Beware the roads
Bucharest's road system is very confusing, the city itself is a somewhat disorganised blend of many political influences, many of Chaucescu's communist buildings still stand. A lot of the roads meet on complicated junctions with many one way systems and many have large holes in them. There are also many stray dogs wandering about the city, keep your eyes open!
beware strangers (that's everyone, okay?)
Be careful, because in the city, tourists stick out like a sore thumb.
Watch out for ppl lurking around in hotel foyers, and outside exchange offices as they are often getting ready to rip you off!! Hang onto your bags and dont flash your money around - only have about 200 000 lei in your wallet at any one time.
But dont worry, once you leave bucharest, ppl get friendlier and its safer!!
Gara de Nord Pickpockets
Under no circumstances take a city bus from the stop just outside the train station! Professional pickocket gangs operate here and I was a victim of them. When trying to enter trolleybus 85 (to Elvisvilla) someone grabbed my bag from behind while others prevented me from moving. A third person quickly removed my wallet and ran for it. My shouting for Police didn't help much (absolutely no-one moved!) and even the train station entrance "guards" lifted their shoulders. It's much better to have the women in the tourist information office at track no.2 guide you to an honest taxi or get to the city center by metro, which is safe.
While in Bucharest: beware of...
While in Bucharest: beware of dogs! The city has thousands of gangs of dogs wandering around, the groups may be dangerous, at night, as well as during the day; people biten or injured by the dogs are tenths per day. The Mayor has recently taken the initiative to eliminate the old and ill dogs, a practice which is commonly managed in any city, but - even this very basic measure - raised the protests of concerned associations. There's no reason to fear any dog you will meet, but consider not to walk alone for long tracts, especially if you're out of the city centre or in uncommon hours.
I wouldn´t travel to Romania...
I wouldn´t travel to Romania without speaking the language. You´ll loose every time. Although I speak the language everybody can hear I spent a while elsewhere, and also for me sometimes prices are doble.
You may be approached at the...
You may be approached at the train station or airport with offers of private accomodation-be careful about accepting this in Bucharest. Outside of the capital this is fine, but you may end up being overcharged in Bucharest or getting into other difficulties.
Always be careful with...
Always be careful with policemen , they usually don't go easy with tourists. If you have troubles always ask to go to the station, never give money. It' s sounds silly to say but I had bad experiences and be sure you must keep strong.
This is my cousin, Stefan....
This is my cousin, Stefan. Although he has a very distinguished name in Romanian history (I am sure you have heard of Stefan cel Mare--Stefan the Great!), my cousin Stefan is not very great. He is not even very nice. If he asks you to borrow some nuts, don't loan any to him. He will never repay you. I know. So, memorize his face, okay? (I am not sure what he is doing here, but I bet that he is up to no good!). (P.S. Thank you to my friends for this picture.)
The most popular scam in Bucharest (and Romania)
The most popular scam in Bucharest seems to be the pair of guys who walk up to you, flash identification cards, and claim to be the 'tourist police.' They usually ask for your passport and usually speak reasonable English--although I have also been approached in French and German. Ignore them. I generally look at them with disdain, say 'NO' loud and clear, and walk away. It has worked for me every time. I keep hoping they will be ashamed of themselves and stop, but I guess there are too many who just don't know....
(The danger that many tourists are warned about--people approaching them on the street to change money--may be real, but have not happened to me even once in weeks and weeks of being in Romania.)
If you are using public...
If you are using public transportation ,especially busses , take care of your money and documents. Pikpocketers are highly skilled and well organised ...once targeted there are few chances of escape. This seems to be the Bucharest highest security problem .Try to use the underground system...better to wait a few minutes more instad of jumping in an crowded public transport unit.
Driving In Bucharest
Sometimes Bucharest seems like a place with NO RULES!!!
There are some crazy drivers in Bucharest, it can get very ugly and scary sometimes.
Take care of your wallets!!
they have a great ability and capacity to induce a hyonotic mood and let you without wallet or gold .
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Lots of street dogs!
Better don't feed them, because otherwise a lot more will appear.
Not generally aggressive though!
DRIVERS!!! Romanian driving is...
DRIVERS!!! Romanian driving is crazy, espacially in Bucarest! Personnaly, I can't drive there. Too scared!
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