Frequently Asked Questions
Romanian Friend is a website with everything you need to plan your visit in Romania.
You can book online tours and trips in Romania and get availability confirmation in less than 24 hours. We carefully review and personally verify our guide-partners and hosts (licenses, language skills, specific knowledge, etc). We work with them to create tours that show travelers the best of Romania: traditional culture, natural beauty and local life. You can check our reviews.
We can help you plan your trip by suggesting an itinerary, places to visit and tours. We can also prepare a custom tour or group experience for you. We know everything about being a tourist in Romania and have an extensive network of contacts and specialists.
Our mission is to promote responsible tourism which benefits everyone: travelers, guides and local communities. We're a team of young locals passionate about our country who want to make Romanian tourism better.
- Are you a travel agency? Do the guides work for you?
No. We use our local knowledge and on-the-ground info to choose, review and personally test the tours and guides we work with so we create the best tours in Romania for you.
We work with independently guide-partners (not travel agencies) or small businesses (guesthouses, non-profit organisations) to promote their activities and help them connect with travellers like you. We know all the details of their activity but we don’t organise the tours and can't control their availability - they decide. That is why we have created our booking system so you get an answer from them within maximum 24h.
Our guide-partners are licensed professionals, authorised for tourism or hospitality services so that you get quality services in a safe way. We did the local research for you and now have a network of 35+ guide-partners all over Romania specialising in different regions, travel styles and interests.
- How do I cancel a booking and get a refund?
If you're no longer able to do the tour and want to get a refund, please send an email to your guide and to firstname.lastname@example.org according to the following cancelation policies:
- easy: 3 full days before the booking date (most tours)
- medium: 7 full days before the booking date
- custom: applicable only if expressly mentioned on tour page
for most tours and trips on Romanian Friend (unless otherwise mentioned on the tour page) is the easy cancelation policy. Please always check the ‘Additional information’ section of the tour page to see if a specific cancelation policy applies. You agree to this cancelation policy when making a booking request.
For example, a booking made on the 10th must be canceled on the 6th by 23:59 at the latest (Romanian local time), according to the easy cancelation policy.
If you cancel after more than 30 days when making your booking request, you will not be refunded the Romanian Friend finder's fee (service charge) but only the deposit payment of tour price. In case of no-shows refunds are not possible.
- Why should I book with you instead on finding guides on my own? How are you different?
We’re locals passionate about our country on a mission to extend tourism's positive impact to local communities in Romania through responsible travel. Booking a tour on Romanian Friend will give you a unique local experience which will also help the people and places you’ll visit.
Why choose us? Many reasons. We have selected the best 100 tours all over Romania for different interests (city walking tours, day trips, hiking, cycling, etc) offered by 35+ guide-partners. You can pick and choose what you like since everything is in the same place and save time and energy with travel planning, stress and uncertainty with making a decision. We promote only the best of Romania - if it's not good enough for us, it's not for you! And if you book 3 or more tours with us we can give you a discount!
Using our local knowledge and working with our guide-partners we created unique trips and experiences that you won't find anywhere else! Most of them are 2 or 3 day trips going into the countryside to experience traditional Romanian culture, see our beautiful nature and meet locals.
Finally, we make sure you get the best deal and value-for-money on our tours because we know the real costs of being a tourist in Romania and don’t think ‘quality’ means ‘lowest price’ or mass tourism. In exchange for all this, we charge a booking fee of 7-10% of the tour price (not included for transparency reasons) as opposed to 10-20% which is the market standard.
- How do you find and verify guide-partners and tours?
Since we’re natives, we’re very well connected to the local scene and keep an eye on what’s going on (online, press, local initiatives, network of guides, friends etc). That’s how we hear about people doing interesting things all over the Romania.
Then, we research them to get a better idea (website, social media, reviews, other references, etc) before we give them a call or sometimes even visit them, but without initially telling them who we are and what we do. We want to see how they treat people, what’s their vision and how passionate they are about what they’re doing. We ask them about their background, experience, licenses and other details.
Finally, we discuss and review their tours, adapt or create new ones, so that only the best, most interesting and representative are promoted on Romanian Friend. We also make sure local services, visits and people are included, so that we stay true to our responsible travel mission. We work with regional partners with in-depth knowledge of specific areas or travel interests. That means a guide from Bucharest will not take you hiking around Cluj-Napoca.
- How does the booking process work? Is it safe?
Yes, it's safe, secured and easy. To book a tour on our website the process is this:
1 on each tour page you need to select your date & no of people
2 click on 'request a booking' button
3 fill in your contact details on the next page (double check them for accuracy!)
4 pay a deposit of the tour price (10-30%) using your card (please enter card details carefully otherwise payment will not go through; if you're using a credit card issued by a bank outside of the European Union, make sure it is authorized for international payments
5 once payment is complete, Romanian Friend will send you an email with details about your booking request
6 at the same time, our guides and hosts will also get your request and they will confirm availability, propose a new date or decline within 24h - this is the only way to firmly secure their availability!
- Can I talk to the guide before making a booking?
Yes. There’s a ‘get in touch’ button on each tour and partner-guides’ profile page. You can ask for customisations and tour details, but you exchange contact details.
If you want to know their availability in advance you can ask them but please be aware that this may change very fast! As most tours are private, someone else may book for the same date through our website. Or the guide may receive a booking from another source. So paying a deposit is the only way to secure their availability.
In most cases it takes a long time for our guide-partners to answer as they are away on tours during the day. However, we at Romanian Friend know the details of all our tours and can help you with any questions or requests you may have - so please contact us, we are happy to help!
For safety reasons, we monitor all conversations and are not be responsible for any arrangements outside our booking system.
- How do I arrange tour details (meeting, itinerary, etc)?
Once the guide confirms your booking he or she will get your contact details and will contact you, at the latest 3 days before the tour date. You will also get the guide's contact details via email.
The guide will inform you about meeting place, time and other details you need to know. Romanian Friend is no longer involved in this process, but we are available and ready to help in case anything happens.
5 days after your tour you'll get another email from us asking for feedback. This will help Romanian Friend and the guide improve our services - and other travelers make a decision about their tour!
- I am a solo traveller - are there any shared (group) tours on Romanian Friend?
Unfortunately no - there are no shared, group or bus tours in Romania for one simple reason: low tourist numbers in Romania, which translates into low demand for the same tours and days. In 2018 only 3,5 million tourists visited our country, compared to 8 million in Bulgaria or 17 million in Amsterdam.
So most tours on Romanian Friend are private, for you and your group only. While that means they are more expensive, because costs are not shared and guides spent their time only with you, it also gives you a more unique and personal experience.
A very small number of tours (particularly urban tours) might be attended by other people too.
- Do I need to tip the guides?
Since all tours on Romanian Friend are paid and private, as a general rule tipping extra is not required or expected. But if you’re feeling generous and particularly happy about the services, the guides or locals you will meet on your tour will appreciate any extra consideration.