Dynamic and forward thinking, Bucharest is a fantastic introduction to Eastern Europe. Not only is it the capital of Romania but it’s also a melting pot of history, culture and art. With a rich history, modern Bucharest offers a fascinating glimpse at Romania’s communist past and capitalist future.
Things to do in Bucharest
The best way to get acquainted with Bucharest is with a stroll around the cobblestone streets of the Lipscani district. It’s dotted with beautiful buildings, including the tiny Eastern Orthodox Stavropoleos Church and the magnificent Curtea Veche Palace. After dark, the district comes to life with bustling beer houses, trendy bars and family-run restaurants serving up tasty Romanian cuisine.
Towering above the city, the enormous Palace of Parliament is Bucharest’s most iconic landmark. It was raised by former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and features more than 3,000 rooms. Today guided tours are the best way to see the cavernous building.
Romania is famous for its classical music, and there’s no better place to discover its legacy than the Romanian Athenaeum. If you can’t snag tickets to see the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, you can always peek into the Big Hall to admire the beautiful frescoes.
Just west of Calea Victoriei is Cismigiu Garden, an urban park strewn with leafy paths, lakeside cafes and stunning floral displays. If you’ve got kids in tow, a visit to the Grigore Antipa Natural History Museum is a great way to keep them entertained.
Getting around Bucharest
In Lipscani, the best way to explore its historic sites and soak up the atmosphere is on foot. Bucharest is also serviced by an efficient public transport system of buses, trams, metro trains and trolleys. Henri Coandă International Airport is a short 20-minute drive from the city or a one-hour public transport ride.