Bucharest, the capital city of Romania, is a city of contrasts and contradictions, where the old and new coexist in perfect harmony. Often referred to as the Paris of the East, Bucharest boasts a rich history and cultural heritage, combined with modern-day attractions and an exciting nightlife
The city has a long and complex history, and its architecture reflects a diverse range of influences, from medieval to modern. The Arch of Triumph, modeled after the Parisian Arc de Triomphe, is one of Bucharest’s most recognisable landmarks, as is the Palace of the Parliament.
Built during the 1980s by Nicolae Ceaușescu, the communist dictator of Romania, it is a symbol of the country’s recent past and is the second largest administrative building in the world, after the Pentagon in Washington D.C. The palace is open to visitors, and a tour of the building offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the former dictator and the grandiose architectural style of the period.
Bucharest, boasts a vibrant cultural scene, with many museums, theatres, and concert halls. The National Museum of Romanian History, housed in the former Royal Palace, is a must-visit for anyone interested in the country’s history and culture. The Museum of the Romanian Peasant is another popular attraction, showcasing the traditional way of life and customs of rural Romania.
The city is also home to numerous historical sites, such as the Stavropoleos Monastery, a stunning example of the Brâncovenesc architectural style, and the National Museum of Romanian History, which showcases the rich history and cultural heritage of Romania.
The city is known for its parks and gardens, the most famous being the Cismigiu Gardens, a beautiful 19th-century park located in the heart of the city. It offers visitors a peaceful oasis of greenery in the midst of the bustling city, with a lake, a playground, and a café.
For those seeking a more modern experience, Bucharest offers a wide range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options, with something to suit every taste and budget. From luxury boutiques and high-end restaurants to street food stalls and vibrant bars, the city is a foodie’s paradise, offering a diverse range of cuisine, from traditional Romanian dishes to international flavors.
One of the most exciting parts of Bucharest is its vibrant nightlife scene. The city is renowned for its eclectic mix of bars, clubs, and music venues, attracting a diverse crowd of locals and tourists alike. From intimate c to sprawling techno clubs, there is something for everyone in Bucharest’s thriving nightlife scene. We recommend you head to Lipscani, where you’ll find a variety of bars and clubs to match all tastes.
It is also, thank goodness, a city that is easy to navigate and well-connected, making it a convenient and accessible destination. It has an incredibly efficient public transportation system, including buses, trams, and a metro, which makes it easy to get around. Furthermore, the Capital is located in the centre of Romania, making it a great starting point for exploring the country’s diverse offerings, such as the Carpathian Mountains, the Danube Delta, and the Black Sea coast. Not bad if truth be told. Not bad at all.
WELL THEN WHERE AND WHAT ARE WE EATING?
Bucharest is also a great destination for foodies, with a wide range of restaurants serving traditional Romanian cuisine as well as international dishes. Visitors can sample traditional dishes such as mici (grilled minced meat rolls), sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls), and ciorba de burta (tripe soup), as well as delicious local desserts such as papanasi (fried dough balls filled with cottage cheese) and covrigi (soft pretzels).
- Caru’ cu Bere – This traditional Romanian restaurant offers a unique dining experience, serving classic dishes such as mici (grilled meat rolls) and sarmale (stuffed cabbage leaves) in a historic and charming setting.
- Hanu’ lui Manuc – Another historic restaurant, Hanu’ lui Manuc is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, serving traditional Romanian dishes with a modern twist.
- Gradina Eden – For those seeking a more upscale dining experience, Gradina Eden is the perfect choice. This elegant restaurant offers a fusion of Romanian and international cuisine, and is known for its beautiful garden setting and impeccable service.
- Lente & Cafe – For a more casual and affordable option, Lente & Cafe is a great choice. This cozy café serves a variety of breakfast and lunch dishes, including sandwiches, pastries, and coffee, and is a popular spot for locals looking for a quick bite.
- Lacrimi și Sfinți – This unique restaurant offers a unique dining experience, serving traditional Romanian dishes with a contemporary twist. The menu features a variety of meat and vegetable dishes, as well as a range of artisanal cocktails and wines.
AND WHERE MIGHT WE BE STAYING?
Bucharest offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and preferences. Here are some top recommendations for where to stay:
- InterContinental Bucharest – For those seeking luxury, InterContinental Bucharest is a top choice. This five-star hotel is located in the heart of the city, offering stunning views of the Palace of the Parliament and the surrounding cityscape.
- Radisson Blu Hotel Bucharest – Another luxurious option, the Radisson Blu Hotel Bucharest is a modern and stylish hotel located in the city center. The hotel offers a range of amenities, including a fitness center, spa, and restaurant, making it a great choice for a comfortable and convenient stay.
- Villacrosse Boutique Inn – The hotel is situated in the Macca-Vilacrosse Passage, a famous fork-shaped street in the centre of Bucharest. The locals have always cherished this particular tiny spot of the city’s legacy.
- Hotel Casa Caspa- Casa Caspa combines modern elegance with classic architecture, with areas full of life keeping the old charm of the house through decorations of marble and stained wood, chandeliers, and sumptuous furniture. Distinguished and elegantly decorated, a symbol of refinement, Casa Capsa accommodates a timeless atmosphere, suitable for any occasion. Casa Capsa is also offering high-quality services for an immersive experience.
AND WHAT PREY TELL SHALL WE BE DOING WITH OUR VALUABLE TIME?
A must-see attraction in Bucharest is the Old Town, which is home to many of the city’s historic landmarks. The Old Town is a maze of narrow streets and picturesque squares, where visitors can find a mix of medieval, baroque, and neoclassical buildings. The Old Princely Court, which dates back to the 15th century, is also another important historical site in the Old Town.
- Visit the Palace of the Parliament – The Palace of the Parliament is the second-largest administrative building in the world and a must-visit attraction for any first-time visitor to Bucharest. Take a guided tour to learn about the building’s history and architecture, and enjoy the stunning views from the terrace.
- Enjoy a concert or performance at the Romanian Athenaeum – The Romanian Athenaeum is a beautiful concert hall and cultural venue, known for its stunning architecture and acoustics. Check the schedule for concerts, operas, and ballet performances during your visit.
- Take a walking tour – Join a walking tour to discover the hidden gems of Bucharest and learn about the city’s history, culture, and architecture. There are many different tour options available, ranging from food and cultural tours to night tours and ghost walks.
- Visit a thermal bath – Bucharest is famous for its thermal baths, and there are several to choose from, including the Carol Davila Thermae, the Olimpia Thermae, and the Balea Thermal Spa. Relax in the warm waters, enjoy a massage, and rejuvenate your mind, body, and soul.
- Explore the parks and gardens – Bucharest is known for its beautiful parks and gardens, including Herastrau Park, Carol Park, and Tineretulu Park. Spend a relaxing day in one of the city’s green spaces, take a picnic, and enjoy the scenic views.
TELL ME WHAT IS UNDERRATED AND UNDER THE RADAR?
Bucharest is a city filled with hidden treasures, and there is much more to discover beyond its most popular tourist attractions. Here are some hidden gems to look out for:
- Stavropoleos Monastery – This small and intimate monastery is tucked away in the heart of the Old Town and is known for its beautiful Byzantine-style architecture and peaceful gardens.
- Memorial of Rebirth – This monument, located in Carol Park, is dedicated to the victims of the Romanian Revolution and is a moving tribute to the country’s recent history.
- Casa Melik – This historic building, located in the heart of the Old Town, was once the home of a wealthy Armenian merchant and is now a cultural center and museum, showcasing traditional Romanian art and crafts.
- Muzeul Curtea Veche – The Muzeul Curtea Veche is a small but fascinating museum located in the Old Town, dedicated to the history of the city from its founding to the 16th century.
- Carturesti Carusel Bookstore – This stunning bookstore, located in a beautifully restored 19th-century building, is a true hidden gem, offering a unique shopping and cultural experience for book lovers and culture seekers.
- Vacaresti Delta – This natural reserve, located on the outskirts of Bucharest, is a hidden oasis of wildlife and greenery, and is a popular destination for nature lovers and bird watchers.