Time zone: GMT + 2 (GMT + 3 during the summer)
Telephone services: Country Code: 40
Outgoing Code: Dial 971 for international operator assistance.
Emergency telephone numbers: Ambulance – 961, Police – 955, Fire – 981
Tourist information: Romanian National Tourist Office (Carpati), 83A Marylebone High Street, London W1M 3DE Tel: (020) 7224 3692.
Passport information: Valid passports with a minimum validity of 3 months after return require by all. Return Ticket required. Requirements may be subject to short-term change. Contact the relevant authority before departure.
Visa information: Visa required by all. Heavy penalties are imposed for incorrect or expired visas. Visas should be obtained in advance if travel is by train otherwise visas are obtainable on arrival at airports and land crossings.
Health information: Polio, Typhoid: Vaccination recommended
Other Health Risks: Cholera reported – travellers may want to take precautions. An epidemic of entrviral meningitis is currently affecting some parts of the country including Bucharest. The ministry of health does not consider visitors to be at risk.
Food & drink: Water is untreated and not safe to drink. Do NOT bathe in lakes and rivers. Drink bottled water.
Currency: Leu (plural Lei) = 100 bani Exchange: Visitors are advised to take hard currency, particularly US Dollars. Sterling can be easily exchanged in most resorts. Visitors are advised to shop around for the best rates of exchange. Do not use the black market as it is illegal. NOTE: The import and export of local currency is prohibited.
Major credit cards are accepted in large hotels only. Travellers cheques can only be used at the tourist office and for paying hotel bills. US dollar cheques are preferable
ATM availability: Over 60 locations
Cost of living: Romania remains relatively inexpensive, since the move to modernise the economy following the 1989 revolution.
Languages: Romanian. Hungarian and German in border areas. English and French may be spoken by those involved with tourism.
Weather: Summer: inland is hot but the exterior is cooled by a sea breeze. Snow can fall throughout the country. Winters are mildest along the coast.
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50 Hz. Plugs are of the 2-pin type.
Post: Airmail to Western Europe takes up to 2 weeks.
Transport: RAIL: ‘Romanian State Railways’ run efficient and cheap services. Seats must be reserved in advance for express and rapid trains. ROAD: COACH: Local services operate to most towns and villages. TAXI: Can be hailed in the street or called from hotels. Prices are relatively low but drivers expect a tip. CAR HIRE: Available at hotels and at the airport. Driving is very erratic so it may be wise to hire a driver. DOCUMENTATION: National driving licence or International Driving Permit and ‘green card’ insurance is required
Special information: Fines for expired visa’s are being levied on travellers, with the possible addition of an exclusion order. Ensure you extend your visa at least three days before it is due to expire. Petty crime in large towns especially Bucharest is on the increase, particularly incidents by pickpockets and bag snatchers in crowded areas near exchange shops, on buses (especially to the airport), main railway stations and inside airport areas. Changing money on the streets is illegal. Visitors should be aware that some policement may be bogus and they should not hand over identification documents or money but should go with them to a police station. PHOTOGRAPHY: Some tourist attractions charge visitors who wish to take photographs. Dress tends to be quite conservative but casual clothes are usually suitable.