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Travel & living abroad

Europe

Romania

Flag of Romania
Still current at: 09 December 2011
Updated: 16 November 2011
No restrictions in this travel advice Avoid all but essential travel to part(s) of country Avoid all but essential travel to whole country Avoid all travel to part(s) of country Avoid all travel to whole country


This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an amendment to the Travel Summary (removal of reference to Otelul Galati v Manchester Utd). The overall level of the advice has not changed; there are no travel restrictions in place in this travel advice for Romania. .

(see travel advice legal disclaimer)

Travel advice for this country


  • There is an underlying threat from terrorism. Attacks, although unlikely, could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

  • Most visits to Romania are trouble-free. If you need to contact the emergency services in Romania call 112. See General - Consular Assistance Statistics.

  • You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. See General - Insurance.

Safety and Security - Terrorism
There is an underlying threat from terrorism. Attacks, although unlikely, could be indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. See our Terrorism Abroad page.

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

Organised attacks by groups, often including children, occur. The most common method is of distraction whilst several people, often the children, attempt to snatch watches and jewellery from pockets or from around the neck and wrist.

We have also heard reports of a scam involving thieves who present themselves as plain-clothes policemen. They flash a badge and often ask to see passports and wallets. They count the money and give the documents back, but when they return the wallet, some of the money is missing.

We are aware of thefts of valuables including passports from hotel rooms.  Items of value, including passports and credit cards should be deposited in hotel safes.  However, you should carry a photocopy of the information pages of your passport as ID.  

There are reports of credit or charge cards being 'copied' when used in some bars and restaurants, resulting in illegal charges being raised against the user account.

See our Victims of Crime Abroad page.

Safety and Security - Local Travel  
Bucharest has cheap and plentiful public transport provided by underground, bus, and tram. Yellow taxis are also abundant but make sure prices are listed on the side of the vehicle and that the taxi bears a company name. There are frequent reports of foreign visitors being overcharged by taxi drivers. Other cities have fairly good bus services.  Cities and towns are linked by extensive but generally slow rail services.

If travelling on a domestic air flight, have your passport ready for inspection at all times.  If you are driving to Romania, you are required to pay a road toll to allow you to use the national roads. Tolls are charged on motorways and main roads out of town, payable in Euros. Upon payment, ensure you receive and display the windscreen stickers confirming you have paid the toll. Failure to pay the road toll or to display the sticker may lead to a heavy fine. The cost for cars is three Euros for a one-week vignette, seven Euros for one month and 28 Euros for an annual permit, but prices may change. Costs are higher for freight vehicles and coaches for eight or more passengers. Tickets can be purchased at border points on entering the country or at post offices and at most petrol stations throughout Romania. 

Safety and Security - Local Travel - Road Travel
If driving, be alert for horse-drawn carts and livestock especially at night.


The police carry out frequent checks, and it is essential that you observe the speed limit, ensure that your vehicle is roadworthy and have with you all your car documents including evidence of insurance valid in Romania.

It is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol (alcohol level over 0.1%). Given the very low limit, do not drink any alcohol if you are driving.

In winter, equip your car for extreme conditions. 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, and stray dogs, particularly in rural areas, running in front of the vehicle.

The standard speed limit, which may be varied by signs, is 50kph in built-up areas, 90kph on open roads, 100kph on dual carriageways and 130kph on motorways. (10kph less if towing and 20kph less if you have held your licence for less than a year).


You should have the following equipment with you: first aid kit, fire extinguisher, red warning triangles and a fluorescent jacket.

If your vehicle is damaged before you arrive in Romania, you should ask a Romanian Customs 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.


In 2010 there were 2,377 road deaths in Romania (source: DfT). This equates to 11.1 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 3.1 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2010.

See our Driving Abroad page.

Safety and Security - Local Travel - Rail Travel
If travelling by train, check with operators on the availability of sleeping compartments and whether bicycles can be taken on board. This may vary between regions, and there may be additional charges. Thieves operate on trains, so take particular care that documents and other valuables are safe.

Safety and Security - Political Situation  
Romania Country Profile 

It is illegal to change money on the streets.  Money should be changed in recognised exchange shops, banks and hotels.

The Romanian authorities treat all drug-related or sex offences very seriously (the age of consent is 18). Custodial sentences can be expected for any foreigners convicted of such offences.

Homosexuality is no longer illegal, but attitudes to the subject tend not to be broadminded and the gay community keeps a low profile. Most airports and military bases will have signs prohibiting photography. Ask permission before photographing anything potentially sensitive (e.g. official buildings, police cars).

See our Your Trip page.

Entry Requirements - Passport Validity
You must hold a valid passport to enter Romania. For stays of up to three months your passport must be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this. However, it is always sensible to have a short period of extra validity on your passport in case of any unforeseen delays to your departure. You do not have to wait until your old passport expires to apply to renew it. Any time left on your old passport when you apply will be added to your new passport, up to a maximum of nine months. For passport applications in the UK, you should apply to the Identity and Passport Service. For stays of longer than three months, contact the Embassy of the country to which you are travelling.

Entry Requirements - Visas
You do not need a visa to enter Romania.  British citizens who enter Romania have the right to stay for a period of three months from the date of entry. If you intend to stay for a longer period than three months, you can apply for a registration certificate issued by the Romanian Office for Immigration as either self-employed, an employee, self-supported, or as a student. Non-EU family members, both partners and dependants, can also apply.

Entry Requirements - Working in Romania
British Citizens intending to work in Romania should register with the Romanian Office for Immigrants and will need to provide an employment contract or a certificate issued by their employer. No separate work permit is required. You can also register as self-employed in which case you would need to provide an appropriate licence.  Further information on working in Romania can be found at http://www.mai.gov.ro or by cont acting the Romanian Office for Immigrants (Oficiul Roman pentru Imigrari) at Str. Eforie nr 3-5, corp A, et 6, sector 5, Bucharest; email: ori@mira.gov.ro. There are also new work access regulations for British nationals who are family members of Romanian citizens and for family members of EU and EEA nationals. Information is also available from the Romanian Office for Immigration.  

Entry Requirements - Right of residence certificate
If a British citizen has been a legal resident in Romania for a continuous period of at least five years then they can apply for a permanent right of residence certificate from the Romanian Office for Immigration.

Entry Requirements - Travelling with children

Children entering Romania should have their own passport.  Children included in parents’ passports will only be allowed entry if the passport also contains their photograph.  You should check with the Romanian Embassy in London to ensure that you are travelling with correct documentation.

You should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before leaving the UK. The EHIC is not a substitute for medical and travel insurance, but entitles you to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as Romanian nationals. It also does not cover you for medical repatriation, on-going medical treatment or treatment of a non-urgent nature. For more general information see EHIC.

Rabies is common to Romania. Whilst it has largely been confined to the rural areas, be wary of, and try to avoid contact with, the numerous stray dogs whether in the country or the cities. If bitten, seek medical assistance as soon as possible. If visiting rural areas of Romania, consider having a course of rabies inoculations. There have also been a number of Hepatitis A cases in Romania.

In the 2010 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic the UNAIDS/WHO Working Group estimated that around 15,000 adults aged 15 or over in Romania were living with HIV; the prevalence percentage was estimated at around 0.1% of the adult population compared to the prevalence percentage in adults in the UK of around 0.2%. Exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. For more general information see our HIV and AIDS page.

Seek medical advice before travelling to Romania and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up-to-date. For further information on vaccination requirements, health outbreaks and general disease protection and prevention you should visit the websites of the  NaTHNaC and NHS Scotland's Fit For Travel or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.

See our Travel Health and the UK Department of Health website at: www.dh.gov.uk.
 
Health - Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)
There have been confirmed outbreaks of Avian Influenza in the Danube Delta in 2010, and in previous years in Transylvania and Bucharest. The Romanian authorities have taken measures to contain the outbreaks including restricting access to affected areas.  No human infections or deaths have been reported. The risk to humans from Avian Influenza is believed to be very low. As a precaution, avoid visiting live animal markets, poultry farms and other places where you may come into close contact with domestic, caged or wild birds; and ensure poultry and egg dishes are thoroughly cooked. Read this advice in conjunction with Avian and Pandemic Influenza, which gives more detailed advice and information.

Earthquakes are not uncommon in southern and south-western Romania and small tremors are recorded throughout the year without consequences. The last earthquake, registered at 5.8, with its epicentre in the Black Sea, occurred on 05 August 2009, but there were no casualties or significant damage.

Independent advice on how to prepare for an earthquake and how to protect yourself during an earthquake or tremor is available from many sources online. For further information please see:

http://www.reynolds-international.co.uk/earthquakes/travel_advice.htm

General - Insurance
You should take out comprehensive medical insurance before travelling. You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. See our Travel Insurance page.

If things do go wrong when you are overseas then see our When Things Go Wrong page.

General - Registration
Register with our LOCATE service to tell us when and where you are travelling abroad or where you live abroad so our consular and crisis staff can provide better assistance to you in an emergency.

General - Emergency services

The telephone number for all of Romania's emergency services is 112. They have English speaking operators.  

General - Customs Regulations
If you travel within the European Union (EU) you can bring an unlimited amount of most goods. For example, you can bring in any alcohol, tobacco, meat and dairy products - as long as they are for your own use and transported by you. If you are bringing in alcohol and tobacco goods and the Customs officer may have reason to suspect they may be for a commercial purpose, an officer may ask you questions and make checks. This refers to travelling into Romania and/or entering the UK. See the website of HMRC (http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/customs/arriving/arrivingeu.htm). Customs regulations for Romania can be found at: http://www.customs.ro/en.aspx

General - Money
 
Any person entering or leaving the EU will have to declare the cash that they are carrying if this amounts to 10,000 Euros or more; this includes cheques, travellers’ cheques, money orders, etc. This will not apply to anyone travelling via the EU to a non-EU country, as long as the original journey started outside of the EU, nor to those travelling within the EU.

Carry Euros in Romania. Dollars and Sterling are not always easy to exchange for the local currency especially outside of Bucharest.  You may also have difficulties using travellers’ cheques and credit cards. Scottish and Northern Irish bank notes/coins may not be exchanged in banks and bureaux de changes.


Romania is largely a cash economy. While an increasing number of businesses do accept credit cards, 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 UK bank/card provider whether you will be able to use these machines to draw out local currency.

General - UK Passport Application

The British Embassy in Bucharest no longer issues full British passports. UK passport applications are now processed by the British Passport Processing Centre in Dusseldorf. You can obtain further information on this procedure on the Embassy website: http://ukinromania.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/passports


The British Embassy can issue you with an emergency travel document within normal working hours if you need to travel back to the UK urgently and cannot wait for a full passport. If your passport is lost or stolen, obtain a police report and apply for an emergency travel document. Keep a photocopy of your passport with you at all times as proof of identity.

General - Consular Assistance Statistics
Most visits to Romania are trouble-free. 24 British nationals required consular assistance in Romania in the period 01 April 2010 – 31 March 2011 for the following types of incident: nine deaths; eight hospitalisations; and two arrests, for a variety of offences.

Contacts

Romania, Bucharest, British Embassy

Address:

British Embassy, 24 Jules Michelet
010463 Bucharest, Romania

Telephone:

Visa (40) (21) 201 7269
Main (40) (21) 201 7200

Fax:

(40) (21) 201 7299 Chancery
(40) (21) 201 7317 Consular
(40) (21) 201 7315 Management
(40) (21) 201 7311 Trade Development

Email: Press.Bucharest@fco.gov.uk

Office hours:

GMT:
Mon-Thurs: 0630-1500; Fri: 0630-1400
(From last Sun Oct - last Sun Mar)
Mon-Thurs: 0530-1400; Fri: 0530-1300
(From last Sun Mar - last Sun Oct)

Visa section
Mo - thurs: 1500 - 1600

Local Time:
Mon-Thurs: 0830-1700; Fri: 0830-1600

Consular section Mon-Fr: 0900-1200
Notarial and Consular services are available Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9am and 12pm by appointment only.

Website: http://ukinromania.fco.gov.uk

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