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Located on the banks of the iconic Danube, Rousse is among the main highlights of northern Bulgaria. With the city boasting a bridge connecting to Romania, more than one country can be visited by tourists holidaying here – especially by those that have arranged car hire. Sofia and Varna are within easy reach too and provide access to plenty of other domestic locations.
Who to Book With
Eurokontact is the only car rental company based in central Rousse and can be found on Lui Ayer Street. Other options include Iconmy Eco Sistems and Drenikov, both of which are found in the suburbs. Booking online with these companies can reduce the cost of renting a vehicle while holidaying here.
Best Time to Go
Temperatures regularly hit 28°C during the summer, which runs from July to August. Those that have an interest in visiting this area may wish to book their holidays from late September to early October, which is still peak season but is when hotels may be less busy and rental vehicle rates should be nearer the norm.
Need to Know Essentials
Whenever collecting a hire vehicle in Bulgaria, it is important to produce the following:
- International Driving Permit
- Passport or other form of valid photo identification
- Same credit card used for completing the reservation
- Copy of confirmed reservation
Rousse's biggest challenge for drivers is finding parking spaces. The Danube Bridge regularly becomes congested with commuters from either side of the border. In the centre, traffic is nowhere near as abundant as it is in the likes of Sofia and Varna.
Our Guide to the Bulgaria contains more detailed driving information.
Although there is no internal train system in Rousse, the city has an extensive public transport network that mainly consists of buses, trolleybuses and taxis. The Danube Bridge separating Bulgaria and Romania can be walked over, although having a car is advised for road trips.
Although it isn't possible to travel around Rousse by rail, the city can be reached from the likes of Sofia and Varna, as well as from a string of European destinations such as Budapest, Kyiv, Athens, Istanbul and Moscow, by train. Trips to and from Sofia and Varna take 3 hours to complete and cost around £20 per person.
Close to 30 buses provide transport around Rousse, including trolleybuses supplied by Egged Ruse. Services generally run from 05:00 to 22:00, meaning that hire cars or taxis have to be relied upon for any trips outside of these hours. The numbers 2, 9, 13, 21, 24, 25, 27 and 29 are the most useful trolley lines for tourists.
Motoroads is one of the main taxi companies in the city, providing transport between the centre and the airport. Other companies have cabs that can be flagged down in the street, but it is often cheaper and safer to book in advance.
Situated right on the Bulgarian-Romanian border, Rousse is a perfect base for an eastern European adventure. The two largest cities in the country – Sofia and Varna – are within reachable distance for those with their own transportation, as are destinations scattered along the Black Sea coast, which is growing in popularity with European holidaymakers every year.
Bucharest – The Romanian capital, steeped in history that is little more than a couple of decades old in some instances, is a mere drive of 1 hour, 30 minutes from Rousse and is reached by heading north along the DN5/E85. Scenic views are offered, especially when passing the Balta Comana forest and park.
Sofia - Heading southeast of the Rousse area for 3 hours sees tourists eventually arrive in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia. The city is known for its highly-regarded historical buildings, some of which were left during the reign of the Roman Empire, and as a cultural haven with fine restaurants and bars – especially on Vitosha Street.
Varna - Following Route 2 and the E20 for 2 hours leads drivers to Varna – the country's only cruise destination. Understandably, Bulgaria’s third-largest city is loved for maritime attractions such as the Archaeological Museum, Dolphinarium and Sea Garden.