The Ultimate Romania Road Trip Guide
Romania, a country still forgotten by tourists, is one of my most beautiful discoveries in this year 2022. Between the magnificent landscapes, the castles worthy of the most beautiful fairy tales or the architecture of certain cities, it is a country which reserves many surprises.
To put you in context, we went to Romania during the month of October for a week. It was an unexpected trip because of its destination. But finally, we totally enjoyed our stay there and would almost be ready to go back tomorrow to visit other regions of the country!
We chose the road-trip option. I find that this type of trip allows us to create wonderful memories and also to discover some remote places that are difficult to reach by public transport. Romania is a perfect playground for this kind of adventure. We crossed many small villages, some of them endless, dams and lived many adventures on these roads. I reassure you, we only have good memories.
You may have guessed it or you arrived on this article for this reason. Today I’m going to tell you about my experience on the Romanian roads, as well as about renting a car in this country.
Road Trip In Romania
Renting a car in Romania
It is important to know that in Europe, most cars are equipped with manual transmission, especially in Romanian rental agencies. If you feel more comfortable with an automatic, be sure to specify and verify that your vehicle is automatic when you make your reservation. Some companies charge a small fee for this detail.
This point surprised us enormously. For 6 days of rental, all insurances included, we paid 73 CHF / 72 EURO. We went through the agency Klass Wagen which offers very competitive rates. Just before leaving, I read on the internet some negative reviews which made me a bit freaked out. But once there, no problem on the horizon, we got a new car and a perfect customer service. I can only recommend this agency! I put the link here of the website we went through.
You will find many other agencies more known as Avis, EuropCar and so on. These offer slightly higher rates, but they remain quite correct.
This paragraph does not only concern car rental and road-trips in Romania, but any rental, in any country.
- Check the condition of the vehicle before you pick it up and when you return it
- Check the fuel level and make sure the rental company has noted the amount of fuel
- Find out if there is a daily mileage limit
- Be sure to be insured and to have a well insured vehicle, you never know what can happen.
- Find out what kind of deposit is available. Some rental agencies only accept “real” credit cards and not prepaid cards.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive, but these are already some important points that I advise you to pay attention to.
Some useful information for driving during your road trip in Romania
They are sometimes a little difficult to understand at first. Signs indicating these limits are sometimes scarce. The best solution we found to be pretty sure to drive at the right speed was to use Waze. This application gives in real time the applied speed limit.
Be aware that there are a lot of police officers doing inappropriate checks. Fines can be very expensive!
Driving in the Romanian countryside, no worries. But as soon as you have to drive in a city or in a place with a high traffic density, it’s not the same story anymore. With multiple lanes, red lights, traffic circles and people changing lanes every 3 minutes, it can get a bit scary. If you like to drive, no problem for you. However if you are like me, you like to drive, but it is not your biggest passion, driving in Bucharest can be a bit scary.
Be prepared to be heard on the road and don’t let it get to you!
It is generally forbidden to use your horn between 10pm and 6am wherever you are in Romania. In some cities, such as Bucharest, this prohibition is valid throughout the day. Remember to make yourself heard by playing with your headlights.
The essentials to have
From our first day in Romania, we were advised to download the Waze application. This one is very popular in the country and is updated by the users in real time. For those who don’t know this application, it is a kind of Google Maps with blocked roads, accidents, speed cameras and so on.
It can also be used as a GPS.
We have used it a lot. Very practical, it also allows to know how fast to drive. It is sometimes difficult to understand what is the speed limit in some places because of the lack of signs. It is really a must for any road-trip in Romania.
You will quickly discover that the distances may seem short, but in reality the travel time can be very long. Although there are some highways in the country. Most of the main roads are single lane. Traffic jams and accidents are quite common. Take a little margin if you need to!
Don’t be surprised to discover the Romanian “wild” parking lots. It happens very often, in the cities or villages, that people park either on the road or on the sidewalk. We could not solve the mystery of the legality or not of this type of parking. If you know the answer, don’t hesitate to tell me in comments.
I reassure you, there are still parking spaces marked on the ground or in the cities parking lots. The rates are generally cheap. Always have some Lei (the local currency) with you, because sometimes some parking lots are only payable in cash. I strongly advise you to pay because the almonds are rather salty.
Best periods for a Road Trip in Romania
I would say that any time of the year is a good time to discover Romania. It all depends on what you are looking for.
Summer – This is a very popular time of year for Romanians to discover their own country. Temperatures can be quite high during this time and the number of tourist sites is also increased. If you go during the summer, good weather is practically guaranteed, which is a great advantage compared to the other seasons.
Spring and autumn – For us, this is the best time to organize a road-trip whether in Romania or in any other place in the world. It is not yet the high season, the weather is rather mild and often the prices are slightly cheaper. We went to Romania at the end of October and we would do it again without hesitation!
Winter – It is quite possible to go during winter in Romania. The landscapes must be even more magical around the castles, I grant you! It is also a country known for winter sports, there are several famous ski resorts. However, you need to be at least comfortable driving on snow and be aware that the Transfăgărășan Highway and other tourist attractions close during this time.
No matter which route you decide to take. Romania has many surprises in store for you and is a country that lends itself perfectly to this type of trip!
I hope you enjoyed this article and don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about Romania or a road-trip in Romania!
Want to support me while preparing your trip ?
Planning your next trip? Here are the sites I use to book my flights, hotels and tours! These affiliate links make it easy for you to make your reservations while supporting my work. And the best part is that it won’t cost you anything extra 🙂 Thank you
Booking – allows me to find great deals on accommodations
Skyscanner – The one that allows me to find the best deals for my air tickets
Get your guide – If I need a tour to book online, this site is a nugget
Rentalcar – the platform I use for all my car rentals abroad
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