Getting around in Bucharest: info, costs and advice

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Lluis Enric Mayans
@lluisenricmayans
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Bucharest is the capital of Romania, as well as its most populous city, located exactly in the south of the country. Its elegant architecture is to be admired, the nightlife attracts many young people, it is no coincidence that the name itself derives from the term bucura which means "to be happy". Moreover, thanks to the urban atmosphere that you experience, it is nicknamed Little Paris, even if it is not so small!

Despite being very large, moving from one part of the city to another will be really simple and above all cheap! Here's one guide on how to get around Bucharest: info, costs and advice!



Index

  1. Useful Tips
  2. How to get from the airport to the center of Bucharest
  3. How to get around on foot
  4. Con i mezzi pubblici
  5. By car
  6. User questions and comments

Useful Tips

In Bucharest you can count on a vast network of public transport, operating all day, even at night with night buses. Ticket prices are really economicLike all city services, taxis are also very cheap compared to the rest of Western Europe (€ 0,30 / km).

The city center is recommended to be explored on foot, it is worth it to discover the hidden beauties. For settle in the city on the first day, our advice is to opt for a guided tour of the city, perhaps to be combined with a wine tasting, to start learning about the food and wine culture of the area.

The car is really not recommended, both for heavy traffic and for the limited availability of parking spaces. Better to opt for public transport or bicycle. Even in the latter case, however, it is advisable for a first approach to follow a guided bicycle tour to become familiar with the city and the cycle paths.



  • Recommended solutions and means: walk to the center, metro, bus
  • Solutions and means not recommended: car
  • City cards and season tickets recommended: day ticket for vehicles (from 8,00 Lei / € 1,65)

How to get from the airport to the center of Bucharest

Bucharest is served byBucharest-Otopeni Airport, located less than 20 km from the city center and well connected to Italy by several direct flights, also operated by low cost airlines.

To reach the center of Bucharest from the airport you can use the bus, with departures every 20 min, while the 780 line every 40 min, and reaches the main railway station of the city. There is the possibility of taking the train: the station is located outside the airport and is connected to it by a free shuttle bus. Alternatively, you can take a taxi, regulated to combat the phenomenon of unauthorized traffic and guarantee transport only with official vehicles. You can call your taxi directly at the automatic machines inside the terminal. Finally, you can opt for an airport transfer for all areas of Bucharest which can be booked directly online before departure!

Bucharest-Otopeni Airport (Henri Coanda)

  • Distance from the center: 17 km / travel time: about 1 hour
  • By train: Airport Stop line / ticket cost: 6,80 Lei (€ 1,40)
  • By taxi: average cost 48,00 Lei (€ 10,00) / travel time: about 1 hour
  • By bus: average cost 3,50 Lei (€ 0,70) / express lines 783 and 780
  • Private transfer: airport transfer for all areas of Bucharest

How to get around on foot

Bucharest is a very large city, so it's not always ideal to walk around. However, giving up the use of public transport at least in the historic center will give you the opportunity to breathe the real atmosphere of the place. The advice is to start your visit with a guided tour of the city, to identify the landmarks and orient yourself. Afterwards, mingle with the people, frequent the local bars, enjoy the windows of the patisseries and shops in the center, and above all admire the architecture.

If you lovers of history, you can discover all the secrets of communist Bucharest with a 3-hour guided tour in the footsteps of communism, while if you want to know the its food and wine side, you can opt for a wine tasting and tour of the historic center!



Con i mezzi pubblici

The city of Bucharest is served by bus, tram, trolley bus and metro. To move from one side to the other you will not encounter any problems. Public transport is active from 5:00 in the morning to 23:00, and during the stop times there are night buses.

It is necessary to know that it is not possible to buy a ticket on board and which can be purchased in all the affiliated businesses that have exhibited the RATB brand outside or at the automatic machines inside the stations. Metro tickets are different from bus, tram and trolleybus tickets.

If you've just arrived in town and need to settle in, or if you have limited time, you can opt for a complete 3-hour tour by car, with private driver, which will take you to discover all the highlights of the city!

Metro

The Bucharest metro service has 4 operational lines (M1, M2, M3, M4), distinguished by different colors, in total it has 51 stations. The trains are very efficient and are almost never late, they run every 5 minutes.

As regards the Tickets, in Bucharest it is not possible to buy a single ticket, you can buy a double ticket for 10 trips or buy a ticket valid for one day directly.

  • Downloadable map: Bucharest metro map
  • by 5: 00 23 to: 00
  • Ticket cost: 5,00 Lei (€ 1,03)
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: carnet 10 ride 20,00 Lei (€ 4,13), daily 8,00 Lei (€ 1,65)

Bus, trolleybus and tram

Bucharest has hundreds of lines of surface vehicles active from early morning, around 5:00, until late in the evening, on average midnight. There may be time variations based on the single line.

Buses, trolley buses and trams have one system ticket valid on all means, except for the metro. Moreover, it was created for the tourist, a magnetic card at a cost of 3,70 Lei (€ 0,76) on which it is possible to load any type of ticket. The weekly pass, on the other hand, which allows unlimited rides, costs 17,00 Lei (€ 3,51).



  • by 5: 00 24 to: 00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: 1,30 Lei (€ 0,27)
  • Cost of ticket booklet / season ticket: daily 8,00 Lei (€ 1,65)

Night buses

During the stop time of public transport, in Bucharest you can still count on one safe and efficient network of night buses. The important thing is to get your ticket before the RATB stores close.

  • by 24: 00 5 to: 00
  • Ticket / single ride cost: 1,30 Lei (€ 0,27)

By car

E' not recommended for tourists rent a car to move around Bucharest, during the week there is a lot of traffic and there are many traffic jams during the day, especially during rush hours. Also, many hotels they don't have parking, many others have very few parking spaces.

Bucharest has a population density four times higher than that of Rome, but an even number of cars registered. Citizens often travel by car, so the traffic is really heavy, the parking lots are few and almost always full. If you stay a few days in the city it is better to rely on public transport, if you are organizing an on the road instead, wait for the last day to rent the car.

Stops and parking

Both on-street and underground parking are available in the center of Bucharest. One of the best undergrounds is located in Universitate, open 24 hours a day, with more than 24 seats and a cost of 400 Lei per hour (€ 5,00). Another, always in the central area, is theInter Parking, near the University Square and connected with the International Hotel and the National Theater. Average cost always 5,00 Lei per hour (€ 1,00). Make sure you have cash with you, it is the only accepted payment method.

Street parking is often a bit "wild", citizens park occupying half the surface of the pavements intended for pedestrians, so it is highly discouraged, better to rely on covered and, above all, controlled parking lots.


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