How do I get to Bucharest?

Bucharest has two international airports, but the smaller Aurel Vlaicu International Airport is no longer used for passenger airlines. Therefore the Henri Coanda International Airport is the main airport in Romania and the busiest. The airport is located in Otopeni, 11 miles north of the city center.

If you have not booked a private transfer through us then you have a few options at the airport to reach your destination including rental cars, trains, taxis, and buses.

How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

The Express bus number 783 travels from the airport to downtown Bucharest, the bus departs every 20 minutes, daily and the total trip takes around 40 minutes. Bus number 780 links the airport to Bucuresti Nord train station, departing every 40 minutes from 5:30 am until 11 pm. The price for bus tickets is around 8.60 lei and tickets or cards can be purchased from the booth in the arrivals or departures terminal.

There are several options for taxis at the airport, however, it is important to make sure you are getting a reliable company, as taxi scams are some of the biggest problems in Bucharest. There is an electronic touch screen kiosk in the arrivals hall, that can provide you with a printed ticket for a specific tax company that will arrive in minutes. Dacia Logan, Meridian, Cristaxi, and Cobalcescu are some reputable companies in the city. Wait outside the terminal at the taxi rank and provide your ticket to the driver when they arrive, keep the ticket in case of any issues, and check the rate with the driver before getting in. A normal taxi ride from the airport to the city center should cost you around 30-50 LEI. All genuine taxis are marked clearly with a “TAXI” light bar on top of the car as well as a car number, rates should be printed on the outside of the taxi’s door a lot of the taxis are yellow.

Uber is a safe alternative to taxis and available in Bucharest. The total cost for a journey from the airport to the city center should cost around 40 LEI and the journey takes around 20 minutes. The driver will pick you up from the International Arrivals Parking Area which is located across the street from the main terminal.

How do I get from the train station to my hotel in Bucharest?

The main train station in the city is Bucuresti Nord Station (Gara de Nord, Northern) located near the city center and linked to the subway and several busses, trolleys, and tramway lines. The station is within walking distance to many hotels in the city center, and there are plenty of options for further transportation right outside the station. The station provides connections to all major cities in Romania as well as international destinations such as Belgrade, Sofia, Varna, Vienna, Budapest, Istanbul, Moscow, and more.

How do I get from the bus station to my hotel?

The city has several bus terminals: Baneasa (located in the northern part of town), Obor (east), Filaret (south), Rahova (south-west), Militari (west), Grivita (north-west) as well as many other smaller stations. There are options from some of the stations to walk to hotels close by and taxis can be found outside most stations.

How do I get around the city using public transportation?

The public transportation system in Bucharest is the largest in the country and one of the largest in Europe. The system is made up of the Bucharest Metro, and a surface transport system that consists of buses, trams, trolleybuses, and light rail.

The Metro in Bucharest offers four underground lines (M1, M2, M3, M4) which cover the city extensively and costs around 5 lei for two trips, 20 lei for 10 trips, or 70 lei for a monthly pass. The metro offers a fast and convenient way to travel to destinations in the city (limited in the city center) and the surrounding neighborhoods. Tickets can be purchased from the metro stations, with multiple different journey options available. The metro operates from 5 am until 11 pm. Visit www.metrorex.ro. For more information

Lines and Routes:

M1 - Yellow -starts in the eastern portion of the city travels through downtown on a circular route and passes the main train station of Gara de Nord, then meets up with the M2 line.

M2 - Blue - runs north to south at Piata Unirii and Piata Victoriei stations.

M3 - Red - links the western and eastern portions of the city, and the central section between Eroilor and Nicolae Grigorescu is shared with M1.

M4 - Green - a short shuttle line starting at Gara de Nord 2 traveling to Parc Bazilescu in the Bucuresti Noi neighborhood.

There are hundreds of buses, trolleybuses, and trams that run throughout the entire city, operating from 5 am until 11 pm. These services run throughout the city and into the suburbs and surrounding neighborhoods, running at infrequent intervals, night buses take over after 11 pm. The night buses marked with an “N” before their number run between 11:00 pm until 1 am every 30 minutes, from 1:00 am until 5:00 am every hour, and 5:00 am until 6:00 am every 30 minutes. Tickets cost around 1.50 lei per trip and can be purchased from yellow painted kiosks with the logo RATB, usually located near the intersections of main streets, and in some bus stations. These services can become crowded, especially during morning and evening rush hours. Keep your wits about you as local transport is well known for pickpockets.

The public transport stations in the city have small white signs with red writing on them indicating the station’s name and the number of all the buses and trolleys that stop there. Night buses contain an “N” before their number. Stops are announced automatically onboard and displayed on a screen inside the vehicle.

There are Activ cards which are contactless smart cards that work as tickets. You will need a valid ID to purchase these and they can then be loaded with various ticket options including those that allow for us on both the subway and surface networks in the city. You validate your card when entering the vehicle, hold it in front of the validating device (an orange box with a small LCD screen) until you hear a beep.

There are trains that travel throughout Romania however, the cars are outdated and speeds are slow. They offer a great way to admire the landscapes and mountain scenery with routes crossing the Carpathians and the countryside. Train travel is cheap and a good way to navigate the country as all cities, towns, and even small villages are well connected by train routes, with most tourist areas easily reachable by train. Tickets can be purchased at automated machines or ticket desks in the train station.

Should I rent a car in Bucharest?

There are several major international car rental companies available in Romania such as Avis and Hertz, as well as other reliable local companies. The companies are available at the airport and in the major cities, you will need a valid ID, driver’s license, and a credit card for a deposit. Many cars are manual transmission and they drive on the right-hand side and overtake on the left. The roads in major cities can be busy with traffic, especially during rush hours.

How do I call/hail a taxi?

Taxis are plentiful in the city of Bucharest and it is easy to find a cab. Taxis can be found on the street, or at taxi ranks around the city, and even called and ordered over the phone by your hotel. Be aware there are many scams in Bucharest involving independent cab drivers. You should always use taxi cabs from the large companies which will have their rates displayed on the door, a taxi sign on the top of the car and most vehicles are yellow. If they do not display the rates on the door it is best not to take these types of taxis. Always insist the driver uses a meter, the rates should cost around 1.6 - 3 lei per kilometer or 1.4 - 3.6 lei per hour. Traveling outside of the city and to and from the airport can cost quite a bit more, rates are often double costing you an additional 10-15 lei. Some of the largest trusted companies in Bucharest include Speed Taxi, Meridian, Taxi 2000, National Taxi, Cobalcescu, and Dartex. Avoid companies like Cris Taxi, Leone, Titan, Street, Decebal, and Arsenal, these are often criminals.

Uber and Taxify are cheaper, more reliable services to use in the city. These companies are well established in the city and operate all over Bucharest, and also offer rides to and from the airport. Rates should cost around 1.39 lei per kilometer, and the apps are easy to use, simply download on your phone, put in your pick up and drop off location and order your ride. You pay through the app.

Is Bucharest a walking city?

There are many walking options available in the city of Bucharest as well as several guided walking tours in the city center. The city is brimming with beautiful boulevards decorated with charming architecture, quaint shops, and lovely restaurants and cafes. Walking around the city is easily done and there is plenty of public transportation to connect you to sights further away.

What is the best time to visit Bucharest?

Bucharest enjoys a humid continental climate featuring hot, humid summers and cold, snowy winters. The summer months last from June to August with temperatures reaching up to 86 degrees in the day and cooler nights with temperatures in the 60’s. Winters are damp and snow is common with temperatures that plummet into the 20’s or 30’s F and averages 31 days of snow from November to April. Springtime is pleasant in the city and May is one of the best times to visit with warm sunny days and cold nights, September is another popular month.

What is the currency? Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The currency of Romania is the Romania leu (RON or lei). You will need to exchange your currency for the Convertible Mark, which can be done upon arrival at the airport currency exchange desks or banks and specialized stores called Foreign Exchange Bureaus.

What is the food like?

Typical food in Romanian is made with meat, usually, pork with menus made up of several different types of pork dishes. Romanians enjoy comfort good, and Bucharest is a great city for dining options with plenty of diversity and dozens of traditional Romanian restaurants. Many of these local restaurants are located in authentic historic buildings, some playing folk music or featuring folk dancing shows and serving up some of the countries finest cuisine. There are also plenty of international restaurants in the city whether you fancy Italian, Chinese, Indian, Turkish, French, Japanese, or Greek food they can all be found in Bucharest.

A few popular dishes in the city include sarmale, cabbage stuffed with spiced minced pork or beef. Mamaliga is a cornmeal porridge similar to polenta served with many main courses topped with sour cream and cheese. Covrigi is soft pretzels topped with salt or poppy seeds served hot on the streets of Bucharest. Mici (“small ones”) is made of combinations of ground meat and spices grilled on the barbecue, normally served with mustard and fresh bread. Ciroba de burta (Tripe soup) is a popular first course in Romania made with boiled beef tripe, vegetables, and served with sour cream, vinegar, and a garlic paste.

Bucharest offers a great cafe culture with endless varieties of cafes serving delicious coffee in charming places.

What is the nightlife like?

The nightlife in Bucharest is said to be among the best in Europe. The city offers some great establishments like bars, clubs, wine bars, pubs, specialty coffee shops, and beer halls to name a few. One of the most happening areas is said to be Old Town (Lipscani) where a majority of cool hangouts are located. Wander the tiny narrow lanes and check out some of the to-go places in the city with places like Strada Smardan, Strada Covaci hosting massive parties, and Bicicleta with furnishings made from old bicycles, popular clubs include La Muse, and Mojo in the heart of Old Town.

A typical evening in Bucharest would consist of a nice dinner, locals go out for dinner and drinks anywhere between 7-9 and catch up with friends, etc followed by the real nightlife beginning at midnight, most bars are crowded by 10 pm and most stay open until the early morning hours.

Pub Crawls and craft beer tours are popular in Bucharest. Both options offer a great way to discover the city’s nightlife scene with the locals and enjoy a great night out on the town.

What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?

In case of Emergency dial 112 for the Police, Ambulance, or Fire services.

Hospitals: Coltea Hospital tel. 40-21-387-4100

Royal Hospital Bucharest tel. 40-21-9095