You’ve found yourself planning for a holiday in Romania’s capital, Bucharest. Well, you’re in for a treat because we’ve compiled six things that absolutely have to be done while in Romania’s centre for art, media and culture. (It has more to offer than Dracula and the Carpathian mountains)
1. Explore the Old Town
The old town is in the heart and centre of the city and is a must-visit location whenever you’re in Bucharest. As the name promises, you’ll find many historical buildings in this district, such as Stavropoleos Monastery. Known for its small alleys, this part of the city is really great for getting lost (in the best way possible).
Thanks to a recent makeover, this part of the city turned into a hip quarter with many chic restaurants and cafes mostly located in Lipscani-Street. Make sure to allocate time to spend here to really get a feel for the city.
2. Join a Guided Tour
Bucharest offers a huge variety of guided tours, which are a great way to discover the city and learn some interesting facts along the way. One recommendation is to take the free walking tour which guides you through all the famous spots in the city.
If you prefer a less touristy option, the ‘Alternative City Tour’ would be your best bet. It’ll show you more unconventional spaces, street art and you’ll get to see the city from a local’s perspective.
For history lovers, there’s the ‘Jewish Tour’ which gives an insight into the Jewish Community and tours major synagogues and temples. Another option covers the Romanian revolution of 1989, named ‘Tour of Communist Bucharest’ and explains everything about the rise and fall of communism in Romania.
3. Check out the Cismigiu Gardens
While Bucharest might not be famous for its parks, Cismigiu Park is really worth a visit. It is located directly in the centre of the city, so it’s easy to get there when you need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
The English Garden even has a little lake, where you can rent boats in the Summer and skate in Winter. It’s popular among locals and tourists alike, which creates a very nice atmosphere.
4. Try out Local Food
One of the best things about travelling is the food you get to try. Romanian food is very comforting and absolutely delicious. The country’s national dish is called Sarmale, made up of stuffed cabbage rolls with rice, minced meat and vegetables.
Another popular dish is called Mici, which you can find at any Romanian barbecue. The sausages are made of ground meat, black pepper and spices. For those with a sweet tooth, we recommend Alivenci, a cake served with yoghurt and powdered sugar.
5. Discover Bucharest’s Party Scene
Bucharest is one of East Europe’s most popular party destinations. New bars and clubs are popping up across the city, leaving their mark in Bucharest’s identity. You can expect rather cheap drinks and a welcoming crowd no matter where you decide to party.
Whether you want to see a concert, go clubbing or just enjoy a beer while observing the crowd, you should head to the Old Town, the vibrant vein of the city.
6. Get to know the Coffee Culture
Coffee shops are often the hip spots to be in the city and are often quite international. They are perfect for when you’re craving a good cup of coffee or just looking for a warm place to review the latest pictures you took. In recent years, Bucharest has become a hot spot for specialty coffee, with more than 50 cafes across the city. Barista Alexandru Niculae of Bob Coffee Lab even won the World Roaster Championship in 2016.
And that sums up our list of must-dos when in Bucharest! We hope you’re feeling excited for your upcoming trip. We’re also happy to announce that Romania is officially one of our FREE NOW countries, which means you can now use the app to explore Bucharest!
Want to read more travel stories? Find out where we heading to this fall.