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Arriving in Romania

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Arriving in Romania by airplane

Arriving by airplane

The Romanian national airline, TAROM, flies to most European metropolises. Also other important airlines, such as Air France, Alitalia, CSA, KLM, LOT, Lufthansa, Malev and Swissair fly to Bucharest, or to other major cities in Romania. The international airport in Bucharest is at Otopeni (Aeroportul International Bucharest-Otopeni at Soseaua Bucharest-Ploiesti km 16,5; tel. 0210-201 4050 or 204 1000).

The other Bucharest airport, Baneasa (Aeroportul International Bucharest Baneasa at Soseaua Bucharest-Ploiesti km 40; tel. 0210-232 0020) is mostly used for domestic flights. International flights also land at the airports of Arad, Cluj, Târgu Mures, Constanta, Iasi and Timisoara. For more information contact any travel agency.

Arriving by train

As can be expected, travel by train takes much longer than flying, but for those not in a hurry, and willing to know the people and landscapes, the train is a good choice. Theoretically, train tickets are cheaper than airplane tickets, at least in the Eastern European countries. Both first and second-class tickets are usually available.

The Romanian national railway, SNCFR (Societatea Nationala a Cailor Ferate Române), runs also on several routes outside Romania. International trains run directly, or with a change, to and from the main European cities: Athens, Berlin, Bratislava, Budapest, Istanbul, Kiev, Kishinev, London, Paris, Rome, St. Petersburg, Sofia, Thessalonica, Vienna, or Warsaw. From Budapest there are nine daily trains for Bucharest.

Arriving by bus

Travelling by bus takes longer than by train. There are numerous bus lines connecting Romania with other European countries. Most of them stop in Bucharest or in Transylvanian towns, but some also reach Bucovina. There are weekly connections from London to Budapest and Romanian towns like Sibiu, Arad, Sebes and Bucharest with several companies, including Eurolines, Europabus and Touring. Trans Europa runs buses from the German cities of Frankfurt, Munich, Nuremberg or Stuttgart to Bacau, Baia Mare, Brasov, Cluj, Iasi and Târgu Mures. Atlassib has routes from France Italy and Spain to several Romanian towns.

Arriving by car

For those arriving by car, a driving licence, the vehicle registration documents and a valid car insurance are essential.

Coming from the direction of Vienna, Prague or Budapest, the border crossings are in Bors on the E60, Nadlac on the E64 and Varsand on the E61. Bors and Nadlac are the busiest due to trucks that pass through those two customs points. Coming from the direction of Trieste or Belgrade on the E70, the entry is in Moravita and Portile de Fier. E85 goes from Athens through Tirana and Sofia. and enters Romania in Giurgiu. The other border crossing with Bulgaria is at Vama Veche for those who come from Istanbul or Sofia on the E87. Arriving in Romania from Moscow, Kiev and Kishinev customs are in Albita on the E58 or in Sculeni, Stânca Costesti or Oancea. Coming from Warsaw, Kiev or Chernivtsi on the E85 the customs is in Siret in Bucovina.

The distances between Bucharest and European cities are: Athens-1252 km, Berlin-2154 km, Bern (Zurich)-2125 km, Brussels-2394 km, Bonn-2100 km, Budapest-893 km, Copenhagen-2587 km, Frankfurt-2100 km, The Hague (Amsterdam)-2428 km, Helsinki-2900 km, Istanbul-704 km, Kiev-1065 km, Kishinev-445 km, Lisbon-4120 km, London-2577 km, Madrid-3530 km, Minsk-1650 km, Moscow- 1963 km, Oslo-2820 km, Paris-2401 km, Prague-1465 km, Riga-1955 km, Rome-2149 km, Sofia-407 km, Stockholm-3100 km, Vienna-1100 km, and Warsaw-1797 km.

Romanian driving regulations are more or less the same as the rules in other European countries. Obviously, for every driver a valid driving licence is compulsory, as well as valid insurance (Green Card) for the car. In case of an accident, contact the police to make a report. Drinking alcohol and driving is absolutely forbidden. The speed limit inside town limits is 50 km/hour and outside built areas 90 km/hour.

Fuel stations can be found on all main roads, and all types of fuel are found easily. The Romanian Car Club ACR and the car insurance company CAROM provide technical assistance (call ACR in Bucharest at 927).

There are only two motorways in Romania, one is Bucharest-Pitesti and the other is Bucharest-Constanta, but neither of them leads to Bucovina. The roads that link the main towns of different counties are called drumuri judetene marked with the DN sign. In the Suceava County there are two European roads. E85 comes from the south of the country, down in Urziceni, northeast of Bucharest, passes through Buzau, Focsani, Adjud, Bacau, Roman, Târgu Frumos, Motca, Vadu Moldovei, Falticeni, Suceava, and then continues to Siret and on to Chernivtsi in the Ukraine. E58 comes from west from Baia Mare, Dej, Beclean, Bistrita, Vatra Dornei to Suceava, and goes on to Botosani, Hârlau, Târgu Frumos, Iasi and then through Sculeni and Ungheni to Kishinev in the Republic of Moldova.

The main county roads inside Suceava are the DN 17 (going west from Suceava to Gura Humorului, Câmpulung Moldovenesc and Vatra Dornei), DN 17A (from Câmpulung Moldovenesc to Vatra Moldovitei, Sucevita, Marginea and Radauti), DN 17B (from Vatra Dornei to Dorna Arini, Zugreni, Crucea and Brosteni) and DN 18 (from Vatra Dornei to Iacobeni and Cârlibaba Noua).
The state of the county roads is much worse than that of the national roads. On the county roads traffic includes horse carts, people walking carelessly almost in the middle of the road, and cows coming home from pasture, so it is advisable to avoid this type of road after dark.
For parking your car in bigger towns, it is recommended to choose a supervised parking lot to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

The prices for renting a car in Romania can vary from one company to another, or according to the season. A car can be rented either at the company, at a travel agency, at a hotel or at the Otopeni airport.

The bigger companies include Avis (reservations tel. 021-210 4344, fax 021-210 6912, e-mail: reservations@avis.ro; at the Bucharest Otopeni airport, tel. 021-204 1957), AHL Auto Rent (tel. 021-320 8554, or 0744-589 092), Express Rent-a-Car (Bucharest, 16 Dumbrava Rosie Street, sector 2, tel./fax 021-210 99 06, or 0744-389 773, or 0744-389 774), Hertz (tel. 021-222 1256, fax 021-222 1257, e-mail: reservations@hertz.ro). Also most taxi drivers rent their car for day trips or even longer periods – but with a driver. This option can be very convenient if one does not know the way, or does not want to be bothered with driving.

3 Responses to “Arriving in Romania”

  1. What are the possible travel routes from Targu Mures to Budapest and how long does it take?

  2. We are taking an Eastern European cruise and one of the ports is Constanta. My grandfather was born in Targul Frumos, Romania, and I was wondering how far that is from Constanta in milies and hours.

    Thank you.

  3. In June 2009 Delta Airlines will restart the JFK to OTP direct flight.This country is great fun. Hopefully one day I’ll have the chance to explore Danube Delta as well.

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