Taxi BucharestBucharest Taxi
Guide to Bucharest: Airport, Taxi, Transport & Security
Do you plan to go to Bucharest? If you have already made a reservation for a flight to Bucharest Otopeni Airport and would like to know how to get to the heart of the town, we can help you. Would you like to know more about taxi, underground, public transport, security and what Bucharest looks like for you? In addition to lots of useful information and helpful hints, each section has useful hyperlinks that will make your journey to Bucharest stress-free and easy to navigate.
It is still an unexplored, lesser-known holiday resort that can appear harsh at the margins for first-time tourists concerned about tourism fraud and security. I want to be frank - some of them are real, and the town can be a real test for travelers accustomed to other major cities in Europe. There is much more to Bucharest than that - if you know where to look!
It is a town full of contrast and with its own atmosphere: Beyond unsightly, gray and lofty old Roman Catholic houses are hundred-year-old cathedrals, contemporary structures of iron and glas or deserted architectonic beauty telling of the years of the Roman Empire. In the last 10 years the town has changed a great deal, so let me tell you how to discover this area.
Bukarest is in the south of the county in the historical Wallachia region (?ara Româneasc?). The town, which lies on flat land, is spacious and continually expands. Don't mistake Bucharest for Hungary's main town, Budapest - both are interesting and sightseeing, but the local people are very proud and angry when tourist confuses them!
Just over 400 years old, Bucharest has been the Romanian capitol since 1859, making it one of the youngest among the major cities in Europe. It is the country's second biggest town, Cluj-Napoca, with an approximate 1.9 million residents (much bigger in fact thanks to student and commuter life) and about 350,000 people.
It was once known as Little Paris because during the 19th and twentieth century it was strongly affected by France's cultural and architectural influences, as was the remainder of Romania's former urbane population. Nevertheless, in some parts of Bucharest one still finds tracks of the Little Paris feel. You can also take a communist trip through Bucharest to find out how an whole neighborhood was torn down to make room for Ceausescus' egomanes Projekt, the Parliament Palace or the House of the People, as he would like to call it, which is Bucharest's most famous city.
Is Bucharest safer for them? Apart from the common tourism fraud (staying away from anyone who "offers" their service or asks for help in an uncommon way), pickpocketing in overcrowded areas and impolite taxi riders, there is nothing particularly experienced travelers should worry about. You will see that the natives of Bucharest are very cautious when it comes to appearance when going out, and many looks are indeed "check you out" looks of wonder or inquisitiveness.
Here is more about the security in Bucharest from this lrish logger: The weather in Bucharest is generally mild and comfortable. Best seasons are spring (March - June) and autumn (September - October) with average temperatures of 15 - 25 degrees centigrade, perfect for a walk in the town. Summer can get quite boisterous (34 - 40 Celsius) and heat waves are common, which makes the urban atmosphere rather flat and intolerable without climate control.
Winter is generally cold (below 0 degrees) and the amount of snows ranges from zero to very high, but in December the Christmas town is nicely adorned and there is Glühwein everywhere! You can' t rely on Bucharest to be an officially accredited tour operator! Bucharest locals are doing a very bad job supporting the town, improving touristic infrastructures and welcoming people.
There' only one tourism information center in the subway arcade of Piata Universitatii, but the last times I looked at it (August 2017), it was shut on the weekend and folks didn't seem very kind or supportive, although they distributed free street plans and referrals to the common places (like the excessively touristy Caru' cu Bere).
Otherwise there are no other points of information. You do not have an offical map of the town or a entrance pass to places of interest and interest. In Bucharest there is a double-decker coach that makes a hop-on-hop-off tour along the main attraction and sites (website), but only from May to October.
The best thing is to rent a travel leader for a sightseeing trip or take a travel leader with you. Fortunately, English is very widespread in Bucharest among the young people ( under 35), who are fluent and very amiable. You won't have any trouble in a restaurant, café, bar or touristic area like the old town and even the menu is in English.
Couldn't find the Bucharest Tourist Board's website (not sure if it exists?) and many sites have information that is partly or totally out of date or bewildering (including WikiTravel). Bucharest's main tourist sites, places of interest and places of interest are on a north-south line from Herestrau Park to Piata Unirii, which is easy to reach by the underground M2.
Bucharest is much more than that - Calea Victoriei, the Romanian Atheneum, the Revolution Square, Museum, Park and Boulevard are waiting to be explored by you - you may want to read our complete travel guides about what you can do in Bucharest or our Bucharest town holiday guidebook. You can also read some blogger review of the first to discover the town, such as Jurga from Full Suitcase, who divides her jewels in Bucharest, or Lavi from Continent Hop, who describes in graphic - and fun - detail what she experiences in our capitol!
Romania¹s largest and nearest to Bucharest is Henri Coanda (Otopeni) International airport (OTP) and is situated on the north edge of the Romanian capitol in the small Otopeni small metro area - therefore the nickname Bucharest is Otopeni (official website). The Bucharest Otopeni International Airports are 20 km from the center of Bucharest (Piata Universitatii and Old Town) and the journey lasts about 30 minutes - 1 hr, according to travel, daily schedule and means of transportation.
From Bucharest airport there are two main ways to get to the center of the city: by taxi or automobile (fast + comfortable) and by local buses (cheaper but slower). The RATB (Bucharest Transit Authority) runs 2 buses from Otopeni Airport: Take the 780 towards Nordbahnhof (Gara de Nord) and 783 towards Stadtzentrum (Piata Unirii), stopping at key points.
Driver don't peddle ticket. Bucharest local transportation (except metro) is usually not reliable and not under the best condition (some don't have air conditioning in summer), so I wouldn't suggest the coach if you're in a hurry, arrive/departure during busy periods, or aren't unbelievably price-conscious. Travelling by taxi or rental from Bucharest airport to the center of the town is faster, more comfortable and cheaper (35-45 Lei ~8-10 Euro, with tip) at the regular rate (see section below on Bucharest taxis).
Some years ago there were significant issues with aggresive taxi drivers at the airports awaiting ripping off tourist, but the government partly resolved this and this is no longer the case. I have always used a taxi as a locals to get to and from Bucharest International Airports because it is the best way.
Coming to Bucharest with a rental vehicle, please check out these great places to visit: First look for these self-service vending terminals on both sides of the boarding gates (after luggage reclaim); use one of them to order a taxi from the pre-authorized carriers and you will receive a paper taxi detail card that you must use.
Go in front of the terminals buildings (still on the 1. floor) and await the taxi from the leftside; you must make a payment in money (Lei) at the end of the trip; if there is a high enquiry, it may take between 5-15 minutes to find a vehicle, which means that you have to queue at the vending machine; secondly, a good option to the regular taxi service is to order a vehicle via Uber or Taxify, which will collect you (usually) from the 1. floors of the lot in front of the terminalside, just behind the line of regular taxi's;
An extra charge of 2 Lei for the aerodrome park charge and the overall cost of the regular rate should be about 25 - 40 Lei; Thirdly, if you cannot find a 1+2 vehicle, you can go 10 minutes on foot to the departure terminals (turn right after luggage claim) and collect one of the taxi's that drop them.
39/km ) Bucharest cabs should be ready to go back to the town with customers on boards; security tips: when someone at the taxi service comes up to you at the airports with taxi service, you decline; when someone wants to bargain the price of the ticket, you decline; when taxi riders outside the terminals come up to you and tell you that their customers haven't shown up (which is possible), you decline - unless they're willing to pay the price; when getting into yellows you make sure the rider takes the counter off before you leave, otherwise you decline the price; many cabs have an LPG fuel pod in the boot, which means many have an LPG fuel pod in the boot; when someone wants to bargain the price of the trip, you decline; when taxi riders outside the terminals come up to you and tell you that their customers haven't shown up (which is possible), you reject - unless they're willing to pay the price; when they get into yellows, make sure the rider takes the counter off before you leave; many cabs have an LPG fuel pod in the boot, which means
One good and beloved place to do this is Black Cab, which will take about 75 lei to get to the town. Rent a cars such as Sixt, Avis or Autonom are available at the airports, but make sure you make your reservation in writing. Coming from Bucharest to Brasov (150 km away) is difficult - there used to be a mini van, but I don't know if it's still going or if it's reliable, so my best advise is to go to North train station and take a rail from there.
If you come from Bucharest to Otopeni Airport, you have the same choice, but if you have to depart during peak periods (7-10 and 16-19), there is a good chance that the busses will be too slow and the vehicles will get bogged down in travel, trying to traverse the town on the same route (and there aren't many to chose from).
Make sure you depart in anticipation and here is one of my tricks to get to the terminal faster: I take the metro to Aviatorilor Metro stop (blue line), get out of the hall on the right and take a taxi from there to Bucharest Otopeni. If you can still get some air travel, but it will spare you a great deal of effort to get from the center to the north.
Tip #1: At Otopeni Airport (2-3x higher ) sandwwiches, beverages and small snacks are impudently pricey and not even the best outfit. Get something from the town or a petrol pump on your way there. Tip #2: Do not use currency change bureaux in the terminals for more than 10-20 Euro for taxi fares.
Its prices are 10-20% lower than what you get in the town - and there are many good stock markets in Bucharest. Out of the arrival area there are cash machines from nearby commercial banking, which are a better choice. Don't be afraid of Otopeni Airport - even if it may not be the nicest or offers you a great welcome to Romania, an educated and careful traveller will spare you many a headache.
Bucharest Central Railway Terminal is Gara de Nord (simply translates as Nordbahnhof). When you come across other railway companies like Bucharest Baneasa or Basarab, just disregard them - they are not for you. Within the railway yard there are many places where you can get meals, snacks, drinks and even a grocery store and currency exchanger.
For information on how to buy rail ticket and navigate Romania by rail, read our Romania Transportation Guidelines. Get from the railway to town. Coming to Gara de Nord, look for signposts that lead to the authorized taxi rank that goes down the very long, broad and high hallway when you get there (see picture above).
You' re addressed by those who offer taxi service - deny it. In front of the edifice, when taxi driver first ask where you are going and then try to bargain the ticket price, you decline. When you can't find a proper taxi, use one of the taxi applications described below. Nordbahnhof is situated in the north-western part of Bucharest, near Piata Victoriei.
Take the underground line and get off at Gara de Nord railwaystation. A taxi or a Uber is a better option than the coach and faster than the underground for 2-4 Euro. Bucharest's first bit of true honesty - taxi service should be handled with care, as their reputations are known to be poor for good and many things I won't go into much about.
However, if you take my suggestions below on how to order a taxi in Bucharest like a locals, you will see how simple and secure it can be to use it and prevent poor experience. And the second sincere fact is that taxi and rental car are a very inexpensive and comfortable way to explore Bucharest, especially as the metro stops do not offer most of the attractions and some interesting areas of the town.
Many officially registered taxi businesses exist and their automobiles are marked with the name of the firm on the bonnet in color gelb. From Bucharest to Otopeni Airport, a taxi trip costs about 30-40 lei, while most trips in the cities are 10-25 lei. Now my most important advice: Everyone in Bucharest uses mobile phone applications to order cabs on-line, and you should.
They are simple to use, are tracked according to site and the driver have customized customer profile and ratings. These are the most favorite taxi applications I recommend: Over has been working in Bucharest since 2015. It' low priced (1,3 Lei/km) and dependable, with great driver and neat car. Several riders use both applications, which means customers have more choices - yes, you can!
Smart Taxi and Star Taxi are locally available Taxi Hail applications that bundle authorized taxi operators from multiple pre-authorized businesses. While most of these apartments also work in Brasov, Timisoara or Cluj-Napoca, in all other Romanian towns taxi riders are still respectable, courteous and secure. While I am typing this [January 2017], Bucharest City Hall is considering prohibiting these appeals and further taxiing.
Meridian and Speed are the only taxi services I would suggest to pick up from the Bucharest roads (without reservation). Taxi cabs are very popular on weekend, especially in the evenings when the Bucharest nights are full on wet nights, so be patience and use 2-3 apartments to find one.
Taking a taxi from Bucharest to other towns like Brasov, Constanta, Mamaia or Sinaia is something I don't suggest - you can get better rates and better comforts in a rail, coach or personal transfers. Do you have small notices ( 1-5-10 lei) on you to make to payment for the ticket, as one of the most commonly used ploys is that the driver say they have no exchange.
At any cost, try to prevent collecting apparently awaiting cabs in the Old Town/Lipscani area (see picture above) or in the North Railway station - they are the ones who try to cheat locals the most by overloading. Don't act like the most visible visitor and be as much as possible aware of your itinerary or at least have Google Maps available if you use a default taxi.
Bucharest underground railway system (called Metro) is straightforward, dependable, easy to use and reasonably priced. It is by far the best way to explore Bucharest by taxi, although it can be very busy at busy mornings and afternoons. It should be simple to get into the right underground because there is only one trains in one line.
There are only 4 bus and tram connections to the center of the town, and there are some areas of Bucharest with touristic attractions that are not even included in the Underground. Piata Unirii, Piata Universitatii, Piata Romana, Piata Victoriei (the 4 I mentioned), Izvor and Aviatorilor are the underground train lines around the monument. Ticket printing is done on hard copy and must be checked when you enter the facility or they will not be available.
Bucharest's urban transportation system consists of several hundred busses, carts and streetcars, all of which are run by RATB. They are very bewildering and difficult for tourist to use as there are no clear cards, guidebooks, apps or English speakers or driver working for RATB and able to give accurate orientation to non-localities.
Sometimes riders use illegal streetcar routes so that streetcars get bogged down in people. Bucharest is already overcrowded. Apart from normal commuteers, most natives don't use them, so my best advise is to stay on subways and cabs. Hopefully this handy manual was useful and prepared to be enjoyed in Bucharest - there is much to see and do!