Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn, writer
Q: Is tap water safe to drink in Romania?
A: Tap water is generally safe to drink, although most people here buy bottled water which is cheap and available everywhere. Mountain spring water unless assured is safe to drink by a guide or local authority, should be purified.
Q: Do I need health insurance?
A: If you are an EU citizen you are entitled to free emergency medical care using your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). If you are coming from a non-EU country you’ll have to pay cash any medical treatment and later get reimbursed from your private or public health insurer, in which case make sure to save any bills or paperwork provided by the hospital.
Q: How are public toilets in Romania?
A: Public toilets are not clean, far between and few in major cities centers. Better use hotel, restaurants, gas, train stations’ toilets. On the door you’ll find ‘WC’ letters, marked ‘B’ for man and ‘F’ for woman. The public toilets have a fee of 1-2 lei cash.
Q: Any dangers or annoyances I need to be aware of?
A: Watch out for pickpockets in public transport and squares, queues, jam-packed spaces. Avoid giving money to beggars and keep calm when some of them become insistent or verbally aggressive. Do not pet stray dogs. Careful when crossing the street, although 50km/h or even 30km/h is the legal speed limit in cities, few drivers respect the law. Traffic jams in big cities centers or on route to major touristic objectives (like Sinaia, Peles) are common. Dangerous driving behavior in traffic is also unpleasantly common since everybody with a Romanian driving license thinks he’s Schumacher. Travel insurance is not compulsory, but a decent one that covers medical expense, theft or loss is a good idea.
Q: Does everybody speak English in Romania?
A: No. Some also speak French, German, Spanish and Hungarian. The youth speak good English and in big cities you will have no trouble getting around or asking for directions. In rural areas from Transylvania, Hungarian and some German might help. Approach middle-aged and elderly Romanians in French and maybe Russian, they will happily remember the good old days. Regardless of preferred language, just remember Romanians have no language barrier, we love to talk with our hands, we are warm people, we hug and kiss twice on the cheek.
Q: For electronic devices what type of power plugs and sockets are being used in Romania?
A: In Romania the power plugs and sockets are type F, with standard voltage 230V and frequency 50Hz.