Here you can find all practical information on the Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy which takes place in Bucharest, Romania 15-18 May 2024.

GFMDD 2024 Programme

Map of the area

Global Forum venues

The Global Forum will take place in three venues which are all located in a walkable distance. You can find them marked with a red location spot on the map above.

Teatrul de Revista (Revista Theater)

The Revista Theatre (Teatrul de Revista) was established in 1919 through the activities of the actor and coupletist Constantin Tănase with its company ‘Cărăbus’. The current name was given in 1990 as homage to its founder and the typical Romanian theatrical tradition it stages.
This historical venue hosts the morning plenary sessions of the Global Forum on Thursday and Friday, gathering all the attendees as well as speakers and panelists, and it is located in Calea Victoriei 33 (București 010061, Romania). 

Walking distance:

  • to “Casa Universitarilor”: 15 min walking / 1,1km
  • to the closest Metro station “Universitate” (Bulevardul Nicolae Bălcescu, București 030167, Romania): 6 min walking / 450 m

Casa Universitarilor (House of Ideas)

The building that hosts the University House of Bucharest, so-called House of Ideas (Casa Universitarilor) was built in the seventh decade of the last century for the director of the Post Offices, Cezar Librecht, during the reign of Alexandru Ioan Cuza. Its purpose to academic venue was shifted in 1947 and the building has been officially part of the University of Bucharest patrimony since 2007. 

In this relevant site, midday meal is provided. After lunch-break, the location hosts the parallel sessions from different speakers, in the forms of panels, workshops and other. The Casa Universitarilor is located in Strada Dionisie Lupu 46 (București 010455, Romania). 

Walking Distance:

  • to the closest Metro station “Piața Romană”: 7 min walking / 550 m
  • from “Teatrul de Revista”: 15 min walking / 1,1km

Biblioteca Centrală Universitară Carol I (Central University Library Carol I)

The Biblioteca Centrală Universitară Carol I is a library in the centre of the Romanian capital, located across the street from the National Museum of Art of Romania. Founded in 1895, it was built by commission of King Carol I of Romania and designed by French architect Paul Gotterau. The library stored over 2 million of volumes throughout the years, but a fire started during the Romanian Revolution of 1989 burnt most of them and led to a temporary closing of the building until 2007.

This remarkable building hosts Saturday morning plenary and closing session and it is located in Strada Boteanu 1 (București 010292, Romania).

Walking distance:

  • to the closest Metro station “Universitate”: 8 min walking / 650 m; 5 min by bus 137 or 381 / 2 stops
  • to “Teatrul de Revista”: 6 min walking / 500 m
  • to “Casa Universitarilor”: 7 min walking / 500 m

Visa requirements for Romania

Who needs a visa?

When traveling to Romania, the visa requirements and entry formalities depend on your citizenship and duration of your visit.

Entry requirements for Romania (As of 2024):

  • EU Citizens: Can enter with a valid passport or National Identity Card. British nationals are exempt from the obligation of obtaining Romanian entry visas for airport transit, for transit and short-stay visas (90 days max.).
  • Visa Exemptions: Citizens from the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and most European countries do not require an entry visa for stays of up to 90 days within a six-month period. Please find a list for visa-exempts here.
  • Visa Required: Nationals who do require a visa can be found on this list. Please check if it is best for you to apply for a transit-visa (5 days max.) or a short-visa (90 days max.) and follow the visa application process on the website of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Passport Validity: Your passport should be valid for the entire duration of your visit and preferably have at least six months' validity remaining when you travel abroad.

Please visit the website of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to find deatiled and up to date information.

All Global Forum participants are responsible for applying for their visas themselves.
 

Your journey to Bucharest

By train

To join us in Bucharest, the most sustainable way is to travel by train. There are several option to travel from European countries to Bucharest's main station Gara de Nord. Located near the center of Bucharest, Gara de Nord is the city’s largest train station as well as the most important one in all of Romania.

Over-night train connections to Bucharest:

All train connections to Bucharest can be found here.
 

By plane

To reach Bucharest by plane, you will likely arrive at the Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport (OTP) which is located in Otopeni, 16.5 km (10.3 mi) north of Bucharest's city centre. The arrivals and departures terminals are located in separate buildings connected by a 10-min walk tunnel. Find more detailed information regarding the airport here

To get to the city center, depending on the time of day you travel, traffic and means of transport you will need about 25-50 min to make the journey. 
 

There are 3 ways to get from Bucharest airport to the city center:

  1. Uber / Bolt / taxi (moderately fast and convenient, 10-17 Euro)

    Arranging a taxi / Uber or Bolt ride from the airport to the center of Bucharest, or any other location within the city, is a fast, easy, and an affordable option. The cost typically ranges between 50 to 80 Lei (about 10-17 Euro).
     
  2. Shuttle bus (public transport, cheap but slow, 2 Euro)

    The public transportation authority in Bucharest (STB), runs a dedicated shuttle service, which connects the airport with the city centre, terminating at Piata Unirii. This service is convenient for reaching key locations in Bucharest, including prominent hotels, metro stations, and the historic Old Town.

    The shuttle operates from the airport's ground level, which is directly below the international arrivals situated on the first floor. As you leave the terminal, the shuttle can be found to the right, with departures scheduled every 15-20 minutes on weekdays (from 6:00 to 23:00) and every 20-30 minutes on weekends and public holidays. During the night the bus runs every 40 minutes.

    Tickets for the shuttle are economically priced at approximately 8.5 Lei (around 2€) for a round trip. These can be purchased from a red ticket machine located at the bus departure point, or inside the bus using a bank card for contactless payment. Additionally, you have the option to buy tickets via SMS, though specific instructions for this method are provided separately. It's important to note that drivers do not sell tickets, and online ticket purchase is not available.

    The same shuttle service also operates from the city centre back to the airport's departure terminal, following the same route. However, a word of caution for participants with strict time constraints, especially during afternoon peak hours (15:00 - 18:00): the shuttle might face significant traffic delays, which could impact those heading to the airport. In such cases, it is recommended to explore alternative transportation options, such as Uber or taxi.

  3. Express train to Gara de Nord (fast, cheap, not directly to city center, 2 Euro)

    A direct train service connects Bucharest Otopeni Airport to the main train station, Gara de Nord, without any intermediate stops. The station at the airport is situated outside the terminal, recognizable by its suspended platform with a green covering. You can easily spot it once you exit the arrivals hall of the airport.

    Trains operate on a 40-minute interval between these stations. The journey duration is approximately 25 minutes, and the fare is set at 8 Lei (less than 2 Euro).

    For purchasing train tickets, there are several options available. You can buy them at the platform or at Gara de Nord through an automatic ticket vending machine. Additionally, online ticket purchasing is an option as well. It's important to remember that purchasing tickets on board the train or directly from the ticket inspector is not an option.

    While the train offers a swift connection to the city, it's worth noting that Gara de Nord is not in close to the city centre or the Old Town area. However, the train station is well-served by its own metro station, and there are always reliable Uber / taxi services available outside for further travel within the city.

 

Things to know before arriving in Bucharest

Weather

The weather in Bucharest in May is usually mild and ranges between 15°C (59°F) and 25°C (77°F). It is important to thoroughly check the weather forecast for Bucharest the days before your arrival. This will ensure that you are well-prepared.

Language 

Romanian is the official and most widely spoken language of Romania. In Bucharest, you will find that English is widely spoken, especially among the younger population, who often are fluent and welcoming. English menus and service are common in restaurants, cafes, bars, and hotels, making communication easy for visitors. Additionally, languages like French, German, Italian, and Spanish are also frequently spoken in the city.

Currency

The currency used in Romania is the Romanian Leu, abbreviated as RON. You can check the exchange rate here.
In the city, most places will accept card payments and contactless payment. However it is highly recommended to have some cash with you as not all services can be payed by card. We suggest to exchange money in an exchange house in the city as exchange houses at the airport offer very bad rates compared with what you can get Bucharest or any other city. You can also get your Romanian Lei from local bank (avoid Euronet) ATMs.

Romanian power sockets and adapters 

In Bucharest, the standard power sockets are of Type F plug. This is the same type commonly used in many European countries. These sockets are designed for plugs with two round pins. Additionally, Type C plugs, which also have two round pins but without the additional grounding clips of Type F, are compatible with Type F sockets. The standard voltage in Romania is 230V, and the standard frequency is 50Hz. If your devices do not match these specifications or plug types, you may need a power adapter or converter while in Bucharest

Internet 

Bucharest, Romania, offers high-speed and cost-effective internet services. The city has some of the fastest broadband speeds in the world and competitive mobile internet services. Providers like Orange Romania offer extensive coverage with affordable plans for visitors. For free wifi in the city please check here.

Information on COVID-19 in Bucharest

COVID-19 travel restrictions were lifted in Romania. Providing proof of vaccination, recovery from COVID-19 or negative test results is not required.

Safety recommendations for Bucharest

Numbeo's safety index evaluates the likelihood of crimes like mugging, assault, or armed attacks in cities, with higher scores indicating safer cities. Bucharest has a relatively high safety index of 71, suggesting it's quite safe compared to other popular European tourist destinations. For comparison, London's index is 46, Paris stands at 42, and Rome scores 47, all of which are lower than Bucharest's score, indicating a higher perceived safety in Bucharest.
However, In Bucharest, as in many major tourist destinations, travelers should be aware of common scams. These include individuals aggressively offering services or 'special' products, requests for immediate financial assistance or to borrow your phone, and overly intrusive behavior in crowded areas. Caution is also advised with taxi drivers who are rude or do not speak English and when encountering intoxicated individuals, especially in the Old Town area. As always, staying alert and cautious in these situations is key to a safe and enjoyable visit.
Romania uses the country code +40, and the nationwide emergency number is 112. In Bucharest, you'll often find police patrolling key areas such as city centers, major squares, and popular boulevards including Unirii, Universitate, Romana, and Victoriei, as well as tourist spots and venues for local events. The police are generally approachable and helpful, with many officers able to communicate in English. They are available to assist in emergencies or if you require help during your stay.

Top things to do in Bucharest

Exploring Bucharest offers a variety of activities that cater to different interests, from historical sites to vibrant street life. Here you can find a guide on the best activities in and around Bucharest.
 

Easy ways to get around Bucharest

The best ways to get around Bucharest are metro and taxi, Uber or Bolt. 

The metro is a cheap and fast way to go around the city especially in rush hours when traffic gets jammed. With trains running every 5 mins and 2-rides tickets of 6 Lei (1,20 Euro), going around the centre of Bucharest will be very convenient. 

In case your accommodation is further away from the centre or you would like to explore Bucharest beyond it, the other option would be taxi, Uber or Bolt as the metro does not reach out to all areas of the city. It is important to be careful not to fall into tourist traps and always check that the meter is on and never negotiate the price. Except from this note, taxis are a great and cheap way to go around – and to be safer, Bolt and Uber are highly recommended. 

Generally, using other means of transportation (buses, trolleys and trams) is not recommended as they are slow, late, and very confusing for tourists as there is no clear map or guide.