Useful information

When to visit Maramureș

Romania enjoys a fairly standard continental climate, with long, warm summers and cold or very cold winters. Choosing the best time to visit depends on the region you wish to see and on what you plan to do on your trip. Maramureș is worth visiting any time during the year, yet the best period is between late April and October, when the weather and temperatures are mild.

 

What to bring along

Visiting Romania doesn’t require any special arrangements; however, what you decide to pack depends very much on what kind of trip you’re planning. If you want to hike in Maramureș, make sure you bring along:

-          Sturdy, waterproof shoes, with good ankle support

-          Raincoat to protect you against showers

-          A jumper or a warm coat for chilly evenings

-          A hiking backpack

 

Insurance

No immunizations or unusual health precautions are necessary or required to enter Romania. Also, there is no malaria. During summer months there are mosquitoes and for your comfort, you can buy a mosquito-repellent spray. Tap water is drinkable, but if you are still in doubt, you can buy bottled water. Romania is home to more than a third of the natural mineral springs in Europe. Bottled water is inexpensive and widely available. Some Romanian bottled waters are rated among the best in the world for purity and taste and are exported to many foreign countries.

In the case you get sick, you will have to pay in cash for medical care and later recover your expenses from the insurer. Keep all your receipts in order to get reimbursed. Compared to British costs, medical care costs are fairly low.

 

Visas

Tourists holding a valid British passport can enter Romania without a visa for stays up to 90 days. The passport must be valid for at least another six months from the entry-date to Romania. For stays longer than 90 days, you will have to contact one of the local consulates in order to obtain your visa. European Union citizens can also use their identity card to enter the country. There is no fee for entering or exiting Romania.

 

Customs

ntering Romania does not involve special customs requirements. You can enter and leave Romania with up to 10,000 Euros in cash or traveler’s checks. Amounts over 10,000 Euros have to be declared at Customs. Items that must be declared at customs also include: art objects, historic artifacts, weapons, ammunition, explosive materials, toxic and hazadous substances. You are not obliged to declare small presents, cigarettes and alchoolic drinks for personal consumption.

Customs officers will not usually check your luggage, but laws prohibiting illegal drug smuggling are strictly enforced.

 

Currency, ATMs, credit cards

The national currency is the leu, usually used in the plural form, „lei”. Currency symbol: RON.

Banknote denominations: 1,5, 10, 50, 100, 200 and 500 lei.

Coins: 1, 5, 10 and 50 bani.

1 leu = 100 bani.

You can exchange foreign currency at banks and exchange offices in airports, train stations and hotels in the cities.

ATMs are omnipresent in cities, train stations and airports (but there are few in rural areas and villages). Most of them accept any type of debit or credit card, Visa or MasterCard. A PIN code is usually required to make transactions.

Credit cards: Visa and MasterCard are accepted everywhere in hotels, restaurants and shops. American Express and Dinner’s Club are only rarely accepted.

Travelers’ checks (in euros or dollars) can be cashed only in large banks in Bucharest and other major cities in Romania. For Maramureș, it is preferable you bring along cash.

 

Electricity

Romania’s electrical current is 220V. In order to work properly, British appliances usually require a plug adaptor and a power converter.

 

Telephone

Romania country code is 40.

To call from a Romanian number from the United Kingdom dial 00 40, followed by the area code (without “0”) and the number. To call between cities in Romania, dial the city area code (adding the “0” before), then the number. To call from Romania to the United Kingdom, dial 0044, followed by the number (without “0”).

Public phones require telephone cards which can be bought from postal offices, ROMTELECOM centres and cigarettes and newspaper stands. They cost 10, 15 or 20 lei.

You can also use your own mobile phone if you activate your roaming service and if your phone works in a 900.1800 Mhz GSM network.

Apart from that, you can buy mobile phone SIM cards from mobile phone operators: Vodafone, Orange or Cosmote.

 

Internet

Internet networks are widely spread. Major cities have internet cafés. There aren’t any in historical Maramureș, but many guesthouses and hotels offer free internet connections (some in the rooms, others only in the common areas – such as the reception or restaurant).

 

Measures

Romania uses the metric system of weights and measures. Speed and distance are measured in kilometers; goods in kilograms and liters; temperatures in Celsius – Centigrade.

Length conversion
1 centimeter = 0.4 inches
1 inch = 2.54 cm
1 meter = 3.3 feet = 1.1 yards = 100 centimeters
1 foot = 0.3 meters
1 kilometer = 0.62 miles = 1,000 meters
1 mile = 1.61 km

Weight & Volume conversion
100 grams = 3.5 oz
1 oz = 28.35 grams
1 kilogram = 2.2 lbs = 1,000 grams
1 lb = 454 grams
100 milliliters = 3.4 fl.oz
1 fl. oz. = 28.4 milliliters
1 liter = 1/4 gallon = 1,000 milliliters
1 gallon = 3.78 liters

Temperature conversion °C to °F
(°C multiply by 9, divide by 5, and add 32 or
double °C and add 30)
°C  -18 -12   -7    0    4    10   16   21   27   32   38
°F    0   10   20   32   40   50   60   70   80   90   100

Speed conversion

Kilometres divided by 1.6 = miles
Kmph  10 30  50  60  80  90  110
mph    6  21  31  39  50  56   70

 

Religion

Most Romanians are Orthodox. Religious minorities include a large number of Catholics or protestants among the Hungarian population, as well as people from the western parts of the country.

 

Time zone

Romania is the Eastern European time zone, two hours ahead of London.

 

Tipping

In Romania, tipping is not as customary as in the West, however, a small reward is expected – up to 10% of the bill – to acknowledge good service.

 

Business hours

Banks, state and government institutions working hours are Monday to Friday from 8 30 or 9 am to 4 pm (on Fridays until 2 pm). Normally, they are open in the afternoon, with no lunch breaks.

Museums are often closed on Mondays.

Shops and supermarkets close late in the evening (shops generally close at 8 pm, while supermarkets at 10 pm) and they are usually open during weekends.

 

Restrooms

Although restroom quality is increasing, Romanian conditions generally don’t stand a comparison with Western standards. Using a public restroom requires a fee of about 1 RON. A better strategy is looking for a good hotel with a restaurant; order a coffee or just be discreet and use their restrooms.

Often, in train or train stations’ restrooms you won’t find any toilet paper, so it is better to always have some tissues with you. Restrooms signs will indicate “Femei” (for women) or “Bărbați” (for men).

 

Alcohol laws

The legal age for purchasing and consuming alcoholic drinks is eighteen. There are no specialized liquor stores. Alcoholic beverages are widely available in supermarkets, kiosks and small shops in every town.

 

Local customs and etiquette

If you visit a private house it is customary to bring a small gift, such as flowers, chocolates or wine. Gifts should be wrapped, but the person receiving the gift does not have to open the gift in your presence.

Always offer to take your shoes off when visiting somebody’s house.

Show deep respect when visiting churches and monasteries. Both women and men must wear shirts that cover their shoulders, as well as trousers or long skirts. If possible, women will cover their hair.

Handshaking is the most common form of greeting.

 

Emergencies

National phone number for police, fire department and ambulance services: 112

 

Souvenirs

Souvenirs you can buy in Maramureș: anything made of wood, such as spoons, a cross-shaped stamp for holy bread, plum brandy (horinca), handmade rugs, traditional hats, red tassels and bells for your horse’s reins, honey, painted eggs from Bucovina.