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NatalieM Apr 30th, 2005 01:39 AM

Budapest to Bucharest?
Still trying to convince myself I can afford to go to Romania this summer...Airfare is a bit better flying into Budapest. Would it be worth it to fly there and take a train to Bucharest? Knowing nothing about the area, I'm wondering if it would add to our trip to see the countryside in between. I'm also wondering whether 2 weeks in Romania would be best, or better to try and visit some of the surrounding countries. Any opinions?

tedgale Apr 30th, 2005 03:05 AM

Here is what I found about travelling from Budapest to Bucharest -- on another travel site:

"How much does it cost to take the train from Budapest to Bucharest, and is it worth doing that rather than flying?

"The Deutsches Bahn Web site tells me all the timetable information, but with no costing, and no indication of whether it's worth taking the fourteen-hour trip in the daylight to see a transect across Hungary and the Carpathians...."

Hi Tom,

"A one-way ticket for a first-class sleeper car is about $100.

"I like the overnight train, but you don't see much, no. ..

"The Budapest-Budapest route is rather dull through Hungary; it goes through the Puszta, the great Hungarian plain, which is basically Iowa. (There's a more northern route, via Oradea and Cluj, that is prettier, but you wouldn't take that.)

"Once you hit Transylvania, it gets a lot more dramatic, and the actual passage through the Carpathians is pretty spectacular. But if you're going to be in Bucharest for a while, you can take a train from Buch to Brasov (about three hours) for a day trip and get the same thing.

Another traveler states:

"....Even the first class (Hungarian) carriages are pretty terrible - kitsch-looking, super-soft, low seats which sink in, and pretty dirty all over. And it's supposed to be an express train....

tedgale Apr 30th, 2005 06:03 AM

By contrast the cheapest flights via Malev are 46450 HUF per person (MAYBE 230 USD) return -- though that requires taking a 6 am flight from Bucharest.

The Bucharest to BUD flight costs half the BUD-BUC flight, oddly enough.

Clifton Apr 30th, 2005 07:16 AM

Natalie, you've been getting some answers on your other few posts as well.

It's kind of up to you on what's worth more. I can tell you that Romania is quite large and there is plenty of beautiful things to see in all corners. It's unlike much of what you're likely to see in any of western europe. Think of horsecarts and chickens on the roads, beautiful unspoiled mountains, ancient monastaries and monumnets where there are few if any tourists, at least in off season. But there is also poverty and if you're not used to that, it can surprise you. Some cities in Romania, at least the outskirts of them, will not remind you of any fairy tales. Some areas have a good ways to go before recovery.

We started in Budapest and are glad we did. Hungary made a good counterpoint to Romania. With the exception of Miskolc, the Hungary we say was clean and tidy. Many pretty, but not jaw-dropping little towns, plus places that were pretty special. Eger comes to mind, but of course, the main city to see is Budapest. Budapest is a grand city and we found it very welcoming from the very first night. There's no shortage of Budapest info here though.

I'd certainly do a Budapest + Romania trip again. We drove, but the train connections will go straight Budapest-Bucharest. Consider an open jaw on British (or anyone that has one)? Into Budapest, out of Bucharest or vice versa? Just be sure to see some Romanian towns on the way - Sibiu, Sighisoara, Sinaia, Rasnov. Most of those are on main lines. Bucovina and Maramures are Romanian regions, not cities but wow there are great things to be seen there. Anyway, good luck and we hope you're seeing the responses you've been getting.

tedgale Apr 30th, 2005 10:07 AM

If you want train information, look on Remember when searching for schedules and routes that you must identify Bucharest as Bucuresti.

NatalieM Apr 30th, 2005 10:10 AM

Thanks for your suggestions and input...Fodors always helps me get my bearings!

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