While Romania is perhaps best known for the fictional character who calls the country home, Count Dracula, visitors will find here medieval castles and monasteries, quaint seaside villages, untouched woodlands with rich wildlife and the second highest mountain range in Europe, the Carpathians. One of the most stunning drives in Europe is here, specifically along the Transfagarasan Highway. Roads pass through Cartisoara meadows, the Fagaras Mountains and Poenari Castle.
Driving Tips for Romania
Bucharest, the capital, is a busy city. The narrow, twisting roads with pedestrians and potholes can be daunting for foreign drivers. Road conditions outside the capital vary greatly; national roads are moderately good while country roads are often poor.
Driving licences: European driving licences, including UK licences, are accepted but an International Driving Permit must accompany licences which don’t contain a photograph.
Which side does Romania drive on: the right.
Motorways: 62mph (100kph) to 80mph (130kph)
Rural areas: 31mph (50kph) to 55mph (90kph)
Built-up areas: 31mph (50kph)
Alcohol limits: the alcohol limit is nil compared with the UK limit of 0.08 per cent. Local police carry out random tests.
Driving age: 18 years.
Seatbelts: must be worn by all passengers, if fitted. Children under 12 year must travel in the rear.
Mobile phones and GPS: the use of mobile phones while driving is illegal unless the driver uses hands-free equipment. GPS is useful due to the poor road network.
Cost of fuel in Romania: unleaded petrol and diesel are slightly cheaper here than in the UK.
Car hire and fuel payment: all major car hire firms accept cards and often insist on you having a credit card to swipe as a deposit. For fuel though, cash is king. However, an increasing number of petrol stations do now accept MasterCard and Visa credit cards.
Insurance: car rentals include third-party insurance with their rates. Other types of coverage (collision damage waiver, theft protection, personal accident) are optional.
Traffic and parking: drivers are required to park on the right side of the road, in the direction of traffic.
Trains cover an extensive area in Romania and virtually every city and town is connected to the railway network, including very small towns. The modern Intercity trains are comfortable, fast and reliable. However, the Regio and InterRegio trains servicing towns and rural areas are poor and outdated. Most trains are run by the state railway company CÄile Ferate Române (CFR).
Meter taxis are widely available in Romania. However, in Bucharest, hailing a cab during rush hour is almost impossible. Taxis are inexpensive and some cab drivers will try to negotiate prices. Typical cost per kilometre is cheap at around 30p and travellers are advised to insist on using the meter as the negotiated price will almost always be higher than the meter rate.
Buses in Romania are cheap, but they can be unreliable and uncomfortable. Schedules are rarely followed, with some delays running more than an hour. However, the towns that are not covered by the railway lines are best serviced by the bus and minibus network.
There are cruises along the Danube River and this is a scenic way to explore Romania's southern regions.
There are 12 international airports in Romania, but the principal ones are Bucharest airports - Henry Coanda (Otopeni) Airport and Aurel Vlaicu (Baneasa) Airport. The former hosts flights to most major centres in Europe plus a few flights to the Middle East. The second-largest international airport, Traian Vuia International Airport, is located at Timisoara and has flights from the UK. Cluj-Napoca International Airport is the largest in Transylvania and offers flights to and from many European cities.
Romania boasts beautiful cities that are medieval and modern, as well as scenic port towns. The capital city of Bucharest should not be missed and a must see is the Parliament Palace, the World’s largest Parliament building.
In Sibiu, visitors will discover why the city is considered one of the countries cultural and tourism centres. Aside from the old town, the beautifully preserved medieval fort, the Citadel of Sibiu, is a must-see.
Black Sea resorts are popular holiday destinations and the port city of ConstanÅ£a becomes a lively tourist city in the summer.
Visitors to Southern Bucovina will see the Painted Churches of northern Moldavia. These 15th and 16th century monasteries have been listed as World Heritage sites since 1993.
The rich and beautiful landscapes of the Carpathian Mountains and environs are good places to explore the nation's stunning wilderness.