Romania’s capital, Bucharest will amaze you by its multiple personalities: a Balkan feeling, an architecture that is French-inspired, which is transformed by forty years of communism, now it’s a thriving Western-inspired city that has an energetic feeling.
This guide is made by locals to give you an idea of what is Bucharest like, places to go, and attractions.
Even though to someone it may actually seem rough around the edges, Romania’s capital city can offer a bit to all kinds of travelers: typical tourist things to do and places to visit such as the Palace of Parliament and Old Town area aside, this article will help you find out interesting, low-key or even hidden gems that you should visit when you’re visiting Bucharest!
Bucharest has yet to be flooded with the high number of tourists alike of some of its neighboring capital cities which add to the charm. Prices are very reasonable and restaurants, tours or shops have not been yet visited by most of the tourists. This aside, quite a lot of people who are planning to visit Romania sometimes choose to skip visiting its capital city, Bucharest. This happens after reading online articles and bad reviews, making them think there not much to see here- but as you already know beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.
Nice restaurants, trendy cafes, fine dining places (with good prices), bars, urban gardens and sky bars, friendly welcoming people is what Bucharest boasts. Also, all men out there take a note: Bucharest Stag Do‘s are something you should definitely consider.
This is why the locals are going to help you visit Bucharest:
Things to do in Bucharest:
Bucharest has a population of 3 million inhabitants, of which around one-third of them consists of young people and students. This vibrant city will surprise even the most experienced travelers.
Bucharest played a vital role in Romanian history and culture. There are some essential things you need to know about the Romanian capital.
Transylvania, Wallachia, and Moldova, as the three historical provinces that makeup Romania, each had their own capital city until the year 1918.
A lot of Romanians are not happy about the fact that Bucharest is their capital city nor do they see Bucharest as a representation of the Romanian national identity and culture. Exactly here a little context helps.
Belle Époque Architecture
Little Paris, is the nickname Bucharest earned in the early 1900s, all thanks to the French-inspired Belle Epoque townhouses, monuments, and buildings in general.
Bucharest has a lot of monuments which are similar to French monuments. For example, it has its own Arch of Triumph similar to the French one, but worth noting, smaller. Anyone who tells you Bucharest does not have nice places to visit, you could not be more wrong.
There are streets and entire neighborhoods where you will find a unique blend of styles in architecture, which have become even more charming by the time passing. There are also a lot of abandoned buildings.
The capital city of Romania is very popular for its fine blend of neo-classical architecture. interbellum communist and modern architecture mix. Most of the city hotels and restaurants have occupied some amazing old architectural buildings, which are worth seeing, especially on Calea Victoriei, Regina Elisabeta Boulevard, or Soseaua Kisselef. Those aside, you could visit neighborhoods like Cotroceni, which are known for their architectural beauties.
Bucharest’s Communist Past
For 42 years, exactly from 1947 to 1989 Romania just like every country in Eastern Europe was a communist country and during the last 25 years, they were under Nicolae Ceausescu’s rule. Ceausescu who was driven by megalomania did brutally change Romanian society and Bucharest serves as the most representative experiment for his communist vision.
A whole neighborhood was ruined in order to make space for the Palace of Parliament, which is a huge building. Besides the neighborhood a lot of churches were demolished or moved, thus creating more area for workers.
The communism years are filled with sad stories for Bucharest, but they are worth hearing and fascinating nonetheless.
Nowadays Bucharest is a top tourist attraction, what’s more, the capital has a modern, vibrant, artistic & friendly local life. Exhibitions, different sport competitions, street art fairs, outdoor parties or food events, and many more events happen throughout the year. They usually are located in front of the Romanian Atheneum or Piata Universitatii.