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Getting Around in Romania

By Air

Air travel is still not very common in Romania even though the national carrier TAROM has dramatically lowered its tariffs on internal flights in late 2006 fearing competition from the newly arrived low-cost airlines.

Carpatair ( operates domestic flights from Timisoara to Bucharest, Constanta, Bacau, Cluj, Iasi, Oradea, Tirgu-Mures, Satu-Mare, Arad and Suceava. A couple of flights also operate from Cluj.

TAROM operates regular services from Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (Baneasa) to Arad, Baia Mare, Cluj-Napoca, Constanta, Iasi, Oradea, Satu Mare, Sibiu, Suceava, Timisoara and Tirgu Mures. Book in advance to get good discounts on fares.

By River

The Danube Delta is easily explored by boat. Most trips and cruises depart from the ancient city of Tulcea and sail to Sulina.

By Rail

The easiest, most comfortable and most rewarding way of travelling between cities is by train. Romania's railway network is one of the largest (the 4th in Europe) and most dense in Europe, with trains servicing every town and city in the country, and the many villages. Usually a train station is no more than 10 km from a village, in the vast majority of cases.

Bucharest’s main station is the Gara de Nord on Calea Grivitei. Romanian State Railways, CFR (, runs frequent, efficient and cheap services to most cities, towns and larger villages, some with sleeping and restaurant cars.

All CFR train services, except the "Personal" trains, which stop at every station and are awfully slow, are of a relatively high quality. The "Personal" trains stop at every station and are the only option when travelling to small villages. Even though they do make for very original and memorable experiences, they're usually not so comfortable and very slow, albeit very cheap.

The other train types, which are, in order of speed, "Accelerat", "Rapid" and "InterCity". Accelerat is quite uncomfortable (sharing some rolling stock with Personal), with old, unmodernised cars, albeit somewhat faster than personal. Rapid and Intercity are usually of a high standard - however, some Rapid trains should be avoided because of bad rolling stock (usually Mangalia-Oradea and Mangalia-Baia Mare, both using Accelerat-type stock).

If you can, use InterCity trains, which connect the hubs in Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara and Bucharest to other major cities. These trains are of a Western European standard and are incredibly clean and modern, with automatic doors, futuristic ecological toilets, air conditioning, ergonomic seats, free newspapers and all the other amenities. Also, they are reasonably cheap and are increasingly used by Romanians (and tourists) on most trips. They are only marginally more expensive than Rapid trains (usually only a few euro cents more expensive).

The "Rapid" trains should be your second choice - they stop at more stations, but serve more destinations, and, although being a little bit more traditional, are still comfortable. Accelerat is a third choice, with little comfort in second class. Only train type where a 1st class ticket is worth it. If presented with a choice of Intercity trains (Classic or "Sageata Albastra" - The blue arrow) it is advisable to choose Classic, as these are faster, more comfortable trains. Sageata Albastra are small 2-car diesel trains with slower service (120 kph top speed in regards to 160 kph). The difference in price between 1st and 2nd class can be as much as the price of a 2nd class ticket, if not more. However, the difference in comfort is not huge, and it is even possible to get worse seats in 1st class than in 2nd class (this is very common on Rapid trains heading for Iaşi, Botoşani and Suceava). Sleepers and couchettes are usually clean, and quite modern, even on accelerat trains.

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