Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Communication and money matters

What currency is used in Romania, Cluj-Napoca, and where can you change or withdraw money? How much should you tip in bars? How can you call home? And where can you surf the web?

Romanian currency
The currency of Romania is the LEU (symbolised as RON) with subdivision BAN. Other currencies are normally not accepted, so be sure to change euro,dollars, etc. at one of the currency exchange offices located throughout the city. More and more shops and restaurants in Cluj-Napoca accept credit cards, but not all. It is therefore recommended to either ask before you order or ensure you have a sufficient amount in cash to cover the bill.

Beside the coins and banknotes shown in the above picture there is also the 200 and 500 RON banknotes.

General opening hours
Shops are open from Monday to Friday, 10am to 8pm. Saturdays 10am to 6pm. Some supermarkets stay open until 10pm on week nights. Most businesses operate Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. Banks are open weekdays only, between 9am and 5pm. Headquarters are also open on Saturday from 10am to 1pm. Post offices are open weekdays between 7am and 1pm and 1:30pm and 8pm. The main post office on Regele Ferdinand 33 is also open Saturday from 8am to 1pm.

There are not so many local telephones card-operated in town. The international access code to call abroad from Romania is 00, plus the code of the country you wish to call. When calling Cluj-Napoca from abroad, dial 0040 (for Romania) and 264 (for Cluj-Napoca).

If you are the guest of a hotel, you can often use their wireless internet. And more and more cafes are now also offering wireless internet, which you can access with your own laptop. Some places offer this service free of charge, while in others you have to pay.

It is not customary to tip for taxis but it is however customary to tip in restaurants and bars. As a general rule tipping between 5 - 10% is acceptable.

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