The national currency of Romania is the Leu  (plural “lei”) which in Romanian means “lion”. The currency is officially called RON by banks and exchange offices.

The leu’s subdivision is banul: 1 leu=100 bani 

The notes that circulate in Romania’s territory have the following values and colours:

1 leu (green), 5 lei (violet), 10 lei (red), 50 lei (yellow), 100 lei (blue), 200 lei (brown)-rare, 500 lei (blue and violet)-very rare.

The currency is made out of polymer plastic and, with the exception of the 200 lei bill, they all correspond in  size to the euro bill. We should mention that the 200 and 500 lei bills are not very common but you can get smaller denominations at some bank offices.

The coins in circulation in Romania’s territory copy colours of metals:

1 ban (gold)-very rare, 5 bani (copper), 10 bani (silver), 50 bani (gold).


You can exchange currency at the banks and the exchange offices by presenting an identity card or passport. At the date of the publication of this article the official exchange rates were:

1 EUR=4.7619 RON (lei)

1 USD=4.2538 RON (lei)

1 GBP=5.3901 RON (lei)

The best places to buy lei are at ATM’s which you can find anywhere in the city, airports, train stations banks and shops. Most shops accept credit cards, Visa or Mastercard, based on a PIN.

Credit cards

Visa and Mastercard are accepted in all hotels, restaurants and shops. Not many accept American Express or Dinner’s Club.