How to Reach Bucharest
HOW TO GET TO BUCHAREST
By Air: Henri Coanda International Airport receives most incoming flights. Most air connections are from Europe or the Middle East, so if you’re outside these territories, layovers are a given.
- Bewarned: everything inside the Airport is incredibly expensive. And save exchanging money until you’re in the city as well.
- Take Bus 783 to downtown; Bus 780 to train station Gara de Nord (cross the road for the bus going to the city. The one outside the airport is going the other way).
- The Henri Coanda Expres train, connected by minibus to the airport, will take you to the Gara de Nord.
- Taxi coupons/tickets can be purchased from booths outside airport arrival halls; this should prevent you from getting scammed.
- Rail links to all major cities within the country, and to many surrounding capital cities in other countries.
- Gara de Nord receives all international trains.
- Like with the airport, don’t exchange currency at the station.
- Avoid taking taxis out of the station. If unavoidable, take ONLY those drivers who set the meter running BEFORE your trip. Pay only meter price. Refuse all ‘bargain’ offers.
- Basarab, Progresul and Republica stations receive domestic trains. Visit SNCFR for details.
- Moldova, Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria ply to Bucharest from cities such as ChiÃ…ŸinÃ„ƒu, Istanbus, Sofia, Varna and Athens. Also, practically every city and town in Romania is connected by bus, so domestic travel is no problem.
- Though you can come by car, avoid it. Parking is troublesome.
HOW TO GET AROUND BUCHAREST
The city’s public transport is excellent and highly well connected.
- Safest, cheapet mode of transport. There are 4 lines: M1, M2, M3, M4. Get a good idea of their routes. M1 starts in the east, circles downtown and passes Gare de Nord. M2 runs north to south; M3, east to west. M4 cuts across the city’s north-west only. Check Bucharest metro map online.
- You’ll have trouble distinguishing between these three at first, because there are hundreds of routes. On the plus side, they connect EVERYTHING and are very frequent. Use your ID to get a smart ActivCard. The card is error prone, but checking if you’ve paid is easy at the terminal. Make sure to validate your ticket at the validator. Best to buy a daily/weekly pass if you want to skip the hassle of validation.
- There are plenty of car rentals all around the city.
- Don’t take private independent taxis – big taxi companies (Speed Taxi, Meridian, Taxi 2000, National Taxi, Cobalcescu and Dartex) only!
- Avoid the following companies: Cris Taxi, Leone, Titan, Street, Decebal and Aresena. BEWARE: sometimes the criminal companies copy the look and design of trustworthy companies.
- Prices – a base fee, and subsequent per kilometre fee – are both listed.
- Night and day rates will be given. Night rates are lower.
- Make sure the fare meter is running BEFORE your ride.
- Taxi scams are the most common crime in the city. They prey on tourists. Mugging is not uncommon. They may try to extort money before letting you take luggage out. If you have a GPS map and tracker, keep an eye on it; sometimes you can be taken to a deserted location for extortion. They may try and charge extra for ‘taxes’ and ‘receipt’.
- Per km fare should be about 1.5-2 lei.