An easy way to get around Bucharest is taking the Bucharest underground (Metro). Metrorex manages the network, and the system operates between 05:00 a.m. and 11:30 p.m. daily.
The metro network consists of five lines: M1, M2, M3, M4, and M5. The most frequently used line is the north-south M2 line, and the M5 is the newest; it connects M1 with the closest town on the belt road surrounding the capital city, and runs east-west.
There are a few types of tickets:
You can purchase tickets at all metro stations. Metro stations are very easy to find because all of them are marked on the street with the M-sign followed by the word METROU (meaning underground ) and the name of the station.
Subway stations are usually located near the RATB stations (the street-level transportation stations).
A subway station may have multiple entries all marked the same way. Once you enter the subway station, you must walk down the stairs to reach the validation machines that allow you the access the boarding platforms. To pass the validation-control machines it is necessary to buy a ticket card (shown in the left) inside the station at the counters with “Casa” signs.
You can either get the old carton cards that are still on sale, or if you have a plastic card for the street-level transportation, you can add metro trips to you card.
Then, just insert the card into the device with the red arrow on the card facing downwards – or just validate by placing it in front of the orange machines. The machine will give you the card back and the word “LIBER” will be displayed on the screen.
Then, just push the protection bar with your hand to enter to the boarding platforms and you are good to go!
The subscriptions can be validated only once in the same subway station (and can only be used by one person).
A 15-trip ticket can be used by more than one person and validated multiple times in the same station. It expires after 6 months.
If the staff at the ticket counters does not speak English, you can show them this brochure and the type of the card you want to buy.
“O cartela de doua călătorii” (2-trip-ticket), “o cartela de zece călătorii” (10-trip-ticket), “abonament pentru o zi” (this type of card allows you an unlimited number of trips for one day), “abonament pentru o luna” (this type of card allows you an unlimited number of trips for one month, starting on the day of the first validation). You can fill in your Activ plastic card – if you have one – with the number of desired trips or with a monthly subscription for the metro and all street level means of transport.
Once on the platform, you will see hanging signs showing the previous stations and the next stations. The name of the station where you are at is marked differently: usually in red and usually with arrows showing the direction of the train.
At the end of the platform on the right and the left sides are clocks that show how many minutes have passed since the last subway left the station.
Quite strange, but an interesting system. When it reads 00:00, then more than 10 minutes have passed. Remember that you can change the different lines for free, if you do not leave the platforms and exit on the street.