A Guide To Bucharest, Romania
Written by Violeta-Loredana P. from Earth’s Attractions
Bucharest is my hometown and I know it has a lot to offer to any type of traveller or tourist. Lovely museums (both open air and closed), beautiful parks and old houses, a vibrant night life, multiple socialization opportunities, special monuments and more. Plus, in Romania you’ll find the best Internet in Europe (studies show it.) Add some great food and affordable prices, and you have a must-visit city in Europe.
Where to stay on a budget?
As it is the Romania’s capital, you can imagine that the accommodation prices vary a lot. But, on the bright side, you can find affordable hostels near the city’s centre, affordable solutions for budget travellers.
Where to eat on a budget?
I already told you that our food is great (and you should believe me, not because I say it, but because people praise it – and you can do an online search and see many articles on this topic), now I have to add that there are many great places where you can eat on a budget. In almost any mall (and we have many of those) or touristy areas (Piata Universitatii, for example) (and in various neighborhoods) you’ll see that many restaurants have a happy hour menu which includes a fixed menu at a really affordable price. You can find something for 15-25 lei (more or less, depending on the area), which is around 4-7 $US/euro. You can find bagels at 1 or 1,5 lei for a quick snack and so on. There are definitely solutions!
What to do?
If you are not in Bucharest for a very long while, I’d definitely recommend you to see the “main attractions.” In my opinion, some of the must-sees are: The Parliament House (People’s House) – built by Ceausescu, imposing, a communist building, the second largest one after the Pentagon. I’d also recommend you The Village Museum – this is an open space museum with 272 old houses from all over Romania (including half buried houses!) It’s a great museum for a walk (you also should pay attention to the scent/smell inside each house open for visitation as the old traditional objects that can be seen in each house are original and they bring a little of the past into the present). The museum is close to the Herastrau Park – near it, actually – so don’t miss a walk in this huge park – the biggest of the city(and, from the spring until the autumn I’d recommend you a trip with the boat – the motored one, aka a small ship 😀 – on the lake). I also recommend you Cismigiu Gardens (the oldest “park” in the city – they were originally gardens, even if everyone refers to them as Cismigiu park), and even Carol Park near which you’ll find the Xenofon Street, the only street in stairs left in Bucharest (and the stairs are painted, thus offering an interesting “painting.”)
These are the main attractions – though, for museum lovers, I’d add The “Grigore Antipa” National
Museum of Natural History – an interactive one, and The Peasant Museum for those interested in folk costumes and traditions.
As a side note, one thing that I’m sure you’ll love about Bucharest, is that you can see the movies in their native language, not dubbed as in other countries. In Romania, if e movie is in English, French or Italian, people hear it in that language, with subtitling in Romanian. For travelers, it is a nice thing as, if they stay longer and want to watch a movie at the cinema, they can do it (if they understand the language in which the movie was produced.)
For other attractions, as we have from a castle to a mausoleaum, bothanical garden, many palaces (some museums today), other museums with specific themes, clubs for those who want to dance, I’m recommending every visitor to do a little research in advance to see what things can be done/visited that would suit their preferences (as we have even karting racetracks, a bouncing hall and more.)
What not to do?
I’d recommend anyone to pay attention to their goods – take care with their camera, phones, luggage, wallet, money, etc. I’d also recommend you to avoid some neighborhoods (such as Ferentari) and even late night walks (I don’t do them either, so this is a safety tip for anyone, locals included.)
3 fun facts?
There are many interesting fun facts about Bucharest, and, apart from those already included above, here are three more:
- Bucharest was the first city in the world lighted up with lamp oil (1858).
- Bucharest is home of the first institute of geriatrics in the world, founded by famous Ana Aslan
- Bucharest was first mentioned in documents in 1459, as the residence of Vlad III the Impaler (Vlad Țepeș). Yes, some link him to famous Dracula (no real connection though.)
And something special, linked to Romania in general: the words “dor” (to miss someone) and “doina” (a type of folk song) have no synonyms in any other language.
This useful guide was written by the amazing Violeta-Loredana! Check her out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. She also has a website which is a great read and is very useful for all you travel bunnies out there, check it out here. If you are looking for more accommodation then check out Agoda and Hostelworld, I highly recommend them. Travel insurance? Go World Nomads, a trusted and reliable travel insurance company.
Author: I work in marketing and public relations (over 12 years of experience), and I have my own agency. I also like to write, to read, to enjoy nature, and, of course, to travel. Discover my travel experiences on my blogs!