Bucharest Warnings Or Dangers Tips by Dabs
Bucharest Warnings and Dangers: 69 reviews and 63 photos
Particularly around churches, you will find young children begging, mostly dressed in rags. We actually had few following us around the fountains around the Piata Unirii area. It seems rather heartless not to give them anything but local governments never encourage you to give to beggars so I don't.
Stray dogs are a problem not just in Bucharest but all over Romania. But I think reports of packs of wild, snarling, rabid dogs are misleading, we never had an unfriendly stray dog approach us, most just seemed to be looking for food or a scratch behind the ears.
It was heartbreaking seeing all of them, some with their little puppies, many eating out of garbage dumpsters. I had a couple of very anxious moments watching some of them chasing after cars in busy intersections.
I don't think I've ever been to a city/country that had an additional photography/video charge on literally every tourist attraction but sights in Bucharest and the rest of Romania all seemed to have them. In most cases the photography charge was more than the admission, at the Palace of Parliament, the charge was a whopping 300,000 lei ($11 US) so I opted not to pay it. The rooms are so large that it's hard to get photos anyway, there are certain places you can't take photos and you only get to see 5% of the Palace anyway so I'd recommend buying postcards instead. Don't think you can get away with taking shots without paying, they were pretty strict here. Besides you can get postcards with much better pictures.
In addition foreign tourists pay more admission than Romanian citizens, I don't have a problem with this policy since Romanian citizens have already paid for these attractions and foreign visitors can better afford the higher admission. Besides admission is usually not very much, 30,000-40,000 lei ($1-2 US)
I had read about the fake tourist police in both the Rough Guide and Lonely Planet and here on VT. We did not get approached by real or fake police on our trip, perhaps this is not as common of a scam as it once was.
If someone does approach you claiming they are the tourist police, there isn't such a thing. The guidebooks suggest telling them that you need to return to your hotel to get your documents or to find a real policeman and that they will likely find another mark.
Dishonest taxi drivers are a problem in many European cities, Bucharest is no exception. We only took two taxis on our trip, the first one ripped us off even though we had the hotel call for us. I knew the fare was too high but it was 5 am and we were at the train station which is rather dodgy at that time of the morning and honestly just wanted to get into the train station.
The second taxi was to the airport. Once again I asked the hotel to call us a taxi, this time they did a voucher for 15E which still might be too high but I could add it to my hotel bill and I didnt have to worry all the way over that it would be more than the money in my pocket.
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