Depending on your country of residence you may or not to need a visa for entering Romania. Visas are not required for EU, EEA (Economic European Area) or US citizens.
In case you need a visa to enter Romania, please consult additional information here and contact the travel agency at email@example.com if you need further information. Also, you may consult your local Romanian embassy or consulate to find out the documents you need to fill and the term required to obtain the visa.
Please note that in some cases the period obtaining the visa take at least 3 months prior your arrival here, so prepare the necessary arrangements in time.
The local currency is Romanian leu (plural lei) – RON.
The official rate exchange is around 4.49 lei for an Euro and 3.97 lei for an US dollar.
You can see the daily official exchange rate here http://www.bnr.ro/Cursul-de-schimb-524.aspx
If you want to exchange money you should do it at an exchange office you find on main streets. The commission exchange should be zero and the buying exchange rates should not be lower than the official exchange rate with more then 1.5%.
Avoid exchanging money in airport or hotel because they usually have poor exchange rates.
Getting in and around
Bucharest has the largest transport network in Romania, and one of the largest in Europe. Bucharest’s public transport network is extensive, covering all of the city as well as much of its surroundings. It is also very cheap to use. The Bucharest transport network is made up of a metro network (http://www.metrorex.ro/first_page_p1352-2) and a surface transport network (http://www.ratb.ro/eng/index.php).
Bucharest metro has 4 lines and with a fifth currently under construction. The average distance between two stations is of 1.5 km.
A detailed map of Bucharest metro network you can find here.
Radisson Blu Hotel and Park Inn by Radisson are around 700 m from Piata Romana station (8 minutes walk) and 1 km from Piata Universitatii station (12 minutes walk).
The metro trains schedule operate between 5:00-23:00. Note that the last metro train leaves at 23:00 hour from end line stations.
Busses & Trams
Bucharest has hundreds of busses (and trolleybuses) routes and tens of trams, serving every part of the city as well as a number of suburban villages. Buses and trams run from very early in the morning (around 04:30) to around 23:00 (earlier at weekends), after which the night buses takeover. These serve all areas of the capital throughout the night, with most routes departing from Piata Unirii (Unirii Square). Most night bus services run at hourly intervals.
Here you can download the maps of buses and trams: http://www.ratb.ro/eng/harta_eng.php
In order to use Bucharest public transportation you need to buy a non nominal Activ card or Multiplu card. Both are available at the little RATB kiosks which can be found next to major bus and tram stops.
The Non-nominal Activ card can be obtained for 3.7 lei at any RATB point of sale. Being transferable, this type of card is useful for frequent individual journeys or groups. The minimum value for the electronic wallet (additional to the cost of card) is 2.6 lei, and the maximum value is 50 lei.
The value for journeys are:
- 1.3 lei for urban routes
- 3.5 lei for express lines
- 1.5 lei for Bucharest’s suburb lines
- 2 lei for metro
For Express lines you must load minimum 2 journeys (7 lei).
The MULTIPLU card is intended for occasional passengers and cannot be reloaded. It can be used only within RATB network (not in metro). The price for the MULTIPLU card is 1.6 lei.
Tickets just for the metro can be purchased at all metro stations. Tickets valid for two journeys cost 5 lei, while tickets valid for ten journeys cost 20 lei. You can also buy a daily ticket for 8 lei, while a weekly season ticket costs 25 lei.
In the metro station you can pay both with cash and credit card, while in RATB kiosks only cash is accepted.
Taxis in Bucharest are yellow, ubiquitous and very cheap (most of them –around 1.39 lei ~ 0.35 Eurocents – per kilometer).
The tariffs are displayed on the driver and passenger door of all taxis. There should just be one single tariff displayed. Before starting your itinerary you may check if you could pay also by credit card.
Some of Bucharest’s taxi companies now have smartphone apps which make use of your phone’s GPS capabilities to get the closest taxi to you as fast as possible. You can find the applications on Play Store or App Store (eg Clever Taxi including several taxi companies, Star Taxi, Speed Taxi, Taxi Pelicanul, Cris Taxi, etc.)
Uber is also now present in Bucharest, so if you have an Uber account and the app on your phone you can use it while in the city. Prices are much the same as standard taxis, except that there is a minimum fee of six lei.
Transportation from/to Henri Coanda airport
Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport is situated at 16.5 km distance from Bucharest down-town. The access roads to town is the national Road DN
Transfer by public transportation
The 780 Express line connects Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport with the Gara de Nord (main railway station).
The 783 Express line connects Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport with the city center. This line runs also during night. The night bus leaves every 40 minutes.
Airport stops are in front of the Arrivals Terminal and Departures Terminal. Price for one trip is 3.5 lei. The magnetic card valid for two travels costs 7 lei.
The nearest station for Radisson Blu Hotel is Piata Victoriei station on 783 line.
Transfer by taxi
On-demand taxi services are available at Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport. You may order a taxi car by using the touch screen devices in the public area of the Arrivals Terminal. The passengers get on the taxi-cabs right outside the terminal, on the first floor, by showing the ticket issued by the automatic touch screen. The charges vary between 1.39 lei/km – 3.50 lei/km.
You could also take a taxi without order from the taxi station is located at the exit of the Arrivals terminal, on the upper deck, at the first floor.
The charges for this taxi system is:
- Maximum Price for distance – 3.5 lei / km;
- Maximum Price for starting – 3.5 lei;
- Maximum Price for parking – 35 lei / hour.
These prices were authorized by the General Council of Bucharest and Ilfov County Council. Taxi access in airport public parking is prohibited by law.
The distance to city center is around 17 km and the fare for the trip should be maximum 63 lei (14 Euro).
Official language is Romanian, a phonetic language (words are pronounced as they are spelled), of Latin origin (as Italian, Spanish, French or Portuguese). Nevertheless English is widely spoken especially by the younger people and in hotels, restaurants and other touristic places, as well as other foreign languages like French, German, Italian or Spanish, so communicating should not be a problem.
Time zone is GMT+2 (GMT +3 during summer). Banks business hours are usually 9:00 to 16:00. Small shops are opened from 8:00 till 19:00 and shopping centres or supermarkets from 8:00 (or 9:00) until 22:00. Restaurants are opened from 11:00 or 12:00 to the last customer (could be 12:00 PM or later), bars and pubs from 14:00 to 1:00 AM or 2:00 AM (in the morning) and clubs from 11:00 PM until next morning. You may find exceptions from these hours.
Romania’s electrical current is 230 V and sockets take the standard continental European dual round-pronged plugs. Some hotels have 110 V socket in bathroom for electrical shaver. A plug adaptor is required for non-European appliances.
Mobile phones are ubiquitous in Romania and you can easily buy a prepaid card from almost every shop. Special options for discounted international calls exist with some pricing plans. High quality internet (broadband) is widely available. Wireless access is free in many areas like airports, public squares, parks, cafes, hotels and restaurants.
In Romania all types of credit cards valid in the European Union are accepted. Credit cards may be used at retailers or service providers where signs indicate the cards accepted (in hotels, restaurants, hypermarkets, malls), and at any ATM. ATMs dispense Lei or Euro (some of them) and can be found at banks, shopping centres and commercial areas.
Travellers’ Checks can be cashed in large banks, some hotels and selected exchange offices but most of them charge considerable commissions.
VAT / Value Added Tax (or TVA – in Romanian) is 20% for most good and services and 9% for food and some other exceptions and is usually included in the prices posted. VAT refund offices can be found at any Romanian border crossing point.
In most restaurants, pubs, bars or cafes the tip is not included and the usual tip is between 10-20% of the bill. Taxi drivers usually do not expect tip but couple of lei are appreciated. Other services for which tipping is usual is concierge hotel for services like reservations or getting tickets, hotel maiden, parking valet, bellboy, hairdresser or massage therapist.