Freelance writer in Toronto. Globetrotter, aspiring yogi, beach lover, cheese eater, and avid reader.
Bucharest is well known for its engaging personality, beautiful architecture, low prices, and charming contrasts between old and new. It’s not hard to see why Romania’s capital is among the most desired city break destinations, but many travellers may wonder how safe Bucharest really is. We’re here to share everything you need to know about safety in the city.
With so many unpleasant events taking place in popular European travel destinations, and tourists raising their level of caution, safety in public spaces is becoming a growing concern around the world. As local guides, living and working in the city, we’re here to tell you Bucharest is a safe destination – you can go on and click that ‘book now’ button.
Safety on the street
Everyone can wander around and explore our city without any safety issues being involved. While a very safe city, we do recommend staying in the city center once night falls as it is always police protected and extremely lively. The only thing you have to have to keep in mind are the pickpockets, so it’s best to keep your valuables, phone, and wallet safe and secure (in an inside pocket, in a bag placed in front of your body, etc.), especially in crowded areas, shops, cafes, or on public transport.
Public transportation safety
As we mentioned earlier, the only concern about public transportation should be pickpockets. Place your goods where you can keep an eye on them and pay attention to your surroundings. You may also want to avoid travelling during rush hour as the buses, trams, and subways can get extremely crowded. As for taxis, it is safe to hop in any authorized metered cab. Licensed taxis are yellow, have a sign on their roof to indicate if they are free or not, and the price per kilometer is clearly indicated on the side of the car.
As many attractions can be found within walking distance from one another, it is always better to walk around the city center. Or, hop on a tour to have a local show you the best areas, neighbourhoods and alternative sights.
It is absolutely secure to make payments with your card just about everywhere – so you can feel safe paying for any souvenirs you see, earthy Romanian meals you enjoy, or for that killer cocktail in the hip bar you’ve just discovered. If you are using a contactless card and the amount needed to be paid is under RON 100 (about 20 euro), you will not be requested to sign for the receipt and authorize payment. For larger amounts, you will be asked for your PIN and will need to sign the card receipt.
You cannot pay in Euro in Bucharest, so all your cash payments must be done in our local currency, RON. The best exchange rates can be found at the many exchange offices in the airport or near the city center. But if you don’t feel comfortable exchanging your money there, going to a bank is always the safest option. Local tip: use the ATM machines inside the bank and not the ones on sidewalks.
So, to sum up, and to clear up the confusion, Bucharest is safe for tourists. You just need to enjoy your time here and to take the same precautions you’d take in other big cities.