Stay Safe in Romania
While violence against foreign visitors is uncommon, you should not leave your common sense at home if you plan to spend your holiday in Romania. In general, crime is confined to small thefts and typical frauds, with nothing more to worry a visitor about. You should have no issues if you avoid metropolitan neighborhoods and areas that are primarily inhabited by gypsies. Ask trustworthy locals about the surroundings wherever you are in the nation; they will happily offer you a few suggestions.
Although there is racial discrimination in Romania, particularly against people who appear like Roma (“gypsies”), hate crimes are uncommon. Some homophobic discrimination still exists; for example, Bucharest’s annual gay pride march has been the site of violent demonstrations in previous years..
Emergency phone numbers
Since 2004, Romania has used the pan-European standard number 112 for all emergency calls. As a result, this is the only number you’ll need to know for police, ambulance, and fire.
Romania is relatively secure, with minimal violent crime. Pickpocketing and frauds (such as taxi scams or confidence tricks) are more prevalent, therefore be caution, particularly in busy areas (such as train stations, some markets, urban public transport). Keep your money and valuables in the inside compartments of your backpack, and constantly keep an eye on your purse in busy places. When taking a taxi, always read and remember the price per kilometer that is posted on the exterior of the vehicle, since unscrupulous drivers may attempt to take advantage of the fact that you are unfamiliar with the pricing.
Romania has a sizable wild animal population, including one of Europe’s biggest populations of wild bears. Bears are lethal, and even those who live near to cities and raid trash cans should not be approached. Bears are known to frequent city areas near mountain woods in quest of food (such as Braşov). As a result, seeing a bear or wolf is very simple. Although such creatures are generally not harmful, if proper care is not given, they may grow hostile. If you see a bear or wolf while hiking, it is best to turn around and go the opposite direction. To prevent bears, local shepherds urge those who go wild camping to stay in the open rather than beneath trees. Under no circumstances should you try to escape or feed the animal, since it may get confused and attack. Six persons were murdered by wild animals in Romania in 2006. There have also been reports of visitors coming across bear cubs and attempting to feed or play with them. In certain instances, this has proven to be a deadly error. If you come across any young animals, keep in mind that their parents are probably nearby. The best thing you can do is leave the area as quickly as possible since, as beautiful and cuddly as bear pups are, their parents are not. When bears have cubs, they become very aggressive and will attack at the least indication of a danger to their babies. Please be mindful. This is one of the most common reasons for animal assaults on humans.
Feral animals, like as stray dogs, may also be an issue in Bucharest and other large cities where they are common. Some may not be hostile, but be cautious with animals in groups especially at night. Some are cared for by individuals from neighboring apartment complexes, and they may be particularly territorial and may attack without notice at times. The number of stray dogs is decreasing but remains very high, and they pose the greatest physical risk, particularly in rural regions.
Dogs are frequently used by Romanian farmers to herd and guard livestock. This is more likely to be seen if you’re strolling near farms, on dirt roads, or in rural regions. Farmers typically place horizontally-hanging poles beneath their necks to identify them as sheep dogs. If you come across one of these dogs, it may seem frightened at first and may be staring back. It is frightened, but it is not searching for a place to hide: it is looking for its fellow doggie pals! If you continue going towards their area or the herd of sheep they are guarding, they will almost definitely grow more protective, and there is little doubt that more will emerge as you approach closer to the herd. You just need to back off in instances like these. It’s also not worth trying to protect oneself since Romanian farmers would be furious. If you are in a rural region, try hitchhiking or waiting for a horse-drawn wagon or car: this is the best method to traverse such terrain.
Some tourists may come into contact with corrupt police officers (Poliţişti) and customs officials (Vameşi, Ofiţeri de vamă), despite the fact that this seems to be a decreasing issue. While it may be tempting to pay a bribe (mită or şpagă) to expedite your visit, you should avoid doing so since it simply adds to the issue. It is likewise unlawful to offer a bribe as well as receive one. Foreigners may face harsher penalties in Romania.
A excellent piece of advise for when you are asked to pay a bribe (or simply encouraged to do so) is to respectfully reject the idea, saying unequivocally that you will not do so. If you are being harassed, assume a firm and resolute demeanor and threaten to contact the police right away. This will mostly certainly cause the person asking for the money to quit and leave you alone.