We have already talked about the fact that Romania is a safe country to be in or live in, but just like any country out there, there are areas that are more dangerous than others, and today we’re going to talk about such an area.
Since most of the people considering a move or visit to Romania have Bucharest on top of their list, that’s the city we’re going to talk about right now and a notoriously dangerous place to visit there, the Ferentari area. Actually, this is a neighborhood you should really stay away from, there’s not much to see here.
A notoriously dangerous place in Bucharest, the Ferentari ghetto seems to be from another world, even though it’s relatively close to Bucharest’s city center – just 5 kilometers away.
However, it’s still considered by the locals a neighborhood situated at the outskirts of the city and a place you should not visit. Not even the supermarkets have the courage to open a branch there: it’s just Kaufland that decided to risk it all and opened one store in the area this October (and nothing bad happened so far).
So… what’s about Ferentari that makes it so dangerous? Well, the population living there is extremely poor, the level of education is low and the drug usage is high. These are all the ingredients you need for violence, and there’s a lot of it there. Gangs, poverty, drugs, piles of garbage and violence… they are all part of the life there.
And judging from the photos below, the life is far from a perfect one. Please note that this article was originally written in 2014 and fortunately things have improved a lot since. But even though things are not normally as bad as the photos below suggest, it doesn’t mean that this neighborhood has magically transformed over night.
Despite all these, don’t consider yourself a dead person if you absolutely find yourself in that area. Although considered Bucharest’s most dangerous (I also read recently a Huffington Post article that placed it in the top 4 most dangerous places in the world, after Bogota, and some neighborhoods in Russia and Bulgaria, but I can’t find the article!), the bad things usually start to happen after the sun sets. And also just some specific areas of the entire neighborhood are extremely dangerous, but it’s probably safe to just stay away from them all.
Romanians consider that the bad reputation that Ferentari has is caused by the huge Roma population living there (the gypsies), but I personally don’t want this article to go in that direction and start racial debates. The nationality of the people living there is Romanian, so that’s all that matters!
Together with Ferentari, there are two other neighborhoods that are considered dangerous in Bucharest: Pantelimon and Colentina, but to amuch lower degree. As a fun note, two of Romania’s best known hip hop bands are from the “ghettos” of Pantelimon and Colentina – and I have been in both neighborhoods and never worried about my safety (actually, I did worry, but I had no real reasons to, ha!).
In the end, if you plan to visit Bucharest or move in the city, the safest bet would be to stick to the center of the town and the surrounding areas. These are the ones that have the most to offer to tourists or people used to living in different conditions than what Ferentari has to offer. Plus, they’re a lot closer to all the nice things you can see in Bucharest.