6 Mistakes to Avoid When Traveling to Romania

May 25, 2017

Mistakes to avoid when Traveling to Romania

When I travel to a new country, I read a bit about the culture and try to learn a few phrases. It’s both fun and interesting since what seems “normal” to me, might be perceived as  offensive or weird in other countries. That’s why I love diversity. But because there is so much of it, we can make mistakes that we aren’t even aware of. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, here are a few mistakes to avoid when traveling to Romania:

1. Assume it’s all about gray blocks and communism.

Indeed, Romania was heavily influenced by the Soviet Union but was never part of it. Romania always admired Western Europe and constantly makes an effort to be more like it. We proudly call Bucharest “Little Paris”. Some of the old gray blocks are now painted in bright colors like orange and green. So if you want a local to roll their eyes and loose interest in an instant, tell them how Russian they sound and how communist-like their country seems to you.

2. Assuming public transportation will be on time.

This is very important when planning a trip. Always allow time for

possible delays. In Romania, a 15 minutes delay on buses or trains is nothing. And these delays can grow into hours, especially in the winter. Something may break down, a road may be partially closed or there may be lots of traffic. Therefore, prepare yourself accordingly. Yes, we are happy when we arrive on time, but we always expect  delays.

3. Not tipping.

In Romania tipping is a common practice. You tip the waiter, taxi, hairdresser, doctor, etc. This practice is based on the belief that if you leave a tip, you will receive better service. Either that or it is considered a gesture of appreciation. So when you go to a restaurant and you enjoy it, a 10% tip is fine. When you don;t leave a tip it means that you didn’t like the food or service.

4. Not montioring your belongings.

Unfortunately, pickpocketing is  common, especially in the crowded, big cities. The good thing is that the thieves don’t attack you. Instead, they take advantage of you while you are distracted.

So there is no reason to be scared. Just  pay attention to your belongings and don’t leave them unattended. Also be extra careful in crowded places, especially markets. I’ve never had any issues, in either Romania or other countries since this persoal awareness is a helpful “skill” for a traveler to develop.

5. Refuse an invitation.

Romanians are welcoming and chatty people who love foreigners. In the smaller cities or more rural areas, locals invite foreigners to their homes for a meal or  a celebration. They take pride in their food and beverages, especially the home made ones. They will set the table with their finest plates and glasses, and even stare at you while you’re there. Therefore, you should eat everything on your plate because it shows that you liked the food. Also expect personal questions, because honestly, we don’t care about the weather. Though it might seem awkward, Romanians want you to have a great experience and they are curious about you. I think it’s one of the best ways to experience genuine Romanian culture, and if you come across the

opportunity, don’t say no!

6. Laugh at religion.

The major religion in this country is Romanian Orthodox Christianity. Middle aged and older people tend to be more religious,but Romania still has a lot of churches and peregrines to holy places and relics. It may sound odd, but religion is a big industry in Romania. It accommodates and promotes all religious celebrations, large annual pilgrimages, along with the selling of crosses, candles, and even icons. Currently, the building of the People Salvation Cathedral, the tallest Orthodox Christian church in the world, is a heavily debated topic.

A BIG thanks to Daniela Stoian for all her hard work!

Meet Daniela! She loves traveling and exploring new places. She goes on a trip every month, some closer, some further. She recently started a travel blog to share what she saw and learned on the way and to inspire more people to travel.

Follow all of Daniela’s travels at .thelostromanian.com. You can also find her on facebook at  www.facebook.com/TheLostRomanian/ and on instagram at www.instagram.com/thelostromanian/


Nanny by day and travel blogger any other time.

I love writing and traveling and bearing my soul on the page.
I want to inspire others to face their fears and join me on an adventure.


  • Brigitta 10 months ago

    Cheers to the fellow lost Romanian 🙂

  • Cristina 10 months ago

    Tipping is illegal although it is still practiced but you do not have to tip. Ever! As for public transportation, it depends on the city and route. I was never delayed a lot in transylvania but going to/ from Bucharest was always a challenge. Then again, I am a local and foreigners may perceive things differently.

  • The Lost Romanian 8 months ago

    Hi Cristina, I wrote the post and I’m also a local, from Bucharest. While we locals see tipping as a negative thing, it is a practice and I explained how it’s viewed. I’m not very sure that tipping at a restaurant it’s illegal. And transport means are not very reliable, especially in winter conditions, throughout the country. I just tried to give useful advice to a foreigner, to help him/her enjoy Romania and avoid an unpleasant situation 🙂

  • home page 8 months ago

    Hey! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted to give a quick shout out and say I truly enjoy reading through your articles. Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that cover the same topics? Many thanks!

    • The Lost Romanian 8 months ago

      Hi, I’m happy to hear you enjoyed reading it 🙂 I plan to write more about Romania, my home country. Feel free to check my blog from time to time (the details above). Thanks <3

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