Romania: the heart of mystery

Romania: the heart of mystery

Created from the merging of the kingdoms of Wallachia, Moldavia, and later Transylvania, Romania has spent much of its life under other civilizations’ control from the Romans to the Ottoman Turks to the Soviet era communists. Its centralized location on the Balkan Peninsula and comprising some of the west coast of the Black Sea has made it a way point for all of Europe. In the past couple of decades the Romanian people have enjoyed independence, and as a fledgling member of the European Union, this country has begun to thrive. This places Romania in a unique point in its history: an inexpensive country with a rich cultural heritage that is just beginning to rebound from centuries of oppression. Whether you hunt for the historical Dracula in the mountainous forests of Transylvania or you look for relaxation on the shores of the Black Sea, a vacation to Romania will have something for everyone.   Getting in, out, and about   Romania is one of the newest parties to the Schengen Agreement. Although the country has not fully implemented the agreement, for the most part US travelers can treat Romania as a Schengen country. You only need a valid US passport to enter Romania, although it must remain valid for at least 90 days beyond your scheduled departure from the Schengen area. You can stay in Romania for up to 90 days within a 6 month period, much as it is with other Schengen countries. Unlike many countries in the Schengen area, however, US travelers can work in Romania during their 90 day stay.   Romania recognizes dual citizenship, so if you are a US citizen originally from Romania, you may be subject to additional Romanian laws and requirements that can make it difficult to leave the country once you have finished your vacation. Before you travel, consult with the nearest Romanian embassy or consulate for more information if this applies to you.   Romania’s health care system is underdeveloped according to US standards. Consequently, travelers should take precautions by not drinking the tap water or using ice cubes made from the tap water. The US Center for Disease Control also recommends that most travelers take a vaccination against Hepatitis A in addition to the common vaccinations, because it can be spread through contaminated food and water. Some travelers may want to consider taking additional vaccinations against Hepatitis B or...

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