Ministry of Tourism
17 Apolodor Street
70663 Bucharest 5
Tel: 40 1 631 05 54,
Fax: 40 1 312 04 81


Physical geography

Romania is situated in Southeastern Europe, betwen latitudes 43 37'07" and 48 15'06" north and longitudes 20 15'44' and 29 41'24" east, extending approximately 480km north to south and 640 east to west.

Romania is bordered to the north by Ukraine to the east by the Republic of Moldavia, to the southeast by the Black Sea, the South by Bulgaria the Southwest and West by Yugoslavia and Hungary. The country has an area of 237,500sq km and is divided into four geographical areas. Transylvania, a belt of Alpine massifs and forests and Moldavia compose the northern half of the country which is divided down the middle by the north/south strip of the Carpathians lies the flat Danube plain of Walachia with the capital Bucharest, its border with Bulgaria being defined by the course of the Danube. Romania's coastline is along the Black Sea, incorporating the Black Sea port of Constanta, the Danube Delta and some fine resorts.

The Carpathians form a belt, a mountainous arc in the centre of the country, bordered by the lower Subcarpathians, descending further into hills and finally the great plains and rivers of the outer rim. Forests cover a quarter of the country and the fauna is one of the richest in Europe including wolves, bears, deer, lynx and chamois.


Temperate; cold, cloudy winters with frequent snow and fog; sunny summers with frequent showers and thunderstorms.

Economic geography

Agriculture is a key sector of the economy, employing nearly one third of the workforce. The country is an important producer of maize and wheat, but it also grows vegetables, fruit, sugar beet and vegetable oil seeds; many farms also breed livestock. Forestry is being developed under a long-term programme. Romanian industry produces industrial and transport equipment, metals, furniture, chemical products and manufactured consumer goods, but the most important sector is oil, natural gas and oil-derived products (petrochemicals, paints and varnishes).


Romania has a population of over 23 million, of which 89 per cent are Romanians, seven per cent Hungarians, two per cent Gypsies with small communities of Germans, Ukrainians, Serbs, Slovaks, Turks, Russians and Bulgarians. Bucharest - 2,300,000, Brasov - 353,000, Timisoara - 333,000, Lasi - 330,000, Cluj Naposca - 318,00, Constanta - 316,000, Targu-Mures - 165,000, Sibiu - 165,000, Suceava - 106,000.

A brief history

The territory of Romania has been inhabited since the Paleotlithic period. The present day country was first occupied by the Dacians, fierce warriors subdued by the Romans under Trajan in two extremely difficult campaigns at the beginning of the second century AD. The relatively brief Roman occupation, 165 years, nevertheless left a Latin legacy - the Latin language which survived the many subsequent invasions of migratory peoples. Over the years a Romanian identity progressively developed with the formation of the feudal states of Wallachia and Moldavia in the 13th and 14th centuries. Centuries of struggle against the Turks ensued in the states. Meanwhile, Transylvania was successively occupied by the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian Empires.

Finally Moldavia and Wallachia were united in 1859, independence was achieved in 1877 and union with Transylvania in 1918.

Romania entered the Second World War on the side of the Axis powers, but, following military defeats and internal political pressure, the government was overthrown in 1944 and replaced by a coalition government of communists, liberals and social democrats. The communists gradually established their political hegemony with the government. Communist rule, established after the Second World War, lasted 45 years and was ended by the December revolution of 1989.


Most Romanians and Orthodox Christians (87 per cent). Catholics of the Byzantine and Roman rite are well represented (five per cent). There are also Reformed/Lutheran (three per cent), Unitarian (one per cent), Neo Protestant, Armenian, Moslem and Jewish communities. Religious freedom is guaranteed by the Romanian Constitution.


The official language is Romanian, of Latin origin, with a diversity of accent depending o the region. English, French and German are widely spoken.


Summertime is one hour ahead of GMT (last Sunday of March to last Sunday of September). The rest of the year is two hours ahead of GMT.


The national currency is the leu (plural lei). Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 2=10, 20, 50 and 100 lei. Notes in denominations of 500, 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 50,000 lei.

Foreign currency can only be exchanged at banks and authorised exchange offices. Rates can vary from one place to another.

Official holidays (all offices and shops closed)

1 January, New Year's Day - 28 April, Easter Monday (Orthodox) -1st May, Labour Day; 1 December, Romania's National Day - December, Christmas Day; 26 December, Boxing Day.

What one should not fail to see

Bucharest - Romania's' capital and the nation's powerhouse of cultural and economic life, was founded 500 years ago and is a natural starting point for visits to the country. During the 1930s its tree-lined boulevards and fin de siecle architecture earned it the nickname 'The little Paris of the East'. Here is even an Arc de Triomphe on the Soseaua Kiseleff, itself longer than the Champs Elysees and alive with blossom in the spring. Despite massive reconstruction in the 1980s, Bucharest remains a Garden City, leafy and pleasant with pavement cafes open in the warm summer and boating on its lakes and rivers. See The Cretulescu Church, Revolution Plaza, The Romanian Athaeneum, The Royal Palace, Village Museum.

Black Sea Coast - This Coastline is the principal tourist area of Romania and ideal for family holidays. Its 70km (43 miles) of fine white sandy beaches boast many resorts, the main ones being Mamaia, Neptun Olimp, Jupiter, Venus, Cap Aurora, Saturn, Eforie Nord, Eforie Sud and Mangalia. There are boating centres for watersports on the sea and lakes and both daytime and evening cruises from the Dobrogea region to other resorts. The curative properties of the salt waters and the mud from Lake Techirghiol (whose thermal springs have a year-round temperature of 24C); Mangalia, Eforie and Neptun make the Romanian Riviera popular with those seeking spa treatments, especially for rheumatism. The Greek/Byzantine port of Constanta, founded in the sixth century BC, is worth a visit and inland there are interesting archaeological sites including the ancient city ruins of Histria, Tomis and Callatis.

Carpathian mountains: this beautiful and densely forested mountainous area lends itself to many sporting and leisure activities, such as skiing, bob sleighing, horseriding and tennis. Situated in picturesque valleys and mountain slopes are many health and winter resorts open all year round and well equipped with ski facilities, etc.

All are equipped to cater for a long winter sports season running from December to April. A spectacular mountain lakes are found in the Fagaras and Retezat ranges, and caves in the Apuseni, Mehedinti and Bihor regions.

Bukovina - an area in the northern Carpathian foothills which has unique churches and monasteries with exceptional frescoes dating back 500 years. Sucevita is the home of a monastery with the largest number of frescoes in the region. Twenty-nine km (18 miles) west of Sucevita is Moldovita, renowned for its spectacular monastic paintings. The Moldavian region has 48 monasteries in total, nearly all of them built to celebrate a victory over the Turks in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Transylvania - since Roman times Romanian spas have been known for their miraculous healing powers. Transylvania holds many well equipped spa towns, such as Bailc Felix, Baile Herculane, Sovata and Covasna, some of which have facilities offering acupuncture and slimming cures. This is also the hear of Dracula country, the famous Bram Stoker character based on the mediaeval king of the region, Vlad 'the Impaler'. One of Dracula's abodes, Bran Castle, set in a commanding position with its thick walls and peaked tower, offers a highly dramatic view. From there one can travel to Sibiu where rich and authentic traditional costumes can be seen in the old marketplace, and to the mediaeval city of Sighioara.

Danube Delta - a vast expanse of protected watery wilderness in the north of the Romanian Black Sea coast, comprising the three main arms of the Danube with numerous little waterways, wetlands, small patches of forest and a rich and varied wildlife including over 300 species of birds. The backwaters can be explored by fishing boat or floating hotels and several hotels and campsites welcome visitors. The main town of the Delta is Tulcea with its excellent Danube Delta museum.

Main holiday sports

Skiing, bobsledding, riding, hiking, swimming, tennis, fishing, sailing, hunting, canoeing.

How to dress

Apart from normal seasonal clothes, it is always advisable to pack a warm pullover, a raincoat and good walking shoes. Very warm clothing is recommended in winter. In any event, clothing is good value in Romania so you can purchase additional items once there if necessary.

Main holiday resorts

Sunbathing, swimming and water sports: Black Sea resorts - Mamaia, Eforice Nord, Eforie Sud, Neptum Olimp, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mangalia.

Skiing, hiking, exploring: mountain resorts are Sinaia (bob sleigh tracks), Busteni, Predeal and Poianoa Brasov (illuminated ski slopes) Semenic, Paltinis Borsa and Durau. Spa resorts: Baile Herculane, Baile Felix, Sovata, Eforie Nord, Eforie Sud, Mangalia, Neptun.

What to eat and drink

Although international cuisine is available in better quality restaurants, make sure that you savour the local Romanian dishes. Romanian cooking is rich, tasty and substantial, as befits a country where all food is still naturally grown, where fruits and vegetables follow their normal seasons.

Pork is a special favourite, but you will also find good beef, veal and chicken too which are all delicious simply grilled. Typically Romanian specialities include a range of soups - try 'ciorba', a sour soup made from fermented bran, bacon, potatoes and beef or chicken. Hearty stews such as 'tochitura moldoveneasca', a maize polenta. 'Sarmale' is a spicy dish of bitter cabbage leaves stuffed with meat and 'mititei' is small grilled sausage perfumed with aromatic herbs. Among the fish dishes sample carp on the spit, a local speciality in the Danube Delta. A range of excellent red and white Romanian wines of the famous vineyards of Murtfatlar, Cotnari, Jidvei, Valea Calugareasca, Dealu Mare accompany local and international dishes to perfection with 'tuica,' the local plum brandy, often drunk as an aperitif.

What to buy

Interesting purchases to make in Romania are embroidered tablecloths and napkins, ceramics, pottery, carpets, folklore clothes, sculpted wood, porcelain, silverware and icons. Recommended shopping areas are those in the centre or residential zones of the major cities. Normal shopping hours are 8am to 6pm and department stores open until 8pm and later. Duty free shops are found at the international airport.

Frontier formalities

A valid passport with a visa is necessary to enter the country.

Health regulations

No vaccinations are required, but anti-rabies vaccination certificates are required for cats and dogs.


Romania applies the international regulations of the Convention of Customs formalities for tourist traffic. No more than 200 cigarettes, two litres of liquor.

Currency regulation

It is forbidden to import less unless with a special licence, It is forbidden to export lei in excess of 250,000 lei and also more than $1,000 without special bank papers.

Main travel routes

By air - from all main capitals into Bucharest.

By train - From Romania to all European countries.

Representatives abroad

Austria: Wahringerstrasse 6-8, 1090 Wien, Tel: 317 31 574, Fax: 317 31 574

Belgium: Place de Broukere 44-46, Brussels 1000, Tel: (fax) 218 00 79

Denmark: Vesterbrogade 55 A, DK Copenhagen, Tel: 246 219, Fax; 246 209

France: 12 Rue des yramides, 75001 Paris, Tel: 40 20 99 33, Fax: 40 20 99 43

Germany: Zeil 13, 60 213 Frankfurt/Main, Tel: 29 52 78, Fax: 29 29 47
- Alexander Platz 5, 1 Stock Zimmer 138 10178 Berlin, Tel: (fax) 241 90 41

Great Britain: 83 A Marylebone High Street, London W1M 3DE, Tel: 0171 224 3692

Greece: 33 Vassilissis Sofias, Athens, Tel (fax): 72 51 884

Holland: Weteringschans 183, Amsterdam C-1017 XD, Tel: (fax) 623 90 44

Israel: 1 Ben Yehuda St Tel Aviv, Tel: (fax) 03 516 35 36

Italy: Via Torino 100, 00184 Roma, Tel: (fax) 488 0267 Moldavia (Republic of): Stefan cel Mare Blvd 151-153, Chisinau Tel: 222 354, Fax: 261 992

Russia: Ulitza Dimitria Ulianova 16/2, Moscow, tel: (fax) 124 24 73

Spain: Calle General Pardinas 108, 1G 28006 Madrid, Tel: 564 0333, Fax: 562 9638

Sweden: 33 Vasshuset Gamla Brogatan, 11120 Stockholm, Tel: (fax) 210 253

Switzerland: 10 Schweisergasse 8001 Zurich, Tel: 01 2111 30, Fax; 01 2111 745

Turkey: 7 Lamartin cad Kat 1, 8090 Taksim Istambul, Tel: (fax) 212 256 8417

USA: 342 Madison Ave, Suite 210, New York 10173, Tel: 212 697 6971, Fax: 212 697 6972

We have been able to publish the present tourist information on Romania thanks to the co-operation of the Ministry of Tourism in Bucharest