Cheap flights to Bucharest depart from Heathrow and Luton airports near London. UK citizens do not require a visa to enter Romania. International flights to Bucharest will arrive at Henri Coanda International Airport in the nearby town of Otopeni. RATB operates two bus routes from the airport to Bucharest city centre. The number 783 service stops in downtown Bucharest, while the number 780 service stops at the Gara de Nord railway station. Express trains to Gara de Nord railway station are available from the Airport Station. Shuttle buses help provide connections between the airport terminal and Airport Train Station. Metered taxis are available outside the Arrivals and Departures areas of the airport terminal.
Bucharest has an extensive public transport system consisting of the Metro, buses, trams, light rail and trolleybuses. Check the RATB (Regia Autonoma de Transport Bucuresti) or Metrorex websites for more information. A contactless smartcard known as the Activ Card – similar to the Oystercards used in London - is used on all forms of public transport. The Activ Card can be recharged with more credit when required, and loaded with a range of ticket options. Cards need to be validated upon entering a vehicle or Metro station. Activ Cards can be purchased at most RATB kiosks. Metered taxis are readily available throughout the city centre.
To visit Bucharest is to enjoy a fascinating trip through time. The city’s architecture consists of wildly disparate styles, from Brutalist blocks and Baroque French palaces to medieval ruins. The Arcul de Triumf, modelled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, is one of Bucharest’s landmarks. Take a tour through the infamous Palace of Parliament, a testament to the excesses of Ceausescu’s regime. Revolution Square, or Piata Revolutiei, the site of the Revolution of 1989, is a short walk away from the Palace. The heroes of the 1989 revolution are remembered at the Martyr-Heroes of the December 1989 Cemetery and the Memorial of Rebirth. Explore the National Museum of Art, housed in the former royal palace, and discover its collection of work by Romanian and international artists. Visit Herastrau Park and enjoy boating in its man-made lake, or enjoy a ride in the little amusement park.
The AFI Palace Cotroceni is a megamall and one-stop entertainment destination. The massive shopping centre boasts a large variety of shops, as well as cinema and IMAX screens, indoor ice-skating, Laser Tag and even a casino. Visit Amzei Market to mingle with the locals and pick up fresh produce and delicacies such as wild mushrooms. Go to a branch of La Mama, a local chain, to enjoy hearty home-style Romanian food. The menu includes tripe soup, fried chicken livers, and plenty of stews. After that, move on the Club Piranha to enjoy a relaxing drink amongst wildlife of the animal and human variety. If that doesn’t seem too enticing, simply wander through the Lipscani district and choose from the numerous bars and pubs around.