What you should know before hiring a car in Bucharest
Bucharest city centre
Where to rent a car in Bucharest?
Romania's capital city of Bucharest is located in the south of the country, not far from the country's border with Bulgaria. Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport and Bucharest Aurel Vlaicu Airport are the two principle airports serving Bucharest, with the former being the busier of the two. From both, a number of transport options allow visitors to reach the city center, including taxi, hotel transfer and rental car. Taking a road trip through Romania is one of the best ways to see the whole country, given that some more remote areas are only accessible by road. Car rental companies operating in Romania include Budget, Green Motion, Hertz, Autoboca and Sixt. Romania is also home to an extensive rail network, with a number of private companies operating within the country including Regiotrans and Servtrans.
Driving in Bucharest: parking and other tips
When driving in Bucharest, aside from following a few location-specific tips, it is important to follow the rules of the road in Romania. This includes driving on the right, always wearing a seat belt, and abiding by indicated speed limits. These will be displayed in km/h, and in built-up areas are usually 50 km/h; outside built-up areas, they rise to 90 km/h. However, keep an eye out for signage to be sure. Within Bucharest, visitors traveling by car should be aware of local rush hours as during these times, roads can get very congested. As a general rule, the roads are busiest between the early morning and 11 am; and between mid-afternoon and 8 pm.
While parking in Bucharest is relatively affordable, finding a space in a city with more cars than it can accommodate can be a challenge. Large parking lots can be found at shopping malls and offer cheap parking (usually less than $1 an hour), while there are also a number of commercially-owned or private parking lots located throughout the city offering secure parking.
Road trips from Bucharest
With a number of car rental companies operating in Bucharest, the Romanian capital is a great place in which to rent a car and explore the rest of the country. Castles, skiing resorts and literary landmarks can all be found near Bucharest – and are easily accessible by rental car.
Brașov and Bran Castle
Before heading out of Bucharest to enjoy a road trip around Romania, be sure to enjoy all the city has to offer. Don't miss a trip to the cast Palace of the Parliament; the National Museum of Art of Romania; and the Museum of the Romanian Peasant. Then, drive out of the city and head north to the city of Brașov, around 106 miles away. Located in Transylvania, the city is home to a number of medieval sights and attractions, as well as the nearby Bran Castle – also known as Dracula's Castle.
Located around 80 miles north of Bucharest, Peleș Castle was built during the late 19th century in the Neo-Renaissance style, and has become a popular attraction thanks to its architecture and history. Easily accessible by car, it was the summer residence for Romanian royalty, and is today home to a number of impressive art works and chandeliers.
Romania is home to a number of ski resorts, and Poiana Brașov is one of the country's most popular. Located around 109 miles north of Bucharest, the resort is home to a number of slopes catering to all abilities. During winter, it's a great place to go skiing or snowboarding, while in summer there are hiking trails and mountain views to enjoy.