Domestic transport

Train

Romania has a well-developed railway network that covers virtually the whole country. Trains are one of the most popular means of getting around Romania. They are inexpensive and generally on time.

Three different services are offered:

  • The cheapest and slowest are  the local trains – Regional ( R ).
  • Faster and more expensive are the InterRegional trains ( IR ). A seat reservation along with the ticket are required.
  • The fastest and the most expensive are Inter-City Trains ( IC ).

The last two types of trains have dining cars and sleepers (overnight or long distance trains only).

More info you can read here.

Bus

There are several bus companies that offer fast and inexpensive connections between Romania’s main cities.

Bus stations (Autogara) are usually located near to the train station. To check bus schedules (domestic routes) please visit: www.autogari.ro

Bus, tram & trolleybus

Buses, trams and trolleybuses (buses run by electricity with wires overhead) provide transport within most towns and cities in Romania, although many are crowded. They usually run from about 5am to midnight, although services can get thin after 7pm in more remote areas. Purchase tickets at street kiosks marked bilete (casă de bilete) before boarding, and validate them once aboard. Some tickets are good for one trip; others are for two trips, each end of the ticket being valid for one ride. Tickets cost from €0.20 to €0.35. If you travel without a validated ticket or with no ticket at all you risk a €10 on-the-spot fine.

Car rental

Travel by car is the best way to discover Romania’s remote areas, to admire the unique nature and take advantage of the innumerable photo opportunities.

Most major international and local car rental companies have offices in the major cities and airports. Rental policies vary from company to company; usually renters must be over 21, have a valid driver’s licence and a valid credit card.Many pass through cities and towns and gas stations, food stores and hotels are easy to find.Road congestion may be an issue – during weekends or holidays -for just a few popular rutes.

Romania has only a few short stretches of motorway (autostrada). Some major roads (drum naţional) have been resurfaced, but many remain in a shockingly poor, potholed condition. Secondary roads (drum judeţean) can become dirt tracks, and mountain and forestry roads (drum forestier) can be impassable after heavy rain. While roads are being repaved all the time, roughly half of the country’s roads are unpaved – and paved ones are sometimes rougher than dirt roads.

Petrol stations are easy to come by (but fill ’er up before heading on long trips through the mountains or remote village areas).  Most stations accept credit cards.

If you’re bringing your own car, most borders are open 24 hours. The most popular crossing is at Oradea, between Budapest and Cluj-Napoca.

Tolls are charges on motorways and main roads, payable in Euros. Drivers must buy a toll badge or rovinieta; these are available for one week or one month at border points, post offices and at most petrol stations. Children under 12 are not allowed to travel in the front seat and front seat passengers must wear a seat belt. Speed limits are 50kph (30mph) in built-up areas, 90kph (56mph) on main roads, and 110 kph (70mph) on highways. Car drivers need to have a fire extinguisher and two breakdown triangles in their car at all times. A national driving licence or International Driving Permit are required, as is Green Card insurance. Police carry out frequent checks so observe the speed limit, and carry relevant documents.

Breakdown service:
Contact the Romanian Automobile Club (ACR) (tel: (21) 222 2222; www.acr.ro).

Taxi

Taxis are available in every city of  Romania.They can be summoned by telephone or hailed on the street. Authorized taxis can be recognized by the TAXI sign on the roof. All Taxis should be equipped with meters.

Taxis can also be ordered by calling specialized companies which can confirm the rates / mile and approximate cost of the ride. Drivers approaching you at the airport or at the train station in Bucharest are likely to inflate their rates; please avoid them. For longer trips outside the city limits rates can be negotiated.

Domestic flights

Tarom – Romania’s National airline and Carpatair operate scheduled flights between Bucharest and several cities within Romania.  Flights tend to be well-priced, and it’s possible to secure low-cost tickets two or three days in advance.

Bike
Bikes can be hired in most of the major cities for a reasonable sum.

Boat
Boat is the only way of getting around much of the Danube Delta, where you can pick up ferries or hop in fishers’ boats from Tulcea.

Hitching
Hitching is never entirely safe in any country in the world. People who do choose to hitch will be safer if they travel in pairs and let someone know where they are planning to go. That said, hitching is very popular in Romania, where people usually stand along the main roads out of a city or town. It’s common practice in Romania to pay the equivalent of the bus fare to the driver.

Metro (subway)
Bucharest is the only city to have a metro. The network is 69.25 kilometres (43.0 mi) long and has 51 stations.

Horse carts

In many rural parts the only vehicles that pass will be horse- or donkey-powered. Horse and cart is the most popular form of transport in Romania and you will see numerous carts, even in cities (although some downtown areas are off-limits to them). Many carts will stop and give you a ride, the driver expecting no more than a cigarette in payment.