How to travel with train AND bike in Romania?
we will bike along the river Donau/Danube from middle august to middle september. The tour starts in Budapest and will end at the black sea. To return home to germany we want to take any train from Bucarest. But it seems to be dificult to find a train that take us together with our bikes.
Some internet-forums said that there is one train that even crosses the Romania-Serbia frontier. That for example would help a lot to go to another big city in the nighbour-country to continue by train.
So if anybody has experience with that, knows how to ask for the ticket and where to buy it or knows which train could work, please let me know!
Thanks a lot! Steffi
Hi Steffi, de 16 of august, we are going to ride across wien to Bratislava, near de Duna, but the 14 of august we are going to be in Budapest. I will tell you, that to come back from the end of the duna, You will better go to constansa. 7 years ago, we ride in romanie, and we took a train in constansa to take the bicycles back. You have to pay us a extra bagage, a little bit less than a person ticket, and you have to send them in the bagage comboy, Check wich train have it, I remenber that it was not very easy to understand but you can do it. Enjoy with romanie and be careful with the moskitos in the end of the trip. Best regard, Iker.
Good to know, thanks Iker!
we have just returned from a bike trip in Romania by train. WE took the nighttrain to Vienna which leaves around 15 in Bucharest. It was impossible to reserve a place for the bike beforehand and it was also impossible to buy a ticket for them in BUcharest. The train simply doesnt have a luggage/bikepart. The lady at the desk told us just to ask the conductors. So we entered the train with our bikes, and the conductor was totally in panic when he saw us with all the stuff. WE should have reserved a whole sleeping compartment for ourselves and our bikes, he told us. But that costs a lot. In the end he was really helpful and put us and our bikes in a four-persons sleeping compartiment, without extra costs!
I know we were lucky, and that you can't rely on this experience, but still, it is Romania. Things are solved at the moment and they are flexible, if you stay friendly.
Good luck and enjoy your trip!!
we met some cyclists who had taken their bikes on train in romania without problem after meeting kind guard and another who bribed them 10 euros.
ggod luck in finding the kind guard.
in bulgaria we have taken our bike once so far, no problem, you just pay 1 euro ( 2 Lev ) per bike, we met very friendly and helpful train staff.
Hope you had an enjoyable trip through Romania, and you are now safe home :)
Although late, here's a bit of information which I hope will be helpful for other travellers.
Transporting bicycles on trains is still a novelty in Romania; currently there are only a handful of national trains with special carts for bicycles. Bike transport is free of charge for them, but when you purchase the ticket you have to mention that you have a bicycle. THis way, you get a seat in that particular cart and the note "travelling with bicycle" handwritten on the back of the ticket.
For any other train, in theory any bike that can be disassembled can be transported for free - the regulations are vague and don't specify that the bike HAS to be disassembled. This isn't limited to foldable bicycles either. For road bicycles, third wheel etc. could be considered luggage and paid by weight (very cheap), but you should insist at the ticket office about this.
In practice, there isn't enough room for a bicycle in a passenger cart and there isn't a luggage cart either. The least intrusive place for the bicycle is at either end of the train, preferrably the first after the engine, where it wouldn't be blocking the passage from one cart to another, but it would still inconvenience the access on/off the cart.
The train conductor will do his best to appear shocked and refuse access; his goal is to squeeze a small bribe (1-3€, or 5-10 Romanian lei) out of your pocket. Technically he can't fine you for the extra large luggage, but can't sell you a ticket for it either. If he demands any money, ask for a receipt ("chitanta" pronounced key-TAN-tsa) and the document explaining the fine ("amenda" pronounced a-MEN-da). Hold your ground and stay positive, he'll back off eventually.
Don't make assumptions on safety and strip down accessories (lights, bags, speedometer, pump etc.) when you leave the bike unattended. Tie it to a handrail with a security cable and check up on it every once in a while.
Watch out that some trains have carts going in different directions, and they get disconnected at certain stops. Make sure that the cart with your bike is going to the same place with you :) Check the plate or electronic sign on the side of the cart next to the door, or ask the conductor.
To search for train routes within Romania, use the two sites below. First one shows you if there's a bicycle cart on that particular train; there's also a fare calculator. Bucharest station is "Bucuresti Nord" or "Bucuresti Nord Gara A".
For international routes, you can use Deutsche Bahn website:
Shout back if you have any questions or need help.
I returned from Constanta back to Budapest by train back 2009.
Within Romania it seems to be officialy allowed to take your bike on the train. Altough the lady at the ticket corner told us, bikes would travel for free we were charged a small extra fee for "big luggage".
In Buccharest we got cardboard boxes in a bikeshop und dissasembed the bikes and put them on the nighttrain to Budapest. The train conductor told we need a ticket for the bikes and asked us for 15 Euros per bike. After we insisted we got a receit for "reservation of one sleeper".
If you wana be on the safe side you can reserve a compartiment for yourself. Then no extra charge should be made.
Tricky one Steffi.
I remember fighting with the controllers in Sibiu back in 2008. Basically you're not allowed to take your bike on the train. Especially the intercities fast trains. They will strongly encourage you to board a "personal" train which is really an omnibus and is meant for this kind of transportations (together with potatoe bags, etc). I was told that taking my bike in the compartment is "a lack of respect" for other passengers. Basically they allowed me eventually, I just had to bribe them. Best way to do it is to have the maximum amount you're willing to pay in one of your pockets... and just look at them saying :"this is all i have with me". Believe me: they will take it!
Good luck and enjoy beautiful romania and be very careful of mosquitoes in the Delta!