One of the newest members of the EU, joining in 2007, Romania is famous around the world for its Carpathian Mountains, communism, and of course, vampires. But there’s far more to this beautiful country than Transylvania and Nadia Comaneci.
Did you know, for example, that insulin, fountain pens and 3D cinemas were all invented in Romania? They are also the 9th largest wine producer in the world and have the 4th biggest public transport system in Europe.
If those fun facts aren’t enough, here are five reasons Romania should be your next travel destination:
1. Bucharest is great
One of the safest capitals in Europe, and nicknamed little Paris, Bucharest has an interesting history with an amazing nightlife. Visit the Romanian Parliament, the heaviest building in the world, or take a stroll through Băneasa Forest – 788 hectares of woodland all within the city limits.
Learn about the communist past of the city in the Museum of History, or visit one of the other 60 museums.
This beautiful city is also surprisingly affordable; with a beer costing just over £1.50, it’s easy to see why it’s one of Europe’s most budget-friendly capitals.
2. You might spot the largest mammal in Europe
In 1927 there were only 54 European Bison left in the world, entirely in zoos, sadly, with none left at all in their natural environment. But you’ll be pleased to hear they have been reintroduced to many of the forests throughout Romania. The conservation effort has been so great that they have recently lost their vulnerable status!
Visit the Hateg-Slivut Bison Reserve to see some for yourself, or you might even chance upon them roaming the Tarcu Mountains if you’re lucky.
3. It’s the cheapest ski destination in Europe
With slopes to suit all abilities, and solo ski lessons starting from 25 euros, Romania is a great location for snow sports enthusiasts on a budget.
Many popular resorts are within 3 hours of Bucharest, allowing you to combine a city visit with some time on the slopes.
Plus, at the end of a long day on the pistes, who doesn’t want to sip a cold beer overlooking Dracula’s Castle?
4. It boasts 8 UNESCO world heritage sights
Admire 17th-century wooden churches set in mountain valleys, stroll the cobbled streets of one of Europe’s few constantly inhabited medieval citadels, or float down a section of the Danube, home to over 300 bird species.
There’s plenty of historical sights to see, both natural and manmade.
5. Ride an underground Ferris wheel in an old salt mine
This mine could provide enough salt for the whole world for 60 years! Hire a boat on the underground lake, admire the stalactites, or enjoy the salty waterfall. Ride on the unique fairground and experience this underground environment.
Romanians believe salty air is good for the lungs, and this old mine features a salt-based spa and wellness centre as well as outdoor salt lakes for swimming.
While relaxing in a salty spa might be a more fun way to improve your health, the essential addition for any trip to Romania is a Global Health Insurance Card.
What is a Romania GHIC?
For years, European citizens have had access to the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) whilst travelling. This covers you for any healthcare you need whilst abroad, as long as you haven’t travelled specifically for this reason. You can access all state-provided healthcare at a reduced-cost (often it’s actually free!).
Since Brexit at the end of December 2020, the UK is no longer part of the European Union, so UK citizens are now ineligible to use the EHIC.
But there’s no need to panic! Your current EHIC will continue to be valid until it expires, then you will need to apply for a UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC).
The GHIC works in the same way as the old EHIC, and is totally free – websites offering a GHIC for a fee are not legitimate.
Why do I need a Romania GHIC Card?
With over a quarter of the country occupied by the Carpathian Mountains, it’s no wonder Romania has more than 150 ski resorts. Enjoy the slopes safely knowing that if anything should happen, your GHIC will help make healthcare costs affordable.
If you’re planning an extended stay to explore some of Romania’s 41 counties, don’t let a long-term health condition hold you back. The GHIC can help cover the costs of managing your chronic condition – from routine maternity care to dialysis, a Global Health Insurance Card means you’re treated like a local and charged accordingly.
In a country as budget-friendly as Romania, travel insurance could well be one of the most expensive parts of a trip (especially if you’re over 60). However, a GHIC card can help to convince your insurer they won’t have to foot a massive bill, encouraging them to reduce your premium, and sometimes even waive your excess! Some providers won’t even insure you without your global health insurance card.
How do I apply for a Romania UK Global Health Insurance Card?
Apply via the form provided on the EHIC website here to get your Romania UK Global Health Insurance card or Lithuania GHIC card. The one card is suitable for use in every EU country. For more information on who is eligible for the card and what is covered, visit the NHS website.
Romania Health Card FAQs
How much does it cost to make a Romania GHIC application?
The Romania GHIC application is always totally free of charge – any websites asking for money during the application are a scam. Visit the legitimate website here and start your Romania GHIC application.
The aim of the Romania Health Insurance Card is to save you money on your visit to Romania, or any other EU country. Not only will your healthcare costs be massively reduced, but the GHIC may also reduce your travel insurance costs.
What treatment will my Romania UK GHIC card cover during my trip?
With a Romania GHIC, you will be charged the same as a Romanian citizen when visiting any state-run healthcare facility.
Any visits to A&E or a GP will be free, with a 2.50 euro charge on discharge from any state hospital for those in possession of a Romania Health Insurance Card.
Other than Romania, which other countries will my Romania Health Insurance Card cover?
The Romania UK GHIC card is universal – GHIC cards aren’t issued for a specific country. It covers all 27 European Union countries. Don’t forget Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland aren’t part of the EU, so you won’t be covered by your Romania UK Global Health Insurance Card here.