There are a number of things to look into when traveling to a foreign country. One important question to answer is- what currency do they use?
If you’re traveling to Bucharest, or anywhere else in Romania, here is your guide to the country’s currency.
Euro zone, but no Euro
Romania is a member state of the EU, but they do not use the Euro. In fact, Euros are not accepted currency in Romania.
Romania’s currency is called the Romanian Leu (pl – Lei). So if you have some leftover Euros you want to use, you’ll have to get them exchanged.
The Romanian Leu comes in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 200.
There are also coins that are percentages of a Leu, which are called Bani. Bani come in denominations of 5, 10 and 50.
It is generally recommended that you exchange your currency at a bank. While there are other legitimate exchange places, there are also many scams, so be careful.
The easiest currencies to exchange into Lei are Euros, US Dollars and British Pounds. Other currencies can be exchanged, but you may have trouble outside a big city like Bucharest.
Another way to get Romanian Lei without having to do a currency exchange is to withdraw money from an ATM in the local currency.
This is fine, but for safety reasons and to avoid getting scammed, only use ATMs inside or attached to banks.
If you have a credit card that works in foreign countries it will probably work in Romania. However, this is not always true, so check with your credit card company before you go. It’s a good idea to let them know you’re traveling anyway.
Now for the caveat, just because your credit card will work in Romania doesn’t mean you’ll be able to use it. Many merchants, restaurants and even attractions, such as museums, don’t have credit card readers, so be sure to have some cash with you.