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Within Romania

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1. Posted by ponchik (Budding Member 76 posts) 8y

Hi,

It's again about this trip to Romania and Poland. :)

Driving

Some more questions about driving through Romania. We were thinking of renting a mini-van in the Otopeni airport in Bucharest and drive within the city by car. Is it a wise decision? Are there any parking/bad roads/one-way streets problems within Bucharest?
The next day we were thinking of driving from Bucharest to Sibiu by car (instead of taking a train). Michelin says it's a 2-2.5 hour drive. Is it complicated? Driving through the mountains? Is there a place to stop for gas?

Food, restaurants etc.

By the time we arrive at the Otopeni airport, we'll probably be hungry. :) Is there some not very expensive restaurant near the airport? Or is it better to drive to the city and eat there? Is it a long way from the airport to the city (Hostel Viilor)?

Thank you all in advance

Polina

2. Posted by rmm (Budding Member 34 posts) 8y

Driving
1)Getting around Bucharest by car is NOT a wise decision:
- because of the dramatic increase in car ownership in the past years, traffic is extremely congested;
- there are very few parking spots, especially in the downtown;
- there are numerous infrastructure works in progress and that leads to many important roads being partially or completely blocked;

2) Driving between Bucharest and Sibiu should take about 3-4 hours; it's not complicated at all:
- drive from Bucharest to Pitesti on motorway A1 (this is the easy part, it's modern 2X2 separate lanes road);
- then drive from Pitesti to Sibiu on the DN7 road (yes, a part of it goes through the mountains, along the Olt valley, but it's not terribly hard to drive on it);

Food

The restaurants in the airport are quite expensive (except one, Belvedere, which is some sort of cafeteria for the airport's employees, but it's also open to tourists).

There is a restaurant (Casa Romaneasca), on the main road some 500m in front of the airport, but I don't know about the prices.

So, I'd say it's better to get into town and eat there.

Otopeni airport is just 16 km away from Bucharest, but (unless you're arriving at night) it can take between one and three hours to get to downtown (see the Driving section above); add another half hour to get to Viilor hostel, which isn't quite in the central area.

[ Edit: Edited on May 25, 2008, at 10:08 AM by rmm ]

3. Posted by ponchik (Budding Member 76 posts) 8y

OK, thank you so much!

Do you know maybe the approximate prices in Bucharest? In regular restaurants? Is it much more expensive than buying food at the supermarket?

Thanks

Polina

4. Posted by rmm (Budding Member 34 posts) 8y

Approximate prices for what ?

A average meal for one person in an regular restaurant costs about 10 euros.

Naturally, eating in restaurants is more expensive than buying foods from supermarkets, but not by much (because prices for many basic foods are quite high, sometimes even higher than in Western Europe).

5. Posted by ponchik (Budding Member 76 posts) 8y

Yes, I meant in restaurants.

Ok, thank you, that's exactly what I wanted to know - whether there's a big difference between buying basic products and eating in a cheap restaurant.

Thanks!

6. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 8y

you must be MAD to drive in Bucharest. I cant the insanity of the traffic in that city.

7. Posted by ponchik (Budding Member 76 posts) 8y

Thanx, coldwarspy.

Yeah, we already gave up that idea. :) I've been told that many streets undergo a construction at the moment, which makes driving there even more difficult.