Is Romania Safe? Here’re all your questions answered about safety in Romania, and some insights from a local.
Is Romania safe? As a Romanian, I can tell you exactly what to expect on your first trip to Romania, and when you should get scared.
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 Romania receives roughly around 1 million tourists each month, with the latest highest of 1.7 million in August 2022.
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 about safety in Romania, keep reading.
Is Romania safe?
I’ve travelled to over 40 countries on four continents, and, as an expert traveller, I can firmly say that Romania is one of the safest countries in the world.
Yes, you read that right. In 2020, Romania ranked 22/163 on the Global Peace Index. Unfortunately, due to the war in Ukraine (which is our neighbour in the North), which ranking has dropped to 31. But everything is still the same, and Romania is doing much better than other European nations.
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, to be able to talk about them in the context of “How safe is Romania.” As a local in Romania, that’s something that should already say a lot, because we don’t even know what are the potential threats.
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 time, 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 they 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.
Here’s a funny story. I once invited a lady I met in the plane to my home, because I wanted her to save her money and not stay in a shabby hostel she had booked. 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. And luckily, my boyfriend didn’t mind, although he thinks I am a bit too friendly with foreigners. 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 taxis you see all around the city, which charge you by kilometer 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.
While researching this blog post, I read that in Romania, “Watches and jewelry 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 absolutely 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.
Is Romania Safe? Now you know
I think I have addressed the main concerns you might have when debating the safety in Romania issue. If you have any other specific questions, 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, specific travel guides, and itineraries.