Romania has 17 civilian airports, with 12 of them presently serving scheduled international flights. The major international airports are as follows:
- Bucharest’s Henri Coandă (Otopeni) Airport is the largest and busiest, with flights to nearly all major European cities, a few Middle Eastern capitals, and all other Romanian cities, but no direct flights to the United States; in addition to traditional carriers, low-cost airlines such as Easyjet, Vueling, and Niki operate flights from this airport.
- Timisoara’s Traian Vuia International Airport is the country’s second biggest, with flights to many major cities in Germany, Italy, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Ukraine, Moldova, France, and the United Kingdom, as well as other locations in Romania. The airport serves as a hub for the low-cost airline Wizz Air. Lufthansa and Austrian Airlines are also significant airport users.
- Cluj-Napoca International Airport, Transylvania’s biggest airport, is serviced by an increasing number of flights from different European locations; it is one of the numerous hubs of low-cost Wizz Air, which serves over ten destinations daily. The airport is also served by Lufthansa.
Other minor international airports may be found in the following cities:
- Sibiu (flights to Austria, Germany, Britain, Italy and Spain on Lufthansa, Austrian Airways and Blue Air). Focus city for Blue Air.
- Bacau (flights mainly to Italy and London on Blue Air. Secondary hub for Blue Air).
- Constanta – Ryanair exclusively flies to this Romanian airport (to two Italian destinations). Air Berlin is also a service provider (from Berlin). This airport also serves a limited number of incoming seasonal charters, as well as a (small) number of seasonal domestic flights from Transylvania and Bucharest.
- Iasi – There is one daily trip to Vienna and one daily flight to Budapest.
- Targu-Mures – Wizz Air focus city, with flights to Hungary, Germany, Britain, Italy, France, and Spain. Domestic flights to Bucharest operated by TAROM.
- Arad – Flights from Milan.
- Baia Mare – From Bucharest, only domestic flights are available.
- Oradea – From Bucharest, only domestic flights are available.
- Satu Mare -Domestic flights from Bucharest and a charter flight from Antalya (summer seasonal).
- Suceava – From Bucharest, only domestic flights are available.
Romania has been more appealing to low-cost airlines in recent years. Blue Air, a Romanian low-cost carrier, operates flights from Bucharest (Aurel Vlaicu Airport), Arad, Targu Mures, and Bacau to different European locations. In January 2007, WizzAir, a Hungarian discount airline, launched direct flights from London Luton to Bucharest. Wind Jet, AlpiEagles, RyanAir, GermanWings, and AirBerlin are among the other airlines that fly to Romania. EasyJet and SmartWings fly from London, Milan, and Madrid, while EasyJet and SmartWings fly from Prague.
Romania has a good rail network that connects it to the rest of Europe. Munich, Prague, Venice, Vienna, Budapest, Zagreb, Belgrade, Sofia, Istanbul, Chişinău, Kiev, and Moscow are all served by daily international trains. However, train travel over large distances takes a lengthy time owing to the region’s inadequate rail infrastructure.
Trains, on the other hand, are the best method to go from Central Europe to cities in western and central Romania, such as Brasov, Sighisoara, Oradea, or Cluj-Napoca.
The (quite high-standard) EuroCity trains and night trains are among the international trains that go to Romania. Romania is included in the Eurail pass.
The Balkan Flexipass may be a cost-effective method to travel to or from Romania.
Despite Romania’s reputation as a “bus nation,” buses are becoming an increasingly popular method to travel to the country from outside, particularly from the Balkans and the former Soviet Union, but also from Western Europe, such as Germany and Switzerland. Despite the fact that trains are still the most popular mode of transport to Romania from Central Europe, due to excellent service, train services to the Balkans and the former Soviet Union are of significantly lower quality and frequency (due to the fact that railway infrastructure in these countries is far inferior to Romania’s). As a result, a plethora of private bus companies are now offering coach services to and from places like Chişinău, Kiev, Odessa, Sofia, and Istanbul that are undoubtedly faster and more pleasant.
When deciding whether to take the bus or the train, a common rule of thumb is to take the train if it is available about as often, for about the same price, and takes about the same length of time. Consider the buses if you don’t have a car.
Use www.Autogari.ro for all bus information in Romania, as well as online bookings and tickets (timetables and pricing) (“Autogari” is the Romanian word for bus-stations). They also take credit card payments.
Danube cruises are available, although they are extremely costly, and they depart from Passau or Vienna with an ultimate destination in the Danube Delta. These cruises will make stops in Austria, Hungary, Serbia, and Romania, as well as other important ports along the way. Once in the Delta, you may cruise on countless canals in fast boats or fisherman’s boats to see large colonies of pelicans, cranes, and tiny migratory birds. You may try a local delicacy called fishermen’s borsch, which is made with various types of fish, but be aware that it is made using Danube river water!
It’s the only route to go around the Danube Delta, and it’s also the only way to get to Sulina.
Several ports on the Danube provide ferries to and from Bulgaria: Bechet to Oryahovo (daily) and Zimnicea to Svishtov (only on weekends). There is currently a traffic bridge between Calafat and Vidin that is readily accessible by vehicle.
There are rumored (but unconfirmed) ferry links between Varna, Bulgaria, and Constanţa, Romania, across the Black Sea. The ferry service between Odessa and Constanţa is now unavailable.
Arriving from the west, you may simply drive into Romania; but, coming from the east, you will have to pass via Moldova, where you may encounter difficulties. There is no direct border crossing between Ukraine and Romania in Romanian Moldavia’s south-eastern portion (Reni/Galati); you must travel via Moldova’s Giurgiulesti (a small stretch of about 500m). Moldovan border guards will ask for money many times (environmental fee, road tax, etc., up to €20 in July 2007). Coming from the north (Ukraine) may be time-consuming, with travel durations ranging from one to five hours.
If you intend to travel to Romania, keep in mind that the road infrastructure is lacking in comparison to Western and Central Europe. Only in the south of the nation are there any motorways. On the plus side, most European highways are well-maintained and designated with an E followed by a number (e.g. E63), and they pass through some beautiful scenery of mountains, valleys, and woods. The roads of Transylvania, in particular, are constructed on top of ancient medieval pathways, and there is usually something to see and do along the way. Roundabouts abound in both cities and rural areas, posing a significant challenge to drivers. For them, the rule is simple: vehicles currently within the roundabout get precedence, while those outside must wait.
Take extra caution on the highways connecting Romania to its western borders, since traffic is heavy, most roads have one (or at most two) lanes each way, and some sections are dark.