Lonely Planet has recently mentioned Romania on their best value destinations for 2015

How Much Does It Cost To Travel To Romania?

Lonely Planet has recently mentioned Romania on their best value destinations for 2015. I’ve been thrilled by the news, because I’m hoping more budget travelers will be interested in this part of the world that is often overlooked in favor of other countries in Eastern Europe.  If you don’t know whether Romania might be your cup of tea or not, you should check out this photo essay I wrote on everything the country can offer you. However, if you are interested, let me tell you how much a trip to Romania will cost you. Spoiler alert: not too much.

Transport

To get to Romania, you can use one of the budget airlines, Blue Air, Wizz Air and Ryan Air. All of them are flying to the capital city, Bucharest, but it is not the only one connected to the rest of Europe. Blue Air also has flights to Sibiu and to Bacau, while Wizz Air can take you to to Arad, Cluj Napoca, Iasi, Sibiu, Timisoara and Targu Mures. The prices depend a lot on the time you buy them, promotions and cookies. Always remember to use the browser’s private mode when searching for flights, I’ve learned the hard way that a company is always increasing the price for a flight if you’ve visited the site a few times beforehand. Recently I found very tempting return tickets to Brussels with Ryan Air for 45. Additionally, if you feel like splurging a little, there are a lot of other companies flying to Romania (the national one, Tarom, KLM, Air Berlin and so on).

A lot of options for air travel, but if that’s not your cup of tea, you can hop on a train (aka snail) from various places of Europe. Recently, Ilana has traveled to Romania by train and you can read about her summer without airplanes here. What you need to know about the trains though is that they are slow. The train journey from Bucharest to Budapest is 16 hours long and around 12 of them are in the country. If you want to travel from Bucharest to Sibiu, you need to find a good book to read for about 6 hours and spend about 17 (75.5 lei) for one ticket in second class.

Which leads me to the best option for traveling in Romania: by car. There are many choices of rental companies, including the more famous ones, Avis and Sixt. The price for gasoline starts from 1.3/l and for diesel from 1.16. While the roads may not always be perfect, at least this way you can discover many beautiful parts of the country, otherwise inaccessible without a car.

Romania travel costs
The Mud Volcanoes, a unique attraction that you can’t visit without a car.

However, I do not recommend traveling by car inside a city. In Bucharest the traffic can get quite congested at times and you can make the most of your time by simply walking or taking the cheap public transportation (0.3 – 1.3 lei for a bus ticket, 0.9 – 4 lei for two metro tickets). In the smaller cities in the country (Sibiu for example), you can easily walk from one sight to another. Usually the buses and metro run until 11 PM and afterwards you can catch an hourly night bus.

Accommodation

Like in most places, the price for accommodation varies from season to season. As a rule of thumb, during the summer it costs more to go to the seaside and during the winter (which started way too early this year) and the holidays, you will pay extra if you want to visit the mountains. In Bucharest, you can find nice apartments close to the city center from Airbnb for as little as 25/night. Or right in the city center for around 40/night. That’s an apartment for four people too! TuristInfo is a site I use whenever I book a room in the country, they have everything from hotels to villas with excellent prices, starting with 9 – 11 per night (40 – 50 lei). Sadly the site is only in Romanian, but a little Google Translate goes a long way. If not, you can always feel free to contact me for tips. 🙂

Food & Drinks

Romanian traditional papanasi

If you find yourself in Bucharest, the options are almost endless when it comes to finding a good restaurant or bar. Traditional Romanian cuisine, Greek, Indian, Spanish or Chinese (we do love Chinese), are only a few of the restaurant types you’ll find in Bucharest. For the best Romanian food however, you’ll have to visit some of the smaller cities with charming restaurants and food that will make you come back for more. Or even better, have your host cook for you, it doesn’t get better than that 😉 . On a typical night out with friends I spend around 9 – 13 (40 – 60 RON) for main course, drinks and desserts. Of course the prices can go lower or higher, depending on the place you choose.

Should you stay more days in Romania, eating out every night can get expensive and you would save a lot of money if you self-catered, buying your food from the supermaket. The bigger ones like Carrefour, Auchan and Lidl usually have better prices, but you can find ready-to-go meals (such as roast chicken and fries) in almost all of them. This way, your budgetting for the trip will be extremely easy. To give you an example, a 0.5 l bottle of Coke is 0.6 (3 lei) in supermarkets, while in restaurants or bars, it can cost you double or more.

What do you think? Have I convinced you to book your ticket to Romania already? If you want to see more, you should check this post Anda from Travel Notes And Beyond wrote: 10 Reasons To Visit Romania

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  • What a bargain! I have to admit I don’t know a huge amount about Romania but am planning on doing a lot more exploring around Europe over the next few years so will have to look into this part of the world a bit more and get my route planning map out!

    • Awesome, let me know if I can help you plan your trip, when the time comes 🙂

  • Romania looks like a very cost effective option for travel with many great options. Thanks for sharing your tips.

    • There are a lot of things to see and do, just waiting to be explored 🙂

  • Romania seems like an underrated destination. I feel like I should get there before the crowds catch on!

    • If you like nature and picturesque old towns, then Romania is definitely a good choice 😉

  • galanda23

    Excellent information and very beautiful pictures. I think budget conscious travelers should take advantage of this great prices and visit this beautiful country. Romania was an overseen tourist destination for many years, but things are changing slowly. People started discovering its beauty and this will drive the prices up in time. For now though, this country is still a bargain.

    • It’s changing slowly but surely. It’s going to take a while until it will become as popular as…say Budapest, but I’m hoping it will get there eventually. Thank you for the compliments. 🙂

  • Thank you for the informantion. I would love to travel to Romania and I think that it’s a very underrated country.

    • Thank you for commenting! It’s a beautiful country waiting for travelers to discover it.

  • Going to keep this (and you!) in mind for my Romania visit- looking at next sept 🙂

    • You know where to find me, I’ll be happy to help! 😀

  • My world has been shattered by the awesomeness of Budapest so my expectations for everything else are SO high now. When I do go to Romania (which WILL happen), I will need a lot of recommendations for grade-A experience 🙂

    • Oh man, I LOVE Budapest, it’s not fair to compare it to other cities! But I can’t wait for you to visit Romania! 😉

      • You will need to make an itinerary for me 🙂

  • Woah thanks for the tip on driving! I would’ve never thought of seeing Romania in a car, but now that I know about those mud volcanoes, I can’t pass that up! They look so interesting!!

    • They’re a great place to visit, I might have a whole post about them in the future. 🙂

  • I loved Romania when I went there almost two years ago. It was January and freezing, but the layer of snow made everything even more beautiful. I only went to Brasov and Sighisoara, but I’d love to go back soon…maybe when it’s warmer.

    • It’s funny, whenever someone asks me when to visit Romania, I say “not winter”. Late spring is the best time, as it’s not too cold and not too hot either. But I’m glad you’ve loved your visit! 😀

  • tny

    You should add the name of TURKISH AIRLINES too. They fly to Bucharest daily 3 from Istanbul. And they fly to CONSTANTA 4 days a week from Istanbul.

    • I’ve only mentioned the low cost airlines in this post, but there are A LOT of companies flying to Romania. 🙂

  • Bonjour Vlad! confirm tot-tot, caci am fost acum doua luni – cu Air France, nu erau înca în greva! 😀
    * * *
    salutari toulousene, sanatate, bafta si spor în tot ce-ti propui… amicalement, Mélanie NB

    • Multumesc, sper ca v-a placut! 😀

  • I have to visit your country Vlad, it looks beautiful and I love Eastern European countries! 😀 I have some friends from Romania here in Germany and they are all so nice!!

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  • Was only in Bucharest overnight, but loved it….lively downtown area and beautiful boulevards!

    • Yay, I’m happy you’ve liked it! 😀

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  • John Pilkington

    Very excited about Romanian food! Any good Romanian chain cafes or restaurants to look out for?

    • Not really, the chains cafes are what you would find anywhere in Europe. A really good Romanian chain restaurant is La Placinte, I’ve already told you about it 😀

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  • Kimberlee Pociengel

    I am excited to be in Bucharest for the first time on March 27th. I love reading your posts on Romania which is getting me even more excited to be visiting there for the first time.

    • Are you going to visit other parts of Romania as well or just Bucharest?

      • Kimberlee Pociengel

        I would love to see other parts of Romania but I will be just as happy staying in Bucharest for the six days I will be there. I want my vacation to feel like a vacation so I don’t want to push to see everything in one day. I figured I would take my time exploring the city and if I happen to have a day or two free with nothing to do then I might venture out of the city

  • Andrei

    Hi, great article! I am from Sibiu / Hermannstadt, Romania. Very important thing that you forgot to add, or maybe you don’t know, is that the TAXI’s are very very cheap here. We are always taking a cab in here, everybody does, and the ones that are taking the bus, are the ones that have free tickets. A TAXI costs around 2.5 LEI/km, that means 35 cents. I Sibiu, from the Airport, to the other part of the city to the City Mall, will cost you something like 25 LEi, that means, 5 Eur, or to city center, 2.5 Euro tops. So, very very cheap. In Bucharest …DO NOT GO WITH THE TAXI, if you have to pay 20 LEi, they will say 20 EUR, and so on,. As a Romanian, I have one big and huge advise for you: AVOID BUCHAREST, (FULL OF THIEF’S, EVERYBODY WANTS TO RIP YOU OFF, AND WHATS THE WORSE OF ROMANIA YOU WILL FIND IT THERE) try to focus more on Transylvania, is the more touristic part f the country and the most beautiful one. Try to visit cities like: Sibiu, Sighisoara, Brasov, Cluj-Napoca, you can go to the Black Sea, the Monasteries from Moldova part of the country Neamt County, and the medieval churches from Transylvania, of course, don’t forget the Castles. etc.