The Romanian Leu

Exchanging foreign currency

 The local currency of Romania is called the Leu (currency code: RON). Romania was the third country in the world to fully convert to polymer notes. Romania is still primarily a cash economy, so make sure you always carry sufficient leu to cover your expenses.

Some places accept credit cards for payment, these will typically be more upmarket establishment. Very few shops or businesses accept travelers’ checks for payment, this is not a method of payment to rely on – you may find that cashing them in a bank is necessary. Many banks will be able to provide cash advances on your credit card (be aware you will normally be charged a commission by you card issuer for this service – check your tariffs).

ATM machines can be easily found outside banks, post offices or in shopping malls. Exchange rates are posted all over the city, and at the exchange office called Casă de schimb, you can change foreign currencies for leu. When exchanging money be careful to search for exchange offices with 0% commission. A valid passport is required in such cases. Save your receipt to prove you have changed your money legally. Never change money with someone who approaches you on the street; it’s always a scam and it is illegal!

You can check exchange rates at www.bnr.ro , the official site of the National Bank of Romania, but in exchange offices these rates will vary from those of BNR. You can also go to banks in the city to exchange money. Banks are usually open 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.


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