Romania has many castles and wonderful landscapes which will make for some great photography and video. We happen to know someone who is from Romania, so that helped inspire us to consider it for our world trip. She is a very nice and welcoming person, so we hope to find more people like her in this country.
Why do we want to go?
It is cheaper than western Europe and has many similar things from old Europe like castles and churches. It is a photographer’s dream with many landscapes in a country that is about the size of Oregon in the U.S. but much more populated. We’ve had some fear of this area as well so that makes us want to go even more. Maybe we can get our blood sucked out in Transylvania by some vampires (or mosquitoes). It would be fun to go there for their Halloween event.
What are some bucket list contenders?
- Bran Castle – Nicknamed Dracula’s Castle
- Râpa Roșie – Red ravine with interesting rock formations
- Bucharest –
- Brașov –
- Busteni – The Mountain Sphinx rock formation
- Peleș Castle – Castle in the Carpathian Mountains
- Corvin Castle – Renaissance fortress that was rebuilt in the 19th century
- Bâlea Lake
- Poenari Castle
- Scărișoara Cave
- Rock sculpture of Decebalus
|COUNTRY | Romania|
|Best Season||March to June and September to October (Weather and costs considered)|
|Average Temp / Weather Conditions||Averages are between 22°C (71°F) in July and -2°C (29°F) in January|
|Key Attractions||Castles, midieval towns, mountains, and vampires!|
|Entry / Visa Requirements||90 Days no visa required, extensions can be requested. One blank page required for entry stamp|
|CURRENCY | Romanian Leu (~$4 RON = $1 USD)|
|Daily Budget||$240-320 RON ($60-80 USD) per couple on a frugal budget (hostels, cookings own meals, local transportation)|
|Frugal Tips||Stay on the edges of Summer to save money on lodging and transportation. Hotels and hostels are pretty cheap and a good way to go for couples. Airbnb and couchsurfing are also good options. Make your own meals when you can in more expensive tourist areas, and buy your groceries at discount supermarkets.|
|THE STAY | Possible duration: 2-3 Weeks|
|Lodging Types||Couchsurfing, hostels, dorm rooms, budget hotels, airbnb|
|Food||Pork and beef dishes, borsch, various soups, and don’t forget the Tzuica, a traditional spirit made from plums|
|Transportation Options||Buses and trains. Hitchhiking is popular among locals and tourists|
|Driving Requirements||Best to have international drivers permit (IDP) for the duration of your 90 days to drive|
|Connectivity||Broadband internet is available as well as WiFi in various cafes, restaurants and even some parks|
|CULTURE | Language: Romanian; other languages include English, Ukranian, German, Russian, Bulgarian, Hungarian|
|Customs||Social Norms: Romanians tend to not trust strangers, and are shy and quiet when you first meet. They do not move to a first-name basis with anyone outside their family and close friends. Make eye contact when speaking with someone, or they will think you are not paying attention to them.
Dining Out: Dress in nice clothes for dining. If there are shoes near the front door, remove yours. Always keep your hands visible while eating. Cross your knife and fork to indicate you have not finished eating. Put your knife and fork on your plate with the handles facing right and the prongs facing down to indicate you have finished eating.
Hierarchy: Age and position are a respected part of their culture. The father or husband is the head of the family and makes all of the decisions.
|Local Laws||Similar to most western societies:
|Local Holidays/Festivals||Major Festivals:
Major Holidays: See this website for more info. Most are very similar to other westernized countries. officeholidays.com
|English Availability||In tourist areas mostly, but don’t depend on it. Learn some basic phrases as it will not be as well known here. Romanian is an easy language for English speakers to learn as it is also Latin based. We recommend the Duolingo app, which is free and can help you practice your Romanian and many other languages.|
|Attitudes Toward Americans||Generally positive, although they do point out things like our invading oil countries, being arrogant and wealthier than them. They do value our power in the world and our advances in technology.|
|Photography Concerns||A photography-friendly country with beautiful landscapes and street photography. Laws are generally in favor of the photographer, but use common sense.|
|Location of U.S. Embassy / Phone||B-dul, Dr. Liviu Librescu Nr. 4-6,
Sector 1, Bucharest, 015118
Phone (40) 21 200-3300
|Medical Facilities||Medical care levels vary depending on location, but is quite affordable compared to the U.S. It is not up to first world standards except in Bucharest.|
|Vaccinations Needed||None Required, but recommend MMR, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, polio, Hep A (can be infected through water and food), Hep B if you plan on having sex with new partners, Rabies only if you plan to do caving, work around animals, staying in remote areas for long periods of time, or have children. Try to avoid mosquito bites which can transmit West Nile.|
|Health Concerns||If planning a long rural trip, vaccination is highly recommended. There are food-borne and water-borne infections diseases such as measles, hepatitis, typhoid and tuberculosis.|
|Water Quality||Tap water is okay, but locals will mostly drink bottled water. We think siding with the locals is best.|
Have you been to Romania? What activities do we have to try out? What other countries should we consider?