How to find your way around on Public Transport in almost any Romanian city or town.
There is a little known, but completely invaluable function nowadays on google maps, which you can access from any PC, laptop or smartphone if you have loaded the Google Maps application. Not to be mistaken with Bing maps as fitted in most Apple products such as an Iphone). Google maps has the time tables & routes of most forms of public transport, including alternative routes.
Example, you want to get from the new Ikea store in Bucharest to Bulevard Libertatii 22 in Bucharest:
Simply follow these directions to get from any point to another in Romania (or indeed any country – I recently used this feature to reach Bucharest to Lviv Ukraine on public transport)
- open google maps
- if using a smartphone open wifi from a free wifi zone such as coffee shop, or use data if you have a local data plan, & activate ‘location’ on you phone’s settings (this gives you a blue spot on the map with your current location, may need to stand outside to get the correct gps signal
- select your chosen destination address or search on the map manually
- select ‘starting from’ and you can chose ‘current location’ or if you are planning a future trip, you can ‘select from map’ or ‘enter start point’ as an address.
- select method of travel at the top, in this case the BUS
- then select the ‘arrow’ to calculate the start and end points
- from the several routes offered, chose one and explore the route to ensure you are happy with your choice.
In this case, walk 190 meters along the dotted line, catch Metro M3 line for 8 stops, alight at Izvor, walk a further 190 meters along the dotted line to the desired address. Even a local could not know that level of detail.
Google maps navigation is a much underestimated tool for travel planning and very few people realise it contains so much public transport data. I recently used this to travel from Lviv (Ukraine) airport to an exact downtown address, with no language skills, nor the ability to read Cyrillic writing. The instructions I received were more accurate than even a local could have given me.
The schedule Explorer even shows the timetable for your chosen form of public transport so you can alter your plans for the best overall journey time for instance. In this case, it is not possible to cross town by car any quicker than the metro., so it is a viable alternative.
Public Transport Routes (RATB) in Bucharest
Metro routes in Bucharest (metrorex.ro)
Bucharest M1 Metro route map