Lately, I received quite a few e-mails from people asking if things are OK in Romania. In the light of the recent friction between Russia and Ukraine, and with Romania being at Ukraine’s border, some people might believe that Romania is a dangerous country to be in right now or in the near or far future. Things went that far that Depeche Mode and Bon Jovi canceled their concerts in Romania because of these problems.
But nobody should worry: Romania is a safe country to be in and it won’t be affected even if a war starts in Ukraine (which, again, is very unlikely). Russia has no territorial demands from Romania and out country is an European Union member and attacking it would mean attacking the European Union. There are no reason for this to happen and except for the really paranoid people here, everybody carries on with their normal lives as if nothing happened (because, well, nothing did happen in Romania and nothing will!)
Which takes us to a bigger question: is Romania a dangerous or safe country to live in? And I am talking here about the regular day-by-day existence here, and not this “conflict”.
Generally, Romania can be considered a very safe country. Very few people own guns in the country and most of those who do are hunters. There have been no massacres (think Columbine) here and hopefully there will be none.
If you watch TV, though, you might be tempted to believe that Romania is a place where small crimes happen all the time. There are indeed acts of violence, robberies (if you can call a “robbery” when the neighbor jumps over the fence and steals your chicken) and other similar problems, but most of them take place in the very poor, rural areas that you will probably never get to visit. And even if you do visit them, you will still be extremely safe as they generally happen within families or between neighbors. So stuff like mugging, breaking ins and other more serious crimes rarely happen in Romania, which can easily have us say that Romania is NOT a dangerous country to be or live in.
Do have in mind, though, that there are some areas in the big cities that are considered traditionally unsafe and even though you will probably have no problems going and visiting those areas, it might be best not to since these are anyway very poor areas where junkies tend to stay and they are pretty unpredictable (although, again, there have been rarely dangerous things happening there). Also, Romania is having a bit of a stray dog problem and it’s not uncommon to see packs of up to 10 dogs wandering around. They are usually peaceful, but every now and then they tend to become dangerous. Fortunately, the government is actively working to solve this problem.
Finally, drivers tend to be pretty chaotic – but that’s mostly limited to the very crowded Bucharest where fewer and fewer drivers respect the rules and are patient. Personally, I have never drove a car in Bucharest and I don’t think I’ll ever have the guts to. But as long as you’re careful, you should be, again, all right.
So, again, we can conclude that Romania is a safe country to live in.