7 Best Romania Travel Insurance Plans for US Citizens in 2024

Updated on February 08, 2024, by Matthew H. Nash – Licensed Insurance Agent

Savvy travelers worldwide know there is so much more to Romania than Dracula and Bran Castle. With the steep, rugged Carpathian mountains, pristine beaches, awe-inspiring architecture and welcoming people, there’s much to love about this Eastern European gem. So, of course, with the ever-changing state of travel, getting the best Romania travel insurance policy is more important than ever. It will protect you and any of your insured travel companions against lost, stolen or damaged luggage, trip delays and cancellations, medical emergencies and much more. This article will explore what you can expect to pay, optional upgrades and the differences between policies. We may receive compensation when you click on the affiliate links below.

  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to Romania travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.






Comparing Policies

  • Compare dozens of the best Romania travel insurance policies from all the major providers in one place
  • Easily filter for the features you want and get support from their award-winning customer service team
  • Founded in 2013, TravelInsurance.com has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers find affordable insurance coverage
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.






Travelers Aged 55+

  • Pre-existing medical conditions are covered for a reasonable fee and they offer “cancel for any reason” as an add-on
  • $2,000 COVID quarantine coverage available w/ Safe Travels Voyager plan
  • Founded in 1998 and underwritten by Nationwide and GBG Insurance
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.






Filtering Plans

  • This comparison website has the most comprehensive filters especially for Covid-19 which helps you search for the specific benefits you need
  • They have “Zero Complaint Guarantee” which promises a fair claims process
  • Established in 2003, Squaremouth has consistently been recognized for it’s exceptional customer service
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.






An Established Brand

  • Well rounded, inexpensive travel insurance plans from an established and top rated global insurance company
  • AXA has plans that cover pre-existing conditions and their “Platinum” plan covers “cancel for any reason” with an optional add-on. They also offer helpful 24/7 Worldwide Travel Assistance Services
  • Founded in 1959 and underwritten by Nationwide
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.






Family Travel

  • Their “Trip Interruption for any Reason” feature allows you to get a 75% reimbursement for any additional expenses if you decide to go home early from your trip
  • They have a variety of insurance products to suit any travel needs
  • Founded in 1993 and underwritten by Nationwide Insurance
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.






Long-term Travel

  • Ideal for digital nomads and long-term travel, available to anyone anywhere
  • Scored lower because short-term travel coverage isn’t as robust as competitors
  • Founded in 2018 and is underwritten by Lloyds of London

travel insurance
  • SwiftScore
      Our SwiftScore is a unique and proprietary insurance ranking system objectively comparing key metrics which are most important to travelers. Learn more at the end of this page.






Comparing Policies

  • Compare dozens of travel insurance policies from all the major providers in one place
  • Easily filter for the features you want and get support from their award-winning customer service team
  • Founded in 2013, TravelInsurance.com has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers find affordable insurance coverage

Romania travel insurance FAQs

Should I buy trip insurance for Romania?

Romania travel insurance protects your financial investment in your vacation and insures you in the event of unforeseen medical emergencies. Coverage extends to lost and stolen luggage, trip interruptions and cancellations, and medical emergencies or evacuations. You even have the option to add a “Cancel for Any Reason” package to give yourself more flexibility. Since travel is becoming increasingly expensive, having the best trip insurance plan will ensure you are reimbursed for unexpected events that would otherwise cause significant financial loss.

Furthermore, in a medical emergency, a good policy offers crucial support, such as coordinating evacuations and transportation to hospitals that can treat your ailment or injury in a way that meets US standards. Having a solid travel insurance plan has always put my mind at ease, and it is essential for a visit to Romania. Most plans are reasonably priced, approximately 2% to 3% of your total trip cost.

How can I find the cheapest Romania travel insurance plan?

First and foremost, you must find a travel insurance plan that provides you with the coverage you need. The best way to do this is to use TravelInsurance.com, one of the top trip insurance comparison sites, and once you get a list of policies with the right benefits, you can sort them by price.

What is the best way to file a travel insurance claim?

If you go to your travel insurance company’s website, look for a link in the header or footer that says “File a Claim,” “Make a Claim” or “Claims.” Click the link, and it will prompt you to fill out the online claim form. Otherwise, you can complete a hard copy claim form and submit it via mail.

How long does it take for my insurance provider to process my claim?

As long as you complete the claim form correctly and submit the required documentation, processing will take 6 to 8 weeks. Of course, this varies between providers and also depends on the complexity of the claim.

What should I do if my insurer rejects my claim?

If your insurer rejects your claim, they will likely inform you of any follow-up options you may have. Note that insurers reject claims primarily because a customer’s policy benefits did not cover the claim, the customer did not state accurate total trip costs or list pre-existing medical conditions on their policy application, or the customer did not follow the provider’s request submission steps.

Will my Romania travel insurance plan cover a relative’s death?

Benefits differ between policies. However, the cheapest plans usually do not have bereavement benefits that cover a relative’s death if it results from suicide or a pre-existing medical condition. Policies with more costly premiums will reimburse you, irrespective of the cause of death. You may also want to find out who falls under “covered relatives.” Your siblings? In-laws? Grandparents? Pets? Insurers list all terms and benefits in the full policy details.

Is emergency dental work included under my trip insurance policy?

Travel insurance policies offer minimal coverage for emergency dental work. Coverage usually only applies to natural teeth, and benefits range from $100 to $750. Therefore, do not expect to get reimbursed for any work you may need on crowns, bridges or false teeth. Your insurance plan will also restrict the time frame in which you can have reimbursable dental work. If emergency dental coverage is important to you, read the full details of any policy you may be interested in purchasing or contact the insurer directly for clarification.

How do insurers define “baggage loss,” and what benefits does this aspect of coverage offer?

If your luggage or other belongings are lost, damaged, destroyed or stolen during your trip to Romania, your travel insurance company will reimburse you for these items. This applies even if your baggage is in the custody of a hotel, travel supplier or airline carrier. What they reimburse you depends on the value of the items, your policy’s different article (item) limits, the amount the party responsible for your losses reimburses you and the Maximum Benefit Limit listed in your policy.

The Maximum Benefit Limit is always stated in your policy is per person and is the highest amount your insurer will reimburse, as mentioned above. That said, a couple of factors determine this amount. The first is the Per Article Benefit, which is the most your provider will give you for any item you may lose or that gets stolen or damaged.

The second is the Combined Article Limit, which only pertains to furs, watches, jewelry and electronics (including smartphones, cameras, laptops, etc.). Therefore, should anything happen to one or more of these items, the maximum your provider will reimburse you is the amount stated as the Combined Article Limit, even if the value of these items exceeds that dollar value. (Note: Depending on your state, your policy may not have a Combined Article Limit.)

Let’s review a hypothetical scenario to see how this information is applicable. Imagine your policy has a $2,000 Maximum Benefit, a $500 Per Article Benefit, along with a $500 Combine Article Limit. If your airline loses one of your suitcases, your insurer will reimburse you no more than $500 (Per Article Benefit) up to $2,000 (Maximum Benefit). Of course, the Per Article reimbursement amount is largely determined by the item’s fair market value.

As a result, if one of the items you lose is a jacket valued at $650, your insurer will reimburse you $500 if you haven’t reached your Maximum Benefit Limit. But let’s say you lose three items on the Combined Article list; the highest amount you would receive from your provider is $500, even if their value is above that limit.

Remember that you will need proof that you owned the items you filed a claim for. Appropriate documentation includes photographs, receipts, police reports and a formal letter from the responsible party. Always read the full details of any travel insurance plan before you purchase it to understand the extent of your benefits.

Typical problems tourists may experience while traveling in Romania and how to avoid them:


There are no particular illnesses that you could come down within Romania that you couldn’t in other European countries. However, keep in mind that those with pollen allergies will likely suffer during certain times of the year due to incredible biodiversity and, therefore, vast amounts of pollen. If this is you, bring medication with you.

If you’re out in rural areas, ask your hosts about ticks or anything you need to know when you’re out in nature. Bring a strong insect repellent, particularly one with DEET, if you wish to avoid ticks and mosquitoes. While it’s rare, tick-borne encephalitis does occur in Romania. Also, steer clear of stray dogs, as the relatively few cases of rabies stem from bites by rabid dogs.

Lastly, Romania’s tap water is safe to drink, unless otherwise advised. So, if locals frequently order bottled water, do not fret. It’s merely a preference, not a necessity.


Accidents among tourists in Romania tend to be due to simple things such as tripping and falling. However, some suffer injuries as a result of outdoor activities and sports. Most common are open wounds, twisted ankles, and broken bones. Serious accidents can happen, but they aren’t the norm. Be aware of your surroundings and be well-equipped for anything you plan to do outside.

It’s worth mentioning that Romania has one of the highest rates of fatal automobile accidents in all of Europe. In addition, Romanians are not known for having safe driving habits. Therefore, if you plan to explore the country by car, you must stay alert, especially when driving on snaking mountain roads and in cities.


It’s worth mentioning that while crime in Romania is very low, tourists are frequently targeted for pickpocketing and bag snatching. Be extra alert when you’re in crowded places. You’re best off wearing a money belt and locking valuables in your accommodation. For more tips on how to minimize your risk, see our Safety & Scams section below.

Emergency resources for Romania

Phone numbers

The standard emergency number for police, fire department and emergency medical services is 112, just as in all other European Union countries. It’s a free call from any phone.

US embassy or consulate details

The US Embassy in Romania is located in Bucharest. If you need the Visit the website for the Embassy’s phone number, address, or information regarding citizen services.

You can list your travel itinerary with the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Program. The benefit of doing so is that you will receive safety and health-related alerts about your trip. It also allows the Embassy to communicate with you or your family back home in an emergency.

Other local knowledge that is helpful for travelers


Romania offers an array of accommodations to suit a variety of budgets. Visitors can stay in vacation rentals, pensions, hostels, hotels, room rentals, cabanas, village homestays or campgrounds. Even higher-end hotels are quite affordable, often priced similarly to motels in the US. That said, rates in the capital city of Bucharest and the coastal areas along the Black Sea tend to be higher.

Note that the Romanian hotel rating system does not qualify hotels as it does in the US. It uses star ratings to represent a hotel’s amenities and nothing more. The best 4 and 5-star hotels will provide you with the same level of luxury offered by equivalent US hotels. To be sure you’re picking the best, always read reviews from other guests. A pension (pensiune) in Romania and the rest of Europe is a small inn or guesthouse that offers a more personal experience than most hotels. Room reservations usually include breakfast, but many will have the option of half or full board.

Locals earn extra money by offering up private rooms in their homes. These are called cazare or camere de inchiriat. Homes with spare rooms will hang signs outside saying “cazare,” or you might notice people at train stations holding similar signs. While Transylvania and the coast have cazare, you can find the best ones in the countryside, where hospitality abounds. Rural hosts tend to be keener to provide hearty meals and help you have an authentic Romanian experience.

Since Romania is known for its majestic landscape, it’s no surprise that interest in village homestays or guesthouses (agroturism) has surged. This unique alternative allows you to stay with a Romanian family in the countryside. Some families offer basic accommodation, while others offer large, extremely comfortable rooms with private bathrooms. However, village homestays pose two challenges to visitors, one being that many hosts do not speak English, and the other being that many are hard to access if you don’t have a rental car. You can find a countrywide directory of guesthouse listings here.

Accommodations in the mountains are often referred to as cabanas but vary significantly in amenities and comfort. Some can be as basic as a hut with cold water and bunk beds in a communal room. Others may feature stylish decor, hot running water, and even private rooms. Most cabanas are isolated and only accessible via mountain trails.

Camping is another option for those wanting a travel experience closer to nature. Like cabanas, campgrounds can range from primitive to luxurious. You can pitch a tent or rent a high-end căsuţe (bungalow). Either way, you will inevitably enjoy Romania’s immense natural beauty.

Adventure Activities & Extreme Sports

Romania is a perfect destination for nature lovers. Whether you spend your days hiking in the Carpathian mountains, skiing on the slopes of the Prahova Valley, mountain biking through Northern Transylvania, or scuba diving in the Black Sea, you will never get bored. Remember to research tour operators in advance to book with one of the more reputable companies.

If you plan to participate in adventure activities or extreme sports during your vacation, purchase a Romania travel insurance plan. Travel insurance will help offset the costs of any emergency medical care you may need. It will prove crucial if you suffer a severe accident and must be evacuated to a hospital for urgent care.


Staying connected with loved ones back home should be pretty easy for you when you’re on vacation in Romania. It has some of the fastest Internet speeds in Europe, so you can count on getting online swiftly and quickly during your vacation. It’s fair to say that slow internet connections are non-existent in Romania.

Nearly all hotels offer free WiFI, as do plenty of bars and artisan coffee shops in Bucharest, Cluj and other cities. All KFC and McDonald’s locations have free WiFi, but they tend to have a lot of people connecting to their networks. Should you choose to stay in a pension or a cazare, know that free WiFi is not guaranteed. Note that Internet cafés still exist throughout Romania but are disappearing rapidly.

If relying solely on WiFi doesn’t give you the level of connectivity you need, your best alternative would be to purchase a prepaid SIM card once you arrive. Doing so is quite simple. Visit any retail store for one of the three mobile phone service providers, Vodafone, Orange or Telekom.

They should have an option to suit your needs, whether that be a large data package or one with international calls. Note that some shops require you to present your passport to activate a SIM card. If you plan on using the SIM in your US phone, check with your mobile carrier before leaving on vacation to ensure your phone is unlocked.

If you prefer to use your US phone while you’re in Romania, contact your mobile carrier to add an international roaming package to your plan. You must tell them you will visit Romania and give them your travel dates. Be aware that these roaming plans offer very little data, so remember to turn off the background data on all your apps. This will save you from running up a steep cell phone bill. You can also rent a pocket WiFi from one of the many online providers and have it delivered to your accommodation in Bucharest.


Although Romania is a member of the European Union, it has not joined the Eurozone and thus retained its national currency, the Romanian leu (RON). Leu is singular, and lei is plural. One leu is subdivided into 100 bani (cents). Banknotes are available in 1, 5, 50, 100, 200 and 500 denominations, though the latter two are seldom used. In addition, there are 1, 5, 10 and 50 bani coins.

While you can use credit and debit cards at hotels, shopping centers and high-end restaurants, having plenty of cash is essential. You will need cash for smaller purchases, taxis, tips and public transport. In addition, you may rely solely on cash outside the cities and larger towns.

You cannot get Romanian lei outside the country. To get the best exchange rate and overall deal, you should use your US debit card to withdraw cash from an ATM at a local bank branch. If you have dollars you want to trade, steer clear of currency exchanges, including those at your hotel and the airport, and exchange them at a bank instead.

If you intend to use your credit and debit cards in Romania, know your PINs and notify your bank and credit card companies about your travel plans before leaving the US. That way, they don’t block you from using your card abroad.

Lastly, if you’re ever asked by an employee or a credit card processing machine whether you want to be charged in US dollars or Romanian lei, always choose lei. Should you opt for dollars or any currency other than the local one, you’ll be charged for the “privilege” of simply being shown the total amount due in said currency. This is known as Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC), and what they don’t tell you is that a substantial fee is built into the total you end up seeing on the machine.

Entry Requirements

US citizens who plan to visit Romania can enter the country visa-free for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day period.

Food & Drink

Romanian meals are generally hearty and many dishes reflect Slavic, Hungarian, Germanic and Turkish influences. The cuisine is heavy in meat and vegetables. Many even revolve around a culinary favorite: cheese.

People typically eat three square meals, and dinner is usually the biggest. Lunches and dinners in Romania start with soup, followed by a main dish involving meat and a sweet dessert. Romanians eat late, particularly in large towns and cities, like people in all southern European countries. People sitting down for dinner at 10 pm is relatively common.

Just as people in the US like a filling breakfast, so do Romanians. Nearly every breakfast involves eggs, cheese or mămăligă (like polenta). They also love coffee, but it’s closer to Turkish coffee: small, sweetened with sugar and taken black.

Many restaurants offer daily set menus and a la carte menus Monday through Friday. The set menu lunches are a great deal and guarantee to fill you. Since Romanians eat dinner late, they serve lunch for an extended period from noon until 5 pm.

Compared to dining out in the US, Romanian restaurants are incredibly affordable. Eating at upmarket restaurants will ensure you get the best service and quality food. Such establishments offer significantly more variety than more casual, traditional eateries.

The national dish of Romania is sarmale, stuffed cabbage rolls. The typical recipe includes rice, minced pork or chicken, dill, parsley and paprika rolled in fermented cabbage leaves. They are then boiled in water, tomato purée and sauerkraut juice. It’s usually served with mămăligă. This is a yellow maize porridge, much like polenta. It served as a side and a main dish (primarily for breakfast).

If you prefer a warming dish, try ostropel de pui, garlic chicken stew. Ostropel de porc is the same recipe but substitutes pork for chicken. While the ingredients are simple and humble, the flavors are mouthwatering. The main ingredients are chicken, chopped tomatoes, a yellow onion, lots of garlic, bay leaves and some white wine. Romanians serve it with mashed potatoes or bread.

Another dish served with bread or mashed potatoes is mici, skinless garlic sausages made with various herbs and cooked on the grill. They make these sausages with minced pork or beef, but sometimes lamb. Romanians love to eat mici with spicy mustard.

One food you will see throughout Romania that you will also see served throughout Turkey, Greece, Central Asia and the Middle East is börek, a savory pastry made with phyllo dough, cheese, seasonings and other ingredients. While it takes on various names across the world, Romanian börek tends to feature spinach, cheese and an egg yogurt that’s then baked. A familiar twist on the recipe adds minced meat. You will see locals eating börek at breakfast and lunch.

Parjoale moldovenesti is a meat lovers’ delight. These are meat patties made from minced pork, garlic, spices and bread crumbs. They are deep-fried or sometimes pan-fried in sunflower oil. It’s typical to serve parjoale moldovenesti on rye bread with whole-grain mustard.

While this is not a Romanian dish per se, zacusca is an essential component of Romanian cuisine. It’s a vegetable spread made from eggplant, red bell peppers, thick tomato paste, sautéed onions, paprika, pepper and bay leaves. Sometimes, they make it with mushrooms and hot peppers. It’s usually served on top of bread or used to dress a main dish.

While everyday Romanian food may not seem vegetarian or vegan-friendly, there are still traditional dishes you can find in most places. Since most Romanians are Orthodox Christians and abstain from certain foods during fasting periods, many restaurants offer a “mancare de post” menu, also called “post.” The good news is that you can get this food year-round, not only during Lent. Aside from sarmale, which can be made without meat, mămăligă and zacusca mentioned above, you can also ask for ciorba de legume, fasole batuta and ciuperci.

Ciorba de legume is a vegetable soup with some lemon juice. Note that Romanians use the word ‘legume’ to refer to vegetables. Fasole batuta is a Romanian-style hummus made from white beans, topped with caramelized onions in tomato paste, and served with pickled vegetables, fresh bread, and zacusca on the side. Lastly, ciuperci is mushrooms sautéed in a pan with garlic and onions left to simmer in the pan with chopped tomatoes, dry red wine, paprika, chili flakes, olive oil and oregano.

Since interest in meat-free diets is becoming more common, vegetarian and vegan restaurants are cropping up in Bucharest and other cities nationwide. If at any point you’re craving ethnic food, Bucharest and Cluj have an excellent selection of Middle Eastern, Italian, and other internationally trendy ethnic restaurants.

Finally, a visit to Romania isn’t complete if you don’t try some of their scrumptious desserts. The most favored dessert is papanași, fried dough made with sweet Romanian cheese. It’s shaped like a donut and dressed with sour cream and jam. Americans will also love plăcintă cu mere, a sweet apple cake. It is most commonly made with several layers of cake-like dough or, occasionally, phyllo dough. The center third is then filled with a chunky sweet apple compote, much like an apple pie filling, followed by several layers of more cake or phyllo dough. While there are plenty of other sweet treats in Romania, you can’t miss these two.

If you enjoy sampling alcohol from various cultures, Romanians will tell you to give țuică a try. It’s a plum brandy that is always taken neat. Another is palinca, which is merely țuică twice or Thrice-distilled, meaning its alcohol content is significantly higher. Don’t forget to give some locally-made wine a try. After all, Romania is one of the world’s largest wine producers.

Getting Around

Romania is an incredibly scenic country. It’s no wonder that so many visitors explore it by car. Big rental car companies like Hertz, Enterprise, Avis, Budget and Europcar operate in Romania, but local companies may offer better daily rates. Renting a car in Romania is relatively straightforward. You will need your US driver’s license and an international driver’s permit (IDP), which you can apply for in advance at your nearest AAA location or via mail. Most rentals come with manual transmissions, so if you need an automatic, be sure to request one upon booking. Be aware that road quality varies significantly throughout the country, from main roads in good condition to pothole-riddled rural roads.

A great and affordable way to get around Romania is by train (trenuri). The extensive national rail network makes it easy for visitors to access most tourist-centric destinations and sights. You can generally choose from a first or second-class reservation. Know that seat reservations are not permitted for Regional trains but are for InterRegional and InterCity trains. You can purchase tickets at any train station, Căile Ferate Române (CFR) ticket offices or on their website.

There are three different types of domestic trains: Regional (R), InterRegional (IR) and InterCity (IC). Regional trains usually stop the most frequently and are older. InterCity trains are the most modern, comfortable and fastest of options and are priced accordingly. InterRegional trains offer a happy medium of comfort and speed. They are often as fast as InterCity trains but aren’t as new. EuroCity (EC) and EuroNight (EN) provide international train services.

Numerous private companies run Romania’s bus network. Buses are generally comfortable or reliable, but this may not be the best choice if you have a lot of luggage, as storage is minimal. You can find bus schedules and book tickets at autogari.ro, which is fully available in English.

Maxi taxis, or minibuses, often do not operate on fixed schedules. That said, they set their departures and arrivals from locations just outside major train and bus stations. Pay your fare directly to the driver.

As for local transportation within towns and cities, you can expect regular service, except on Sundays and holidays, when services may not be operational or on a reduced schedule. Towns have local bus services. Cities have buses, trams and trolleys, and Bucharest has an underground metro system as well. You can purchase tickets from newsagents (kiosks) or machines. Just look for signs that say casă de bilete or bilete.

Whenever boarding any form of local transport, always validate your tickets by inserting them in machines once you board and the machine time stamps them. For the metro, insert your ticket or swipe/tap your metrocard before heading to the train platform. Failure to validate your ticket can result in a steep fine.

While taxis are a cheap way to get around most cities, many drivers are prone to ripping off unsuspecting foreigners by charging a higher rate than the legally established norm or taking an extra-long route to the destination. To minimize your risk, you’re best off asking your hotel or the restaurant you’re dining at to call you a taxi. To avoid such hassles, you can use ride-hailing apps such as Uber or BlaBlaCar, as they give you a predetermined fare.

If you’re short on time, jumping on one of TAROM or Blue Air’s domestic flights may be your best bet. Flights between Bucharest and other cities operate most days and are reasonably priced, typically €50 or less one way (holidays excepted).


When interacting with Romanians in Bucharest and other cities and big towns, you may be surprised how many people speak English. However, if you travel further out into rural areas, you will find having a bit of Romanian under your belt useful. It’s also a fantastic way to show your respect and appreciation for the people and their country. Whatever you do, do not liken the Romanian language to those of the neighboring countries or suggest it is Slavic. Locals will find this offensive since their language derives from Latin.

Here are some essential words and phrases to get you started:

  • hello/hi (informal) – bună/salut (boo-nuh/sah-loot)
  • hello/hi (formal) – bună ziua (boo-nuh zee-wah)
  • good morning – bună dimineața (boo-nuh dee-mee-nyat-sah)
  • good day/afternoon– bună ziua (same as hello formal)
  • good evening – bună seara (boo-nuh say-rah)
  • good night – noapte bună (nop-tay boo-nuh)
  • Have a good day. – O zi bună. (o zee boo-nuh)
  • please (informal) – te rog (tay-rohg)
  • please (formal) – vă rog (vah-rohg)
  • thank you – mersi/multumesc (mer-see/mool-too-mesk)
  • you’re welcome – cu plăcere (koo-plah-chay-ray)
  • sorry/excuse me – pardon (par-dohn)
  • Do you speak English? – Vorbiți engleză? (vor-beets en-glay-suh)
  • Do you speak Romanian? – Vorbiți românește? (vor-beets 
  • ro-muh-nesh-tay)
  • Yes, a little. – Da, putin. / Da, un pic. (dah poo-teen/ dah oon peek)
  • yes – da  (dah)
  • no – nu (noo)
  • maybe – poate (po-ah-tay)I don’t know. – Nu știu. (noo-shtew)

Local Customs & Etiquette

Romanians are hospitable people who take great pride in their country and enjoy sharing it with others. Being direct and making eye contact are both highly valued among locals, as is being polite in the traditional sense of the word in Western culture.

With that in mind, it’s probably no surprise that greetings are essential in Romania. Always greet shopkeepers and vendors when frequenting their place of business and wish them a good day or say goodbye upon leaving. Should you meet someone for the first time or see an acquaintance, always shake hands, regardless of whether they are a male or female. Address those older than you as Mr. (Domnul) and Mrs. (Doamna), along with their last names, until they request you call them by their first names. Kissing both cheeks and hugging is reserved for close friends and relatives.

Romania is, in many ways, a hierarchical and traditional culture in which age and position matter. That said, humility and modesty are deeply appreciated. It is also a religious country, as most people are Orthodox Christians.

Despite a significant portion of the population being conservative and dressing accordingly, many will find that Romanians can be pretty liberal at the beach. At some beaches, you will notice younger women going topless and wearing thongs. As a visitor, it’s always best to err on the conservative side until you get the lay of the land. Men are fine to wear speedos or swim shorts.

If a local invites you for a meal at their house, always arrive on time and bring a small gift. Flowers, chocolates or imported liquor always go over well. If you bring flowers, be sure it’s an odd number, as bouquets with an even number are for funerals. Additionally, it’s customary to bring a small treat for children too.

Upon arriving, see if others have removed their shoes at the door. If so, remove yours. Your host may have house slippers for you to put on, or you can wear your socks indoors. It’s best not to go barefooted, as there are some superstitions around this, and it may not be considered polite.

If you do not want to come across as rude, eat all the food on your plate. Your host will inevitably offer you seconds and even thirds, as it’s customary to ensure one’s guests are well-fed. Feel free to accept more food, but politely declining the offer is acceptable if you’re full.

Unless otherwise notified of a dress code for a meal or other event, it’s fine to dress casually. However, be sure that your clothes look neat, fresh and modest. Long pants or skirts are appropriate and wear tops that cover your shoulders. The less provocative, the better.

The longer you spend in Romania, the more likely you will discover that locals have a great sense of humor and appreciate irony and dry wit. It’s not uncommon for them to toss around ethnic jokes since political correctness is not a concern. While others may be the brunt of many of their jokes, Romanians can be very self-deprecating.

Finally, there are two things foreigners do that annoy and sometimes even anger Romanians. The first is confusing their capital, Bucharest, is Budapest (the capital of Hungary). The second is confusing Romanians with the Roma people, a marginalized gypsy population in many Eastern and Southern European countries.

Medical Services

Most hospitals in Romania are state-owned and run. They are often underdeveloped, but you can expect to be looked after by kind and efficient staff. Younger nurses and doctors will likely speak English and be able to assist you. While care is highly affordable by US standards, you may have to prepay or pay immediately after treatment. Some places may accept debit or credit cards, but having plenty of cash is a good idea.

If you need non-urgent medical treatment, private hospitals offer a higher level of care. Of course, getting treated at one of these means you will inevitably pay more. That said, it will likely be cheap compared with the costs of US hospitals. Keep in mind that they do not offer emergency services, so in such situations, public hospitals are your only option.

However, if you have a Romania travel insurance plan from one of the top providers, you will have coverage for unexpected medical events. Benefits often include emergency evacuation services in the event of a serious injury. In dire situations, most providers will help arrange transport and admission to a hospital that meets US standards.

You can usually get most over-the-counter medicines at Romanian pharmacies, but if you need to take something regularly, it’s best to bring an ample supply. Pharmacies are abundant in Bucharest, Cluj and other urban areas, and nearly every town has at least one.

Safety & Scams

Violent crime in Romania is quite low. Danger, beyond petty crime, is minimal. The most frequent crimes are pickpocketing or bag snatching. Such things usually occur in crowded areas, such as train and bus stations, airports, markets, the metro, the Old Town in Bucharest and other busy tourist areas.

One scam worth being aware of is thieves dressing up as police. They will approach unsuspecting tourists and demand to see their wallets and ID and then steal them. Always request to see an officer’s badge before complying with any requests.

Many thieves operate in teams where one person distracts you while the others steal your valuables. Often, the offenders are young children who slip your wallet and phone out of your pocket, along with anything easily stolen. So don’t be surprised if they slit your bag open and take anything and everything they can get their hands on.

Another problem that’s been on the rise in Bucharest’s Old Town is drinking spiking. So even if you’re not alone, it’s wise not to accept drinks, food or anything else from strangers in this area, particularly at bars or nightclubs.

Finally, if you want to reduce the potential of succumbing to financial fraud, pay with cash wherever you go. Paying for your hotel with a debit or credit card is fine, but avoid paying elsewhere with a card as much as possible and only use ATMs that are part of a local bank branch.

That said, know that the risk of falling victim to any of the crimes mentioned above is low. Therefore, there’s no need to be constantly looking over your shoulder. While no place is danger-free, you should be fine in Romania if you exercise common sense.


Like in the US, service workers in Romania earn meager wages and depend on tips to get by. So when in doubt, tip! A major difference from tipping in the US is that you must always do so in cash. Credit and debit card machines and receipts do not have the option to add gratuity.

In restaurants, tip 10% of your bill for satisfactory service and 15% if you had an excellent experience. In bars, tips range anywhere from 10-20%. Hair stylists and spa staff usually get 10%. Staff at your hotel will expect tips as well. Give housekeepers 5-15 lei per day, porters 2 lei per bag, room service staff 5 lei and the concierge 15-20 lei, depending on the complexity of your request.

Other people who depend on tips are tour guides. The base rate for a decent is 10% per person per day (a minimum of 20 lei/day). However, if you join a free tour, tip a minimum of 50 lei since it’s the only income the guide makes. Also, if you have a tour guide and a driver (or two), it’s acceptable to tip (each) driver 5-10% and the tour guide 10-15%.

That said, there are no formal rules around tipping taxi drivers. Most people round up their fare to the next leu or round number (as you see fit). If your trip is 18 lei, give the driver 20.

One small note about tipping is to use banknotes instead of coins. Other than the 50 bani coin, most people don’t use them as they aren’t worth much.

A final note about travel insurance for the Romania

I have spent dozens of hours researching travel insurance, including getting quotes and comparing coverage from all the most popular brands. Regardless of where you’re going I am confident that you will also find that TravelInsurance.com offers the best way to compare policies with the ideal combo of coverage and price.

I wish you and yours an incredible journey.

SwiftScore Ranking Methodology

  • Average price for a 2-week vacation based on a 35-year-old California resident traveling to the Romania with a $3,500 trip cost
  • Coronavirus coverage
  • Cancel for any reason (CFAR)
  • AM Best rating of the underwriter
  • Key policy details including cancellation, interruption, emergency medical evacuation, and baggage & personal effects
  • Ease of sign up
  • Policy language clarity
  • User reviews