Public transport in Bucharest is cheap and generally reliable. The metro is the best way to get around the centre as not many bus and tram routes go through the central zone, apart from some express buses on major thoroughfares; these are the quickest way to reach outlying areas, and cost about double the standard bus fare. The metro is fast, and despite some poorly signed stations, easier to navigate than the bus system. Buses, trolley buses and trams are well integrated and tickets are valid on all three networks, but they are usually crowded and pickpockets are a problem. There are also private minibuses that travel along the major thoroughfares and can be hailed anywhere along their route. Taxis in Bucharest are reasonable, but foreigners are more than likely to be overcharged. Hotels or restaurants should know the approximate fare, which can then be negotiated and a fixed price agreed before getting in. Car hire is targeted at business visitors and is quite expensive; drivers need to be 21 years of age and have a passport, international insurance policy, international driving permit and valid driver's license. Driving in Bucharest can be harrowing as locals drive erratically, and roads are not well signposted.
Local time is GMT +2 (GMT +3 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October).
Electrical current is 230 volts, 50Hz. Two-pin European-style plugs are standard.
The Leu (RON) is the official currency, which is divided into 100 bani. Money can be exchanged at banks, international airports, hotels or authorised exchange offices (casa de schimb or birou de schimb valutar). ATMs are available at large banks, airports and shopping centres in cities. American Express, MasterCard and Visa are accepted in the main cities. It is recommended to travel with some cash in case of difficulty using credit cards.
The direct dialling country code for Romania is +40, and the outgoing code is 00, followed by the relevant country code (e.g. 0044 for the UK). There are numerous area codes applying to cities, towns and villages, for example (0)21 for Bucharest. The country is well covered with GSM 900/1800 and 3G mobile phone networks. Internet cafes are available in cities and larger towns.
Express bus services, 783 or 780, leave every 15 minutes for the city centre. Taxis are also available 24 hours to take passengers anywhere in Bucharest or to any other region in the country. Passengers should avoid cabs that do not display the price and have no meters.
Car rental companies include Budget, Europcar and Hertz.
Bucharest has two types of taxi. Smaller taxis cost about RON 1.5 per km and the larger taxis charge about RON 3.5 per km. The trip between the airport and Bucharest can take up to an hour in heavy traffic. Visitors are advised to only make use of official taxis with working meters and the prices displayed.
The two terminal buildings are connected by a corridor; it takes five minutes to walk between the terminals.
There are banks, bars and restaurants at the airport. Other facilities include a bureaux de change, left luggage, a hairdresser, business facilities (fax and internet), duty-free shops and a post office. Disabled facilities are good; those who need a wheelchair or have other special requirements should contact their airline in advance.
Long and short-term parking is available.
Free wifi is available.