Accommodation – Most dorm rooms cost between $8-12 USD per night in a hostel, with private double rooms costing $25-40 USD. A single/double room in a hotel with cost around $40 USD for a cheap, two-star hotel.
Food – Food is very cheap in Romania, and most small meals cost around $5 USD. In major tourist cities like Brasov or Sighisoara, meals with drinks at restaurants can be a bit pricey and cost around $25 USD. Groceries will be about $40 USD for a week’s worth of food.
Transportation – City buses and trains cost about $1 USD for a single journey ticket. Intercity trains and buses begin at $10 USD but are rarely more than $20 USD for a second class ticket.
Activities – Most museums and attractions cost between $5-10 USD.
The Romanian authorities treat all drug-related and sex offences very seriously. The age of consent is 18. If you are convicted, you can expect a prison sentence.
Homosexuality is no longer illegal, but attitudes are conservative and the gay community keeps a low profile.
Most airports and military bases will have signs prohibiting photography. Ask permission before photographing anything potentially sensitive (eg official buildings, police cars).
You will need to pay a road toll ‘Ro vignette’ to use the national roads. You can buy the vignette (sticker) at border points and at most petrol stations. Failure to display the sticker may lead to a heavy fine.
Observe the speed limit at all times. Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy and that you have with you all documentation, including evidence of insurance.
It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. Don’t drink any alcohol if you are driving.
In winter, equip your car for extreme conditions. Road conditions are variable and secondary roads can be in a bad state of repair. Driving standards can be poor. Look out for double parked cars, people suddenly braking to avoid a pothole, horse-drawn carts, livestock and stray dogs, particularly in rural areas, running in front of the vehicle.
You should have the following equipment with you: first aid kit, fire extinguisher, red warning triangles and a fluorescent jacket.
If your vehicle is damaged before you arrive in Romania, you should ask a Romanian Customs or Police Officer to write a report on the damage so that you have no problems when leaving. If any damage occurs inside the country, a report must be obtained at the scene of the accident.
Pickpocketing is quite common in large cities in Romania especially the popular tourist destinations of the city of Bucharest. Be extra careful when you are in crowded areas like the large shopping centres and flea markets. Pickpocketing is also common in crowded public buses to and from the international airport, trams and metro trains and even at metro stations.
Pickpocketing will be reduced to a minimum if and when we prevent it. Don’t put your money inside your rucksacks and don’t carry your rucksacks behind your back in crowded places. Just carry them in front of you so that you are aware of what is going on in front of you. Leave behind your wallets and passports in safe deposit boxes in the hotel where you are staying unless you want to enter casinos where they need to register your passports for the first time when you enter the casinos. Bring along only one credit card and enough cash for the day. This is also to prevent you from excessive and unnecessary gambling!
Older people particularly appreciate old-fashioned politeness. It is respectful to use Mrs. or Mr. when using the name of a person that you just meet.
Handshaking is the most common form of greeting. When a Romanian man is introduced to a woman, he will probably kiss her hand, strictly avoiding her eyes.
If one refuses what a host offers to eat or drink, this will often be taken as a polite refusal by guest who really means to say “yes”. If you want to refuse the offer find a polite excuse and say it firmly or ask for a replacement.
It is common to linger once the meal (luch or dinner) is over.
When visiting someone at home bring a small gift. Most common gifts include flowers or chocolate (for women only), a bottle of wine or liquor.
The number of flowers that one offers must always be odd.
Other well-appreciate gifts include Western cosmetics (i.e. eau de toilette or after-shave) and clothing.
All gifts should be wrapped, but many Romanians might not unwrap their gifts in your presence.
In Romania as in many Latin countries life is lived at a more relaxed pace.
Normal European courtesies should be followed on social occasions.
Although casual dress is fine in most occasions, wearing a suit and tie, or the women’s equivalent, is important at business meetings.
Appointments are necessary and punctuality is expected.
It is not considered impolite to ask a person’s age, politics, income or religion, so don’t take such questions amiss.