Find, in this article, an overview of the Romanian transport network to help you travel around the country stress-free.
Whether you are a tourist, resident or non-resident in Romania, traveling will definitely be part of your everyday life. In order to facilitate traveling across the country, local authorities have set up a developed transport system, including elaborate bus and railway networks. Moreover, some local airline companies also provide domestic and regional flights. Therefore, you can choose the means of transport which best suits your needs and according to your budget.
Romania has a very developed bus network, including several bus companies that provide almost similar rates on same routes. Moreover, most vehicles are clean and modern, and are in conformity with European norms and standards. You will also find minibuses and mini-taxis which are 9 to 16-seater vans. Minibuses are mostly available in Bucharest, the capital city, and can take you to most major cities. As regards mini-taxis, these can transport between 10 and 20 passengers at a time on a route. Finally, some smaller companies provide less comfortable buses which can still reach more remote regions and villages.
Due to loyal competition among the local bus companies, bus and mini-taxi routes are often revised and verbally communicated to the public. Some cities hosts at least six bus stations and taxi stops, depending on the companies which cover these routes.
The Romanian railway network is served by the Căile Ferate Române (CFR). You can find the railway itinerary on its website. Note that it covers most of the country, including smaller localities. You can find three types of popular trains in Romania. The first, Intercity (IC), are the most expensive and comfortable trains. These often provide transport to neighboring countries as well.
Inter Regional (IR) trains, for their part, are less expensive and almost as rapid as IC trains. Finally, Regional trains are the cheapest, oldest and slowest trains. Moreover, these are less clean and uncomfortable, although their schedules and rates are more affordable. Ticket trains can be purchased at train stations, in CFR specialized agencies and in private travel agencies. Online booking is also possible.
Cursa, on the other hand, are ideal for local itineraries, as these stop by all villages. These are very popular on routes which are not covered by bus companies. You will also find personal and accelerat trains which are famous for their slowness. But these are very practical for small routes as these cover localities where express trains are not available. Online booking is not required.
Domestic flights are provided between some major Romanian cities by a few airline companies. The Tarom, for instance, connects Bucharest to most cities, namely Baia Mare, Cluj-Napoca, Iasi, Oradea, Satu Mare, Sibiu, Suceava, Târgu Mures and Timisoara, etc. Tickets can be purchased either in lei or euros, or via a bank card, or even in a Tarom travel agency which you can find in most cities.
Auto-stop is not a recommended practice. But it is quite widespread in Romania. Indeed, you are likely to find travelers along major roads in city outskirts. They will usually pay you the same rate as they would pay by bus, that is around 2 lei for 10 km.
You can, of course, drive your own car, although Romanian road conditions are quite unsatisfactory. The asphalt generally consists of many defects. These have encouraged many car repair workshops to set up along major roads. Moreover, traffic lights often break down. Therefore, you are advised to drive with your car headlights on, even in broad daylight.
Good to know:
Be careful while driving! It is reported that Romanians' dangerous driving can be quite risky for others.