Romania is situated in the north of the Balkan Peninsula on the western shores of the Black Sea. It enjoys great natural beauty and diversity and a rich cultural heritage. Romania enchants visitors with its scenic mountain landscapes and unspoiled countryside areas, and also with its historic cities and its busy capital. Over the last decade Romania had undergone a significant development and it is one of the recent members of the European Union. Tourists from western countries might still, even today, enjoy some surprising experiences in Romania. This is a large country which can sometimes be shocking with contrasts: some cities are truly Western Europe; some villages can seem to have been brought back from the past. While it has significant cultural similarities with other Balkan states, it is regarded as unique due to its strong Latin heritage.
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 where 100 F is often reached in July and August. Temperatures are always cooler in the mountains.
Autumn is dry and cool, with fields and trees producing colorful foliage, much like New England.
Winters can be cold, especially in the mountains. While not the rule, abundant snowfalls may occur throughout the country, from December to mid-March.
There are significant regional differences of the climate between different regions of Romania.
Romania’s currency is Leu (plural “Lei” – pronunciation: lay).
Banknote denominations: 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 lei
Coins: 1, 5, 10 and 50 bani pieces. (pronunciation: bahnee)
1 leu = 100 bani
The main international airport is Henri Coanda (Otopeni) Airport – it’s the largest and busiest, it has flights to nearly all the major cities in Europe, to a few Middle Eastern capitals, to all other Romanian cities, but no direct flights to the USA; Since 2012 all traditional carriers and low cost airlines operate flights on this airport.
Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport is situated at 16,5 km distance from Bucharest (capital) down-town.
Road rules for driving in Romania
Minimum driving age is 18.
A valid U.S., Canadian, Australian, EU driver’s license is acceptable for driving in Romania for 90-days from the date of entry into the country.
Driving is on the right side of the road.
Passengers in the front seat of a car must wear seatbelts at all times.
Children under 12 years of age must ride in the back seat.
Speed limits are 50 km/h (31 mph) in build-up areas, 90 km/h (56 mph) on main roads and 130 km/h (80 mph) on highways unless posted otherwise.
The use of cellular phones while driving is prohibited (only hands-free devices are allowed).
Driving while under the influence of alcohol is a criminal offense and penalties are severe.
The police have the authority to stop vehicles at random and to perform preliminary breath alcohol tests.
In case of a car accident do not leave the site, call the police and make sure that you get a copy of the Police Report.
General emergency number is: 112
The Romanian culture is very rich in tradition and folklore. The culture steams from the Dacians, who once occupied the area in the past, among other influences are the Romans. Festivals feature brightly ornamented costumes with traditional dancing. Wood carvings, skilfully woven carpets, and pottery are some of the elements of traditional Romanian culture. Special folk arts of Romania are the decorated Easter eggs and painted glass. These items can be found in many markets and vendors near tourist attractions throughout the country.
The local dishes are the delicious sarmale, mamaliga (polenta), bulz (traditional roasted polenta, filled with at least two kinds of cheeses, bacon and sour cream), friptura (steak), salata boef (finely chopped cooked veggies and meat salad, usually topped with mayo and decorated with tomatoes and parsley), zacusca (a yummy, rich salsa-like dip produced in the fall) as well as tocana(a kind of stew), tochitura (an assortment of fried meats, and traditional sausages, in a special sauce, served with polenta and fried eggs), mici (a kind of spicy sausage, but only the meat, without the casings, always cooked on a barbecue). Vegetarian and vegan travelers can easily find a tasty dish suitable for them if they ask for mancare de post (food suitable for religious fasting).
Recommended Travel Gear
On mountains and at high altitudes the weather can change very quickly and our 4×4 Wild Tours team recommends the following equipment and clothing for you:
- clothing for warm and cold weather
- comfortable walking shoes
- rain jacket
- sun hat & sun glasses
- your sense of adventure