Busses in Bucharest are quite well organized. The only real problem is the lack of knowing which busline will take you where. The busses do indicate their final destination but routes are rather difficult to figure out since there are no timetables.
Times on which busses drive are also not indicated but since you are in a big city this is not much of a problem given the fact that most lines run several times per hour and waiting times are therefore not long. Usefull to know is line 783 runns to the airport and goes all the way down the citycenter to Piata Unirii. It doesn't stop at the Gara de Nord (take bus 780 from the airport for that bus).
Tickets can be bought at RATB boots, paper tickets are outdated so know you get a pass to use on the bus, you simply swipe in and out. Notice that if you leave from the airport you get a pass with 2 return trips on it.
The busses themselves are mostly very modern, clean and outside rushhours not crowded. Buslines with 3 digits are normal busses, those with 2 digits are trolleybusses. Look for a busstop by looking at a small white RATB sign with the linenumbers on it, or easier.. look for the ticketboots and a queue of people.
Buses (petrol), trams and Trolleybuses (electric) are the second most common means of transportation in Bucharest (after the metro). Covering most areas than the subway, with more stops, the bus system is used by many people.
Bucharest is not yet divided in zones. With one transport ticket you can make a single ride (no getting off) from end to end of a bus line.
Prices (buses, trams, trolleys):
- 1 ride costs 1.3 RON (card ACTIV, the green one) - you need to buy an electronic card (ticket) with a charged amount from 2.6 RON (2 rides) to 50 RON (25 rides), plus 3.7 RON the cost of the card (that can be later charged any time)
- 1 day unlimited rides - 9.6 RON (card MULTIPLU, the blue one)
(Express route - to the airport 780/783)
- 1 ride costs 3.5 RON
- tickets are sold in station but there can be stations not selling tickets .. so it's best to be prepared
- buses can be pretty crowded, mostly in rush hours
- beware of pick-pockets in crowded buses
- tickets must be validated immediatly after boarding the bus
- the fine for lack of presenting a valid ticket is 50 RON
- inspectors of RATB (Bucharest transport company) are dressed in a grey uniform and comprise of 2-3 persons - they must show their control badge and nominal authorization
Buses are a great and cheap way to get around Bucharest BUT you cannot buy a ticket on the bus. You need to buy it at a ticket booth. Not all bus stops have booths... So if you know you will be getting few buses (or even coming back on a bus) make sure you have a return or buy a few extra tickets. They are only 1.30 so not a huge waste if you have one or two left over but its sometimes a long walk to find a booth (stops are quite a distance apart)
On my 1st arrival@Bucharest, by air, last nite, 20FEB11, a GREAT and low-cost way into town, center city, was to take the #783 express, which goes past many of the major sites (eg Parliament Palace) enroute its Piati Iniri destination.
Ticket card, for one person roundtrip/2 one way, is purchased at a city transit ticket booth just feet away from where the bus pulls up. I'd read about a shuttle bus/train to Gara du Nord option, but this 40 minute ride, for about $US 2.50, was so easy, why go by taxi, or otherwise?
There is no specific airport shuttle I'm afraid.
However there is a regular bus you can take from Elisabeta Boulevard, Plata Romana, or Gare de Nord (train station) that takes you practically to the airport. Ticket cost was 1.25 lei in 2007.
This bus stops about 200 yards from Baneasa, so you simply cross the road & walk straight to the airport.
Conversely, a bus can be boarded right outside the airport, by crossing the road exactly opposite the airport exit. Note that there is a bus that stops right in front of the airport, but this one does not go to the city!
if you are going to get about bucuresti the pedestrian way with a little help from buses etc. then you need to know this.
single journey tickets (no matter the distance) are available for 8000 lei (it keeps going up though), but if you use it frequently a bus pass is for you. these can be bought from the little silver booths marked RATB near bus and tram stops. a months pass (abonament lunar) costs 250 000 lei for all lines (toate linii). you need to show your passport. they will ask if you want it valid from 'azi' - today- or 'maine' - tomorrow.
travel safe VT friends!
Bucharest has the largest transport network in Romania. It is also one of the largest ones in Europe.
The transportation network is made up of the following: a metro network and a surface transport network. The 2 networks operate independently of each other and they use separate ticketing systems.
There are also minibuses that take you throughout the City. They are called "maxi-taxi". You need to buy the ticket from the driver, when you hop on the minibus.
Don't let yourself be fooled by all this information. There is no schedule for the buses or for the metro, so you will most likely end up spending a good amount of time waiting for your transportation to arrive.
If you think about getting a cab, don't hope for much better and faster traveling times either. The traffic is so congested that especially during rush hours, you will literally get to where you need to much faster if you are walking :)
That being said, make sure that you plan accordingly and that you do not ruin your vacation by upsetting yourself thinking how much time you spent just getting from Point A to Point B. Your ride in the city is very interesting especially if you are going downtown or if you are traveling through the Old Bucharest. So take your time, keep your camera handy and take lots of pictures on your way to where you are going.
Except for a few lines (e.g. #41), trams are still slow. Buses and trolleys come and go pretty often but are also very crowded. It is also recommendable to watch out your stuff on buses and other means of public transportation. All buses, trolleys and trams, as well as the preorasenesc (buses going to villages and towns in the vicinity of Bucharest) pack of buses are owned and run by the RATB, Bucharest’s government owned public transportation company. All of them work with stripe-like tickets (2 rides only, the equivalent of EUR 0.5 EUR for a 2 rides ticket, with the sole exception of the preorasenesc buses that require special tickets, more expensive). Express buses (such as bus # 783 running between Otopeni Airport and the southern section of Unirea Square) require 2 or 10 rides magnetic cards looking similarly with the metro ones; these must be validated too when boarding the bus, through the green machines to the right of the driver. Tickets can only be bought from the RATB aluminium kiosks that are open 06.00-20.00 and they must be stapled once on the bus. There are more and more private companies running minivans coming and going everywhere but they are generally more expensive (EUR 0.3 for a ride) and crowded, with routes changing every now and then. Taxis are cheap (around EUR 0.2 / km.), provided you look around for one belonging to reputable companies such as Cobalcescu, Cocosatu’, Rodell, Leone (tel.: 9425), Meridian (tel.: 9444, 9888), CrisTaxi (tel.: 9461,9466), Getax (tel.: 9530), Prof Taxi (tel.: 9422), Perozzi (tel.: 9631), XXL, Euro Dixie (tel.: 9429), Total (9424).
There is an express bus which should run every half hour. This number 738 bus comes from Otopeni airport and goes all the way to Piata Unrii. Being an express bus it has a special price, currently in October 07 it cost 5 RON for 2 journeys. You cannot buy a single ticket.
When leaving Banesa airport keep walking to the right until you hit the big road, on there you find a pedestrian crossing. At the bus station there is a small window where you buy your ticket. The lady only speaks Romanian and isn’t of the friendly sort. I got someone to buy them for us otherwise just say “express bus” or write down the bus number beforehand and show it to her. You cannot buy the ticket on the bus. Make sure you wait at the right platform (the one right on the street). On the platform sign you will see the number 738.
Enter the bus by the front door as only there is a ticket stamping machine. The other gadgets by the other doors are for magnetic cards only. Enjoy your journey downtown. There is a voice announcing the stops and you can see a few sights along the way already.
Get your bus tickets from the little booths stationed near main groups of bus stops. It's a good idea to buy a set of 10, for example, as you'll inevitably find yourself getting on a bus where there's no booth in sight, or they've closed for the night. Also be careful about the time. Buses don't run very late, so if you're intending to go out eating, drinking or clubbing, make sure you keep cash aside for a taxi home.
IF u want a ride in a Mercedes try the RATB( the public transportation in Bucharest)!! it s a new way of travelling in Bucharest -great choice!! better and faster than a taxi sometimes..
only 1.1 ron...:)
Public transport is cheap (1,2lei/ride). one ticket is used for every surface bus you get in, notwithstanding how many stations. In orther words, if you need to change 3 buses, 3 tickets. Better take a taxi!
Buses and trams are more frequent and serve most areas, but in peak hours can become so full they resemble a cattle truck.
The subway system is fairly civilised but slow and not comprehensive.
Bucharest has a complex city transit system, which combines buses, trolleybuses, trams and subways. The transit system covers virtually all areas of the city. It tends to be crowded during peak hours! I remember always had to struggle to get in one!!
Even though the public transport network is cheap, extensive and reliable, taking a bus, trolleybus or tram can be a headache because they are very crowded (especially on the rush hours)!
A ticket valid for one journey cost 0.25 E and must be purchased before climbing aboard, then punched in one of the strange looking devices located all over the vehicle (watch how others do it first)
Bucharest does not have only one bus station, as there used to be six bus stations which were originally conceived by destination, so that buses do not have to cross all city to go from A to B. So the communists had a glorious idea, making us cross the whole city. Oh, my Stalin! Nowadays, the main bus stations are the following:
Bucuresti Filaret (1 Gara Filaret Square, tel.: (021)3360692, www.acfilaret.ro) gathers buses going to Chisinau and other towns in Moldova, Thessalonica and Athens in Greece and generally to Moldavia and Eastern Romania.
Bucuresti Rahova (164 Alexandriei, tel.: (021)4204795) serves buses going to Alexandria and towns south-east from Bucharest. It is reachable by tram # 32 from the south-western corner of Unirea Square.
Bucuresti Grivita (221-223 Chitilei, tel.: (021)6675970) has buses running to Chitila, Buftea, Targoviste. It is reachable by tram # 45 from Bucuresti Nord Station.
Bucuresti Militari (141 Iuliu Maniu, tel.: (021)2208440) serves buses going to Pitesti, Ramnicu Valcea, Sibiu, Olanesti Spa, Potlogi Village, as well as other destinations in Northern Wallachia.
C&I Bus Terminal (35 Ritmului, tel.: (021)2508669) has a lot of small and very uncomfortable vans with almost no luggage space going to Sinaia – Brasov, Targu Mures, Deva and even Bistrita, with new routes being added quite often. Their only advantage is that they are fast. I hate them. And they hate me.
Other “bus stations”: while some of the international buses stop in Revolution Square, some others (as well as their connections towards various cities in Romania) stop on the makeshift bus station on the Splaiul Unirii / Victory Avenue crossing. Vans going to Giurgiu start from the area around Eroii Revolutiei metro station. Vans going to Slobozia start from the area around Obor metro station (at the beginning of Colentina Road).