Bucharest is a city of contrasts. It is an unusual destination and, perhaps because of this, it retains its original charm. If you are going to travel in Romania, I recommend that you dedicate a couple of days to its capital. Here I leave you the complete guide with lots of information about what to see in Bucharest so you can organize your days, but today I want to help you in those first moments in the city and I will explain all the options you have to go from Bucharest airport to downtown.
✈️ How to get from Bucharest airport to the city centre
Bucharest airport is called “Henri Coanda International Airport” (OTP). It is the country’s main airport and is located about 20 kilometers north of the city center. It has a good infrastructure for travelers and I’ll tell you the details below.
“Henri Coanda” has currency exchange facilities, automatic teller machines, restaurants, cafeterias, various shops, Duty Free and VIP lounges. The airport offers free and unlimited internet connection. Unfortunately there is no consignment service (to keep your suitcase), but here I leave you the link to a website where they show you where the consignment services are in the city.
The good thing is that it is quite well communicated with the center and here I tell you all the options to easily reach your accommodation in Bucharest (buses, train, taxi, private transfer, etc.).
💡 What you can’t miss in Bucharest
Bucharest is a city with thousands of magical corners to discover, monuments, parks and an impressive nightlife. Discover here all the essentials to see in Bucharest.
One of the cheapest ways to get to the centre from the airport is by public transport. There are several lines that take you and here I explain everything:
🚏 Line 780
This bus takes you from the airport to the Gara de Nord train station from where you can take the metro or another bus to reach your final destination. From Gara de Nord to the historic centre it takes about 35 minutes on foot, but by bus or underground it takes 10 minutes.
It provides service every day between 5.35am and 11.10pm and buses leave every 30 minutes approximately. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes.
🚏 Line 783
This bus takes you from the airport to Piata Unirii, in the heart of the city. If your accommodation is not within walking distance, you can combine it with subway or buses. Other stops on this line are Piata Victorei or Piata Romana. From Unirri to the old town is a few meters (between 5 and 15 minutes walk, depending on where your accommodation is).
The good thing about this line is that it works 24 hours a day and provides service every 20-30 minutes (depending on the time of day, at dawn the frequency is 40 minutes). The journey takes approximately 45 minutes. Here you can see the timetables.
👛 To use the buses you must buy a rechargeable card in the vending machines (costs 3.70 lei) and load it with money for your trips. This card will allow you to use the entire public transport network in the city. The price of the bus ticket is 1.30 lei.
✏️ For more information on timetables or bus stops consult the website of Transportes de Bucharest.
💡La the best way to get to know the city, its history and culture is through a FREE SPANISH tour. The guide will show you the most emblematic areas and monuments over a period of almost 3 hours and will put you in context so that you can then explore the city with a more understood vision. Although the tour is free, you must reserve your place in advance HERE.
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Although there is no train station inside the airport, it is possible to combine bus and train to get to the city centre.
When you arrive at the airport you must take the shuttle bus at the main door of the arrivals terminal. In 10 minutes it leaves you at the train stop called “PO Aeroport”. These buses are synchronized with the train departure times, so when you arrive at the station you won’t have to wait long.
The train takes you directly to Gara de Nord station and runs every day between 5.25am and 8.50pm. In total the journey will take you about 1 hour. The combined price of bus and train is 7.7 leis
Unirii Square by Shutterstock
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Today (October 2019) they are building the M6 metro line that will connect the airport with the Gara de Nord station. They say it’ll be ready by 2025. In the meantime you will have to use the bus or private transport. Here’s the map.
The price to use the metro in Bucharest is 2.5 lei and, unlike buses and trams, you can buy simple tickets without having the rechargeable card.
Click here if you want to enlarge the metro map
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As in any international airport, you have the option to go by taxi from Bucharest airport to your accommodation in the city. As in many other cities in the world, taxi drivers do not have a good reputation, so I recommend that you choose Uber, Bolt or private transfer applications.
If you still prefer taxis, ask the taxi driver to put the meter on and make sure google maps are not giving you a long walk around the city. In general the journey takes about 35 minutes and the price can be between 45 and 50 lei (maximum).
There is the option of hiring a taxi through the company Clever Taxi that, through some machines you select how much you want to pay per kilometer and that’s it. But this doesn’t mean that the taxi driver won’t change the meter or give you a nice ride before taking you to your hotel.
🚘 RENTAL CAR
If your idea is to do a road trip around the country, you should rent a car to pick it up directly from the airport.
There are many car rental companies, but I recommend that you rent it in advance and online, so you can compare prices and choose the best deal. I always use the Rentalcars website to get the best price, because it compares with all the companies in the market.
🚗 PRIVATE TRANSFER
Easy, simple and economical. The good thing about the private transfer is that the driver waits for you at the exit with a sign with your name and takes you directly to your accommodation, without you having to negotiate prices and without the need to understand yourself in Romanian -or English- with the driver.
The price is fixed and costs 29€ for a car for 3 passengers. More information about private transfers here.
🏨 Hotels in Bucharest
In Bucharest there are accommodations for all tastes and budgets: from budget hostels to 5-star hotels. Here are my recommendations:
💤 If you want to indulge yourself, the JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel is everything you expect from a 5-star: spacious rooms with all the comfort. However, it is about 30 minutes walk from the center, or you can arrive in Bolt / Uber or taxi in less than 10 minutes and for less than 2€.
💤 If you’re looking for a backpacker-style hostel that offers both dormitories and private rooms, one with excellent reviews is the “Pura Vida Sky Bar & Hostel,” located in the heart of the historic center.
Anyway, keep in mind that there are accommodations in Bucharest from 6€ per night. Find here your ideal hotel at the best price!
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*Both the cover photo and the photos indicated are from the Shutterstock image bank.
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