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Romania a county in southeastern Europe, a member of the European Union but not yet a member of the Schengen zone. It shares a border with Hungary and Serbia to the west, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova to the northeast, and Bulgaria to the south.
Hitchhiking in Romania is usually very easy. Payment for the ride is often expected, however. Make sure to tell the driver that you are travelling without money (fără bani ‘without money’ or nu am bani ‘I have no money’) before you get in the car. Most drivers will agree to take you anyway, but if you don't tell them beforehand, they can aggressively demand payment when you get out later. If you wish to pay drivers like local hitchhikers do, it is still cheaper than trains and buses though, about 5 lei (1.25€) for every 100 km.
At the exits of most cities, there are established places to hitchhike and you may find yourself competing with local people who will pay drivers. In some cases, it is better to walk a little bit down the road and hitchhike where you can stand alone. The common practice is to hold a sign with the name of the place you want to go; Romanian usually write the two-letter code of the county seat they are going to (e.g. "CJ" for Cluj).
Romania has very a couple of hundred kilometers of real motorway, in the south of the country. Elsewhere, long-distance traffic is going on national roads with E numbers. You can stand directly on the national roads and thumb, though junctions are always best because cars go more slowly there.
Romanian is one of the few non-Slavic languages of Eastern Europe. It uses the Latin alphabet and is related to French, Italian, Spanish etc. Speakers of one of these languages will find it easier to pronounce and understand Romanian.
100.000–300.000: Arad | Bacău | Baia Mare | Botoşani | Brăila | Braşov | Buzău | Craiova | Drobeta-Turnu Severin | Galaţi | Oradea | Piatra-Neamţ | Piteşti | Ploieşti | Râmnicu Vâlcea | Satu Mare | Sibiu | Suceava | Târgu Mureş
The roads are very outdated. There are only 3 motorways in all of Romania:
- The A1 going 127 km from Bucureşti to Piteşti – the only fully operational motorway in Romania
- The A2 or Sun's motorway, going 204 km from Bucureşti to Constanţa – only 75 % completed
- The A3 or Transylvania motorway, going 588 km from Bucureşti to the border with Hungary – under construction, due 2013
Most of the other roads are in poor condition, the European routes being the best. Even so, hitching a ride is quite easy, especially on the major European roads that get a lot of traffic.
The most used type of license plate uses a cc-99-xyz format, where cc is the 2-letter county code, 99 a random 2-digit number, and xyz 3 random letters.
It's quite possible to see Bucharest registered plates (B-99-xyz) all over the country, as all the leasing companies are based in Bucharest, and people are obliged to use Bucharest plates while their cars are in leasing.
County license plate codes
|Alba||AB||Alba Iulia||Buzău||BZ||Buzău||Gorj||GJ||Târgu Jiu||Prahova||PH||Ploieşti|
|Bistriţa-Năsăud||BN||Bistriţa||Covasna||CV||Sfântu Gheorghe||Maramureş||MM||Baia Mare||Timiş||TM||Timişoara|
|Braşov||BV||Braşov||Dolj||DJ||Craiova||Mureş||MS||Târgu Mureş||Vâlcea||VL||Râmnicu Vâlcea|
- Sighetu Marmației-Solotvyno border crossing
- There is no border crossing between Ukraine and the Danube Delta region of Romania. Travelers going between eastern Romania and southern Ukraine must pass through Moldova. There are privately owned boats that may takes travelers, but they ask into the hundreds of euro for the service.
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