This page explains how to travel comfortably by train from Bucharest to other key European cities, and how to buy the cheapest tickets.  Click here if your journey starts in another city.  Train information current for 2019.

I want to go from Bucharest to...

 

Brasov, Sighisoara, Constanta & other destinations within Romania

 

Sofia

 

Belgrade

 

Istanbul

 

Veliko Tarnovo

 

Budapest

 

Bratislava

 

Prague

 

Warsaw

 

Vienna

 

Berlin

 

Krakow

 

Chişinău (Moldova)

 

Cologne

 

Frankfurt

 

Munich

 

Amsterdam

  London   Paris   Brussels   Switzerland, Italy & Spain

Before you buy your tickets...

Take a moment to read these tips for buying European train tickets.  It answers all the usual questions, "Do I need to book in advance or can I just buy at the station?", "Can I stop off?", "Are there Senior fares?" and that old favourite, "Should I buy an $800 railpass or just buy a €35 point-to-point ticket online?".  Click here to understand how far ahead you can buy train tickets.

At Bucharest Gara de Nord, international tickets are bought from ticket window 1 in a room marked Case de Bilete with a large blue sign, not far from the information kiosk in the centre of the station, see the photos here so you know what to look for.

European train travel FAQ...

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...


How to buy tickets for trains within Romania...

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Bucharest to Budapest...

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

Sleeper on the Dacia Express   Dacia Express at Sighisoara

A 1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper with washbasin.  Larger photo.

 

The sleeping-car (vagon de dormit) of the Ister at Budapest Keleti.  Sleepers convert from beds to private sitting rooms for day use. 

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

The vagon cuseta (couchette car) on the Ister, at Budapest.  Always book a couchette, not just a seat.  Couchettes convert from bunks at night to seats for day use.

 

4 & 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest  

Enjoy breakfast in the bar-bistro eastbound, or an evening beer westbound.  The bar-bistro is attached between Simeria & Bucharest.  Bar-bistro photos courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

Option 2, by daytime train from €29...

The 'Transylvania' train to Brasov about to leave Budapest

The morning train from Budapest to Bucharest at Budapest Keleti, with modern air-conditioned Romanian carriages...

The 'Transylvania' train to Brasov about to leave Budapest   2nd class Romanian InterCity coach

On the left, the daytime train to Bucharest is about to leave Budapest Keleti...

 

Comfortable 2nd class seats in an air-conditioned Romanian carriage.  Larger photo.

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Bucharest to Vienna...
Sleeper on the Dacia Express   Dacia Express at Sighisoara

A 1, 2 or 3-bed sleeper with washbasin.  Larger photo.

 

The Dacia Express at Sighisoara.  Sleepers convert from beds to private sitting rooms for day use. Courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

Dacia Express at Vienna Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

The Dacia Express at Vienna Hbf.  Always book a couchette, not just a seat.  Couchettes convert from bunks at night to seats for day use.

4 & 6-berth couchettes.  Larger photo.

Couchette car on the Ister EuroNight train from Budapest to Bucharest  

Enjoy an evening beer in the bar car, as a bar-bistro is attached in Romania to both the Ister & Dacia ExpressBar-bistro photos courtesy of Philip Dyer-Perry.

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Bucharest to Sofia & Veliko Tarnovo...

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Bucharest to Istanbul..

Summer season 9 June to 7 October 2019...

Off-season, until 8 June & from 8 October 2019...

The Istanbul to Sofia Express   4-berth couchettes in seats mode

Bucharest-Istanbul couchette car:  Between June & September there is a direct air-conditioned Turkish couchette car between Istanbul Halkali and Bucharest with 4-berth compartments, as shown above.  The seats convert to flat bunks with rug, sheet and pillow.

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Bucharest to Belgrade...

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The incompetent Romanian & Serbian Railway managers have had a disagreement, and since 1 August 2017 the Timisoara-Vrsac trains have been terminating one station short of Vrsac, meaning there are currently no trains at all across the Serbian/Romanian border, completely destroying this international route.  Until or unless this incompetence is resolved, you are advised to travel from Bucharest to Budapest then Budapest to Belgrade.  I'll keep the original advice below in case the situation is resolved:

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Bucharest to Chişinău & Moldova
The Bucharest to Moldova train arrived at Chisinau/Kishinev    

The Prietenia from Bucharest to Moldova...

 

2-berth sleeper...

 

Destination board...

Courtesy of Malcolm B

 

Photos courtesy of Peter Brogdale

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Bucharest to Bratislava, Prague, Berlin, Krakow, Warsaw...

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Bucharest to Paris & London...

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Bucharest to Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Brussels & Amsterdam...

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Hotels in Bucharest & other cities

    

Favourite hotel search & price comparison: hotelscombined.com

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

Favourite hotel booking site: www.booking.com

www.booking.com is my favourite hotel booking site, and unless HotelsCombined throws up major price differences I prefer doing my bookings in one place here. 

You can usually book with free cancellation - this allows you to confirm your accommodation at no risk before train booking opens.  It also means you can hold accommodation while you finalise your itinerary, and alter your plans as they evolve - a feature I use all the time when putting a trip together.

Other hotel sites worth trying...

Backpacker hostels...

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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, see www.JustTravelCover.com - 10% discount with code seat61.

        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.

Get a spare credit card, designed for 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!

Get a VPN for safe browsing when you travel.  VPNs & why you need one explained...

When you're travelling you often use free WiFi in public places which may not be secure.  A VPN means your connection to the internet is encrypted & always secure, even using unsecured WiFi.  In countries such as China where access to Twitter & Facebook is restricted, a VPN gets around these restrictions.  And lastly, you can select the geographic location of the IP address you browse with, to get around geographic restrictions which some websites apply - for example one booking site charges a booking fee to non-European visitors but none to European visitors, so if you're not located in Europe you can avoid this fee by browsing with a UK IP address using a VPN.  VPNs & why you need one explainedExpressVPN is a best buy and I use them myself.

 


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