Bucharest is the capital and largest city of Romania. It is located in the southeast of Romania, about 140 kilometers north of the Danube River and Bulgarian border. Bucharest has an area of around 585 square kilometers (225 square miles) and the city sits on the Dâmbovița River and had a population of 1,817,938 million as of 2023.
Bucharest became the capital of Wallachia in 1698 and was later proclaimed the capital of united Romanian principalities in 1862, then the capital of Romania after independence in 1878. Its history traces back to the 15th century, with the first written mention in 1459 during the rule of Vlad Țepeș. The city developed as a commercial center between the Ottoman Empire and Central Europe, leading to much of its eclectic architecture.
Bucharest features the Palace of Parliament, the second largest administrative building in the world, which visitors can take guided tours of sections like parliamentary chambers and ornate rooms. The historic Lipscani district highlights the old medieval architecture, lively restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs, especially in the bustling Old Town area. Bucharest is located in the Eastern European Time zone, which is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2). Bucharest observes Eastern European Summer Time (GMT+3) from late March until late October each year.
Listed below are the things to do in Bucharest.
- Stavropoleos Monastery. Stavropoleos Monastery is an Eastern Orthodox monastery in central Bucharest, built in 1724 in the Brâncovenesc style, combining Byzantine, Ottoman and Western influences. It features ornate exterior stonework and interior frescoes. The monastery houses a museum with old icons, artifacts and over 8,000 rare books. Visitors can admire the architecture and art, attend services, explore the museum and library and photograph details.
- Herăstrău Park. Herăstrău Park is Bucharest's largest and most beautiful park at 187 hectares, featuring green spaces, rare trees and scenic lake views. Activities include walking, biking, boating and visiting attractions like the Village Museum, Japanese Garden, sports facilities, restaurants and open-air theater. The park appeals to all ages as a spot for recreation without leaving the city.
- Palace of Parliament. The Palace of Parliament in Bucharest is the second largest administrative building in the world at 365,000 square meters. The palace was built entirely under Ceaușescu and it features a neoclassical interior design with 1,100 rooms and 700,000 tonnes of steel and bronze. Visitors can take tours to see sections like parliamentary chambers, museums and unique rooms.
- Romanian Athenaeum (Ateneul Român). The Romanian Athenaeum is Bucharest's main concert hall. It opened in 1888 and is home to the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra. Inspired by ancient Greek temples, it features beautiful interior murals depicting Romanian history. Visitors can attend over 100 classical music concerts yearly or take tours to see the ornate landmark interior.
- National Village Museum (Muzeul Naţional al Satului). The National Village Museum in Bucharest showcases Romanian village life with over 300 authentic peasant houses, farms, churches and workshops representing Romania's major historical regions. Exhibits portray traditional rural architecture, tools, customs and daily artifacts from the 17th-20th centuries. Visitors can walk through the open-air museum, enter some interiors and attend special events.
- Old Town. The Old Town in Bucharest is a historic district that retains the medieval merchant quarter's architecture. Attractions include 15th-century palace ruins, 17th-18th-century Orthodox churches and the 19th-century Manuc's Inn. Visitors can walk the streets, shop, eat traditional food and experience Bucharest's famous nightlife venues.
- Curtea Veche. The Old Princely Court. Curtea Veche was a 15th-century royal palace and residence for Wallachian princes in central Bucharest. Excavations have uncovered structures like the Princely Church and artifacts providing a glimpse into the city's early history. Visitors can walk around the remains of the fortified court and view archaeological finds.
1. Stavropoleos Monastery
Stavropoleos Monastery is an Eastern Orthodox monastery located in central Bucharest, Romania. Its address is 4 Stavropoleos Street in the historic Lipscani district. The monastery is sometimes referred to simply as Stavropoleos Church. Stavropoleos was built in 1724 in the Brâncovenesc architectural style, which combines Byzantine, Ottoman and Western influences.It was founded by Archimandrite Ioanichie Stratonikeas, a Greek monk. The monastery is dedicated to the Holy Archangels Michael and Gabriel.
Stavropoleos features ornate stone carvings and columns on the exterior and intricate frescoes covering the interior walls and ceilings. The frescoes depict religious scenes and figures. The monastery also houses a museum with a rich collection of old icons, artifacts and over 8,000 rare books. Visitors to Stavropoleos can admire the architecture and art, attend services to hear the choir sing Orthodox chants, explore the museum and library and photograph the decorative details. The central location makes it easy to access, within walking distance of the Universitate and Unirii metro stations. Stavropoleos appeals to tourists interested in Romanian culture, architecture, Byzantine art and Orthodox Christianity.
2. Herăstrău Park
Herăstrău Park, known as King Michael I Park, is the largest park in Bucharest, Romania, covering 187 hectares around Herăstrău Lake. Herăstrău Park is considered Bucharest's most beautiful park, with lush green spaces, rare trees like Japanese cherry blossoms and scenic views of Herăstrău Lake.
The park offers many activities for visitors. Visitors can walk, run, bike or rollerblade on the paths around the lake, which is about 5.9 km long. Boating, paddle boating and water biking are popular on the lake. There is a large open-air Village Museum showcasing Romanian village life, a Japanese Garden, sports facilities, restaurants and an open-air theater that hosts concerts. Major attractions located right near the park include the Triumphal Arch, the Village Museum, the National History Museum and more. The park appeals to all ages and is a popular spot for walks, recreation and relaxation without leaving the city.
3. Palace of Parliament
The Palace of Parliament (Romanian. Palatul Parlamentului) is located in central Bucharest at Strada Izvor 2, Romania. It is located near the Unirii metro station on the M3 blue line. The palace has a floor area of 365,000 square meters, which makes the Palace of Parliament the second-largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon. It was built entirely during the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu and features lavish interior design inspired by multiple architectural styles like neoclassicism. Some key features of the Palace include 12 stories, 1,100 rooms, 480 chandeliers, 700,000 tonnes of steel and bronze and ornate rooms like the Human Rights Hall and Unification Hall. The Palace houses the Romanian Parliament along with three museums.
Visitors can take guided tours to see sections of the interior and exterior, including parliamentary chambers, museums and unique rooms. Other activities include posing with medieval guards and exploring the gardens and fountains surrounding the Palace. The Palace of Parliament appeals most to history and architecture enthusiasts interested in Romania's communist era and the grandiose vision of Nicolae Ceaușescu. It's also a must-see landmark for visitors exploring the top attractions in Bucharest.
4. Romanian Athenaeum (Ateneul Român)
The Romanian Athenaeum (Ateneul Român) is a concert hall located in central Bucharest at Str. Franklin 1-3, Romania. The Athenaeum opened in 1888 and is home to the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra. It is Bucharest’s main concert hall and a historic symbol of Romanian culture, featuring architectural design inspired by ancient Greek temples. The interior is beautifully decorated with murals depicting scenes from Romanian history.
Visitors can attend over 100 classical music concerts yearly by the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra or visiting performers. Guided tours are available to see the ornate interior and learn about the Athenaeum's history. The landmark concert hall best appeals to classical music lovers, particularly fans of George Enescu. It attracts visitors interested in Romanian culture and history, architecture enthusiasts, tourists seeing top Bucharest landmarks and photographers.
5. National Village Museum (Muzeul Naţional al Satului)
The National Village Museum (Muzeul Naţional al Satului “Dimitrie Gusti”) is an open-air ethnographic museum located in Herăstrău Park in Bucharest, Romania. The museum was established in 1936 and showcased traditional Romanian village life with over 300 authentic Romanian peasant houses, farms, churches, technical installations and workshops arranged to represent the major historical regions of Romania.
The museum covers over 100,000 square meters and contains houses ranging from the 17th to early 20th centuries, transferred from villages around Romania and rebuilt at the museum. It provides a glimpse into traditional Romanian rural life and folk culture. Exhibits portray the architecture, traditions, tools and artifacts of Romanian village life. Special events like fairs and festivals also take place at the museum.
Visitors can walk through the open-air museum to view the buildings and daily artifacts of traditional life. Some interiors can be entered. Special events and demonstrations show folk arts, crafts or customs. The onsite restaurant sells traditional dishes and the gift shop offers folk art souvenirs. The museum suits all audiences interested in Romanian cultural heritage.
6. The Old Town
The Old Town (Centrul Vechi/Lipscani) is a historic district in central Bucharest, Romania, that serves as the city's main entertainment and nightlife hub. Bucharest was significantly damaged over time by natural disasters, wars and communist-era demolition. The Old Town retains the layout and architecture of the city's old medieval merchant quarter. Historical attractions include the ruins of the 15th-century Curtea Veche palace, stunning 17th-18th century Orthodox churches like Stavropoleos and St. Anton, historic inns such as the early 19th century Manuc's Inn and the beautiful Carturesti Carusel bookstore housed in a restored late 19th-century building.
Visitors to the Old Town can walk around the historic streets and architectural sites, enjoy traditional Romanian food and drinks, shop at local boutiques, people-watch from ubiquitous café terraces and experience Bucharest's famous nightclubs and bars. Historic sites like Curtea Veche and beautiful churches can be visited and walking tours of the Old Town are available. Old Town suits a wide audience, given its diversity of sights, restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs. Most Old Town attractions do not require paid admission, though nightclubs and some venues may have cover charges.
7. Curtea Veche. The Old Princely Court
Curtea Veche (“Old Court” in Romanian) was built in 1459 during the rule of Vlad the Impaler as a royal palace and residence for Wallachian princes. It was the center of Bucharest for over 300 years and saw expansions and reconstructions under various rulers before being mostly abandoned by the late 1800s. Excavations initiated in 1953 have uncovered structures remaining from the original 15th-century palace, the 16th-century Princely Church, cellars, fountains, medieval artifacts and fragments offering a glimpse into Bucharest’s early history.
Visitors can walk around the ruins and remnants of structures to visualize the layout of the early fortified court, view the uncovered archaeological finds and plaques detailing the site's history, take photos of the bust of Vlad the Impaler and visit the nearby Inn and Princely Church dating from the 16th-18th centuries for additional context. It is ideal for history and archaeology enthusiasts interested in the beginnings of Bucharest. Viewing the outdoor archaeological site and associated markers is no admission fee.
8. Revolution Square
Revolution Square (Piața Revoluției in Romanian) is a major public square in central Bucharest, Romania. It was known as Palace Square (Piața Palatului) until 1989, when it was renamed after the Romanian Revolution that overthrew the communist regime. The square is surrounded by several landmark buildings, such as the former Royal Palace (now the National Museum of Art of Romania), the Athenaeum, the Athénée Palace Hotel and the Central University Library. It also houses the former headquarters of the Romanian Communist Party, where dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu fled during the revolution.
Visitors can admire the architectural landmarks surrounding Revolution Square, especially the ornate Romanian Athenaeum building. The square itself doesn't have much beyond some statues and fountains. It mainly serves as a landmark and site for occasional rallies.
Travelers interested in Romania's history can view the balcony of the Central Committee building from where Ceaușescu gave his final speech before fleeing. A short walk leads to the Old Town's lively restaurants, cafes and bars. Revolution Square appeals most to adults interested in Romanian history, architecture and politics. Families can visit to see the buildings, fountains and statues. There is no admission fee to enter Revolution Square itself as it is a public space. Visitors can freely explore the square and view the exterior of surrounding landmarks. Entry to visit the interiors of some buildings like the National Museum of Art and the Athenaeum concert hall requires separate tickets.
9. Arcul de Triumf
The Arcul de Triumf is a triumphal arch located in the northern part of Bucharest, Romania, at the intersection of Kiseleff Road and three boulevards – Constantin Prezan, Alexandru Averescu and Alexandru Constantinescu. The monument was designed by Romanian architect Petre Antonescu and built between 1921 and 1922 to commemorate Romania's victory in World War I. It was renovated in 1935-1936 and again more recently in 2014.
The arch stands 27 meters tall and features classic stonework and decorations created by famous Romanian sculptors such as Ion Jalea and Dimitrie Paciurea. There are symbolic medallions, inscriptions and bas-reliefs on the different faces of the arch highlighting Romania's sacrifices and victories in “The War to End All Wars”, as WW1 was known at the time.
Visitors to the Arcul de Triumf can view the small museum inside, accessed via interior staircases within the two pillars supporting the central arch. The museum features exhibitions related to Romania's participation in WWI. Visitors can also climb up to the roof terrace for views over the city. There is no admission fee to view the Arcul de Triumf or access the museum inside. The small museum and terrace access is limited to certain holidays or special events.
10. National Museum of Art of Romania
The National Museum of Art of Romania is an art museum located in the Royal Palace in Revolution Square, central Bucharest. It features collections of medieval and modern Romanian art, as well as an international collection assembled by the Romanian royal family. The museum is housed in the former Royal Palace, which was severely damaged during the 1989 revolution that led to the downfall of Nicolae Ceaușescu. The museum reopened in 2000 to the public, housing modern Romanian and international collections. The medieval art collection reopened in 2002, featuring works salvaged from monasteries destroyed during the Ceaușescu era.
The modern Romanian collection includes sculptures by Constantin Brâncuși and Ion Jalea, as well as paintings by Ștefan Luchian, Nicolae Grigorescu, Theodor Pallady and more. The international collection features works by great European masters like El Greco, Rembrandt, Rubens, Monet and Rodin. Some highlights in the museum include a plaster cast of Trajan's Column from Rome, paintings by 16th-century Italian artist Jacopo Bassano and Rembrandt's painting “The Return of the Prodigal Son”.
Visitors to the museum can view the art exhibitions in the three galleries dedicated to medieval, modern and international collections. There are also two halls for temporary exhibitions. Guided tours of the former Throne Hall and other historical palace spaces are offered on weekends.
11. National Museum of Romanian History
The National Museum of Romanian History is a history museum located inside the former Postal Services Palace on Calea Victoriei in the historic Lipscani district of Bucharest. It contains Romanian historical artifacts ranging from prehistoric times up to modern-day Romania. The museum has over 60 valuable exhibition rooms spread across over 8,000 square meters of space. Some of the highlights include a plaster cast replica of Trajan's Column from Rome, exhibits from the Geto-Dacian civilization that inhabited ancient Romania, a replica of the Byzantine Column of Emperor Justinian and a collection called the “Historical Treasury” featuring over 3,000 precious metal objects like jewelry, coins and crowns from ancient civilizations and figures in Romania's history.
Visitors can view the permanent exhibitions like the Treasury and Trajan's Column replica, as well as rotating temporary exhibits held in the central hallway of the museum. A “lapidarium” exhibition housed in the museum features epigraphic and architectural artifacts like tombstones, inscriptions, columns and sculptures dating from antiquity and the Middle Ages. The National Museum of Romanian History has a rich collection spanning from prehistoric pottery and tools to medieval weapons and icons to more modern displays like manuscripts, paintings, photographs and furniture. The diverse artifacts detail the culture and important periods in the history of the Romanian people.
12. Carturesti Carusel
Carturesti Carusel is a bookstore located in an 1860s historic building on Strada Lipscani in Bucharest's Old Town. It was opened in 2015 by Romania's largest bookstore chain Carturesti, in partnership with the building's owner, who had reclaimed and renovated it after decades of neglect under communism. The bookstore has six floors spanning over 1000 square meters, with elegant architecture featuring marble columns, wrought iron staircases, carved wooden bookshelves and a glass ceiling. It houses over 10,000 books covering all genres, as well as 5000 albums, DVDs, board games, local souvenirs and more.
Carturesti Carusel was designed as a cultural space. It features a modern art gallery on the first floor and a bistro cafe on the top floor with nice views of the old town. The multimedia basement has hosted book events. The luxurious interiors with plentiful reading nooks attract both book lovers and Instagrammers. It is considered one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.
Visitors to Carturesti Carusel can browse and purchase books covering all genres of literature, along with music, movies, games, stationery, local handicrafts and more. Visitors can relax in one of the many reading spaces. Visitors can enjoy a drink or light meal at the bistro cafe on the top floor while taking in views of the Old Town or exploring the modern art gallery exhibitions. Occasional book events are also held in the multimedia basement.
Carturesti Carusel caters to a general audience, including adults, book lovers, families, tourists, etc. Its luxurious space and cafe also make it a popular Instagrammable destination. There is no admission cost to enter Carturesti Carusel. Visitors only need to pay if they purchase any books, items from the cafe menu or artwork. Browsing the bookstore and enjoying the architecture is free.
13. CEC Palace
The CEC Palace is a landmark heritage building located at 13 Calea Victoriei in Bucharest, Romania, directly across from the National Museum of Romanian History. It was built between 1897-1900 to serve as the headquarters of CEC Bank, Romania's oldest banking institution previously known as Casa de Economii si Consemnatiuni (The House of Deposits and Savings).
The building was constructed on a site formerly occupied by a 16th-century monastery that had fallen into disrepair. Its eclectic design by French architect Paul Gottereau combines neoclassical, baroque and Renaissance architectural elements. It is crowned by a large glass-and-metal dome in the center flanked by smaller domes at the corners, along with ornate facades decorated with columns, statues representing trade and commerce and pediments with coats of arms. Materials used include local Dobrogea stone and marble.
CEC bank still operates from the palace. Visitors can view the open lobby and basement levels which house a museum displaying a collection of artifacts related to Romanian banking history since 1864. This CEC Museum is free and open to the general public. CEC Palace appeals to a general audience interested in local history, architecture and banking heritage. No admission fees are charged to view the building exterior or visit the CEC Museum.
14. Memorial of Rebirth
The Memorial of Rebirth is a 25-meter tall marble monument located in Revolution Square, Bucharest, Romania, commemorating the struggles and victims of the 1989 Romanian Revolution that overthrew Communism. Inaugurated in August 2005, the memorial features a tall, white marble pillar meant to symbolize the Romanian people reaching to the sky. Atop the pillar is a metal crown wrapped around it, representing the suffering imposed by the Communist regime. The base of the monument features statues of faceless figures depicting those who fought for freedom and democracy. The memorial also includes a wall inscribed with over 1,000 names of those killed during the revolution. There is widespread agreement on the need for such a memorial. Its controversial modernist design has drawn criticism as being too abstract. The monument is referred to as “the potato of the revolution”, some see the monument as failing to adequately reflect the magnitude of suffering during Romania's transition out of Communism.
Visitors can view the monuments and statues up close and reflect on Romania's transition from communism. As the site of the revolution, Revolution Square contains other landmarks like the former Royal Palace to see as well. There are no admission fees required. The memorial would likely appeal to adults interested in Romania's modern history and transition from communism.
15. Monument of the Nation’s Heroes
The Monument of the Nation’s Heroes in Bucharest was originally built in 1963 as a Communist mausoleum honoring top party leaders. The Monument of the Nation's Heroes has been transformed into a memorial for Romanian heroes who died in the nation's wars. Located on a hilltop in Carol Park, Bucharest, the monument features a large circular base with five tall granite arches. The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and statues related to Romania’s fights for independence lie inside.
The memorial aims to honor the sacrifice of soldiers who lost their lives in conflicts to defend the nation, spanning from 19th-century independence battles to the world wars of the 20th century. Through its redevelopment, the monument now proudly focuses on Romania’s own heroes rather than Communist leaders from the past.
Visitors can view the transformed monument, which now contains statues and history related to Romania's wars and independence struggles. Carol Park also offers opportunities for walking and exploration, with no admission fees required. The memorial appeals to visitors interested in Romania's national history and wars, particularly the World War eras.
16. The Monument to the Heroes of the Air
The Monument to the Heroes of the Air in Bucharest was inaugurated in 1935. The 20-meter-tall Monument to the Heroes of the Air stands in Bucharest’s Aviators' Square to commemorate pioneers and pilots who died advancing Romanian aviation. The stone obelisk contains 13 bronze plaques engraved with over 270 names of airmen and air heroes killed in crashes or battles through the mid-1930s.
The monument provides a tribute to the 270+ pilots and air pioneers killed in the early decades of Romanian aviation as it sought to grow and modernize its air capabilities. The monument continues to honor the sacrifices made by Romanian Air Force members in the early quest to conquer the skies. Visitors can view the monuments and statues up close. Public bus routes #126, #168, #226, #300 and #368 provide transit access to Aviators' Square. There are no admission fees. The monument would likely appeal most to aviation history buffs, particularly those interested in Romania's early air force.
17. Cantacuzino Palace (George Enescu Museum)
The Cantacuzino Palace, known as the George Enescu Museum, is a historic palace located in Bucharest, Romania. It was built in 1911 in French neoclassical style as the residence of Prince George G. Cantacuzino. It housed the George Enescu Museum, dedicated to the renowned Romanian composer, violinist, pianist, conductor and teacher George Enescu. The palace has historical and architectural significance as an early 20th-century aristocratic residence in Bucharest. The interiors preserve the authentic Belle Époque style and décor. It provides insight into George Enescu's life through his valuable manuscripts, photographs, personal items, furniture and artworks from his collections.
Visitors can take a guided tour to see the palace's rooms, including Enescu's music room, bedroom, library and more. The museum also hosts classical music recitals, album launches, book presentations and temporary exhibitions related to George Enescu and Romanian music.
The museum would appeal most to classical music fans, those interested in Romanian culture and history, architecture enthusiasts, etc. Guided tours for student groups are also available with prior booking.
18. Grigore Antipa Natural History Museum
The Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History in Bucharest is one of Romania's most prestigious natural history museums, founded in 1834. The museum started with the donation of over 150 minerals, fossils and animal specimens from Governor Mihalache Ghica. The museum grew significantly under the leadership of notable naturalists like Grigore Antipa, who served as director for over 50 years. The museum moved into a purpose-built neoclassical building designed by Grigore Cerchez, with ornate exterior sculptures representing themes of natural history. The museum contains over 2 million specimens in its diverse scientific collections, including extensive zoological, paleontological, geological and ethnographic artifacts.
Visitors can explore the permanent galleries showcasing Romania's diverse ecosystems and species. The museum caters to special temporary exhibitions, 3D films, artificial cave systems, interactive elements and educational programs and workshops. The museum is suitable for visitors of all ages, especially those interested in natural history, science and Romania's biodiversity. It is very popular with school groups.
What are the best museums to visit in Bucharest?
Listed below are the best museums to visit in Bucharest.
- National Museum of Romanian History. The National Museum of Romanian History is the largest history museum in Romania, located in Bucharest. It displays over 60,000 artifacts highlighting Romania's history and culture from prehistoric times to post-communist times. The museum is housed in the former Postal Services Palace at 12 Calea Victoriei Street, Bucharest. The neoclassical building was constructed between 1894 and 1900. Visitors can explore the extensive permanent collections and temporary exhibitions showcasing Romania's origins, the formation of the Romanian people and the country's more recent history. Guided tours are available.
- National Museum of Art of Romania. The National Museum of Art of Romania, located in the former Royal Palace, exhibits Romanian and European art dating back to medieval times until the modern era. The museum is home to Romania's largest public art collections, with over 100,000 works divided into three main galleries. one for medieval art, one for European masters and one for modern Romanian art from the 19th and 20th centuries. Visitors can admire paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings and more by famous Romanian and European artists. Some renowned names include El Greco, Monet, Renoir, Rembrandt, Nicolae Grigorescu and Constantin Brancusi.
- National Museum of Contemporary Art. The National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC) inside the Palace of Parliament showcases Romanian and international contemporary art from 1945 until today. The MNAC has a permanent collection of over 1,200 works of Romanian contemporary art created after World War II. It also hosts 2 to 3 major temporary exhibitions per year dedicated to international contemporary artists. Visitors can view the latest trends in contemporary art across mediums like painting, sculpture, photography, video, installation and performance art by Romanian and foreign artists. Guided tours are available.
- Antipa Museum of Natural History. The Antipa Museum is Romania's national natural history and biodiversity museum, housing over 2 million exhibits relating to evolution, taxonomy, habitats and more. It is located at 12 Kiseleff Road, Bucharest. The museum building was constructed between 1912 and 1937 in a neoclassical style. Highlights of the museum include 60 exhibit halls with dioramas, fossils, minerals, rare species and the nearly complete skeleton of a mammoth. It also has a butterfly greenhouse, aquarium and geology hall with over 15,000 samples. Visitors can explore Romania's biodiversity and natural history through the museum's diverse galleries and exhibits. Many interactive displays make it engaging for children as well.
- Romanian Peasant Museum. The Romanian Peasant Museum illustrates Romanian peasant life's heritage, artifacts and culture. It has over 90,000 objects in its diverse collections. The museum is in a neo-Romanian-style historical building at 3 Kiseleff Road, Bucharest, close to Herăstrău Park. It houses an extensive array of folk art, tools, icons, costumes, textiles, ceramics and other artifacts that showcase Romanian peasants' traditional way of life. Some of the exhibits date back to the 1700s. Visitors can learn about Romanian peasant culture and history through the museum's artifacts and exhibits. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and cultural events.
What are the best things to do in Bucharest with kids?
Listed below are the best things to do in Bucharest with kids.
- Therme Bucharest. Therme Bucharest is a massive indoor and outdoor water park with pools, waterslides and other attractions perfect for kids and families. It is located in northern Bucharest and provides a fun day out. Kids will love playing in the Adventure Pool, sliding down the Kamikaze Slide and exploring Palm Tree Island.
- Gradina Zoologica (The Bucharest Zoo). Gradina Zoologica, located in Bucharest, is a great place to see wildlife up close. It has over 137 species of animals, such as lions, tigers, bears, elephants, giraffes and more. Kids can observe the animals, feed some of them and learn about nature. The zoo also has playgrounds, a mini train ride and paddle boats for rent.
- Muzeul Taranului Roman (The Museum of the Romanian Peasant). Muzeul Taranului Roman gives kids insight into traditional Romanian culture and crafts. Kids can see pottery, costumes, icons and recreated peasant homes. The museum, located in Bucharest, hosts interactive workshops for children on weekends.
- Parcul Herastrau (Herastrau Park). Parcul Herastrau is a large green space with playgrounds, paddle boating on the lake and open areas perfect for picnics, walking or biking. The park is located in Bucharest and has an open-air museum village, ice skating rink and restaurants.
- Carturesti Carusel. Carturesti Carusel is a beautiful six-story bookstore in Bucharest with fun activities for kids. It has over 10,000 books, a bistro, rotating art exhibits and regular events. Kids will love riding the small carousel, playing in the reading treehouse and exploring the countless books.
What are the best activities for a business traveler in Bucharest?
Listed below are the best activities for a business traveler in Bucharest.
- Herăstrău Park. Herăstrău Park in Bucharest has a large green space with gardens, a lake, restaurants and cafes. The part is perfect for taking a break from meetings to go on relaxing walks or jogs along the scenic paths and lakeshore, allowing business travelers to clear their minds before the next day of business meetings.
- Village Museum. Village Museum in Bucharest is an open-air ethnographic museum featuring over 300 authentic Romanian peasant houses, farms, windmills, churches and other traditional structures relocated from rural areas and set up to replicate village life. The museum provides cultural insight to complement business discussions and meetings.
- Romanian Athenaeum. Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest is a concert hall and historic landmark home to the Romanian Philharmonic Orchestra. It hosts regular classical music performances across genres like orchestra, choir, soloists and more. It offers an elegant, cultured experience to continue conversations with colleagues after intense business meetings.
- Caru' cu Bere Restaurant. Caru' cu Bere Restaurant in Bucharest is known for its Gothic architectural details and filling, as well as its authentic local cuisine. It is a place to dine and continue conversations with colleagues over dishes like stuffed cabbage rolls, bean soup, grilled meats and sweet cheese desserts after a long day of business meetings.
- Old Town Area. Old Town Area is a bustling, atmospheric section of Bucharest's city center filled with historical buildings, narrow cobblestone walkways, independent shops and trendy bars, cafes, pubs and clubs featuring everything from quiet jazz nights to lively dancing venues to rock music. The area offers plenty of networking opportunities or places to unwind after intense business meetings.
Where is Bucharest?
Bucharest is the capital and largest city of Romania. It is located in the southeast of the country, about 140 kilometers (65 miles) North of the Danube River and the Bulgarian border. The city has an area of around 585 square kilometers (225 square miles). Bucharest sits on the Dâmbovița River, a small tributary of the Danube. Bucharest is Romania's chief commercial city and the center of Romanian culture and art, drawing millions of tourists and business travelers.
What is the history of Bucharest?
Bucharest's history traces back to the 15th century, with the first written mention in 1459 during the rule of Vlad Țepeș. Bucharest developed as a commercial center on routes between the Ottoman Empire and Central Europe. It became the capital of Wallachia in 1698 and continued growing, especially after a period of peace in the 1800s. Bucharest was proclaimed the capital of the United Romanian principalities in 1862 and the capital of Romania after independence in 1878. A lot of architecture and development occurred after this, naming Bucharest the “Little Paris”. Bucharest faced destruction but renewed growth and restoration in recent decades during World War II and communism.
What language is spoken in Bucharest?
The language spoken in Bucharest is Romanian. Romance language is closely related to languages like Italian and Spanish. Romanian is the native language of almost 90% of the Bucharest population. Other languages like English, French and German are often learned and spoken around Bucharest, especially in business, tourism and education. Some residents speak Romani as their first language. Hungarian and Turkish are spoken by parts of the Bucharest population. The cosmopolitan nature and international draw of Bucharest means many foreign languages can be heard on the streets, but the linguistic backdrop and common tongue is predominantly Romanian.
What time zone is Bucharest in?
Bucharest and all of Romania are located within the Eastern European Time Zone. Bucharest falls under Eastern European Time, 2 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Bucharest uses EEST (UTC/GMT +3 hours) in summer months and EET (UTC/GMT +2 hours) in winter months each year.
How many people live in Bucharest?
The total population of Bucharest as of 2023 is 1,817,938. The gender breakdown is 49% male (883,888 men) and 51% female (934,050 women). The population shows 271,775 people aged 0-14 years old, with 139,652 boys and 132,119 girls. There are 294,545 people aged 15-29, consisting of 151,895 men and 142,648 women. The middle age group 30 44 has 358,911 total, with 186,012 men and 172,896 women. Ages 45-59 has the largest chunk with 419,517, made up of 209,415 men and 210,098 women. Elderly citizens over 60 years old make up 472,519 – 318,929 aged 60-74, 143,210 people aged 75-89 and 12,380 people over 90 years old. There are 189 centenarians in Bucharest – 79 men over 100 years old and 109 women over 100.
What are the most interesting facts about Bucharest?
Listed below are the most interesting facts about Bucharest.
- Currency. The currency used in Bucharest and all of Romania is the Romanian Leu (plural form is Lei). Romania is not part of the Eurozone, so Euros are generally not accepted except at some tourist-oriented businesses. Local currency is needed for most transactions.
- Time Zone. Bucharest is located in the Eastern European Time Zone, which is 2 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+2) and 7 hours ahead of U.S. Eastern Standard Time. Daylight Savings Time is observed from the end of March to the end of October, temporarily putting Bucharest 1 hour ahead (GMT+3) during summer.
- Language. The official language is Romanian, which belongs to the Romance language family (as a descendant of Latin) and is the native language of over 90% of Bucharest's residents. English and German have a strong prevalence as second languages in Bucharest, especially in central areas. Some basic Romanian phrases are still helpful to know.
- Power Plugs. Power sockets in Bucharest and all of Romania are Type F, which have two round pins, similar to most European countries. The standard voltage is 230 V. Travelers from America will need power converters and adapters for U.S. plug types. Many modern devices have built-in voltage converters, but power adapters are still needed to fit Romanian outlets. Checking devices' input voltage/frequency compatibility is recommended.
How many days are needed to see Bucharest?
It is recommended to stay for 2 to 3 days, which is enough time to see the highlights of Bucharest. Two to three days are enough to tour the city's historic center and its most important neighborhoods. This number of days allows immersion into Bucharest and surrounding areas, including multiple day trips and time to sample local cuisine and culture.
Is Bucharest worth visiting?
Yes, Bucharest is worth visiting. Bucharest is Romania's capital and largest city. Bucharest offers a vibrant mix of culture, history, architecture, arts, entertainment and nightlife. Key highlights include the vast Palace of Parliament, the Romanian Athenaeum concert hall, the historic Lipscani district and many museums and galleries. Bucharest has a dynamic food scene with traditional Romanian fare and cosmopolitan international cuisine. The city's historic buildings and churches provide a window into its complex past. Bucharest has a lively cafe, bar and club scene, especially in the Old Town. There are large green spaces and parks for relaxation. Bucharest is one of the European capitals to explore.
Is Bucharest expensive to visit?
No, Bucharest is generally considered an affordable destination compared to other European capitals. The average daily cost per person is €91 ($100, £79). Accommodation will likely be a visitor's biggest expense. Hostels and budget hotels provide cheaper options, while 3-star hotels average cost €73 ($80, £62)/ night. Public transportation like the metro, buses and trams are affordable, with single tickets that cost €1 ($2, £0.86). Eating out, especially local Hungarian food, is reasonably priced. A meal at a budget restaurant costs $10 €9 ($10, £7) per person. Bucharest offers an affordable travel experience for budget-conscious travelers while still providing nice hotels and good food options.
Is Bucharest safe to visit?
Yes, Bucharest is very safe to visit. It is one of Romania’s most popular tourist destinations. The city has low crime rates and is considered safe for travelers. Violent crime is rare in Bucharest. Tourist areas like the historic Lipscani district and Old Town are heavily frequented and considered safe. Bucharest's city center and attractions are well-lit and have a visible police presence. Basic precautions like being aware of your surroundings, not leaving belongings unattended and avoiding poorly lit areas at night will ensure your visit to Bucharest is trouble-free. The welcoming locals add to this beautiful coastal city's pleasant, safe atmosphere.
Is Bucharest easy to visit with kids?
Yes, Bucharest is easy to visit with kids. There are several museums and parks that cater well to children, such as the Natural History Museum, National Village Museum and Cismigiu Gardens. The Old Town area has pedestrian-only streets perfect for strolling with kids. Other kid-friendly attractions include the Grand Palace of Parliament, the Therme indoor water park, laser tag facilities and the Adventure Park amusement park. Bucharest is compact, affordable and has no shortage of things for kids to see and do.
What is Bucharest famous for?
Bucharest is known for its diversity and history, reflected in its eclectic architecture. Secondly, Bucharest is famous for the mammoth Parliament Palace, one of the largest administrative buildings in the world, which took 700 architects to build. Thirdly Bucharest's city center features a mixture of history, from the 15th-century Old Princely Court ruins to beautiful Belle Époque buildings, along with modern towers and communist-era blocks. Thirdly, the Old Town in Bucharest features bustling cafés, clubs and bars that give Bucharest a reputation as the “new Berlin”. Lastly, Bucharest is known as “Little Paris” for its French-inspired architecture and elegant reputation.
What are the most important people born in Bucharest?
Listed below are the most important people born in Bucharest.
- Ion Luca Caragiale (1852-1912). Ion Luca Caragiale was an an influential playwright born on Monday, January 30, 1852, near Ploiești, Bucharest. Ion Luca Caragiale was a hugely influential late 19th-century Romanian playwright and author considered one of Romania's greatest. Caragiale substantially impacted the evolution of Romanian theater with his realist drama and comedy, capturing the essence of society and human nature in his place and time. Caragiale molded the foundations of modern Romanian theater and paved the way for future artists. Caragiale died on June 9, 1912, in Berlin at age 60.
What to eat in Bucharest?
Listed below are what you can eat in Bucharest and Romania.
- Sarmale. Sarmale consists of minced pork and rice tightly wrapped and rolled within pickled cabbage leaves before being simmered in aromatic tomato sauce and finished with cooling sour cream and soft polenta. Sarmale is one of the popular foods visitors are raving about in Bucharest. It is one of the best food to eat in Romania.
- Mici. Mici is called “mititei” in Romanian. Mici are grilled skinless sausages normally made from a zesty blend of ground pork, beef and lamb before being served alongside spicy mustard, crusty bread or crispy fries. Mici is a popular food and is served at most markets in Bucharest.
- Scovergi. Scovergi refers to thin Romanian fried dough topped with sweet or savory ingredients like fruit jams, garlic butter or soft cheese, with the cheese-topped version being similar to Hungarian lángos fried flatbreads. Scovergi is one of the popular foods to try in Bucharest.
- Plăcintă. Plăcintă is a crispy, flaky Romanian pastry that encases fillings like tangy cheese, savory minced meat, fresh fruit or sweetened cocoa paste before being baked or fried to golden perfection. Plăcintă is a delicacy for visitors to try in Bucharest.
- Bulz. Bulz starts with sweet cornmeal baked into fluffy polenta, then gets mixed with Romanian sheep's milk cheese and topped with cured meats or a fried egg before serving. Bulz is one of the must-try delicacies in Bucharest.
- Ciorba. Ciorba refers to sour Romanian soups like silky tripe stew, hearty bean and smoked meat soup, always paired with vinegar or lemon wedges, cooling sour cream and crusty bread on the side. Ciorba is a popular soup served at restaurants in Bucharest.
- Papanasi. Papanasi are sweet, fried Romanian doughnuts stuffed with fresh white cheese, fruit jam and lightly sweetened sour cream. Papanasi is a popular finger food in Bucharest markets.
What are the best places to eat in Bucharest?
Listed below are the best places to eat in Bucharest.
- Caru' cu bere. Caru' cu bere is a historic restaurant in Bucharest known for its stunning Gothic-style interior décor with wood paneling, stained glass, vaulted ceilings and a patio. It serves typical Romanian dishes and has signature beer dating back to 1879. Many describe the food as very good and one of the best restaurants to eat in Bucharest.
- The ARTIST. The ARTIST is a contemporary fine dining restaurant in Bucharest led by Dutch chef Paul Oppenkamp. It offers a unique twist on seasonal Romanian cuisine using molecular gastronomy techniques to create tasting menus. The restaurant has an elegant atmosphere and intricate plating.
- Zexe Zahana. Zexe Zahana is a traditional Romanian restaurant located in Bucharest in an early 20th-century villa. The restaurant has a unique menu, including calf brain, bone marrow and sweetbreads and is known for excellent duck dishes.
- Vatra Restaurant. Vatra restaurant near Cismigiu Gardens in Bucharest serves some of the city's best traditional Romanian food like stuffed cabbage rolls, eggplant salad, grilled meats and papanashi fried dough dessert. The restaurant features live folk music and dance performances.
What are the best areas to stay in Bucharest?
Listed below are the best places to stay in Bucharest.
- Old Town. The Old Town is the most popular area for tourists visiting Bucharest for the first time. Located in the heart of the city, it contains many historic attractions like the Stavropoleos Monastery, Manuc's Inn and Curtea Veche Palace. The cobblestone streets are lined with restaurants, cafes, bars and shops, creating a lively day and night atmosphere. Staying in the Old Town allows easy access by foot to many of Bucharest's top sights. It is generally safe to walk around, especially for solo travelers, even at night, as there is a constant police presence.
- Cismigiu. Cismigiu is a primarily residential neighborhood located in Old Town. It surrounds Cismigiu Gardens, a beautiful public park with lakes, fountains and lush greenery. The area has an upscale vibe, with embassies, art galleries and restaurants scattered among the tree-lined streets. Cismigiu offers a quieter alternative to staying directly in the bustling Old Town while allowing easy foot access or by metro. The small streets feel very walkable and safe. It is a good area for solo travelers or families.
- Dorobanti. Dorobanti is an affluent residential area in northern Bucharest, close to major parks and green spaces. It contains many villas and embassies, lending it an exclusive atmosphere. The neighborhood is home to high-end international restaurants and is considered one of the top fine dining destinations in the city. The tree-lined streets and proximity to parks make Dorobanti a good area for leisurely strolls and safe for solo travelers.
- Floreasca. Floreasca is an upscale neighborhood in northern Bucharest, known for its beautiful homes and proximity to Lake Floreasca. It contains many restaurants, cafes, shops and nightlife spots catering to young professionals. Floreasca has a trendy, hipster vibe in places. The neighborhood provides easy access to large green spaces like Floreasca Park and Regele Mihai I Park for recreation. Floreasca is considered safe for solo travelers.
- Unirii. Unirii is a central neighborhood that contains major landmarks like Unirii Square, the Palace of the Parliament and the National Library. Unirii offers many mid-range and budget hotels near top attractions. It provides efficient metro connections around Bucharest. The area can feel crowded and chaotic in parts but has a constant police presence. Unirii is relatively safe for solo travelers.
What are the best accommodations to stay in Bucharest?
Listed below are the best accommodations to stay in Bucharest.
- InterContinental Bucharest. The 5-star InterContinental Bucharest is centrally located right next to the Old Town and close to top attractions like the Palace of Parliament. It offers elegant rooms with marble bathrooms, a spa and health club and multiple restaurants, including a sky bar with panoramic city views. The neighborhood is very walkable, with cafes, shops and nightlife. The hotel is one of the recommended hotels to stay in Bucharest.
- Rembrandt Hotel. Rembrandt Hotel is a 4-star hotel near the scenic Cismigiu Gardens and the Old Town, Bucharest. It provides modern rooms with free WiFi and minibars, along with an indoor pool, sauna and free breakfast. The area has a local vibe, with restaurants and art galleries.
- Hotel Amzei. The 4-star Hotel Amzei in Bucharest has spacious, stylish rooms with Nespresso machines and iPod docks. Hotel amenities include a lobby bar, gym, spa and free breakfast. The neighborhood is residential with embassies and parks, a short walk from the city center.
- Hotel Opera. Hotel Opera is an affordable 3-star hotel located right next to the Romanian Athenaeum concert hall in Bucharest. It offers simple, modern rooms and a breakfast room. The central location allows easy walking access to top attractions like the Old Town, museums and Parliament Palace.
- The Doors Hostel. The Doors Hostel in Old Town, Bucharest, provides dorms and private rooms with shared bathrooms. Common areas include a kitchen, bar, lounge with games and laundry facilities. Guests enjoy free breakfast and walking access to nightlife, restaurants and key sights.
How to get to Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport?
There are a few ways to get to Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport. These are by bus, car, taxi/rideshare and train. Firstly, express bus 783 runs from the airport to the city center (Piața Unirii) and buses run 24/7. The bus stop is located on the ground floor of the arrivals terminal. The journey takes 40 minutes, depending on traffic. Secondly, direct trains run every 40 minutes between the airport and the Gara de Nord train station in the city center. The train station is located outside the arrivals terminal. Thirdly, official airport taxis are available from the arrivals terminal. Visitors can also pre-book a taxi using apps like Uber, Bolt or Free Now. Lastly, the airport is connected to Bucharest's city center by the DN1/E60 highway by car. The drive takes 20-30 minutes in normal traffic. Rental car counters are located in the arrivals hall. Parking is also available at the airport. The fastest and most convenient options are taking a taxi or rideshare service. The train or bus are cheaper but involve more changes to reach central locations. Tickets can be purchased at counters/machines at the airport or in advance online where available.
Where to go shopping in Bucharest?
There are several great places to go shopping in Bucharest. These are AFI Palace Cotroceni, Baneasa Shopping City, Promenada Mall, Unirea Shopping Center and ParkLake Shopping Center. Firstly, AFI Palace Cotroceni is the largest shopping mall in Bucharest, located in the city center. The mall features Romania's largest shopping mall with over 300 stores, restaurants, entertainment like a rollercoaster and an IMAX cinema. Secondly, Baneasa Shopping City is a high-end shopping mall in Bucharest, located near the airport. It is a high-end shopping mall with over 250 international and Romanian designer brands. The mall has restaurants, cinemas and more. Thirdly, Promenada Mall is a large contemporary mall located in Bucharest that is easily accessible by public transportation. The mall caters to many popular shops, a rooftop terrace, a food court, a cinema and a grocery store. Fourthly, Unirea Shopping Center is an enclosed mall in the center of Bucharest close to major landmarks. Lastly, ParkLake Shopping Center is a popular mall designed near nature/park themes in Bucharest.
What festivals or events are taking place in Bucharest?
Listed below are the festivals or events that are taking place in Bucharest.
- George Enescu International Festival. The George Enescu International Festival is one of Europe's largest classical music festivals. It is held every two years in honor of the famous Romanian composer George Enescu. The 2023 edition takes place from September 1-23 at venues across Bucharest, including the Romanian Athenaeum concert hall. It features over 80 concerts, recitals, competitions and other cultural events. Top orchestras like the London Symphony Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic perform along with renowned conductors and soloists. This is one of the anticipated festivals in Bucharest.
- Bucharest International Film Festival. This annual film festival is held September 15-24 in Bucharest and showcases the latest international independent and art house films. Hundreds of screenings, workshops and industry events take place in cinemas across Bucharest. There are ten competitive sections highlighting different genres and forms of cinema. The festival brings together international filmmakers, critics and enthusiasts to promote creativity in filmmaking.
- Spotlight Festival. Spotlight transforms Bucharest into an outdoor gallery of light art and video projections during this April 18-21 annual spring festival. Landmarks throughout the city center, including the Athenaeum, National Museum of Art and more, are illuminated with colorful, larger-than-life video projections created by local and international artists. The festival highlights Bucharest’s architecture through the interplay of light, video and urban space.
- Romanian Design Week. Romanian Design Week is a design festival held May 17 to 25 that puts a spotlight on Romania’s architecture, product design, graphic arts, fashion and more. It features over 200 exhibitions, conferences, workshops, product launches, block parties and cultural events in Bucharest’s creative Lipscani district. Romanian Design Week aims to promote local creativity and position Bucharest as an emerging design capital.
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