10.09.2014 - 11.09.2014 27 °C
We were not in Constanta long enough to draw any conclusions, but we did experience some travel headache which this post might help others to avoid...
Local transport: We were in a hotel about a mile and a half from the station, with lots of buses going past frequently. But there was nowhere obvious to buy tickets and you cannot buy on the bus. So we had to walk a good 15 minutes in melting sun before we found a kiosk with a sign saying it sold bilete. Trouble was this kiosk was some 200m from the next bus stop so there seems to be no local logic to where you can buy bus ticket.
Our advice: if you are staying more than the few hours we were there start looking out for bus ticket kiosks (combined with newspapers and ciggies etc in our case) well ahead of you actually needing them.
Long distance buses: Top tip for Romania: Ignore the Romanian online bus timetables.
We saw online that there were hourly buses from Constanta to Varna in Bulgaria so we decided to go for a paddle in the Black Tea and have a leisurely walk/bus up to the bus station. Big mistake.
Those hourly buses were scheduled to run from 1 April to 1 October, but somebody clearly decided to pull the plug on them early, as by the time we got to the bus station, THE daytime bus to Varna had left at 10am and everybody said: come back tomorrow or come back for the night bus tonight.
Another observation: Nobody 'knew' anything for any service except their own. So this involved going into about 5 different bus companies to check for sure that nobody had a bus going to Varna still.
Having confirmed the bad news, we decided to go back to the main bus terminal (100m back towards the railway station) and have a coffee.
As we walked past three guys sitting in the sun, one of them shouted out: are you going to Varna?
Word had obviously gone round the bus station that these two western tourists were late for THE daytime bus...And this guy ended up taking us in his private car, all the way from Constanta to Varna (at a cost about 3 times the price of two bus tickets, but worth it for us) and we arrived in Varna only 20 minute after the 10am bus would have...
So that was transport in Romania...
Hotel: highly recommend Hotel Ferdinand in Constanta. Cost a bit at 44 euros, but great service, lots of free fruit in the room, great breakfast and good rooms with (almost) Black Sea views