Safety and security

Crime

Maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as in the UK. There is a risk of petty theft in large towns, especially Bucharest. Pickpockets and bag snatchers operate in crowded areas, particularly near exchange shops and hotels, on public transport (especially to the airport), in the main railway stations and inside airport terminals.

Organised attacks by groups can occur. The most common method by distracting victims while several people, often children, attempt to snatch watches and jewellery from pockets or from around the neck and wrist.

Valuables including passports have been stolen from hotel rooms. Use the hotel safe and carry a photocopy of the information pages of your passport as ID.

There have been reports of credit or debit cards being ‘copied’ when used for payment in some bars and restaurants.

Road travel

You’ll need to pay a road toll ‘Rovinieta’ to use the national roads. You can buy the vignette (sticker) at border points and at most petrol stations. The minimum cost is 3 euros for 7 days. Failure to display the sticker may lead to a heavy fine. You can find out more about prices by using the website Roviniete.ro.

Observe the speed limit at all times. Make sure your vehicle is roadworthy and you have with you all documentation (full, valid driving licence; proof of insurance/green card (third party or above); proof of ID (passport); proof of ownership (V5C Certificate)).

It’s illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol. The drink drive limit is zero.

Road conditions are variable and secondary roads can be in a bad state of repair. Driving standards can be poor. Look out for double parked cars, people suddenly braking to avoid a pothole, horse-drawn carts, livestock and stray dogs, particularly in rural areas, running in front of the vehicle. Equip your car for extreme conditions in winter.

Carry the following equipment: first aid kit, fire extinguisher, red warning triangles and a fluorescent jacket.

If your vehicle is damaged before you arrive in Romania, ask a Romanian Customs or Police Officer to write a report on the damage so that you have no problems when leaving. If any damage occurs inside the country, a report must be obtained at the scene of the accident.

In 2016 there were 1,913 road deaths in Romania (source: Department for Transport). This equates to 9.7 road deaths per 100,000 of population and compares to the UK average of 2.8 road deaths per 100,000 of population in 2016.

See the European Commission,AA and RAC guides to driving in Romania.

Taxis

Yellow taxis in Bucharest should list prices on the side of the vehicle and display a company name. There are reports of foreign visitors being overcharged by taxi drivers.

Rail travel

Thieves operate on trains, so make sure all valuables are safe.