Romania’s capital city Bucharest is an amazing place to explore, but just like any other major metropolitan area, it has its own share of safety concerns to be aware of before you start exploring.
You didn’t come all of this way to have your luggage taken. But not only do you want your luggage to be safe, but you want to stay safe in Bucharest as well, because what good is your luggage being safe and sound while you are in danger?
Here are the safety measures to keep you and your belongings in good standing.
Risks While Driving
You should know that traffic in Bucharest may be a little bit more dangerous than you are used to, particularly more so in the winter season when they are wet and icy.
For some reason, it appears that many drivers in Bucharest may drive more aggressively in these colder months, leading to frequent auto accidents at the large intersections.
Avoid taxi tricks and understand that taxi meters may appear to over-charge you.
Do as the locals do and always ask the price for your ride to go to their destination before even getting into the cab, pay the stated price, and kindly ask the driver to turn the meter off.
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Who wants to be dragging along a bunch of bags and suitcases while you are trying to enjoy a new city?
Avoid that hassle and get your luggage storage in Bucharest before you start exploring.
You may observe several sidewalks in Bucharest that need repairs, making them more hazardous in the dark.
In construction zones, cross the street to avoid being hit by debris.
Big cities have those that are looking to rob you, and this region of Romania is no different.
Don’t exchange money on the street. There is a scam going around where you may make a currency exchange with someone, and after you start walking away, an associate of theirs runs up from behind you and steals that money from you.
Use an ATM machine in a well-lit area that doesn’t have people hanging around it, plus to ensure that you get a better exchange rate than what the banks are normally offering.
Beware of Wild Dogs
Stray dogs have been an ongoing issue in the streets of Bucharest, and wild dog packs can still be seen wandering about at times.
Just in case you encounter stray dogs, have a package of biscuits that you can toss on the ground away from you but close enough so that the dogs can get distracted and eat them.
This is a typically effective strategy to transform a potentially dangerous situation into a safe outcome that can completely alter the way the dogs respond to you in a much more positive manner.
Uber and Public Transportation
Uber car service and public transportation are common ways for travelers in Bucharest to get around the city with ease, especially if you don’t want to get overcharged by taxi drivers as an unsuspecting tourist.
Uber is a cost-effective means of transportation and an ideal way to engage with a driver who can answer questions about spending time in Bucharest that you may want an authentic opinion on.
If this is going to be your go-to travel method, make sure you already have registered with Uber and have the application active on your mobile phone.
There are varying opinions on Bucharest’s public transportation, ranging from positive to negative.
On the bright side, you will find them fairly affordable and simple to navigate, with choices ranging from buses, trams, Metro services, and trolleybuses.
Tickets can be purchased at booths all around town, which are typically located in a convenient fashion right next to bus stops or at Metro stations.
As an alternative, you should make an effort to plan ahead and buy your tickets online if you can at the RATB website.
Another tip is to travel outside of peak hours because the network can be very congested and when traveling from the airport to your hotel, take an Uber to save some money and to get to your destination much faster than you would on the airport bus.
Bucharest’s Old Town
It is ideal to spend most of your time in and around the Old Town section of Bucharest or the inner city districts themselves.
If you are looking to be near the city, but far enough away from the hustle and bustle, the hipster district of Cotroceni is the way to go and has plenty of landmarks for you to check out:
- Bucharest Botanical Garden
- The Bucharest Opera building
- Carol Davila University of Medicine and Pharmacy
- Casa Radio
- Cotroceni Palace, the residence of the President of Romania
- New St. Eleftherios Church
- Saint Elisabeth Chapel, Bucharest
- University Hospital Bucharest
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