It often feels like a forgotten corner of Europe, doesn’t it?
But forget about Romania at your peril I say, because this country absolutely deserves a top spot on Europe’s travel map!
And to help you plan your time there, I’m bringing you my complete packing list for this country.
Kicking off with 10 great tips about how to prep yourself and your gear for a trip to this eastern European gem, the latter half of this article contains a complete item-by-item breakdown of everything that needs to go into your bag for an amazing adventure here.
With epic hiking, exciting cities and plenty of historic castles and villages thrown in for good measure, there’s no question you’re likely to enjoy a lot of different types of activities in Romania, which can make packing for this coutnry a little hard.
But don’t fret, I’ve got the perfect guide to help you out, so let’s get stuck in…
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#1 Prepare for the Season
The first tip when it comes to packing properly for Romania is centred around the fact that this country experiences some pretty wild seasons!
Days in the summer can easily reach into the high 30s, even up in the more mountainous area, while the depths of winter regularly see snow and temperatures plummet below zero centigrade.
As such, considering when you plan to travel Romania will be absolutely crucial in getting your gear selection right!
As most people head to Romania during the warmer months – definitely better for sightseeing, getting around and daylight hours – I’ve decided to base this packing guide around travelling there during the summer too, so do bear that in mind.
If you are planning to head here in the winter for some serious snow action though, then I’d suggest heading across to check out my ski trip packing list instead.
Even if you don’t plan to hit the slopes, the layers I list here will be eqaully applicable in a Romanian winter!
#2 Packing for Romanian Cities
It’s very likely that you’ll be visiting at least 1 or 2 cities during your time in Romania, so now I’m moving on to packing tips for these.
Bucharest is the obvious favourite (and rightly so), but you shouldn’t dismiss the country’s other main cities of Cluj, Iasi, Timisoara and Brasov.
As such, you should probably plan for a few good city days during your Romanian trip and pack accordingly.
Flat shoes that can be used for comfortable walking are a must, as well as some comfortable shorts or trousers depending on the temperature.
I’d also recommend a good daypack, so you can carry things comfortably around with you for the whole day, plus a metal water bottle is a great idea as Romanian tap water is drinkable and free!
Dress codes are pretty relaxed in this country and you’ll be fine wearing things above the knee when walking around cities – I just recommend scarves to cover shoulders if you’re entering any churches.
People don’t get super dressed up for dinner or the evenings in Romania, so I wouldn’t advise bringing anything too fancy, but you may want to bring some nicer jeans, smart/casual tops and a pair of evening sandals or pumps if you are heading out and about at night.
#3 Packing for Hiking
If you weren’t in the know yet, then pleasant surprise announcement… Romania has loads of great national parks and beautiful countryside that offers a huge range of outdoor fun.
From hiking and biking to canyoning and even climbing, it’s all on offer in the mountains here and should definitely be taken advantage of in the lovely summer weather.
Transylvania in the north of the county is really the spot to head to for outdoor fun, so definitely make some you pack some activewear if you’re planning on getting amongst it.
Hiking here can range from easy to super hard (think some pretty epic climbs!), so you’ll need to bring trainers or walking shoes / boots with you depending on your preferences.
Hiking trousers or leggings will certainly make enjoying any active pursuits easier too!
A cap to keep the sun off your face and a small backpack and a buff might also be a good idea and, personally, I always think a thin waterproof / windproof jacket is a good idea even if rain isn’t forecast, as the weather can quickly change at altitude.
#4 Packing for Romanian Village & Castles
Even outside of any of Romania’s major cities, there’s plenty to be seen, so you should definitely consider some sightseeing days on your itinerary… and pack accordingly!
Top of this list tends to be cute traditional villages, of which there are tons (I love the Saxon villages of Transylvania especially) and a heck of a lot of castles!
Bran and Peles Castles tend to be the favourites here and can easily be enjoyed as part of a top Brasov day trip.
There’s also wine and salt mine tours to consider too.
For all sightseeing days, I recommend comfortable clothes – leggings, shorts or trousers, along with a t-shirt / singlet and a thin jumper.
A scarf can be handy for draping over shoulders if you’re heading into any religious buildings or need to protect yourself from the sun.
Comfortable shoes, like trainers, are ideal and don’t forget a camera to snap all the beautiful historic sights and sweeping countryside views.
If you want to do an Instagram thing (yes it’s a thing), then bringing a nice dress and hat for the castles could be an idea!
#5 Bring Layers!
But while I’ve been listing all the things to take, the next point to make is that taking layers is the key not only to packing light for your Romania trip, but also to ensuring that you’re prepared for all circumstances and range of weathers.
Whether it’s thin sweaters you can wear under jackets, or leggings you can put on under dresses or long tops, layers provide versatility and are an efficient way to pack too.
Opting for layers also tends to mean you go for thin fabrics on your packing list, which not only take up less room in your luggage, but also dry quicker as well.
Layers are great for when you’re up in the mountains, especially during the evening when temperatures can quickly drop.
#6 Use Packing Cubes
And now seems like as good a time as any to tackle the notion of packing cubes – another key way to ensure all your Romanian packing list fits into a small backpack or suitcase.
If you want to compress your gear, so it takes up less space, as well as have it nicely organised, then packing cubes are the answer my friend!
Yes a godsend to disorganised packers everywhere, I absolutely love these ones and personally, would never consider heading off to Romania, or indeed anywhere, without them.
#7 What Luggage Size to Take?
And if you manage to condense your stuff down well, then this whole Romanian packing list below should fit into a 30-50l backpack.
I never take anything bigger, even when I’m travelling for 6 months at a time!
This 46l Atmos backpack from Osprey makes a great option or, alternatively, if you’re not visiting Romania as part of a European backpacking trip but a standalone travel adventure, then a small wheeled suitcase may suit you better.
As always, I recommend taking a suitcase that will fit into the overhead locker on a plane or train, so you don’t have to wait for your luggage or risk losing it.
Hard shell suitcases with TSA locks and spinner wheels are the best option. Those with extendable compartments are also great, so you can start small and increase the size if you buy any souvenirs!
Check out this great example I recommend.
#8 Select Footwear Carefully
Shoes are one of the things that take up the most room in your luggage, so selecting these wisely is a great way to keep your packing weight and size down too.
When it comes to packing for Romania, try to select footwear that is lightweight, (i.e. small, thin sandals or light trainers, pumps or sneakers) for your case or backpack and then wear any hiking boots / shoes you need on the flight there!
I’d suggest that for 1-2 weeks in Romania, 3 pairs of shoes is the max you should need – 1x hiking boots or walking shoes, 1x casual pair of trainers, sneakers or pumps and 1x pair of sandals or flipflops should do it.
Think about shoes that cover a range of circumstances including sightseeing, walking day trips and nights out… and pack appropriately.
#9 Don’t Forget Sunglasses and SPF
It’s worth remembering it can be really sunny during the summer in Romania – think 30 degrees centigrade plus – so you should definitely pack items for your trip that protect your face and eyes from those UV rays.
UV-protected sunglasses and a 30+ SPF are therefore great ideas for your Romanian packing list, especially if you’re planning any outdoor activities.
A hat or cap that protect your head and neck from those UV rays, especially if you’re hiking or enjoying any active pursuits, is also a must.
I’d also advise bringing a good moisturiser you can use on your hands, body and face too in case the sun makes your skin dry, as well as an SPF lip balm (voice of experience!)
#10 Invest in a Portable Charger
I highly recommend investing in a power pack for your trip to Romania, so that you can charge your phone when you’re out and about.
My go-to brand here is Anker and I actually have 2 of their portable chargers – one that comes out with me during the day and the other that is charging wherever I’m staying, so it’s ready to swap over.
For my big camera, I also have a spare battery, so that I can swap batteries around and keep snapping happily away all day.
Complete Romanian Packing List
So now we come to my complete Romanian Packing List – a full breakdown of all the items you should bring with you on a trip to this country if you’re visiting during the warmer months from May to September.
Geared towards being comfortable and packing light, the length of your stay in Romania will, of course, dictate the amount of each item that you need, but here’s a checklist of all the gear I’d recommend if you’re travelling in this country for a week…
7x Singlets / T-Shirts
3x Thin Long Sleeved Tops
2x Jumpers / Sweaters
1x Thin Waterproof / Windproof Jacket – Like this one
2x Jeans / Trousers
2x Leggings – I love my bamboo fibre ones!
3x Scarves / Buffs
Cap / Sun hat
Hiking Boots / Walking Shoes – I love my North Face Hedgehogs
Trainers Pumps / Flats – Converse are a good casual option
Sandals – You can’t go wrong with a Birkenstock!
Thin Toiletries Bag with Hook
Shampoo & Conditioner Bars – Try these!
Shower Gel / Soap
Face Cleanser, Toner, Serum & Moisturiser
Cotton Buds / Pads
SPF Sunscreen & SPF Lip Salve
Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss
Razor & Spare Blades
Nail Scissors, Nail File & Tweezers
Hair Bands & Hair Brush
Band Aids, Paracetamol, Antiseptic cream, Antihistamines
Smartphone & Bluetooth Headphones
Portable Charger – Anker for the win!
Camera – Love my Sony A6000
Spare Lens, Battery, Memory Card & Charger
Euro Adapter – Skross are the best I’ve found
Headlamp & Spare Batteries
Glasses / Contact Lenses if you wear them
Sunglasses with UV Protection
Eye Mask & Earplugs
Water Bottle – Kleen Kanteen ones are great
Travel Insurance Policy – World Nomads offers simple and flexible travel insurance. Buy at home or while travelling and claim online from anywhere in the world. Alternatively, if you’re a long-term traveller, digital nomad or frequent remote worker seeking travel health cover, check out Safetywing’s Nomad Insurance policies.
Credit Cards and Debit Cards – I always recommend Wise as the best card for good exchange rates and low transaction fees when travelling
SAVE THIS TO PINTEREST!
So there you have it, my top tips and complete checklist for your Romanian packing.
Have you travelled Romania?
What was the one item you found most useful?
Any questions, or any suggestions, please drop them into the comments below and I’ll get back to you…