Romania has a very bad reputation and is totally unjustified; It is a much safer country than people think. It depends on the rates that we consult, but its crime rates are close to those of The Netherlands, Czech Republic, Germany or Spain. Its capital is not an exception, although as in most countries, large cities tend to be the places with the highest number of crimes. Bucharest crime rates are comparable to those of cities like Prague, Vilnius or Boston, so it is not up to Singapore, but we will not be getting into a dangerous place either. Cities like Antwerp or Berlin are below Bucharest; using common sense and staying close to tourist areas, we will not notice any insecurity. In general we should take the same precautions as in any European country and everything will be fine. In addition, today is a country completely free of terrorism.
- You can walk around the tourist areas day and night without feeling danger, although you should avoid Gara du Nord at night. The districts of Ferentani and Rahova, 4 km south of the Parliament, are considered dangerous even by day, but since they are far from the tourist area and have nothing to visit, there is no logical reason to approach them. We rented an apartment 3 minutes south of Unirii Square, which turned out to be on ground floor, in which anyone could enter by simply breaking a window, as in all the surrounding ones, in a residential area where there was hardly anyone in the street at night; so it was clear that there were no robberies in the houses or the neighbors would have set security measures.
- Taxis. They have a very bad reputation in Bucharest, not without reason. Scams related to taxis are by far the biggest problem we can find, so it is best to avoid them at all times, and although they will happen for sure in the unofficial ones, they are not uncommon in official taxis either:
- Most will argue that the taximeter does not work and will try to negotiate an abusive price.
- Airport taxis (see TRANSPORTATION BETWEEN THE AIRPORT AND THE CENTER) are not a problem anymore since a touch screen system was installed that assigned a specific taxi, leaving the client and taxi driver identified, so it would be simple to denounce any irregularity, but the problem is still severe in the rest of the city, especially in the North Railway Station (Gara du Nord), where some even usurp the representation of hotels.
- Although they use the meter, they will ask for a high tip, and in the inadvisable scenario that we have agreed on a price, you should always write it down on a piece of paper in front of the driver, so that he does not say a different amount when you arrive at your destination.
- If we have mobile internet, there are Apps to call official taxis that are also safe, since only reliable companies are registered in the applications, and the taxi is identified by computer when assigned to the client.
- There have been cases of unofficial taxi drivers who have taken travelers to remote areas and have asked for an exorbitant sum of money in exchange for taking them back to the city, or they have been directly robbed, so we insist on never using a unofficial taxi.
- It is also not advisable to accept any offer of help when accompanying us to our accommodation or transporting our luggage, since they will probably ask us for an huge tip, and some act in combination with unofficial taxis. This is especially frequent near hotels and train and bus stations.
- Although sadly there are still many vagabonds, they are not a danger or a nuisance; in general they will not even come close to asking for money, although children may. It is discouraged to give alms especially to these, since, in addition to encouraging this activity, we can cause other children to see it and also come to ask.
- Public transport can be very crowded at peak times, they are common places of activity for pickpockets, but no more than in any big city.
- Cross the street. In some areas, even in the center itself, it may not be an easy task and may even be dangerous, and this is not something we can avoid. Not only many drivers do not respect traffic lights, pedestrian crossings or other signs; the sidewalks sometimes dissapear without notice, and you can go one way or the other that you will not find a designated place to cross in front of cars or trams.
- Stray dogs, although declining, are still numerous, and Bucharest is the European capital with the largest number. In general they are not a threat or a nuisance, but it is wise to be cautious and not try to pet them or feed them, which is what many animal lovers try to do. After all, some have been abandoned, but others have been born and raised on the street and are not domesticated nor vaccinated. In any case, being an urban environment, the problem of stray dogs is lower than in rural areas, where they form herds and can be a real danger for walkers and especially for cyclists. If one bites us, we must go to a health center as soon as possible to receive rabies vaccination.
- The service in restaurants. It is certainly not a danger, but it is not pleasant at all either. It is very sad that the usual thing is that we find long faces and bad manners in each restaurant we go to. So far, in no country I have been treated with such reluctance so widely.
MORE ESSENTIAL INFORMATION IN BUCHAREST:
<HOW TO GET TO BUCHAREST AIRPORT
WHEN TO GO, CHANGE OF CURRENCY, ACCOMMODATION AND RESTAURANTS>
∇ Destinations / ∇ Europe / ∇ Romania / ∇ Bucharest
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