Swansea fans guide to Bucharest and Petrolul Ploiesti

While our International Ground Guide is undergoing some maintenance ahead of the new season, we thought we'd provide our usual service of advice and information for travelling supporters in brief blog form.

Once up and running again our ground guide will cover all manner of information from travel options to hotel advice, eating and drinking suggestions to practical tips on getting around, along with safety and security advice and anything else we think will be of use to travelling supporters. 

In the meantime, while the below might not necessarily have all the information you'll be after if you're heading out to Istanbul this week, we're always available to help - just drop us an email if you have any questions.

We'll do our best to find out what you need to know, either from our own vast experience in covering England and Wales games abroad, or from our friends at Football Supporters Europe.

The Stadium

Petrolul's 15,000 seater home stadium, which only opened in 2011, is named after celebrated former Petrolul player and coach Ilie Oana. It is located to the east of the city centre on Strada Mihai Bravu, around a 15 minute walk from the main Bulevardul Republicii. Fortunately, as a new build, the sightlines and facilities around the ground are excellent. 

The Team

Petrolul Ploiești are hardly one of the European greats that trip off the tongue, and with good reason - this is their first appearance in Europe since reaching the first round of the Cup Winners Cup in  1995, and only their 7th campaign ever. They entered the tournament having finished third in last year's Romanian Liga 1 at the 2nd qualifying round stage, despatching Vikingur of the Faroe Islands 7-0 on aggregate, before an impressive 3-2 win over Vitesse in the third qualifying round set up their tie with Swansea. 

They're not entirely without some success in their history, however - they won the Romanian Cup in 2013, and have lifted the top division title on 4 occasions (although not since 1966). 

If you can read Romanian (or more likely can use Google Translate) you can find their official website here

The City

We'll admit it, Ploiești is one of the cities that passed us by on our extensive travels around Romania. That being said, we can still provide some useful info for those heading out to Romania - Ploiești is around 35 miles north of the capital, Bucharest, where we'd imagine most of the travelling fans will be staying. Fortunately one of Romania's few motorways connects the two cities, so getting between them isn't too tricky. Those flying in to Bucharest's Henri Coanda airport won't even have to deal with the Romanian capital's roads - the airport is located 10 miles north of Bucharest, and is located on the main road to Ploiești.

Ploiești has a population of around 210,000 (so something similar to the size of Norwich), although it's a good deal more industrial. Ploiești  is known primarily for its oil industry, there are a number of refineries and associated industrial plants in and around the town.  There are a few museums for those that fancy a bit of culture, unsurprisingly including the Oil Museum. There is some early Romanian architecture remaining from before World War 2, but as an industrial centre the city suffered quite heavy bombardment when taken by the Russians in 1944.

To help find your way around, this useful map of Ploiești provides a bit of assistance - the stadium is marked by the green square to the north of Strada Mihai Bravu, with the main central disrict marked around Bulevardul Republicii and Plata Victoriei, which is marked in red. 

If you are travelling to/staying in Bucharest, get in touch and we'll be happy to provide some information on the Romanian capital.