Not sure how to get around Transylvania on your upcoming trip? Wondering whether the best way to travel around Romania is by train or bus? Or perhaps you just want to know how much a taxi will cost you.
Below I have listed various travel options along with prices based on my own trip. If you have found yourself wondering how easy it is to get around Romania, hopefully this guide can help. I thought it would be tricky to get from Cluj Napoca to Sighișoara to Brașov to Sibiu but in the end it was dead simple!
How to get around Romania:
- 39 lei, £7.30, $10.46 for a 2hr45 minute train journeys from Sighișoara -> Brașov
- The Brașov -> Sibiu cost £11 for 1st class.
How to book: We found train travel was the easiest way to get around Transylvania because the tickets are so easy to book online! But note that the times can be very sporadic and there aren’t many trains each day. Go to https://www1.cfrcalatori.ro/ and type in the destinations and the date. The next page lists the timetable – click on the English flag to get additional information (prices etc) in English. Easy, see?
TIP: The ‘fast trains’ have to be reserved in advance at popular times. Don’t just turn up at the station if there’s only one train on a Saturday. We saw a woman crying as she got turned away from the Sighișoara ticket office for the only train to Brașov! Thankfully online it advises you of which trains should be reserved in advance.
Example cost: 25 lei, £4.69, $6.58 (for the 3 hour drive from Cluj-Napoca to Sighișoara) between 2 people
How to book: We used blablacar.com to book our journey. The driver picked us up near our accommodatio and took us all the way there. This website is like a transport version of airbnb and very easy to use.
TIP: Don’t do this of you don’t feel confident about it! Always call the driver first to get a feel for them and don’t get in the car if anything seems weird. We probably wouldn’t have used it without the advice of our first airbnb host or if I was travelling alone. It never hurts to be overly cautious!
Of course, you can also RENT A CAR! There are direct routes between many of the cities. I saw many car rental options available such as Enterprise – but local companies will likely be cheaper.
Research is obviously key along with noting the exact condition of the vehicle before renting it! The minimum age to rent a car is 21 and think carefully if planning on driving in winter. The advantage is getting places quicker, plus it will be easier to access the beautiful national parks.
Try this 4-dayroadtrip itinerary for information.
LONG-DISTANCE BUSES between cities are cheap but we were warned they were tricky to navigate. The website http://www.autogari.ro/?lang=en is definitely worth checking out and looks easy to use. Here you can find timetables, prices and the location of each bus station – and you can book online too! Just ensure you know which bus station you’ll be catching your bus from – some destinations have more than one. Example cost: 90 lei, £16.75, $24 for Sighișoara to Brasov or 30 lei, £5.58, $8 for Brasov to Sibiu
If you choose to rent a car or a long-distance bus to get around Transylvania, let me know how you get on!
TOUR COMPANIES WHO PROVIDE TRANSPORT
TOURS don’t just mean ‘organised itineraries’ in Romania. If you let tour companies know where you want to go, some will help set up a fee and advise time necessary to take you, based on where you want to go.
We went all out in Brașov and used a tour company to help us get to Bran Castle. This was £22.12 each for 4 hours (not including entrance fees) which saved us a lot of trouble. We booked the evening before, but you may need to book sooner if travelling in the high season.
How to book: Check online or visit the local tourist information centre for advice. If you don’t have a sim card, you can message companies using WhatsApp (as we did in Brașov) or ask your accommodation for help.
We used The Land of Dracula Tours and they were fantastic in helping us fit in two different locations in the short time we had available. We saw both Râșnov Citadel & Bran Castle. Peles is a popular 3rd destination but it was closed on a Monday.
TIP: The tour guide gave an insight into Transylvanian history and culture we wouldn’t have had otherwise. Although it’s great to be conscious of a budget, sometimes a local expert can be invaluable. This is a great option to get around Transylvania for those with an interest in history!
What’s the best way to travel around Romanian cities?
Example Cost: Taxis are 10 to 18 lei for 10 – 15 minute journeys (So £1.88 – £3.75 or $2.62 – $5.25) – not including tips
How to call a taxi without a Romanian Sim Card: Every single time we needed a taxi (which was multiple times in both Brașov and Sibiu) we had to ask a Romanian person for help. Whether or not they spoke English, they would pick up on the word ‘Taxi’ and call us one – even escorting us to where we would be picked up and gesturing ‘5 minutes!’ Most cafes and restaurants have good English and will also call you a taxi or your accommodation can help.
But try to be less annoying if you can 🙂 Check the costs with your mobile phone provider before you arrive as some have very fair tariffs, especially if you live in Europe. We saw Vodafone and Orange shops everywhere we went.
TIP: If the driver is trying to charge you around 50 lei for a 10-minute drive, go to another taxi and ask for the meter to be turned on. All taxis should have a meter and be very cheap.
Cost: We only used local buses for three journeys in Cluj-Napoca – it was 2 lei for a return (£0.37, $0.52)
How to get a ticket: Ask your accommodation how to get a ticket if you’re not sure, as I imagine it can vary in each place. In Cluj, we simply ordered a ticket from a machine next to the bus station which had an English-language option, and inserted the 2 lei. We also saw our host buy tickets via an app on his phone, so it may be worth asking your accommodation about this.
TIP: Google maps will tell you what bus you need and where the bus stop is!
Cost: Stop asking you stupid questions.
How to book: Shush.
TIP: In places like Brașov and Sighișoara, there’s no need for local transport once you get there! Just download the offline google map for the area before you arrive and you can get around without any trouble at all.
GETTING INTO ROMANIA
If travelling from the UK: you can fly into Cluj-Napoca or Sibiu from Luton or Liverpool Hope Airports. We flew in with Romania budget airlines Blue Air and out with Wizz Air. Both airlines were very friendly and loaded our carry-on bags without any trouble. Just buy snacks and water in advance for short flights.
From Europe: As well as direct flights to various cities in Romania from the rest of Europe, international train options can be found at www.bahn.de or www.InterRail.eu. Bus routes also connect Romania to many other European cities. Check www.autogari.ro for more info.
Off to Romania soon? More Transylvania travel blogs here:
Further travel around the Balkans:
If you’ve travelled around Romania and have any tips, be sure to comment below and hopefully this will be helpful to anyone who lands on this page 🙂
Hi, I’m Cassie, and I’ve been solo travelling the globe since May 2018. In this time, I’ve backpacked around Southeast Asia, Japan and The Balkans, alongside spending a year living in Australia. Currently isolating in New Zealand.