The railway network spans the entire surface of Romania.
For more information
Air Transport Tarom The national air company is Air Transport Tarom. Information about the connections available, time scales and prices can be found on the company's website.
the National Railroad Company Find out the train timetable for national and international routes, as well as the corresponding prices.
Port of Constantza Information about options available for traveling by sea, prices, terminals and connection.
Related pages on It's Romania
The article was written 30.1.2007.
Transportation in Romania
You can decide to arrive to Romania by several ways: by air, by road by train or by sea. All you have to do is choose the level of comfort you desire.
1. Traveling by air
Flying might be the best way to arrive to Romania, but maybe the most expensive, unless you are coming from a long distanced country. The national air company is AIR TRANSPORT TAROM, which has flights in the major urban centers. They serve many destinations, mainly European and Middle Eastern ones.
Due to the fact that Bucharest is the centre point of the airway network, it might be possible to have to return here if you want to flight to other cities. The biggest airports in Romania are Henri Coanda (former Otopeni) and Baneasa in Bucharest, Mihail Kogalniceanu in Constanta and Timisoara.
The International Airport Henri Coanda is 18 km from the center of the capital and it has been recently modernized becoming one of the finest airports in Europe. You will find here major air companies such as Air France, Lufthansa, British Airways, Australian Airlines or Swiss that operate direct flights from here to all over the world.
2. Traveling by road
The main frontier entrance points for Romania are:
Renting a car
Renting a car is possible, but only in the major cities, and you can choose to rent the car and drive it by yourself or rent the car with a driver, which can be a great deal considering the good price and the fact that you will have a guide and a translator included (some drivers are also licensed guides). Some of the rent-a-car companies are Active Rent-a-car, Rent-Auto or Prima Rent a Car Romania.
Renting a car can be the best choice is you travel with a lot of luggage, which are difficult to handle on the trains and probably won't fit in the maxi-taxi. The prices are fair around 50 euros a day.
TIP #1 The rental cars are not authorized to leave the country if you plan a short trip to Moldova, Hungry or other surrounding countries.
There are brand new highways between the major urban centers, and the roads are in a good shape, even in the more remote rural regions. The great thing is that gas is reasonably priced considering the other European countries, and you can stop anywhere to fill in.
TIP #2 Pay attention though, you might have to encounter traditional horse-carts that might not be signalized by lights at night.
TIP #3 Make sure if you choose a taxi that you agree on the price with the driver, because you might be extra charged for the ride. The best way to pay the correct price, which is quite reasonable, by the way, is to ask the driver to set the meters.
TIP #4 The traffic is infernal in the major cities, especially in Bucharest, where some people drive like crazy and break every rule!
TIP #5 Drive carefully, you might bump into a pothole! Some secondary streets are in a really bad shape.
3. Traveling by train
The national Romanian Railway Company is CFR, and the services improve year by year. The national railway network is large, about 11,000 km long, and it spans the entire surface of Romania. There are four types of trains, and the prices vary according to the quality: Rapid, Accelerate and Personal (this is the most inexpensive type, slow and makes all stops, even in the middle of nowhere).
The general impression about the Romanian trains is that they are pretty dirty, slow and crowded. Especially the bathrooms leave much to be desired. Well, maybe many of them are, but the price is low.
If you want to go with the best trains in Romania, than the InterCity ones are the best choice. Those are the best trains when it comes to cleanness, fastness and efficiency, at the Western European standards. Trains though arrive in time, are quite comfortable and heated. The advantage is that a first class ticked is cheap and you can close the door for privacy or you can have a smoke on the corridor.
Going by train remains the most popular way of traveling around Romania and you can meet very interesting people while enjoying the great sightseeing. You can enjoy stunning views, especially when you cross the Carpathian Mountains or the area of Transylvania. The trains are an efficient way to travel between the cities and the ticket prices are excellent. For example, when going from Bucharest to Brasov, the train ticket costs around 7 euros, and this is a great price. This is why all travel guides recommend trains for longer journeys around Romania.
TIP #1 You can't order tickets online, and it is best that you purchase the ticket one day before in order to avoid the surprise of not finding any places, especially if you want to travel for popular destinations or in the weekends.
TIP #2 Make sure you check a Romanian train departure timetable before you go at the train station. You don't want to spend hours waiting in the train station for the next connection.
4. Traveling by sea
Traveling by sea is possible, as Romania has an exit to the Black Sea. You can travel by boat and enter Romania through Constanta. All cruise boats stop here but you can also arrive using the passenger boats that operate on the Danube River and the new European fluvial path Rotterdam-Constanta, which includes the Danube-Black Sea channel.
If you don't intend to go to Constanta, you can stop on the way to other locations such as Drobeta -Turnu- Severin and Giurgiu, and also the Sulina, Tulcea and Baila harbors.
5. Public transportation (tram, metro, bus, ...)
The public transportation is frequent and reliable, and includes trams, metro, buses and trolleybuses. Most of the big cities have developed a complex urban transport system, and the buses especially are modern and represent an easy and fast method to go around the cities.
The prices are more than affordable and you can practically go anywhere in the city or the surrounding areas.
TIP #1 Buy the ticket first, it's just $0,5.
TIP #2 Watch out for your pockets and luggage!
Any choice you will make while going around Romania is definitely an interesting one, as the scenery is colorful and interesting and the locals are very open and willing to give you directions.