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10 Things You Should Know About Romania Before You Visit
So recently, a few friends and I took a trip to Romania for a few days to celebrate the end of exams. We had a fabulous time in Cluj-Napoca, the trip was very spontaneous and we tried to keep it on the cheap side, because, well, we are students, therefore automatically meaning we have no money. Whilst we were only there for a few days, because we knew next to nothing about Romania before we visited, we came away knowing a fair few do’s and don’ts.
They only appear to sell sparkling water there. We don’t know why, but it is a nightmare if you only like still. (i.e me)
Don’t count on the traffic light system working. Although thankfully you can count on cars stopping. Most of the time. Although there was that one time we did almost get run over by a police car…
It does have the potential to look like Paris, if they spent some money on maintenance of the buildings every once in a while. However it just seems like that isn’t in the budget this year. Nor was it last year or the year before. Or the year before that.
The post office closes at 1pm on Saturday’s and it is closed on Sunday’s (helpfully… not). We managed to find this out when looking for stamps to send our postcards home with. Long story short, the post office was closed and we sent them when we were back in Holland. For a lot more money.
You can get VIP stadium tickets to see a football game for 75 lei, the equivalent of 15 euros. However if you want to be those tourists be my guest. (We ended up buying the 30 lei tickets or 6 euro tickets which placed us in the middle, 8 rows back. In other words the next best tickets on sale. Don’t judge us) If you are interested the final score was nil all. Bit of a let-down but it was an exciting game none the less. To add to that we bought very comfortable football jerseys to show our support for CFR 1907 (apparently they have played in the Champions League a few years back)
You can buy out of date/non-existent/extinct currency in Romania. For instance we saw a shop genuinely selling Francs and Lira. Don’t fall for it. France and Italy do now use the euro. I promise. Unless Romania has some inside information no one else has…
Lei, the Romanian currency is practically indestructible. Trust me, I have tried to rip it, nothing will work. We even met a guy who said he tried to set some on fire once and that didn’t work either. Not going to lie, I am definitely all in favour of indestructible money. Even better would be money with tracking devices, then I wouldn’t constantly lose it.
If someone asks you to spit on the ground. Don’t. At least that is my advice, we don’t actually know what would happen if you did spit on the ground. We ran away and hid in KFC before they got to that part. However I would really like to know if ‘Excuse me, could you do a lucky favour for me? Spit on the ground please’ is a common pick up line in Romania. You have got to love cultural differences.
Împinge (quite excited that I managed to find that symbol on my laptop) means push not pull, just to save you from the embarrassment of having a tug of war with a door. No one wants that.
Lastly, if you walk out of the airport looking like tourists, be prepared to be treated like one. I mean it, we got ripped off so badly on the taxi ride to the hostel from the airport. We paid 40 lei which is the equivalent of 8 euros, which we thought was decent at that point. The taxi we got to the airport from the hostel on the way home, cost us 18 lei (just under 4 euros).