Never having been here in summer I can't comment on the city's fair weather walkability.
I can comment on winter tho'. Even with a daily couple of centimetres of snow, it is an immenselely walkable place. The streets, the pedestrianised areas and the the walkways in the parks are cleared early morning - how early I don't know but certainly before I surfaced.
I noted the public transport system running as normal but I love walking in the snow and meeting pretty girls as I go - HA!
On the day before I was due to leave Ruse for Sofia it had been snowing continuously for almost thirty hours. The city was under a pristine white blanket, six inches deep. I phoned downstairs to my hotel receptionist and asked whether she knew whether the trains were running. She put me on hold whilst she made a quick call to the station. "Yes sir, no problems at the moment."
When I got to the station the following morning the tracks were snowed to the level of the platforms. Lo and behold my train arrived on time - that just wouldn't happen back here in the UK!
In my opinion train is the best option. A 1-way ticket is 18 lv (9 euro)and it travels about 3 hours. The train Instanbul- Bucharest arrives at Ruse around 15:20, and the train Bucharest-Instanbul departs from Bucharest around 13:00, as I remember. Beware that the train Tessalonika-Bucharest was cancelled (I think in 2011)!
Before my trip, I asked at "Ovanesovi" about their car between Bucharest and Ruse. I thought that it was a minibus, but it appeared that it is only a private car and the seat must be reserved 5-6 days in advance. The 2-way ticket for the car is 30 lw (15 euro).
There is one crazy option: to cross the Danube bridge on foot and then to get cheaper train or bus from Giurgiu. Officially it is forbidden to do it, but some of my friends have crossed the bridge in this way.
Good luck to everyone travelling between Ruse and Romania!
Important: Do not get this taxi. The 45 E is a robbery.
There is a daily shuttle - twice a day and the cost is 15 euro (2 way ticket).
To book your ticket, you can call:
phone.: 082/ 821 964
GSM: 0885 741 440
The company name is Ovanesovi.
Bulgaria's first railway station was built here in Ruse in 1866 as the Danube terminus of the line to the Black Sea port of Varna. The original station, situated close to the river, is no longer a rail terminus and is now the home of the National Transport Museum.
The present Central Railway Station (Gara Centralna) is located about a kilometre south of the city's Svoboda Square, about a 10-15 minute walk straight down the blvd Borisova. It is still linked by a direct line to Varna and to the rest of the Country via the major terminus of Gorna Oryahovitsa, close to Veliko Turnovo, 110 km to the south.
To and from Sofia there are 2 direct trains daily with a journey time of just over 6 hours, and several others with a change at Gorna. There are also 2 direct services to and from Varna, just over 4 hours, and once again other services with Gorna connections.
Ruse is also connected by rail to Romania with a couple of services a day to and from Bucharest.
When arriving at the station there's a useful tourist map immediately in front of the main entrance if you intend walking. There's also a local bus stop and plenty of taxis - noting that you'll be better off getting a cab from the rank rather than from one of the touts in the station hall.
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It's a much more better and safe option to get a transfer from Ruse to Bucharest. Check this site out: http://www.motoroads.com/airport-hotel-transfers.html - great transfer rates and service. Speaking from my own experience.
Ruse Train Station has together Border Control with Romanian police. The international trains There are long stops to be await for customs and border police controls. Unfortnetly in the train station is only a small kiosk where you can buy cakes and some drinks. (for Bulgarian prices very expensive one!).
Best is you go to Ruse Train Station with a local train from Varna or Sofia (6h travel time) and change here to the international trains to Romania. No Bus Connection with Romania available!
Ruse is the border City to Romania if you go by train!
There are two international trains per day. Istanbul-Buccuresti and (Athen/Thessaloniki)-Sofia-Buccuresti running through Ruse. At Ruse Train Station is awaiting you a very long stop for passport control of Bulgarian and Romanian Border Police and Custom at the train.
After crossing the Danubel Bridge to Romania Trains will stop again Giurgiu North Station for arround 30 Min. after that the train is running without any stop to Buccuresti.
The distance between Ruse and Sofia (the capital of Bulgaria) is approx. 330 km. There are 2 trains and several intercity buses which could be used (some of them during the night and in the early morning). The distance between Ruse and Bucharest (the capital of Romania) is approx. 78 km. There is an international train in the midday. I'm not quite sure whether ther is a bus travelling between Ruse and Bucharest. The Ruse Airport is currently inoperative.