Alright folks, here’s the deal. You’ve survived your flight, collected your luggage, now, it’s time to conquer Bucharest, or, at least navigate your way from the airport to the city center.
You’ve got options – and by options, I mean the bus, the express train, taxi, or modern ridesharing apps like Uber or Bolt. Be wise in your choice, my friend.
The journey to the city center might be your first Romanian adventure, and you know what they say—first impressions last!
The Train is a remarkably convenient express train that offers a smooth journey from the airport to Bucharest main train station, Gara de Nord, in just 20 minutes. Don’t let your imagination run wild, the not so impressive speed doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, the ticket is super cheap, just 5 Lei / 1 EUR and can be purchased online, directly from the train, from the ticket office or from the ticket machines.
From the arrivals hall take the exit on your left and follow the train sign. It is just a 3 min walk to reach the train platform. Trains roll out every 40 minutes, so rest easy, there’s always another one around the corner.
For updated prices and timetable, we recommend you to check the national TRAIN COMPANY WEBSITE
Now, if trains are the unsung heroes, let’s dub buses as the “reliable old friends” of the transport world, always there, sometimes slightly off-schedule, but, well, aren’t we all? Let’s chat about Buses 780 and 783. These aren’t your Hogwarts Express, but they’ll get the job done.
If you want to get to Bucharest North Train station, then you need to take the bus 780 and for city center 783.
Tickets are buyable from machines or inside the bus ( just by card inside the bus ), but not online and cost 3,5 Lei. The ride can take anywhere from 40 minutes to one hour and a half.
The bus stop is on the ground floor near the entrance of the Internal Arrivals terminal (from the International Arrivals, walk down the stairs and follow the signs to reach Arrivals Interior and then exit the building).
If you purchased the card before boarding the bus, remember to validate the the card. Tap the yellow card validator and you will hear a beep indicating validation trip. One long beep means it was a mistake and ou have to try again. If you forget to validate your journey, you can be fined 50 lei/10 euro.
Now that you are all set, buckle up and enjoy the ride and if you get off at the last stop, Piata Unirii, remember that our Free Walking Tour starts just 2 min away from where the bus drops you off.
Welcome to the digital era! Enter ridesharing apps – the superheroes saving you from overcharged traditional taxis. You’ve got two options: Uber and Bolt.
Just flick open the app, secure your chariot, and generally voila! in less than 15 minutes, they’ll be there to whisk you away.
Peak times in Bucharest can turn ridesharing into ride-waiting. And remember, while it’s cheaper than traditional taxis, no amount of lei is worth trading for your sanity in Bucharest traffic.
As you exit the airport, you’ll find two lines of taxis – to the right there are the premium ones that cost almost 1EUR per km and to the left, there are the cheaper ones, with rates of 0.4 EUR ( 2 Romanian Lei ) per km.
The distance between Henri Coanda airport and city center is 17km. Depending on where in Bucharest you want to go, the taxi will cost you 15 € to 25 €.
Always double check that you get into a taxi charging no more than 2 lei per kilometre and make sure they have the meter on. One of the most common taxi scams is telling passengers that the taximeter suddenly broke. So if the driver is telling you that the taximeter isn’t working, we can guarantee that he is trying to fool you.
Also, it is possible that you won’t have the exact amount of money to pay for a taxi. So get ready to hear the reply that the taxi driver doesn’t have change. We recommend you to have enough various types of bills because if you will be in this kind of situation, you can’t do basically anything.
Don’t let taxi scammers turn your Romanian vacation into a thriller movie! Save yourself from dramatic confrontations; know your route, and have Google Maps as your wingman. Consider alternative options like car rentals, or ride a unicorn… okay, that’s a stretch, but you get my drift – be resourceful.
Remember, overcharging is the one of the oldest tricks in the book, so hold your Leis closer than your loved ones!
So, it all boils down to this – choose wisely between the speedy express train, patient bus ride, taxi or Uber; and remember to join our Free Walking Tours for a true Romanian experience.
See you soon, traveler!