PUBLIC TRANSPORT IN ROMANIA
Romania: easy to get around!
Romania: easy to get around!
From the airport you have various options to get anywhere in Bucharest. As the option to take a taxi has a long and problematic history at this particular airport, we would advice you – if you can – to take the bus instead.
There are different taxi services operating in Bucharest: yellow taxis and private taxis. You will find that the most reliable taxis are taxis you can find through apps like: Taxify of Uber. Both Taxify/Uber and yellow taxis offer rates between RON 1,39 and RON 3,50 (fast rate) per kilometer, while the yellow taxis offer less quality and is more likely to cheat. A taxi fare to Bucharest should cost between RON 25 and RON 60, and never more than RON 100.
Tip: Should you decide to take a yellow taxi, be sure to get one from the taxi stand and make sure your taxi starts the fare counter when you get in and the driver displays a driver ID and the official fare prices. Last but not least ask how much the trip will cost before you get in.
Fees to the most usual destinations in downtown Bucharest are:
You have two options:
The 780 Express line connects Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport with the Gara de Nord (main railway station).
The 783 Express line connects Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport with the city center. This line runs day and night. At night, the bus leaves every 40 minutes. The 783 goes to Piata Unirii, a larger square in the center of town.
The bus stop is outside the Arrivals area. Tickets can be bought at RATB kiosks or at the vending machines. A ticket will cost RON 7/8. Be sure to validate your ticket on the bus, otherwise you can still get a fine (RON 50).
Bucharest has the most congested traffic in all of Europe. For commuters a car is far from ideal. However public transport Bucharest has plenty. Unfortunately no water buses and taxis yet, this would be great, but who knows for the future..
Bucharest has 100s of bus, tram and trolley routes as well as 4 metro lines. It must be said that not all of them are equally comfortable. But one can get around on them. For commuting the metro is advised! So when looking for an apartment, ideally find one near a metro station.
The RATB runs all surface transportations, Metrorex is operating the metro lines. For any form of public transport, be smart and careful with your valuables.
Bus and trolleys can be found anywhere. All lines have a time table, however seasoned travelers will know these do not always reflect the reality. Besides daytime transportation a night network is in place now too.
The central point for all or most bus lines is Piata Unirii. For this square all areas of the city, suburbs and outskirts can be reached.
Bus tickets can be bought at RATB kiosks or vending machines. Paper tickets or single fares are not sold anymore. You will need to buy a recharchable Multiplu (RON 1,60) or Activ card (1st is free with your ID). These cards are e-Wallets that need to be charged. You add minimum 2 fares to your Multiplu card (RON 1,30/fare) or an amount of choice to your Activ card. On all modes of transportation you will find a yellow box where you hold the card in front thus charging your card for the ride. Not validating can cost you a fine of RON 50.
For more information, maps, lines and time tables visit the RATB website.
The city has 4 metrolines. These lines are operated by Metrorex. On and off bustickets (Multiplu/Activ cards) are valid on these metros. All 4 wind corners of the city are connected, with larger hubs on Gara de Nord, Piata Victorei and Piata Unirii. Many stations are accessible for wheel chairs, but check your map to be sure.
More information on time tables, lines and accessibility can be found on the Metrorex website.
Outside Bucharest you really should go by car and see the country, however for those who want public transport exists by means of trains and buses.
Trains are operated by CFR Calatori. Romania has a vast train network of which – unfortunately – a lot of track is not being used anymore. The reason being decay due to lack of maintenance. However in recent years notably two fairly important lines have had upgrades and are functioning. By train you can travel to Brasov to the North of Bucharest and Constanta on the coast.
There are many, many more stations in Romania, however train services are not frequent and/or irregular. If for a holiday, give it a try, if you need to be somewhere, avoid the train would be the correct advise.
Tickets are not expensive – if you are not Romanian – and are available online or at the station.
The main railway station in Bucharest is Gara de Nord. Keep your hand on your pocket and do not pay attention to the variety of station inhabitants.
For more information on the railways in Romania visit the website of CFR Calatori (also partly in English).
Romania has a lot of regional and interregional bus services, operated by various companies. Since the train poses such a challenge to travelers, the bus is a good alternative, as is the case in more Balkan countries. No less than 30 larger towns are interconnected, while these connections also service a host of smaller villages in between.
Bus travelling is not expensive, but it will take a bit longer with less comfort. On longer trips short stops are included.
More info on bus lines can found on the website of Checkmybus.com.