When most people consider a trip to Europe, they fail to call Romania to the top of the list. Somehow it just seems to slip under the radar… which is basically a crime, considering how rich in history, architecture, and natural beauty this country is.
Romania is, moreover, one of the safest places in Europe in which to travel. Even solo female travelers can feel totally secure here, hiking its trails and boarding its trains.
Naturally, everywhere calls for a basic level of caution, but when it comes to open-armed hospitality and friendliness to tourists, Romania should top the list. Add in some cheap accommodations, and you’re guaranteed the adventure of a lifetime.
Let’s take a look at how to do Romania on a budget.
(Note: while it does share a border with Ukraine, Romania has felt little of the effects of the war there, so you can still travel freely in the country.)
Average Trip to Romania Cost in 2023
An average one-week trip to Romania for two people will cost around $4,100:
- Average Accommodation Cost: $75 per night
- Average Flight Cost: $1,100 per person
- Food, Drink & Activities: $75 per person, per day
- Transportation: $300 total
- Total Cost: $4,100
Tourist figures in Romani have risen impressively in the last few years.
“The number of tourists in Romania rose 21.8% on the year in 2022, to 11.3 million, the statistical board, INS, said on Friday,” reports SeeNews. “Tourists spent 24.3 million overnights in Romania in 2022, up 17.8% year-on-year, INS said in a monthly report.”
There’s good reason for that, with beautiful sights and sounds, and a very affordable cost of living that trickles down to tourism.
Below, we will take a look at some of the most common budgetary categories as well as tips and tricks to save money along the way.
Romania Trip Cost: Average by Item
Many factors go into the average cost of a trip to Romania. If you go during the summer high season, you’ll pay more, while you’ll pay less in spring and fall.
Hotel prices are affordable throughout the country, but staying in city centers and old towns will cost more. And of course, how you eat and the tours you take both factor in.
A good method for setting your budget is to first understand the average costs, then adjust them up or down to meet your needs. Let’s take a look at accommodations, flights, food and drink, activities, and transportation.
Romania is a great place to stay for cheap. The average price of a hotel varies by city, amenities, and season, but in general, you can find one for about $50 for basic amenities, closer to $75 for nicer hotels in cities.
In Bucharest, you’ll pay about $100 for a hotel in town. In Brasov, $75 is a middle-of-the-road price. And in Constanța, prices are about the same.
For medieval village-like charm, you can’t do better than Sibiu. The city boasts terra cotta rooftops, winding alleys, old-timey architecture, and a mountain backdrop to die for.
Plus, hotels here average about $50 a night, and if you book well ahead of time and come during the “shoulder season,” you can save even more.
Most visitors to Romania enjoy the sights and sounds of Bucharest, then pay a visit to the region of Transylvania (where you’ll find Brasov and Sibiu, among other charming destinations with a Middle Ages feel).
If you make this your basic itinerary, you’ll pay between $50 and $75 a night for lodging.
The former is the budget option, while the latter will give you plenty of wiggle room for booking nice places in the country and staying in the city without worry.
True to standard prices for Eastern Europe, a flight from Los Angeles to Bucharest will cost about $1,150.
We strongly recommend flying into one of the big cities (Cluj-Napoca offers similar prices, for example), since the smaller towns and resort areas charge much more for flights.
From New York, prices are reduced due to the closer proximity of the East Coast versus the West Coast: about $800 on average. Make sure to factor in the cost of flying to a central hub, usually a few hundred dollars.
To save money on flights, always book as far in advance as possible. International flights are typically released about 11 months ahead of time, so start looking as soon as they become available and book when you find a good price.
Averaged out, your ticket to Romania from the US should cost about $1,100.
Food, Drink & Activity Costs
There’s so much to do in Romania that it’s hard to know where to start. The country is the twelfth-largest in Europe, and is roughly the same size as the UK or the State of Oregon.
That’s a lot of ground to cover, so your one-week itinerary will have to reflect your highest priorities. Balea Lake is a great destination for tourists.
There are lovely places to stay that don’t cost that much (around $60 a night), and you can enjoy yourself in the area for days. There’s a zipline ($5 for a one-way ride), lots of hikes, and plenty of winter sports when the snow falls.
Tours of the area – including a fun ebike ride – cost about $100 per person, and are well worth it for the stunning mountain sights you’ll enjoy.
Many people choose to visit the castle that inspired Dracula. Bran Castle, which author Bram Stoker never actually saw in person, is a mecca for horror-lovers and vampire fanatics the world over.
You can gain entrance for only $12, although this is one tour we recommend taking, given all the history there is to know about it.
Private hiking and climbing tours are popular in Romania, with prices varying by group size, but hovering around $50 to $60 per person. In general, you won’t have trouble keeping yourself entertained!
At mealtimes, make sure to try the traditional dishes such as ciorba de burta (tripe soup, better than it sounds); mititei (meat rolls); sarmale (stuffed cabbage or grape leaves); and mamaliga (polenta).
Although the country isn’t famed for its cuisine, it is a lovely experience and heavy on the cheese and carbs, so we’re pretty into it.
An affordable restaurant meal is about $8, while a nice dinner out for two will run you about $35.
Food in the markets and at street stalls is very affordable, and many hotels offer complimentary breakfasts to help you stretch your budget. In general, you’ll be fine on $75 a day for food and entertainment.
Fun fact: Vlad the Impaler, on whose grisly history the Dracula tale is partially based, probably never set foot in the castle.
Public transportation is pretty accessible in Romania. The buses are trams are reliable and don’t cost much. You’ll also find lots of taxis, though make sure you have an agreed-upon price and destination before setting off, or you may get scammed.
You can find Uber in larger towns such as Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Brașov, Timisoara, and Iaşi. Both taxis and Uber will cost about $5 to $10 a ride in cities, which is pretty affordable.
Car rentals will average about $40 a day, but make sure you’re a very confident driver.
Says the US Department of State, “Though Romanian traffic laws are very strict, road accidents are a real and dangerous threat for U.S. citizens visiting Romania. According to the European Union Road Federation, Romania has the highest per-vehicle rate of road fatalities of any country in the European Union.”
Still, for those who want to get out in the countryside, it’s an option. Overall, you’ll want to budget about $300 for a few days of car rentals, taxis, or tours, plus public transportation in the cities and trains between them.
Things to Consider
Here are a few other things to consider when planning your trip to Romania:
- Some places in Romania will accept US dollars. However, you shouldn’t count on it. It’s a good idea to have enough Romanian leu to take a taxi, eat out, or board a train should you need to. Euros aren’t useful, so make sure to change them if you’re coming from another European country.
- Lunch is typically much cheaper than dinner. The best way to save money on food is to eat a hearty meal of local fare at lunchtime, then prep your own food at night. Bread, cheese, and fruit are freely available there.
- The Balkan Backpacker network includes hostels in Romania. If you tell the hostel you know about the network, you can get an additional 10% off the cost of your lodging. This is a great way to save big bucks on accommodations if you’re a mega budget traveler.
- The trains in Romania are not speedy, but they are affordable. You can get a dorm bed for about $50 on an overnight train, which will save you the cost of lodging and you’ll be somewhere new in the morning!
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I speak English in Romania?
People in Romania speak English pretty fluently. Although it never hurts to have a translation app at the ready, Romanians usually have a great command of English – even in the countryside – so you likely won’t need it.
What are the visa and passport requirements?
US travelers can stay in Romania for up to 90 days without a visa, once in any 180-day period. That includes if you leave and come back. Assuming you’re only coming for a week, all you need is your passport.
When is the best time to visit Romania?
The best time to visit Romania depends on what you’re looking for. The best weather is May through September, when there’s lots of sun and little rain. June through August may be too hot for some people, and tend to be packed with tourists as well, so they’re not the ideal months in which to come.
Winter is dicey if you just want to travel around. Rain and snow can put a damper (pun intended) on your trip, and can even mess with your flights, though that’s not overly common. Still, the weather can drop below 0 degrees, which, ew!
However, if you’re into winter sports, it’s a great time. Winter has some pretty good skiing, so check out Brașov, Sinaia, or Predeal for resort deals. For most visitors, spring and fall are ideal. It’s less busy, so prices are down, but the weather is still nice.
Pro tip: unless you’re there explicitly for spook factor, skip Romania during the month of October. Transylvania especially gets busy owing to all the myths surrounding the castle that inspired Dracula. If, however, you’re a horror lover, then this is the time to come!
Is it easy to get around?
Yes, it’s easy to travel in Romania. Public transportation is accessible in the cities, there are trains between major metropolitan areas, you can rent cars and take Uber, and taxis are affordable at about $10 a ride, at most.
Is Romania safe?
Yes, Romania is quite safe. Like anywhere else, it has its share of pickpocketing and petty theft, but this is mostly confined to busy areas. Don’t walk alone after dark and keep your wits about you, and you should be fine.
If you’re on an intercity train, keep an eye on your luggage at all times. It’s not safe to leave it in a compartment, even high on a luggage rack.
Over to You — Book Your Trip Today!
|🛎️ Average Accommodation Cost||$75 per night|
|✈️ Average Flight Cost||$1,100 per person|
|🍽️ Food, Drink & Activities||$75 per person, per day|
|🚕 Transportation||$300 total|
|💲 Total Cost||$4,100|
The average cost of a one-week trip to Romania is around $4,100 for two people. Beautiful scenery, friendly people, interesting food, and a medieval atmosphere make it a fun destination for any single, couple, or family on the go. Happy travels!