Just a quick tip written from the highway outside Turda, in Transylvania: there are not extensive train tracks in Romania. You have to rent or hire a car to get around, and you should do so because while Bucharest is a vibrant place, quite a lot of Romanian history happened outside the capital, because the country was several distinct principalities for so long.
I think you mean “vibrant.”
Hahaha. Nice one.
Given the 4 ROM to 1USD exchange rate, and the fact that list prices are fairly low, it’s not. And whoever wants the authentic experience should rent a Dacia!
Full disclosure: I was carted around in a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van that I did not drive myself. The roads are well-paved, though, so I’d have been comfortable driving.
I am Romania, and visited Romania every year between 2014 to 2017. Actually, there are trains, but they are very old, very slow and very unreliable. With the exception of only two highways, one from Bucharest to Constantza, the other one from Pitesti to Bucharest the rest of the roads are two lanes that pass through every village. The highways are new and gorgeous, the rest of the roads are what was left over from the communist regime, yes they were patched here and there, but they are narrow and you can’t really go fast on them. The scariest issue though is the Romanian drivers; I drove in many countries but in Romania I was afraid. They are insanely aggressive and lack any form of road manners. My wife, who does like very much Romania, doesn’t want to go back if we must drive. That being said, the drivers around Bucharest are probably the worst; if you go in Transylvania or Moldova (the one that is part of Romania, not the Moldova country), drivers are significantly more considerate. Rentals are very common and relatively inexpensive. I managed to rent online (almost 6 month before the trip) an Audi A4 for $10/day !!! I assume it was a glitch in the system (Hertz) but they did agree and offered an upgrade to a Audi Q5 for an extra $7…not bad…
Taxis are regulated and extremely cheap; most of the rides in Bucharest are $3-$6.
It is a beautiful country, well worth to visit even with its not that great roads (and drivers ;-)).
I agree with your recommendation. There are so many interesting villages and towns that make a car very worthwhile. The roads were good but the drivers in Romania were somewhat unpredictable in some areas. There were some white knuckle scary moments we experienced around Bran, especially since there was a lot of traffic, but in other areas it was better and people were very nice. We rented a Dacia… it was interesting! The best part is that the highways go through all the towns, so you get to see many places even when driving on highways. I do recommend driving although understand some areas might be a bit stressful and stay very aware of other drivers.
As it happens, the approach to Bran was where we hit the worst traffic as well. Which was frustrating because it’s a case of a one lane highway when a two lane highway would resolve the issue, but that infrastructure is being built so…good for Bran!