Romania is an amazing country, with a rich history. For gays though, there are three cities which definitely make for memorable vacations. Bucharest is the home of the fabulous GayFest annual gay pride parade, the Soho gay bar, and the Impact Club. Brasov features two fabulously dynamic gay clubs, Club V and La Feri, which makes Brasov a great place to spend at least a weekend. Cluj-Napoca holds a gay film festival in October of each year, which makes it an ideal fall vacation spot. Free private screening rooms are available for private parties.
Though attitudes are changing, the people of Romania tend to be traditionalist. Older people and those from rural areas tend to be a bit shocked by gay Romania activity. Still there is a small but thriving gay community native to Romania who will make gay and lesbian tourists feel at home.
While the age of consent is only 15, breaking the law by even a few months will result in a prison term of up to 10 years per offence. Recreational drugs are illegal, though those laws are broken regularly, as they are everywhere else in the world. Gay marriage in Romania is not recognized, but same gender sex is not illegal. Lewd behavior in public, such as indecent exposure or copulating where others can see, is also illegal. As long as you are discrete and behave decently you shouldn’t have any legal problems.
The people of Romania are very poor, mostly because wages are low, pensions are inexcusably low, but prices are kept the same as they are all over Europe. Elderly people cannot afford medication, and the working class people have trouble affording basic necessities. There are no real bargains to be found on commercial items. Perhaps among local vendors though, shopping might be fun.
The most common crime by far in the cities of Romania is pick-pocketing. Robbery can also occur. Beware when crowds pack around you, or someone bumps into you. It is best to avoid flashing cash or expensive jewelry. Keep your belongings discretely secured when out walking or taking public transportation. The best way to avoid crime is to avoid flaunting your comparative wealth, and keep your valuables out of sight.
• Be respectful of the locals.
• Avoid dense crowds in the streets.
• Try to blend when in public.
• A taxi is by far the most economical and safe way to travel. Cabs are very cheap to hire, compared to other cities.
Bucharest is a large city with crowded streets and an energetic vibe. Here you will find a more open minded attitude, and a bit more free spirited fun.
• Club Impact on Iuilu Barasch Street is an exciting gay dance club on weekends, and a thriving gay bar on week nights.
• The Queen’s club on Mihai Bravu Avenue can be more exciting, but it is worked by local prostitutes. It’s also exclusively gay
• The Kristal is a nice club, but not exclusively gay.
• The Bamboo Club is also a nice gay friendly but not exclusively gay club.
• As for accommodations, the Rembrandt is a lovely gay friendly boutique hotel on Smaarden Street.
• The Marriot in Bucharest also provides a pleasant stay.
If you love medieval architecture, this is a great place to spend at least a week. Amazing tours of 12th century architecture and fascinating museums by day, and a truly wild night life after dark, make Brasov a must see for most gay and lesbian couples. Only two hours north of Bucharest this place is fantastic.
• Club V on Carol Davila Street is close to the city center. It features a vibrant atmosphere, and a lot of friendly interaction. This club is known throughout Romania for its lively drag shows.
• La Feri is a very exciting gay club, further out on Ion Neculce Street in the Bartolomeu District. It is very similar to Club V, just as well known and also features exciting drag shows. The neighborhood is a bit run down but not crime ridden. Still you will want to call a cab to get to and from La Feri because of the distance.
• Recommended accommodations for gays are the Residence Hirscher on Apollonia Hirscher Street.
• Another gay friendly hotel is Casa Wagner in Piata Sfatului.
• Cerbul Carpatin is a simply fabulous restaurant in the Hirscher House in Piata Sfatului. They have an amazing wine list and an extensive menu.
Cluj-Napoca is in Transylvania. It has a rich history, as it was founded in the first century AD. There is some beautiful architecture to tour in Cluj-Napoca as well. If you are Goth or love vampires you’ll enjoy the atmosphere a lot.
• The Gay Film Nights International Film Festival is held every October since 2004 in Cluj-Napoca. See feature films, short films, documentaries, and even animated features all with gay themes. You can also submit your films for consideration. It is the only international LGBT film festival in Romania, and one of the few in the world. If you can plan an October trip to gay Romania, you may want to check out the Gay Film Nights Festival in Cluj-Napoca.
Visiting gay Romania can be a lot of fun. It is exciting trip and a must for those who equally enjoy exciting nightlife, history and fascinating historical architecture.