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Europe Trains Guide Forum  |  General discussion  |  Travel plans, routes and timetables  |  Bucharest to Varna and journeys in Romania
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Author Topic: Bucharest to Varna and journeys in Romania  (Read 32361 times)
warlord
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« on: February 05, 2013, 03:22:41 pm »

  Ok this is just one of the ideas I have for May this year (as flights aren't too bad).  I was looking at taking a bus from Bucharest to Varna around May 25th. 

  Now I don't think there is a good train service without changing over.  And I have heard that Autogari bus timetables aren't very accurate online and some people have shown up, just to find out there is no bus service to Varna that day.

  I know in June regular train and bus schedules seem to operate everyday, but not so much in May.  So just wondering what the best options was to get to Varna.

 Thanks
« Last Edit: February 12, 2013, 04:59:34 pm by tUt » Logged
tUt
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« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2013, 10:47:33 pm »

And I have heard that Autogari bus timetables aren't very accurate online and some people have shown up, just to find out there is no bus service to Varna that day.
Well, this is a possibility, but probably the only way to actually check is to email directly bus company and ask about particular connection. Maybe also more reliable info will be available in April-early May.
From what can be found today, some bus companies doesn't run in May, but others (like Sud Mercado, Orlan, Alltur) show connections for late May. Besides that there is also connections from Constanta, thus allowing options like train to Constanta + bus from there.
Now I don't think there is a good train service without changing over
International trains in that part of Europe is a bit problematic topic, nevertheless daytime connection with change in Ruse (12:30-20:04) seems to work no matter what, it not very cheap, but still. And there is also an option of travel from Bucharest to Giurgiu, then crossing the bridge on your own and finally catching direct (or with change) train to Varna.
Saying in general, Bucharest to Varna isn't very difficult route to accomplish and it is a type of task that can be easily solved already in Bucharest on spot, because even if there are some problems with direct buses from Bucharest, then you can always use other options (like via Constanta or Ruse)
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warlord
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2013, 04:05:15 pm »

  Yes the Constanta option might be the best as I am trying to fill up 2 weeks between the two cities anyways.  I know I have Brasov on my list, and that is a fairly easy bus from Bucharest.  If I take the Constanta way, I could use up maybe 2 days there as well before heading to Varna for a few days. 

  Either way flight prices now just went up, so I may try for another trip and then have questions about buses later.  Thanks once again for always making my Eurotrips so much easier to navigate year after year...
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tUt
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2013, 04:59:41 pm »

Well, if it's not just about one trip from Bucharest to Varna, then you can also consider Balkan Flexi Pass option, which can cover majority of your journeys. Train connections within Romania and Bulgaria mostly ok, so in many cases it's a rather decent alternative to buses.
Anyway, once you make a decision regarding flights (maybe you'll want to fly for instance to Budapest and then continue to Transylvania and further south to Bucharest etc.) and/or finalize some kind of list of destination, post it here and we'll try to make some suggestions
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warlord
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« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2013, 05:14:03 pm »

  I just checked out the Budapest - Bucharest route, and decided on just flying to Bucharest instead.  So with that, I am thinking of doing a lot of little trips for a night or two.

  I assume train/bus travel between Bucharest and Brasov - Sibiu - Sighsoara - Bucharest are fairly easy.  What I'm wondering is if it's worth skipping Sibiu and tring to make it to Varna and back as I do want to at least spend 1-2 nights in Bulgaria and not really sure Ruse will have much at all for me to see (as the caves are located to the south).

  So right now here's two sample ideas:

  Bucharest (arrival, Wed night) - Brasov (Thurs night, Fri night) - Sibiu (Sat night, Sun night) - Sighsoara (Mon night) - Bucharest (Tues night) - Ruse (Wed night) - Bucharest (Thurs - Sun Night) - Flight out Mon

  Or I could do this way

  Bucharest (arrival, Wed night) - Varna (Thurs, Fri night), Constanta (Sat night) - Bucharest (Sun night) - Sighsoara or Sibiu (Mon, Tues night) - Brasov (Wed, Thurs night) - Bucharest (Fri, Sat, Sun night). 

  Only thing is I don't want to be on a bus for over 6 hours really (Bucharest to Sighsoara or Sibiu would be the only one).

  So out of the two options (or any better ideas you might have) which would seem the best option to incorporate at least something in Bulgaria?

Thanks
« Last Edit: February 07, 2013, 09:43:18 pm by warlord » Logged
tUt
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« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2013, 02:47:02 pm »

Though Ruse is rather easily reachable from Bucharest, it will definitely lose to Varna or Transylvanian towns in terms of things to see & do (imho), so second itinerary seems to be more attractive, but maybe you might think about cutting off one night from Bucharest and spending it in Transylvania, meaning not Sighisoara or Sibiu, but Sighisoara and Sibiu. Also if you are ok with overnight train journeys, then it's possible to consider something like Bucharest-Sofia (overnight), night in Bulgarian capital, then overnight train to Varna, night there and back to Romania (Constanta) by bus. This way you'll see more of Bulgaria, but spend more or less the same time because you save it traveling by overnight sleeper trains
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warlord
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« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2013, 04:17:03 pm »

  Ok did a bit more research and think I can do all the cities (minus Ruse).  Since I arrive in Bucharest around 17:00 (hoping no delays).  I should be able to take the metro to the Nord train station I think and catch the 20:00 train to Constanta.  Then just spend the night there an take a bus to Varna the next morning.

  So I emailed Autogari, but didn't really get anything useful back from them about Mid-May buses between Constanta and Varna.  So right now that would be my only delima is getting to Varna and then back to Constanta 2 days later.  After that everything else should be straight forward through Romania using the trains and being able to hit Braşov/Sibiu/Sighişoara and end with a weekend in Bucharest.

  So I guess I just need to wait and hope that Autogari is accurate on their sites.

  Another questions is on the Bahn.de website, it's showing the train between Bucharest and Constanta is "subject to compulsory reservation".  Does that mean I need to pre-book that well in advance or is that just saying I can get the ticket at the station, but I can't get the ticket on board the train?
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tUt
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« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 04:55:55 pm »

Another questions is on the Bahn.de website, it's showing the train between Bucharest and Constanta is "subject to compulsory reservation".  Does that mean I need to pre-book that well in advance or is that just saying I can get the ticket at the station, but I can't get the ticket on board the train?
You don't need to prebook anything, it's just implies that in order to use the train besides the ticket passengers also need to buy seat reservation, which is compulsory for this connection. Ticket+reservation can be bought before departure at the station ticket counter, no problems there (hardly the train will be so full that there will no free seats left for sale)
Although, in context of your other journeys within Romania, it also makes sense to remind that purchase of tickets in advance & online via official Romanian Railways (CFR) website eShop allows to receive rather essential discount on domestic train tickets
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2013, 07:28:15 pm »

  Yes I signed up for the CFR.  Looks like to make the rest of the trip a little more simple.  I figured I'll just base 5 days out of Brasov and then rely on the bus/train to take side trips to the castles.  Looks like it would be easier to skip Sibiu and just go to the castle between there and Brasov instead and then a day trip to Sighsoara and a few other castles instead.

  So with that, I guess autogari.ro and cfr.ro or bahn.de will be the best sites for all bus and rail travel around Brasov and Bucharest.
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tUt
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« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2013, 12:56:02 pm »

Well, Brasov is a nice place and rather conveniently located, so why not to make a base. And yes, cfrcalatori.ro & autogari.ro are your best sources for timetable (though you probably can expect that in real life there will be even more bus options than ones shown by autogari)
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warlord
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 03:22:54 pm »

  Yes it appears there is a lot more options from what the autogari.ro shows.  info@romaniatourism.com just emailed me and said that website is only a portal and that it doesn't show many of the buses. 

  So they are going to give me all the details from Brasov to neighboring areas and double check on the Constanta - Varna bus (since it's before the main tourist season).

 Thanks again for your help as I head back once again to East Europe...
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warlord
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2013, 06:31:10 pm »

  Ok update on Varna to Constanta.  I have found Sud Mecado has a lot of buses From Constanta - Varna.  But they do not show any from Varna - Constanta on my return.

  So any idea on where to look for a bus back to Constanta from either Golden Sands (where I'll be) or Varna?
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tUt
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« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2013, 08:31:41 pm »

So any idea on where to look for a bus back to Constanta from either Golden Sands (where I'll be) or Varna?
There is a website for Varna main bus station (autogaravn.com), but it's in Bulgarian and currently for Varna-Constanta shows only year round buses Varna-Constanta-Odesa (run few days a week). Probably seasonal buses (like ones to Romania) will show up in the schedule closer to April-May (when they should start running)
Another thing is that it seems not all the buses listed by autogari arrive/depart to/from main bus station in Varna, but also from other a (semi-)private Varna bus station(s). It is rather common thing for seasonal buses to do so, but for passengers it's gives additional problems since because in many cases it's impossible to see schedule of those (semi-)private bus station. Anyway, if buses go from Constanta to Varna, they also should come back, so taking into consideration logic, most of them should do so in the afternoon
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warlord
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« Reply #13 on: February 14, 2013, 04:30:22 pm »

  Yes I looked at that site yesterday, but like you said, wasn't able to really see much for May.  Luckily I can understand Bulgarian enough to figure out the page.  I will keep checking closer and see what comes up.  I'll also go to the other bus station (the private one) when I arrive or the day after and check with them as well.  Hopefully I can find my way back to Romania. Thanks again...
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