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Surviving games on Bucharest busses
A sudden brake and everybody flies in the air. Than the driver, imagining himself on an F1 circuit, is pushing the gas pedal so deep that everybody flies back the way they were before braking. Passengers are shouting f-words (a bus is a good place to learn Romanian language that you can use): “Do you think you carry potatoes, you…”. If you are hoping you have again just another nightmare you are wrong, it is as real as it gets: you just boarded a bus in Bucharest.
Take a bus in Bucharest only if you what to learn the way of Romanians or if you want to prove you are a tough person. But in both cases leave your wallet at home. Kidding, you can take it with you but do not place it in a backpack or others "inviting spots" because buses in Bucharest are usually crowded and welcoming for pick pocketeers. Mind that almost half of busses do not have air conditioning so be ready to sweat during summer time or to get close to dying in a summer traffic jam. However, if you avoid the morning rush hours and evening ones, buses are enjoyable and cheap.
If you are a man, it is expected to you to give your seat to female passengers. If you are a couple it is expected that the girl sits on boy’s legs to save a place for others. Not everyone does this but those who do are appreciated.
Get in and punch your ticket as fast as you can. The tickets might be controlled at any time, so avoid the usually big fines. The ticket is extreemely cheap and the fine extreemely expensive so do the math.
Bucharest by tram – be romantic and take a ride in a tram
True story of the past: One day Ceausescu visited Drumul Taberei (that is a neighbourhood in Western Bucharest) and said he did not like the trams. During the night lines were covered in asphalt, the asphalt was covered in dirt and roses were planted. In the morning someone said “Wait...!”
All the trams from that part of the city were in a depot at the edge of the town and they could not be moved back into the city to serve different routes: their tracks were gone!
This real-world example speaks enough about how much "brain" was, is and will traditionally be involved in the actions that Romanian authorities make. Just so you know, in case (God forbid!) you ever need to rely on Romanian authorities for something.
Today: You cannot fully experience Bucharest without riding its trams. As a matter of fact, this is one of the things on the “must do” list while there. Take just any tram from downtown and go all the way to the end of line and back, and than take another tram, running a different route and than go back from where you started! You’ll love it! And you’ll learn about Bucharest and its dwellers more than you’d ever imagined. Some trams are white new, some are blue and recycled from Germany, and some – those you have to experience sooner than later, because they are about to disappear – are yellow and more than 50 years old. Usually trams in Bucharest cannot change tracks without stopping for the conductors to get down for a push. This routine is worth seeing again and again. In sun, in rain and in snow, because every time it’s a little bit different. If you go around Gara de Nord station you’ll see all kinds of trams. Similarly you can take one from Unirea Square, or Calea Mosilor, just 5 min. walk from the Intercontinental Hotel.
Have a valid ticket with you and punch it when you get in to avoid troubles.
Tram lines map
See here a map for all Bucharest public transportation
Why to board trams
They’re reliable. Experience Bucharest.
Did you know?
Trams No 21 and 4 can override the traffic lights? They are faster than any cab in the city on their routes.
Things to enjoy
One of the most appreciated Romanian contemporary poets, Cristian Popescu, wanted to rent a tram and take a ride along with his family trough Bucharest. Even if you cannot rent one remember his idea of having fun, because simple is the best.
See also: Hotels in Bucharest
Being tired of buying kitsch? Then here are some tips about presents worth buying from Romania.
The first on the list would be the Romanian wine, one of the undiscovered treasures of Eastern Europe...