Fact file: Romania

Did you know?
60% of Europe's bears live in Romania's Carpathian Mountains.
Language
Romanian
Visas
You will need a visa and a return ticket. Visas are usually stamped in your passport free of charge upon entering, but check with the embassy or your tour operator before travelling.
Getting there
Most flights from the UK land at Otopeni airport in the capital Bucharest, though it's possible to fly to Constanta and Timisoara. Rail links to western Europe and Russia are cheap and easy.
Flying time from London
Three and a half hours.
Getting around
TAROM, the state-owned airline, has an extensive network of internal flights, but foreigners pay much higher fares than Romanians. Buses are less reliable and unbelievably slow. Trains are cheap and the best way to get around. Arrive early to buy tickets and avoid the 'personae' - local - trains if you're in a hurry, as they're not.
Currency
The Romanian leu, plural lei.
Costs
All prices vary but expect to pay roughly: litre of petrol 30p; can of beer 60p; moderate restaurant meal £8-£10; roll of camera film £1; four-mile taxi ride £2-£4.
Weather
Romanian winters can be cold and foggy with lots of snow and temperatures from -7C to 6C (20F-42F). It can rain any time of year, though it's heavier in the spring months from March-May. Summers are usually hot, particularly on the coast; temperatures range between 12C (53F) in the mountains to 29C (89F) by the sea.
Time difference
Two hours ahead of GMT. Daylight saving time is observed from the end of March to the end of September.
International dialling code from the UK
00 40
Voltage
220V, 50Hz AC. Plugs are of the 2-pin type, so UK appliances will need an adapter.
Opening hours
All museums are closed on Monday, and many theatres shut during the summer. Shops maintain fairly conservative hours and most close on Sunday.
Health - Before you go
No vaccinations are necessary though tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis A and polio are recommended. See your doctor two months prior to travel. Romania has a reciprocal health agreement with the UK, and UK passport holders are entitled to free hospital care. However, other treatment may be charged for and medicines certainly will be. As medical facilities tend to be limited, it's wise to take out sufficient travel insurance to cover any extra costs or emergency repatriation in case of serious injury or illness.
Health - When you are there
Call 961 for an ambulance. Ask your hotel or the embassy for recommendations of English-speaking doctors. Allergy-sufferers should be prepared for heavy pollen in the spring.
Warnings
Watch out for packs of stray dogs - rabies is present. Petty crime is on the increase, particularly in Bucharest and along the Black Sea coast, so be diligent.
Emergency
Ambulance - 961; Police - 955; Fire - 981. British Embassy, Strada Jules Michelet 24, 70154 Bucharest, Romania. Tel: (1) 312 0303.
Customs
Though generally warm and welcoming towards visitors, Romanians have a strong Latin heritage and temperament; do not be surprised to be jostled out of the way in queues.
Pets
Animals returning from Romania will be subject to six months quarantine.
Tipping
Not expected, but round bills up to the nearest 500 lei. Be prepared to haggle with taxi drivers.
Tourist office
Romanian National Tourist Office, 22 New Cavendish Street, London W1G 8TT. Tel. 020 7224 3692.


Telephone

+44 (0) 203 696 2870

Mon – Fri 8:30am – 5:30pm

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