After a few days in Romania’s capital, Bucharest, you’re probably ready to go somewhere else.
Whether you’re looking for day trips from Bucharest or you want to spend a few nights in an ancient, medieval town then it’s likely you’re headed to the Transylvanian city of Brasov.
Located at the foot of the Fagaras mountain range, Brasov is a small town a few hours north of Bucharest.
Here are the best ways of transportation if you’re wondering how to get from Bucharest to Brasov by train or bus.
Bucharest to Brasov Train
The train system in Romania, while outdated, runs very efficiently and is the best mode of transportation to get anywhere in the country.
It’s possible to book all of your tickets online at www.cfrcalatori.ro, the official website of Romanian Railways.
The website is easy to navigate and if you have a popular credit card it will likely be accepted. If you’re booking through the website keep in mind that the tickets available online are for trains that require a reservation, for local trains you’ll want to buy your tickets directly from the station at Gare du Nord.
The address for Gare du Nord is:
- Piața Gării de Nord 1-3, București 010858, Romania
Also, at the station Gare du Nord you’ll be able to use an automated ticket machine. However, there is only a Romanian language option available and I couldn’t determine if there was an English setting.
Nearly once per hour there is a train from Bucharest to Brasov, usually heading onwards to Budapest, as well as multiple local, domestic trains.
Whether you buy your tickets in advance online or pick them up in person at the train station you can expect to pay:
- 70 Lei – First Class compartment
- 45 Lei – Second Class compartment
There are currently two types of trains that run this route, a modern and updated train and an older train.
The modern trains are well-equipped, comfortable and offer significantly more leg-room and luggage space.
The older trains lack air-conditioning, can run quite cold in the winter and aren’t as comfortable.
Regardless of the train you get I suggest booking a first class ticket. They aren’t very expensive and the difference in quality of your ride will definitely be noticeable.
When it comes to trains, Romanian second class seating is not comparable to Western Europe. Expect an uncomfortable and hard bench seat with very little space. If you’re lucky you might have armrests but many of the seating in second class compartments don’t come equipped with them.
First class will give you a similar sized compartment but with only 4 people, rather than 6, in the space. There is also more room for luggage and you have the chance of getting your own seat in a row of seats, rather than a compartment.
Upon booking your ticket, whether online or in person, make sure you book the fastest journey.
The train should take between 2.5-3 hours depending on commercial traffic on the rails. Anything longer and you should avoid booking and look for the faster route.
The journey itself is quite beautiful and you’ll pass through countless plains and forests as you quickly the approach the Fagaras mountain range that dominates the Transylvanian landscape.
The train is completely safe and is the fastest and easiest way to get from Bucharest to Brasov.
Bucharest to Brasov Bus
If you’re traveling on an extreme budget or you’re feeling like an adventure you can take the bus to Brasov from Bucharest.
The bus is very popular with locals and there are nearly twice as many daily trips between the two cities. If you’re traveling during the busy summer months expect the bus to leave every 15-minutes as it fills up.
Rather than a typical coach bus you’ll find a mix of large vans and smaller busses that make the trip.
The most popular place to find a bus to Brasov is right outside Gare du Nord at the small collection of vans and busses you’ll see nearby. This is the most well-known area to catch a bus Bucharest and the best place to make your connection.
It’s very easy to get your tickets and you can even get one on the same day as your journey.
Once you reach the bus area or station in Bucharest look for the vans that have a sign for Brasov in the window. If you see the driver waiting you can go up to him and ask for a ticket. If not, wait around for the driver to return or approach another bus.
The ticket for a bus from Bucharest to Brasov should cost:
- Between 25 and 50 lei, depending on the bus and person you ask.
The nicer, quicker busses will cost more while the older and less-direct busses will cost less.
Let me warn you, the bus isn’t as comfortable or efficient as the train and I highly recommend you take the train for a better travel experience.
If you can’t make it to the main bus station there are a few other stations in the city: