Having to cut my trip short and fly home to hide from the virus, I still have a couple hundred dollars worth of Romanian Lei. Who knows when or if I can come back, but I'm sure I'll need that money when I get back to Australia. And changing money in Australia practically means donating a third of it to some rich stranger. My rule of thumb is the exchange rate is always better in the poorer country.

But are Australian Dollars available at Bucharest International Airport?

I'll buy EUR or USD as a backup plan, but I'll get gouged changing those in AUD too so I'm hoping somebody knows if I can just switch my RON to AUD.

2 Answers 2


Yes, it's likely that Australian dollars will be available at any given exchange counter. They won't have small denominations, so your change will be in local currency. Hit the exchange counter before you hit the duty free shop (which will take your change as partial payment).

Airport currency exchanges always, always gouge you, no matter if you're in "the poorer country". Exchanges in the city will give you somewhat better rates. For the future, it's best to use debit and credit cards where possible when traveling; assuming you don't have a crap bank the charges will be much lower than even a reasonable city center foreign exchange counter.

  • 1
    Well there is gouging and there is gouging. On my last trip the exchanges at Kuala Lumpur airport were much worse than in the city but in Australia the rates in the suburbs were way worse than at KL airport and at the airport in Australia was way worse again. Some of the details might be in another answer here actually. I usually get by on card only now until I hit the first hostel that doesn't accept card. At the ATM I always withdraw a few hundred worth of local because the ATM fee works out too high for small amounts. Mar 21, 2020 at 6:14
  • Consider getting a Revolut card if your bank is charging significant per-transaction fees and you can't easily switch.
    – Sneftel
    Mar 21, 2020 at 21:43
  • I don't recall seeing any money changer until after the Duty Free shops actually. Mar 26, 2020 at 13:45
  • @Sneftel Chisinau airport has 3 bureaux de change with vastly varying rates, with one in fact being very good for EUR -> MDL
    – Crazydre
    Aug 13, 2020 at 8:16
  • @Crazydre Interesting! I wonder if the good one is chartered specially under Moldovan finance laws, if it's intended as a sort of free-trade zone to encourage tourism.
    – Sneftel
    Aug 13, 2020 at 9:16

Well yes you can in theory.

There may be only one currency exchange inside the departure area after passing security. On March 22, 2020 I asked and they said there wasn't another, and I didn't see another. I didn't see any in the main area around the check-in desks, but I didn't look thoroughly.

But at this time of Covid 19, the one exchange had no Australian dollars left. They also didn't have quite enough US dollars for me. I bought Euros.

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