The Best Places to see in Bucharest
Bucharest was once called the Paris of the East. While for many, this nickname no longer fits the bill, there is an elegant charm about the city. Yes, Bucharest is a little gritty and run down in areas, but this only adds to its unique character and counter-culture appeal. Historically rich, culturally fascinating and brimming with bars, cafes and shops, Bucharest is ideal for a city break packed with unique sights, tastes, sounds and experiences.
The Palace of Parliament
Bucharest is home to the world’s biggest parliamentary building, which was constructed during the time of former dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu to house the presidential offices and the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party. Visitors can take an hour-long guided tour of the building’s interiors or simply ogle at the humongous building from the outside while strolling through the streets of the capital.
The Old Town
The winding cobbled streets and narrow lanes of the Lipscani area or Bucharest Old Town have become the undisputed hot-spot for bars, clubs, pubs, cafes and restaurants. Quirky drinking and dining outlets line the streets, with cushioned seats, sofas and tables spilling onto the pavement. There are so many places to choose from its difficult to know where to start, but whatever time of day you go, you’re sure to find somewhere to suit your taste.
The stunning Cișmigiu Gardens located right in the centre of the city, are a perfect place to enjoy the warm Romanian sunshine. Take a stroll around the vast expanse of green space and take in the romantic lake, the tall old trees and the charmingly historic wrought-iron signposts and benches.
This gorgeous little monastery, situated right in the heart of the old town, tucked in between the towering statuesque buildings typical of the area, is an Eastern Orthodox building designed in the Brâncovenesc style. Originally intended to house nuns, the cute little building is now best admired for its stunning paintings and peaceful atmosphere.
If you are even the slightest bit interested in learning something about Romanian history during your city break in Bucharest, paying a visit to the symbolic Revolution Square is an absolute must. Renamed in commemoration of the revolution against the former dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu, the square is home to the Romanian National Art Museum, the Athenaeum, the University of Bucharest, the Memorial of the Rebirth and the former Central Committee of the Communist Party.
Caru’ cu Bere
This iconic restaurant and beer hall is one of the oldest and most traditional in Bucharest. Housed in a beautiful old building in the old town, the interior is exquisitely adorned in an other-worldly style with ornate wood carvings, stained glass windows and home-brewed beers served in tankards.
Keen to shrug off the strict regimes of the past, Bucharest is fast becoming a hub of alternative, contemporary counter culture, full of artist’s collectives, squats and internationally renowned street art. If serious museums and stoic art galleries aren’t your thing, try seeking out some of the capital’s vibrant and colourful street art.
The Museum of the Romanian Peasant
Bucharest has lots of great museums, retelling the story of a long and intricate history, but if your city break only leaves you time to visit one, make it the Museum of the Romanian Peasant. Full of weird and wonderful relics from the past lives of the countries peasant-folk, the museum is a time capsule of art, weapons, costumes, home-ware and much, much more.