Best Things to Do in Bucharest, Romania

The capital of Romania is a vibrant, multicultural and ever-renewing city, with a rich culture and a cosmopolitan way of life. An interesting cocktail of old and new, Bucharest is the sixth larger city in Europe and one of the most important in Southeastern Europe. The city’s beautiful old architecture is mixed with state-of-the-art glass and steel constructions while the parks and the large green areas offer safe haven for all those wanting to get far from the madding crowd. With its rich culture and history, excellent entertainment offers, diverse cuisine, and booming nightlife, Bucharest became is one of the must-see touristic destinations for international travelers.

Best Time to Visit Bucharest

Bucharest has a rather temperate-continental climate, but the best seasons to visit the city are spring, summer, and fall. During summer, though, the temperatures can get extremely high.

Top Things to Do in Bucharest

Visit the Old Town

Old Town Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania: Old Town

Completely renovated a few years back, Bucharest’s Old Town is the city’s beating heart of entertainment. You can walk the narrow cobble streets in the search for some architectural and cultural wonders (as many medieval buildings have been preserved and restored), or just wander around the bohemian intertwined streets full of shops, bars, restaurants and clubs. Besides small churches, ruins belonging to the courts of Wallachia rulers and 19th-century buildings, you can also get souvenirs from boutique shops, have an exquisite dinner in one of the high-end restaurants or enjoy a bar crawl night with friends in the hundreds of available pubs.

Take a Guided Tour

The best way to visit Bucharest is with the help of a guide. There are free walking tours covering the major central area and the most important landmarks, as well as paid tours covering larger areas. There are important touristic and historical landmarks spread throughout the city and you can visit them as well, taking advantage of these areas being less crowded than the city center.

Take a Walk in the Park

bucharest romania cismigiu park

Bucharest, Romania: Cismigiu Park

Bucharest has many large beautiful parks and many of them have something interesting and unique. Cișmigiu Park is the oldest park in Bucharest and one of the loveliest such recreation areas in the historical heart of the city. While it is not large, it is incredibly beautiful, especially since it hosts rare plants as trees, charming statues and surprising wooden decks and bridges.

At the other extreme, you can go to Herăstrău Park, the largest one in the city. Spread on an immense surface, the park hosts an open-air museum (the Village Museum), an open-air theatre and concert venue, numerous sports grounds, a small amusement park and several restaurants, pubs and clubs. The lake in the park is great for renting boats in summer.

Another green area you wouldn’t want to miss is the Botanical Garden. Established in 1884 near Cotroceni Palace, The Bucharest Botanical Gardens are an oasis of luxurious and rare vegetation, with plants and trees brought here from all over the world. There are thematic gardens (indoor tropical one, for instance) which will truly surprise you.

Visit the Museums

village museum in Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest, Romania: Village Museum

There are so many museums in Bucharest, you will need a longer vacation just to see the most important ones. The Village Museum is a unique experience for any foreigner visiting Bucharest. This open air exhibit features more than 300 houses, buildings, churches and mills, all gathered from villages situated in all regions of the country.

You might want to see the National History Museum, set in the city center, for a trip back to the very origins of the country. The Trajan’s column replica and the numismatic collection are among the most favorite pieces of the museum.

“Grigore Antipa” Natural History Museum is a very interesting one and the city prides very much with it: it presents over 300.000 exhibits talking about the evolution of life on the planet.

Tip: Bucharest hosts plenty of museums, so you’d better schedule your visits. The entrance fees are extremely cheap, but watch out for the non-visiting days of the week.

Enjoy the Local Cuisine

Bucharest, Romania: Local food

Bucharest, Romania: Local Dish

Bucharest enjoys its diversity, so you will find Romanian restaurants next to Italian and Turkish ones on the same street. Don’t miss out specific Romanian dishes such as tripe soup, polenta and a diverse range of meat-based dishes and grills.

Tip: Be prepared to spend up to 5 – 10 USD on a single meal at mid range restaurants and bistros and up to 30 – 50 USD at high-end restaurants.

Keep Yourself Entertained

Bucharest, Romania: Clubbing

Bucharest, Romania: Nightlife

Bucharest hosts plenty of concerts, theatre plays, opera shows and so on. Let’s not forget about the annual George Enescu International Festival of Classic Music and some of the city’s regular summer music festivals. Almost all clubs and bars offer music concerts, live performances, independent theatre shows and movie projections.

Bucharest’s night life is something you don’t want to miss. From pub crawling in the Old Town to high-end live performances featuring international artists, you can’t get bored in Bucharest no matter when you visit the city. From the most chic art galleries to the most luxurious theatre, opera and symphonic concerts premiers, there’s always something to do here and something to please all ages and all interests.

Famous clubs are also a highlight in Bucharest and you will find them particularly interesting, as many are thematically designed and each has its own particularities.

Tip: In summer, a night out might get a bit expensive, and you can end up spending up to 100 – 150 USD a night if you splurge.

Top Things to See in Bucharest

Palace of Parliament in Bucharest Romania

Bucharest, Romania: Palace of Parliament

The city has a few important landmarks to offer and they shouldn’t be missed: The Parliament Palace – the largest Parliament building in the world which can be visited in a guided tour –, The Arch of Triumph, The Romanian Atheneum, The Unirii (Union) Square, The Revolution Square, the University of Bucharest, The Victoria Palace, Patriarchal Cathedral and many other important cultural, touristic and historical landmarks.

Bucharest is an amazing city with plenty to offer from all points of view. Don’t miss its historical landmarks and enjoy the light show in the city center if you happen to spend the winter holidays there!

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