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 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. And, of course, there’s the general concern that the country itself – with or without an outside threat – is dangerous as it is. We’re going to talk about that as well in today’s article.

The truth is that 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 our country is an European Union member. This means that attacking it would mean attacking the EU, which nobody wants to do.

crimea river

There are truly no reasons for an attack to happen and except for some really paranoid people living in Romania, everybody carries on with their normal lives as if nothing happened (because, well, nothing did happen in Romania and I strongly believe nothing will!)

So now we can move on to the generic question: is Romania a dangerous or safe country to live in? And I am not talking about the Ukraine / Russia conflict, but general crime rate and safety.

Generally speaking, Romania can be considered a very safe country. Very few people own guns in the country and most of those who do are hunters. Further more, owning a gun requires a special permit and there are no reasons for most of the population to go through the trouble of getting one.

Also, there have been no mass shootings in Romania and hopefully there will be none in the future. It happens very rarely for shootings to take place (maybe once or twice per year) and that’s in between gangs on a jealous husband who wants to scare the life out of his wife…

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 chickens) and other similar problems, but most of them take place in the very poor, rural areas that you will probably never get to visit anyway.

And even if you do visit them, you will still be extremely safe as they generally happen within families or between neighbors who have a fight, usually after drinking serious amounts of alcohol. 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).

Such a place is the well known Ferentari neighborhood in Bucharest, which also became a lot safer over the years as families moved there, new shops were opened and the quality of life there increased considerably.

So things like the ghettos that we as Romanians see in the movies only are nowhere to be found here, and even if you were, you would probably stay away from them.

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… but when it comes to safety, I would consider the dogs (and the poor infrastructure) more dangerous that potential crimes.

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 extremely impatient. Personally, I have never drove a car in Bucharest and I don’t think I’ll ever have the guts to because of all the chaos. But as long as you’re careful, you should be, again, all right – just don’t expect all the normal traffic rules to be respected by drivers and take extra precautions when crossing the street, for example.

In conclusion, we can say that Romania is a safe country to live in. It’s not more dangerous than any other civilized country out there and I would dare to say that it’s safer than countries like the US or those where the terrorist attacks are happening constantly.

22 COMMENTS

  1. I think a little bit of common sense goes a long way. Watching the news is sometimes terrifying. They sensationalize everything to the point that you become so scared, you don’t want to visit anywhere. In my experience, most people are friendly everywhere. There will always be bad people, but thankfully, the good ones outnumber the bad ones. Now, someone stealing my chickens??? Oh..they are going down!!! ;0)

    • You can also be robbed without knowing. Especially in Bucharest, if you take the public transportation, they can creep from behind, take your wallet from your pocket, or mobile, or whatever. But as you said, bad people are everywhere, but you can take some precautions and never met them. And not by staying in your house, and never get out the door, but simply by not making yourself into a perfect target.

      • Hah! They do that on the Paris Metro! It is such a common thing. I always only carry certain types of bags when l go there or to Rome. I have also perfected this “look” that l use. It basically says “you’re going down!” . It’s funny cos l’m just a harmless fatty bum bum ;0) but they don’t need to know that!

  2. That picture is hilarious! I think you can’t really generalize and label a country dangerous or not dangerous. Well most countries at least. Even cities…I can’t tell you NYC is dangerous or not dangerous. There are 8 million people here. You have to use common sense. And there are certain parts where the crime rate is higher than others.

  3. “C”: Putin is definitely one to watch, though. The EU and even his wife divorced him;-) Is Romania very dependent on Russian oil? That seems to be his ace in the hole.
    Thank you for this information about safety in Romania. (One wonder the fate of neighboring Moldova, though.) It’s definitely good to know guns aren’t everywhere in Romania like they are in someplace I know too well;-)
    As for the dogs, it’s too bad there isn’t some sort of spay/neuter program for them. I know that can be expensive, but it’s better than letting them roam around unfettered.
    Any news about “little C’s” christening? Are you still agog for Malta? Will you change your blog to “The Wandering Romania(n)Experience.com”? Regards, Teil (USA)

    • Yes, Putin is clearly one to watch, but from the safe Romania :)) Regarding the dogs, there is a neutering program that has recently started but it goes pretty slow. And indeed, the high costs of these, plus the animal lovers who take dogs out of shelters and release them on the streets thinking that they’re doing the right thing, are slowing things down even more.

      Little C’s christening was a blast last Saturday and I am planning an article on that as soon as possible. The move to Malta will surely not be a permanent one, so we’re sticking with Romania Experience 🙂

  4. I have vacationed to many different areas of Romania. Like anywhere on t0he planet it is safe if your paying attention and actively using your brain. If your feeling uncomfortable leave the area. That said.. I believe Romania is safer then most countries. The people are friendly and open. I would feel safer wondering about then wondering about Chicago. I am from Minneapolis and we have our unsafe areas and in general I would say Romania is safer than Minneapolis. Like anywhere however it has it’s bad people and bad areas. Use your brain and travel with people you know. I do not go wondering around north Minneapolis of Lake street alone at night.. and Romania has similar situations. All this said it is a great country.. you got Mountains, Rivers, Salt water Sea, dry desert, green forests.. all in a country the same size as Minnesota. The people.. the food.. the history.. slow relaxed and no preservatives. Yup.. great place to spend some time.

  5. I visted Romania last year and had a great time. I went to Targu Mures, Sighisoara and Balea Lac. I drove through a lot of clearly very poor rural villages but at all times I felt very safe, I never had any concerns about my safety. Compared to the UK it was soooooo cheap! . I’d love to go back!

  6. Sounds a lot like Costa Rica. No mass murders, mainly petty theft, and I would never drive in the capital. Every big city has it’s poor area and junkie area; doesn’t matter what country it is.

  7. and that’s why the most romanians live romania, because is a “safe place”, very few people own guns?? haahahahah! registered guns maybe :)) it is full of gipsyes, who don’t know how to work for money, they steal, beg and even kill you for some money, my advice is: avoid travelling to romania, if you want to be safe, hungary is the last eastern country to visit, if you go more to east than hungary…you can be killed for a few dollars so, be safe.

  8. Correction: Depeche Mode played last year in Cluj and Bon Jovi will play this June in Bucharest. Second time.
    If you want to find some real statistics, go to unitednation sites. Human rights, press/fredom of speach/GDP. Benchmark is always better.
    BTW…how is Paris now. Come to see “Little Paris”

  9. As an American having lived in major US cities, I don’t have a fear of traveling to big international cities like Bucharest. Plus I know Roma and they are not “gypsies” or cutthroats as one ridiculous commenter referred to them, but nurses and educators who generously open their home to my family. Travel is meant to open our minds to all cultures, not close them! I enjoyed this article encouraging travelers to visit Romania.

  10. We spent a month in Romania and the only 2 things that freak me out the stray dogs and the crazy taxi drivers. I think like most commentors that you just have to use common sense no matter where you go. Anything can happen anywhere.

    • Taxi drivers in Bucharest are pretty insane, indeed, but fortunately there’s Uber now and other options. In most other cities, though, the taxi drivers don’t enjoy increasing your blood pressure as much though :))

Leave a Reply to Andrew@LivingRichCheaply Cancel reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.