Constanța is a safe city even by European standards (see more info here), a multiethnic and multi-confessional metropolis, where people of Romanian, Tatar, Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Jewish and Roma/Gipsy origin have lived together peacefully for centuries. Christians, Orthodox and Catholics, Muslims and Jews have preserved their faith and religious traditions in a community that respects and values diversity, where all have their important contribution to the local culture, economy and vibe of the region.
Constanța is a touristic city, and people are well used to foreigners and are generally welcoming and helpful. You will easily find people who speak English or at least understand the basic questions, particularly amongst the young generation.
The common sense advice that is valid everywhere should guide you in Constanța too. Walking at night is okay, even alone, though you should be aware, like anywhere else, of pick pockets, particularly in crowded places and public transportation. Be careful with or avoid taxis near the train station as, although they may have the meter on, they may charge much higher tariffs than the regular cabs. As with Bucharest and other big cities in Romania, your biggest safety concern could come from stray dogs, although the municipality is making progress in that respect.
In Romania, as in any other EU country, if you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 112 on your phone and ask for an ambulance. If you are referred to a medical facility for treatment you should contact your insurance/medical assistance company immediately.
Carrying around a lot of cash is risky. Your money is safe in the bank for when you need it so we strongly advise students to open accounts at the local banks that have quality international transfer services (low fees and rapid delivery). International students who receive scholarships also need to open accounts with local banks. Moreover, if you want a utility or mobile phone contract, the bank details may prove helpful, along with a clear proof of residency at a local address.
The use of debit and credit cards is wide spread in the urban areas of Romania, at most merchants, and there are no fees for the buyer. Generally, the cards used in Romania need a PIN, a 4 digits code that protects your card from being used by someone else. Also, it is wise to use only exchange offices, especially those that belong to banks, which can be found throughout the city, and never accept exchanges with locals. Before making exchanges check the currency rates, particularly the official one, posted by the National Bank of Romania (see details here).
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