This page explains how to travel by train from Bucharest to other key European cities, and how to buy the cheapest tickets.  Click here to buy tickets starting in another city.

I want to travel by train from Bucharest to...

  Brasov, Sighisoara, Constanta & other destinations within Romania
  Budapest   Vienna   Sofia   Belgrade   Istanbul
  London   Paris   Munich   Veliko Tarnovo    

Before you buy your tickets...

I recommend taking a moment to read these important tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, such as "Do I need to book in advance or can I just turn up & buy at the station?", "How far ahead can I book?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just go online & buy a 35 point-to-point ticket?".

Answering your questions about European train travel...

An introduction to European train travel

 

Senior fares (over 60)

 

Guide to Eurail passes (overseas visitors)

Important tips for buying European train tickets

Youth fares (under 26)

 

Guide to InterRail passes (for Europeans)

How to check European train times

Child fares & child age limits

 

Couchettes & sleepers on night trains

Do I need to book in advance?

Luggage on European trains

 

Train seat numbering plans

How far ahead can I book?

Luggage storage at stations

 

Wheelchairs & special needs

Can I stop off on the way?

Taking a bike by train

 

Real-time service updates

Should I travel 1st or 2nd class?

Taking a car by train

 

Hotels & accommodation

How long to allow for connections?

Taking dogs & pets by train

 

Changing stations in Paris by metro or taxi

How early to arrive at the station?

Maps of the European rail network

 

What to do when things go wrong...


Buying train tickets for journeys within Romania...

Bucharest to Budapest...

Option 1, by time-effective sleeper train...

En suite toilet & shower on EuroNight sleeper train Ister to Bucharest      Single-berth sleeper on the EuroNight sleeper train 'Ister' to Bucharest   EuroNight sleeper train 'Ister' from Budapest to Bucharest

Deluxe sleeper...  The en suite toilet & shower in a deluxe sleeper from Budapest to Bucharest.  Photo courtesy of Andy Brabin.

A sleeper set up as a  single-berth compartment with the middle & top berths folded away against the wall.  Photo courtesy of Andy Brabin.

 

The EuroNight sleeper train Ister:  This is the train's modern air-conditioned Romanian sleeping-car.  The letters above the windows say 'Voiture-Lits - Sleeping-car - Carrozza Letti - Vagon de Dormit'...  Welcome to your hotel on rails:  Some compartments have an en suite toilet & shower!  Photo courtesy of Andy Brabin.

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest   6-berth couchettes   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

The vagon cuseta (couchette car) on the Ister, at Budapest.

 

6-berth couchettes.

 

4-berth couchettes.

Option 2, by daytime train...

The 'Transylvania' train to Brasov about to leave Budapest   Hungarian restaurant car on the train to Sighisoara & Brasov

An InterCity train to Romania (left) about to leave Budapest.

 

The restaurant car on the InterCity train to Romania...

2nd class Romanian InterCity coach   Romanian InterCity seating coach

Air-conditioned 2nd class seats used on the Traianus from Budapest to Bucharest.  Or take your own picnic with beer or wine...


Bucharest to Vienna...
Dacia Express      Vienna-Bucharest 2-berth sleeper   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

The Dacia Express about to leave Vienna for Bucharest.

2-berth sleeper on the Vienna-Bucharest Dacia Express...

 

4 or 6 berth couchette compartment on the Dacia Express...


Bucharest to Sofia & Veliko Tarnovo...

Bucharest to Istanbul...
Bucharest-Istanbul sleeper, daytime mode   Bucharest-Istanbul sleeper   Bucharest-Istanbul train

A sitting room by day, with sofa & table.

 

A bedroom at night...  Set up here as a 2-berth, with top berth unused.

 

 

The Bucharest-Istanbul sleeping-car (vagon de dormit), at Giurgiu on the Romanian border...

Panorama photo inside a sleeper compartment


Bucharest to Belgrade...

Bucharest to Munich, Paris, London...

See the London to Romania page for detailed times, routes, fares & how to buy tickets.


Find hotels in Bucharest & other cities

 

◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison.

www.hotelscombined.com checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It was named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site at the World Travel Awards 2013 and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling your hotel for less!

www.booking.com is my favourite booking site.  It's really clear and you can usually book with free cancellation and so confirm your accommodation at no risk months before train booking opens.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...


Travel insurance & health card...

 

 

Columbus direct travel insurance

Take out decent travel insurance, it's essential...

Never travel overseas without travel insurance from a reliable insurer, with at least 1m or preferably 5m medical cover.  It should also cover cancellation and loss of cash and belongings, up to a sensible limit.  An annual multi-trip policy is usually cheaper than several single-trip policies even for just 2 or 3 trips a year, I have an annual policy myself.  Here are some suggested insurers.  Seat61 gets a small commission if you buy through these links.

In the UK, try Columbus Direct or use Confused.com to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65 (no age limit), see www.JustTravelCover.com.

        If you live in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland or the EU, try Columbus Direct's other websites.

  If you live in the USA try Travel Guard USA.

Carry a spare credit card, designed for foreign travel with no currency exchange loading & low or no ATM fees...

It costs nothing to take out an extra credit card.  If you keep it in a different part of your luggage so you're not left stranded if your wallet gets stolen, this is a form of extra travel insurance in itself.  In addition, some credit cards are significantly better for overseas travel than others.  Martin Lewis's www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-travel-money explains which UK credit cards have the lowest currency exchange commission loadings when you buy something overseas, and the lowest cash withdrawal fees when you use an ATM abroad.  Taking this advice can save you quite a lot on each trip compared to using your normal high-street bank credit card!

You can avoid ATM charges and expensive exchange rates with a Caxton FX euro currency Visa Card, or their multi-currency 'Global Traveller' Visa Card, see www.caxtonfx.com for info.

Get an international SIM card to save on calls & mobile data...

Mobile phones can cost a fortune to use abroad, so consider getting a global pre-paid SIM card for your mobile phone which can cut call & data costs by up to 90%.  At the time of writing, www.roamsure.com claims a definite 25% saving within the EU and up to 90% saving in the rest of the world.  Incoming calls are free in 73 countries, including the USA, Australia, South Africa and EU.  There's no contract or commitment, and at time I write this Roamsure is offering a global SIM card for free when you buy 20 of call credit.  Seat61 gets some commission to support the site if you buy airtime from Roamsure.

 


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