If you are thinking of traveling to Bucharest, Romania, you are in the right place. Bucharest is located in the southeast of Romania, of which it is the capital. It is only 80 km from Bulgaria. The Danube River passes south of the city. Nearly 2 million people live in Bucharest, the most populous city in the country. The number of people living in the surrounding settlements reaches 2 and a half million. Although it is thought that Romanians are gypsies because of the word “Roman”, only 620,000 gypsies live in Romania.
Romania has been a member of the European Union since 2007; As of 2017, it is possible to enter the country with a Schengen visa. The name Bucharest was first mentioned in documents dated 1459. It is thought that the name of Bucharest derives from the word “bucur”, which means “pleasure, happiness”.
The city has been the capital of independent Romania since 1862. Bucharest is the center of Romanian art and architecture, as well as the trade and media sector. In Europe, which became uninhabitable in the period between the two great world wars, Bucharest was called Paris of the East. Bucharest deserves this acknowledgment with its stunning architecture and the value it places on art.
Bucharest is the most prosperous city in Romania in terms of economy. It has the distinction of being one of the most developed cities in Eastern Europe with its infrastructure, higher education institutions providing quality education, and cultural events it hosts. Some of Bucharest’s sister cities around the world are Atlanta and Beijing.
The most important higher education institutions in Bucharest are the Gheorge Gheorghui-Dej Polytechnic Institute and the University of Bucharest. In addition, there are many research centers and colleges of science and arts in the city.
Where Is Bucharest?
Let us share with you some of the things you need to know when traveling to Bucharest. Bucharest is the capital of Romania, an Eastern Balkan country bordering the Black Sea. Bucharest has no coastline and is located on the Bulgarian border. Romania is bordered by Bulgaria to the south, Ukraine to the north, Moldova to the east, and Hungary and Serbia to the west.
When To Go To Bucharest?
In Bucharest, which has continental climate characteristics, summers are quite hot and less rainy, and winters are harsh, cold and snowy. The temperature, which is between 27 and 30 degrees in summer, drops to 1-4 degrees in winter at best. Most of the autumn is rainy. Our recommendation to tourists who want to visit the city under the most comfortable conditions is to go to Bucharest in spring or autumn.
Therefore, it is suitable between May and October to visit the city in the most efficient way. You can explore the city to your heart’s content in April, May, June, September and October without being overwhelmed by the heat and being affected by the cold of Bucharest, and you can wander around the city day and night. Because if you go to Bucharest in winter, it will not be possible to visit touristic places in very harsh, dry cold.
Likewise, if you go in summer, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to visit touristic places in temperatures exceeding 30 degrees throughout the day. We recommend that you buy your flight ticket at least 3-4 months in advance to go to Bucharest at an affordable price during the popular season. Because many tourists want to explore Bucharest in nice weather; This increases the prices of both flight tickets and accommodation facilities.
Best Places To Visit In Bucharest
Bucharest is a city that offers a visual feast to its visitors and whose streets are beautiful enough to make you feel like you are in an open-air museum. The earlier you start the day, the better you will evaluate it. Because there is so much to see in Bucharest and it may take hours to visit a palace properly.
Bucharest Parliament Building
The Romanian Parliament, which is one of the most magnificent parliament buildings in the world, is one of the first places to visit in Bucharest. Inside the parliament, there are three museums, one of which is the Museum of Contemporary Art, one of the Communist Totalitarianism Museum, and an international conference hall. We recommend that you see the night lighting of the building you will visit during the day. Building a huge parliament building was the focus when Bucharest was being rebuilt after the great 1977 earthquake.
Inside the parliament there are a total of 3500 tons of crystals, 480 chandeliers and large gates made of iron and bronze. The building, built on an area of 365 thousand square meters, is surrounded by large lawn gardens.
One of the most touristic spots in Bucharest, the Parliament Building is a destination that no tourist would want to miss. This magnificent building, which is one of the first buildings to welcome the tourists coming to the city center, stands out with its many features. The Parliament Building, which is the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon in the USA, is located on an area of 365 acres and has a height of 84 meters.
With this feature, the structure, which also holds the distinction of being the heaviest building in the world, was built between 1983 and 1989 by a team of approximately 700 architects. It is possible to see the perfect harmony of both the traditional and the modern in the Parliament Building, which was designed with an architectural understanding fed by classical sources.
The story of this huge building is as interesting as its appearance. The Parliament Building is shown as one of the buildings where the most exaggerated money was spent on its construction in the history of humanity. It is one of the projects known as the Civic Centre, which covers the urban development plans of the communist leader Ceausescu. While the building, which represents Ceausescu’s authoritarianism and arrogance according to some, left a lot of destruction behind.
19 Orthodox Churches, 6 Synagogues, 3 Protestant Churches and two neighborhoods with 30 thousand residences, which make up one-fifth of Bucharest’s city center, were demolished for the building, the construction of which began with the motto of Victory of Socialism. The building, which was called ‘Casa Poporului’, which means House of the People in the communist regime, started to be used as the Palace of Parliament after the defeat of communism in Romania.
One of the most touristic spots of Bucharest, the Parliament Building is one of the must-see places with its marble stairs, carved wooden balconies, crystal chandeliers and other exquisitely crafted details.
Address: Strada Izvor 2-4, Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest National History Museum
The Romanian National History Museum building, located on the most famous street of Bucharest, Calea Victorieri (Victory Boulevard), was built by Alexandru Săvulescu in Neo-classical architecture between 1894-1900. The building, which was used as a post office for 70 years, became the National History Museum in 1970. You can visit the museum, which is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, every day of the week between 10:00 and 18:00.
Valuables and some of the national treasure that once belonged to the Romanian royal family are displayed in this museum.
The entrance fee is 25 Romanian Leu per person, and students and children can visit the museum by paying 7 Romanian Leu. On the stairs at the entrance of the museum, visitors are greeted by the statue of Trajan, the Roman Emperor between 98-117 AD, carrying a wolf in his arms.
Located in a Neo-Classical building with beautiful architecture, the National History Museum is a unique opportunity for those seeking more detailed information about the history of the Romanian people. Built between 1894-1900 after the designs of a local architect, Alexandru Savulescu, this historical building initially served for the Romanian Postal Service, Poşta Romana. In 1970, after the post office was moved to another area, it was turned into a museum.
Artifacts from prehistory to the present, including the Middle Ages and modern times, are exhibited at the National History Museum. Although most parts of the museum are closed to the public, it is possible to visit interesting exhibitions that shed light on Romanian history in 60 exhibition halls occupying an area of 8,000 square meters. Treasures are perhaps the most interesting parts of the museum.
These collections, which contain treasures from different civilizations that lived in this region thousands of years ago, are considered national treasures.
Another remarkable work can be shown as Trajan’s Column. The Dacians, who are considered to be the ancestors of the Romanians, M.S. You can view a copy of Trajan’s Column with reliefs depicting his battles in the 2nd century BC here. Trajan’s Column contains 2662 figures and 255 historical scenes. You will admire this column, which is the most reliable historical evidence of the Dacian Wars.
Address: Calea Victoriei 12 | Sector 3, Bucharest
Macca Villacrosse Passage
This passage in the center of Bucharest will immediately captivate you. This passage is one of the places that tourists who want to shop come to in Bucharest, with hookah cafes decorated in the style of a coffee house in Egypt, boutiques where precious stones and jewelery are sold, and ready-made clothing stores, which are very attractive to foreigners, maybe not to Turks. Covered with a yellow and green glass ceiling, this passage was completed in 1891 and is compared to passages in Milan or Paris.
There are also restaurants in the passage that tourists prefer for lunch, such as a Chinese restaurant. While one door of the shopping arcade, which is designed to resemble a fork inside, leads to Zafer Boulevard, the other door opens to the historical Lipscani district.
Although the most touristic areas of Bucharest are striking symbols of the city such as the Parliament Building and the Arc de Triomphe, there are many architectural gems waiting to be discovered. Macca Villacross Passage is also one of the hidden tourist gems in the heart of Bucharest. Completed in 1891, this arcade was built to rival its counterparts in London and Paris.
What makes this historical passage interesting is its horseshoe-shaped architectural structure. Macca Villacross represented one of the first luxury shopping malls in Bucharest at the time it was built.
When you visit today, you can think about how selfless the people who worked on its construction were. The passage, which is decorated with unique and elegant embroidery, can make you feel comfortable and at home as it is mostly covered with yellow glass. Although it was filled with countless shopping stores in the past, today there are more cafes, restaurants and luxury jewelers.
You may be wondering about the story of Macca Villacross’s name. The word Villacross, obviously not Romanian, comes from the Catalan region of Spain. The passage takes its name from Xavier Villacrosse, who lived in Bucharest in the 1840-50s and was the city’s famous chief architect. It is believed that the name Macca, oddly enough, comes from a relative of the construction worker Felix Xenopol. The names of the passage, which has two separate entrances, are Macca and Villacrosse.
It’s not just that it’s the first mall that makes Macca Villacross famous. He also has other firsts to which he owes his fame. This was the first place to smoke hookah in the capital after the end of the communist era. It also hosted Romania’s first stock market. By visiting Macca Villacross, you can experience what it feels like to live in old Bucharest and discover the hidden pearls of the city.
Address: Pasajul Macca, Bucharest, Romania
Bucharest National Art Museum
The National Art Museum in Bucharest is the most important art museum in Romania and houses a large number of works of art from both Romanian and Eastern European art. There are many permanent exhibition halls in the museum, especially the National Gallery, which contains modern and medieval Romanian works. Apart from these, there are halls where visitors are hosted for temporary exhibitions. Art workshops for children are also organized in the museum.
Bucharest is a cultural city with great selections for art lovers. One of the museums in the city with unique exhibitions is the National Art Museum. This museum, which has the most important and most comprehensive collection of fine art in the country, is located in a historical building built in 1837. What makes this building, the former Royal Palace of Bucharest, visible to tourists is its proximity to the Romanian Ateneum.
The art collections of the museum are exhibited in two different sections, the National Gallery and the European Art Gallery. The National Gallery, on the other hand, consists of two different sections, namely the Romanian Medieval Art Gallery and the Romanian Modern Art Gallery. In the National Gallery, it is possible to see pieces of ancient and medieval art, as well as works by famous Romanian artists who have made great contributions to international art history.
The works of famous artists such as Monet, Renoir and Cezanne are exhibited in the European Art Gallery. With more than 12 thousand works separated by nationality, the European Art Gallery has content that you do not want to miss. With its rich content, the National Museum of Art can be a satisfying and useful stop for visitors interested in art.
Address: Calea Victoriei 49-53, Bucureşti 010063
George Enescu Museum
This museum is located in one of the most beautiful buildings in Bucharest. So much so that the museum must be visited just to see this building known as the Cantacuzino Palace. Goerge Enescu, who lived between 1881-1955, is considered the most important musician of all time in Romania. Opened in memory of the composer, pianist and conductor Enescu, this museum exhibits the artist’s handwriting, musical works, personal belongings, sculptures in his home, diplomas and medals, and musical instruments.
The museum can be visited between 10:00 and 17:00 every day except Mondays. The museum also organizes classical music concerts every month.
Like many museums in Bucharest, the George Enescu Museum is housed in a palace. Cantacuzino Palace, where the museum is located, was built in 1903 and is shown as one of the most beautiful historical buildings that appeal to the Art Nouveau art movement that dominates the city.
The Cantacuzino Palace is actually a building built by the then Mayor of Bucharest, George Cantacuzino. It was turned into a museum in 1956 to keep the memory of the famous Romanian composer George Enescu alive. In the museum, which has details that may attract the attention of travelers who are interested in music, many pieces, especially the artist’s violins, are exhibited in order to honor the life and work of George Enescu.
The organization of the famous George Enescu Festival is also held here. Held between 31 August and 22 September, this festival is the largest classical music festival in Romania and one of the largest in Eastern Europe.
Address: 141, Calea Victoriei, Bucharest, Romania
Grigore Antipa Natural History Museum
It is a museum where natural history and evolution are exhibited as far as human beings have discovered, and animal skeletons that have survived millions of years ago can be seen. The museum, which is free for visitors under the age of 18 during the summer holidays, can enter the museum free of charge throughout the year, as well as students of medicine, biology and fine arts. The museum has both permanent and temporary exhibitions.
Replicas of submarine creatures discovered millions of years ago in seas and polar points all over the world, skeletons of creatures thought to have lived on land, and much more can be seen in the museum. We can say that it is a museum that especially school-age children should be taken.
It is possible to find all kinds of museums in Bucharest. Among these, the Grigore Antipa Natural History Museum is one of the ones with the largest collections. Nearly 2 million items are exhibited in this museum, which has always been improving its collections since its opening in 1834. There are many interactive exhibits and educational games at the Grigore Antipa Natural History Museum, which offers its visitors the opportunity to explore the biological diversity that has continued throughout history.
When you visit the museum, you can see an impressive array of dinosaur skeletons, as well as archaeological finds of almost all kinds of animals.
Founded in 1834 with the initiative of the King’s brother, Count Mihalache Ghica, the museum first exhibited coins, various minerals and fossils from the Greek, Roman and Byzantine civilizations, as well as different works of art. This building, named after Grigore Antipa, who was the director of the museum between 1893 and 1944, is also an educational institution.
Grigore Antipa, Romania’s most famous biologist, is also the first Romanian to reach the North Pole. The most popular exhibit of the museum is the skeleton of Deinotherium Gigantissimum, a prehistoric relative of today’s elephants.
If you are looking for an educational and entertaining museum especially for children, it may be difficult to find a better one than Grigore Antipa. Here you can find fun games for children as well as participate in educational and interactive programs that will help raise environmental and historical awareness. By visiting this largest natural history museum in the country, you can see interesting dinosaur fossils and extraordinary butterfly collections.
Address: Shoseaua Pavel D. Kiseleff 1, Bucharest, Romania
This beautiful building, which was originally built as a monastery and then rebuilt as a palace between 1888-1893, was used by Romanian King Carol I. Cotroceni Palace, which hosted the dynasty until 1947, started to be used as the headquarters of the prime minister after the collapse of the communist regime in 1991. Built by the famous French architect Paul Gottereau and decorated inside and out like a fairy tale, this palace was badly damaged after the great 1977 earthquake and was restored by Romanian architect Nicolae Vladescu.
In the palace, only a part of which is open to touristic visits, you will be able to see the rooms of her nephew, Prince Ferdinand, who is the heir of Carol I, and her husband, the English Marie, and Marie’s unique art collection.
Located in one of the oldest and most beautiful quarters of the capital, Cotroceni Palace is the guardian of Romanian history for several centuries. Although the history of the palace dates back to earlier times, it is often associated with the founding royal figures of Greater Romania. Serving as the residence of the royal family, the palace was originally built as a modest monastery on the Cotroceni hill.
The Romanian King Carol I had a giant palace built here with the decision he took in 1888. When the king does not have a son, he leaves the throne and therefore the palace to his nephew Ferdinand. King Ferdinand had many additions made to the palace between 1915 and 1926. We can say that the palace took its present stately state during this period.
The reign of kings in the Cotroceni Palace lasts until 1947, and with the start of the communist regime, royal properties are confiscated. In the palace, which was later turned into a museum, it is possible to see many valuable items and works of art belonging to the royal today. It is said that there are more than 20 thousand pieces in the museum.
Address: Bulevard Geniului 1, Bucharest 060116, Romania
Old Town (Lipscani)
The Old Town district, which has gained a new look with extensive restoration works after decades of neglect, is one of the points that mirrors the history of Bucharest. The old town area, full of beautiful period buildings, old churches and romantic cafes, is full of interesting sights. Known by the locals as Centru Vechi, meaning old centre, this area more or less preserves its pre-World War II appearance.
The Old Town area, where the most visible places of many cities are gathered, is also important in terms of being the places where you can see the most realistic traces of the culture and history of that city. The old town in Bucharest is just like that, it’s a special area that offers plenty of food and drink options and takes you on a tour through the history of Bucharest.
Don’t be surprised if you hear someone refer to Old Town as Lipscani. Because Lipscani, the most famous street in this region, is identified with the region. The Old Town area today represents a tourist hotspot full of bars, pubs and restaurants. In Lipscani, where different art movements such as Baroque, neoclassical and Art Nouveau coexist, you can experience a different entertainment experience in entertainment venues located in magnificent buildings.
But let’s make a reminder; Unfortunately, this place has not been perfectly preserved like the medieval old towns of European cities. Rooted structures were also affected by Romania’s turbulent history. It seems that the Civic Center project of the communist regime caused the biggest disaster in this region, which was not damaged by the war. According to the project, three-fifths of the old city center, for which the Citizenship Center was intended, was destroyed.
While visiting the Old Town, do not leave without visiting the ruins of Curtea Veche, also known as the Court of the Old Nobles and also famous as the palace of Count Dracula. The history of the building, which was built as a house during the period of the famous Count Dracula, the Voivode of the Wallachian Principality, dates back to the 15th century. There is also a church worth seeing here.
Stavropoles Church, which means pilgrimage city in Greek, will impress you with the aesthetic details in its decorations. Let’s also add that the National Museum of Romanian History is located in the Old Town.
For shopping, the Old Town offers unlimited options. You can buy Romanian souvenirs for yourself and your loved ones from the souvenir shops here. Let’s also note that jewelry made with local wine and beads are the most famous souvenirs of Bucharest.
Address: Old Town, Bucharest
Victory Boulevard (Calea Victoriei)
Calea Victoriei, meaning Victory Avenue, is one of the oldest streets in Bucharest and arguably the most famous. The history of this street, which hosts architectural styles that succeeded in bringing the picturesque appearance of Bucharest, which was described as Little Paris a century ago, dates back to the 16th century. This long street, which became a district purchased by wealthy noble families to build houses in the 18th century, could only regain its current appearance towards the end of the 19th century.
Victory Boulevard, which is one of the first places to visit in Bucharest, is home to many historical and cultural buildings. The boulevard, which starts from the Independence Avenue and continues to the Victory Square, has a special importance in the history of Bucharest, as the place names suggest. This place began to be built after the War of Independence in 1877 and over time it takes its present appearance.
This street was the main road connecting the town of Mogoşoaia to the city, where Romanian princes and nobles had built villas and palaces (like Constantine Brâncoveanu’s palace) in the north of Bucharest. After the War of Independence in 1877, it became known as Calea Victoriei, or Victory Road.
In addition to historical buildings such as CEC Palace, Macca Villacrosse Passage and Post Palace, many hotels were built during this period. Almost unaffected by the period of extensive destruction and reconstruction during the communist regime, this street continues to retain its old charm.
If you are considering a pleasant walking journey during your Bucharest trip, definitely choose Zafer Boulevard. Here you can both take a journey into the past of the city and see the lifestyle of modern Bucharest in all its aspects. You can visit many historical palaces on the same day, especially the Royal Palace and Cantacuzino Palace along the Victory Boulevard. When you visit the Victory Boulevard, the most beautiful boulevard of Bucharest, you will be informed a lot about the Romanian History and the cultural life of Bucharest.
Address: Victoriei Street, Bucharest, Romania
Transportation In Bucharest
When you travel to Bucharest, you should also know how to get there. The public transport network and infrastructure in Bucharest is the best in Romania and ranks among the best among European Union countries. The Bucharest metro and city buses, operated by the Metrorex transport company, allow you to get around the city at an affordable price with almost no hassle. Apart from these, trams, trolleybuses and minibuses make short distance journeys possible in the city.
In addition, trains to Moscow, Istanbul, Belgrade, Vienna and many other cities depart from the main train station, which you can reach by metro. Bucharest also has one of the best highways in Europe. If you choose to go to Bucharest with your private car, you will see that the Bucharest local government makes the roads of the highest quality. The most traffic in Bucharest is experienced during the weekdays after work.
Thanks to its practicality, in order to get on the buses, trolleybuses and trams that are frequently used by the people of Bucharest, you need to buy and load cards called “Activ” or “Multiplu” before the toll booth. It is also possible to travel comfortably in Bucharest by taxi.
Your trip to Bucharest continues, if you can’t decide what to eat, then it’s time to talk about what to eat in Bucharest. From tripe soup (ciorba de burtă) to pickles (muraturi), rice (mamaliga) and pastry varieties to Romanian bagels, cabbage rolls (sarmale), bean soup (ciorba de fasole cu ciolan) and vegetable soup (ciorba) in restaurants that you can easily find when you are hungry in Bucharest. Radauteana) noodle soup, you can taste all kinds of flavors. In addition, meatballs known as “mici”, a dessert called “papanashi” served with a cream cheese-like cow cheese and blueberry jam on fried dough, sausage known as “carnati”, goulash and “tuica” with 40 to 60 percent alcohol content. Be sure to try the plum Romanian drink. Remember that in restaurants in Bucharest, the portions are large and reasonably priced.
Shopping In Bucharest
Wouldn’t you like to beautify your Bucharest trip with shopping? Bucharest is home to must-see shopping malls, souvenir shops, boutiques, antique shops and open-air markets. You can buy items, trinkets and clothes belonging to Romanian culture from these stores, which appeal to every budget and every taste, as well as shopping from world-famous brands. You will also see many shops on Victory Boulevard (Calea Victoriei) in Bucharest, a shopping mall paradise.
Unirea Shopping Center, Băneasa Shopping City, Bucureşti Mall, Liberty Center, Afi Palace Cotroceni, Grand Arena Mall, Mario Plaza, Bucharest World Trade Center, City Mall and Sun Plaza are some of the shopping centers that are open until late in the evening every day of the week. we can count. In addition, you can easily shop from supermarkets such as Carrefour, Kaufland, Billa and Cora that sell retail wholesale.
In a city like Bucharest, where the streets smell of art, we definitely recommend you to go to antique shops. Even if you are not going to buy a piece of art as it will complicate your journey and journey, you should definitely see antique shops such as Hanul cu Tei and Stef Art.
When you travel to Bucharest, do not leave without tasting the nightlife! If you want to experience the nightlife while in Bucharest, we guarantee that you will not be disappointed. Because among the European capitals, Bucharest is one of the best nightlife providers. In recent years, investments in nightlife seem to have paid off. As a matter of fact, there are hundreds of bars, restaurants and nightclubs in Bucharest. The most important of these are Kristal, Studio Martin and Bamboo. Legend has it that Dracula spawned at night in Eastern Europe.
We don’t know if this is true, but what we are sure of is that when it gets dark in Bucharest, DJs show up. Because the best DJs of the city take the stage in almost every nightclub and the entertainment continues until the first light of the morning. There are venues for all tastes in Bucharest: You can easily find a jazz club or Irish-style venues if you wish.
On Smardan Street, St. Patrick Bar and Freddo Bar&Lounge; Hard Rock Cafe and Beraria on Kiseleff Street; NOA RestoClub on Victory Avenue; the wine house Apollo in Ion Brezoianu; We strongly recommend you Oldcity on Selari Street, The Drunken Lords on Nicolae Selari, Fratelli, which is the choice of the richest people in the city and located on Glodeni Street. Apart from these, Ryan’s Bar on Piata Amzei and Mojo on Gabroveni Street are among the best nightclubs and bars in the city.
Those who want to follow the art life of Romania can go to the State Opera and Ballet plays in the capital Bucharest. As you can see on their website, opera and ballet performances are held throughout the year, except for the holiday season, and you can buy tickets in advance to one of the shows that fit your travel dates.
You will witness for yourself how art is valued in Bucharest and throughout Romania, and how Bucharest is the heart of Eastern Europe. You can watch the operas of Don Giovanni, Oedipe, La Boheme or the ballet performances of Romeo and Juliet, Le Corsaire.
When you want to have a nice dinner in Bucharest, our recommendations will undoubtedly be The Artist Restaurant, Caru’cu Bere, Restaurant Vatra, Medieval Excalibur, JW Steakhouse, Vacamuuu, Aubergine Restaurant, Osho and Sharkia Restaurant. In these restaurants and other restaurants in Bucharest, you will be able to eat red meat or seafood, as well as find vegetarian menus. Restaurants catering to gluten-free tourists are also available in Bucharest.
Bucharest Public Holidays
- 1 January: New year
- January 24: National Day
- April 17: Easter Day According To The Orthodox Denomination
- May 1: Labor Day
- 2 June: Public Day (Public Employees’ Holiday)
- 14 August: Public Day (Public Employees’ Holiday)
- 30 November: St Andrew’s Day (Most Important Saint For Romania)
- 1 December: National Day
- December 25: Christmas
Useful Information For Bucharest
- Fire Brigade: 081
- Police: 055
- Ambulance: 061