Horseback riding in Romania

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Equestrian tours in Romania

Romania Mini Guide
   Source: World Travel Guide

 Overview

Romania has a rich cultural and natural diversity. Its dramatic mountains scenery includes the densely forested Carpathian Mountains, picturesque valleys and miles of fine white sandy beaches on the Black Sea Coast.

This first port of call for most travelers is the bustling capital, Bucharest, which was once known as 'Little Paris' due to its sophisticated charm. Crammed with grand architecture, fascinating museums and traditional restaurants, it's well worth a few days exploration. So too are the resorts along the Black Sea Coast, which surprise many with their stunning sandy beaches and ocean panoramas.

Ultimately, though, Romania remains defined by its small, rural, communities, many of which still depend on ancient agricultural practices. From the isolated villages clinging to the Carpathian Mountains to the Saxon towns of Transylvania, a tour of Romania's backcountry will uncover traditional ways of like and a treasure chest of cultural gems.

It is, of course, partially illegal to talk about Transylvania without mentioning the legend of Dracula. The Romanians are all too well aware of the interest in Bram Stoker's fictional vampire and the castle at Bran (supposedly the spot that inspired Stoker's story) has been transformed into one of the country's top tourist attractions.

Elsewhere the forests covering the Carpathian Mountains shelter some of Europe's last remaining brown bears, wolves and lynxes, while raccoon dogs and rare muskrats gather around the rivers.

While Romania offers travelers the chance to immerse themselves in a defiantly traditional way of life, that isn't to say the locals don't appreciate their creature comfort. The natural spas scattered across the country purport to cure everything from rheumatism to heart disease, and make a luxurious finale to any Romanian adventure.

Passport/Visa

Passport Required?

British

Yes

Australian

Yes

Canadian

Yes

USA

Yes

Other EU

1

Visa Required?

British

No

Australian

No

Canadian

No

USA

No

Other EU

No

Return Ticket Required?

British

No

Australian

Yes

Canadian

Yes

USA

Yes

Other EU

No

 

Passports

Passports must be valid for at least three months on arrival in Romania and issued within the last 10 years for non-EU nationals and should be valid for the duration of stay for EU nationals.

1. EU citizens can use a national identity card instead of a passport.

Visas

Visas are not required by nationals referred to in the chart above for travel and tourism trips of up to 90 days. EU nationals may stay for an unlimited period, but must register with the local authorities after three months.

Visa Note

Nationals not referred to in the chart above are advised to contact the embassy to check visa requirements (see Contact Addresses).

Types and Cost

Airport transit visa/transit visa/short-stay visa: £46, long-stay visa: £91. Reductions are available for some nationalities and for children.

Validity

Transit visa: five days; short-stay visa: 90 days within a six-month period; long-stay visa: 90 days with the potential to extend.

 

Money

Currency

New Leu (RON; symbol (plural) Lei) = 100 bani. Notes are in denominations of Lei500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1. Coins are in denominations of Bani50, 10, 5 and 1. (Old notes were in denominations of Lei1,000,000, 500,000, 100,000, 50,000 and 10,000 and coins in denominations of Lei5,000, 1,000, 500 and 100.)

Currency Exchange

It is recommended that visitors bring Euros, as these can be easily exchanged by shops, restaurants and hotels. Pounds Sterling can be easily exchanged in most resorts. All hard foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks, larger hotels and airports and at authorised exchange offices (Birou de Schimb Valutar). Rates can vary from one place to another, so visitors are advised to shop around for the best rate of exchange. Exchanges on the black market are made frequently, but visitors are advised to exchange money through proper exchange channels and to receive a currency exchange receipt, as certain services require visitors to show the receipt as proof of having made at least one financial transaction.

Credit/Debit Cards and ATMs

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted by large hotels, car hire firms and some restaurants and shops. ATMs (bancomat) accepting MasterCard and Visa can be found in main banks, airports and shopping centres but should not be relied upon as a sole source of cash.

Traveller's Cheques

Like credit and debit cards, these are usually only useful in hotels and for obtaining cash at the bank or selected exchange offices. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take traveller's cheques in US Dollars or Euros.

Currency Restrictions

Restrictions apply.

Banking Hours

Mon-Fri 0900-1300.

Date

April 2018

£1.00=

Lei5.31

$1.00=

Lei3.81

€1.00=

Lei4.66

Health

Vaccinations

 

Special Precautions

Diphtheria

Yes

Hepatitis A

Yes

Malaria

No

Rabies

Sometimes*

Tetanus

Yes

Typhoid

Yes

Yellow Fever

No

Inoculation regulations can change at short notice. Please take medical advice in the case of doubt. Where 'Sometimes' appears in the table above, precautions may be required, depending on the season and region visited.

* Vaccination advised for those at high risk or visiting rural areas.

Food and Drink

Mains water is normally chlorinated, and whilst relatively safe, may cause abdominal upsets; bottled water is available. Milk is pasteurised and dairy products are safe for consumption. Local meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables are generally considered safe to eat.

Other Risks

Hepatitis C and tuberculosis occur and hepatitis B is endemic. Stray dogs may carry the tick-borne African typhus disease and rabies is also present. If bitten, seek medical advice without delay. There have been confirmed outbreaks of avian influenza (bird flu) in the Danube Delta, Transylvania and Bucharest. The Romanian authorities have taken measures to contain the outbreaks and no human infections or deaths have been reported. In 2012, several cases of the West Nile Virus were reported by the Romanian National Institute of Health, and travellers to the Danube Delta are recommended to wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers and to apply insect repellent.

Health Care

Medical facilities in Romania are poor and there is a serious shortage of basic medical supplies and qualified personnel. Take particular care if travelling in rural areas, as there have been cases of hepatitis B and HIV transmission through insufficiently sterilized equipment. If necessary, your local embassy or consulate should be able to recommend a physician. European travellers carrying the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) are entitled to free or reduced cost medical care. In the UK, these are available from health centres or via the Department of Health (www.dh.gov.uk). Nationals of countries who do not have a reciprocal health agreement with Romania are expected to pay immediate cash for health services. Health insurance is strongly advised.

 

Getting There

Getting There by Air

The national airline is Tarom (RO) (website: www.tarom.ro). Other airlines operating direct flights from the UK include Blue Air (www.blueairweb.com), British Airways (www.ba.com), Ryanair (www.ryanair.com), and Wizz (www.wizzair.com). There are no direct flights from the USA. The cheapest time to fly is between January and March- the summer months and Christmas are more expensive.

Approximate Flight Times

From London to Bucharest is 3 hours 10 minutes; from New York is 11 hours 30 minutes (including stopover).

Main Airports

Bucharest (OTP) (Henri Coanda) (website: www.otp-airport.ro) is 16km (10 miles) north of the city. To/from the airport: An express bus service operates to the city (journey time - 45 minutes). Taxis, minibuses and limousines are available 24 hours (journey time - 25 minutes). Facilities: Bar, snack bar, restaurant, left luggage, first aid, post office, bank, bureau de change, ATM, car hire, duty-free, information office and business lounge.

There are also international airports at Arad (ARW), Cluj (CLJ) (website: www.airportcluj.ro), Constanta (CND) (Mihail Kogalniceanu), Sibiu (SBZ) and  Timisoara (TSR) (website: aerotim.ro).

Departure Tax

None.

Getting There by Water

Main port: Constanta (website: www.constantza-port.ro) on the Black Sea is the country's main port. 

Getting There by Rail

CFR (tel: +40 21 9521; website: www.cfrcalatori.ro) operates services from many European cities to Bucharest. First and second class sleepers are available.

Rail Passes

InterRail: offers unlimited first- or second-class travel in up to 29 European countries for European residents of over six months with two pass options. The Global Pass allows travel for 22 days, 15 days, one month, five days in 10 days, or 10 days in 22 days across all countries. The One-Country Pass offers travel for three, four, six or eight days in one month in any of the countries except Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro. Travel is not allowed in the passenger's country of residence. Reductions are available for travelers under 26. Children under 12 are free when traveling with an adult using an Adult Pass. Supplements are required fro some high-speed services, seat reservations, and couchettes. Discounts are offered on Eurostar and some ferry routes. Available from Voyages-sncf.com (tel: +44 844 848 5848, in the UK; www.voyages-sncf.com).

Eurailpass: Offers unlimited train travel in up to 28 countries. Tickets are valid for 15 days, 21 days, one month, two months, three months, five days in 10 days, 10 days in two months, or 15 days in two months. The Global Pass allows travel across all participating countries. The Regional Pass lets you travel in two bordering countries. The One Country Pass offers travel on one of 27 countries.

Adult passes are valid for first-class travel, while youth passes (under 26) are valid for second-class travel. Children under 12 are free when traveling with an adult using an Adult Pass. The passes cannot be sold to EU citizens or residents. Available from Eurail (www.eurail.com).


Balkan Flexipass: allows five, 10 or 15 days of first class travel for one month across Bulgaria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Greece, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Turkey. Available from Rail Europe (www.raileurope-world.com) to anyone living outside these countries.

Getting There by Road

Driving to Romania from the UK takes around 24 hours and involved several border crossings. Route 7. 79. and 78 are the most commonly used by internatrional travelers entering the country from Hungary- drivers need to present their vehicle's registration, proof of address, and a valid driving licence. Buses run from several major European cities, including London and Brussels. The main international operator is Eurolines (www.eurolines.com). 

Driving note: Independent travelers need to purchase a low-cost road toll badge (Rovinieta) at the border crossing (www.roviniete.ro).

 

Climate

Romania is a great year-round tourist destination. The best time to visit in terms of climate are the end of April to the beginning of July and from the end of August to the end of October as temperatures are mild and pleasant. Summers can be hot especially in Southern Romania, including Bucharest, but along the Black Sea coast, sea breezes offer moderate temperatures. Winters are coldest in the Carpathian Mountains where there is snow from December through to April. Snow also falls throughout most of the country during winter.

The ski season in Romania runs from December to March, although high resorts such as Stana de Vale often remain open until late April. Prices are cheaper at the beginning and the end of the season, with Christmas often the busiest time.

On the Black Sea Coast, tourism reaches its height between June and August and temperatures during the summer months can reach a sizzling 40 degrees Celsius. Look for deals in May and September, when the weather is still balmy but the season isn't yet in full swing.

Other seasonal activities include bird-watching (from mid-April to mid-May in the Danube Delta) and wine-tasting, which focuses around a series of festivals in September and October.

Required Clothing

Lightweights are worn in summer on the coast and in low inland areas. Warmer clothes are needed in winter and throughout the year in the uplands. Rainwear is recommended throughout the year.

 

Contacts

Embassy of Romania in the UK

Arundel House, 4 Palace Green, London W8 4QD, UK
Tel: (020) 7937 9666.
Website: http://londra.mae.ro
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1700; Mon-Thurs 1000-1300 (consular section).  

Embassy of Romania in the USA

1607 23rd Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel: (202) 332 4846 or 2879 (consular section).
Website: http://washington.mae.ro/en 
Opening times: Mon-Fri 1000-1600.

British Embassy in Romania

24 Jules Michelet, Bucharest, 010463
Tel: (40) 21 201 7200.
Website: www.londra.mae.ro
Opening times: Mon-Thurs 0830-1700; Fri 0830-1600.



 

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