Arriving at Bucharest Otopeni (Henri Coanda) Airport

Otopeni (officially Henri Coanda) Bucharest's main airport, is 17km north of the city on the DN1. Opened in 1970 but recently extended, it is a spacious, efficient airport. 

After getting off the plane and easing your way through passport control, you’ll find yourself in the baggage reclaim area. Ignore all of the services on offer here. You should especially ignore the currency exchange desks: they do not offer decent rates.

Instead, grab your luggage, which usually arrives promptly (if it fails to arrive head for the small office on the left hand side of the exit, where staff will help you find out where it might have gone), and then it’s off through customs to the arrivals area.

Here there are loads of ATMs, a press shop and a small cafe. To the right is a passage leading to the departures terminal: the passage is lined with car hire desks and a few shops, including a chemist.

To order a taxi, look for the multi-language touch screens in the arrivals hall. They are fully automated and very easy to use, and you can choose from the full range of Bucharest taxi companies: all have their tariffs clearly displayed.

Once the taxi company of your choice has informed you (via the screen) how long the taxi will take to arrive, and what ID number the taxi has (take the ticket which will be printed), you simply go outside to wait for your taxi. Just make sure you get into the correct taxi: check the company name and ID number with the one on your ticket. While most of the rip-off taxis of yore have now gone, there are still sometimes touts hassling visitors inside the arrivals hall: ignore them. You should also ignore the sign saying 'Rapid Taxi.' These are overpriced taxis allowed - for some unfathomable reason - to wait directly outside the internal arrivals terminal, underneath international arrivals.

For those who want to head into town in a bit more comfort than your average visitor, there are three good private car options: TransVision (airport-transfer-bucharest.com), BlackCab (blackcab.ro) and VMS City Shuttle (cityshuttle.ro). All three companies offer a comfortable, reliable airport transfer service at decent prices.

You can also get to town by taking bus 783, which stops underneath the arrivals hall, in front of internal arrivals and leaves for the city centre (stopping at Piata Victoriei, Piata Romana and Piata Universitatii) every 30 minutes during the day, and then every 40 minutes through the night.

The full timetable of the 783 bus is online at ratb.ro.

You need to purchase an Activ Card before boarding (get it from the little booth which you’ll find on your right hand side as you exit). A return journey into the city and back costs 7 lei (no singles are available, but there is no time limit on using the return). You also need to pay 3.70 lei for the card, but it can be recharged as often as you like at any ticket kiosk in Bucharest, with as much credit as you like, and used on all Bucharest buses and trams. These cards cannot be bought on board. 

There is also now a train which connects the airport to the main railway station, Gara de Nord. The train departs at irregular and infrequent intervals, however, and to get to the airport's station you need to take a bus. We do not recommend it. Timetables and tickets are available from a counter in the Arrivals hall. Look out for the Bilete CFR sign.


This download is free, but we would like you to leave us your
email address so that we can keep in touch with you about new In Your Pocket guides.