Is Romania safe?
As you’re planning your first trip to Europe or perhaps your first trip to Eastern Europe, you’ve done your research and discovered that Romania is one of the cheapest countries in Europe.
Before I dive deep into the topic of safety in Romania, I want to let you know that the total number of tourists grew by 3.6% in 2019, compared to the same period of time of the previous year. That is over 13 million tourists. We’re not counting 2020, since that wasn’t a good year for tourism anywhere.
And not only that, but Romania has some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes in this part of the world.
It all seems awesome, but there’s this one question that bothers you a bit, and it’s right there, in the back of your head. The question is “Is Romania Safe?”.
The short answer is YES.
That is a loud and clear ‘YES’.
If you want to know all your questions answered about safety in Romania, then keep on reading.
If you don’t have time to read it now, pin it for later!
Is it safe to travel to Romania?
I’ve travelled to over 35 countries on 4 continents and I can firmly say that Romania is one of the safest countries in the world.
Yes, you read that right. According to the Global Peace Index, Romania ranks 22/163.
To give you an idea of how things are in Romania, I’ll try to address some of the common fears when it comes to safety in Romania. It doesn’t come easy to think about it, because we never think about such things. I literally had to Google what are the fears, when it comes to the safety of a country.
Firearm policy in Romania
Romania has a strict firearms policy and few people have guns, except for the police and other officials. There’s rarely any news or issues with guns.
Terrorist attacks in Romania
Romania doesn’t have any history of terrorist events. 89% of the population are Romanians are the rest are Hungarians, Gipsies, and other small minorities. Although they don’t like to mix, we have no reason to fight each other.
While pickpocketing in Romania used to be a rather common crime, especially in crowded places such as buses or public spaces, that’s not the case anymore.
It doesn’t hurt to use common sense and be aware of your surroundings. If something seems fishy, then just walk away.
I tend to be paranoid and imagine things that aren’t really happening. That’s why I recommend being extra careful when you find yourself in large crowds. But most of the times, people are actually nice and warn you if you’re backpack is unzipped.
Unfortunately, Romania still has pretty undecent levels of corruption.
But before you draw any conclusions, let me tell you that you probably won’t even notice it, since the corruption I’m talking about is happening between big companies and the government.
Indeed, police officers, doctors, and other public-serving jobs were associated with some sort of bribes, a die-hard tradition left from the communist times. But that’s not the case anymore, since Romania started the anti-corruption department and lots of important politicians and high-payed employees of the government were sentenced to jail. Basically, as a tourist in Romania, you won’t even notice it anymore.
While this isn’t a usual thing because the average wage in Romania is 675 Euros (in 2021), and most people will call out any attempt of rip-off and even shame that person or even brand on Facebook if that happens.
But, it still can happen, and I imagine things happening especially if you are a foreigner.
Don’t get me wrong.
Most people will actually be so friendly, that will make you suspicious and get you thinking that they want something out of you. Probably, that will not be the case.
Romanians are genuinely friendly, especially towards foreigners visiting their country. I once invited to my home to spend the night, a lady who was sitting next to me on the plane. I wanted to help her save the money for the hotel, so I offered her my couch. And she said yes. There were no strings attached. Perhaps most people won’t offer you such treats, but you can expect at least a free beer if you make new friends in Romania.
The only thing I suggest avoiding is regular taxi drivers. I’m talking about the yellow taxies you see all around the city, which charge you by kilometre and usually prefer cash. Avoid those, as they tend to haggle or rip-off tourists. Not all of them, but you never know who you might run into.
Instead, use Uber, Bolt, FreeRide or BlackCab. They all have apps and you can pay directly from the app using your card. No hassle, no haggle.
I haven’t heard or seen such a thing since forever. If this ever happens, it is truly an exception and not the rule.
As I was doing research for this blog post, I read that in Romania “Watches and jewellery are snatched from around the neck and wrist”. This is the dumbest thing I’ve read in a while. As a Romanian, I can assure you that whoever makes such claims is an absolute ignorant of the reality we live in Romania and has probably never been here.
Honestly, while nobody ever tried to ‘snatch’ anything from me, something similar happened in other European countries, that have way more tourists and social media popularity. I won’t tell you which one, because that’s not the point of this blog post.
How safe is Romania?
I think I have addresses the main concerts you might have when debating the safety in Romania issue. If you have any other specific question, let me know in the comments and I will update and address them in the article.
P.s.: I have an entire section about Romania, with tips and specific travel guides and itineraries.