With the exception of Budapest - served by several planes and trains each day - getting from Bucharest to the capitals of neighbouring countries is not as easy, quick or inexpensive as you would expect. We have a rundown of the fastest and cheapest ways of getting from capital to capital.
Bucharest to Belgrade
Tarom flies to Belgrade once a day, with prices from €218 return. Cheaper is Air Serbia, with prices from around €157. Incredibly, there is currently no direct train service between Bucharest and Belgrade. If you really want to take the train, you need to travel first to Timisoara, then to Vrsac and then to Belgrade. Trainspotters only.
Bucharest to Budapest
There are three direct trains connecting the two cities: the fastest daytime train leaves at 05:45 (arriving in Budapest at 18:50) while the night train leaves at 17:40 and arrives at 08:50. The price for a berth in a sleeping wagon is around €90 (one way), while a bed in a cuseta (sharing with up to five others) costs €53.
Wizzair fly daily to Budapest with fares starting at just 99 lei.
Bucharest to Chisinau
There are four flights a day between Bucharest and Chisinau, and if bought far enough in advance return plane tickets with Tarom can cost as little as €122. Air Moldova also fly the same route, tickets usually costing slightly more, around €144 return. The overnight train to Chisinau departs Bucharest at 19:15 each evening, and arrives in the Moldovan capital at 08:54 the next morning. Tickets cost from €25 in a four-berth cabin, or €51 in a two-berth sleeping compartment.
Bucharest to Kyiv
Bucharest to Kyiv takes plenty of spare cash or patience. Just one airline flies direct to Kyiv from Bucharest, Aerosvit, and prices start at a monopoly-tastic €334 return. The train to Kyiv takes a whopping 30 hours and 17 minutes, leaving Bucharest at 19:40, arriving in Kyiv at 00:57 the following night. The train is not direct: you need to change in Chisinau. Tickets cost from €63 (single).
Bucharest to Sofia
Return flights to Sofia from Bucharest cost from €160: Tarom flies the route twice per day. There are two direct (if very slow) trains per day, one at 12:45 (arriving Sofia 22:25) and a night train leaving at 23:12 (arriving in Sofia at 09:25). Single tickets for the sleeper cost from €59. Much faster (and cheaper) than the train is the daily coach linking Bucharest and Sofia. It leaves the Gara Filaret coach station next to Parcul Carol each day at 16:00, arriving in Sofia at midnight. Tickets cost 100 lei and can be bought direct from the driver, or online at http://www.etapgroup.com/?lang=_en.