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Cars and drivers may be a constant problem in central Bucharest. Traffic signs and rules may exist but noone seem to follow them. People seem to drive on everywhere when possible. Cars often park on pavements and block other cars from getting around.
Written Apr 29, 2012
No problems in Bucharest, we were drinking beer in the street until midnight, there where homless people around, some drunk people, but not problem at, all, kebaps are open and you have free and clean bathrooms in metro station, all very calm, good ambiance.
The only problem is the dogs in the street, there are big groups of them, otherwise all is pretty safe, more than Paris, london or any USA city.
Written Dec 13, 2011
Thanks to VT members, I read that the passengers should ask the drivers to put down the meter to save us from high taxi fares. That helped somehow. BUT, the lewd taxi drivers, although they put down the meter, they drive you round and round before arriving to your destination. From the airport to our hotel, we were charged 80 Leis. This is too much but the driver took lots of unnecessary detours. On my way back to the airport, I found an honest driver. The meter read only 29.10 Leis.
Written Apr 26, 2011
Many buildings in Bucharest's Old Town have been neglected for a long time and some structures have reached the point where they are unsafe and dangerous for pedestrians. Which is why when strolling through areas with old buildings you'll often see signs reading “Beware! Danger of collapsing” or “Beware. Falling masonry”. There is a also a spin-off of the latter, in which more care is shown for the cars than pedestrians. That one reads “No parking. Falling masonry” or “Park at your own risk. Falling masonry”. Some of these buildings are still caught up in legal battles between descendants, some are owned by people who don’t have the financial means to repair them; there are also allegations that some of them are owned by persons or companies who wait for their collapse so they can sell the land, usually a prime piece of real estate. By law one is not allowed to torn down a historical building, but if the building collapses by itself then nobody can stop you from selling the land. It’s sad though that all this architectural heritage is on the verge of being destroyed forever.
Written Oct 18, 2010
The traffic in Bucharest, especially during rush hours, can be a bit on the nightmarish side. Occasionally, the subway workers go on strike and everyone who normally takes the subway to work takes the bus or their personal car instead. If you can imagine a sea of cars, all honking (why? since there’s no space to advance to) and just looking like they were parked in the middle of the road, you got the right idea. Many times the traffic of Bucharest looks like that, even when there’s no subway strike. A lot of the mess is brought on themselves by the Bucharest’s drivers who try to inch their way in intersections even when the light is red. Most intersections have crisscrossed yellow lines which are supposed the mark the “Do not block” area of the intersection. Not that anyone pays attention to that :)
Written Oct 18, 2010
Bucharest is by all means a smoker’s paradise. According to some numbers I found on the web, in Romania some 45% of men and 25% of women smoke, but I wonder if the numbers are correct because it feels like the percentage is a lot higher, especially among women. Smoking is still seen as harmless and fashionable, people still think cigarettes are cool and a way to express oneself. I’ve seen many parents smoking right into the noses of their children, I’ve seen pregnant women smoke and I’ve seen doctors smoking on the hospital’s hallways. Some tourists find it really annoying, some find it liberating. Smoking is not allowed in most public places but … if the law is respected that’s another story. Since January 1st 2009 the new law regarding smoking in restaurants and cafes demands that smoking is only allowed in areas completely separated from the non-smoking section, the smoking area should not form more than 50% of the total area of the restaurant or bar, and should not be areas used for transit nor near the entrance. Restaurants and bars which have a total surface of less than 100 square meters can designate themselves as smoking or non-smoking venues and that should be clearly posted on the door. What was the result of this verbose law? Almost all restaurants in Bucharest declared themselves as “smoking establishments” and have posted on their doors signs that read “Smoking IS permitted inside this venue” (see photo).
Written Sep 24, 2010
If you think you will try to avoid the ticket in the bus in Bucharest, get rid of that idea. It is not worth it. It is really cheap anyway to use the public transport system. If they caught you, you have to pay 50 lei directly, if you can. Otherwise, you have to get a ticket and pay 100 lei. I guess you want to do something else for these money you have. Think about it anyway!!!!
Updated Dec 27, 2009
Even if Romania has become a member of European Union, it is not a trouble. Especially in big cities you have many people and taxi drivers who want to rip off your money. I noticed that some of the taxi drivers werent fair, but at the same time I met also many good ones. Just be aware of it and think about when you take a taxi from the airprot. Make sure they will not rip you off, check the taxameter and ask them how much it will cost.
Updated Nov 30, 2009
Be careful to few things:
- do not change money on the street, use a bank or an exchange office;
- be careful to your bag especially in the crowd or in public transportation - that doesn't mean that you will be attacked but if you are a kind of dreamer, not careful with his/her belongings, you could have the chance of remaining without money or camera;
- try to call for a taxi not to take one from the street (it might cost you more if you take one from the street).
If you will be careful to these things you will have a good experience in Bucharest.
Updated Sep 21, 2009
I thought that stories of stray dogs were nothing more than tales from paranoid travelers, but when I saw many stray dogs on the streets fighting, biting each other, starving and bleeding on the streets, I realized that it was more than just a tale.
The stray dogs became a problem when Ceausescu demolished large part of Bucharest and moved people in the concrete cages where they couldn't have dogs as pets, so they let them loose on the streets.
What to do: Do not touch, taunt, feed or yell at any of stray dogs you encounter, just ignore them. They won't attack if not provoked. Hopefully.
Written Sep 17, 2009
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