Will I need an ETIAS to visit Romania?
Romania is a member of the European Union but is not yet a member of the Schengen Area. It is in the process of joining and is expected to become part of the Schengen area in 2020.
The ETIAS (E.U. Travel Information Authorization System) comes into effect in 2021, so it is expected that Romania will be a part of the scheme.
The ETIAS is being introduced as a means of improving security across Europe.
At present all nationals of ‘visa-waiver’ countries, countries whose nationals need only show their passport and not apply for a visa, are allowed free access to Europe for a period of 90 days out of 180.
In these times of heightened security threats, this unregistered travel is seen as open to abuse.
The new system will require this group of travelers to apply for authorization to travel to Europe. In doing so, they will have to declare personal information that will be compared with government databases. Criminal activity, exposure to certain health conditions and previous travel will all have to be declared.
This information will enable the new system to issue an authorization to travel, only to people deemed to be no threat. If there is any doubt on the part of the system, highly qualified personnel will instigate further checks before a decision is made.
The vast majority of travelers will be approved for ETIAS within minutes of applying.
Romania is a sovereign state located in east-central Europe. It borders the Black Sea to the southeast and shares a maritime border with Turkey.
Romania borders Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine.
Romania has an area of 238, 397 sq. km and a population of almost 20 million inhabitants.
The capital and largest city of Romania is Bucharest. The official language is Romanian, and the currency is the new leu (RON). The major religion is Christianity.
Romania is a popular tourist country for other European citizens, American travelers account for less than 7% of its visitors.
The first place most visitors go to is the capital city of Bucharest, which was once called ‘Little Paris’ thanks to its sophisticated nature.
Bucharest is well known for its stunning architecture. The Ceausescu’s Palace of Parliament has a reputation for looking like a gigantic wedding cake. It is the second largest building in the world, second only to the Pentagon, and is one of Romania’s most popular tourist attractions.
Another popular tourist attraction is Transylvania and the castle that supposedly inspired Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. Bran Castle is the legendary home of the medieval King, Vlad the Impaler, who was a great inspiration for the novel’s main character.
There are many fascinating towns in Transylvania where the visitor can see a more traditional way of life.
Romania at a glance
Timezone: UTC/GMT +2 hours
Languages: Romanian 85.4%, Hungarian 6.3%, Romany(Gypsy) 1.2%, Other 1%, Unspecified 6.1%
Area: 237,500 KM2
Currency: Leu (RON)
Calling Code: +40
Travel in Romania
Romania enjoys both cultural and natural diversity. There are scenic mountain landscapes, rolling countryside areas and also historical cities and a bustling, ancient but increasingly contemporary capital.
The Black Sea Coast is a very popular tourist spot, attracting more than 1 million visitors per year. Legend has it that it is here that Jason and the Argonauts landed after finding the Golden Fleece. There are many small resort towns along the coast where you can sunbathe, swim or try some of the popular watersports.
Lake Techirghiol is one of Romania’s exclusive spa destinations. Here you will find salt waters, healing mud, and curative thermal springs. Bathing in the lake is believed to be very curative of ailments from arthritis to heart disease.
The nearby town of Sibiu offers a wide range of spa treatments. Home also to some of Romania’s best museums, including the Brukenthal National Museum, forty historic towers, and brightly painted houses.
Romania has an area of almost 10,000 kilometers (3,900 sq. mi) of protected areas, which includes thirteen National Parks and three Biosphere Reserves.
Hiking on the Carpathian Mountains, a densely forested area, is popular, and some of the best skiing in Western Europe is on offer in season. There is also a growing interest in mountain biking in Romania, and you will find many upland tracks to explore here.
The US and Romania
The United States and Romania are bound together through ties in business, scholarships and the arts. They are also strong military allies.
The U.S. and Romania are mutually committed to supporting human rights, the rule of law and peace and freedom for everyone. Romania’s promotion of shared ideals with its Black Sea neighbors complements the U.S. goal of enhancing stability in this important region.
The U.S. and Romania both belong to the following organizations:
- The United Nations
- Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
- Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe
- International Monetary Fund
- World Bank
- World Trade Organization
There are no direct flights to Romania from the United States. There are many flights to Romania from other European cities.
English, German and French are spoken in business circles; however, the older generation may prefer French or German. There is an aura of formality about business meetings, although the Romanians are a very friendly people, punctuality and smart dress are expected. Mobile phone coverage is good in large towns and cities but can be variable in upland areas.
U.S. travelers to Romania will find a land of beautiful scenery, wild animals and charming towns and cities. The ETIAS scheme will not make visiting Romania difficult; in fact, once the ETIAS scheme is in place, travelers should feel a greater sense of safety on all of their European travel.
List of US diplomatic offices in Romania
The Embassy of USA in Bucharest, Romania
Address: 4-6, Dr. Liviu Librescu Blvd., District 1, Bucharest 015118 Romania
Phone: (+40) 21 200-3300
Fax: (+40) 21 200-3442
Facts: Hans Klemm – Ambassador