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Romania travel guide

About Romania

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

The first post of call for most travellers 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 life and a treasure chest of cultural gems.

It is, of course, practically 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 racoon dogs and rare muskrats gather around the rivers.

While Romania offers travellers the chance to immerse themselves in a defiantly traditional way of life, that isn’t to say the locals don’t appreciate their creature comforts. 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.

Key facts

Area:

238,391 sq km (92,043 sq miles).

Population:

19,372,734 (UN estimate 2016).

Population density:

90.9 per sq km.

Capital:

Bucharest.

Government:

Republic.

Head of state:

President Klaus Iohannis since 2014.

Head of government:

Prime Minister Florin Cîțu since December 2020.

Travel Advice

Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Romania on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

International travel

Commercial flights between the UK and Romania are operating but we recommend that you check with your travel company for the latest information.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in Romania.

Travel in Romania

Travel to/from airport or other port of arrival

Due to movement restrictions in place, when travelling to the airport make sure you carry:

  • your passport
  • your flight ticket

Road transit across or through Romania is possible. Carry your passport at all times.

Requirements when travelling e.g. public transport, taxis

You are required to carry a face mask in all indoor spaces, including public transport and taxis. Drivers are also required to comply with this requirement.

Accommodation

Hotels, guesthouses, camping units have been allowed to open, but only when observing a specific set health-safety of rules.

Public spaces and services

Whilst the State of Alert remains in place, the Romanian government have announced a range of relaxations related to public events, concerts and conferences coming into effect on 1 June. The decree can be found on the Romanian Government Website (in Romanian):

Healthcare in Romania

For contact details for English speaking doctors visit our list of healthcare providers.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health

View Health for further details on healthcare in Romania.

See also the guidance on healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

For a list of Romanian Healthcare centres offering COVID tests, you should consult the Ministry of Health website

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in Romania

Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live. As further information is available about the national vaccination programme, this page will be updated. Sign up to get email notifications.

You can register for a vaccination in Romania here (only available in Romanian). You will be able to verify whether or not you are eligible during the current phase of vaccination roll-out on the site.

The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the UK authority responsible for assessing the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines. It has authorised the Pfizer/BioNTech, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Moderna vaccines for temporary supply and use in the UK. Find out more about MHRA approval for these vaccines.

British nationals living overseas should seek medical advice from their local healthcare provider in the country where they reside. Information about vaccines used in other national programmes, including regulatory status, should be available from the local authorities. This list of Stringent Regulatory Authorities recognised by the World Health Organisation may also be a useful source of additional information. Find out more about COVID-19 vaccines on the World Health Organisation COVID-19 vaccines page.

Finance

For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.

Returning to the UK

When you return, you must follow the rules for entering the UK.

You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. For a list of Romanian Healthcare centres offering COVID tests, you should consult the Ministry of Health website (only available in Romanian).

Further Information

If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.

Crime

Maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as in the UK. There is a risk of petty theft in large towns, especially Bucharest. Pickpockets and bag snatchers operate in crowded areas, particularly near exchange shops and hotels, on public transport (especially to the airport), in the main railway stations and inside airport terminals.

Organised attacks by groups can occur. The most common method by distracting victims while several people, often children, attempt to snatch watches and jewellery from pockets or from around the neck and wrist.

Valuables including passports have been stolen from hotel rooms. Use the hotel safe and carry a photocopy of the information pages of your passport as ID.

There have been reports of credit or debit cards being ‘copied’ when used for payment in some bars and restaurants.

Road travel

In 2019 there were 1,864 road deaths in Romania (source: Department for Transport). This equates to 9.6 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.6 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2019.

Licences and documents

If driving in Romania, make sure you have with you all documentation, including your full, valid driving licence, proof of insurance/green card (third party or above), proof of ID (passport) and proof of ownership (V5C Certificate).

If you’re living in Romania, check the Living in Guide for information on requirements for residents. 

Driving regulations

You’ll need to pay a road toll ‘Rovinieta’ to use the national roads. You can buy the vignette (sticker) at border points and at most petrol stations. The minimum cost is 3 euros for 7 days. Failure to display the sticker may lead to a heavy fine. You can find out more about prices by using the website Roviniete.ro.

Observe the speed limit at all times. Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy.

It’s illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. The drink drive limit is zero.

Carry the following equipment: first aid kit, fire extinguisher, red warning triangles and a fluorescent jacket.

If your vehicle is damaged before you arrive in Romania, ask a Romanian customs officer or police officer to write a report on the damage so that you have no problems when leaving. If any damage occurs inside the country, a report must be obtained at the scene of the accident.

See the European Commission, AA and RAC guides to driving in Romania.

Road safety

Road conditions are variable and secondary roads can be in a bad state of repair. Driving standards can be poor. Look out for double parked cars, people suddenly braking to avoid a pothole, horse-drawn carts, livestock and stray dogs, particularly in rural areas, running in front of the vehicle. Equip your car for extreme conditions in winter.

Taxis

Yellow taxis in Bucharest should list prices on the side of the vehicle and display a company name. There are reports of foreign visitors being overcharged by taxi drivers.

Rail travel

Thieves operate on trains, so make sure all valuables are safe.

Terrorist attacks in Romania can’t be ruled out.

UK Counter Terrorism Policing has information and advice on staying safe abroad and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism.

Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners.

There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attack globally against UK interests and British nationals, from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. You should be vigilant at this time.

It is illegal to change money on the streets. You should change money only in recognised exchange shops, banks and hotels.

The Romanian authorities treat all drug-related and sex offences very seriously. The age of consent is 18. If you are convicted, you can expect a prison sentence.

Homosexuality has been legal in Romania since 1996. The country has made significant progress in LGBT rights legislation since 2000 including wide–ranging anti-discriminatory laws, equalising the age of consent and laws against homophobic hate crimes. Bucharest’s annual Pride, usually accompanied by a LGBT film and art festival, has grown in recent years and is gaining the support of more public figures. Since 2017, a Pride event has also been held in the city of Cluj. The country remains generally socially conservative resulting in the majority of LGBT people not being openly gay and there being very few gay bars or clubs in Bucharest or the other main cities. You can find local information on LGBT issues in Romania on the website of ACCEPT. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

Most airports and military bases will have signs prohibiting photography. Ask permission before photographing anything potentially sensitive (eg official buildings, police cars).

The information on this page covers the most common types of travel and reflects the UK government’s understanding of the rules currently in place. Unless otherwise stated, this information is for travellers using a full ‘British Citizen’ passport.

The authorities in the country or territory you’re travelling to are responsible for setting and enforcing the rules for entry. If you’re unclear about any aspect of the entry requirements, or you need further reassurance, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

You should also consider checking with your transport provider or travel company to make sure your passport and other travel documents meet their requirements.

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry to Romania

The UK is on Romania’s “Red List” of countries of high epidemiological risk.

Travellers arriving from the UK will be required to quarantine for fourteen days, with the exception of anyone who can demonstrate proof of a full course of vaccination against COVID-19, completed at least ten days before arrival in Romania, or proof that they have recovered from COVID-19 between 14 and 90 days before arriving in Romania. Travellers who are in possession of a negative RT-PCR test (completed no more than 72 hours before boarding or arriving at the border if travelling independently), will be exempt from the requirement to quarantine, provided they leave Romania within 72 hours of arrival, otherwise they will be expected to quarantine for fourteen days.

All other travellers will be expected to quarantine for fourteen days, unless they fit one of the following categories:

  • Children aged 3 or under, who do not need to provide a negative RT-PCR test; children aged between 3 and 16 if they provide a negative RT-PCR undertaken a maximum of 72 hours before boarding or arrival if travelling independently.
  • Anyone from a country of epidemiological risk (over 3 infections per 1000 in the last 14 days) but who has spent the last fourteen days in another country. The most recent list, prior to the addition of the UK, is on the Romanian Government website (in Romanian).
  • Drivers of goods vehicles with a maximum capacity of 2.4 tonnes; drivers of transport with more than nine seats; pilots, flight crew, locomotive mechanics and railway personnel; sailors disembarking from Romanian flagged ships subject to employers providing relevant safety certificates.
  • Employees of Romanian companies returning to Romania on completion of a contract and who have proof of employment outside Romania; representatives of foreign companies with representative offices in Romania with proof that they have a contract to work with a company in Romania; technicians with proof they are arriving to work on installation or maintenance or specific tasks with medical, scientific, economic, defence, public order or transport companies.
  • Diplomats accredited in Bucharest, holders of Diplomatic Passports and their family members.
  • Members of international sports delegations arriving to take part in competitions in Romania, including referees and accredited journalists; foreign athletes with Romanian clubs returning to Romania following participation in international competitions.
  • Film crews with contracts to work in Romania holding a negative RT-PCR test completed a maximum of 72 hours prior to boarding or arriving at the border for those travelling independently.
  • Persons in transit provided they leave within 24 hours.
  • Persons handed over to the Romanian authorities on the basis of a Readmission Agreement who are being returned in an accelerated procedure.
  • Employees of Romanian companies who have returned following negotiations or contract signings provided they have a negative RT-PCR completed no more than 72 hours before boarding or on arrival at the border if travelling independently.

The text of the declaration can be found on the Romanian Government website (in Romanian).

These restrictions do not apply to UK nationals who are legally resident in Romania, who will need to show proof of residency to re-enter Romania.

Further information is provided on the Romanian Ministry of the Interior’s website.

Regular entry requirements

Visas

The rules for travelling or working in European countries changed on 1 January 2021:

  • you can travel to Romania for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit for family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training
  • visits to other EU or Schengen countries do not count towards your 90-day limit in Romania as it is not in the Schengen area. Visits to Romania do not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit in the Schengen area
  • to stay longer, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Romanian government’s entry requirements. Check with the Romanian Embassy what type of visa and/or work permit you may need
  • if you stay in Romania with a visa or permit, your stay does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit

Any time you spent in Romania before 1 January 2021 does not count towards the 90-day visa-free limit.

At Romanian border control, you may need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped on entry and exit.

You may also need to:

  • show a return or onward ticket
  • show you have enough money for your stay

Passport validity

Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip, and renew your passport if you do not have enough time left on it.

You must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland).

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.

Some British nationals travelling with minors who hold Romanian citizenship (irrespective of whether they hold citizenship of other countries) are prevented from leaving the country without notarised parental consent from the minor’s non-travelling parent/s. While enforcement of this may vary at borders, British nationals travelling with minors who hold Romanian citizenship should obtain notarised parental consent before departure from Romania.

A list of the public notaries can be found on the website of the National Union of Public Notaries from Romania.

Working in Romania

If you intend to work in Romania, you should register with the Romanian Office for Immigrants. You can also register as self-employed. For further information on working in Romania, contact the General Inspectorate for Immigrationat 15A, Lt. col. Marinescu C-tin Street, Sector 5, Bucharest; email: igi@mai.gov.ro.

Customs regulations

Information on customs regulations is available on the website of the National Customs Authority of Romania.

UK Emergency Travel Documents

UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, transfer and exit from Romania.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for Romania on the TravelHealthPro website

See the healthcare information in the Coronavirus section for information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus while in Romania.

At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.

General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.

The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.

While travel can be enjoyable, it can sometimes be challenging. There are clear links between mental and physical health, so looking after yourself during travel and when abroad is important. Information on travelling with mental health conditions is available in our guidance page. Further information is also available from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC).

Healthcare

You should get a free UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) or European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. If you already have an EHIC it will still be valid as long as it remains in date.

The GHIC or EHIC entitles you to state provided medical treatment that may become necessary during your trip. Any treatment provided is on the same terms as Romanian nationals. If you don’t have your EHIC with you or you’ve lost it, you can call the NHS Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 191 218 1999 to get a Provisional Replacement Certificate.

It’s important to take out appropriate travel insurance for your needs. A GHIC or EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance and you should have both before you travel. It does not cover all health-related costs, for example, medical repatriation, ongoing medical treatment and non-urgent treatment. Read more about what your travel insurance should cover.

If you’re living in Romania, you can also find more information on healthcare for residents in our Living In Romania guide.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.

Romania is in a seismically active area and is regularly prone to earth tremors. The last major earthquake was in March 1977 in Vrancea area, north-east of Bucharest.

The US Federal Emergency Management Agency has advice about what to do before, during and after an earthquake.

Romania is increasingly a card economy. While a growing number of businesses do accept credit cards, it may be safer to use cash due to the risk of credit card fraud. There is now a large network of ATMs that accept standard international credit and debit cards. Check with your card provider whether you will be able to use these machines.

US dollars and sterling are not always easy to exchange for local currency, especially outside Bucharest. You may have difficulties using travellers’ cheques. Scottish and Northern Irish bank notes may not be accepted in banks and bureaux de change.

If you’re abroad and you need emergency help from the UK government, contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. If you need urgent help because something has happened to a friend or relative abroad, contact the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) in London on 020 7008 5000 (24 hours).

Foreign travel checklist

Read our foreign travel checklist to help you plan for your trip abroad and stay safe while you’re there.

Travel safety

The FCDO travel advice helps you make your own decisions about foreign travel. Your safety is our main concern, but we can’t provide tailored advice for individual trips. If you’re concerned about whether or not it’s safe for you to travel, you should read the travel advice for the country or territory you’re travelling to, together with information from other sources you’ve identified, before making your own decision on whether to travel. Only you can decide whether it’s safe for you to travel.

When we judge the level of risk to British nationals in a particular place has become unacceptably high, we’ll state on the travel advice page for that country or territory that we advise against all or all but essential travel. Read more about how the FCDO assesses and categorises risk in foreign travel advice.

Our crisis overseas page suggests additional things you can do before and during foreign travel to help you stay safe.

Refunds and cancellations

If you wish to cancel or change a holiday that you’ve booked, you should contact your travel company. The question of refunds and cancellations is a matter for you and your travel company. Travel companies make their own decisions about whether or not to offer customers a refund. Many of them use our travel advice to help them reach these decisions, but we do not instruct travel companies on when they can or can’t offer a refund to their customers.

For more information about your rights if you wish to cancel a holiday, visit the Citizen’s Advice Bureau website. For help resolving problems with a flight booking, visit the website of the Civil Aviation Authority. For questions about travel insurance, contact your insurance provider and if you’re not happy with their response, you can complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Registering your travel details with us

We’re no longer asking people to register with us before travel. Our foreign travel checklist and crisis overseas page suggest things you can do before and during foreign travel to plan your trip and stay safe.

Previous versions of FCDO travel advice

If you’re looking for a previous version of the FCDO travel advice, visit the National Archives website. Versions prior to 2 September 2020 will be archived as FCO travel advice. If you can’t find the page you’re looking for there, send the Travel Advice team a request.

Further help

If you’re a British national and you have a question about travelling abroad that isn’t covered in our foreign travel advice or elsewhere on GOV.UK, you can submit an enquiry. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.

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