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 to for journeys starting in another city.  Train information updated for 2017.

I want to go from Bucharest to...


Brasov, Sighisoara, Constanta & other destinations within Romania








Veliko Tarnovo
















Chişinău (Moldova)









  London   Paris   Brussels   Switzerland, Italy & Spain

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?", "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?".  And most important, click here to understand how far ahead you can buy train tickets.

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...

Buying train tickets for journeys within Romania...

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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 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 used on the Traianus from Budapest to Bucharest.  Or take your own picnic, beer or wine...

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Bucharest to Vienna...
The Romanian sleeping-car on the Dacia Express to Bucharest, at Vienna   Vienna-Bucharest 2-berth sleeper   Romanian couchette car from Vienna to Bucharest

The Dacia Express about to leave Vienna for Bucharest.  The Romanian sleeping-car attendant greets passengers at the door...

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


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

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Bucharest to Sofia & Veliko Tarnovo...
Scenery in the Shipka Pass, Bulgaria   The Sofia to Bucharest train

Lush green scenery as the train descends the Shipka Pass...


The Sofia to Bucharest through coach at Sofia station.

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

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...

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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


◄◄ Hotel search & price comparison. checks all the main hotel booking sites at once to find the widest choice of hotels & the cheapest seller.  It has been named as the World's Leading Hotel Comparison Site in the World Travel Awards and I highly recommend it, both to find hotels in even the smallest places and to check that another retailer isn't selling the same hotel at a cheaper rate.

►► My recommended booking site: 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 great 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 to compare prices & policies from many different insurers.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition or are over 65, see - 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 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!


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