city in Prahova County, Romania
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Europe > Balkans > Romania > Muntenia > Wallachian Plain > Ploiești

'Ploiești(Pronounced: Plo-yesht) is the ninth largest city in Romania and the closest to Bucharest. It is the seat of Prahova County.


The city of Ploiești was established in 1596 and claims to have been founded by Michael the Brave, Prince of historic Wallachia. Home to the first large-scale oil refinery in the world, built in 1856, Ploieşti was a major center of oil extraction and refining across the late 19th and the 20th Century.

From the late 19th Century until the second World War, the city was also well known as an important commercial hub. With its vast vineyards dotted on the hills East of the city, its industries, and its location at the intersection of the roads from Bucharest to Moldavia and Transylvania, it was the meeting place for merchants coming from all sides of the country. During this time, the city became known for its drinking and partying culture. At its height, just after the first World War, there was a pub for every 200 citizens living in the city.

During WW2, Romania was the largest producer of oil in Europe with many oil products made in Ploiești supporting the Axis war effort. The Ploiești oil refineries provided about 30% of all Axis oil production. That lead to the bombing of Ploiești by US military forces in 1943.

While the city is still home to 4 oil refineries and is a production hub for multiple companies such as Coca-Cola, Unilever, Efes Pilsener, British American Tobacco, Interbrew, its proximity to Bucharest lead to continuous population decline as younger generations moved away to seek better opportunities in the capital city or abroad.

Ploieşti is not a touristic city and its mainly visited by foreigners dealing with the various industries and businesses located in the city or foreign students studying at the Oil and Gas University (UPG).

Get inEdit

By planeEdit

Ploieşti is served by the same airport as Bucharest, the Henri Coandă International Airport that is 45 km away. There is a rail line connecting the airport with the main train station of Bucharest where you can easily hop on a train to Ploiești at any time before 10:50 PM (4-5 EUR). Taxis can also make the journey from the airport to Ploiești but at a significantly higher cost (25 to 40 EUR).

By trainEdit

Ploieşti is the second most important railway hub in Romania and is linked by numerous trains with every major city in the country (there are more than 50 trains daily from Bucharest).

Trains take between 35 and 70 minutes to cover the distance between Bucharest and Ploieşti, depending on the type of train. The train is the fastest way to get to Ploieşti, both from Bucharest and Brașov.

Train stationsEdit

  • Gara de Vest (Western train station). Connections between Bucharest and the whole of Transylvania crossing the Carpathian Mountains into Brasov via Prahova Valley and its famous resorts like Sinaia and Predeal. Most international trains to Budapest, Hungary and Vienna, Austria stop at Ploiești Vest.  edit
  • Gara de Sud (Southern train station). Connections between Bucharest and the whole of Moldavia through Buzău. International trains to Chișinău, Moldova and Kiev, Ukraine stop at Ploiești Sud.  edit
  • Gara de Nord (Northern train station). Only local commuter trains going to Măneciu, a small town at the foot of the Ciucaș Mountains.  edit

Transfer between Gara de Sud and Gara de VestEdit

There are quite a few trains that connect the two stations, running every 1.5 to 2 hours. The journey takes 6 minutes. Any train in Gara de Sud with a destination in Transylvania will stop in Gara de Vest and any train in Gara de Vest with a destination in Moldavia or Măneciu will stop in Gara de Sud.

Otherwise, the 2 bus line connects the two train stations within 20 minutes. Taxis take 10-15 minutes at a cost of roughly 10 lei (2 EUR).

By carEdit

Ploieşti is very well connected with other cities in Romania, being very close to Bucharest and placed almost midway between the capital and Brașov. From Bucharest, in can be reached either through the old DN1 national road or the new A3 motorway.

Get aroundEdit

Ploieşti is small and quite walkable. The city is served by a good public transport system, the Transport Călători Express Ploiești (TCE) comprising 38 bus lines, 2 tram lines, and 4 trolleybus lines covering all areas of the city.

Fares cost 2.5 lei and can be paid with contactless inside the transport. Paper tickets can also be bought at main stops in the city.


Most of the beautiful old architecture was destroyed by the US military bombing of 1943 and by the Communist regime that replaced many of the old buildings with the same brutalist architecture that is ubiquitous to South Romania. Quite a bit of the surviving old buildings lay abandoned in a very poor state or have been improperly refurbished not taking the historical design into account.

  • The Clock Museum, Strada Nicolae Simache 1. A collection of over 1000 sundials, astronomical clocks & vintage watches, displayed in a 19th-century magistrate's home.
  • The Old XVIII-th Century House (Muzeul Casă de Târgoveţ), Strada Democraţiei 2. An old house from the 18th Century turned into a museum. A window into the lifestyle of an 18th Century rich merchant living in Ploiesti.
  • Archeology and History Museum, Strada Toma Caragiu 10.
  • Oil Museum, Strada Doctor Dumitru Bagdazar 8
  • Ploiești Art Gallery, Piața Victoriei. Small art gallery in the city enter. Free entry.


  • Obor market on a weekend. It’s a huge open market where you can find fake branded clothes, antiques, DIY things, Ukrainian contraband, and anything in between. You will be surprised with the random stuff you could find there!
  • Bucov Park (also known as Constantin Stere Memorial Park) is just outside the city and can be a good place to spend a few hours on a nice day. The park has a zoo, botanical gardens, and a few outdoor bars during the Summer where you can also have lunch.
  • The Hippodrome Go to the race tracks to watch horse races right next to the university. There are races roughly every fortnight on Sundays between May and November. The 2022 schedule is not out yet.
  • Airsoft is a popular game in Ploiesti with weekly events organised by the Carpathian Brothers Squad in the huge abandoned 'Columbia' refinery in the city. Game types include capture the flag, last man standing, and deathmatch. You can make reservations and rent equipment on site.
  • Parks Head for a jog at Parcul Tineretului. In Winter, there is an ice skating ring operating in the park. The Olimpia Sports Hall inside the park also offers tennis and basketball courts for rent. Alternatively, the newer West Park also has an ice skating ring and space to jog. Beware of the lack of shade in West Park!
  • Cafes There are plenty cafes in the whole city. Try Room 26 for its Belgian waffles, Caffee Milano for its italian coffee and delicious lunch options, Blues Cafe inside Hotel Central has a very nice Viennese cafe vibe, and Longline has premium coffee in a minimalist modern atmosphere.
  • TRQZ Lake is 20km away from the city center. It’s a big human-made lake with a beach, offering water sports, kayaking, a bar, and a food van. Perfect for the hot Summers! Can only be reached by car.

Cultural EventsEdit

  • Ploiești Jazz Festival takes place every Autumn with fantastic performances from various jazz musicians from Romania and abroad.
  • PiFF (Ploiești International Film Festival) is an independent festival that celebrates genre short films with its official competition in Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Thriller and Horror productions.
  • Ploiești City Days is the celebration of the city. It takes place during May with various events and performances around the whole city.


Ploiesti is hardly a city known for shopping. Being so close to Bucharest, shopping options are quite limited and basic as they mostly cater to the daily needs of the local population.


  • Halele Centrale Open everyday. The central food market in Ploiesti where farmers sell their products.
  • Obor Open on Saturdays and Sundays between 7 AM and 2 PM. Open market with a large variety of antiques, clothes, second-hand wares, home & decor.

Shopping MallsEdit

  • Ploiesti Shopping City at the northern outskirts of the city.
  • AFI Ploiesti is situated towards the eastern side of the city.
  • Ploiești Value Center is the newest shopping complex located in the south side of the city, 5 minutes away from the Southern Train Station.

Speciality storesEdit

  • Berezka is a Russian themed shop with food and drinks from all over the former Soviet Union.
  • Super Mercato and GIOYA are shops with various Italian products.


Many restaurants are dotted around the city center as well as the northern strip right before exiting the city towards Ploiesti Shopping City. There is variety in food choices, with quite a few sushi, Greek, Italian, and Turkish places, alongside the typical Romanian.

  • Dionysos Greek Taverna, Strada Anul 1907 nr 2, +40244338835. Traditional Greek restaurant with amazing quality food and wines.
  • Nabucco, Bulevardul Republicii 307, +40731751774. Pub, Grill, and Shisha bar.
  • Larry Restaurant, Strada Lotrului nr 2, +40745038233. Traditional Romanian restaurant with a focus on grills.
  • Cafeneaua Nației, Strada Ștefan cel Mare Nr. 7A, +40732603456. Amogst the very few vegetarian options in the city. Worth a visit for the soups, chickpea and avocado pancakes, and the wide selection of teas.
  • Tres Olivos, Strada Rahovei, nr. 4 or Strada I.L. Caragiale, nr. 28. Spanish Tapas restaurant across two different locations in the city.
  • Wokul Magic, Strada Democrației 14. Asian-inspired cuisine.
  • Just Sushi, Strada Bănești 1, +40771572251. Japanese-inspired sushi and noodles bar. Their spicy beef noodles are the closest you're going to get to an authentic Asian meal.
  • Restaurant Prestij, Strada Bobâlna nr. 1, +40721334433. Upscale restaurant serving international food.
  • Mămăliguța, Bulevardul Republicii 17-25 inside Winmarkt Ploiești, +40745636636, [1]. Traditional Romanian delicacies.


There are a few good bars and beer gardens in the city. Nightlife is limited to bars rather than clubs.

  • Jazz Cafe, Strada Praga 11, +40722259725. A relaxed beer garden with food and drinks.
  • Festum Wine, Strada Erou Calin Catalin corner with Strada George Cosbuc. Bar with small summer terrace and decent food.
  • The Fable, Strada Vasile Lupu 32. Popular bar with outdoor seating and a good selection of cocktails and fine spirits.
  • High Hangers, Strada Gheorghe Doja 125. Cool bar popular with the younger generation. Great food options.
  • The Shamrock' (known locally as 'Irish), Winmarkt Omnia Shopping Center. The bar is located on the roof of Winmarkt Omnia in the city center. During Summer, there are tables outside on the roof where you can enjoy the view.
  • La Ștuțu, Strada Rândunelelor 2. A rock bar with a sizable beer garden and probably the best fried anchovies you will ever have.


  • Hotel Prahova Plaza, Strada Constantin Dobrogeanu Gherea 11, +40244526850.
  • Hotel Central, Bulevardul Republicii 1, +40244526641.
  • 1 Casa Simoni (Pensiunea Casa Simoni), Strada Pensiunilor nr 4, +40 745 010 310. This one is really buttoned up with decor inside so that you'll feel a bit like you're in a dollhouse possibly. Breakfast available. 143 lei.
  • 2 Hotel Yarus, str Republicii, nr 228, Cartier Albert, +40 737 599 600. Looks a little bit like one of those gentleman clubs outside, but here you'll find clean, warm rooms; a restaurant with an outdoor terrace and substantial breakfasts; and possibly even some karaoke or bar and entertainment. 159 lei.


There is free Wi-Fi across most of the city center and inside most, if not all, bars and restaurants. Internet speeds are among the best and cheapest in the whole world (500-1000 Mbps is the typical broadband speed).

Go nextEdit

  • The Timiș Estate is a mansion and vinery with 5 themed restaurants and accommodation, barely 12 km away from the city center of Ploiesti. The mansion offers hiking, walking tours through the vineyards, and bicycle trips aside from a top notch dining experience.
  • Visiting the Wineries of Prahova County Prahova, the county where Ploiesti is, is famous for its wines and vineyards. There are over 20 wineries on the hills East of Ploiești spread all the way to the county limits. By taking the DN1B road out of the city past Bucov, you can get onto the local roads leading up the hills to the North of the main road and visit these wineries. Most of these are located around Urlați, Ceptura, Vadu Săpat, Gura Vadului, Fințești, small traditional wine-making villages in the hills. The scenery is beautiful and the wine is epic.
  • Slănic Salt Mine is 40 km away or 1 hour 20 minutes by train. It is a huge underground salt mine with tunnels and a sightseeing platform. The salt mine is in the resort town of Slănic that features lots of beautiful hiking areas, horse riding center, lidos for bathing in the Summer, and quite a few accommodation options.
  • Explore Valea Prahovei and its resorts, Sinaia, known for Peleș castle and its royal history, is 50 minutes away by train; Busteni, a smaller town with many options to hike and rent villas, is 1 hour away by train; Predeal is 80 minutes away with the fastest train. All the mountain resorts have amazing hiking and mountain biking trails, ski slopes for the Winter, great food, and plenty of interesting sights.
  • Brasov, one of the most beautiful cities in Romania, is 100 km away or ~2 hours by train.
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