Romania travel guide
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.
238,391 sq km (92,043 sq miles).
19,372,734 (UN estimate 2016).
90.9 per sq km.
President Klaus Iohannis since 2014.
Prime Minister Florin Cîțu since December 2020.
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.
For a list of Romanian Healthcare centres offering COVID tests, you should consult the Ministry of Health website (only available in Romanian).
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.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID-19. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
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 although we recommend against all travel to Ukraine.
Carry your passport at all times.
Hotels, guesthouses, camping units have been allowed to open, but only when observing a specific set health-safety of rules.
Public spaces and services
With the ending of the State of Alert there are no longer restrictions related to mask wearing, shop and restaurant opening, public events, concerts and conferences. It is no longer a legal requirement to wear a medical-grade mask in all indoor and outdoor public spaces. It is no longer necessary to show proof of your vaccination or recovery status to access restaurants and events.
The Minister of Health recommends that people continue to wear a mask in crowded outdoor spaces, public transport and indoor spaces, and to avoid overcrowded places. Further recommendations include taking a test if symptomatic and self-isolating if positive. Recommendations are not legally enforceable.
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
For information on financial support you can access whilst abroad, visit our financial assistance guidance.
If you need urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.
Travel from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus
If you have arrived in Romania from Ukraine, Russia or Belarus and are in need of assistance, you should call +40 (21) 201 7200 and select the option for “consular services for British nationals.” You can also send an enquiry via the web contact form.
The main border crossing points into Romania can be found on the Ukrainian government website.
Scroll down this page for further advice on driving in Romania.
Romanian COVID-19 regulations apply, as set out in the entry requirements page
Access along parts of the Romania/Moldova border
Scheduled trains and bus services operate normally across the Romanian/Moldova border.
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.
The Embassy is aware of reports of trafficking groups operating in the border areas.
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.
In 2020 there were 1,646 road deaths in Romania (source: Statistica). This equates to 8.59 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 1.4 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2020.
If you are planning to drive in Romania, see information on Driving Abroad.
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 a British car abroad
You may need a UK sticker to drive your car outside the UK. From 28 September 2021 UK stickers have replaced GB stickers. Check the GOV.UK Displaying number plates website for more information on what to do if you are driving outside the UK.
From 1 November to 1 March it is a legal requirement to have Winter Tyres on your vehicle.
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.
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.
Most 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.
Thieves operate on trains, so make sure all valuables are safe.
Terrorist attacks in Romania can’t be ruled out.
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).
This page has information on travelling to Romania.
This page reflects the UK government’s understanding of current rules for people travelling on a full ‘British Citizen’ passport from the UK, for the most common types of travel.
The authorities in Romania set and enforce entry rules. If you’re unsure how Romania’s entry requirements apply to you, contact its UK embassy
All restrictions related to COVID-19 ceased on 9 March. There is no longer a requirement to quarantine, to test before entering Romania, or to complete the PLF (Passenger Locator Form).
Check your passport and travel documents before you travel
If you are planning to travel to an EU country (except Ireland), or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, you must follow the Schengen area passport requirements.
Your passport must be:
- Issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the ‘date of issue’)
- valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)
You must check your passport meets these requirements before you travel. If your passport was issued before 1 October 2018, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.
Romania is not part of the Schengen area, Visits to Romania do not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit in the Schengen area.
Visits to other EU or Schengen countries do not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit in Romania.
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.
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 are travelling to Romania for work, read the guidance on visas and permits.
If you stay in Romania with a Romanian residence permit or long-stay visa, this time does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit for Romania.
As a visitor, your passport may be stamped when you enter and exit Romania. Border guards will use passport stamps to check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in Romania.
If you enter or exit the Schengen area through Romania as a visitor, check that your passport is stamped. This will show border guards that you are complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for Romania and the separate 90-day visa-free limit for the Schengen area.
If the relevant entry or exit stamp is not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit. If you show evidence eg transport tickets to prove when you entered or exited Romania, border guards should add this entry or exit date and the location in your passport.
You may also need to:
- show a return or onward ticket
- show you have enough money for your stay
If you have a Withdrawal Agreement residency document for another country, your passport might still be stamped if you are a visitor to Romania.
If you are resident in Romania, read our Living in Romania guide for passport stamping information.
Travelling with children
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.
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.
If you have a health condition, or you are pregnant, you may need specialist healthcare abroad. Check whether your destination country can provide the healthcare you may need and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance for unexpected medical evacuation or local treatment.
See the Coronavirus travel health and Healthcare sections in the Coronavirus page for COVID-19 health information.
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).
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.
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 most businesses do accept credit cards, it may be safer to use cash due to the risk of credit card fraud. There is a large network of ATMs that accept standard international credit and debit cards but you may incur a fee. Check with your card provider whether you will be able to use these machines.
Sterling and most western currencies can usually be exchanged for local currency at any of the large number of exchange bureaux in towns and cities but you may have difficulty 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.
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.
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, or contact us on Twitter or Facebook. We’re not able to provide tailored advice for specific trips.’