Otopeni Airport, Bucharest
I've worked for one year on the Otopeni Airport and the only conclusion I came up with is: don't fall for the taxis trap.
First thing: once you'll pass the check, you will be greeted by all types of individuals offering you a taxi. They are not the aiport's official drivers and they will over-charge you. And by this I mean OVER.
Secondly: the official taxis are Fly Taxi but the prices are generally quite high.
Best option: Go to the ground floor and buy a special bus ticket (for 2 uses) for the 783 line which is less than 2 Euros . The bus will stop exactly there and it will take you to the center of Bucharest: Piata Victoriei, Piata Unirii.
The timetable: from 5:15 A.M to 10:30 P.M.
Otopeni is Bucharest's International airport. I been there a few times anbd every times its just getting better. The airport is modern and very effective. It has a completely new departures hall and also the arrivels hall had big renovations at the last years. There is a big parking space that costs about 20000 lei for half hour and 40000 for an hour. It is situted 18 km from Bucharests center on Bucharest-Ploiesti highway. there is an agip gas station just near it and also the Sky Gate hotel.
There are a lot of destenations that arrive and go out from Otopeni:
-Almost all european capitals + other cities especially in Germany and Italy.
-The Middle east.
-Flights to America and Asia are more rare but you can use also connecting flifhts for it.
When you arrive to Otopeni it will take you around 20-30 to get out to the Main hall where you find a small bar, information desk, ATM, public Phone (telecard can be boght in the information desk), exchange, city shuttle and a lot of rent a car companies including Hertz, Avis, Europcar and more.
To get to the city you can use Taxi (set the price at the beginning and that let the driver ripp you of, pay no more then 15 dollars). You also can use the bus or the city shuttle that are much more cheaper.
When you will leave Bucharest it will be, how can i say... a bit dull... the check in is going pretty fast but the Duty Free is small and overpriced with no interesting stuff to buy.
I hope that you will have the luck (like me) to fly over Bucharest by night... you will have am amazing view of all the city lighted up.
The International airport is ~16km north of the city centre, and there's no train or subway link to the city.
For a ride downtown, you can either take a taxi (FLY TAXI only, see my previous tips why), or rely on public transport.
Express Line 783 has its stop one level below the international arrivals terminal and is scheduled every 15 minutes on weekdays and every half hour during weekends, from 5,30AM to 23,00 PM.
783 Route map & stops: Airport - P-ta Presei Libere - Sos. Kiseleff - P-ta Victoriei (subway to Gara de Nord) - Bd. Lascar Catargiu - P-ta Romana - Bd. Magheru - Universitate - Unirii
A taxi downtown costs 50-70 lei, and a ride with bus 783 just 5 lei.
a special note – first time in 10 years I missed a plane. This happened a few weeks ago because of an incredible traffic jam on the way to the airport – Saturday at noon, over 1 hour for less than 4 km, between the triumphant arch and Baneasa.
The international airport is Bucharest is not very large and is easy to navigate. We had someone pick us up at the airport so we were spared the agony of trying to locate a bus or taxi. I understand that Flytaxi has a monopoly on taxi fares from the airport and that they charge at least double the normal rate.
Most likely, this is where you'll first set foot on Romanian ground.
Otopeni Henri Coanda Airport hosts both international and internal flights, while low-cost flights land and depart from Baneasa Airport.
Hop in a Fly Tax or in the 783 bus (see next tip) and you're on your way to meet Bucharest.
1. Can I exchange money at the airport?
Yes, you can but the fairs are lower than in the city so I would advise you to exchange only about 25 euros, to pay for the taxi.
2. How to arrive downtown (Piata Victoriei - Victory Square, Piata Romana - Roman Square, Piata Universitatii - University Square)?
The easiest and most simple way is to take the 783 bus from the ground floor of the airport.
Otopeni International Airport
Otopeni is situated at 16 km north from the centre of Bucharest. The best access way from airport to town is the bus. There is regular transport from Otopeni towards the centre of the city. Buses circulate every 30 up to 60 minutes, around the clock. They stop in every major square, and in front of the TAROM building in the centre. It is here that one can find more information or take another cab to the final destination. Avoid airport cab drivers in the airport, as they are irritated, drive carelessly and usually charge much more than the real cost of a trip to town. You can also rent a car. Avis, Europcar, Hertz and other small firms have offices within the airport, in the centre and at some of the big hotels in town.
Starting with April 2009, there is a train connection from the Bucharest International Airport to the main central station of Bucharest (Bucuresti Nord). Trains run every hour and trip takes 55 mins.
Tickets cost 6 RON (info valid as of August 2009) and can be purchased from a tickets office located at the Arrivals terminal. Tickets for all your future train trips in Romania can also be bought here.
In my experience, the ticket seller was unfriendly, couldn't speak English and discouraged customers to use this train connection (holds also for the ticket controllers in the train). However, other customers are friendly enough to help you buy a ticket (or, even better, have 6 RON and ask for a ticket to Bucharest - this will do! If you have a more complicated travel plan by train, print out a scheme with dates, nr of passangers and trains - check these on www.cfr.ro). The airport train station is reached by a shuttle bus (can also be a minibus) leaving from the exit one level lower than the International Arrivals. Despite these inconveniences, the train ensures access to central Bucharest within 1 hour (any attempt to get there by bus or taxi takes at least 1.5 h because of a traffic bottleneck at the entrance in Bucharest resulting in huge traffic jams. This traffic situation never improved but got worse in the last 7 years.
Bucharest is well served by Henri Coanda International airport with connections to the most important European destinations. TAROM and Wizz are the two largest airlines. Baneasa Airport, which was once the stronghold of low-cost airlines such as Wizz, has been closed for scheduled traffic and now handles private and business aircraft only.
The bus stop for lines 780 and 783 is on the lower floor. Bus line 783 connects the airport with the city center (Unirii Sqaure). Arrival is on the northern side of it, departure on the southern side. The bus runs 24h, roughly every 30 minutes during daytime and every 45 during nighttime. Bus 780 runs between the airport with the main train station (Gara de Nord), but doesn't run through the night. For both buses (as well as for buses within Bucharest) you will need an active card which you can buy at every ratb counter, there is one of them at the bus stop at the airport and also one at the stop at Unirii square. This card can be recharged and has to be validated when entering the bus. The card itself costs 3,70 lei, the fare for a trip to Bucharest was 3,50 lei (2013).
Rules I learnt (but our Romanian friends can be more precise):
choose a cab that belongs to a company. They should use a meter (around 12c/Km). They will probably add a fixed $1,50-2 but it's still between $4-5 overall.
Don't even consider taxis asking $10 or more.
There is a bus to and from the airport and Piata Unirii or Gara de Nord. The fare is 3.5 ron (March 2012) but you have to buy a ticket before you board the bus.
The times to Gara de Nord are shown on
Unfortunately, the timetable for route 783 is a dead link at present and there is nothing on the operators site about these buses www.ratb.ro
The trip takes about 45 minutes in either direction. I usually travel to the airport by taxi and return by bus if I arrive at the right time.
The system for taxis between Otopeni and Bucharest has changed. Now there is a freefone on the right after exiting the customs check. You can choose a taxi company, phone them and order a taxi. You will be told the reference number of the taxi. Then you go out and wait for the taxi to arrive. The cost is 1.39 lei/km instead of the previous 3.50 lei/km - check on the door before you get in. Cost to Bucharest Centre is now 35 lei instead of 75 lei previously.
Bus no.783 is an excellent choice, unless you have a very early flight.
Less than $1 for a return ticket, more frequent than reported (10 min), fast and with very few chances to find traffic jams thanks to wide Bucharest boulevards...
OTOPENI (HENRI COANDA) AIRPORT
The main gate for international travels is in Otopeni .. a small town near Bucharest (arround 10km) .. where the Henri Coanda Bucharest International Airport is.
When arriving by plane at Henri Coanda Airport, you have the following choices to reach dowtown Bucharest:
Express 783 line connects the airport to downtown Bucharest in aprox. 40 minutes
Monday - Friday 5:30 - 20:00 (at every 15 min) 20:00 - 23:00 (at every 30 min)
Saturday, Sunday, Legal Holidays 5:30 - 23:30 (at every 30 min)
Available right in front of the ARRIVALS.
Fare is 3,5 RON/km with initial fare of 3,5RON - thus ride to the center of Bucharest should cost between RON 35 and 50 (EUR 9-12). If your destination is more to the south it might go over 50 lei (15 euros). Check the exchange rate, currently (Jan.2010) 1EUR=4RON.
Go Trans 98.
We do all you need as a customs broker & freight forwarder at Otopeni Airport.
We are located in "Bucharest International Centre".
All services included for private persons and companyes.
This airport has been nicely modernised. There is a small shopping mall air-side in international departures.
When checking in, you have to pass through X-ray before checking in and then again after passport control, so better to give yourself a little extra time.