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 Romania in brief

 Geographic setting

Romania is located in the South-East of Europe, in the north of the Balkan Peninsula, on the Lower Danube, with opening to the Black Sea. It lays both to the south and to the north of the Carpathian Mountains, which form a horse shoe, with the Transylvanian Plateau in the center.
It is the seventh state with the largest number of inhabitants and the ninth state with the widest territory of the European Union.
It has a surface of 238,391 (91843 square miles).


Romania neighbors the Ukraine Republic in the north-east, the Moldavian Republic in the east, Hungary in the west, Serbia in the south-west, Bulgaria in the south, and the Black Sea in the south-east.

 Anthem and flag

In January 1990, “Wake up Romanians!” was adopted as the National Anthem. The anthem is a poem written in 1848 by Andrei Muresanu. The poem was adopted as the anthem of the Romanian revolutionaries in 1848 and was sang on a tune composed by Anton Pann. In 1918, on the occasion of the Great Union, the anthem resonated on the Freedom Plain in Alba Iulia. After the revolution of 1989, the song was adopted as the national anthem.
The national flag of Romania is three-colored with vertical stripes, starting from the pike: blue, yellow and red. The current aspect of the flag was adopted after the fall of communism, in December 1989. The communist flag was composed of the same colors, only the emblem of the communist Romania was in its center. This emblem was taken off the flag by the revolutionaries during the events of December 1989, and the authorities established not to add any other emblem instead.

 National Day

Romania’s national day is the 1st of December. This date was established by the Romanian authorities after the fall of the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu’s system in December 1989. It’s a day full of historical meaning as the union of all Romanians was sanctioned on the 1st of December 1918.


- The highest mountain: the Fagaras Massif, which is part of the Meridional Carpathians, is the highest mountain chain of Romania, with its two peaks, Moldoveanu peak, with an altitude of 2,544 meters, and Negoiu Peak, with an altitude of 2,535 meters. The Fagaras Massif is considered by alpinists to be grandiose, the most ruthless and, at the same time, the most unpredictable mountain chain of Romania.

- The lowest point: Black Sea - 0 m.

- Lakes: there are around 3500 lakes in Romania. The most important are the lakes originating from the former lagoons on the Black Sea shore –Razim Lake (425 and Sinoe Lake (171 In the Carpathian Mountains there are glacial lakes, and the largest of them is the Bucura Lake, with a surface of 10.8 ha. Also, there are artificial lakes, important for their energetic power, the most important of them being those on the Danube at Portile de Fier II (40,000 ha) and Portile de Fier I (10,000 ha, but with a water volume three times larger than Portile de Fier II). Extremely important is also the lake at Izvoru Muntelui on the Bicaz river (with a surface of 3,100 ha).

- Regions: Romania is divided into 41 administrative units, called counties. Bucharest, the Capital City, adds to them, with a statute similar to that of county.

- The largest river: Danube, which is also Europe’s second river in length. From its total length of 2860 km, 1075 km are on Romanian territory. The Danube falls into the Black Sea by three arms (Chilia, Sulina, Sfantu Gheorghe), which form a delta.

- The most important rivers: Mures (761 km on Romanian territory), Prut (742 km on Romanian territory), Olt (615 km), Siret (559 km on Romanian territory), Ialomita (417 km), Somes (376 km on Romanian territory), Arges (350 km).

(read more…link to the Tourism sub-page of the website)


• The research made by the Romanian archeologists in Bugiulesti, Valcea, led to the discovery of some human relics dating back to the beginning of the Inferior Paleolithic (approx. 2 million years before Christ), which certifies that the Romanian territory was inhabited back then.

• In the antiquity, the Romanian territory was inhabited by Getians and Dacians and it was known as Dacia. It was at the climax of its power under King Decebal (87-106 A.D.). The Dacian territory was conquered by Emperor Traian (98-117 A.D.).

• Romanians are today the only descendants of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the Romanian language is one of the main inheritors of the Latin language.

• During the 4th to 13th centuries, the current territory of Romania was crossed by the migratory peoples - Goths, Huns, Gepids, Avars, Slavs, Petchenegs, Cumans and Tartars.

• Starting with the 10th century, there were archaeological documents mentioning the existence of the political entities of the Romanian population - principalities and voivodeships – at first in Transylvania and Dobrudja, then during the 12th and 13th centuries in the territories to the east and south of the Carpathian Mountains as well.

• From the Middle Ages until the modern age, Romanians have lived in three neighboring but autonomous princedoms - Tara Romaneasca, Moldavia and Transylvania.

• In 1857, the ad-hoc meetings in Bucharest and Iasi unanimously decided to unify the two princedoms – Tara Romaneasca and Moldavia – into a single state.

• In 1859, Romanians from Moldavia and Tara Romaneasca elected Alexandru Ioan Cuza as sole ruler, achieving, de facto, the union of the two princedoms.

• The Romanian national state took, on the 24th of January – 5th of February 1862, the make of Romania and established its capital city at Bucharest.

• On the 10th of May 1866, Charles of Hohenzollern - Sigmaringen was proclaimed ruling prince of Romania, under the name of Charles I.

• On the 1st of December 1918, the national assembly of Transylvania, convened at Alba Iulia, voted the union of Transylvania and Banat with Romania.

• Romania was proclaimed People’s Republic on the 30th of December 1947.

• After the Second World War, the communist system was installed in Romania, which ended on the 22nd of December 1989.


Romania has a temperate continental climate, specific to the Central Europe, with four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter.
In winter, the average temperature falls below - 5°C and in summer it is between 22°C and 24°C.


Romania benefits from all the forms of relief - plains, hills, mountains, rivers and seaside – which makes it extremely attractive for tourists.
Romania is crossed by the Carpathian Mountains, which cover 31% of the entire surface of the country. Hills do not exceed 1000 meters in height. Plains stretch out on the south and west parts of the country. The widest plains are the Romanian Plain, located between the Carpathian Mountains, the Danube river and the West Plain, crossed by many rivers.
Romanian fauna is one of the richest and most various of Europe, containing rare or even unique species on the continent, such as black goat, brown bear, Carpathian stag, lynx, marten and blackcock. In the plain zone and on hills, rabbits, foxes, wild boars and deers can be seen.
The Danube Delta is also called the “sanctuary of wild birds and fish”, being populated, among others, by species of carp, pickerel, pike perch or sheath fish. Also, sturgeons, from which caviar is obtained, can be found on the lower reach of the Danube. Currently, sturgeon fishing is prohibited in Romania. Also, hunting is strictly controlled, being allowed only during certain periods established by law.


According to the census of 2002, Romania has a population of 21,698,181 inhabitants. Among these, 19,409,400 inhabitants are Romanians, the rest being Romanian citizens of other origins: Magyar (1,434,377 inhabitants), Gypsies (535,250 inhabitants), Germans (60,088), Ukrainians-Ruthenians (61,353 inhabitants), Russians-Lipovans (36,397 inhabitants), Turks (32,596 inhabitants), Tartars (24,137 inhabitants), Serbians (22,518 inhabitants), Slovaks (17,199 inhabitants), Bulgarians (8,092 inhabitants), Croatians (6,786 inhabitants), Greeks (6,513 inhabitants), Jews (5,870 inhabitants), Czechs (3,938 inhabitants), Polacks (3,671 inhabitants), Italians (3,331 inhabitants), Armenians (1,780 inhabitants).

 Official language

The official language of Romania is the Romanian language. It is a language of Latin origin, its alphabet being Latin. Many inhabitants of Romania speak English, French and German. Also, in certain areas of the country, Magyar (particularly in Harghita, Covasna, and Mures counties) and Russian (at the border with the Moldavian Republic and Ukraine).


According to the census of 2002, the population of Romania is mostly Orthodox (87.6%). On the Romanian territory, other religions are also represented: Romano-Catholic (4.7%), Reformed (3.2%), Pentecostal (1.5%), Greek-Catholic (0.9 %), Baptist (0.6%), Seventh-day Adventists (0.4%), Unitarian (0.3%), Moslem (0.3%), Mosaic (0.1%). Religious freedom is guaranteed by the Romanian Constitution.


According to article 102 of the Fundamental Law of Romania, the Constitution, the “Government, according to its government program, accepted by the Parliament, ensures the implementation of the internal and external policy of the country and exercises the general management of the public administration”.
Read more… link to

 Elective system

The government form of the Romanian state is the republic.
The Romanian Parliament is bicameral, being composed of the Senate, with 137 members, and the Chamber of Deputies, with 327 members. A number of 18 places in the Chamber of Deputies are reserved to the representatives of the national minorities.
The general elections in Romania are based on the proportional lists system, every four years, when the members of the Parliament are elected from the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The elections for the County Council and the Municipal Council are organized at the same time and in the same way.
The elections of the mayors are based on direct vote (every four years). The election of the President of Romania is achieved by direct vote (every five years).

 Political parties

In the Romanian parliament, 7 political formations are represented. The Democratic Social Party (PSD), the Grand Romania Party (PRM), the Democratic Party (PD), the Conservatory Party (PC) and the Democratic Liberal Party (PLD) are opposition parties. The governing parties are: the National Liberal Party (PNL) and the Magyar Democratic Union of Romania (UDMR).
The most important non-parliamentary political formations are: the National Democratic Christian Peasant Party (PNTCD) – formerly a government party – Popular Action (Apm – formation led by the ex-president of Romania during the period of 1996-2000, Emil Constantinescu), the New Generation Christian Democratic Party (PNG-CD), the Romanian Ecologist Party (PER), the Magyar Civic Union (UCM), the National Initiative Party (PIN) or the Social Christian Popular Union (UPSC).

 Organizations Romanian is part of

Romania is a member of the United Nations Organization since the 14th of December 1955, of NATO since 2004, and of the European Union (EU) since the 1st of January 2007. Also, Romania is a member of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), of the European Council since the 7th of October 1993 and of the International Organization of Francophony.
On the 16th of December 2004, Romania became a full member of the Task Force for International Cooperation on Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research.

 Capital city

The capital city of Romania is the municipality of Bucharest, with a population of 2,032,000 inhabitants. The city was first attested with documents in 1459, as residence of the ruler Vlad the Impaler.
(read more…link to the sub-page Bucharest)

 Main cities

The main cities in terms of the number of inhabitants are: Iasi (349,000 inhabitants), Constanta (344.000 inhabitants), Cluj-Napoca (333.000 inhabitants), Galati (332.000 inhabitants), Timisoara (327.000 inhabitants), Brasov (316.000 inhabitants), Craiova (314.000 inhabitants), Ploiesti (253.000 inhabitants) and Braila (234.000 inhabitants).

 How to get to Romania

Wherever you are in the world, you can get to Romania by any kind of transport means: either by plane or by train, either by personal car or by boat.
Starting with the 1st of January 2007, when Romania acceded to the European Union, customs checks and customs formalities will no longer be performed for possessions of travelers originating from a community state.
The access to Romania shall be made only based on an identity document – either a national identity document or a passport.
Read to

Access by plane:

• The international airports of Romania are Bucharest-Otopeni - “Henri Coanda” Airport, Bucharest-Baneasa, Constanta - Mihail Kogalniceanu, Timisoara, Cluj-Napoca.
• The Otopeni International Airport of Bucharest is located at 18 km from the center of the city.
• From the “Henri Coanda” Otopeni Airport one can reach the center of Bucharest by taking the express line 783 or a taxi. For the express line 783 you can purchase 2-trip magnetic cards from the departure station in front of the Airport, which cost 5 new Lei / 50,000 old Lei. If you resort to a taxi, we recommend you to read the price specified on the taxi door and ask the driver if there is any surcharge for trips outside the city.

Access by train

• Bucharest is connected by fast international trains to the main capital cities in the center of Europe. Also, Bucharest is the main railway junction of the country. Trains leave from here to all the Romanian cities. The cost of trips varies depending on the train, distance and travel class.

Access by car

- Berlin, Warsaw, Budapest - Petea E81;
- Vienna, Prague, Budapest - Bors E60
- Vienna, Prague, Budapest - Nadlac E64;
- Trieste, Belgrade - Moravita E70 or Portile de Fier E70;
- Athens, Tirana, Sofia - Giurgiu E85;
- Istanbul, Sofia - Vama Veche E87;
- Moscow, Kiev, Chisinau - Albita E580;
- Warsaw, Kiev, Cernauti - Siret E85.
All the roads are marked according to the international regulations. Cars drive on the right side of the road.

Access by boat

• The largest Romanian harbor is Constanta (at the Black Sea).
• There are access harbors on the Danube river as well, at Sulina, Tulcea, Braila, Drobeta Turnu Severin and Giurgiu.

 Important holidays and festivals

Days off
In Romania, the New Year’s days (1st and 2nd of January), the Orthodox Easter day, the 1st of May, the 1st of December (National Day) and the Christmas days (25th and 26th of December) are days off. These are the most important holidays in Romania. Also, religious holidays and traditional customs are celebrated in Romania.

March amulet’s holiday
The 1st of March is the traditional holiday of the March amulet, day when Romanians celebrate the coming of spring. In most parts of Romania, on this day women receive “March amulets” from men. In some areas of Moldavia, there still exists the ancient custom that men receive the “March amulet” from women. “March amulets” are bicolor (white and red) twisted braids to which various figurines are bound. “March amulets” bring happiness and luck and are worn at sight (head-on or around the wrist) for one week, until the 8th of March, when the Women’s Day is celebrated.
The March amulet is a Romanian tradition more than 8000 years old. The earliest proofs of this holiday were discovered by archeologists at Schela Cladovei, in the Mehedinti county.

April Fools’ Day
In Romania, the 1st of April is the “April Fools’ Day”, the favorite day of those who like to play practical jokes on friends. The tradition says that you must not let yourself be fooled by anyone if you want to avoid being fooled for the rest of the year.
The origin of this custom is unknown. There is a supposition according to which the origin of the Aprils’ Fool Day is connected to the change of the Gregorian calendar, in which the New Year was celebrated on the 1st of April instead of the 1st of January.

Bedstraws’ Day (Midsummer Day)
A Romanian traditional holiday that takes place on the 24th of June is the Bedstraws’ Day. It’s a pagan holiday, but it was accepted, even with its name, into the Christian orthodox calendar. It is the day marking the beginning of summer when it is said that herbs (curing plants) have maximum power and it is best for them to be cropped then. The bedstraws are, in fact, wild yellow flowers. In the popular tradition, “Bedstraws” are fantastic beneficial characters. According to the tradition, in the Romanian village, young girls pick up wild yellow flowers and tress them into a flower circlet, that they dedicate to the sun and then wear on the head to bring them good luck in life and love. In some areas of Romania, the flower circlets are thrown onto the house, in order either to find out how long the girl throwing it will live, or when she will marry. The longest the circlet stays in the air, the quickest the girl will marry or the longest she will live. The Bedstraws’ night is also an important love holiday.