|Bucharest Travel and General Information|
Most international flights arrive at Henri Coanda (Otopeni) Airport. Airport facilities include ATM, currency exchange office, Taxi Desk and cell phone rentals. There are non-stop flights to Bucharest from most major European cities and in the Middle-East and connecting flights from the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Distance from Bucharest airport to downtown: 18 km (11 miles). Several Taxi companies operate in Bucharest, and their rates can vary. Taxis can be called by using the touch screen computer (called Dispecerat Automatizat Taxi) available next to the Taxi Desk (Taxi la Comanda) located in the arrivals terminal. There is no flat rate taxi transportation available from Bucharest Airport to downtown. The average fare from the airport to downton Bucharest is less than 70 Lei (the equivalent of $23.00).
Do not accept rides from drivers who might approach you inside or in front of the terminal, you will risk to be overcharged.
Visa and Passports
American and Canadian citizens as well as citizens of Australia, New Zealand and most European countries do not need an entry visa to visit Romania, for stays up to 90 (ninety) days. However, a valid passport is required for all overseas/ non-EU visitors. Citizens of the countries of the European Union can enter Romania with a valid passport or with their National Identity Card. Your passport has to be valid for the entire duration of your visit (it will not expire sooner than your intended date of departure).
A list of countries whose citizens are required to obtain a visa can be found here: Visa Requirement List
Romanian (limba romana) is the official language of Romania. Romanian is a romance language, the same as Italian, Spanish and French and is phonetic so it is pronounced just as it is spelled. However, English is widely spoken in Bucharest.
Banks and Currency
The Romanian Leu (pronounced lay) is the common currency. Foreign currencies may be exchanged at banks or authorized exchange offices (called: "casa de schimb" or "birou de schimb valutar"). International airports and larger hotels also offer currency exchange services. They can also be obtained from local ATM machines. However, Romanian currency cannot be exchanged outside Romania’s national borders. Make sure that, before leaving Romania, you convert any leftover Lei into the currency of your choice.
Major credit cards including American Express, Mastercard and Visa are accepted in large hotels, car rental companies and stores in the main cities. However, credit cards are unlikely to prove useful in small towns or shops away from tourist areas.
Contrary to practice in the United States, a PIN is usually required to make credit card purchases. Many American banks allow cardholders to establish such a PIN prior to travel, in case one is needed. Regardless, you should notify your bank of your international travel, and the potential legitimate use of your card abroad, prior to leaving the U.S.
Romania's electrical current is 230 V; 50 cycles and sockets take the standard continental European dual round-pronged plugs.
A plug adaptor is required for non-European appliances. Please remember that simple adapters do not convert voltage or frequency. A power converter is necessary for appliances requiring 110 V.
All conference attendees are advised to arrange private travel insurance. The conference organisers and committee accept no liability for personal accidents or damage to property while in attendance at the conference. The Organising Committee of ISPCAN reserves the right to amend and alter the conference programme and events without prior notice and accepts no liability as a result of such actions.
Specialty stores (handicraft / gift / souvenir) in downtown area are usually open from 9:00 AM to 18:00.
VAT and Taxes
VAT / Value Added Tax (or in Romanian: T V A - Taxa pe Valoare Adăugată )
A sales tax (TVA) of 24 % is added to all retail sales, hotel stays and meals served in restaurants. It is usually included in the prices posted in stores, hotels and restaurants.
Like in many countries hotels charge an additional tax (0.5% to 5% depending on the class of hotel).
VAT Refund - VAT refund offices (Birou de Restituire TVA) can be found at any Romanian border crossing point.
All refunds will be made in Romanian currency "Lei".
Taxi drivers do not expect tips but courteous service can be rewarded.
Hotel Concierge - tipping for the answer to a simple question is not necessary but 10 Lei ($4.00) to 15 Lei ($6.00) is suitable for help making reservations or getting tickets to a show.
Restaurants - although service is included a 5% to 10% tip will be appreciated.
International direct dialing service is available throughout Romania. Most public telephones require the use of a calling/ telephone card. It is very easy to rent or buy a cellular telephone in Romania.