General geographical aspects

Teatrul Național "Vasile Alecsandri" din Iași
National Theatre”Vasile Alecsandri”, Iași, Romania

Romania is situated in the South-East of Central Europe, north from the Balkan Peninsula, in the Lower Danube Basin. It borders Hungary at North-West, at East it borders Ukraine, The Moldavian Republic, and the Black Sea, at South Bulgaria, at South and South-West Serbia, and at North again Ukraine.

Romania’s surface is of 238.391 km2, placing itself on the 12th position in Europe.

The geological age is the same with that of the continent, approximating 550 millions of years.

Landform: mountainous area 31%, hills and uplands 33%, plains 36%.

Rivers basins: The Danube river in the South of the country, with a length of 1.075 km (from the total of 2.850 km from the source to its mouth; it flows into the Black Sea)

Rivers: Mureş, Olt, Prut, Siret, Ialomiţa, Someş, Argeş, Jiu, Râul Buzău, Râul Bistriţa.

Lakes: Approximately 2.300 lakes (2.650 km2). The most known are: Razelm (415 km2), Sinoe 171 km2), Brateş (21 km2), Tasăul (20 km2), Techirghiol (12 km2), Snagov (5,8 km2).

The climate is temperate-continental, with western oceanic influence, Mediterranean in the South-West, excessively continental in the North-East. The average annual temperature is of approximately 8 °C in the North of the country, and of 11 °C in the South. The average level of precipitations does not exceed 700 mm per year.

Population. According to the 20th of October 2011 census, the stable population of Romania was of 20.121.641 people.

Capital and Cities

The capital of the country is Bucharest, with a surface of 1.521 km2. It is divided into 6 districts, with a total population of 2.066.723 inhabitants. It is settled in the South-Eastern part of the country, on the Romanian Plain, at an altitude of 85 m. The city dates from the XIVth Century, and it was firstly certified in 1459 as Vlad Tepes’s residence. Capital of Wallachia between the XVIIth and the XIXth century, and then the capital of Romania starting with 1862, Bucharest is the most important political, economic, cultural, and scientific centre of the country.

Arcul de Triumf, București
Arcul de Triumf / Triumphal arch, București / Bucharest, Romania

It is crossed by the Dâmbovița River, and it is surrounded by the picturesque lakes of the Colentina Valley. Bucharest is a city with rich vegetation, wide parks, which has drawn the name of “the garden-city”. It is a city with monumental buildings, with a remarkable architecture, with large and interesting museums, theatres, opera, expositions, memorial houses, and universities. It is the largest industrial centre of Romania as well, covering numerous industrial arias (metallurgy, car production, Fine Mechanics, nutrition).

Romania covers 41 counties, plus the city of Bucharest, 260 cities (from which 25 are municipalities), 2.688 commons (including approximately 13.000 villages). The main cities with strong economic development are Constanța (350.581 inhabitants), Iași (344.425 inhabitants), Timișoara (334.115 inhabitants), Cluj-Napoca (328.602 inhabitants), Galați (326.141 inhabitants), Brașov (323.786 inhabitants), Craiova (303.959 inhabitants), Brăila, Arad, Oradea, Ploiești, Bacău, Sibiu, Targu Mureș, Baia Mare, Suceava, Pitești. There are 8 cities which have more than 300.000 inhabitants, and 25 cities which count more than 100.000 citizens.

Ports and airports

The Black Sea port from Constanta can receive ships of over 150.000 tdw. At the Danube – Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Turnu Magurele, Giurgiu, Oltenita, Cernavoda, Braila, Galati, Tulcea (the last 3 are also seaports). The Chanel Danube-Black Sea (measuring 64,2 km length) between Cernavoda and Agigea-Constanta was opened in 1984, followed by the Chanel Rhin-Main inauguration in 1992, facilitates the access to the North Sea. It is navigable for river vessels and ships weighting up to 5.000 twd. There is a series of airports: București-Otopeni, București-Băneasa, Constanța-Mihail Kogalniceanu, Suceava, Arad, Timișoara, Bacău, Baia Mare, Caransebeș, Cluj, Craiova, Deva, Iași, Oradea, Satu Mare, Târgu Mureș, Tulcea.

The flag, the emblem, and the anthem

The Romanian flag is made of 3 vertical colours: red, yellow, and blue (by the lance), and the emblem which dates from 1992 is made of an eagle that holds a cross in its beak, and a sword together with a sceptre in its claws, symbols of the 5 historical provinces – Wallachia, Moldavia, Transylvania, Banat, and Dobrogea.

The national Romanian anthem, “Deșteaptă-te române!”, dates from 1990, the lyrics being written by Andrei Muresanu, while the music was composed by Anton Pann.

The national currency is the Leu, 1 leu = 100 bani, 4,5 lei = 1EUR (october 2015)


The Romanian national day is celebrated on the 1st of December, day which marks the anniversary of the Romanian unification from 1918. According to the Constitution voted by the Parliament on the 21st of November 1991, and validated by the referendum from the 8th of December 1991, the form of government is the Republic. The Romanian Parliament is bicameral, composed of The Chamber of Deputies and the Senate Chamber. The members of the Parliament are chosen by the citizens over 18 years old for a period of 4 years.

Palace of the Romanian Parliament
Palace of the Romanian Parliament

The president is chosen by universal vote for maximum 2 terms. The Government, validated by the Parliament, is the executive organ. After the 1989 Revolution, After Ceaușescu’ s regime, Romania had 4 presidents: Ion Iliescu, Emil Constantinescu, Traian Băsescu, and Klaus Werner Iohannis (incumbent).

Romania became a member of NATO in 2004, and a member of the EU in 2007.

How do you get to Romania?

In order to get to Romania, there are more options. The first one would be the air, by choosing regular flights and charters (the national airline Tarom) of the foreign airlines (Delta, Air France, Lufthansa, Alitalia, British Airways, Swissair, Aeroflot) with offices in Romania, which links Bucharest to the most important capitals. The International Airport “Henry Coandă” is situated in Otopeni, 16 km away from the city centre of Bucharest. They are connected through public transportation and cabs.

The second option is the railroad. Express trains facilitate the connection between Europe’s/Asia’s most important cities with Bucharest, the Black Sea coast, and the main cities. Romania is member of the International Railway Tariff System RIT and of Inter Rail.

The 3rd option which may be considered is the highway, by following the next sections of the European roads: – E 81 (Berlin- Warsaw -Budapest-Petea); – E 60 (Vienna-Prague-Budapest-Bors); – E 68 (Vienna-Prague-Budapest-Arad); – E 70 (Triest-Belgrade-The Iron Gates); – E 79 (Athens-Tirana-Sofia-Calafat); – E 85 (Athens-Istanbul-Sofia-Giurgiu); – E 85 (Warsaw -Kiev-Cernauti-Siret); – E 87 (Istanbul-Tirana-Sofia-Vama Veche); – E 581 (Moscow-Kiev-Chisinau-Albita); The distances to Bucharest from the main cities are the following: – Athens – 1252 km, – Berlin – 2154 km, – Berne (Zurich) – 2125 km, – Bruxelles – 2394 km, – Bonn – 2100 km, – Budapest – 893 km, – Copenhagen – 2587 km, – Frankfurt – 2100 km, – Hague (Amsterdam) – 2428 km, – Helsinki – 2900 km, – Istanbul – 704 km, – Kiev – 1065 km, – Chisinau – 445 km, – Lisbon – 4120 km, – London – 2577 km, – Madrid – 3530 km, – Minsk – 1650 km, – Moscow – 1963 km, – Oslo – 2820 km, – Paris – 2401 km, – Prague – 1465 km, – Riga – 1955 km, – Rome – 2149 km, – Sofia – 407 km, – Stockholm – 3100 km, – Vienna – 1100 km, –

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© 2017 Agata Asofroniei