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Romania Currency


Romania's currency is the "leu" (plural "lei") (it means "lion" in Romanian). It is the descendant of a Dutch currency that was used in this area in the 17th century.


Old notes are in denominations of Lei1,000,000, 500,000, 100,000, 50,000 and 10,000. Old coins are in denominations of Lei5000, 1000, 500, 100 and 1.

New notes are in denominations of Lei500, 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1.
New coins are in denominations of Bani: 50, 10, 5 and 1.


As of 1 July 2005, Romania's legal tender, previously coded as ROL, has been redenominated so that ROL 10,000 are exchanged for 1 new Leu (RON). The old Leu will be legal tender until the end of December 2006.

Currency exchange

It is recommended that visitors bring hard currency, particularly US Dollars, as this can be effortlessly and even willingly exchanged by shops, restaurants and hotels. Sterling can be easily exchanged in most resorts.

All hard foreign currencies can be exchanged at banks and at authorised exchange offices. Rates can be different from one place to another, so visitors are advised to shop around for the best rate of exchange.

Exchanges on the black market are made regularly, but visitors are advised to exchange money through proper exchange channels and to receive a currency exchange receipt, as certain services need visitors to show the receipt as proof of having made at least one financial transaction.

ATMs (bancomat) accepting MasterCard and Visa are becoming more common but should not be relied upon as a sole source of cash.

Credit & debit cards

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted by large hotels, car hire firms and some restaurants. Check with your credit or debit card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available.

Travellers cheques

Like debit and credit cards, these are usually only useful in hotels and for obtaining cash at the bank or selected exchange offices. To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars or Euros.

Currency restrictions

The import of local currency is forbidden (unless in possession of a special licence); the export of local currency is forbidden. The import of foreign currency is limitless; the export of foreign currency is limited to the amount imported.

Banking hours

Monday-Friday 0900-1200 (business matters); Monday-Friday 0900-1200 and 1300-1500 (currency exchange).