Below I will just add general bits and pieces that I find out that I think may be useful for others! They will just appear as they occur to me so they may not seem too well organised….so forgive me!
Somewhere to stay
Well this was the first scary thing! There are plenty of real estate agents in Bucharest and most speak English and are eager to please as is commissioned based and will require you, the person renting, to pay a months rent to the agent who show you around. They will require a passport etc to fill out the contract to show you round….I felt like I may be signing my life away but all normal it is just to show which agent showed you the flat first basically!
Here is the best one I dealt with and had the full range of apartments where other agents aimed high end http://www.casatransimob.com/index.html
There is also a good classified site that you can use to get an idea about what the going rate is for flats – many are private rentals although many areagents using it as another channel to get interest in their properties http://www.anuntul.ro
You could also go on some expat forums (google them) as I have seen people advertising places on them and also websites such as meetup.com where you can join Bucharest based groups and sometimes people advertise on these also you can ask for a little further advice through these.
So where to stay?
Well I have gone for downtown as I wanted to be near everything. Sector 1 and sector 2 all the places I have seen most and feel are good.
What about the dogs?
A reputation for having lots of stray dogs (a hangover from the communist days where people were moved to tower blocks and just let their dogs free). Don’t get me wrong you do notice them but I have not had any problems and the government periodically have some programmes to reduce the numbers. Saying that my GP gave me the Rabies jabs before I set off (better safe than sorry!).
Who to fly with?
Well. Plenty of options here but all depends where you want to fly from and your budget. However, for cheap budget flutons Luton is the mecca in the UK with Wizz Air and Blue Air flying from here. Although be very careful with your baggae make sure they are the right size and weight or you may be wacked with extra charges more than your flight!
The yellow taxis are easily seen ad can be found everywhere quite easily. Although bear in mind that you pay the rate on the side of the taxi per KM generally 1,39 Lei so next to nothing really….however there are some that are more expensive and some clearly out to get the tourists. I have heard one report of a certain taxi charging 13.9 Lei (notice just moving the decimal….cunning…..so just take a second look before getting in. Like anywhere there is the odd crazy taxi driver but most are ok just the other at times chaotic traffic!
Hiring a car
Well now I have done it would definitely do it again. Our first experience was going to Bulgaria for a Frisbee tournament. We rented a bog standard Dacia (there were more expensive options), which had plenty of room for 4 and plenty of luggage space which is a rarity from previous experiences of getting low prices cars. It cost 171 Euros from Friday 5pm to Monday 6pm which included everything and allowed us to take it through to Bulgaria (and this cost 89 Euros) so in short looking forward to exploring some of Romania at half term if we can get the same deal which would be about 90 Euros. Bargain!