Is Romania Safe? How to Avoid Crime and Scams

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Petty crime occurs in Romania, from thieves to scammers, this is what you need to know before you go.

Bucharest historical center with Calea Victoriei boulevard, Romania Photo © Getty Images/Alexander Spatari

Located in southeast Europe, Romania is known for its diverse landscapes and for being home to Transylvania, ancient churches and monasteries and abundant wildlife. A well-developed country, Romania, like most countries, still harbors criminals who prey on visitors unfamiliar with their surroundings. 

Here's what you need to know to stay safe and trouble-free in Romania.

Crime in Romania

Crimes against travelers, mostly mugging, pickpocketing and confidence tricks, are an ongoing problem. Organized groups of thieves and pickpockets operate in crowded areas, such as train stations and subways, on trains and on buses in all the major cities. The most common method is to distract victims while several people, often children, attempt to snatch watches and jewelry from pockets or from around the neck and wrist. Jacket pockets or bags can be cut open with a sharp knife and the contents taken from unsuspecting tourists who remain unaware of the theft until much later.

If possible, travel in groups or accompanied by a savvy, trustworthy local. Avoid crowds, don't leave personal belongings unattended and, if leaving them in a car, make sure they are out of sight.

Drink spiking is an issue, especially in Bucharest's Old Town. Don't accept food, drinks, gum or cigarettes from people you've just met. Thieves often pose as police officers who ask to see your ID and wallet. legitimate Romanian police won't do this. If you suspect someone is posing as a police officer, ask to see their ID.

Financial, dating and marriage scams occur. Romania is a cash economy. There are a number of ATMs available in major cities, and they will accept international credit and debit cards such as Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Be aware that sophisticated identity theft rings target ATMs in Romania. Always check for any evidence of tampering prior to using them. Only use ATMs in banks, shops and shopping centers, especially at night, don't let your credit card out of your sight, and be wary of people you've met online. 

Credit card fraud is a serious problem here, and the safest option is to pay with cash where possible. When accessing publicly available internet cafes, sensitive personal information and account passwords may be compromised.

LGBTQ+ travelers in Romania

Romania is still quite a socially conservative country and, although the gay scene is growing, and homosexuality is not illegal, discrimination is still a problem despite anti-discrimination laws being in place. Same-sex marriage is not permitted. The Romanian Orthodox Church is highly influential in the country and has made it clear it is against homosexuality. There have been anti-gay protests at Pride marches and it is not uncommon for LGBTQ+ people to hide their sexuality outside of Bucharest and other major cities. Unsurprisingly, Romania's gay scene is mostly focused in Bucharest, and gay bars are opening in a few smaller towns.

Corruption in Romania

Corruption can be a problem in Romania. However, corruption is illegal. Never bribe traffic officers or police – ever. Most patrol cars are equipped with recording devices and since 2008, people who have attempted to bribe officers have been prosecuted. According to Reuters, Transparency International ranks Romania as one of the EU’s most corrupt member states. Brussels has monitored Romania's justice system seince it became a member state in 2007

In an emergency call 112.

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25 Comments

  • Alin said

    Sorry ... but is very clear for me that on top that surely you never visited the country but you also did not even bother to document properly your article.
    A simple Google search on facts with regards to criminality, would show you that Romania has much lower criminality rates that many EU countries.
    Rubbish article. Is too bad that unfortunately is the first article that pops in Google Searches and the rest of them reflect the reality but most probably people will read yours one first.

    "Congrats" for your superficial and ignorant work!

  • Oa said

    This is so TRUE
    I have been in Romania since the pandemic
    1. There is identity theft crime big time if you are a foreigner
    2. They steal usually your Foriegn address or card details
    3. My card got cancelled by my provider because of attempt of cloning
    4. I have been attacked 2 times while here they do it from behind . The second time I had to use self defence because you report it to the police and that’s it your hurt your ID gets taken and they say the provider they don’t want you
    I’d theft are usually when needing services atm machines
    5. You better learn self defence because here they assault you man & woman mostly old or middle age really this is no joke . The last attack at a post office was for me refusing to give my card for her to go and check in the back room. I asked for details of my address to be handed back but they refused.
    The less information you give the better but they bully you into it . Theft by manipulation so definitely be aware !
    Romania is racist these are not attacks from gypsies but normal Romanian residents. If you don’t bother them they don’t bother you but if you need services example post office notary medical you see the problems come !

  • Richard said

    Doubt that Alin has been there he only uses Google. I was. mugged there.
    When the would call Verog sir. I would speak Chinese. lol



  • David said

    I am planning a trip to Romania and this article and comments makes me think it is a lawless place where I need to be constantly on edge. Why should I bother going. I can't believe the above is a fair characterisation of the entire country. Please be responsible when posting articles and comments. Use caveats and context to give as objective a view as possible.

  • Maudell said

    I have not visited your country yet. I have been to budapest. I had a great time. I done some night excursions with no problem. Unfortunately crime is on a rise all over tourists vacations destination. Cruise 🚢 encounters this more often than those whom stay in country. I suggest you take out 1/2 money needed for time spending in country. Only take $40 with you while you are about. keep wallet and money separate. Have a copy of passport and important cards that will be left in hotel safe. Souvenirs are a dime a dozen. Food for 💭

  • Ana said

    I couldn’t disagree more with this article! Romania is a safe country, the people are hospitable and friendly, many of them speak English. I’ve lived there long enough to confirm all that. Much safer than the US, where I live now. The country side is amazingly beautiful, the food is awesome, healthy and very affordable. The nature is unparalleled, the mountains are wild and rich. Try Maramures, Sighisoara, Danube Delta or Cluj-Napoca. You will definitely go back.

    P.S. Such an unfair article. Common sense rules apply everywhere in the world.

  • Georgi said

    Oh my god!! Guys please don't listen to these lies!! This article and comments has been written by some haters ; I can't believe this. Romania is one of the safest countrty in Europe. If you want to deal with real crime ; come to Britain ; you will never have the guts to go in night time on the streets of Glasgow or London . The crime level in Romania is one of the lowest in Europe . I cant believe what I'm reading here!! The one who wrote the article probably have something against Romanians for sure !

  • paul said

    I found this very opposite to my experiences
    I am from London and I have visited Romania about 20 times , mainly to Bucharest and have never once felt threatened or in danger and I have been out at day and late at night .
    I never pay for anything with my debit card I would agree with the cash economy statement , thats true for sure, just be sensible
    I would say Bucharest is a LOT safer than London , massively so.

  • Martin said

    I was mugged by a taxi driver in Bucharest.

  • Ted said

    I was planning a trip and a close Romanian friend advised me not to go. Even she is harassed when she returns because she is viewed a a rich expatriate. Its a no go country until the government cleans up yhe crime.

  • Ta said

    Really? It is very sad that there is such article about Romania. This article is fantasy at best.

    Any quick search for statistics about criminality in Europe would quickly show that Romania is, in fact, much safer compared to west Europe. Just search for Europe crime index and you'll find data on crime statistics that will totally show the opposite of this article. On eurostat, for example, the crime index for robbery in Romania is one of the lowest in Europe at 16 per 100000 people(2016-2018). As a reference, the average in the whole EU is 70.

    Romania might be poor when talking about how much income people have, but if we are talking about visiting there are so many beautiful places to see and things to try. On top of being way safer than other countries, you'll find that people are very nice and helpful (even if many of them don't know English they would still try to help you), the food is great, and if you like learning about traditions then you came to the right place!

    As everywhere, there will always be some problems you need to be wary about, but this article makes it seem like Romania is worse than most places, which definitely is not true!

    Most people that really get to visit parts of Romania like Cluj, Brasov, Timisoara, Sibiu, Sighisoara, Danube Delta, Sinaia, Bran and many others, will know for sure that this article is far from the truth.

  • Iulia said

    I disagree with this.

    I read this info and it makes me think of Spain or Brazil. I have visited 35+ countries and Romania is one of the safest countries that I know of.

    As a blogger myself, I see this article as a massive fraud against Romania. It's only meant to disinform the readers. What a shame people read this and get the idea that Romania is a terrible place because it is not. Quite the contrary.

  • Constantin said

    This article might have been more plausible if it were written like 25 years ago :)
    Im 33 year old and i used to hear and see snatch and run thing (regarding jeweleries and bracelets) like 25-27 years ago - when i was a child (i live in Bucharest). Also pickpocketing in comon transport is not what used to be.. again like 15-20 years ago, it has decreased severely (maybe because most thieves left Romania for western countries? (although sad, is true). So no matter the causes, most of the “dangers” presented in the article are not aplicable anymore.
    Bucharest, especially, is full of expats because of the companies which established in bucharest or other large cities.
    What you should really pay attention when coming to Romania are the taxies because they will notice you are a foreigner and they will inflate your price. If you come by plane and use the machine in airport to order your cab you will be 100% safe. Also in major cities Uber and Bolt are available. No matter what you do, avoid taxies waiting in queue in front of the train stations!
    Romania is a cash country, but in the last 5 years card payments developed masively, especially in the major cities. I do card payments most of the time and never had any issues.
    Also, traveling by night is very safe (in bucharest and other major cities) im refering to cities not because other regions are not, but because cities present interests to foreigners.
    Do incidents happen? Of course they do. I traveled alot within Europe but in term of safety i never felt that im more safe abroad than in Romania, i think is the other way around.

  • Lesley anne said

    I have been to romania several times since 2015, I have visited Craiova, Timișoara, Constanța, Brașov, Bran, polițiștii, Mangalia and Bucharest and have never been a victim of crime, nor have I been ripped off by vendors (unlikely în Budapest) yes I have been approached by beggers, but they have never been pushy or aggressive.
    I think this article will put a lot of people off going to România which is a shame as in my experience the romanisn people are the most hospitable and welcoming people I have met outside my own country.

  • Joel Tong said

    Me and my gf would be travelling to Romania next month. It would be our first experience. As I did my research, there were a lot of mixed opinions. Being interested in Eastern Europe especially, Romania mainly the Vlad the Impaler and the history of it. Could I ask is there any prejudice against Asians ( A local opinion would be appreciated)? I come from Singapore which is very safe, so I am not very street smart.

    During my travels, I have come to appreciate country folk and their genuine and I would also like to ask about the approachableness of the locals? Would it be easy to make friends?

    Additionally, we do not plan to stay in the city center preferably towards the residential area in the cities of Romania as their air bnb is cheaper. Should I change and stay in a hotel in the city area? or which city would be a good place to set up a base?


    Note: This article is very intimidating, I am uninsured due to personal reasons that's why I am concerned .....

  • Olukoyejo said

    I have never been to Romania but I have a cousin there who I would love to visit soonest, will definately share my opinion.

  • Vlad said

    To Joel Tong: come relaxed. There is no racism against Asians, blacks or whatever.
    Taxi drivers do tend to overcharge you, but anyway the fare is the lowest possible...les than 0.5 euro per km. If they scam you ...it's 1 euro.
    As all countries and capitals, there are "bad neighborhoods", but you're unlikely to get there.
    Also...petty thefts...yes, they may happen, but they are so very rare. I lived 15yrs in Bucharest and I've never experienced something like that.
    The overwhelming majority of visits to Romania are problem free.

  • Mihai said

    This article is not about my country, Romania!

    Romania is one of the safest country in Europe with a terrorist threat almost zero and with a low small crimes level. Romanian Police and Gendarmes are one of the most efficient public order forces in Europe.

    The author never been to Romania!
    Of course in Bucharest, let's say, there are dangers as in any other major city.

    The "Oa" guy is saying only BS! "My card got cancelled by my provider because of attempt of cloning" - NO SHIT???? Do you know that the "attempt of cloning" is not detectable by your provider? IDIOT!

    The prove that he is not true? In Romania the "post office" is only for "post" (not like in many other countries). 99% of Romania Post Offices do not use cards. SO, IF YOU LIE PLEASE MAKE A LITTLE RESEARCH!

  • DDC said

    Hy! I’m Romanian, close to 40 yo, lived here all my life and… :
    - 99.99%… ALMOST ALL THE PEOPLE ARE NICE AND GOOD PEOPLE… AND WIIL GO OUT OF THEIR WAY TO HELP A TOURIST/VISITOR; NEVERTHELESS… YOU MIGHT END UP MEETING SOMEBOODY THAT’S TROUBLE… ANYWHERE.
    - Petty crimes are… as anywhere in the world, I’d say: it just matters what you do and with whom and where etc.. To say so… after the common sense behaviour… they’re a thing of luck. They are not directed to foreigners, since ordinary Romanians might just as well fall victims to them… if they’re not careful.
    - Almost all are non-violent crimes (violent crimes, here, are very rare compared to to other countries; those that are random and directed towards strangers… are extremely uncommon). You might loose you watch or money (just… be careful and take some measures), but you’ll be fine.
    - Rape would be, probably, the biggest problem, for lone female travelers, but… rapers are… rare - even though a nice and foreign lady/girl… might catch their eye more than a local one. Don’t dress too “not dressed” :D , don’t go where there are no people around, don’t walk on empty streets alone at night, watch your drink if you go to a club, be careful whom you befriend… etc. - just like in any other part of the world.
    Most Romanian girls and women manage to live here their whole lives without having to deal with a rapist, so… with some common sense… you should be able to be just fine for a few days or weeks.
    - You probably wouldn’t leave your bag unattended in New York or London, so… why do it in Romania? On the other hand, you might leave it without anything bad happening (ok… maybe people will be suspicious and the police might ask a few questions if you leave a bag unattended in a public space… and anybody notices). It happens often, when we need to leave or bags… on the beach or in train stations, to ask a nice looking person around… to look after it for a few minutes, though… it’s easier to avoid it.
    - Train stations, all, have very cheap luggage deposits (be aware of their working hours).
    - Spiked drinks and foods are… again… as in any other part of the world: you might stumble across the wrong people anywhere, but you might as well live your entire, long, life here and never have such problems - or never know anybody who did;
    - Most (90% of) people under 40 had English, in school, since at least 4th or 5th grade (10 grades are, now, mandatory, but they used to be 12), so… if you speak English… you don’t need a guide. Some people… did not do very well in school, so… they don’t know any English, obviously.
    Also, you’ll find people that speak German and French, just… not “almost every person”.
    - Android phones are more popular here. If you want to buy a cheaper phone for a few days/weeks here, go to an “Altex” store and buy something like “Allview” or “Xiaomi” (they, like most big stores, have a site and you can check prices there).
    - At least now, face masks are mandatory indoors and you might not be let in in many shops without them.
    - Most chain supermarkets have cooked food (Carrefour, Auchan, Penny, Lidl, Kaufland, Cora, Mega-Image, Profi and Angst; Metro and Selgros need special member cards to shop there). There are, also, many “local supermarket chains”… like… a chain of 2 to… even 50, locally own, supermarkets that are in a certain area (they were small stores that did good and… expanded).
    You can find small “universal stores” in the villages, also. Bigger villages have chain-supermakets.
    - You can find a Mc’ Donalds anywhere and, in bigger cities, KFC and a many other fast-food brands.
    - Street food… no matter how popular (like… any food sold in a kiosk)… it’s not a very good idea… in general. Most “urban Romanians” eat such things daily or, at least, pretty often and… survive - and they enjoy it.
    Also… not all pizza places and restaurants… are… very hygienic, even if they look fine (just… look with a critical eye if you are more concerned about this, though… health wise… you probably won’t get food poisoning).
    - There are… “opportunity thieves” on public transport and there are taxi drivers that will try to scam you, but… just ask for help in finding a good local taxi company, where you are staying, and be careful with your stuff on public transport.
    - There is public transportation and there are trains… to and from the airport in Bucharest (and, probably, to/from all other airports). As “just landing”… go with public transportation… least you asked, beforehand, for a good taxi service.
    Public transportation is very extended and pretty cheap (trains are not very clean… in general, but there’s no need to buy first class train tickets… as they are more expensive). Flights between cities are not very popular with common people.
    - Renting cars… it’s pretty expensive and mostly not worth it.
    - “OLX” and “La jumatate” are our “Craiglist”.
    - It might be a lot cheaper to rent a studio or an apartment for a month than spend a few nights in a hotel. You can use the above sites and Google Translate to look for adds, but… as being English speaking… you might have some trouble finding someone to deal with and… finding someone to rent to you… as most owners are looking for people that rent for longer (only look at posts with pictures and always ask to pay when you arrive, after seeing the place). You might try to say that you can make “a hand-written contract” (most owners don’t want a registered contract, as they have to pay taxes; if they want one, done at a public notary office, for a small fee… it’s great!) and that you’ll give them a copy of your passport and explain that you are renting a house only since it’s cheaper than a hotel and… you might offer them a bigger rent (like… 50 to 100 euros)… since you’ll end up paying less, anyway, than in a hotel.
    - cheapest acomodations are around 80 lei/room/night, for 2 people - and they might be just fine. You can find more expensive ones… that are worse.
    Apartments or studios to rent by the day are more expensive and, usually, are used by people that want to… XXX :D, “to the dance”… for a few hours, but don’t want to go to a hotel. Many hotels or motels that are on the outskirts of cities and have good prices… are mostly used for this too (ask if they rent by the hours - “how much is an hour?”… though… many won’t say it on the phone… since it;’s illegal).
    - A serious venue will ask you for your ID card and make a copy of it - and have you sign a contract.
    - We call then “Pensiune”, singular, or “Pensiuni”, plural, and they are kind of like a “bread-n-breakfast” to a hotel type of places and they are the cheapest ones. “Turist-Info” is a good site for finding good prices for them, though it’s better/faster if you call than email. “Booking” and other big sites… only list the most expensive venues.
    You can - and might even want to - find places where you pay on arrival, with mo reservations, but… be a serious person and, if you change your mind… at least let them know, since they will be keeping your room for you.
    You might have the surprise that, even while paying an advance, you might find no free room, when you arrive. Don’t panic. Always ask for money back, before leaving. Feel free to call “112”, the police, if you feel any trouble. Ask for help in finding something else or… since you’re already here… find it yourself. As long s you have the money to pay for it… it’s pretty easy.
    - People travel with credit/debit cards and ATMs can be found on Google Maps.
    - A good and popular driving app is “Waze”, also.
    - You can buy… in any small city, train station, tourist city etc. a prepaid phone card, with a Romanian number. Best deals are to activate “an option” (Google “Orange”, “Vodafone” and “Digi” and you’ll find the biggest providers) like… for 5-6 Euros you have, for 30 days, free minutes in the same network, 300 minutes in other networks, some international minutes and some mobile internet.
    People selling phone cards can help you with activating the options (or… somebody from a hotel, a cafe etc.). You can buy extra internet traffic, international minutes, roaming options etc. and you can “recharge” your credit at any time.
    - I’ve never heard of people posing as police officers as a common crime: if it happens - and it’s rare -it’s a big deal that ends up on TV etc..
    Police officers that stop you… are in uniform etc.. You can ask them their name - and they should introduce themselves anyway.
    Most police officers are nice.
    - However, due to some incidents that happened sporadically, there is the possibility of not stopping, while driving, at night, on “deserted roads”, at police signs… if you did nothing wrong (like… police will stop you if you don’t wear your seat belt or see you speaking on the phone while driving), and… just phone the emergency number (“112”) and be directed to the police station in the next village (except a serious check, there, lol, and… maybe shout or… whatever… your intentions to the police officer stopping you - most… almost all police officers speak English).
    Just… don’t get involved in bad stuff, like drugs or prostitution or fights or whatever since that will get you in big trouble… with the real police. :D
    - If you plan to stay for a few weeks and want a car… you can find a working “Matiz” (car “brand”; it’s a Daewoo car, like… a very small one that stopped being made 15 years ago), to buy, for around 500 Euros, but… it’s more complicated with the papers, so… the best bet would be to “rent it” from somebody selling it “without papers” (you’ll find adds like this; you just make… “a hand-written contract” :D ) and return it when leaving, but… I would not recommend it as it’s illegal in many-many ways.
    - Almost all Romanians have mobile phones (maybe extremely poor people and… in remote villages some poor people don’t have one) and a good part of them have expensive ones. Most Romanians travel with at least some significant amount of money - and own a laptop, many wear expensive jewelry and clothing 24/7 etc.. Unless you look clueless or… stupidly lost, things like this, you won’t be a bigger target as a foreigner since police would make… faster efforts to help you, as a tourist (again: speak nice, be respectful etc., since… nobody likes a smartass or a rude person).
    - Also… it’s about where you go: if you go visit some community that is know for being extremely poor (like… for helping them etc.)… then… of course you will stand out wearing expensive stuff. But if you go to a club or a business meeting or stay at an expensive hotel/eat at a “good” restaurant and… you wear very cheap stuff… you will, also, stand out (to fit in almost any place… just go for the look of clean simple clothes… like… a pair of jeans and a simple T-shirt or shirt; be aware that some restaurants/casino will not let you in if you are wearing sport shoes and don’t have a tie and/or a jacket - or you’re wearing jeans/cargo pants/shorts).
    Dirty/broken/amended clothing will stand out anywhere.
    Shorts are not that popular here, on the streets (like… some people wear them, but people wearing them make a bad impression).
    Maybe, if you want to be on the safe side, stay out of wearing clothes with football teams’ names or more controversial slogans?! Like… the worst that could happen will be to stumble upon some crazy person and get into a fight that turns ugly, with him.
    People wear… like… men wear… “not shorts, but… tighter and shorter underwear” on the beaches, too (I forgot how they’re called and I’m too lazy for a google search). In aqua-parks women can’t go topless, but on most public beaches you can - and… not a few girls and women wear “tongs.
    “Therme Bucharest/Bucuresti” in a nice aqua park that’s open all year round (and you can find some in other cities as well).
    - Be careful when you pick up girls: you might end up close to some fists or, if you bother her, you may have to explain to the police/some security agents… your hooking up theories.
    - In general, security agents/taxi drivers/truck drivers/groups of villagers or friends… are worse to be “messing up with” than the police, since… they come and help each other and… if angry… might not care so much about hurting you… a lot.
    - Just… don’t go in bad places and, if you go and get yourself in trouble… apologize right away, leave and call the police.
    For a foreigner… this seems, to me, to be the hardest thing: knowing how to avoid bad places and bad people, but… since this is the case… anywhere in the world… a traveler should be capable of this, right?
    - Museum are some of the cheapest and nicest things to do in order to learn a lot about certain things in a short amount of time (and a good place for some quiet - yep: keep quiet! - and cool time… on a hot day). Most of them have English labels. Guides are nice, but more expensive and not always worth it - but you might make a nice friend and get some reliable info).
    - There are mobile taxi apps and delivery apps that work in most cities (even grocery delivery). Same for food orders from restaurants or pizza places etc..
    It might be worth it to install Glovo, Bringo and Food Panda, if you know that you’re going to be using them a lot.
    You can search on google for these apps and for places that have delivery.
    - While hiking, be aware of shepherd’s dogs and bears. We have a national “mountain police and rescue service” - it’s called “Salvamont”. They have a mobile app. You can phone different offices and ask for more info.
    - Also, in sea resorts, during the summer season, the are lifeguards on all public beaches - those that don’t have one, are not… “official beaches”. Learn the meaning of their flags and be aware of the flags they hang. They are called “salvamari”, in plural (“steag salvamari’ and google images for “lifeguard flags” + translate for meaning).
    If you go swimming alone and are alone on the beach… make some friends around, from people that look serious and nice and ask them to look after you or your stuff, from time to time/in case you don’t return (do not expect for them to watch you every second or minute, but… just alert the lifeguards if you don’t come back in half an hour and they can’t see you). Don’t go swimming where there’s nobody around. There are very strong currents that can form anywhere.
    Also, when you go hiking… tell somebody where are you going and the route you’ll be taking. There is some custom to “register” with a local “Salvamont”, but nowadays people seldom do it (like… you pass by their local office or… by a cabin or phone them or whatever and let them know your name, your phone number, your route and by when you are supposed to phone them that you are ok).
    - Bears are becoming a real problem here, now. Be aware of this. Also, there are areas with vipers. Ticks are a problem - and, also, wild bees, for those allergic, and some spiders.
    Generally… you shouldn’t be going hiking alone… if you don’t have the experience to know about these things already.
    Warm sweet tea is/used to be, the cheapest thing in mountain cabins. They were supposed to let you spend the night, for a price, in the entry hall/ dining room even if they don’t have spare places (today… some don’t). Most cabins have some things like chocolate that you can buy and serve some kind of food/meal. There are some Salvamont shelters that are really nice and some that are in total ruin.
    Some trails are not marked very well (like… some marks are missing). Online and… you can also buy them… you can find hiking maps for all hiking trails or areas.
    - There is Couchsurfing, in Romania.
    - There is Geocashing in Romania.
    - The are some programs where you come and work here, for meals and room - I don’t remember their names (“Worldpackers” and… I think there are more, if I remember it well).
    - Most cities, even small ones, have permanent, daily, farmers markets with really good produce.
    - learn a few word like… “Please = Te rog; thank you = multumesc; I am from ---; fire; help; yes, no, this, that, how much, smaller, bigger, where, when, how much etc.). It will make your stay a lot easier and better and it will be just fine if you’ll speak like… “Where London?” and “No, smaller!” and “When London?” and “When choo-choo?” and “Help {phone}”… etc. (people will smile and be amused, but… in a good and nice way and they will appreciate your efforts). You can use Google Translate to learn them.
    Also… Romanian is pretty easy to read since… you always read it like you write it… except for a special characters (ș, ț, ă, â, î) and a few groups of letters that… also are, all of them, pronounced, always, the same way (ci, ce, ge, gi, chi, che, ghe, ghi).
    - There’s no need to travel with shampoo or tampons etc., since you can buy them here… anywhere, for good prices - all kinds of brands. You could look, online, on “eMag” (like… local Amazon :D ) or “Bringo” (mostly Carrefour deliveries), for the prices of the most common brands, if you really want to.
    “Farmacia Tei” is an online pharmacy that sells many products and you can use their site to get an idea of what over the counter meds, prescription-free, you can find here, easily (I like to joke that here… pharmacies are on every corner - yep: you’ll see it!). Contacts and contact solution is also easy to find in cities (or order online) and… even in Carrefour supermarkets you can buy the solution.
    - Emergency rooms and ambulances are free for all Romanians and will treat you no matter what. BUT: as a foreigner… you’ll have to pay for it, after it’s resolved/when you are discharged = a insurance comes in handy.
    - Also, there are many… many-many private clinics (some need appointments to be made beforehand) and doctors’ offices that have a fee… that’s the same for all (you pay it when you go) and… they don’t care from where you are from or insurance (you go and you pay - many doctors speak English, but not all of them) - and you can call or look online for specific fees.
    - There are a lot of beauty salons (like… for doing procedures or nails or hair of make-up or… whatever you can think of) with decent prices.
    - “All natural products”, vegan, gluten-free etc., are also easily available - just search online or phone in advance, if you want to make sure.
    A trick: we, here, are mostly Christian Orthodox and… a couple of times per year… we fast, for weeks, by not eating any animal products. “Fast” is called “post” (read it just like you see it written) and… there are many products that have “de post” written on them (meaning like… “for fasting”) at decent prices (and, also, you can ask anywhere about such meals and products, in any restaurant or kiosk, since they will tell you if they contain something that “came from… even from something that came from animals”).
    If you are a vegetarian… the “post” word is your best friend and Romania is the country to go to, hihihi! “Post” products have no eggs, no dairy of any type (butter, animal cheeses, milk, sour cream etc.), no meat or fish etc. - just… things that come from what is considered a plant (honey is “for fasting”, “de post”, so… if you don’t eat honey… you should ask if those products have any “miere”). There are tons of vegetarians products that are part of everyday life, here.
    - Also… Romanians don’t usually discriminate about religion - and you will find, in big cities, Catholic Churches, Greek-Roman Churches, Protestant ones, Reformed ones, Mosques, Synagogues and… all kinds of other Churches.
    - “Altex” is an electronics chain store that, for years, has a policy of giving back double the difference money if you find a better price for that product elsewhere. Like… if you know what to look for… you can find better prices for even better products, but… generally… they have good prices and good products and a safe choice for a foreigner. They have a site and you can look there for whatever you need.
    - We have Ikea here, with 2 stores in Bucharest and delivery points in a few other big cities.
    - For outdoor/sport-related goods… as big chain stores… Decathlon is the most popular one. There are Hervis and InterSport and Sportissimo as well. They all have sites that you can browse (like… it might be cheaper to buy a tent here). There are smaller shops and most of them have online stores as well.
    - For… things like… how can I put it… “household “men”-stuff”, like… for construction materials, general auto items, garden items, furniture, decor, DIY etc., Dedeman is a local chain store. There are… let’s see… BricoDepot, Hornbach, Leroy Merlin, Arabesque, BauMax, Praktiker (Homelux), Obi and… I’m sure there are more are like… more than one in every city so… .
    (It’s kind of like… “money if you have… you’ll find anything!”).
    - Per money… travel with one or more credit/debit cards (in a RFID wallet!!!!) and use ATMs to take out some decent sums (like… it’s ok to have in your pocket, daily, just for… going to a coffee on the corner… 100 Euros/USD, in lei, but… even with those you should be careful in farmers markets or train stations etc. - nobody will mug you at gunpoint or something like this, but… you may realize that you no longer have them).In most supermarkets and big shops you can pay with a credit card - also… online, too, and in many restaurants or pubs etc..
    Going alone, at night, on an empty street to take out a lot of money from an ATM… might not be the best ideas, lol!
    Most Romanian that work in cities or even in rural areas but for bigger factories/companies receive their salary on debit/credit cards, so… they are common here.
    Many hotels take credit cards, also - but most “pensiuni”, like… “bread and breakfast/small hotel”… do not. Also, in rural areas you might not find an ATM in many villages (look on Google maps for them or… just ask around).
    - Visa and Mastercard are most common.
    - Many Romanians use Revolut.
    - For exchanging money there are different “shops” (look for “money exchange”, though… it might not be a good idea to exchange a huge sum at once; also, you’ll need an ID, always), but keep in mind that their rates vary (not by much, for general purposes). Also, banks exchange most currencies, but if your money is not USD or pounds or euros… your best bet might be your local airport or a service with your credit card.
    - There are RV/boat shops, many online. There are many… many-many auto repair shops and you’ll find an auto service… in every city and even in many, bigger, villages.
    - The are adventure parks and tons of all kinds of activities - such search online.
    - Police can ask for IDs (like… they are at least 2 policemen and they wear uniform), but not for wallets or stuff like this, doh!
    - Romania is not a cash economy… except for those living on minimal wage and in small villages.
    - Like anywhere in the world… if the ATM looks weird… go and find another one.
    - I don’t think that paying with cash is safest. I, as a Romanian, feel safer paying with a credit card and, like most Romanians, don’t keep most of the money “in the pocket” (we also have, though… it’s not usually necessary… more than one credit card: like… one is for travel and online shopping and for going out with friends etc. and one is for receiving the salary), but… I know more than one person that had her/his money stolen from the card… in their wallet, so… an RFID wallet would be a good idea.
    - There are no more “dating scams” here, I’d say, than anywhere else in the world, but… yto be honest… if you’re stupid, you can be so here and in your own country, so… just don’t be stupid… anywhere.
    - Most young people, like… teens and those in their early twenties grew up with the LGBTQ movement as a reality and are just fine with it. “LGBTQ” it’s a sin in the Orthodox Church. People hide this because they will be judged by those close to them, not because of strangers. If you meet the wrong people… you might end up beaten because of kissing a same sex person or being a trasnsexual etc, but that’s just as common here as anywhere in the world (actually… from what I’ve read… it’s less common, I’d say).
    If you’re the same sex and hold hands and are not a child… people will turn heads. If you kiss in public and are over a certain age… some people will look weird at you… even if you are kissing somebody of the opposite sex.
    This… “public LGBTQ”… it’s new here and… people will look at it as at something strange and… some will be bothered, some won’t care, but…
    Since always… there have been gays of all sort in Romania too, but people where discreet about… not having “mainstream sexual preferences”. While I was growing up… there where “bachelors” that had only/lots of other “bachelor” friends, there were girls/ladies that called themselves “miss” (Smith, Ionescu whatever) that were 60 yo or… 20 yo and living “with their friend/companion”… etc. - and everybody accepted that just as discreetly as it was shown. I, personally, have nothing “against” gays (I don’t think I know any; Oh, yes: a neighbour that’s… 18 yo? 19 yo?) and I do support their freedom, though… I’d rather not have to watch public… almost porn scenes… no matter the sex of those involved and I am amused by those that decide to dress like it’s Halloween… again… no matter their sexual preferences.
    If you’re gay and you hold hands and… decently kiss and show affection in public places… will people look? Yes, mostly. Will they care? No, mostly.
    It, all, also depends where you are (really… like… don’t hold hands while visiting a Church - it’s disrespectful; kissing, also, even near churches… even for straight partners that are not married… it’s not the most decent thing, especially after the age of being a teen) , if you’re wearing weird clothes, the location (people in villages are more skeptical of LGBTQ people since… they haven’t even seen many) and environment you’re in (go to a business meeting kissing and… you can kiss you opposite sex husband that people will look weird) etc..
    Mostly… as long as you keep it decent… nobody will even say something to you about it (it’s also kind of indecent to say something about it, so… this kind of works in your favour) and about what they think… well… do you really feel the need to change the mind and be accepted by every person you meet or pass by… even about other things than your sexuality?
    There’s, mostly, no big “gay scene” as there’s, mostly, no other “big scene”. Like… there are parades and… as with any parade/protest/demonstration… there are “anti-parades”, there are bars and clubs, but… there are also other “special” kinds of bars and clubs (all kinds of them - but… they are not… at every step) etc and… etc..
    If you are staying in rural areas and you know you’re going to show your sexuality and it not straight… you might find a discreet way of mentioning it to your host… like… also… getting them the chance of refusing you under some pretext, because… if they do not turn you down for your sexuality… and they do not “stay out of it” (yep, as I said: it’s pretty improper to “butt in” in such things as somebody’s sexuality… no matter which it is)… you might actually find a very good “ally” to help you “navigate” the local customs so that you’ll be easily accepted by everybody there (it’s more about being a new and weird - most of people in rural areas, as I said, never met somebody gay - and sensible-personal subject than about most people people really discriminating).
    - Any bribe is illegal and… might get you in trouble with the law. Yeah, it’s still being done, but… by people that know people (because… not everybody goes with this) and… as a foreigner… it’s just better to stay out of it especially since, really, mostly, you could solve that problem in the same way without bribe and the only one trying to scam is the one that suggests it. Unless you’re here for some big business (and, then, you won’t be needing to read these), people won’t risk their jobs and going to jail for whatever you think you can bribe them into, though some might accept “free money” from people that put them in their pocket… for doing the same thing they would do without them.
    Don’t bribe official. If you’re reading this, no matter what… don’t do it. People that can do it and get away with it… won’t ever read this, so… if you’re reading this… never do it.
    Corruption exists between families and friends and stuff like that. For a tourist… there’s no corruption apart from a waiter that brings you some other type soda, one that they don’t serve, from the corner store or a maid that cleans your room 3 times per day or a driver that makes an extra stop or whatever.
    If you’ll try to bribe somebody… at least you’ll get a very ugly scandal, from that person, if not a find or end up in court. Just don’t do it.
    Bribing is a sport between people with lots of power and lots of money, people that, also, know each other pretty well. Bribing is not for tourists - and… I never got how this is still not clear to foreigners, about Romania. Corruption is big, but because it’s of big proportions and at big levels, not because of it being wide-spread among “normal” people.
    Don’t cross the law and if you do… just pay the find or go with the law and you’re better off like this.If it comes to thinking of paying a bribe… you’ll need a lawyer, first, and… there’s a long way to that, so… just don’t do anything to get to such a place in time.
    Never consider a bribe and always go with the law.
    - BTW… delivery guys, waiters, taxi drivers and other… expect a tip.
    - We have “Consumer Protection” and all the other agencies that you can think off, here - and, mostly, they do their job just fine and without any type of bribe. And they won’t risk their freedom and career for “solving” something for you, no matter who brags with what (likely… they just want to scam you themselves). Like… bribing somebody from an agency… again… it’s for big business owners and big troubles they get into and… nothing that will ever matter to you, as a tourist.

    And… that’s it! Hope it helps! It's a very nice country with lots to see and do! :) Have a nice trip! :)

    :)

  • Narcos said

    Well.... that depends where you leave/travel in Romania...and what is your contact whit the society...etc...but is the same in the most of the EU/NON EU country's
    I leave from almost 40 years here and I cannot tell the same thins like others people ho comment here....
    Yes ...in the big city's at this moment it's relative ok....but are only couple of them...in rest like visitor it's ok... but if you want to explore more or to live is difficult
    The most problem is the corruption ho has destroy almost all people ho work in the institution's of the state...starting whit police, health, education and others ho has an important role...
    In rest yes...we have yet a very beautiful country but NO good managed.
    In the final for the visitor if they want to stay maximum 1-2 week s in good place's it s ok.

  • Kim said

    https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=Crime_statistics

    Romania is way down on the list for crime.

  • Joseph Keenan said

    Im from Scotland and have met 2 Romanian friends at University. They had the idea of potentially going to Constanta with our other friend from Scotland (as a group of 4) on holiday in summer for a music festival. Just wanted to know if I would be safe enough with them? We’re 18-20. The comments so far seem to be mixed.

  • Andrew Ross said

    This article is the biggest load of rubbish ive read about Romania, im Scottish my partner is from Bucharest, needless to say i have travelled widely in Romania, its a wonderful country with great food beautiful scenery and lovely poeple, Bucharest is easily the safest city ive been, having visited more than 33 countries, i would highly recommend going to Bucharest, far less dangerous than any uk city

  • Alex said

    Phil Sylvester, as a supposed journalist, you really should hold yourself to higher standards. Your presentation of Romania's safety is completely biased relative to other articles.

    Here are a few of the headlines and summaries for other countries:

    (1) Is France Safe? Travel Safety Tips You Need to Know
    France is a mostly safe place for travelers. However, theft, pickpockets and scam artists are common. Here are our tips to travel safely.

    (2) Crime and Scams in Denmark: Tips to Stay Safe
    Denmark is one of the safest countries you can visit, but it's not without its share of petty crime. Here's what you should look out for to stay safe.

    (3) Is Bulgaria Safe? 7 Tips to Know Before You Go
    Bulgaria is a very safe country. We avoid military conflicts, crime is low, we don’t actively engage in heated political debates, public protests are rare (but avoid them if they do break out), and religions coexist happily on the whole.

    And now, here is ROMANIA:

    "Is Romania Safe? How to Avoid Crime and Scams
    Petty crime occurs in Romania, from thieves to scammers, this is what you need to know before you go."

    Right off the bat, you've primed readers to associate Romania with "crimes and scams". No "safety tips" unlike other countries.

    Then, first thing you read is "Petty crime occurs in Romania... this is what you need to know". There is no mention of the fact that statistically Romania is a very safe country. On top of that, the sentence construction is poor and ambiguous. One could easily read this as "What you need to know... is that petty crime occurs in Romania".

    And then you wonder why people in the comment section are justifiably angry at your presentation.

  • Udu Dragomir said

    I live in Romania, and it is an extremely superficial country. People have a mentality to be nice to you untill they get home lock their door and stop pretending to be some-one else.

    Also, the country has a huge problem of pedophiles, where it is quite normal for 30 year old losers to date 14 year old girls, and the police mentality is 'if the parents don't care, we don't care'.

    But whatever, all the good people leave the country and the only ones left over are the scumb and crumbs'
    Enjoy your visit!

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