jump to navigation

How to survive Otopeni Airport 03/02/2010

Posted by allthingsro in travel.
Tags: , ,

You’re flying into Bucharest and landing at Otopeni Airport. The most important thing to remember is this: don’t take a taxi unless you really, really need to get into the city quickly, and you, or your company, have money to spend. Rumour has it there is an arrangement between the taxi companies and the management of the airport.
For this reason I’d recommend taking the bus into central Bucharest.
First thing, you’re going to need some local currency. There is a bureau de change in the baggage collection area, but you can also wait until you clear customs. There are ATMs in the arrivals lounge (I hesitate to “lounge”, it’s more of a throng) or if you head to the right after clearing customs you’ll find a range of bureaux de change. In the throng, you’re bound to be approached by taxi drivers. Just say no.
Next, you need to find the buses. On my last visit in 2007, there was no signpost. Instead when you come out of customs look for a flight of stairs going down labelled “Sala mama si copil” (“mother and baby room”).
Before getting on the bus, you need to buy a ticket from the store. Ask for “un bilet express” (“an express ticket”). In 2007 this cost around 30 RON. (If you need some change, there is a shop on the same level as the buses.) Express tickets are more expensive than standard tickets to keep crime down on the express buses. For central Bucharest, you’ll need a number 780 or 783. This will take you to Piata Victoriei and Piata Romana right in the heart of the metropolis. On route you’ll pass Casa Presei Libere (“House of the Free Press”, where the newspaper were based before 1989.
One final word: when you board the bus, you need to validate your ticket at the machine. The ticket should be a two-trip ticket (“doua calatorii”), so keep it safe and you can use it on your trip back to the airport.



No comments yet — be the first.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: