In order to obtain a visa, you will need a passport that’s valid for at least six months beyond the date you enter the country.
Citizens of all EU countries, USA, Canada, Japan and many other countries may travel visa-free for 90 days in Romania. Australians and New Zealanders no longer need to arrange a visa in advance. As visa requirements change frequently, check at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (www.mae.ro) before departure.
Romania issues two types of visas to tourists: transit and single-entry. Transit visas (for those from countries other than the ones mentioned above) are for stays of no longer than three days, and cannot be bought at the border.
To apply for a visa you need a passport, one recent passport photograph and the completed visa application form accompanied by the appropriate fee. Citizens of some countries (mainly African) need a formal invitation from a person or company in order to apply for a visa; see www.mae.ro for details.
Regular single-entry visas (US$25) are valid for 90 days from the day you arrive. Single-entry visas are usually issued within a week (depending on the consulate), but for an extra US$6 can be issued within 48 hours.
Transit visas can be either single-entry (US$15) – valid for three days and allowing you to enter Romania once – or double-entry (US$25), allowing you to enter the country twice and stay for three days each time.
In Romania, you can extend your tourist visa for another 60 days at any county police office, but it can be trickier than just leaving the country and coming back in. Technically it takes a couple of days and shouldn’t cost more than US$50. You may have to show you have US$100 per day for your stay. You must apply before your current visa expires. It’s easier if you get a travel agent to help.
Check your visa requirements for Serbia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Ukraine if you plan to cross those borders. If you are taking the Bucharest–St Petersburg train you will need Ukrainian and Belarusian transit visas on top of the Russian visa.