Romania features a temperate-continental climate with four seasons. The average historical high/low temperature in Bucharest toward the end of May is 25°C (77°F)/12°C (54°F). Clear skies are the norm, despite rare summer rains, as Bucharest enjoys the end of spring and transitions into early summer. See this link for real-time information on weather in Bucharest.
Romanian is the fifth Romance language (alongside French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese), but has received influences from the languages of surrounding countries. English is also widely known and used in Romania, particularly in tourist areas and by younger generations. Tourists get by in English in most restaurants and other widely visited places.
Romania is on the Eastern European Time Zone. Eastern European Standard Time (EET) is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2). According to European daylight saving dates, starting 31 March 2024 the clocks will go forward 1 hour, turning to Eastern European Summer Time (GMT+3).
Romanian cuisine bears many influences from the surrounding Ottoman, Hungarian, Germanic or Slavic cultures or Russia. Vegetable vegan dishes (Romanian: de post) perfectly complement all sorts of meats and fish, in most restaurants. Restaurants in touristic areas will also provide English menus. From very traditional dishes (such as sarmale, cabbage or vine leaf meat rolls) to most refined ones, prepared in historical places or by star-awarded chefs, and exquisite pastries and deserts, even the most sophisticated foodies will enjoy the wide array of foods available. Complemented by the perfect amount of Romanian wine and beers, the Romanian restauration industry is widely acknowledged as perfectly suited to serve wanting customers.
Although Romania is a full member of the European Union, it has not yet adopted the Euro as its national currency. The local currency is the Romanian Leu (Lei, plural) (RON – Romanian New Leu). The average exchange rate to Euros is 4.9-5.0 RON/EUR.
There are many ATMs in the city either beside banks or as stand-alone cash-points. Lei (RON) can be withdrawn from these machines (charges may apply, depending on your bank’s fee policy).
Banks/Foreign Exchange Bureaus
Banks are usually open 9am to 5pm/5:30pm Monday through Friday, and some branches located usually in commercial centres and malls also operate on weekends.
Many foreign exchange bureaus also operate all over the country, usually charging similar rates to banks. Most will have a 0% commission on any exchanges. The rates should be clearly posted outside or inside the offices.
Any person wishing to exchange foreign or local currency should present some form of picture ID.
Avoid changing money or checks in the airport or at hotels, as the rates are usually quite high.
In Romania all types of credit/debit cards valid around the world are accepted. Such cards may be used at retailers or service providers where signs indicate the cards accepted, and at any ATM. ATMs dispense Lei, the national currency, albeit some may dispense Euros (clearly marked). All major credit cards are widely accepted in hotels, shops, cafés and restaurants. You should always carry photographic ID as you may be asked to provide it when making a transaction, or input the card’s PIN code (if it has such a number).
Useful phone numbers
Dial 112 for fire, police, ambulance and other emergencies, from your phone or a public one (in hotels, restaurants etc.). An operator will pick up and an accurate description of your emergency will assist the operator to transfer you to the appropriate service. Emergency services are free of charge. Emergency calls are free from pay phones.
As an alternative to dialing 112, you can also go to an Emergency Room at one of the hospitals in the city, where primary care is given in urgent and emergency cases. Priority is not given according to the order of arrival, but according to the seriousness of the emergency.
All types of medication are available in well stocked pharmacies in Bucharest and the country.
The organizers of the Congress do not provide insurance and do not take responsibility for any loss, accident, damage or illness that might occur during the Congress, or in the course of travel to or from the meeting site. Participants are therefore strongly recommended to arrange for their own personal insurance before entering Romania.
Value Added Tax
The current rate of Value Added Tax (VAT) applicable in Romania on the consumption of most goods and services is 19%. Non-alcoholic drinks, food and accommodation benefit from a reduced 5% VAT rate. The listed price comprises VAT.
If you live outside the European Union, you can take advantage of the Tax Free Shopping scheme to reclaim VAT on purchases for export.
The tourist tax applies to all non-city residents staying at hotels and at all other accommodation facilities in Romania. The tourist tax rate is usually 1%, albeit higher rates can be charged depending on the classification of the facility.
Smoking is forbidden anywhere inside buildings, including restaurants and lobbies. Buildings also have posted at times signage of designated outside smoking places, at a reasonable distance from the entrance.
Romania uses the same power outlet plug and socket system as in all European countries (dual round-pronged plugs). Adaptors will be needed for different appliances. Romania’s electrical current is 230 V / 50 Hz.
Romania’s country code is +40 (or 0040). International dialing from Romania takes the form 00 + country code + area code + telephone #. Dialing from an international phone to/in Romania takes the form 0040 + area code + telephone #. For a Romanian cell phone, dial 0040-7xx-telephone # (6 digits).
Mobile phone plans are very cheap in Romania, 4G coverage is great in most geographical areas and the 5G technology is available since 2019 in large cities, including Bucharest. Mobile phones internet plans are also extremely accommodating. For an extended stay in Romania/Europe, tourists may purchase local SIM cards or plans compatible with their phones for about 5-6 EUR and dozens of GB of data, and can use part of the data (within reasonable limits) in Europe.
Tipping is not mandatory but is appreciated. Service is not normally included in the restaurant or taxi bills. 10%-12% is the normal rate to add to restaurant, taxi and other service providers’ bills. Some restaurants will also indicate the percent that pleased customers are invited to consider at tips. Upon request, tip can be added to the total amount paid by card at the restaurants.
Other practical information