Country profile

Romania: Travel and accommodation

Romania is located in the South East of Europe, and is easy to get to by plane from most European cities. The national airline, Tarom serves most destinations, and there are also budget flights to both Bucharest and the lesser regional airports. Flights from the UK start from around £35 one way, with a round trip from Paris from as little as €149. There are direct flights from most major US hubs to Bucharest on Delta and KLM, with round trip flights from New York starting from around $700.

CarpatAir, based in Timisoara, and Tarom, based in Bucharest, offer affordable domestic flights within Romania.

The Romanian rail system is well developed and reaches most parts of the country far easier than driving. The system is very popular with both Romanians and tourists, with ticket prices generally good value and services run efficiently to schedule. The best value trains are the Inter Regional and Inter City routes, although there are also slower, more expensive local services. Bucharest has an underground rail system that transports around 600,000 passengers a week on five lines.

The road system in Romania is still recovering from decades of under investment in the communist era. A major new project of six motorways and six by-pass motorways is currently under construction, with around 350 miles of the 850 miles already finished. The roads in the Carpathian Mountains can be a unique challenge in themselves, with winding mountain passes, such as the Transfăgărășan, an attraction in their own right.

Accommodation in the main cities has improved significantly in the years since the revolution in 1989, with many new mainstream and boutique hotels springing up to meet the new tourist influx. Prices are still incredibly cheap, with four and five star hotels in Bucharest from as little as €60 per night and three star hotels from just €30. Many healthcare tourism companies will include top class hotels within their package, getting an even better deal on the already low rates.

Head out into the countryside and things get a little more rustic, but that’s part of the charm. And if you think hotels in the capital offer great value, you won’t believe how cheaply you can stay in the rural areas, with a friendly local welcome, coupled with great food and wine, for next to nothing by western standards.

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