Electrical current is 220 volts, 50Hz. Two-pin
European-style plugs are standard.
Romanian is the official language, but English will be
understood in Bucharest and other tourist areas.
Tipping is becoming increasingly common in Romania, and is now
expected in all restaurants and bars. A service charge is often
included in restaurant bills but a further 5 to 10% tip is
expected. Though it is not always necessary to tip them, taxi
drivers can be rewarded for good service.
Visitors should take normal safety precautions in Romania; keep
valuables safe and be aware of pickpockets and scam artists in
major cities. Corruption is rife and visitors should be cautious of
policemen demanding fines for spurious offences, or asking to see
documents as a way of stealing cash; if approached in this way
visitors should offer to go with them to the nearest police station
before handing over any money or documents. Valuables, including
passports, should not be left in hotel rooms, or near the window of
a hotel room when you are there.
Homosexuality, although legal, is frowned upon. A small and
still largely closeted gay scene exists in the Romania's largest
cities, particularly in Bucharest, which has a few gay clubs.
Photography at airports is forbidden.
Business can be quite bureaucratic and old-fashioned. The
country adheres to an imbedded hierarchical structure and often it
is the eldest who receive the most respect in business and social
meetings. It is important to address each person according to their
title followed by their surname; 'Domnul' for Mr. and 'Doamna' for
Mrs. Romanians prefer a face-to-face approach and like to
strengthen personal relationships. Appointments should be made in
advance and confirmed. Although the visitor is expected to be
punctual the host may be late to arrive. Meetings are often quite
formal and a general 'Western' set of old-world manners applies.
Business suits are appropriate for meetings. Romanians dislike an
overt display of achievement or exaggerated conversation. Business
hours are generally 9pm to 5pm Monday to Friday with an hour taken
The direct dialling country code for Romania is +40, and the
outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g.
0044 for the UK). There are numerous area codes applying to cities,
towns and villages, for example (0)21 for Bucharest. The country is
well covered with GSM 900/1800 mobile phone networks. Email and
Internet are widely available in the cities and larger towns.
Travellers to Romania do not have to pay duty on either 200
cigarettes, 40 cigars or 200g of tobacco. 2 litres of liquor, 4
litres of beer or wine and gifts to the value of US$1000 are also
duty free. Valuable goods, such as jewellery, art, electrical items
and foreign currency should be declared on entry.