If you want to get from Bucharest to Timisoara, you should know that you are about to travel anything between 400 – 550 kilometers (depending on route and/or means of transportation). Few people know that Romania is that big!
Today, we’re going to talk about how to get from Bucharest to Timisoara by plane, trains, bus or car (and the same goes for Timisoara to Bucharest).
The best way to get from Bucharest to Timisoara is by plane which is around €80 and takes under an hour. By land, your best option is taking a direct train for around €25 (second class), but it takes around 10 hours.
However, the long train ride could also be really enjoyable as you’ll get some pretty spectacular views, especially on the Danube shores. Upgrading to 1st class will also be relatively cheap (but not all trains offer it).
The best part here is that there are multiple options for you, both dirt cheap and more expensive, fast and slow.
And I’m going to cover them all here because some people might prefer taking a bus, for example, others might enjoy riding the train while other would like to get into a plane a fly there ASAP.
And since we’re talking about these two important cities in Romania, don’t forget to check out my overview of Timisoara or that of Bucharest if you want to find out more about each city.
With these out of the way, let’s find out the answers to the burning question: how to get from Bucharest to Timisoara and vice versa?
Bucharest to Timisoara by plane
If you want to get from one place to the other extremely fast, you’ll be happy to hear that you have a few options when it comes to taking a plane.
The flight only takes about 50 minutes and it’s usually pretty cheap, even compared with the other transportation methods: I sometimes see deals for as low as €50 for one trip, but usually the price is around €80.
Right now, you have two different companies that offer flights from Bucharest to Timisoara (and vice-versa): the national air company Tarom, as well as the Moldovan airline HiSky.
Check both to see what your best option is, as there are always deals available, as well as multiple flights each day.
Bucharest to Timisoara by train
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know that I love traveling by train and this is the method that I normally prefer.
However, be prepared for a pretty long trip: around 10 hours on paper, but the trains usually end up being late, so if you’re unlucky, you’ll actually spend 30 minutes to 2 hours more in the train. There’s always this risk when riding trains in Romania!
There are multiple options available and fortunately, you don’t only have to rely on the CFR (national company) trains anymore, as private companies have offers on this route also.
If you choose to go with a CFR train (check the timetables here), expect to pay around 115 lei (25 Euros) for a second class ticket.
A 1st class ticket is 177 lei (37 Euros), but I strongly recommend it since you’ll appreciate the extra space and leg room for such a long ride. Just know that not all trains have 1st class carts.
But you also have other options, like the Astra Trans Carpatic train that offers really good sleeping coaches, with WiFi, included food and other goodies.
This is a night train only, but it’s really good – and you can check it out here. A sleeping cart is 250 lei (50 Euros) though… so a bit more expensive, but at least you get a bed.
The good thing about traveling by train on this route is that you will get some breathtaking views of the Danube when you’ll be passing by it, views that make this journey even more enjoyable. Of course, this only goes if you’re traveling during the day!
Bucharest to Timisoara by bus
When it comes to getting a bus from Bucharest to Timisoara, there are, surprisingly, not a lot of companies running this route.
The main reason why I believe this is happening is the sheer distance between the two cities. This makes it not profitable for charter buses, and extremely long rides otherwise.
The price for a bus trip from Bucharest to Timisoara or Timisoara to Bucharest is similar to taking the train – around 150 lei (or 25 Euros), but you’ll spend a lot more time in the bus – around 12 hours.
This is my least favorite way of getting from one city to another, because you don’t get a lot of leg room for this long ride.
Plus, since you will almost never find a direct bus, there will be many stops for picking up or dropping passengers along the way, which can result in delays. Also, you have no control over toilet breaks, which is not ideal.
However, if you prefer taking a bus, you can find the offers available online here.
I am sure that there are even more options available from other companies, but in order to find out about them, you’d have to visit the various bus stations in Bucharest or in Timisoara, depending where your starting point is.
Bucharest to Timisoara by car
Finally, you can rent a car if you prefer driving, or you can go for a ride-sharing website such as BlaBlaCar.
This should normally be the fastest way of getting there on land and prices vary greatly here.
Expect to travel for around 7 hours or less, depending mainly on how fast you drive, but also on traffic – although this is, in regular weather circumstances, not a problem on this route.
When traveling to Timisoara by car, you have two possible routes: going through the mountains (Pitesti, Sibiu) and into Timisoara – which is fastest at around 7 hours, with most of the trip on the highway.
Alternately, you can go South through Craiova and Drobeta Turnu Severin, which might be a bit less crowded, but takes more time, around 8 hours and a half with less time on the highway.
However, since I believe most people traveling here don’t want to go through the headaches of renting a car – or sharing a ride – I consider this method the least desirable one.
So these would be your options you have when traveling from Bucharest to Timisoara or from Timisoara to Bucharest.
If you’re in a hurry, you can definitely go for the quick flight – even with all the waiting to board and getting to and from the airport to your location, you’ll still get from one point to another much faster.
If not, you can choose any of the other methods, my recommended being the train: even though it takes longer, you have the extra leg room and can even go for a sleeper car to rest a bit along the way.
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6 thoughts on “How to Get from Bucharest to Timisoara by Plane, Train, Bus, or Car”
I would do the train l think. I love being able to just relax and not worry about the driving part. I don’t mind driving myself but l am the worst backseat driver which is not fun for the person driving. I always said l wouldn’t do what my mum used to do, but here l am..doing just that! I would love to visit Timisoara next time!
That’s the exact same reason why I prefer riding the train, even though it takes longer. But at least I know that if I want to get up and stretch my legs, I can do it whenever I want to 🙂 If you were to visit Timisoara, I would be very curious to see what you think about it as it isn’t really my favorite city in Romania :))
I hope one day to fly on Tarom. I just hope it doesn’t end up going the way of Balkan (Bulgarian Airlines) or Malev (Hungarian Airlines)–out of business! Tarom has been operating at quite a loss for a while. Don’t know if government ownership (mainly) is the right way to go. I know Wizz and Blue Air seem to have a stranglehold (along with notorious Ryanair) on air travel in Central Europe.
Also the ATR 42 and ATR 72 aircraft have a less than sterling safety records–NOT Tarom, but the airframes.
Hopefully, when it’s time to renew the fleet, they’ll choose all Airbus, or all Boeing to make
training and maintenance more easier and effective.
Somehow, Tarom will need to lead, follow, or get out of the way. They need to adapt. Icelandair, for instance has been pretty successful (even with the low(er) cost Icelandic carrier WOW Air). Funny, Icelandair (back in the day known as Loftleiðir Icelandic) was the original North Atlantic lowest-cost carrier. Now there’s WOW Air and Norwegian Air Shuttle, with Icelandair’s fares being higher.
Oh, well, sorry for the rambling!;-)
Still wouldn’t fly Ryanair on a dare. I would try Blue Air, though.
p.s. Do you do give the kiddies nice Easter baskets with all manner of goodies, such as
colorful Easter eggs, chocolate bunnies, marshmallow Peeps, and toys?
Tarom is indeed in a pretty bad shape right now and it’s difficult for them to turn things around when there are much cheaper options elsewhere. I would like it for them to manage to make a comeback and there are plans to help them, but one can never know…
I never heard about problems with Ryanair, though. Most of my friends have used them since they entered the Romanian market and they had absolutely no problems – I didn’t even know that they had a bad reputation. 🙂 We’re going to try Wizz Air for the first time in May when we visit Valencia – hopefully all goes well! 🙂
Regarding the Easter, there is indeed the tradition of the Easter bunny coming to deliver presents to kids and adults. It’s a bit like Santa Claus, actually: kids get toys, sweets and all sorts of goodies and we do have a ton of bunny or egg themed sweets invading the stores. There’s also the tradition to get something new to wear on Easter day and most people still swear by it.
I always preferred to travel by train if possible because I think that the singular most fascinating aspect of train travel is watching the world pass you by. When I travel by train I can see the individual villages, the farmers working in their fields, and people going about their daily lives from ground level. In few seconds I can develop an understanding of where they come from. They all have their owns thoughts and concerns, their own joys and tribulations.😊
Indeed, traveling by train is charming and even though it’s usually slower than all the other means, it’s my favorite too.