Taxis in Bucharest are notorious for A) the suicidal driving style and B) ripping off unsuspecting clients. The latter is not strictly speaking true as there are a variety of meter rates for taxis and it's really up to you to check the rate before you get in. Having said that, there are rip-off merchants waiting for you too, so beware!
Before you get in, check the rate printed on the front passenger door. The standard rate is 1.4RON/km and 0.9 or 1 RON pornirea. Avoid anything else!! Check the driver starts the meter, by asking 'Aveti ceas?' (have you got a meter?)
The usual tip is 1lei plus the change eg for a 6.30RON ride, you'd round it up to 8 RON.
Most Romanians I know advise ringing to order a taxi - try Meridian or Fly, which will be more expensive than the above advice, but reliable and safe. If you do get a taxi on the street, check the rate and avoid getting taxis outside the big hotels as they'll definitely be the most expensive!
a scam i faced was when a romanian told me about an international tourist park and that he would show me. he called a taxi and the taxi started to charge 12 lei a km. i told them to pull over so i could get money from am atm. when they stopped i called for police and they drove off. so watch out for this. who knows where i could have ended up
Bucharest used to have a big problem with stray dogs which roamed the streets including downtown but this situation has improved in the last years. Now it seems that the only stray dogs left in Bucharest are the ones residing in a garden near my parents-in-law's apartment. Joking aside, their number has decreased considerably but you'll probably still see a few strays downtown. I don't think there's need for a rabies vaccine (of course, in case something happens seek medical attention, but it's very very likely that nothing is going to happen). I lived there for 24 years and was never bitten nor any of my friends were ever bitten (and I don't think that the dogs prefer tourists over locals). I'm one of the people that are really afraid of dogs and the dogs can feel it and start barking as soon as I get close. Still, I don't believe Bucharest dogs are agressive. What I usually do is refrain from walking alone towards a barking dog or pretend to be throwing something at them in which case they usually go away.
The dog in the picture is not a stray dog anymore, as it was adopted by my parents-in-law. Her name is "Mica" which means "The little one". They got her when she was a still a puppy and it's obvious that she exceeded their expectations.
When on very crowded buses in Bucharest, always keep an eye on your bag and belongings; in fact it is very common to meet "local thieves" that will try to reach your wallett or even try to steal your bag..beware of those people especially when you are standing on buses as you may not realize they are behind you
This has never actually happened to me, however I've heard that there are crooks posing as police officers around train stations who approach tourists and ask them to pay fines on the street. Never pay these people any kinds of fines! If they insist, say you'll go to the nearest police station with them and pay the fine there. This will usually make them go away.
OK, unfortunately I was robbed on my trip. If this happens to you be prepared for spending hours at the police station; and bring a Romanian friend along to help translate and negotiate. You will be ignored without having a local to run interfernece. I only encounterd two police officers in the station who spoke English and their job is to catch theives, not act as translators. So do not rely on someone to always be around in the station who speaks English.
if you come from the north of rumania dont take the ringroad ex buzau and make turn off to the ringroad direction airports,absolute catastrofe, 10km about upto 2 hrs with wild rumanians passing the que on the left(field) or on the right(oposite field).
better take the longer way via Proiesti. and there the traffic might be tough but moves,
make sure at least 2hrs before you want to go to the airport to go, as always something new there(havocs).
p.s. enjoy your stay
Romania has the largest Roma minority in Europe. According to the last official census, roughly two million Roma, representing ten percent of the population, are living in Romania today. They are considered to be "the most disruptive" minority; an opinion supported by statistics from the Romanian police that reveal a high proportion of crimes are committed by Roma.
Facing cruel poverty ,the Roma are trying to survive by begging in the street, but be careful as some will also try to "pickpocket" you or steal your bag
ATM's can be found in most of the larger cities and are connected to the banks in North America. The one surprising issue which I encountered was the problem I had in cashing American Express Travellers Cheques at any bank or money exchange. To cash the cheques I had to provide copies of the original bill of sale from the bank where I purchased the travelers cheques. Luckily for me for some unknown reason I had the original bank receipts with me so I could make a copy and provide it to the Romanian Bank. Without the original bill of sale it is impossible to cash the travelers cheques!!!!!
There was a recent change with the Romanian currency - the LEI. Two different versions of the currency are in circulation. The newer currency drops three of the zeros found on the original currency bills. If you are not paying attention - the locals will take advantage of your confusion with the currency - ensuring that the transaction favours them!!
Beggars and gypsies are everywhere - don't give them any money at all. The best way to deal with them when you are approached is to firmly tell them "NO" "NO" and keep walking.
Be careful at evening..when the sun is set... mostly streets are so so dark and you dont see people is coming you in front indeed... yes its real ... i could experiment by myself.. i didnt feel bad or unease but i just say that my 6th sense in some streets so close from the train station told me "david go back !! "
My first impression was ufff !!!! when i saw the main street from the train station i thought what ***ing is going on here ??? !!!!!!!
the traffic light are not usefull...zebra crossing i dont understand why there are ...drivers dont respect it at all....its worse than Italy,,,everybody drives wherever they want so be so wary on these situations
Be careful there is the main point to take the city, once you get off the train there is a lot of people .....there are 12 or 13 tracks and the end is the main plattform with some stalls a Mc donalds and other restaurant to take a breath ...this place is a little bit dirty and crappy so be careful in crowds or meanwhile you are looking at the screen that show destinations and tracks...
A large corridor through the station runs to the main entrance to the station where there are cabs and people doing nothing and asking for anything they believe you could need !!!
i didnt feel so much confident in those taxi drivers so we moved on looking for some place apart the station
I've never felt myself so unsafe like in Bucharest! Luckily I didn't carry a lot of money with me or I could have gotten a heart attack. ;) Many young men were just wandering on the streets and they didn't look very friendly. The city itself is a weird mixture of beautiful buildings and massive ugly blocks of flats.
Christmas morning(well 2,30am)...came out of the Juke Box a little worse for wear but happy.......broke all my rules here...did not get taxi immediately.....decided to walk to main street.......suddenly surrounded by gypsies who appear to live in the block nearby......ripped royal...lost my wallet cash credit cards 2 mobile phones even my spectacles.....first time i had a prob in 20 visits to bucuresti and i kicking myself for being too lacksadaisical and walking alone down side streets...that hurts me even more i broke my basics....spent most of christmas day with police but not much hope.....BE CAREFUL and you will be safe....side streets late at night ...alone...my own fault:(
Particularly around churches, you will find young children begging, mostly dressed in rags. We actually had few following us around the fountains around the Piata Unirii area. It seems rather heartless not to give them anything but local governments never encourage you to give to beggars so I don't.