Buses, trolley buses, and trams run throughout the entire city from 5am to 11pm. Tickets and magnetic cards can be bought from yellow painted kiosks with the logo RATB (for Bucharest, in other cities this institution has a different name, such as RATP-I for Iasi, RATT for Timisoara, but they all work the same way). These kiosks are usually located near the intersections of main streets and in some bus stations. Tickets are not expensive at around €0.30/trip. You might find it a good idea to buy several at a time, especially if you plan to use the bus during the weekend. Ticket kiosks are closed both on Saturday afternoons and Sundays. When you get on the bus, validate the ticket by putting it in a little box on the bus.
If you plan to stay longer, you can buy travel cards valid for a day, a week or a month. When buying a monthly card you can choose one route (such as the 137 bus) or the slightly more expensive option which gives you unlimited travel on the system (all buses, trams and trolley buses). You can find route information and schedule for all public transportation in Bucharest here: http://www.ratb.ro.
In Bucharest there is a special bus line (783) from the city center the airport Henry Coanda, for which you need special magnetic card. It costs around €2 and can be purchased only from RATB’s kiosks in the centre of town or at the airport. There is a bus line (131) from the city to the second airport Baneasa, and this only requires normal tickets.
Bucharest is the only city in Romania with a subway/metro. There are four underground lines in the city: from north to south (M2-blue), from east to west (M3-red), a circular route (M1-yellow), and an exclusively northern route, from 1Mai Station to Gara de Nord (M4-green). The stations are quite clean and well positioned around the city, each with a different design. To use the subway, you will have to buy a magnetic subway card from the offices at the stations. You can get a card valid for either two rides, ten rides, or a monthly card. The subway is open from 5am until 11pm. Check the underground map for routes and stops. More information here: www.metrorex.ro.
Availability of reductions
Full-time students, pensioners and disabled people can get reductions from 50% to 100% on the price of tickets. You need to present proof of your status in order to get a reduction.
Taxis are usually picked up on street corners or taxi ranks where they wait for customers, rather than being hailed on the street. Try to use only licensed and metered taxis that have a lighted sign on top, with their name, number, and rate on the car door. Most city trips should cost between 1,6 lei to 7,0/8,0 leu per km. Check the price before taking the cab. Pay the cost of the trip in small bills and do not expect any change back. You can order a taxi from home or if you are in city by using a mobile phone.
Maxitaxis are shared taxi minibuses; they run along the main thoroughfares in Bucharest and supplement the bus services. You pay for the distance traveled from when you enter the maxitaxi to your destination. Minitaxis are used for trips to areas near Bucharest, as they cover the distance from Bucharest to villages approximately 40/50km outside Bucharest.