See & feel more. Start loving Bucharest!

Bucket list

  1. Get lost and feel the city without any map. You’ll like it!
  2. Take a tour of the Palace of Parliament and drink a lemonade on its roof at MNAC terrace.
  3. Party all night in Old Town.
  4. Drink one of the cheapest beer in Europe (1 euro) and taste “mici” (traditional meat balls) with mustard.
  5. Take tram nr. 5 and make a roundtrip of day by day city life.
  6. See a beautiful sunset over Herăstrău Lake.
  7. Take a nap in the shady Cişmigiu Garden under a secular tree.
  8. Chill out in the Nor Sky Bar – a panoramic restaurant situated on the 36th floor of the tallest building in the city – Sky Tower – that offers an overwhelming view of Bucharest.
  9. Buy a Romanian souvenir from a traditional handmade market.

Bucharest is the capital municipality, cultural, industrial, and financial center of Romania. In the period between the two World Wars, the city’s elegant architecture and the sophistication of its elite earned Bucharest the nickname of “Little Paris” (Micul Paris).

Bucharest has a series of remarcable landmark buildings and monuments, with a mix of architecture from historical – neo-classical, interbellum – Bauhaus and Art Deco, to Communist-era and modernism.

The Palace of the Parliament (Casa Poporului) – built in the 1980s during the reign of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu is the largest Parliament building in the world and the second largest building in the world, after Pentagon. Also The Palace is the most expensive and heaviest administrative building in the world.

The Palace has 1,100 rooms, is 12 stories tall, with 8 underground levels, having a floorspace of 340,000 m2 (3,700,000 sq ft). The building is constructed almost entirely of materials of Romanian origin.

Old Town and Lipscani district – a funky mix of ancient and new, including ruins of the Wallachian prince’s – Count Dracula – medieval court, restaurants, art galleries, museums and pubs.

Old Princely Court (Palatul Curtea Veche) and Vlad Ţepeş Castle – the most important historical places in Bucharest associated with Count Dracula. Curtea Veche was built as a residence during the rule of Vlad III Dracula in the 15th century. The castle of Vlad the Impaler is a replica of a genuine Poienari fortress of Count Dracula, raised in Bucharest for a national exhibition that commemorated 40 years of reign of king Carol I. Now is the headquarter for the National Office for Heroes Memory, the institution that administers monuments and military cemeteries (can be visited twice a year, on Memorial Day – celebrated at 20 days after Orthodox Easter, and on Army Day, 25th of October)

The Triumphal Arch (Arcul de Triumf)– a smaller identic model of The Arc de Triomphe from Paris built for the Heroes of the War of Independence and World War I.

Cotroceni Palace and neighbourhoods – one of the oldest and best preserved neighborhoods of Bucharest, preferred by the upper class of the last century. Like the city itself, it started as a forest on the banks of Dâmbovița river, passing through the stage of a modest village. The legend says that prince Șerban Cantacuzino built here the Cotroceni Monastery, of which only part of the church survives, in what is today the Presidential Palace Cotroceni.

The National Bank of Romania – built during World War II, the building is emblematic for the neo-classical style. It impresses by the monumental granite stairs and the huge Corinthian columns forming the facade.

Stavropoleos Church – was founded by a Greek monk, Ioanichie, in 1724 and nowadays is the oldest undemolished building in the capital. The Church is richly decorated (especially the porch), and impresses by the exterior painting and decorative suppleness. Stavrololeus has the largest collection of Byzantine music books in Romania.

University Square  – has some remarkable architectural masterpieces on each of its four corners, starting with the University of Bucharest’s School of Architecture, the Bucharest National Theatre, the neoclassical Coltea Hospital and its church and the Șuțu Palace, now home to the Bucharest History Museum.

Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue) – is a a major modern avenue nowadays, and was the first street in Bucharest to be illuminated with candles during the night, starting 1814.

Walking from north to south on Calea Victoriei, you can admire major buildings and monuments:

  • The Cantacuzino Palace, hosting The George Enescu Museum – one of the most beautiful buildings in Bucharest, built in 1901 – 1902, by Gheorghe Grigore Cantacuzino, known as “The Nabob” (former mayor of Bucharest, leader of the Conservative Party). Since 2007, the Cantacuzino Palace is a European Heritage Label monument.

The permanent exhibition of the museum is organized in three of the palace’s rooms and displays, chronologically, objects that bear witness of an impressive biography: photographs, manuscripts, musical instruments, documents and objects related to the life and work of the George Enescu, a great Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor and teacher.

  • Museum of Art Collections (Casa Romanit) – was constructed in 1822 as a private residence, nowadays the museum contains some fantastic works, including paintings by all of Romania’s greatest artists, from Nicolae Grigorescu to Theodor Pallady.
  • Ştirbey Palace – was built in 1835 following the drawings of a french architect and it belonged to Barbu Dimitrie Ştirbei (1799-1869), back then just the chancellor of the Wallachian Assembly. During the reign of Prince Barbu Ştirbei (1849-1853 and 1854-1856) the palace served as the princely residence. The palace became known for its pompous balls like the one given in 1843 in the honor of the Prussian prince’s brother. Today the Palace is an important event venue.
  • Romanian Athenaeum – a symbol of Romanian culture. Opened in 1888, the ornate, domed, circular building is the city’s main concert hall and home of the “George Enescu” Philharmonic and of the George Enescu annual international music festival (held in september-october).
  • National Museum of Art of Romania – located in the Royal Palace and features collections of medieval and modern Romanian art, including works by sculptor Constantin Brâncuși, as well as an international collection assembled by the Romanian royal family.
  • Central University Library of Bucharest – was founded in 1895 as the Carol I Library of the University Foundation by King Carol I. During the Romanian Revolution of 1989, a fire was started in the building and over 500,000 books, along with 3,700 manuscripts, were burnt. It has been renovated and reopened in November 2001.
  • Kretzulescu Church – built in the style created by Constantin Brâncoveanu, a seventeenth century ruler of Wallachia, who commisioned numerous buildings during his reign and set out to create a distinctive national genre of architecture
  • Piaţa Revoluţiei (Revolution Square), including the Memorial of Rebirth –the place where started in 1989 The Romanian Revolution.

In 1968 and December 1989, the square was the site of a two mass meetings which represented the apogee and the nadir of Ceaușescu’s regime. Ceaușescu’s speech of 21 August 1968 marked the highest point in Ceaușescu’s popularity, when he openly condemned the invasion of Czechoslovakia and started pursuing a policy of independence from Kremlin. Ceaușescu’s final speech, 1989 was meant to emulate the 1968 assembly and presented by the official media as a “spontaneous movement of support for Ceaușescu”, erupting in The Romanian Revolution which led to the end of the regime.

  • Casa Capșa – a symbol of Bucharest associated in the 20th century with a welcoming place for Romanian writers where they could meet and talk. Now it’s a historic restaurant and elite hotel.
  • The National Military Circle (Cercul Militar Naţional) – a historic and architecture monument which hosts the Central Culture Institution of the Romanian Army. The sumptuous interiors, starting with the halls on the underground floor (The Byzantine, Norwegian and Gothic Halls), continuing with the elegance of the Honour Hall (now The Founders’ Hall) and the imposing Marble and Maori Halls, are all embellished by art works, antique furniture, chandeliers and interior stuccos that create a uniform stylistic atmosphere.
  • Pasajul Macca-Vilacrosse – is a fork-shaped, covered arcaded street allowing the entry of natural light while providing shelter from the rain which hosted the first Stock Exchange House of Bucharest. Today you can find there several indoor/outdoor eating establishments, including an Egyptian-themed restaurant, the Blues Cafe, a bistro, a Chinese restaurant and a wine bar.
  • National Museum of History of Romania, with the Statue of Trajan and the She-wolf on its steps – is one of the representative institutions of Romanian culture housed by a historic monument building. The museum contains Romanian historical artifacts from prehistoric times up to modern times.
  • The CEC Palace – is the headquarter for Romania’s oldest bank, the public savings institution Casa de Depuneri, Consemnațiuni și Economie, now known as C.E.C. A unique feature of this structure refers to the glass and metal dome set on top of the main hallway. The overall picture of the C.E.C. palace exudes foremost elegance and balance.

Today, Calea Victoriei hosts a lot of luxury brands like Rolex, Gucci, Burberry, Prada, Hugo Boss, Armani, Ellie Saab, Ermeneglido Zegna and many others wich makes it the boulevard with the most expensive shops in Bucharest.

Bellu Cemetery – the most historic cemetery and the final resting place of just about a lot of great Romanian academics, scientists, artists, writers, musicians and poets.

The Bucharest Delta – a unique reservoir, a ecosystem of wetlands with about 90 protected species of mammals, birds and invertebrates live together in this area that is about 6 subway stops from downtown Bucharest.

Herăstrău Park – the biggest green oasis of the city spread over 187 hectares around Herăstrău lake.

Cişmigiu Garden – the oldest and the largest park in city’s central area.

Carol Park – a French garden named after King Carol I of Romania

Botanical Garden – features over 5,000 varieties of plants from Romania and around the world.

Titan Park – with a remarkable Maramureş-style church that stands on one edge of the park.

Tineretului Park – known for its sporting events and free bike hiring (need an ID)

Bucharest’s public transportation network operates between 5:00 am and 11:00 pm and includes:
bus (autobuz), tram (tramvai), trolley bus (troilebuz) and subway (Metrou).

Bus, tram and trolley bus info

To use a bus, trolleybus or tram you will need to buy an Activ Card before climbing and validate it upon boarding. Travelers may be asked to show the validated card during the trip. Travelers without a validated card must pay a 50 Lei (app. 11.00 €) penalty (Suprataxa).

Cards or passes can be purchased at any kiosk displaying the RATB logo.

The card cost is 3.70 lei (app. 0,8€) and it has to be loaded with credit (minimum 2.60 lei (app. 0,57 €), maximum 50 lei (app. 11.00 €)) and is reusable: you can reload it as many times as you need. The card is then debited each time you validate it at one of the orange devices located on buses, trams and trolleybuses. One trip by surface transport costs 1.30 lei (app. 0,3 €).

Express routes

There are 2 express routes serving the airport, 780 (from Gara de Nord) and 783 (from Piaţa Unirii). One way ticket is 3,5 lei (app. 0,8€ )

Night Buses

Bucharest has a network of night buses, which serve all areas of the capital throughout the night. All routes depart from the southern side of Piata Unirii. Most night bus services run at hourly intervals.

Bucharest Night Bus Route Map

Subway

The subway (Metrou) is best for travel to longer distance and for getting to the city centre.

There are four subway (Metrou) lines (M1, M2, M3 and M4). Subway stations are indicated with the letter “M” (blue, on a white board). The destination is indicated on the front of the train. Each stop is announced as the train nears the station.

Museum of the Romanian Peasant (Muzeul țăranului Român) – One of Europe’s leading museums of popular arts and traditions, it helds a large collection of textiles (especially costumes), icons, ceramics, and other artifacts of Romanian peasant life.

Village Museum (Muzeul Naţional al Satului Dimitrie Gusti) – one of the greatest outdoor museums in the Balkans with more than 60 original houses, farmsteads, windmills, watermills and churches from all of Romania’s historic regions.

If you want a traditional authentic Romanian lunch, you can order a starter such as ciorbă de burtă (soup) and then a popular main course is fasole cu cârnaţi (beans and sausage), sarmale with mamaligă (stuffed cabbage rolls with polenta), varză with meat or cârnaţi (steamed cabbage with pork ribbs or smoked and/or dry-cured sausages). Then you top it off with a rich desert such as păpănaşi (homemade donuts) or cozonac.

Pălincă and ţuică are a traditional plum brandy which you should taste to feel the real romanian atmosphere.

And the experience isn’t complete until you have beside you some lăutari (a traditional Romanian music band).

Nice places to enjoy Romanian food: Caru’ cu bere, Hanu’ Berarilor, Excalibur, Crama domnească, Lacrimi şi sfinţi, La Măria şi Ion, Vatra, Jaristea, La plăcinte.

Bucharest in well known for its nightlife, there is something for everyone in this town: and we mean everyone 🙂

Cool pubs, bars and lounge places

Old city – a nice Beer Garden situated in the old town of Bucharest.

Baraka – a cozy bar & lounge in Herăstrău Park

Expirat Other Side – Americans say that “the grass is greener on the other side”. Wrong! J The grass is greener in Expirat Other Side, where you can enjoy a tasty beer in a lovely setting.

True Club, Beluga – cool happenings, good music and vibe.

Control – the largest indie/alternative club of Bucharest.

Verona – snack café & garden – a nice place to enjoy a cold lemonade in summer.

Piranha Club – a huge green terrace in the heart of Regie Student Campus where the main attraction is the beer, the food and some piranha’s, which are “accommodated” in the water eye among tiny water lilies.

Eden – in the heart of Bucharest, you name the music… they’ll play it! Twenty four seven fun.

Bordello’s – located in the Olt City and there is always something going on there. Each side it is available for you to connect with, the friendly Pub, the intimate Library Lounge or the flamboyant Mulanruj.

El Comandante – !Hasta Siempre, one of the best place to show your passion for salsa

Energiea – establishment for urban experiment and information, it’s both a pub and a urban hub.

MNAC terrace – is situated on the roof of Palace of Parliament and  a visit here has the added bonus of getting you into the Casa Poporului without taking the guided tour J

Green Hours – a cool jazz club located in a historical building.

Shift – a central (located in Piața Romană) Pub & Garden with excellent food (home made pasta) and chill out music.

Fabrica – a nice place with good music and cheap food.

Journey Pub – a central place where you can relax on sofas, cushions or hammocks in summer and play some boardgames in winter.

Aquarella – an arts bistro located in an attic.

Tribute – a first-class venue located in downtown Bucharest, a homage to great live music and entertainment.

Fancy mega-clubs bringing in top foreign DJs almost each week, the upmarket, Uber-Clubs, where the trendy, fashionable and well-heeled go to party: Fratelli, Gaia Boutique, Loft, Player Club, BOA (Beats of Angels), Kristal Gram Club, Embassy 18.

Are you an explorer at heart?

You’re either an explorer, or you’re not, there isn’t any middle way. If your all time favorite thing is to enjoy the thrill of taking random detours and wandering around, if you’re constantly and inexplicably struck with a heavy sense of wanderlust and if you think that it really is about the journey, not the destination, you’re definitely the coolest explorer and you’re in the right place.

Let us introduce you Questo – a free city tour exploration app which genuinely connects you with places you’re visiting and stories you’re discovering. A quest is a walking tour that guides you on a different path where you have to solve clues for finding the most charming and hidden local places and stories.

All you have to do is to download the app in Google Play or App Store, choose the city you want to explore, browse through the available quests and select the one you like.

Then you just press start and let the adventure begin. Go with the flow, only good things are about to happen 🙂