In 1897, a gothic horror novel was published by Irish novelist Bram Stocker. It told the story of a vampire named Count Dracula and his attempt to move from Transylvania to England in search of new blood. Although Dracula is a work of fiction, it does contain historical references, the most prominent being the connections between the fictional character and the Transylvanian-born Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia, also known as “Vlad the Impaler.” Romania might be known as the birthplace of Count Dracula, but among its citizens it is known for so much more. From Bucharest, dynamic, energetic and more than a little bit funky, city, to Transylvania, the last truly medieval landscape in Europe, where traveler’s feel like they have gone back 100 years, to the Black Sea, lined with sand beaches, ancient monuments, vineyards and modern resorts, Romania is a country filled with unparalleled beauty that should be on every traveller’s bucket list. This Romania travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
Romania Travel Guide: Fast Facts
- Romania power voltage is 230 V 50Hz; Plug E
- The Romanian currency is the Romanian Leu and is around 4 RON to 1 USD
- Avoid changing money in either Bucharest North Railway Station or in the airports, as the rates in the exchange offices are not the best.
- You can reach all major towns and tourist attractions in Romania by public transport – either bus or train. But be aware Romania is known for its nature – Carpati and beautiful Maramures landscape are easiest to reach with your own transport.
- If you’ll be traveling within Romania by car, note you need to purchase a vignette for using Romanian roads. To make your life easier, just buy it online.
- The emergency phone number is 112
- Watch out for bears! Romania has around 40% of Europe’s brown bears, they are usually scavenging on the city fringes or walking around in the forest. Avoid wandering off by yourself, especially in the forests, and if you plan on camping than make sure to pay attention to the signs that contain the words “camping” and “interzis” (forbidden). If in doubt, ask other travellers/locals it bears have been spotted in the areas you plan to camp or the trail you plan to use.
Top Packing Tips for Romania Travel
There are significant regional differences of the climate between different regions of Romania. Romania has a temperate climate, similar to the northeastern United States, with four distinct seasons. Spring is pleasant with cool mornings and nights and warm days. Summer is quite warm, with extended sunny days. The hottest areas in summer are the lowlands in southern and eastern Romania. Temperatures are always cooler in the mountains. Autumn is dry and cool while winters can be cold, especially in the mountains. While not the rule, abundant snowfalls may occur throughout the country from December to mid-March.
- Layer up – Layering is key during spring or fall months. Romania is a country that gets four distinct seasons, so there’s a chance it could be both warm and cold during your time there. During the winter months make sure to pack warm layers – a coat, gloves, a warm hat and scarf. For extra warmth pack a pair of long thermal underwear.
- Walking shoes – closed-toe sturdy footwear (like boots!) are the best choice for footwear, year-round. In cities like Timisoara it’s often faster to walk than take a taxi due to the city’s circular layout. This means you’ll be doing a lot more walking than you think. Make sure to pack boots / shoes with a water resistant sole.
- Personal Safety products – Certain areas in Bucharest are known as pickpocket hotspots. Before leaving for your trip, make sure to pack some personal safety products, like money belts and locks, so that you can keep your valuables safe on your trip.
- Sunglasses – even in winter the sun rays can reflect from the white snow!
Check out our Packing List for more ideas on what to bring with you.