Transport and Driving in Romania
There are several options when it comes to transport and driving in Romania. Buses and trains can be used for cross-country travel and are also popular means of travel within cities.
Although some expats drive in the country, the roads and driving culture can be hazardous in Romania.
Public transport in Romania
Public transport in Romania is well-developed, especially in Bucharest. Tickets are affordable and a combination of bus and rail travel means that most of the country is accessible via public transport.
Bus services in Romania are widely available and tickets should be bought before boarding and can usually be purchased at bus stations. Buses can be crowded during peak hours and petty theft is common, so expats should guard their valuables at all times.
Privately run express buses are a good option for inter-city travel. Once-off as well as monthly tickets are available, and terminals are often located close to city train stations. Euroline buses can be faster than trains when travelling to other parts of Europe.
Trains are an inexpensive way to travel in Romania, and the rail network covers most of the country.
There are three types of train lines operating in Romania. InterCity (IC) trains are the fastest, most expensive, network which connects Romania's main cities and which also travel to other European countries. InterRegio (IR) trains are fast and serve to connect Romania's important towns and cities. Finally, Regio (R) trains are older, slower and connect Romania's smaller towns and villages.
Trains are an efficient means of travelling to Romania’s neighbouring countries. There are daily trains to Budapest and less frequent trains to Belgrade, Sofia, Chisinau and Kiev. Tickets can be bought online or at stations before boarding.
Taxis in Romania
Taxis in Romania are affordable but expats should be careful not to use unauthorised taxis because they regularly inflate their fares. Authorised taxis usually have the name and phone number of their company on the car. It's best to use metered taxis and to insist that the driver switches it on at the beginning of the journey.
Some rideshare and taxi-service apps operate in Romania's main cities, but increasing pressure from local politicians and the traditional taxi industry aims to ban their usage. Local apps include Clever Taxi, while Uber and Taxify also operate in the country.
Driving in Romania
Some expats, especially those living in rural areas, buy cars to get around Romania. The driving laws in Romania are strict, and expats should stick to the speed limit and follow road rules. This includes having the correct documents in the car at all times.
Driving in Romania can be hazardous as the driving culture can be reckless and roads in some areas may not be well maintained.
Winters in Romania can be especially treacherous for drivers. Ice on the roads is not always cleared away regularly, so expats should ensure that they have fitted winter tyres or snow chains when necessary. Romanian law requires cars to have their lights on at all times.
Parking is also a problem in Romanian cities and reserved parking is usually expensive.