that Bucharest is the
centre of the network, so a return to Bucharest is often necessary in
order to go to another city.
The Tarom office in Bucharest for domestic flights is located at 59
Buzesti Str., Piata Victoriei, phone: 6594185.
Your travel agent can get you a car for rental, on a rent
and mileage basis. Also ask for details about chauffer-driven cars, as
extremely interesting prices are available.
Car rental companies: ONT Carpati SA Bucharest, 7 Gen
Magheru BD, phone:6145160, fax: 3122594; Intercontinental, Bucharest, 4
Balcescu Bd, phone: 6140400, fax: 3120486; and others hotels including
the Bucuresti, Dorobanti in Bucharest: Aro-Palace in Brasov;
Continental Hotels in Constanta and Timisoara.
Distances from Bucharest to major cities
Alba Iulia: 344 km, Brasov: 171 km, Cluj - Napoca: 446 km,
Constanta: 266 km, Oradea: 595 km, Sibiu: 273 km, Targu Mures: 344 km,
Timisoara: 567 km, Tulcea: 263 km.
Summertime: 1 hour ahead of GMT ( last Sunday in March to
last Sunday in September). During the other months of the year, it is 2
hours ahead of GMT.
Mail and communication services
Post offices are open daily, including Saturday morning, in
most areas and provide local and external services.
3-digit numbers are used for special services
971-international calls.991 - domestic trunk calls. 930 -
Directory Inquiries - government, public and private organisations and
companies. 931 - Directory Inquiries, individual subscribers (A-L) .
932 - Directory Inquiries, induvidual subscribers (M-Z) . 955 police .
953 - taxis. 951 - information. 961 - ambulance / emergencies. 981 -
fire. 958 - time. 952 -train timetables.
On direct dial telephones dial 0 then the city area code
for internal calls or 00, then the country and city code for
international calls. For long distance calls to Romania: for Bucharest
dial 0040 then 1 and the phone number; for other towns and villages
dial 40, the area code and the phone number.
Local Romanian travel agencies offer a wide range of tours
in Bucharest and throughout the country:ATLANTIC TOUR, Bucharest 27,
Unirii Bd, phone: 6153103, fax: 6154362, ATLAS TOURS, Mihai Bravu,
phone: 3112544, fax: 3110438. ARCADIA TOURS SRL, N Titulescu Bd,
Bucharest, phone: 3126789, fax: 3126794, BRAVO GROUPE, 4 Mamulari str.
BRAVO TOUR, 1, Piata Unirii Bucharest , phone: 6145803 COMPANY FOR
TOURISM AND TRADE, 4-6 , Dem. I. Dobrescu Str., Bucharest, phone:
6133222, fax: 3120126. FANTASTIC TOURS, 18, N Balcescu Bd, phone;
3125600, fax: 3125663. FINESS TRAVEL AGENCY, 38 Grigore Mora Str.
phone:2122843, HOROSCOP, Bucharest 10 Brezoianu Str. phone: 6139353,
fax: 614622. MAGELLAN TURISM, 12-14 Magheru Bd, phone: 2119650, fax:
2104903. MAGIC TOURS, 28, av. Traian Vasile Str., Bucharest phone:
6652544, fax: 3128518. MARA TOURS, 62, Iuliu Maniu Str., Bucharest
phone: 6164597, fax: 3121398. NOUVELLES FRONTIERES-SIMPA TURISM, Putu
cu Plopi Str., Bucharest, phone: 6147951, fax: 3124657. ONT Carpati-
Bucuresti, 7 Gen Magheru Bd, Bucharest, phone: 3122598, fax: 3122594,
PARALELA 45, 7-9, Mihail Kogalniceanu Bd, Bucharest, phone: 6134450,
fax: 3122774. PETER EXPRESS, Bucharest 17, Ana Ipatescu Bd, phone /
Fax: 6595761, REAL TRAVEL, 10, Stefan cel Mare Str.,Phone: 2107254,
Fax: 2506312. VACANTA, Bucharest 27, Unirii Bd, phone: 6149594, fax:
American Express, Diners Club, JCB International, Euro
Master Card, and VISA are accepted in most hotels, rent-a-car companies
and in some restaurants. It is however advisable to check in advance.
220 volts and 50 Hz. 2 prong plug.
Available in state and private health units throughout the
country ( hospital and dispensaries), according to the medical
agreements established between Romania and other countries.
Normally a small tip for good services is appreciated, but
is as the customer wishes.
Foreign Newspapers and Magazines
Foreign newspapers and magazines are usually available at
the reception desks of leading hotels. Likewise news broadcasts from
various European countries are featured on Romanian television.
January 1 &2; Easter Monday; May 1; December1 ( the
national holiday); December 25 & 26.
Banking hours: 9-12 a.m. from Monday till Friday.
|under 1,100 c.cm.
|between 1,100 and 1,800 c.cm
|over 1,800 c.cm
Austria, Dumbrava Rosie 7, phone:6114354, Belgium, Bd Dacia
58, phone:3122968, Canada, Str. N. Iorga 36, phone:3120365, Denmark,
Dr. Burghelea 3, phone:3120352. Federation of Independent States, Sos,
Kiseleff 6, 6170128. Finland, Str. Athena 2 bis, Phone: 3127504,
France, Str. Biserica Amzei 13-15, phone: 3120217. Germany, Str. Rabat
21, phone: 6792580. Greece, Str. Orlando 6, phone: 6503988. Israel Dr.
Burghelea 5, phone: 6132633. Italy.,Str. H. Coanda 9, phone: 6505110.
Great Britain, Str. J. Michelet 24, phone: 3120303. Holland, Str. Atena
18, phone: 6332292. Moldavia, Aleea Alexandru 40, phone:3129790,
Norway, Str. Dumbrava Rosie 4, phone: 3120274. Portugal, Str. General
Praporgescu 33, phone: 3111290. Spain, Str. Tirana 1, phone: 6335730.
Sweden, Str. Sofia 5, Phone: 6173184. Switzerland, Str. Pitar Mos 12,
Making the Most of Your Visit
Although international cuisine is available in fine
restaurants, make sure that you savor the local Romanian dishes.
Romanian cooking is rich, tasty and substantial, as befits a country
where food is still naturally cultivated, where fruit and vegetables
follow their normal season, and where winters are cold.
Pork is a special favourite, but you will find good beef,
veal, and chicken too. They are all delicious just grilled. Typically
Romanian specialities include a range of soups - try "ciorba" (broth),
a soup made of fermented bran, bacon, potatoes, and beef or chicken.
Hearty stews such as " Tochitura Moldoveneasca" are accompanied like
many Romanian meat dishes by " mamaliga", a maize polenta. " Sarmale "
is a spicy dish of pickled cabbage leaves stuffed with meat, and "
mititei" are small grilled sausages perfumed with aromatic herbs. Among
fish dishes try carp on the spit, a local speciality in the Danube
A range of excellent white and red Romanian wines of the
famous vineyards of Murfatlar, Cotnari, Jidvei, Delu Mare, Odobesti,
Valea Calugareasca accompany local and international dishes to
perfection, while Tuica, the local plum brandy is often drunk as an
aperitif. But beware, it carries a sting in its tail! The local
Romanian beers are excellent.
A wide range of possibilities is open: skiing and
bobsleighing in the mountains in winter, or riding, hiking, swimming
and tennis in summer. Many hotels have indoor swimming pools and
On the Black Sea Coast, swimming in the sea or swimming
pools with fresh and salt water, or acquatic sports in the sea and on
the lakes in the vicinity of the sea. You may also play tennis,
badminton, volleyball, basketball and which, bowling, and pool.
People coming on business and staying in Bucharest only
(or in major cities) can swim in the swimming pools of the big hotels
(e.g. Intercontinental, Bucuresti, Lido) or entertainment areas around
the natural lakes surrounding the city ( Snagov, Mogosoaia, Cernica).
Acquatic sports can be practised at the sailing base of Herastrau.
Tennis; volleyball, which, football, basketball, readily available.
Fishing is allowed mainly in the Danube Delta and on the
lakes outside the big cities ( observing legal requirements). In the
Danube Delta, where there are over 160 species of fish ( among which we
can mention the sturgeon, the wel, the pike, the carp), fishing may be
complementary to boating or excursions for professional and amateur
ornithologists (the Danube Delta shelters over 300 species of birds and
the biggest colony of pelicans in Europe).
The Danube Delta has its own regulations that must be
strictly observed ( they also apply to fishing and hunting). Tourists
bringing their own crafts must pay a compulsory fee at Tulcea Harbour
Station, and will need to present their passports, sailing license and
identification papers of the craft.
The open season for hunting is: stag ( 01/08-30/11);
reebuck ( 15/05-31/10); deer (01/09-30/11); chamois (15/09-31/12);
bear(15/03-15/05) wild boar (01/10-15/02); mountain cock (01/04-15/05);
pheasant(15/10-28/02); water birds ( 15/08-15/03). Romania is one of
the four countries that founded the International Council for Hunting
and Game Protection.
Interesting purchases to make in Romania are embroidered
table cloths and table napkins, ceramics, pottery, carpets, folkloric
clothes, sculpted wood objects, porcelain, silverware and icons.
Recommended shopping areas are those in the centre or in residential
areas of the major cities. The usual hopping hours are 8 a.m. to 6
p.m., but some shops and department stores stay open till 8 p.m. and
later. Duty free shops are to be found in the international airports.
In Bucharest one can visit the National Art Museum housed
in the former Royal Palace ( paintings, sculptures, tapestries, icons
etc), the National History Museum, The Museum of the City of Bucharest
housed in the former Sutu Palace, the Art Collections Museum( the most
valuable private art collections) the Romanian Peasant Museum
(including original popular costumes, icons, houseware ) the Village
Museum (a true-to-life Romanian village with genuine dwellings from all
the religions of the country), the Firemen's Museum, the Military
Open Air Museums
Bucharest, the Village Museum, the Old Princely Court; Cluj
- Napoca, the Ethnographic Museum; Sighetu Marmatiei ( Maramures), the
local museum; Curtisoara (Gorj), the local museum; Timisoara, Museum of
the Green Woods; Constanta, the Archaeological Museum.
Romanian folklore is the best preserved in the world and
examples can be found all over the country. Maramures (wooden
architecture, costumes, ceramics), Bucovina (woven materials, Easter
painted eggs, costumes, traditions), Banat (folk art costumes,
traditional customs), Horezu (pottery, wood carving), the Apuseni
Mountains (folk art costumes, wood carving, folk celebrations, wooden
architecture), Marginimea Sibiului (icons painted on glass, folk art
costumes, houseware-all gathered in folk art museums). There also are
museums housing ancient peasant technology in Bucharest, Sibiu, Cluj -
Napoca, Ramnicu Valcea, Focsani, Timisoara, Sighetu Marmatiei.
Folk music and dancing are a vital, living tradition in
Romania. Shows can be seen in many hotels and restaurants throughout
the country. Romanian folk music is both entertaining and cheerful. You
will find it hard to resist.
A meal in a restaurant or a hotel, while watching a live
show, is an excellent way of spending a Romanian evening. If you want "
to go on" there are night clubs and discotheques in Bucharest and some
other big cities.
Traditional peasant houses are normally small and
picturesque, blue trimming frequently contrasting with whitewashed
walls in certain parts of the country or with colourful versions in
others. Porches and overhanging eaves are a common feature everywhere.
Furniture, curtains, rugs and clothing are often handmade on the
Books on Romania
Guide books available on Romania include English, French,
Dutch, German, Danish, Swedish, Spanish ad Italian editions.