There are several options when it comes to transport and driving in Romania. Buses and trains can be used for cross-country travel as well as within cities. Although some expats drive in Romania, many prefer not to due to poor-quality roads, especially outside of large cities.
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. Passengers should buy tickets before boarding, and they can usually be purchased at bus stations. Buses can be crowded during peak hours, and petty theft is common. Expats should guard their valuables at all times.
Privately run express buses are a good option for inter-city travel. 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. The rail network is dense and covers most of the country, but the infrastructure is old in many places, so trains may be slow at times or experience delays.
The country's train network was once run entirely by CFR (Căile Ferate Române), but today numerous private companies operate rail services throughout Romania, including commuter trains, intercity trains and international trains.
Trains are an efficient means of travelling to Romania's neighbouring countries, including Hungary, Serbia and Bulgaria. Tickets can be bought online or at stations before boarding.
Bucharest is home to Romania's only metro system, though similar systems have been proposed in other large cities. The Romania metro is reliable and is a commonly used form of transport within the city, consisting of more than 60 stations.
Taxis in Romania
Taxis in Romania are affordable. Expats should be careful not to use unauthorised taxis, however, because they are known to inflate their fares. Authorised taxis usually have their company's name and phone number 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 ride-hailing and taxi-service apps operate in Romania's main cities, including Uber and Bolt.
Driving in Romania
Some expats, especially those living in rural areas, buy cars to get around Romania. The driving laws in Romania are strict. 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. Parking is also a problem in Romanian cities, and reserved parking is usually expensive.
Winters in Romania can be especially treacherous for drivers. Ice on the roads is not always cleared away regularly, so expats should ensure they have fitted winter tyres or snow chains when necessary. Romanian law also requires cars to have their lights on at all times.
Most expats from outside the EU will need an International Drivers Permit (IDP), although those from the UK can drive on their licence from home. This can be used for up to 90 days, by which point the driver must have obtained a Romanian licence to continue driving. Drivers with a licence from any EU or EEA country can continue to use this licence until its expiry.
►To get an overview of living expenses, read Cost of Living in Romania.
►For information on staying connected with family, read Keeping in Touch in Romania.
"Traffic is really bad during rush hour in Bucharest. I’m so thankful to live near a metro line. There are only a handful of lines, but they connect the parts of the city we most often visit. There are also street car and bus services, but those tend to be much slower. They are also more difficult to navigate as a newcomer." Read about Jessica's experience of expat life in the Romanian capital in her interview.
Are you an expat living in Romania?
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