Is it Expensive to Travel Romania? Budget Travel Tips

Before setting out on a trip to the other side of the world, it’s generally a good idea to tally up what you plan to spend. Luckily, Central and Eastern Europe are home to some of the most budget-friendly travel destinations in the world, and Romania is no exception.

Quality accommodation, transportation, and dining options are all accessible in Romania at a fraction of the cost of other European destinations. If you budget well and plan ahead, it is not expensive to travel in Romania. Many travelers comfortably travel Romania for under $60 USD per day.

In the following sections, I will detail what expenses you will likely incur during your visit to Romania and how to plan ahead so that your trip doesn’t break the piggy bank.


Business Hotel

Cost: One night for one person at the Ibis hotel in Bucharest, Romania’s capital, costs $35 USD.

If you are seeking the comfort and familiarity of a standard hotel while still maintaining a budget, then business hotels are a great option.

Business hotels offer all of the conveniences of larger hotels, but they cut costs by shedding some of the luxuries. Business hotels cater to businessmen who come into town on business, so the rooms tend to be smaller and more minimalist than what you might find at a resort.  At a typical business hotel in Romania, you can expect to find a neat, clean room with fresh linens and a proper bathroom. Many business hotels also offer a light breakfast, which is nice if you don’t want to splurge on meals.

Unlike Airbnb or hostels, business hotels allow late check-ins and have service staff available around the clock. You won’t have to worry about dealing with a cranky Airbnb host or trying to find a time to meet up to exchange room keys, which is a huge plus.

To find a business hotel near your destination, I recommend searching with a service like aggregates hotel and private listings from multiple sources, so it’s a great way to compare accommodation options. My favorite business hotels are Ibis hotels. Ibis is based in Paris, but they operate all over the world and have multiple locations throughout Romania. I’ve found their hotels to be very clean and affordable, especially if you’ll be traveling in Sibiu or Bucharest.


Cost: One night for one person at Casa Elenei in Sibiel, a village in Transylvania, costs $40 USD.

Bed and breakfasts are a great way to experience the authentic charm of Romania, especially if you plan on visiting rural destinations in the country. Since Romania established trade relations with the European Union, many rural farmers have been left without work. Seeing as they cannot compete with the global agriculture machine, many of the villagers who remain in small farming villages have turned to agro tourism as a source of income. Today, bed and breakfasts dot the landscape of rural Romania, especially in the Transylvania region.

At a bed and breakfast in Romania, you can find traditional accommodation, as well as warm and welcoming hosts. Many of the bed and breakfasts offer home-cooked meals throughout the day and serve only authentic Romanian dishes. At some locations, you can even participate in traditional peasant activities, such as basket weaving or whittling.

To book a bed and breakfast for your trip, search in the “Guest House” section of (Tip: the word for bed and breakfast in Romanian is, “pensiune”).


Cost: One night for one person in a mixed dorm at Retro Youth Hostel in Cluj Napoca costs $16 USD (audible gasp).

If you are a die-hard budget traveler, then you already know that there is no better way to cut costs than by staying at hostels. In Romania, hostels are growing as a popular choice of accommodation and modern, friendly hostels can be found in nearly every major Romanian city.

Hostels are a great form of accommodation because, well, they are dirt cheap. Hostels offer dorm style accommodation. In other words, you will be assigned a bed or bunk bed in a room with a dozen other beds and guests. For the adventurous soul, this is a great way to meet new people and step outside of your comfort zone. For others, the thought of sleeping in a room full of strangers may not be all-too appealing.

If you don’t mind staying in hostels, then they are a great way for you to reduce your budget. I once stayed five consecutive nights in a Romanian hostel for a mere $10 USD per night. You can’t even breathe air in Paris without paying more than $10, for perspective.

The most popular website for booking hostels is; however, I have found that and Airbnb have more complete listings for hostels around Romania. I recommend searching on all three platforms to ensure that you don’t miss out on any great deals.


Cost: Getting around Romania will cost about $10 USD per day.

If you have traveled in Europe, then you may have been surprised by how expensive transportation costs can be. Getting to the heart of Paris from Charles de Gaulle  Airport runs nearly $15 USD. Unlike the rest of Europe, however, transportation in Romania is extremely cheap.

Getting around town in Romania’s major cities is easy and affordable. An all-day pass for Bucharest’s metro costs just $2.00 USD. A 60-minute pass which allows unlimited rail or bus transfers is only $1.25 USD.

A reasonable transportation budget for a 10-day trip in Romania would be $100 USD, or $10 USD per day. From Bucharest, you can reach most major tourist points in the country by train or tour bus for less than $15. A train ticket to Brasov from Gara de Nord costs just $12 USD, for example. Trains run daily and are generally well-maintained.

If you need help planning transportation for your trip, including expected expenses, I recommend you read my guide to transportation in Romania.

Eating Out


Cost: A meal for one at a nice restaurant in Romania costs about $10 USD.

By now, you have probably noticed a trend: Romania is an extremely affordable travel spot. One of my favorite things about Romania is eating the delicious food and trying new restaurants. Most restaurants in Romania serve traditional food, though some serve pizza and pasta dishes. In the heart of most Romanian cities, you’ll likely find a cluster of lively restaurants and summer terraces full of diners.

It is acceptable in Romania to go out to a restaurant just to sit around a Coke with a couple of friends. Unlike in the US, there isn’t the expectation that you will be ordering food every time you visit a restaurant. Feel free to visit a summer terrace with friends and just order drinks. This is a great way to enjoy the local ambiance and get a feel for the native way of life.

If you are visiting Bucharest, I highly recommend eating at Caru’ cu Bere. In fact, no trip to Bucharest would be complete without eating here. This restaurant has a rich and interesting history and was once the hangout spot for the local resistance to the despotic rule of Nicolae Ceausescu. It first opened its doors in 1879 and is housed in a distinctive building with an art nouveau interior. Visitors to the restaurant are delighted by live violin performances. If you are on a budget, then the large lunch special, at just $7 USD (move over Paris) is the perfect choice. View the full menu here.

Quick Meals

Cost: A shawarma or meal at a small cafe costs $4 USD.

If you aren’t in the mood for the setting of a traditional restaurant, Romania has a lot of small cafes and shawarma stands to choose from. A shawarma is a Mediterranean sandwich made from seasoned lamb or beef meat and wrapped in pita. The shawarma in Romania is delicious and usually comes filled with french fries.

If you are in Bucharest, then head over to Dristor Kebab in the Old Town to have a shawarma. If you are really cheap, then visit Kebabmania in Piata Mihail Kogalniceanu, where you can get a shawarma for just $1.50.

In Sibiu, Super Mama is the place to be when it comes to eating delicious food on a budget. They have all sorts of sandwiches, plates, and sides to choose from for cheap.

So Cheap, So Amazing

There are many reasons why I consider Romania an amazing travel destination. The countless cultural experiences, astonishing natural beauty, and quaintness of the country all contribute to its appeal. What makes this destination a top-five travel spot for me, though, is that all of this is accessible and affordable to travelers who are on a budget. While your friends are licking a dirty crepe they paid $20 for in the streets of Paris, you could be dining to the sound of a classical violin for less than $10.



Recent Posts