Romania is a mystical and gorgeous jewel of a country, resting on the very north of the Balkan peninsula, separated from the famous Balkan countries by two mountain ringes: the Carpathian mountains and the old mountains in Dobrogea. Even though it is situated on the Balkan’s north, where many countries notorious for their crime rates and unfavorable political situation are located, Romania is more than safe to travel to.
There are greater risks in visiting bigger and more prominent capitals in Europe than there are in visiting Romania. Even the streets of its vintage-touched cities, during the last couple of decades, since the collapse of the Soviet Union when Romania became part of the European Union, have filled with tourists from all over the world, making it a warm and welcoming tourist destination for anyone hungry for hikes along vast forests or just yearning for a bone-chilling adventure along the mysterious Transylvania castles.
Warnings & Dangers in Romania
OVERALL RISK : LOW
For the most part, Romania is a safe country to travel to, and considered to be a welcoming traveling destination, ranked among the most-threat free countries on the planet.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : LOW
Transportation in Romania is mainly safe. As in any other country, cab drivers could take advantage of an unprepared tourist, scamming him into paying the ride way too much. Tourists are advised to use Uber or Black Cab to avoid such events.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
Even though pick pocketing and small thefts are some of the most common crimes you can encounter in Romania, they are most common in big cities like Bucharest, or other famous tourist destinations in Romania, and even there they are rare compared to other bigger European capitals.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : LOW
Some Romanian cities, such as Bucharest, are somewhat vulnerable to earthquake hazards, given the fact that they are located in an active seismic zone. Apart from that, some parts of Romania might become inaccessible due to heavy rains or snowfall during winter.
MUGGING RISK : MEDIUM
Even though crimes against tourists remain a problem in Romania, mugging is not an issue and rarely happens towards tourists.
TERRORISM RISK : LOW
As of 2016, Romania started boosting anti-terrorism laws, even though it was always considered to be one of the most terrorism threat-free countries in the world, so traveling to Romania is considered as safe as can be, when it comes to terrorism.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Scams do happen in Romania, but mostly in the form of overpricing in bars, or by the street vendors. Drink spiking is also an issue in night clubs.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
Even though Romania is as safe as can be for women travelers, they should be aware of dangers of roaming alone in a strange city. Just like pretty much anywhere, they should avoid walking alone down empty or poorly lit streets, walking past groups or people that behave or look strange or getting into conversations with unknown people that might seem strangely friendly.
So... How Safe Is Romania Really?
Surprisingly to some, the chances of being physically attacked in Romania are far less than being attacked, say, in the US or the Western Europe states. However, as an inexperienced traveler, you might encounter minor incidents such as pick pocketing, smaller thefts or vendors might try to trick you while selling something.
Like in most countries, you should watch out for scammers, plan everything ahead, negotiate all fees in advance, double check everything you hear from vendors on the streets and be careful when making friendships with unknown “friendly” locals trying to help you with anything: they might try to steal something from you or charge for their help.
Speaking of scams, here are some of the most common ones:
- Money exchanging scams: always watch out when exchanging money, and try to do it in official exchanges offices, and double-check your money once it’s exchanged.
- Public transportation scams or thefts – be on the lookout for small pick-pocketers roaming around the buses or trains. You might not even notice when they steal your wallet, because they’re very skillful.
- Friendships on the streets – friendly strangers might want to charge for their “services”, “help” etc.
- Vehicle thefts – avoid renting Valkswagen, Opel or Mercedes cars because of the risk of carjacking, and of course avoid leaving anything valuable in plain sight.
Also, pay attention in night clubs or bars for people trying to spike your drink (not common, but has been reported) and in poorly lit streets and areas, or upon seeing strange activities on the streets such as groups of teenagers acting violent or anyone else seeming and acting intoxicated or ready to start up a fight. It goes without saying that you should avoid parts of Romania known for higher rates of crime.
- Visas - In most cases, Visas are not needed for any stay shorter than 90 days. However, you should make sure that your password is valid for at least six months from your date of return and if you're not sure whether or not you need a visa, you should check that on www.doyouneedvisa.com. Based on your nationality, it will help you make sure if you need visa for the country you are visiting.
- Currency - Currency in Romania is Romanian Leu. You should avoid exchanging money on the street or any unofficial money exchange offices. You will find the best exchange rate in the official banks. Another option can be withdrawing money from local ATM's using your debit or credit card.
- Weather - The climate in Romania is mild, with all four, very distinct seasons. It's colder in the north, since the Carpathian Mountains are there, so if you're traveling to Transylvania, be prepared and dress warm.
- Airports - As would be expected, the busiest airports are located in Bucharest. There are two of them, and the most prominent one is located 16.5 km north of Bucharest, called Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport.
- Travel Insurance - We advise travelers to make sure they have travel insurance that would, in case of any emergency, cover all costs of any medical problems, as well as in cases of theft or loss of personal items.