Bucharest Airports is one of the nicest I’ve seen. But beware of the Taxis who are there to rip you off, be sure to read this to make sure to don’t make the mistake of hopping in an expensive taxi!
Once we landed in chilly Bucharest at Otopeni Airport, we were chauffeured to the airport itself in a bus which we luckily got on quite quickly and didn’t have to wait out in the cold for another to come. We just followed the crowd to navigate our way around the airport but this was already quite simple to do. Our bags were already there waiting for us, which was crazy as in some airports you can wait for hours for baggage to come through. Although it isn’t an awfully busy airport so they aren’t busy doing other things.
Once we got into the arrivals section my previous research came in handy as I found that they are machines in which you can book a taxi. There are some to the left and the right once you come out into the arrivals. DO NOT go downstairs or follow the signs for speedy taxis (or words to that effect) this is where you can get extortionate fares. The machines service is great for Non-Romanian speakers as it had a few options of different languages at the bottom to choose from. Through my research I found that you can get really badly ripped off for taxis in this country and you have to be careful on which company you pick. Unfortunately I did not remember which companies to avoid so we looked over to the people using the machine and picked the same company they did. It prints you off a little ticket with the taxis registration number and you wait outside until you find your taxi. It also gives you an arrival time.
Ours was about 10 minutes so we decided to go to the store to get some water to drink. There was a small supermarket downstairs and to the left which was a decent size, however we just went for the cold drinks. We didn’t know much Romanian so we tried to figure out which would be sparkling water or still water but we got the wrong one in the end…
We went back upstairs and out the door where you wait for the taxis and we were there for ages and there was a massive line of taxis, but none that matched our ticket. There were quite a few other people but way more taxis than people. So I’m not completely sure but I assumed that those taxis could be ones that rip you off. We weren’t sure if we missed our time and to go back and get another ticket but then we found our taxi.
I handed the ticket to the driver who admittedly started speaking to me in Romanian, I quickly said “English” and he tried his best to communicate through the little English he knew. I told him the address to the place and he wasn’t sure at first but then seemed to understand. The meter was covered so we couldn’t see the price which was something we were warned about but by the time I realised it was too late.
The traffic was really bad and it took us awhile to get to our accommodation. I’m not sure if he knew where he was going half the time but he went through trading estates and all sorts. Once we got near he really had no idea where the street was so it took all three of us in the car trying to find the street and we even drove past the place.
Once we arrived he asked for 50 Leu and started to give us reasons why it was that price even though we didn’t question it. We thought he might be over charging but it was such an ordeal trying to get there that I just wanted it over with. The man who we booked our accommodation through said that he over charged us slightly.
Overall the airport experience wasn’t bad and as long as you know to go to the touch screen computers rather than the speedy taxi part you will be fine.
This is magazine on Bucharest but the 4th page explains the whole airport taxi service much better than I do. http://www.inyourpocket.com/data/download/bucharest.pdf