Make the most of your trip with these must-know Romania travel tips.

Romania is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe – yet relatively few people know it. 

When I decided to visit Romania, I knew very little about this hidden gem. As soon as I arrived, though, I knew it wouldn’t be my only trip to Romania. 

From the incredible restaurants of Bucharest to the rolling mountains of Transylvania, Romania is a country of beauty and wonder. These Romania travel tips will help you make the most of your time there and get to know this mysterious country on a deeper level. 

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Things to know before visiting Romania

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Essential things to know before going to Romania

Want to make the most of your travels in Romania?

Here are some essential things to know before going to Romania.


1 – Romanian is a romance language

I’m not sure how I didn’t realise this before I arrived – I’m a linguist, after all! – but Romanian is a Romance language.

That means that, like French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese, Romanian comes from Latin.

Even if you speak all of those languages fluently, though, there’s a good chance you won’t understand Romanian. 

While Romanians have little trouble understanding the other romance languages, their heavy Slavic accent makes them almost impossible to understand for non-Romanian speakers. 

That said, if you do speak any Romance languages, you should at least be able to understand written Romanian! 


2 – Romania is a great road trip destination

Romania’s rolling mountains and ever-changing landscapes make it one of the best countries in Europe for a road trip. 

Road tripping Romania is just as much about the epic views and surprise stops as it is about the destinations.

Just make sure you go prepared if you’re prone to carsickness – those winding mountains are a treat for the eyes, but not so much for the stomach!


The Transfagarasan highway in Romania, winding through the mountains
Romania’s epic landscapes make it an ideal road trip destination.

3 – Romania is a great ecotourism destination 

Love nature? Romania won’t let you down!

Romania’s wildlife includes lynx, bears and bison, while the hiking trails are endless. 

In recent years, organisations and individuals have made an effort to increase and improve ecotourism in Romania.

And it’s been successful – Romania has used its natural wonders to change opinions, diversify its tourism and attract more eco-conscious travellers.


4 – But the cities are beautiful too

Anybody who travels to Romania can expect to be spoilt. Although Romania is one of the most naturally beautiful places in Europe, its cities are also worth travelling for. 

Many of Romania’s towns are quaint and colourful, making them fun places to explore. What’s more, each of them is packed with history, stories and its own little quirks.


typical street cafe bar, Sighisoara, Romania
Sighisoara is just one of Romania’s many colourful towns.

5 – Romanian history is bloody

Understanding Romania’s history isn’t for the faint hearted – but it is one of the things you should know before going to Romania. 

From Vlad the Impaler to a bloody revolution, almost everything is connected to its vibrant history.

Understanding Romanian history will help you get to know the country on a much more intimate level, so I recommend taking some time to read before you arrive.


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Romania travel tips

Now you know a little bit about Romania, here’s what to expect when you arrive.

These Romania travel tips will help you make the most of your time in this wonderful country.

6 – COMMUNISM’S SHADOW STILL LINGERS OVER ROMANIA

It’s impossible to visit Romania without talking about communism. The communist era still leaves a mark on Bucharest and any local you speak to will reference it. 

Romania is unique in that it was the only communist country in Europe where the leader was killed by his own people.

Nevertheless, its ghost can still be felt in many of Romania’s cities.


The Saint Bartholomew Evangelical church is the oldest building in Brasov. Built in 1223, this church is impressive not only for its silhouette in Roman style with early Gothic elements but also for its massive surrounding walls.
Romania is a fairly conservative country where 85% of the population is Orthodox.

7 – Romanians are very sarcastic

The Romanian sense of humour is very sarcastic. Once you realise this, you’ll have a much easier time connecting with locals!


8 – Romania is a safe country

If you’ve travelled to other countries in Europe, you may find Romania refreshingly safe. 

That’s not to say there isn’t any crime in Romania – you should certainly still have travel insurance!

But, compared to many countries, Romania’s crime rates are low.


TRAVEL TIP

Even though Romania is fairly safe, you shouldn’t travel without insurance. Make sure your policy covers you for healthcare and cancellations, as well as any activities you plan to do.

I use and recommend World Nomads because they cover things that most insurers won’t.

Check the price here or find out more about why I use them


9 – The Wifi in Romania is fast

Romania has some of the fastest internet in the world (when you can find it). 

Thanks to this, Romania is a great destination for digital nomads and remote workers.


10 – You can usually drink the tap water

Don’t be put off by the number of locals you’ll see drinking bottled water – Romania’s tap water is clean and safe to drink.

Pack a reusable water bottle so you can travel responsibly and reduce your plastic usage. 

The only time that you need to be wary of the water is in the mountains. Unless a guide tells you otherwise, it’s probably not safe to drink with purifying it first.


11 – Drink driving is a no-no

Drink driving is NEVER a good idea, but it could land you in serious trouble in Romania.

In Romania, police have the right to stop any motorist and carry out an alcohol test. If you’re planning to rent a car in Romania, don’t even think about drink driving!


 The old town of Bucharest seen through a water reflection with people in the background in Romania

Bucharest tips

If you’re travelling to Romania for the first time, I recommend spending at least 48 hours in Bucharest, its lively capital. 

Here are a few bonus tips to help you navigate Bucharest like a pro.


12 – It’s Bucharest – not Budapest

When I was queuing for my flight to Bucharest, a woman joined the line behind me. 

“Which flight is this?”

I told her this was the line for Bucharest.

“Oh, phew” she sighed. “I thought I was going to miss my flight!”

After 20 minutes of waiting, the gate staff scanned my ticket. As I waited for my friend, I witnessed an uncomfortable sight.

As the woman approached the gate, the staff took one look at her ticket and told her that the flight for Budapest was the next gate down – the one that had just closed.

It was a horrible moment but, as much as I felt terrible for her, I couldn’t believe people actually get these two cities mixed up. But they do. All the time. 

Even Michael Jackson once infamously addressed a large crowd in Bucharest with, “Hello Budapest!”. Learn from his mistake and try not to mix up your words while you’re there – it doesn’t go down well!


bucharest romania itinerary eden bar

13 – Bucharest is a city that wakes up late

If you hate waking up, you’ll probably love Bucharest. You don’t need to get up early to make the most of your time in Romania’s capital.

In fact, there’s little point in even trying.

Things open late in Bucharest and the streets can be empty until lunchtime. It’s probably because the Romanian capital also like to stay up late, but it can easily throw off an early bird like me!


14 – You can’t ignore the palace

The Palace of the Parliament is the largest building in Bucharest – and the one that causes the largest stir, too.

This impressive feat of architecture adorns the Bucharest skyline, but the locals would rather ignore it.

For them, it is a reminder of the communist past they would rather forget, so it’s best not to mention it. 

As a tourist, it’s still worth a visit if only to marvel at its grandeur. If you want to go inside, book a guided tour in advance.


the House of Parliament, also known as The People's House in the Cheauchesku's ages. Bucharest,Romania.
The Palace of the Parliament is the heaviest building in the world!

15 – Bucharest isn’t a pretty city

While Romania has heaps of scenic towns and colourful cities, Bucharest isn’t one of them. It’ll probably be the first one you see, though, so just keep that in mind when you arrive.

Even though Bucharest might not be as pretty as other Romanian towns, it still has plenty of charm.

The mix of buildings and shapes, in a palette of grey and sand, give it an interesting depth.

Bucharest’s architecture is as eclectic as the city itself, and doesn’t make it any less fun to visit.


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Romania travel tips

Jodie Marie Dewberry

Jodie has been travelling the world full time since 2017, sharing the most unique places in the world along with tips for living as a digital nomad. She is a passionate wildlife photographer and has worked with a number of prominent travel brands, including airlines, tourism boards, hotels and tour operators.

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