The official currency in Romania is Leu, which actually translates as “Lion”. ( A captivating history of Romanian currency can be discovered by visiting the Museum of The National Bank Of Romania. ) The plural for Leu is plural Lei, but the Romanian money is abbreviated RON (Romanian New Leu).
Although part of the European Union, the country has yet to meet that standards to transition to using Euros, so make sure to exchange your money in the official currency in Romania. Some hotels, shops, and restaurants might accept dollars or euros, but that is an exception rather than the rule, and the exchange rate won’t be in your favor.
When using exchange offices always check the commission percentage first, and always check if the transaction is registered and if you get a receipt!
Using your credit card in Romania is similar to using it in any other European country. We would, however, advise you to make sure before you leave home that your credit card works abroad in general and Romania in particular.
If you come from an exotic country, you might want to remember that you might not be able to exchange Romanian lei in your currency when returning home. Thus it would be advisable to exchange your Lei for a US dollars or Euros when leaving Romania.
Currency in Romania – Denomination
Banknote denominations are 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 , 200 and 500 Lei.
The color of the bank notes in relation to their value:
- 1 leu -Green,
- 5 lei – Purple,
- 10 lei -Reddish Brown,
- 50 lei -Yellow
- 100 lei – Blue
- 200 lei – Light yellow/beige
- 500 lei – Light Blue /green.
100 Lei is approximately 22 euros or 24 US dollars.
Coin denominations are 1, 5, 10 and 50 bani coins (1 Leu = 100 bani). Coins are similar in size and color to the denominations of euro coins, and this is by purpose, as Romania hopes to adhere to Euro Zone, in the future.
The color of the coins is given by the metal they are made of. In relation to their value:
- 1 Ban – brass,
- 5 Bani -cooper
- 10 Bani – steel
- 50 Bani – brass
For the best exchange rates, head towards the exchange offices in the city center, rather than using the ones near the airport or railway station. You will likely find ATMs in all major places, banks, shopping centers, railway stations and airport in Bucharest.
Approximate exchange rates for foreign currency in Romania are:
|Romanian New Leu||1.00 RON||inv. 1.00 RON|
For more accurate and up-to-date information about the currency in Romania and the money exchange rates, please visit the official site of the National Bank Of Romania
- Exchange rates: http://www.bnr.ro/mobile_fxr.aspx
Prices in Romania
- A bus ticket costs about 0.3 US dollars (or you can buy 3 tickets for one dollar, almost 4 tickets for 1 Euro) for an urban trip. It costs around 1 dollar for express lines.
- Entrance fees to most attractions/museums in Bucharest are below 5 US dollars or 20 Lei.
- A small 0.25l Coke in most restaurants – 1.5-2 Euros
- A (normal) bread in a supermarket – 0.5 Euro