Known as the Paris of the east, because of its French-influenced architecture, Bucharest boasts wide, tree-lined boulevards, monumental buildings and a vibrant historical quarter that’s well worth discovering.
Top things to see and do
- Get a flavour of old Bucharest when you visit the Lipscani district, in the city’s old town. Narrow, cobblestoned streets and courtyards, once crammed with merchants and craftsmen, are now full of galleries, antique shops, cafés, restaurants and gift shops. The liveliest street is Str. Smardan.
- Enjoy lush greenery in the middle of the city at Herăstrău Park. Flowerbeds and shady paths lead to the banks of Lake Herăstrău with its arched bridges and little island. You can explore it by rowing boat, or take a lake cruise.
- See the colossal Palace of Parliament. One of the world’s largest buildings, this has 1,100 rooms and 12 storeys above ground, as well as four underground. Other palace statistics include 480 chandeliers and 200,000 square metres of carpet. You’ll have the chance to have a look round some of the marble staircases and carved wooden balconies on your visit.
- Experience Romanian village life at the outdoor Village Museum. It features more than 300 rural buildings from all over Romania, including wooden houses, windmills, cottages, barns and churches, any of which were brought here in pieces and reassembled.
Enjoy Bucharest’s nightlife. The city is full of clubs, particularly around Piata Uniril, Piata Romana and Lipscani. There’s a lively music scene with everything from jazz bands to dance music to classical concerts.
Tips for travellers
The attractive mountain town of Brasov lies about two-and-a-half hours from Bucharest by car. One of its highlights is nearby Medieval Bran Castle, also known as Dracula’s castle.