Bucharest is a huge city, but main points of interest are in an area easily accessible on foot for most travelers. In our ONE-DAY ITINERARY main spots are included: the historic center from the Unirii Square to the Athenaeum, Cismigiu Park, the Parliament and back to Unirii; it is approximately 6 km long, an acceptable distance if we have a whole day to cover it. In addition, in some parts of the historic center private vehicles are not allowed.
Pili in a pedestrian zone in Old Town
It is the simplest and most recommendable transportation system in Bucharest. It is managed by Metrorex company. As of July 2018 there are 4 lines:
- 1 circular: Victory Square, Gara du Nord (there are two stops, 1 and 2), Izvor (for Cismigiu gardens) and Piata Unirii.
- 2 north-south: Victory Square, Universitate and Unirii.
- 3 east-west: Izvor and Unirii.
- 4 northwest-Gara du Nord.
A line is being built that will connect the Airport with Gara du Nord and another one that will pass from east to west also through the center, but further north than the red line.
There are two types of tickets:
- 2 journeys: 5 Lei.
- 10 journeys: 20 Lei.
- There are weekly and monthly passes.
BUSES, TRAMWAYS AND TROLLEYS
All three are managed by RATB company. The network is very extensive, but in general it is confusing for tourists and not very useful. There are two types of cards to use, currently there are no single tickets sold. They are validated when entering the transport, not when leaving, so they can be used by several users by pressing the number 2 button of the validation device inside the vehicle once per extra passenger:
- Activ Card. 3.7 Lei. Normally it is bought in official stands of the RATB. You have to buy the card and then recharge it to use it. At the kiosk where we buy it, we can ask them to recharge the number of trips we request or do it on the machines. Each journey will cost 1.30 Lei.
- Multiplu Card, 1.6 Lei. There are two options:
- A one-day pass for 8 Lei.
- Or buy it with the number of trips we know we are going to do, minimum 2 and maximum 10. Once spent, it can not be recharged.
Lines that may be of interest to tourists (all are bus):
- Near the entrance to the Parliament (you enter through the south side): 136.
- Cismigiu Park: it is easier to walk from Izvor metro station, but there are many bus lines: 61, 66, 69.70, 85.90, 91, 122, 137, 138, 268, 336.
- Historic center: there are many bus lines, but it is much easier to go by metro.
As we have already mentioned in other articles, taxis have a very bad reputation in Romania in general and in Bucharest in particular and it is one of the problems that most often occur to tourists, so you have to try to avoid them at all costs (see the post DANGERS AND PROBLEMS IN BUCHAREST). In case we decide to use them:
- They are cheap, the price starts at 1.39 Lei per km. They change according to the company, but they must be exposed in the doors of the vehicle. You should not take a taxi that does not show the prices.
- Cobalcescu and Meridian are two of the most reliable companies. We must be aware and not make mistakes because some unreliable companies copy the logo of the reliable ones. It is better to call or ask for a taxi through an App or through our hotel.
- Never use an unofficial taxi. Scams and intimidation are frequent, and even assaults occur.
Traffic is another of the big problems in Bucharest, not so much for what is congested but for the way of driving of locals. In general it is advisable to park our vehicle next to a metro station not very close to the center and use public transport. In case of entering the center, there are free parking, some private parking and other payment areas.
MORE ON TRANSPORT IN BUCHAREST: