After receiving many emails about currencies that can be used to pay in Romania, I have decided to write today’s quick article and help those wondering if you can pay with Euros in Romanian stores – or even US Dollars.
The official currency in Romania is the Romanian Leu (Lion) and plans for the country to switch to using Euros have been constantly delayed. So even though Romania is in the EU, its official currency is not the Euro and you will find out that it’s not easy to pay otherwise than using the Romanian leu in most places in the country.
Will Romanian stores accept Euros?
The situation is a bit more complex than most of foreigners traveling to the country would probably like it to be. However, it would be safest to assume that you won’t be able to pay using Euros anywhere.
There are indeed places where they might accept Euros – from stores to restaurants and attractions, but even so, the rates that you would get would be absolutely horrible.
So you would save a lot of money if you exchanged your Euros into Romanian Lei and used those to pay.
Also, have in mind that in many places you will only be able to pay in cash. So even though your EUR card would work without a problem in all stores that have a POS, not all of them will.
To make things even more confusing for travelers, some prices might be listed in Euros in Romania: usually real estate (rental or buying), larger items (cars) and even mobile phone plans will usually have their prices listed in Euros – but in most cases you will actually be expected to pay in RON and you won’t have the option to actually pay using Euros.
So, in conclusion, remember that Romania is still a very cash-friendly country and the farther away you get from the larger cities, the more difficult it might be to pay using your card.
It will be even more difficult to pay using Euros, so it’s best to find an exchange firm with 0% commission and a good exchange rate and always have some Lei on you.
Will Romanian stores accept US Dollars?
While you might be able to pay in Euros here and there throughout Romania, chances of anybody accepting US Dollars are slim to none.
Some more touristy places might accept your dollar bills – I know none that do, though – but if they do, the exchange rate they’ll offer will be horrible.
Also, using your US Dollar card to make purchases wherever that’s possible will probably cost you a lot in commissions and fees.
So my recommendation for those who only have USD on them is to exchange them in cash and use the cash to pay for all services in order to save money where card payments are available (because paying with US Dollars in cash is virtually impossible throughout the country).
I hope that these answers make it easier for you to plan your finances and how to handle money when you travel to Romania. If you have additional questions about this, don’t hesitate to let me know by commenting below.