Tips on train travel in Romania

Train travel in Romania is the way to go when you want your trip to go through Romania’s best cities and towns! Understanding the train system is quite easy and many routes are pleasant for the eyes.  You can experience Romania’s countryside from the comfort of your chair, while traveling from one amazing destination to the other.

 

I have traveled through Romania by train extensively and I know some of the routes like the back of my hand. One of the most beautiful train routes in Romania is probably between Bucharest and Brasov and I’ve taken it many times. Below I have gathered all the information I could think of in terms of train travel in Romania.

train travel in romania

 

Tips on train travel in Romania

1. For up to date time tables and prices, check out the website the Romanian railway service, CFR Calatori.

2. There are a few different types of trains: IRN, R or RE and some others. The R-trains are slower than the other ones and cost less to travel with. I’ve taken the R-train to Brasov, which was still okay because it took me about 3,5 hours to get there but other than that I would always advice to spend a little more for a faster ride.



3. Train tickets are bought for a specific time only and you have to use them on that particular train. If you know ahead you want to change your travel date or time, go to the station to change your tickets for free. You can’t buy train tickets 5 minutes before departure.

train travel in romania

4. A journey by train isn’t the cheapest travel option in Romania (but it’s defintely one of the best!). My one way ticket from Bucharest to Brasov cost me 50 lei (2014). When you’re traveling with two people or more, don’t forget to ask for a group discount.

5. Want to visit Sinaia or one of the other places on your way to Brasov? Make sure the ticket office at Sinaia station stamps your ticket. By doing so, you can take the same kind of train (IR, R or IC) later on the day without any additional costs. In Sinaia you can visit two castles at once, and you don’t want to miss those!



6. Trains in Romania have numbered seats, so make sure you sit in the correct one when the conductor checks your ticket.

train travel in romania

7. On the way from Bucharest to Brasov I was fortunate to have a train where the windows are open. However, keeping the windows closed is a thing in Romanian trains. Romanians believe that draft is extremely bad for them and therefore lots of people prefer the windows to be closed. Even in summer, when temperatures inside the train rise to ‘tropical’, you might have trouble convincing them it’s okay to get a whiff of air. In any case, make sure you have plenty of water on you!

8. From Bucharest’s Gara de Nord train travel is a party; You’re correctly informed on delays and ticket staff sometimes speaks English. Everywhere else not so much. In Transylvania, a train is only a little late after 1 hour it was supposed to depart.

9. Trains may take much, much longer in summer, when the tracks are hot from the sun. My (IC) train from Sibiu to Brasov took 5 hours instead of 2,5.

 

Want to know more about train travel in Romania? Be sure to leave a comment below! Also, I would love it if you tag me in all your travel photos of this wonderful country, make me jealous!! 😉

 

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8 Comments

  • Reply
    Dana Newman
    August 14, 2014 at 12:50

    Especially love the shot of the train lines with the faint mountains in the background!

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      August 14, 2014 at 13:00

      Thanks, Dana! You have no idea how much it miss taking train rides like this one. Saw your website, will be reading that a lot! 🙂

  • Reply
    BogdanBBA
    September 21, 2014 at 16:53

    On-topic:

  • Reply
    Tori
    June 8, 2019 at 11:34

    Hey! First off, love your blog! I’m traveling to Romania in early October as a solo female and I’m wondering if you have any tips for the best way to get from Bucharest to Cluj? I don’t have much time there but I’m coming from Sofia first and would really like to see both Bucharest and Cluj! Thanks!

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      July 3, 2019 at 12:44

      Hi Tori! Bucharest to Cluj is quite te distance but it can be done! You basically have 3 options: 1. fly (it’s the fastest), 2. take the train from Bucharest Gara de Nord (the journey takes 9 – 12 hours. Check out the timetables here), or 3. take the night bus from central bus station Bucharest (about 9 hours with Mementobus). Have fun! 🙂

  • Reply
    Lena
    August 6, 2019 at 21:39

    Thanks a lot for all that information about train travels. What is your experience with delays? I heared it is really bad. I was looking at a connection from brasov to chisinau but there are only 45 minutes to change trains in Buzau.
    What about the train from brasov to bucharest? Ist it usually on time?

    • Reply
      The Brave Dame
      August 7, 2019 at 13:01

      Hi Lena, it’s usually not that bad at all. Only in summer, when the tracks expand from the heat, train travel is really really slow. My train from Brasov to Sibiu took 5 hours instead of 2,5 or 3 because of that. Normally, 45 minutes would be more than enough to change trains (most train stations in Romania are quite small) but in summer you never know. I’d say go for it anyway! The train from Bucharest to Brasov was always on time during my travels. I’ve been on that route many times without problems.

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