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Getting to Romania


By plane


Romania has 17 civilian airports, out of which currently 12 are served by scheduled international flights. The main international airports are:

  • Bucharest's Henri Coanda (Otopeni) Airport is the largest and busiest, it has flights to nearly all the major cities in Europe, to a few Middle Eastern capitals, to all other Romanian cities, but just one direct flight to the USA ; Besides traditional carriers, some low cost airlines such as Easyjet, Vueling or Niki operate flights on this airport.
  • Bucharest's Aurel Vlaicu (Baneasa) Airport recently became a major low cost airlines hub; Blue Air and Wizz Air have a hub on the airport, connecting Bucharest to destinations in Italy, Spain, Britain, Germany, Belgium and France. Italian MyAir used to also have a hub before its bankruptcy. Germanwings also serves this airport from three German destination. During summer, the airport also doubles as the main charter airport for flights to Tunisia, Egypt, Turkey and Greece.

 

In recent times Romania became increasingly attractive for low cost carriers. Blue Air, a Romanian low-fare airline, serves various destinations in Europe from Bucharest (Aurel Vlaicu Airport), Arad, Targu Mures and Bacau. A Hungarian budget airline, Wizzair , introduced direct flights from London Luton to Bucharest in January 2007. Several others, including Wind Jet , AlpiEagles , Ryanair , GermanWings , and AirBerlin ) already operate flights to Romania. Easyjet operates flights from London, Milan and Madrid.

By train

Romania is relatively well connected with the European rail network. There are daily international trains to Munich , Prague , Venice , Vienna, Budapest, Zagreb, Belgrade, Sofia , Thessaloniki, Istanbul , Chisinau , Kiev and Moscow. But due to the poor quality of rail infrastructure in the region train travel on long distances takes considerable time.

Nonetheless, trains are the ideal way of reaching cities in western and central Romania such as Brasov, Sighisoara, Oradea or Cluj-Napoca coming from Central Europe.

International trains to Romania include EuroCity trains which are of a relatively high standard and night trains. Romania is part of the Eurailpass offer.

A cheap way of traveling to or from Romania might be the Balkan Flexipass.

By bus

Even though Romania has not been traditionally seen as a 'bus country', buses are becoming a more and more popular way to reach the country from overseas, especially from the Balkans and the former USSR, but also from Western Europe, e.g. Germany and Switzerland. Even though trains are still the most popular way of getting to Romania from Central Europe, due to good service, train services to the Balkans and former USSR are of a considerably poorer quality and are less frequent (mainly because railway infrastructure in these countries is a lot poorer than Romania's infrastructure). For this reason, a slew of private bus operators now provide quicker and arguably more comfortable coach services to and from cities such as Chisinau, Kiev, Odessa, Sofia and Istanbul .

A general rule of the thumb on whether you should use bus or train is this: if trains are available just as frequently, and at around the same price, and take around the same amount of time, then definitely use them. Otherwise, consider the buses.

For all information about buses in Romania and online reservations and tickets (i.e. timetables and prices) you can use www.Autogari.ro

By boat

Cruises on Danube are available, very expensive though, starting from Passau or Vienna and having a final destination in Danube Delta. These cruises will stop in every major port along the road, in Austria , Hungary , Serbia and Romania . There you can travel by rapid boats, fisherman's boats on endless channels to watch huge colonies of pelicans, cranes or small migratory birds. You can enjoy a local dish, fishermen's borsch, prepared using different species of fish, but take care, they use the Danube's river water! It is the only way to travel around the Danube Delta, and the only way to get to the city of Sulina.

 

By car

You can easily drive into Romania coming from countries in the West, but when coming from the East you will have to drive through Moldova and you may experience troubles there. There is not a direct border crossing between Ukraine and Romania in the south-eastern corner of Romanian Moldavia , you must go via Giurgiulesti, which is in Moldova (a small stretch of about 500 meters). Moldovan border control officers will ask several times for money (ecological tax, road tax ... up to 20 in July 2007). Coming from the north (Ukraine), can also be time-consuming, times can vary from 1 to more than 5 hours.

Also be aware if you plan to drive to Romania, the road infrastructure is fairly modest compared to Western and Central Europe. There are few motorways and only in the south of the country. The upside to this is that most european roads which you will mostly be traveling on are well maintained and are denominated with an E followed by a number (e.g. E63), are scenic roads and cross some spectacular scenery of mountains, valleys and forests. The roads especially in Transylvania are built on top of the old medieval routes and there is always something to stop for and visit on your way. On the roads linking Romania to its western borders take particular care as traffic is heavy and with most roads having one or two lanes each way, and for the most part are unlit.

Source: Wikitravel.org