Once known as the "Little Paris of the East", Bucharest is a city brimming with a myriad of experiences waiting to be explored. Prepare to witness a vibrant cultural scene where traditional folklore meets contemporary art and a culinary landscape that reflects the city's historical influences. We at flydubai present you with a list of the best things to do in Bucharest.
1. Explore Lipscani, the enchanting old town
Step into a time capsule as you wander through charming cobbled streets adorned with historic architecture, cosy cafés, theatres and eclectic boutiques.
Visit Cărturești Carusel, an impressive bookshop set inside a beautiful 19th-century restored building, housing more than 10,000 books and 5,000 albums and DVDs. Witness fine collections of royal and religious treasures at the National Museum of Romanian History. Each corner of Lipscani tells a story of a bygone era, inviting you to delve into Bucharest's past while embracing its modern flair.
2. Journey back in time at Curtea Veche
Explore Curtea Veche, the remains of Bucharest's medieval Princely Court. Located in the heart of the Old Town, it was the palatial residence of Wallachian princes. Its best-known occupant was the infamous Romanian prince, Vlad III, who inspired the tale of Dracula. Amidst the remnants of ancient walls, arches and columns, you will uncover legends that offer a glimpse into Bucharest's intriguing past.
3. Marvel at the grandeur of the Palace of the Parliament
Be prepared to be awe-struck by the sheer magnitude and glory of the Palace of the Parliament. An architectural marvel that stands as a testament to Romania's intricate craftsmanship and historical significance. The palace is the world's second-largest administrative building after the Pentagon. Go on a scheduled tour of this marble and steel colossus, which spans over 330,000 square metres. Wander around the opulent halls and monumental walls of this heaviest building in the world.
4. Stroll around the Revolution Square
Revolution Square was the epicentre of the 1989 Romanian Revolution. It is said that a coup d'etat happened here when a crowd of more than 100,000 forced the communist dictator Ceausescu to flee and changed the course of Romanian history. Various important buildings stand nearby, including the dramatic Memorial Cross, erected to honour those who lost their lives during the bloody revolution.
5. Explore the National Museum of Art
After visiting the Revolution Square, go to the National Museum of Art, housed in the former Royal Palace, where a vast collection of European and Romanian masterpieces from classical to contemporary are exhibited. Admire the works of the country's most celebrated artists in the various halls of the building. Significant pieces of Monet, Rembrandt, and Renoir are on display next door in the European Gallery.
6. Enjoy a cultural performance at the Romanian Athenaeum
Elevate your senses by attending a performance at the Romanian Athenaeum, an illustrious concert hall that stands as a cultural beacon in Bucharest. Built more than a hundred years ago, the building resembles an ancient Greek temple with a huge dome and a cloister of six pillars. The interiors feature gold-leaf painted ceilings, plunging balconies, and marble staircases.
7. Revel in tranquillity at one of the many parks in Bucharest
Find solace amidst the urban rush of the city by venturing into the Cișmigiu Gardens. Rent a rowboat to sail across the artificial lake, and if you are visiting during winter, enjoy skating at the ice rink.
Another sanctuary for relaxation is the serene Herăstrău Park, which is nestled along the shores of the Herăstrău Lake. The leafy park harbours a unique open-air museum, the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum. You can wander through its traditional buildings, pheasant homes, thatched barns, cabins, churches, and mills, all of which were carefully taken from various towns across Romania and reconstructed to give a walkable village-like setting in the park.
8. Go on an excursion to the Bran Castle
One of the best things to do in Bucharest is to go on a day trip to Bran Castle, often called “Dracula's Castle”. Nestled in the picturesque Carpathian Mountains and usually covered in fog, this 14th-century medieval fortress exudes an air of mystery. Explore the Gothic architecture, secret passages, and folklore surrounding the castle.
9. Do some retail therapy at Calea Victoriei
Go on a walking tour through the Calea Victoriei, an avenue in central Bucharest adorned with elegant architecture, upscale shops, and charming restaurants. Stroll down the boulevard to discover high-end fashion, jewellery, and unique souvenirs at this shopper's paradise.
10. Tantalize your tastebuds with Romanian cuisine
From hearty comfort foods to delicate pastries, Bucharest's food scene is a treat. It melds classic local dishes like "sarmale" (cabbage rolls stuffed with meat and rice) and "mamaliga" (cornmeal porridge served with sour cream and cheese) with modern twists. Indulge in "mici" (grilled sausages) and hearty "ciorba" (sour soup) in various inventive eateries or upscale restaurants offering gourmet renditions of local favourites. Save room for delightful pastries like "papanasi" (fried doughnuts) and "cozonac" (sweet bread filled with nuts).
Book your flight to Bucharest with flydubai and set about your Romanian adventure, delving into the city's distinct atmosphere and discovering its well-kept treasures.