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What is the best way to get from Bucharest Airport to the city?

Feb 24, 2017

From Bucharest airport what should I take to get into the city center? Taxis, Uber or airport shuttle bus?

 

Bucharest Airport is called Henri Coandă International Airport and it is also know as Otopeni (OTP) as the town it is in.

There is free wifi at the terminal!

UBER

Image result for uber

I converted to Uber and I m not going back to using taxis.

Here are a few reasons:

  • Uber are cheaper than taxis in Bucharest. A ride to X Hostel Bucharest from the Airport will cost you about 40 ron (9 euro) depending on traffic
  • Cars are newer so therefore safer
  • Drivers don`t smoke, curse, are well dressed and mannered
  • You cannot be ripped off: you see your trip and in case of a dispute you can contact Uber for a refund
  • If you are a first time user you can use my code for a 15 ron discount: danielec95ue
  • Usually Uber drivers speak English
  • No tips expected/requested and no need to change cash at the airport (always a bad deal)

It is very easy to use: install the app, sync your credit card, request a car, insert your destination: X Hostel Bucharest, Central Guesthouse, Strada Balcesti 9

 

Airport shuttle bus 783 

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You can take Bus 783 into town, which stops underneath the arrivals hall (just follow the signs). This line leaves for the city centre (stopping at Piata Victoriei, Piata Romana, Piata Universitatii and the X Hostel Bucharest stop Piata Unirii) every 30 minutes during the day, and then every 40 minutes through the night. Purchase a Card from the little booth to the right hand side as you exit: there is an automatic ticket machine or a kiosk where you can interact with a human seller. A return journey is 9 lei for the Express bus (you can use your return at any later stage), and its a ticket just for this airport to city bus. 

If you want a taxi find the right Taxi

Bucharest

One of the first warnings given to tourists in most countries is to not let taxis rip you off. Stepping out of the airport, this is one of the initial experiences of a country we encounter, so tired and sometimes over excited, we are oblivious to what is happening right in front of us as we ache to get to our destination. Basically we walk around with a big cash register on our head.

Bucharest is no exception to this rule and the taxi system is perhaps a little notorious for blatantly overcharging patrons. But we can take solace in that it’s not just foreigners they try to rip off. They will try it on with anyone, including locals. The funny thing is normally taxis are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to travel around the city…if you get it right. Here are a few hot tips to keeping your precious cash where it belongs, in YOUR wallet!

Fighting dodgy taxi drivers is Bucharest’s top tourist-related problem. It leaves a bad first/last impression when tourists get victimized right out of the airport or train station. The police take infringements seriously, but you must do your part by ordering them, or at least getting the number of taxi, and company (take a photo), or licence plate. You can’t report a taxi rip-off unless you can pinpoint exactly who it was.

Image result for meridian taxi

Avoid the independents and head for the trusted established taxi company. Easier said than done, you moan. Here’s how to put the ‘spot the difference’ skills you learnt as a child to good use. Look for an emblazoned name and phone number of the company they are with. Some independents will try to do the same but with a keen eye, you’ll learn the difference. Look for about 1.39 or 1.40 lei per kilometer. Always ask if they give receipts first. If no, go on to the next one, or if you must get in, record the name of the company and taxi number. That way, if something goes wrong you can report it. 

Reliable taxi firms are Meridian and Speed Taxi.

Ignore the hustlersImage result for bucharest airport taxi machine

At the airport, ignore any taxi drivers who approach you as you leave arrivals. You can order a taxi using the multi-language easy-to-use touch screens in the arrivals hall to choose from a wide range of reputable Bucharest taxi companies, all with tariffs in plain sight. Once ordered the screen will tell you how long the taxi will be and its ID number and you wait outside. Easy peasy. Well so long as you can manage to get yourself into the right one, that is!. Another trick is to walk through to Departures and pick up a standard cab as it drops somebody off (following all our tips of course).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Group transfer

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A great alternative to taxis and city buses is a private shuttle firm that will pick your group up and drop you off at destination. GoThor.ro does just this.

When you book 5-star accommodation for your guests (or X Hostel Bucharest & Central Guesthouse), you should not ignore the quality of the airport pick-up service so relying on common taxi services is not really an option. As you know, the first impression is extremely important.

Go Thor helps you make an excellent first impression to your guests, especially if this is their first time they travel in Romania.

Go Thor provides premium airport shuttle services in Bucharest:

–        Luxury Cars
–        Personalized Services
–        Dedicated Staff
–        Promptness

The superior traveling experience is made possible by our limousine cars and the specially trained Go Thor staff, details that add a touch of elegance and distinction.

Drivers who speak English or if necessary, translators for any other foreign language, personal security agents when required, accommodation personnel available from arrivals to meet your guests, are details that we take care of for each shuttle to and from the airport, carefully scheduled with our customers.

Depending on the number of passengers and estimated amount of luggage, we choose the most suitable cars with either 4 or 8 seats.

Upon request, we can provide separate luggage transport to the airport or from the airport when your guests are rushing to an important meeting or when your guests do not go directly from the hotel to the airport.

 

Use technology to your advantage and plan ahead

Image result for star taxi app

Call or book online using Meridian or Speed Taxi. Some of Bucharest’s taxi companies now have iPhone apps using your phone’s GPS to get a taxi straight to you quicksmart. Check out Star Taxi. Or get your establishment to order it, i.e. when leaving a hotel, hostel, or restaurant ask them (nicely) to order you a taxi. Useful addresses and links.

Read carefullyImage result for taxi scam

One single tariff will be displayed on the driver and passenger door of all taxis. A lot of taxis will try to disguise how much they charge per kilometer. Whether this is by blocking the door, or not displaying clearly how much by adding other numbers such as Tariff 1. Generally be sure not to pay more than 1.69 lei per kilometer. Otherwise do a Johnny Walker and keep walking.  

 

Areas to avoid

Image result for taxi scam bucharest

Be extra vigilant in areas such as Gara de Nord, Baneasa Airport, Bucuresti Mall, Piata Universitatii, Piata Unirii and the Old Town/Lipscani area. Avoid scary taxi drivers, especially at night. If you don’t think you can take this guy in a fight, then don’t take his taxi. Yes, this may seem discriminatory, but when you’re taking taxis off the street at night, the odds are high you will get in some kind of argument.

 

 

 

Be smart

 

Arming yourself with knowledge is a safe tactic in any situation. So keep these tips in mind:

  • Remember you ARE the customer, and ask first. Taxis should be catering to your needs, not the other way around. You should have no problem finding an English speaking driver, and verify he knows where the place is, and even that it should be between X-Y lei. If not, move on to the next one.
  • Make sure the meter is on. And watch it.
  • Carry small change. “I have no change” is not the response you want to hear. Because you won’t get it!
  • Do your research. If you can, google the address first to get an idea of directions and how long it should take. If taking a taxi to X Hostel, it is good to say near Piata Unirii. There is another road that sounds like our road, and the taxi will take you there for a bigger fare, just to have to bring you here after.
  • Speak up. Pay attention. Learn a little Romanian. Tell them you’re onto their game if you smell something fishy that’s not the Ciorba de peste. It is expected of Romanians to question everything, you should too.
  • Don’t make yourself an obvious tourist…put the camera away.

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