Bucharest (Romanian: București) is Romania's capital and largest city, as well as the most important industrial and commercial center of the country. With more than 2.1 million inhabitants in the urban area, Bucharest is one of the largest cities in Southeastern Europe.
Bucharest is the primary entry point into Romania. Bucharest is a booming city with many large infrastructure projects changing the old face of the city. Known in the past as "The Little Paris," Bucharest has changed a lot lately, and today it has become a very interesting mix of old and new that has little to do with its former reputation. Finding a 300-year-old church near a steel-and-glass tower that both sit next to a communist-style building is commonplace in Bucharest. Bucharest offers some excellent attractions, and has cultivated a sophisticated, trendy, and modern sensibility that many have come to expect from a European capital. Bucharest has benefited from an economic boom along with the EU grants that have helped rebuild parts of the city, including the revamped old town. Those who have known Bucharest in the past but have not visited recently will be surprised by the changes that are taking place. The largest finished project is the impressive Basarab overpass, which is Europe's widest cable bridge.
The official language is Romanian, a Romance language which claims to be the closest currently-spoken relative to Ancient Latin, but contains around 20% of loan words from Slavonic languages. Most younger educated people will speak English reasonably well and will likely be proficient in one or more second Romance languages; most educated people born before about 1970 will speak French, Spanish or Italian reasonably well. The Roma people (Gypsies) speak their native Romany, as well as Romanian, and sometimes English as well. Beyond that, as in any major city, there will be a smattering of other languages like Chinese, Arabic, Turkish, Hungarian and German.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Bucharest, like most of Romania, has a temperate-continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. This region of Romania gets all four seasons, although spring is brief and falls mainly in April. The average high daily temperature in summer is about 29°C and in winter about 2°C. It can get really hot and dry during the summer (30°C) and really cold during the winter (-20°C), even though temperatures below -12°C are extremely rare. Best time to visit is April through June, September through October and early December.
Bucharest is in the Eastern European time zone (UTC+2, with a DST of UTC+3 from April to October).
All scheduled flights to Bucharest (BUH IATA), including discount airlines, use Henri Coandă (Otopeni) Airport, about 18 km north of city centre along Highway 1. Regular domestic destinations include Cluj Napoca, Iasi, Oradea, Suceava and Timisoara - these are operated by the Romanian flag carrier Tarom (part of Sky Team), whose main hub is here. There are direct flights to most European capitals and major cities. There are few direct flights beyond Europe, but services to Doha, Dubai, Istanbul and Tel Aviv enable onward connections. Flights to North America usually involve a stop in Amsterdam or Paris and are operated by other Sky Team airlines.
- 1 Baneasa (Aurel Vlaicu) Airport (BBU IATA) (5 km north of the centre). Is now only used for private aviation.
- 2 Henri Coandă International Airport (OTP IATA), Calea Bucureştilor 224E, Otopeni (18 km north of downtown.), ☏ . The airport is large and modern. Airport shops, cafes and restaurants are expensive, especially airside in Departures. The Billa supermarket in Arrivals with prices matching downtown is now a Carrefour Express, but still cheaper than anywhere else at the airport. It's about 300 m from International Departures but a good place to get a snack or spend your last few lei on departure.
Airport exchange office is in the upper floor, rates are not good, about 10% below the official rate - but that makes the rate for buying lei here similar to the UK high street. So either use a credit card at an ATM in the lobby for immediate needs (they also charge hefty fees and give a horrible rate) and exchange money downtown; or accept that what you get at the airport will go a long way in this inexpensive country. There are no dedicated SIM/mobile service vendors in the Arrivals area but you can buy SIM cards at the small spot selling newspapers besides the Taxi request machines on the right wing of the arrival entrance after you exit from the restricted airport arrival area.
The main transport options to the city are express bus, train, private transfer, and taxi. There are car hire desks in Arrivals, but you only need a car if you're touring beyond the city.
- The Express bus  is usually the best option, as it’s inexpensive and runs frequently. However it can get crowded (it lacks space for luggage) and can get snarled in traffic: reckon 50 min for the journey. As of 01 March 2019, there are now four express bus lines serving the airport.
- Express bus 783 runs to downtown Bucharest via Arcul de Triumf and Piaţa Victoriei to Piaţa Unirii (bus stop 2, S side of the square). It runs every day, approximately every 15 minutes from 07:00 to 21:30 (but a little less frequently at weekends), the frequency then reducing to every 40 minutes through the night.
- New express bus 784 also runs to downtown Bucharest via Arcul de Triumf and Piaţa Victoriei to Piaţa Unirii (bus stop 2, S side of the square), but takes a different route between Piaţa Victoriei and Piaţa Unirii on inward journeys to the city, serving Piaţa Mihail Kogalniceanu and Piaţa Arsenalului in the city centre, using Caleo Victoriei. Bus 784 stops less often than bus 783 between the airport and the city, but takes a slower route in the city centre and is less frequent, running every 35-40 minutes from 06:30 to 22:30.
- Express bus 780 runs via the main railway station (Bucuresti Gara de Nord) to Basarab metro interchange. At the station, the inbound bus drops off right in front of the main hall. The bus out to the airport picks up across Bvd Dinicu Golescu on the south side of the station (cross, watching out for trams, then turn left for the stop.) The bus runs roughly every 40 min from 06:00 to 23:00, every day.
- Finallly, new express bus 782 shuttles every 20 minutes 08:30-22:30 between the airport and the Baneasa shopping mall. It does not go into the city centre so is unlikely to be of use to visitors to the city, but uses the same stops at the airport as buses 780, 783 and 784, so take care that you don't get on the wrong bus!
- The airport bus stop is straight outside Arrivals on the ground floor. The two-trip fare is 8.60 lei (including the cost of the card) - you can’t pay on the bus, you must buy a card from the booth next to the bus stop. (There’s also a machine, but it only tops up existing cards, and it's often vandalised.) There’s another booth in Departures, and one at Piaţa Unirii. You have to load a minimum of 2 journeys onto the card, so you must buy a two-trip even if you’re not coming back this way, although two people can use the same card to travel together on the bus. Scan your ticket to validate it on boarding (and if there are two people travelling using one card, then press button 2 and scan the card again to validate the second ticket); these airport buses are a prime target for ticket inspectors.
- Train: what’s grandly called the Henri Coandă Express is a transfer by minibus (20 min) and suburban train (another 30 min) between the airport and the main railway station. Buy your ticket (8.10 lei) from the CFR booth in Arrivals. A minibus then takes you 2 km north, through back lanes onto a farm track which you may be sharing with tractors and harvesters: welcome to Romania! The “station” is just a platform halt in the fields, with hopefully a train waiting to take you to Gara de Nord: handy if you’re travelling onward by train, but not convenient for city centre. The train runs every day between 05:00 and 20:00, hourly in busy periods, but for much of the year only five times a day. As it’s a suburban train, it’s not shown on mainline online timetables, search on Romanian railways .
- Private transfer: these have fixed prices per vehicle and are a good deal if there's 2 or more of you, or you're heavily laden, or your destination/pick-up is some way from the centre. For anywhere in Bucharest city, reckon to pay €20 for a small car (like a taxi, max 3 passengers), €40 for a 7-seater minibus; larger vehicles and coaches are available. They'll take you anywhere in Romania, to the Bulgarian beach resorts, and to Moldova. Bucharest Transfer is one of several operators, search online for the competitors.
- Taxis wait just outside Arrivals. Your first step is to establish the meter rate, which daytime and early evening should be 1.69-1.79 lei/km, so that's 35-40 lei total to city centre or old city (Sep 2018). At night the rate might be 3.50 lei/km; they're sharks if they demand more. You can call a taxi from one of the yellow electronic kiosks after you leave arrivals. The touch screen will print a slip with the name of the taxi company, the rate, wnd the licence plate number of the taxi, and call it to the pavement for you. Make sure a meter is used since some of the taxis called by the kiosks will try to fleece you ("Taxi Cobalcescu" has some drivers who do this, for example). Uber is also available in Bucharest, expect to pay less than 40 lei for a transfer from the airport into the city.
If you're willing to make extremely long bus rides, it's also possible to get to Bucharest from a large number of cities in Western and South-Western Europe; these buses are operated by Eurolines, their local affiliate Atlassib, or Flixbus.
- 1 Băneasa bus terminal, str. Ion Ionescu de la Brad nr. 10, Sector 1 (in the northern part of town - Bus 112, 149, 205, 261 to 'Brodina'), ☏ .
- 2 Obor bus terminal (Autogara Obor), B-dul Garii Obor nr. (Bulevardul Gării Obor) 5A, Sector 2 (East - Trolley 69, 85 to 'gara Obor'), ☏ , fax: .
- 3 Filaret bus terminal (Autogara Filaret), Piata Garii Filaret (Piața Gării Filaret) nr.1, Sector 4 (South - linked to downtown by tram 7 and bus 232), ☏ , , (Mobil), ✉ email@example.com. Buses and minibuses from Chişinău (7-8 buses every day, about 10 hours travel time, tickets around €15) arrive mostly here.
- 4 Rahova bus terminal (Autogara Internationala Rahova), Sos. Alexandriei (Șoseaua Alexandria) nr. 164, Sector 5 (South-west, - Tram 32 (terminal 'Depoul Alexandriei') links it with the city center), ☏ . Transfer buses for routes from Western Europe usually arrive here.
- 5 Militari bus terminal (Autogara Militari), Str. Valea Cascadelor (Strada Valea Cascadelor) nr.1 (West - Tram 8, 25 to 'C.F.R. Cotroceni' - Metro3 'Pacii'), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Griviţa bus terminal (North-west), ☏ , (Mobil).
- 6 Viilor road bus stop, Sos. Viilor, ~20 (- Tram 23, 32 to 'Piata Chirigiu' from the northern end and tramway 7 from the southern end -). Buses from Athens (several times per week, 16–20 hours travel time, tickets around €60) arrive at stations along Viilor road; also from Istanbul (three-four buses per day, 12–14 hours travel time, tickets around €45) arrive to here.
From specific destinations:
- Sofia – There is a daily bus from Sofia (7 hr travel time, €18). It stops and starts near Tineretului subway station (one station away from city center).
- Varna – One or two buses daily only between late May-early September, 5–6 hr travel time, and tickets around €30. They usually stop in various squares in downtown.
- Constanta – Buses very 45 min during the summer and some buses offers WiFi connection. The station is near Gara de Nord at the intersection of Strada Mircea Vulcanescu & Bulevardul Dinicu Golescu.
- Chișinău – Many companies operate 'rutieras' during the day and larger coaches during the night heading to Bucharest. The fare with one particular company was 225 lei for an 8-9 hr journey with hourly departures in the evening. There was no toilet on the bus but several stops were made by the bus driver. Most companies were in the central bus station behind the Central Market, not the southern bus station as indicated above.
Bucharest also has bus connections to a vast number of other cities in Romania. They're a convenient choice primarily when coming from places from which railways are under repair or too indirect (like Sibiu).
Timetables for most domestic routes and several international ones are available here.
All mainline train services to Bucharest use Gara de Nord station. Direct international trains run to Budapest (two per day, 16 hours), Chişinău (3 per week, 14 hours), Istanbul (18 hours, daily direct in summer, winter by connecting trains but no slower), and Vienna (daily, 19 hours). Trains for Sofia take 10 hours, change at Ruse. Trains to Belgrade, Kiev and Moscow are disrupted long-term, take the bus or fly.
It is worth taking the overnight train to Chişinău for the experience alone. The train is an old Soviet can with homely decor and there are always locals around keen to spend the journey drinking local cognac with some travellers. At approximately 03:00 the train stops for several hours so the wheels can be manually changed before the Moldovan border; in the Soviet era, the tracks in Moldova were laid a different gauge to those on the Romanian side to delay any trains coming in from the south, and the tracks have not been changed since.
Main destinations within Romania include Brasov (2-3 hours), Constanta (2 hr), Sibiu (5-6 hr) and Timisoara (9 hr). For Cluj-Napoca, change at Brasov. Timetables for domestic routes are available from CFR (Căile Ferate Române, the national railway company), but only four weeks in advance.
- 7 Gara de Nord (Bucharest North Station), București Nord, Piața Gării de Nord 1-3, Sector 1 (2 km north of centre, linked by buses 105, 123, 178, trolleys 62, 79, 85, 86, 93, 96 and tramway 42, 44, 45, 46, metro M1, M4: Gara de Nord), ☏ , . To be precise, this is Gara de Nord A, with all mainline departures. (Gara de Nord B, 500 m north and better known as Basarab, has only suburban lines.) The main collection of ticket kiosks are north side of the hall, towards the exit onto Calea Grivitei and stairs down to the Metro. The station has lots of cafes and ATMs - plus money exchange, but rates here are very poor, walk a couple of blocks for more realistic rates. Left luggage 24/7, several travel agents, a pharmacy, and (essential to Romanians) betting shops. The old mechanical whirlyboard gives glimpses of bygone destinations, such as Minsk.
Gara de Nord is on the Metro, and served by many bus routes, see above. The only taxi company permitted here is Meridian Taxi, see warnings under "Get Around". For the airport bus, exit south onto Bvd Golescu, cross (mind the trams!) and turn left for the bus stop.
The city’s entrances from the north (the E60 road coming from Braşov and the A3 highway from Ploieşti), west (the A1 highway from Piteşti), east (the A2 highway from Constanţa), south (the E20 road from Giurgiu) and the avenues in the city center are very crowded, especially at rush hours. Right in the city center, just across from the University, thete is a major underground parking place. Although modern and safe, finding the entrance may prove to be a little tricky. An even bigger parking place (with 5 levels) is found near the Unirii Square, behind the Unirii Mall, which is also near the center area and 10 minutes away (by foot) from the old town's center. Driving on some of the secondary streets might prove to be a bit bumpy, due to only relatively good condition of these roads.
Bucharest has one of the most extensive systems of public transport in Europe, even though it can sometimes be confusing and crowded.
Public transport ticketingEdit
The easiest option for the tourist is probably the Activ card, which costs 3.7 lei at any STB point of sale (including the airport) and can be loaded with pay-as-you-go credit and a variety of passes (daily to monthly). You can read the pay as you go and subscription tariffs online. The Activ card can not be used for the Metro (subway) system.
When entering a vehicle or subway station, you must validate your ticket: hold the card on the orange reader until you hear a short beep, green LED lights up and you can read on the display the message "Călatorie plăcută(Have a nice journey)". If you get a red light and a long beep (validation failed), try again.
One card can be used to pay for more than one person (pay-as-you-go only for the second and subsequent people). In order to validate the card for additional people, press the button "2", and then present the card a second time. In order to check the number of people the card has been validated for , and the remaining balance on the card, press "1" before presenting the card.
By metro (subway)Edit
The metro, which has four lines (M1, M2, M3 and M4) and covers the city quite extensively, is usually a cheap and easy way to get around even though there are surprisingly few stops in the city center, since the system was built to transport workers and commuters from outlying neighborhoods through the city to peripheral industrial areas. If you're staying outside the city center, or even if you want to travel within it, the Metro can be a very fast and convenient way of getting around, avoiding the traffic jams and crowds that frequently characterize surface transport. The network is frequent, fairly comfortable, reliable and easy-to-use.
Tickets can be purchased from electronic kiosks in the stations that offer instructions in English and other languages. They accept most Romanian banknotes and provide change. 5 lei for a 2-ride ticket, or 20 lei for a 10-ride ticket (Sep 2018).
Line M1 starts in the eastern part of the city and then goes downtown on a circular route, passing by the main train station Gara de Nord and meeting up with the M2 line (which runs north-south) at Piaţa Unirii and Piaţa Victoriei stations. Line M3 links the western and eastern parts of the city. The central section on the M3 between Eroilor - Nicolae Grigorescu is shared with M1 and trains from both lines run in tandem having the terminus displayed at the front of the cab. Line M4 is a short shuttle line starting from Gara de Nord 2 going to Parc Bazilescu in Bucureştii Noi neighborhood. Even though Gara de Nord and Gara de Nord 2 are in close proximity, transferring between the two is taxed as a separate trip. The only platform to platform link between M4 and M1 is at Basarab station.
Maps of the subway can be found on the Metrorex official site.
By bus, tram or trolleybusEdit
Bucharest has a very complex network of buses, trams and trolleybuses. The intricate web of hundreds of bus, tram and trolleybus routes may be confusing at first. Once you know your way around the network, however, public surface transport can be a very good way of getting around since there is a bus, tram or trolleybus stop virtually everywhere in the city. The vehicles are usually very frequent, although they can still get terribly crowded at peak hours.
Make sure you know when to get off - even though in most vehicles the following stops are announced and displayed on a screen, these displays can be unreliable. If you are uncertain if a stop is the one you want, ask your fellow travellers.
Night buses are also available. They run every 30 minutes between 23:30 and 01:00, every 45 minutes between 03:00 and 05:00. No buses rub between 01:00 and 03:00. The lines can be seen here and the map here
Car rental is available in the city and at the airport. The average starting price for a day's rental (small car) is about €10.
There are a lot of taxi companies in Bucharest and you'll easily find a cab. But be careful; only use the services of big taxi companies, not small independent taxis (which can charge up to ten times the price). Cars from these companies have the rates displayed on the door; the quoted rate is charged once when the meter starts, and again for every kilometer driven. There is also an time-based hourly rate, which is not listed, but should be around ten times the per-km fee. If a taxi does not display these prices on the door it is best not to take it and find another, as you'll probably be massively overcharged. Some taxis have a low "nighttime rate" listed in a large font with an expensive "daytime rate" listed in a smaller font. So, read carefully and remember that noapte means night. At the beginning of your trip, the driver should start the meter; if they do not, be sure to remind them. If you are travelling outside the city limits (say to or from the airport) prices per km and per hour are often doubled, or an extra 10-15 lei is added to the fare. Be wary of taking taxis from touristy areas. Conmen have been known to demand large sums for passengers to recover their luggage from the trunk or even mug their passengers. However, most taxi drivers are nicer than usual with foreigners, as they expect to keep the change when they get paid at the end of the ride. Smart phone users can download the Clever Taxi app. The app will allow you to choose and summon a taxi to your map location based on vicinity and price.
Uber and Bolt are available in Bucharest, also in the airport area. At least Uber allows to pay by credit/debit car and cash. There is no shortage of drivers using Uber, and some might view it as safer and easier.
- 1 Palace of the Parliament (Palatul Parliamentului), strada Izvor 2-4 (near Piaţa Unirii (Union Plazza). - M1, 3 'Izvor' - entrance is on the north side), ☏ . The world's second largest building (after the US Pentagon), formerly named "Casa Poporului" (People's House). Building started in 1983 by Nicolae Ceauşescu and is still not completely finished (2019). It spans 12 stories, around 1,000 rooms and covers over 330,000 m². 1/9 of Bucharest was reconstructed to accommodate this magnificent massive building and its surroundings. There are 1hr 20min tours frequently which lead through the building's vast collection of marble rooms and culminate in an impressive view from Nicolae Ceauşescu's balcony. All the building materials were sourced from various parts of Romania, though mainly from Transylvania. Tours can be booked online at least a day in advance or just turn up and take the next tour. The first English language tour of the day starts at 09:15. You must have your passport with you to go on a tour. Adults 40 lei, students 20 lei (19-26 years old, with a valid student ID), children 10 lei (7-18 years old), children under 7 free.
- 2 Old City. A part of the city's historical heart was not demolished by Nicolae Ceauşescu. The area (stretching approximately between the Dâmboviţa river to the south, Calea Victoriei to the west, Calea Moşilor to the east and the Regina Elisabeta boulevard to the north) contains an assortment of middle 19th-century buildings, ruins of the Wallachian princes' medieval court, churches, bank headquarters, a few hotels, clubs, restaurants and shops. Narrow cobblestoned streets retain the names of the ancient guilds that resided on them. The area was mostly renovated and is now a place of gathering for the young generation of the city.
- 3 Revolution Square (Piaţa Revoluţiei) (M 'Universitate' 600 m - it is not a long walk from the other squares, Gara de Nord, or the Parliament Palace.). Site of part of the Romanian Revolution of 1989. There is a tall monument in the center of the square in memory of those who died during the revolution.
- 4 Arch of Triumph (Arcul de Triumf), Piața Arcul de Triumf (northern part of the city, close to Herăstrău Park- Take tram 41 to 'Casin' or M2 'Aviatorilor' 500 m). The current arch was inaugurated in 1936, however previous arches had been here since 1878.
- 5 Romanian Atheneum (Ateneul Roman), strada Benjamin Franklin, 1-3 (Near Revolution Square.- m2 'Piata Romana'). A beautiful building is home of the George Enescu Philarmonic. If you have the time, visit the interior of the building as well, as it holds a fresco that depicts scenes of the Romanian history. The building was inaugurated in 1888.
- 6 National Art Museum (Muzeul Național de Artă al României), Calea Victoriei, 49-53 (M2 'Piața Victoriei' or M2 'Universitate' 600 m), ☏ , , ✉ email@example.com. W-Su 10:00-18:00, last admission 17:00. In the building of the former Royal Palace, this museum has collections of ancient, modern and contemporary Romanian art as well as exhibitions of rare European art dating as early as the 14th century 15 lei for the Romanian collection, 15 lei for the European collection, or 25 lei for booth; 75% discount for pupils, students (with valid cards), Euro 26 card holders up to 30 years old, and people with disabilities; 50% discount for pensioners. Joint ticket with Art Collections Museum for 30 lei.
- 7 Aviation Museum (Muzeul Aviației), Fabrica de Glucoza (Șoseaua Fabrica de Glucoză) street, 4, in District 2 (on the former Airport Pipera), ☏ . Tu-F 09:00-16:00, Sa Su 10:00-17:00. Open-air display of various types of aircraft.
- 8 National Museum of Contemporary Art (Muzeul Național de Artă Contemporana), Strada Izvor (M1,M3 'Izvor' or Bus 136, 385), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Cafe, 4th floor: Open: Tu-Su 10:00-18; Library (Libraria Jumatatea Plina): W-Su 10:00-18:00; Annex NMCA. W-Su 10:00-18:00. Address: Mosilor 64-68, free entry; Dalles Hall (SALA Dalles) Open: W-Su 10:00-18:00; Address: 18 Avenue N. Balcescu. Inside a converted wing of the Palace of the Parliament, in what had been the private apartments of Ceauşescu, the museum features fresh exhibitions from Romania's burgeoning art scene. 10 lei.
- Branch Museums: The Art Collections Museum (Muzeul Colecţiilor de Artă), 111, Calea Victoriei, phone:+40 21 2129641; +40 21 2121749. May-Sep: Sa-W 11:00-19:00; Oct-Apr: Sa-W 10:00-18:00. Huge collection of Romanian artworks, and some wonderful textiles and sculpture from the East. Joint ticket with the National Art Museum for 30 lei.
- K.H. Zambaccian Museum (Muzeul K. H. Zambaccian). 21A, Muzeul Zambaccian Street, phone:+40 21 2301920. May-Sep: W-Su 11:00-19:00, Oct-Apr: W-Su 10:00-18:00. Collection of Romanian artworks collected by a prominent Armenian businessman. Also has works by Cézanne, Monet, Picasso and Matisse.
Theodor Pallady Museum (Muzeul Theodor Pallady). 22, Spătarului Street, phone: +40 21 2114979. May-Sep: W-Su 11:00-19:00, Oct-Apr: W-Su 10:00-18:00.
- 9 Curtea Veche Museum (Old Princely Court Museum), Strada Franceză, nr. 25-31 (M 'Piața Unirii 2'), ☏ . Closed for renovations in Sep 2018. The ruins of the crown palace of the Wallachian princes, some parts dating as early as the 16th century. It’s around an earlier fortification in this place that Bucharest began to develop.
- 10 Cotroceni Palace Museum (Muzeul Național Cotroceni, Palatul Cotroceni), Bulevardul Geniului 1 (Buses and trolleys to 'Gradina Botanica' or M 'Politehnica'), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Has collections of objects that belonged to the former Romanian royal family. Today it is also the residence of the Romanian president.
- 11 Firefighters Museum (Muzeul National al Pompierilor), Bd. Ferdinand I, nr. 33 (Foişorul de Foc), sector 2, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. rarely opened. A 42-metre high building between Obor, Calea Moșilor and Nerva-Traian. It was used in the past as an observation tower by the firemen. Tram 14 to 'Bd. Pache Protopopescu'.
- 12 Village Museum (Muzeul Național al Satului „Dimitrie Gusti”), Șoseaua Pavel Dimitrievici Kiseleff, 28-30 (Tram 41 to 'Agronomie' or M2 'Aviatorilor' and walk across the park ~15 min), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-Su 09:00-19:00. An open air museum created in 1934, it now has around 300 traditional buildings (including churches, workshops, mills) and furniture, pottery, clothing gathered from villages in every region of the country in an effort to showcase the traditional way of life of the Romanians. Occasionally hosts folkloric and traditional crafts festivals. Adult 15 lei; pupils and students (with valid cards) 4 lei; pensioners and Euro 26 card holders 8 lei.
- 13 Museum of the Romanian Peasant (Muzeul Național al Țăranului Român), Şoseaua Kiseleff, 3 (M2 'Piața Victoriei 1, 2'; bus 205, 300, 381, 783), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Also dedicated to the traditional way of life, it focuses mainly on traditional interior decoration, tools, clothing and artifacts. Again, it sometimes hosts folkloric and traditional crafts festivals. The museum closed in 2018 for a three year renovation.
- 14 Geology Museum (Muzeul Național de Geologie), Șoseaua Pavel Dimitrievici Kiseleff, 2 (M2 'Piața Victoriei'). Daily10:00-18:00. Has a large collection of minerals, rocks and fossils. 10 lei.
- 15 National History Museum (Muzeul Național de Istorie a României), Calea Victoriei, nr. 12 (M 'Piața Unirii 2' 600 m), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. W-Su 10:00-18:00. It's in a neoclassical late 19th-century building, and has exhibits documenting the evolution of society on Romania’s territory from the Paleolithic until today, a replica of Trajan’s Column in Rome and a very interesting collection of jewellery and bronze articles from Roman times up to the Kingdom of Romania. 10 lei.
- 16 Nicolae Minovici Folk Art Museum (Muzeul de Artă Populară Prof. Dr. Nicolae Minovici), Strada dr. Nicolae Minovici 3 (in front of the station Baneasa; bus 131, 205, 335), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su 09:00-17:00. Also here is Museum of Old Western Art the (Muzeul de Artă Veche Apuseană Minovici). There are collections of the various works of art, such as stained glass from the 16th-17th centuries, engravings, paintings, rare books, tapestries, carpets, furniture.
- 17 Military History Museum (Muzeul Militar Naţional), Strada Mircea Vulcănescu, 125-127 (M 'Gara de Nord' , bus - 122, 126, 168, 226, 268, 368 to stop 'Str.Berzei', trolley - 62, 85, 93, 96 to (Str.Mircea Vulcănescu),), ☏ . W-Su 09:00-17:00. Has collections of weapons dating since the prehistoric times and permanent exhibitions dedicated to important military events, including the Romanian revolution of 1989, and an outdoor exhibit of relatively modern weaponry, including cannons, tanks, helicopters. 10 lei.
- 18 National Museum of Romanian Literature (Muzeul Naţional al Literaturii Române, Casa Krețulescu), Bulevardul Dacia nr. 12, sector 1 (M 'Piata Romana' 500 m east), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com.
- 19 D. Minovici Western European Arts Museum, strada N. Minovici, nr.3. Located in a beautiful eclectic villa
- 20 Frederic and Cecilia Cuțescu-Storck Art Museum (Muzeul de Artă Frederic Storck și Cecilia Cuțescu-Storck), Str. Vasile Alecsandri nr.16, sector 1 (M 'Piaţa Victoriei' 300 m), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 10:00-18:00. This museum presents works of artists of the Storck family.
- 21 Railways Museum (Muzeul Căilor Ferate Române), Calea Griviţei, nr. 139B (M "Gara de Nord", bus 105; trolley 86, 97), ✉ email@example.com. Rarely opened, W-Su 10:00-16:00. Shows all sorts of different exhibits from different ages of the railway network. Also has a model railway.
- 22 National Museum of "George Enescu" (Muzeul Național „George Enescu”), Strada Gheorghe Manu, 141 (Located in Cantacuzino Palace), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su 10:00-17:00,. Music, memorial museum. Adults 6 lei, seniors 2 lei, students 1.5 lei.
- 23 National Philatelic Museum (Muzeul Național Filatelic), Calea Victoriei, nr. 12 (Bus to 'Piata Natiunile Unite' 200 m or M 'Universitate' 600 m), ☏ , , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Come here for stamps, stamp collections, postal items: boxes of values, old paintings, seals, horns, prints, old letters, maps postal coachmen costumes, furniture used in post offices, etc.
- 24 Museum of Mary and Dr. G. Severeanu (Muzeul Maria și dr. George Severeanu), Strada Henri Coandă (fostă I.C. Frimu) nr. 26, sector 1 (M 'Piata Romana' 500 m SE). The exhibition includes a variety of objects: pieces of archeology - ancient Greek vases, statuettes of Tanagra, bronze and marble, glass Roman items, ancient Greek, Dacian Roman, Byzantine and medieval coins. Romanian and foreign orders and decorations. 6 lei.
- 25 Bucharest History Museum (Muzeul Municipiului București, Palatul Sutu), Bulevardul Ion C. Brătianu. 2 (In the Şuţu Palace), ☏ , fax: . Tu-Su 10:00-18:00. Housed in a palace built in 1834, has collections related to the development of Bucharest from a small 14th-century fortress into Romania’s capital. 10 lei and 15 lei extra to take photos (not worth it).
- National Museum of Antiquities (Muzeul Național de Antichități).
- 26 National Museum of Old Maps and Books (Muzeul Național al Hărților și Cărții Vechi), Str. Londra nr. 39, sector 1 (M 'Piața Victoriei' or Bus 131,182, 301, 330, 331, 335 to stop 'Liceul I.L.Caragiale'), ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. W-Su 10:00-18:00. Small, but amazing museum with maps on 3 floors. Don’t forget to borrow one of the green magnifying glasses to discover the fine print. Historical maps from 15th-20th century from the whole world with an emphasis on Romania and the Balkan Peninsula. 10 Lei / 2,5 Lei for students.
- 27 Jewish Community History Museum, Strada Mămulari, nr. 3. Housed in a beautiful mid 19th century synagogue. Documents the life of this community in the region since ancient times and through the Holocaust. Passport required to enter. Donation.
- 28 Grigore Antipa Natural History Museum, Şoseaua Kiseleff, nr. 1. This has over 300,000 exhibits illustrating the transformations of Earth and the evolution of species.
- 29 “Dimitrie Leonida” Technology Museum (Set to be relocated in a wing of the 'Parliament Palace').
- 30 Primăveri Palace (Casa Ceaușescu) (Metro Stop Aviatorilor), ☏ . Closed Mondays. The former residence of Ceaușescu, incredibly opulent, one of the most fascinating places to visit in Bucharest. Book online at least a day in advance. Tours last 45 minutes and cover all the main living areas, including the mosaic surrounded swimming pool and indoor garden 50 lei.
Churches and monasteriesEdit
- 32 Curtea Veche Church (Old Court Church, Biserica Curtea Veche), Strada Covaci and Strada Franceză, sector 3 (Close to M 'Piața Unirii 2'). The Church of the Old Princely Court, built around 1559, used to be the coronation church of the Wallachian princes.
- 33 Patriarchal Cathedral (Catedrala Patriarhală din București), Strada Patriarhiei (on the hill overlooking Piata Unirii, take tram 7, 27, 32 to stop '11 Iunie' 100 m or M: 'Piața Unirii 1' 500 m). Built in 1658. Next to it is the Mitropoliei Palace (1708) – the residence of the Orthodox Patriarch, a sort of small 'Romanian Vatican'. It’s the only church in Bucharest in which photography is prohibited
- 34 Stavropoleos Church (Biserica Stavropoleos), Strada Stavropoleo/Strada Poștei nr. 6, sector 3 (in the old center area, M: Piața Unirii 2 walk half km northwest), ✉ email@example.com. Built in the early 18th century, has some stunning decorative sculpture and amazing frescoes. A little jewel.
- 35 Colţea Church (Biserica Colțea, Biserica "Trei Ierarhi"), Bulevardul Ion C. Brătianu 1 (near to Piaţa Universităţii. M: Universitate). The first church in Bucharest built in the Brancovenesc style (1702).
- 36 New St. George Church (Biserica Sfântul Gheorghe Nou din București), Bulevardul Brătianu I. C. 49, sector 3 (half way between Piaţa Universităţii and Piaţa Unirii. Take tram 5, 16, 21 to stop 'Piata Sf. Gheorghe'). Dating from the 18th century, houses the tombs of princes Constantin Brâncoveanu and Ion Mavrocordat.
- 37 Kretzulescu Church (Biserica Crețulescu), Calea Victoriei, 45 (M: Universitate 400m, on the left side of the National Art Museum). An interesting example of the Brancovenesc style (1722).
- 38 Plumbuita Monastery (Manastirea Plumbuita), off Şoseaua Colentina, Str. Plumbuita nr. 58, sector 2 (relatively far from the city center, on Lake Plumbuita shore. Take tram #21 to stop 'Doamna Ghica' and walk toward north a half km). Built in the last half of the 16th century, it once housed the first printing house in the region (1582), today it has a religious objects museum and a large park.
- 39 Oţetari Church (Biserica Oţetari), 4, Strada Oţetari (close to the Rosetti Square, National Theatrer and the Spiru Haret National College). The Oţetari Church is a very discreet, spiritual place, giving some religious comfort in the centre of the city. It's name means "cruet", because of the street it is on. It was built in the 18th century and it features a number of interesting paintings and stained glass.
- 40 Great Synagogue of Bucharest (Sinagoga Mare din București, בית הכנסת הגדול של בוקרשט), Strada Vasile Adamache 11 (Tram 14, 40 and 56 to stop 'Piata Sf. Vineri'), ☏ . Religious services on weekends. This decorative temple was raised in 1845 by the Polish-Jewish community. It was repaired in 1865, baroque style, redesigned in 1903 and 1909, repainted in Rococo style in 1936. It hosts an exhibition on the Holocaust in Romanian. Entry by donation. Security checks require your passport
- 41 All Saints' Antim Monastery (Mănăstirea Antim), Strada Mitropolit Antim Ivireanul 29, București 030167 (In a side street on the south side of the Bulevardul Unirii near the front of the Parliamentary Palace). M-Sa 10:00 - 19:00, Su 08:45 - 09:45 and 12:00 - 19:00. An Orthodox monastery in Brâncovenesc style from 1715 with a church, a museum and a shop. The church, museum and shop are open to the public. The church is in the center of a courtyard with the museum and shop in buildings around the sides. The church is richly decorated with distinctive carved wooden doors. The shop sells mainly religious texts and iconography but also has a leaflet in English and other languages for 2 lei so go there before the main church. There is a toilet that visitors can use next to the shop. Free.
There are two free weekly guides published in Bucharest featuring all the events of the week, as well as listing the addresses of most restaurants, clubs, pubs, bars, cinemas etc. in the city. One is Şapte Seri (Seven nights), the other 24-FUN. They have small sections in English available.
Walking and recreationEdit
- A walking tour is always the best solution for getting accustomed with a new city. You can find free guided walking tours of the city centre, this being an option for budget travelers, youth and backpackers. Usually, you have to book the tours, but in the high season there are tours organized every day, rain or sun.
- There are also paid tours to be found, in this case booking being necessary at all times.
- Access the free Audio Guide with GPS on smartphone for most relevant tour (17 attractions) on http://IZI.travel (IOS, Android, Windows). Then consider other tours with Audio Guides in Bucharest and surroundings. For example: "Bucharest - Old City Center" (with 40 included attractions) or related to the nearby protected natural area from Snagov lake and forest.
- 1 Therme București. Huge thermal water park.
- 2 Cişmigiu Garden (Centre). This a lovely small park; it's the oldest in the city (designed 1845-1860). Has boat rental in summer, ice skating in winter time,reasonable restaurants and more specially a French restaurant in Trianon Hotel and several bars.
- 3 Herăstrău Park. The largest of several parks around man-made lakes on the Colentina River running through the city’s north and east side) houses the Village Museum, an open-air theater, various sports grounds, an amusement park and numerous restaurants and clubs. Has boat rental and boat-trips in summer.
- 4 Botanical Gardens (near Cotroceni Palace). 08:00-20:00 daily in summer. Established in 1860, displays a variety of plants from all over the world. The greenhouses are wonderful but have limited opening hours, and are closed Monday, Wednesday and Friday 10 Lei.
- 5 Carol Park (one subway station south of Piaţa Unirii). Designed in 1906, Carol Park has an open-air theater replicating a Roman arena and another construction replicating a medieval fortress. It houses the tomb of the Unknown Soldier as well as an infamous mausoleum built for the Communist nomenclature.
- 6 Tineretului Park. It has a large multipurpose building (Sala Polivalenta) used for concerts, sporting events, exhibitions, etc., an amusement park for children, boat-rental, several restaurants and bars.
- Titan Park (I.O.R. Park). A green oasis among Communist-era high-rise apartment buildings in the eastern part of the city (Titan metro station), has a charming wooden church as well as several lakeside clubs.
- 7 Opera Naţională (National Opera), Bulevardul Mihail Kogălniceanu nr. 70-72 (Eroilor area), ☏ , fax: . 5-64 lei.
- Filarmonica George Enescu (George Enescu Philharmonic), Strada B. Franklin nr. 1-3 (Revoluţiei square), ☏ , fax: . Housed in the Romanian Atheneum, a city landmark.
- Teatrul Naţional de Operetă Ion Dacian (Ion Dacian National Operetta Theater), Bulevardul Nicolae Bălcescu nr.2 (near University square), ☏ .
- 8 Sala Radio (The Radio Orchestra), Str. General Berthelot, Nr. 60-64, ☏ . A concert hall that plays an important role in the country's classical music life. Built in 1959 and opened in 1961, it is the country's largest symphonic concert hall. Price is around €7.
Most films are screened in their original language with Romanian subtitles; some animation features and children's movies are dubbed in Romanian. Cinemas are found in every shopping mall.
- Cinemateca Română, strada Eforie nr. 2 (near the old quarter), ☏ . A branch of the National Film Archives, screens mostly classic movies.
- Noul cinematograf al regizorului roman (Romanian director's new cinema), strada Intrarea Monetăriei nr. 3 (at the Romanian Peasant Museum), ☏ , fax: . Art films and documentaries selected by major Romanian directors. 10 lei.
- Eurocinema, strada Johann Gutenberg nr. 19 (near Izvor bridge), ☏ , fax: . Th-Su at 20:00. Plays mainly independent European movies. 10 lei.
- Europa, Calea Moşilor nr. 127 (at the start of Moşilor road), ☏ . Plays relatively recent European movies.
- Cinema Elvira Popescu, Bulevardul Dacia nr. 77 (at the French Institute), ☏ . Mostly French movies. 15 lei, carnet of 5 tickets: 50 lei, children under 12: 5 lei.
- Cinema City, Bulevardul Vasile Milea nr. 4 (in the AFI Palace mall), ☏ . Largest multiplex in the city (21 screens, including one IMAX). 17-32 lei.
- Hollywood Multiplex, Calea Vitan nr. 55-59 (in the Bucharest Mall), ☏ . This was the first multiplex to open in Bucharest and has 10 screens. 22-35 lei.
- Movieplex, Bulevardul Timişoara nr. 26 (in the Plaza Romania mall), ☏ , fax: . Located in the western part of Bucharest, has 11 screens. 15-45 lei.
- Patria, Bulevardul Gh. Magheru nr. 12-14 (between Universităţii and Romană squares), ☏ . A large (over 1,000 seats) 1930s cinema located along the city's main avenue.
- Scala, Bulevardul Gh. Magheru nr. 2-4 (between Universităţii and Romană squares), ☏ . Another large older cinema in the downtown.
- CinemaPro, strada Ion Ghica nr. 3 (near Universităţii square), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 14-24 lei.
Major brand-name shops and upscale boutiques are concentrated along the main boulevard from Piaţa Romană to Piaţa Unirii and on the small streets adjacent to this boulevard, but also on Calea Victoriei, on Calea Dorobanţilor (the part between Blvd. Iancu de Hunedoara and Piaţa Dorobanţilor) or on Calea Moşilor's section between Blvd. Carol I and Piaţa Obor.
In the past years numerous modern shopping centers have sprung up in the city (and even more are in construction), the best known being:
- 1 Bucharest Mall, Calea Vitan 55-59 (Bus 123, 124, 125, 135 or tram 15, 19, 23 or M1,3 'Timpuri Noi' 1km W), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. The first one to be completed, in 1999.
- 2 Jolie Ville Galleria, Str. Erou Iancu Nicolae nr. 103 bis, Voluntari, judetul Ilfov (In northern Outskirts, Bus 301 to 'Jolie Ville Baneasa' 100 m), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 10:00-22:00. Mega Image hypermarket, services: Florists, pharmacies, cleaners.
- 3 Plaza Romania, Bulevardul Timișoara 26 (M3 "Lujerului" 0.8 km N further tram 41 to 'Bd. Timisoara', or tram 8, 25 to 'Brasov'), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com.
- 4 Unirea Shopping Center, sector 3, Piața Unirii, nr.1 (Downtown - M 1,3 'Piața Unirii' Stn. Includes a large Carrefour supermarket.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 5 Băneasa Shopping City, Șoseaua Bucureşti-Ploieşti nr.42D (Bus 261, 301, 304, 449 to 'Drumul Matasii'), ☏ . Opened in April 2008.
- 6 Liberty Center, section 5, Strada Progresului 151-171 (Tram 8, 11, 25, 23, 32 or bus 117, 173 - M2 'Eroii Revolutiei' 1.5 km), ☏ . Shops: daily 10:00-22:00, supermarket: 09:00-22:00, cinema: M-F 12:00; Sa-Su 10:00.
- 7 AFI Palace Cotroceni, district 6, Bulevardul Vasile Milea, No. 4, ☏ , fax: .
- 8 Sun Plaza, district 4, Calea Văcărești 391 (M2 'Stația Piața Sudului', Trolley 73, 74, 77; Tram 11, bus 232, 242, 312, 313, 381, 634), ✉ email@example.com. Gallery stores M-Sa 10:00-22:00, Restaurants & cafes: Su-Th 10:00-23:00, F-Sa 10:00-24:00; Cora hypermarket: M-F 8:00 -22:00.
- 9 Promenada, Calea Floreasca 246B. Opened in 2014, it is one of the biggest shopping malls in Bucharest.
- 10 Mega Mall, Str. Pierre de Coubertin nr. 3-5. Opened in 2015, this is the newest and one of the biggest shopping malls Bucharest has to offer.
Book stores with a good supply of English language books are difficult to find in Bucharest but there are a few places mainly situated in the center.
- 11 Cărturești Carusel, Lipscani 55. Breathtaking bookstore in a restored 19th-century building.
- Cărtureşti, Str Arthur Verona nr.13, ☏ . A few blocks south of Piaţa Romană on the east side of Bd. Magheru. The store is set back the street and has a small park in front of it. +phone=+40 21 72 1518351, 788758408
- 12 Bastilia. Excellent bookshop (with nice cafe at top) located in newly renovated building right at Piata Romana.
- Nautilus. An English-language bookstore near the Kiseleff Park, mostly with fantasy and science fiction books.
- Anthony Frost English Bookshop, Calea Victorei, Nr. 45, Sector 1, Bucharest, Romania (The bookstore near the Art Museum. Walk down the right side of the large building just to the left of a very old church. The bookstore is near the back.), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. An English-language bookstore. Lots of reasonably-priced books and a comics (mostly manga) section.
- Dalles. Near Piaţa Universităţii (University square).
- 1 Barca. Raw vegan restaurant
- 2 Beca's Kitchen.
- Cafeanua Actorilor. Actors' Cafe, strada Batişte (located at the National Theater). Attracts a lot of Americans, because of good food, and the U.S. Embassy and Intercontinental are right across the street. The salads, especially the one called "Act II" is a meal all by itself. Service tends to be excruciatingly slow, driving away many locals.
- Casa di David, Soseaua Nordului nr. 7-9, ☏ . Opened in 2005, it is a hangout of the city's nouveau riche. It comes complete with German car ads at the entrance and an extensive wine list. Food (Italian inspired) and ambience are OK, but portions are small and prices are far above average for Bucharest. A 3-course meal for two with local wine will set you back over 400 lei.
- Cuptorul cu lemne, B-dul Pache Protopopescu nr. 63, ☏ . A nice pizza place with a nice outdoor summer garden and a relaxed atmosphere (the restaurant also houses a caricature club). Low prices. Tends to be very crowded during weekends.
- 3 Habibi Kebab, Strada Șelari 17. 24 hours. Cheap for Bucharest, excellent quality kebab and falafel with generous servings. A choice of fillings is offered, so the falafel wrap is easily customisable for vegetarians and vegans. Takeaway or eat-in, the place is in a nice part of the old town with outdoor seating. Excellent hommus. Falafel wrap: 16 leu; Chips: 6 leu.
- Jariștea, Strada George Georgescu 50-52 (near the crossroad of Regina Maria Blvd. and Libertăţii Blvd), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Daily 11:00-last customer. Beautiful historically themed restaurant, live traditional music, old Romanian specialties; but always check the bill thoroughly. Reservations are compulsory.
- Jour-Fixe, Str. Garamont 23 (near George Cosbuc Square and Carol Park). Daily 09:00-02:00. A fine restaurant offering a cuisine which blends the French style and the old Romanian spirit. Prices are medium-high.
- 4 Kanpai, str. George Călinescu 49. Japanese pub/bistro.
- 5 Lacrimi și Sfinți, Șepcari 16.
- La Mama (6 outlets around Bucharest, Barbu Văcărescu 3, Delea Veche 51, Episcopiei 9, and Carrefour Orhideea being the largest ones, +40 21-2124086 ) - focusing on traditional Romanian food. Reasonable prices.
- 6 Mahala.
- 7 Pâine și Vin.
- POEM Restaurant, Suter Str. 23-25 (in the Carol park area), ☏ . One of Bucharest's exclusive restaurants, in the elegant CPH atmosphere. Excellent international chefs, but very pricey.
- Red Angus Steakhouse, 87th Nicolae Caramfil Blvd, ☏ . In the Old Center, across the street from the Old Court. The restaurant serves high quality USDA Choice beef and offers an excellent, diverse menu, for all tastes. Also at 56 Franceza St.
- Red Lion Cafe, Strada Academiei 1A (in the Universităţii area). Nice atmosphere, budget prices, very good pizza.
- Rossetya, 9 Str Dimitrie Bolintineanu. Classic style restaurant with prices a bit higher than average, but with a very neat and cultivated atmosphere, outstandingly friendly English-speaking personnel, high food quality.
- Taj Indian Restaurant (Calea 13 Septembrie, 127-131,), Sector 5, Bucureşti (Near Marriott hotel), ☏ . Daily 12:00-24:00. Good Indian restaurant near Marriott hotel, especially for vegetarians. Little pricey.
- 8 The Artist.
- Trattoria Buongiorno, Str Franceza 52. Trattoria Buongiorno is bringing a little piece of Italy to the middle of Bucharest.
- Trattoria Il Calcio, Stavropoleos str. No. 3. One of best pizza places in old town.
- 9 Hanul Lui Manuc, Str. Franceza nr. 62-64, ☏ . Great location in Bucharest city centre and wonderful traditional food.
- 10 Caru' cu Bere (besides the National History Museum). One of the most famous restaurants in Bucharest, in a historic building. Student menu for 14,50 Lei!
- 1 1974 Niște Domni și Fiii.
- Absintherie Sixtină (Sixtine Absintheria), Covaci 6, 1st floor, ☏ . Classic style bar with reasonable prices. The absinthe is served with a slow drip fountain.
- Beer O'Clock, Gabroveni 4 and Villacrosse passage (near Police Department). Bar with several types of Belgian, Czech and Slovak beer.
- 2 Camera din Față. Cafe/tea house
- Curtea berarilor (The Brewers Court), Selari 9-11, ☏ , . Su 12:00–24:00; M-W 13:00-01:00; Th-Sa 13:00-4:00. Pub in old center having mostly Timişoreana beer.
- 3 Energiea.
- 4 Ganesha Cafe.
- Green Hours, Calea Victoriei 120, ☏ , . A quiet club which often hosts jazz concerts.
- Interbelic, Intrarea Selari 1A (near Lipscani), ☏ . Daily 17:00-last. Cocktail bar; fine spirits, great nights. medium.
- La Motoare, Bd. Nicolae Bălcescu nr. 2 (on the roof of the National Theater, Universitate Square), ☏ . An outdoor pub offering great views over the city. Mostly frequented by university students. Rock music and movies in the evening.
- 5 Origo.
- Piranha, Splaiul Independenţei 313 (in Regie, the student campus, next to the Polytechnic University), ☏ . A large pub, with a huge outdoor terrace in the middle of a wooded area, featuring a small collection of exotic animals. One of the few outdoor places where the summer heat is actually bearable. A favorite among students, with amazingly low prices (a beer is 2.5 lei). However, quite crowded and sometimes noisy.
- 6 Piua Book Bar.
- BEAT bar umanist, Strada Robescu F. Constantin 14, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Nice cosy bar near Unirii/old town.
- Hard Rock Cafe, 32 Kiseleff Avenue, ☏ . Favorite of both locals and tourists, the Hard Rock Cafe makes its home on the shores of the lake, just a few short steps from the landmark Triumph Arch.
- Mancave, Economu Cezarescu 61 ((near Grozavesti)), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 7:30-00:00 S-S 10:00 00:00. Gaming venue that also has boardgames, specialty coffee and drinks.
- Bamboo, Str. Ramuri Tei 39 (in Tei Park), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. F 23:00-05:00; Sa 23:00-12:00. It's the largest club in Bucharest. Upmarket and expensive.
- Cafe Hazard, Baraţiei (coming from Unirii towards University, take your first right after the fornetti store and then your first left), ☏ . Daily 15:00-03:00. A rock bar, with a great atmosphere, open thinking, great beer and people.
- Gaia, Strada Tarmului, nr. 19, ☏ . Daily 15:00-03:00.
- Club A, Strada Blănari 14 (near University Square), ☏ . Daily 18:00-06:00. The oldest club in Bucharest, with nearly 40 years tradition (this means amazingly much for a city where most clubs are less than 5 years old). Since the beginning, it was and remains a student pub and club, with an unpretentious but welcoming atmosphere, good music and low prices. Like many clubs in Bucharest, the bouncers can be overly aggressive to patrons at times.
- Control Club, Str. Academiei nr.19 (go to Victoria Passage coming from University square), ☏ . Daily 15:00-03:00. Best alternative/indie club with a lot of live shows and good music.
- Expirat/OtherSide, Str. Lipscani nr. 5/Str. Brezoianu nr. 4, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Very lively and popular club, divided in two sections - Expirat, the old club with rock/dance/hiphop music, and its newer offspring, the OtherSide, where DJs spin electronica. Themed nights, very expat-friendly, great cocktails and very reasonable prices.
- Fire Club (near Lipscani), ☏ . The most well-known rock and metal club in Bucharest. By day a pub and outdoor cafe.
- Fratelli, Str. Nicolae Golescu 5, ☏ , , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Kulturhaus, Str. Sf. Vineri nr.4, ☏ . Daily 10:00-05:00. A club with a German concept – ”the culture house” – a place where all sort of cultural events (such as live music concerts, art exhibitions, film projections) take place. Kulturhaus is very cheap – no entry fee (except for music concerts) and low prices – it is the cheapest club in town – maybe this is why the place is crowded every Friday and Saturday night until 05:00.
- Queen’s Club, Be. Carol I, nr. 61, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. F Sa 24:00-05:00. Like gay clubs the world over, this place has become tremendously popular with a hetero set fed up with the meat market atmosphere at so many of the city’s other locations. That, together with superb music, makes this an essential stop for hedonists of all persuasions. Shake it. It can become quite crowded so watch yourself. Entry 20 lei, but that includes 10 lei worth of drinks at the bar.
- Underworld, Str. Colţei, nr. 48 (go to Colţei street coming from the Rosetti Square, near University). M-Sa 15:00-05:00; Su 15:00-24:00. The only punk-rock oriented pub in Bucharest. It also has a small concert hall, a fusball table, board games, dedicated evenings, etc.
- 1 Apartamente Regim Hotelier Bucuresti (Apartamente Termen Scurt Bucuresti), Strada Academiei 4, Bucuresti, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. Short term apartments in the city center. €40.
- 2 Camping Casa Alba (Camping White House), Aleea Privighetorilor 1-3 (at the edge of Băneasa Forest, 1 km N of Băneasa Airport, 12 km N of city centre), ☏ . Space for up to 80 caravans or 120 tents, running water, showers, toilets, kitchen. Next to Casa Alba restaurant.
- Butterfly Villa Hostel, Str. Ştirbei Vodă 96 (entrance from Str. C.Stahi), ☏ , , ✉ email@example.com. Clean hostel 1 km from train station in the centre of sector 1. Bed-sheets, breakfast and internet is included the price. Airport pick-up, excursions and laundry-service. From €12/night.
- Midland Hostel, Str Biserica Amzei no 22 (near Piata Romana Metro), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Central, breakfast included, free internet. from €8/night.
- Vila Gabriela, Str. Mărgăritarului 18, Vila A 104, Otopeni (off Hwy 1, one km S of Otopeni Airport), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Big house managed by a friendly couple, Carmina and Vlad. Carmina can speak English, French and Italian. The rooms are clean and welcoming. B&B double room (shared toilet) €25/night; en suite €35..
- X Hostel Bucharest, Str. Balcesti, 9 (off Calea Calarasi, 200 m NE of Piata Unirii), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Party hostel & pub. Free strong wireless connection, hotel standard rooms as well as large cheaper dorms, mainly air conditioned. From €6/night.
- 3 Zen Tribe Hostel, Strada Radu de la Afumați 12B, București 020667 (The black gate with the electronic coded lock), ☏ (mobile). Check-in: 15:00-22:00, check-out: 05:00-10:00. Clean and spacious hostel. Relaxed atmosphere, very friendly owner and guests with social common spaces. Comfortable beds, great showers and good location. No laundry service. From €9/night.
- Carpaţi, str. Matei Millo nr. 16 (1 km west of Universitate Metro), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. One-star. Small, affordable rooms in a clean and welcoming atmosphere. €40-85/night.
- Hotel Andy, 2 Witting St, district 1 (Turn right as you exit station), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 3 star, small rooms, some street noise, couldn't be closer to Gara de Nord Station. From €48/night.
- Domino, Str.Basarabilor nr.10 (5 km S of centre off Hwy 5), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 2-star, gets very mixed reviews. single 70 lei, double 100 lei, triple 130 lei.
- 4 Hello Hotels, Calea Grivitei 143, district 1, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Great location for budget travellers. €33/night.
- Hotel Basarab Bucuresti, Str. Fluviului nr 23, district 1 (On SW side of Gara de Nord Railway Station), ☏ . Very convenient for station, travellers have found it grubby and smelly. €25/night.
- Angelo Airport Hotel Bucharest (Vienna House), 283 Calea Bucurestilor (On Hwy 1, 300 m from Otopeni / Henri Coanda Airport), ☏ , fax: . Good stay & fly option, hotel offers shuttle bus to terminal, you hardly need it. from €95/night.
- Ambasador, 8 Bvd General Gheorghe Magheru (on main Bvd 1 km S of Piata Victoriei), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 3-star in Art Deco slab, with restaurant. Single from €50, double from €60/night, breakfast included.
- Alia Accommodation Bucharest, 18 Nicolae Balcescu, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 12:00. Serviced apartments in the city center at the University Square. Metro and buses just outside the building. €30-65/night.
- Capitol, Calea Victoriei 29 (off Bvd Regina Elisabeta, 200 m west of Universitate Metro), ☏ , fax: . Comfortable, 100-year-old three-star hotel with big rooms and enormous bathrooms. €55-75/night.
- Casa Victor, Str. Emanoil Porumbaru nr. 44 (2 blocks W of Bvd Aviatorilor, 200 m S of Aviatorilor Metro station), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Check-out: 11:00. 3-star hotel with restaurant, pool & spa. €55-140/night.
- Class Hotel, 30A Garlei St. (off Hwy 1 near Baneasa Airport, 10 km north of centre), ☏ . On Baneasa lakeside, 4-star hotel with restaurant, pool, spa & gym. €60.
- Crowne Plaza, Bvd Poligrafiei nr. 1 (10 km N of centre), ☏ , fax: . Business hotel close to Romexpo grounds. from €80/night.
- Dalin Hotel, 70 Bvd Marasesti (500 m S of Piata Unirii), ☏ . 3-star place with bar & restaurant. €50-60/night.
- Ibis Gara de Nord, Calea Grivitei nr. 143, ☏ . Reliable budget chain 100 m from railway station. from €45/night.
- K+K Hotel Elisabeta, Str. Slanic 26 (off Bvd Carol 1), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Central, close to University, business quarter, city centre & Cismigiu Gardens.
- Le Boutique Hotel Moxa, 4 Mihail Moxa St (corner of 129 Calea Victoriei), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Four-star hotel, centrally located. €80-110/night.
- NH Bucharest, Bulevardul Mircea Voda, 21, ☏ . Modern 4-star hotel in the business district. Bedrooms are cosy and comfortable with a modern twist. Rooms from €65/night.
- Novotel, Calea Victoriei nr. 37B (Metro Universitate), ☏ . Reliable 4-star choice. The facade is what's left of the former National Theatre. From €60/night.
- Ramada Majestic, Calea Victoriei nr. 38-40 (Metro Universitate), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Handy for University. €80-180/night.
- Rin Airport Hotel, Calea Bucurestilor 255A Otopeni (On Hwy 1 near Bucharest main airport, Otopeni), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Provides spacious rooms with air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and free access to its spa area.
- 5 Rin Central, Str Traian 55, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 4* hotel near city centre. €60/night.
- Hotel Siqua, Calea Plevnei nr. 59A (near Opera), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. With Italian restaurant, conference facilities. from €75/night (tax and breakfast included).
- 6 Hotel Corvaris, Soseaua Oltenitei 125 (15 km SE of centre on Hwy 4), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Clean, handy for motorists. from €50/night.
- Carol Parc Hotel, Str. Aleea Suter 23-25, ☏ . Boutique hotel looking onto Carol Park.
- Epoque, 17C Intrarea Aurora 010213 (off Strada Ionel Perlea), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 5-star all-suites hotel in a quiet location just west of Cișmigiu Gardens.
- Europa Royale, Str Franceza 60 (off Piata Unirii), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. A four-star hotel in the Old Town.
- Athénée Palace Hilton, str. Episcopiei nr. 1-3, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. 5-star Hilton near Atheneum. Nice coffee shop, pretty garden terrace in summer.
- 7 Sheraton Bucharest Hotel, Calea Dorobanţilor 5-7 (corner of Bvd Dacia), ☏ , fax: . Upscale hotel near Plata Romana, with casino & restaurants including Benihana Japanese Steakhouse.
- Intercontinental, Blvd. Nicolae Bălcescu nr. 4, ☏ . Central 5-star high-rise block, with restaurant and swimming pool.
- JW Marriott Bucharest Grand, Calea 13 Septembrie nr. 90, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Large hotel behind the Parliament building. 4 restaurants, bar, spa & sauna.
- Opera, str. Actor Ion Brezoianu nr. 37, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. 3-star near University €35/night.
- Phoenicia Grand Hotel, 87 Bvd Aerogarii, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Upmarket place with 4 restaurants, bar, night-club, spa and gym. Very close to Baneasa Airport at north edge of Bucharest, with main airport Otopeni another 15 km north.
- Parliament, Strada Izvor nr. 106, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Designer hotel, looking onto Parliament building
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Calea Victoriei No. 63-81 (1 km from centre), ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Upmarket place with indoor & outdoor pools, 5 restaurants and 4 bars. €100-150/night.
- Rin Grand Hotel, Sos Vitan Barzesti 7D (10 km south of centre looking onto Lake Vacaresti), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Stylish place edge of town with restaurant and piano bar. 24-hour fitness centre with indoor pool, a whirlpool and saunas. Also with beauty salon, conference and banquet facilities, and free parking.
The emergency number in Romania is 112.
Buses are safe, but use common sense, and put your things in internal pockets, just to be 100% sure. Taking taxis from areas frequented by foreign tourists may also pose a threat as some of these taxis may take advantage of the fact that you don't know the city and don't speak their language. Therefore, they might try to make the trip a bit longer than usual, in order to be paid more. Ideally, you should call or ask someone to call you a taxi or order one using the app.
One rule of thumb is to go with older taxi drivers, since they will be more cautious and only try to get a bit extra out of you if they scam you, unlike young drivers who will claim a trip costs 3-5 times as much as it should, may claim the meter does not work, and may try intimidation tactics to make you pay. The company the taxi driver is working at and the prices should be written on the car and the driver's ID card (issued by his employer) should be visible and should contain his photo.
Be very careful of unsolicited offers of help by passers-by, even if they speak good English. In particular if a stranger offers to accompany you to your hostel or hotel in a taxi to show you the way, decline immediately. They are often working in tandem with unlicensed taxi drivers who will attempt to scam you, drop you at incorrect (and remote) locations while demanding exorbitant payment, or who will simply steal your luggage. A common scam is for a stranger to tell you that a place is not safe, and to direct you to an official "government" or "student" taxi, that is driven by an accomplice. They will then drive you a remote location, and demand high sums of money, possibly threatening you with violence if you don't comply.
As strange as it sounds, you'll see that Bucharest is a far safer city than its western European counterparts. Statistically Bucharest is one of the safest capitals in Europe, far safer than cities like Berlin, London, and Rome. Nevertheless, possibly more so than the aforementioned counterparts, violence is not an uncommon solution, towards locals or towards foreign-looking people (minorities, out of place individuals, etc.) in any club, but particularly those playing ethnic music, especially when drinking and after hours are involved. However, just avoiding any conflict, particularly with people who have the air of "owning the place" or a mafioso look would reduce your chances to almost zero. Generally speaking, the larger and richer the city, the fewer problems you'll have.
For a long time, Bucharest had perhaps the largest population of stray dogs for a city in eastern Europe. The problem of strays was getting out of hand, with random attacks and in extreme cases, killings. The City Council finally decided to exterminate the population, and today the streets of Bucharest have hardly any dogs to worry about.
Like most other big cities, walking around at night isn't safe in some parts of the city like Pantelimon, Ferentari, Giulesti, and the Gara de Nord area. If you must travel into these neighbourhoods, it's safer to take a taxi.
Gara de Nord is not particularly dangerous to walk in, but avoid suspicious-looking characters, and if you feel that you are being followed, just walk into the station. Gara de Nord and its surroundings are populated by homeless people and children. Be careful, as many street children use an inhalant drug (equivalent to huffing paint) and may be dangerous. As heartbreaking as this problem is, it's best to avoid any contact. If you do wish to give them something, buy food for them, don't give them money.
Ferentari is a gypsy enclave in Bucharest and, while not as dangerous as it used to be, it's not advisable to walk there at night. In fact it is better to avoid it completely. For the traveler, there is nothing of interest there so you should have no reason to go there to begin with.
The unofficial red light district is Mătăsari, which is also a popular place for clubbers and pubs; you can walk there without any worries because it's always crowded and lively, but avoid talking to strangers in that particular area.
In the event that you do get caught in a police raid, do not attempt to bribe your way out of it with so many of them around as you might get into serious trouble. Police are more inclined to take bribes from locals than from foreigners so do not contribute to this phenomenon that has been plaguing this country for so many years. Police corruption has been vigorously fought in the past years, and it is not as generalized as it used to be in the 1990s. It's always better to walk on boulevards and avoid alleys and backstreets.
The crime rate is low, but a traveler must always be cautious. Violent attacks are very low, but if attacked just yell, "Ajutor!" or "Poliția!" It is very difficult for anyone to get away with violent crime because as everything is packed so closely together, any loud noise will attract attention. This truly is a city that doesn't sleep. You'll find people out and around at all hours in most parts of the city. Police men are pretty friendly and the younger ones speak English, so you can ask directions. In the event that you do need to report a crime to the police, do not hesitate and proceed to the nearest police station. They will often help you to the best of their ability.
Be incredibly careful as a pedestrian in Bucharest. Some drivers are inconsiderate and do not obey all traffic signals. Never assume a car will stop for you at a crosswalk—be vigilant at all times. This is definitely the biggest hazard in Bucharest, not so much in the daytime, when crowded streets make it impossible to drive cars at high speeds, but, at night, the streets clear out, some illegal races taking place with reckless driving on main boulevards.
Asian tourists are more likely to be seen as an easy mark for dishonest taxi drivers and other criminals. It does not make a difference if you are Asian-American or are from Asia. Some young Asian women may also get a lot of perverted looks from men all around the city - be prepared to be stared at especially if you are traveling alone, though some men will stare no matter what.
Avoid wearing football shirts or scarves of the Bucharest or Romania-based football teams (like FCSB, Dinamo or Rapid), especially on match days. There have been several cases of people being assaulted by the ultras groups.
Stay away from the protests. Often anti-corruption protests take place in Piața Victoriei or Piața Universității. During a protest in 10 August 2018, 4 Israeli tourists were beaten by the gendarmes.
Those with allergies may find Bucharest annoying in that it is both hot and very dusty in the summer, with temperatures easily exceeding 30°C in July and August, so bring whatever you might need to stay comfortable. Please note that during the summer, sun strokes and heat strokes can be very dangerous. Therefore, it is recommended that you have a bottle of water with you, sun glasses and a hat (or equivalent).
Pharmacies are usually open between 09:00 and 18:00, but some will stay open through the night. In Romania, there are relatively few over-the-counter drugs available, but pharmacists are allowed to dispense limited quantities of some prescription drugs (such as pain relief medicine) for what they see as immediate needs. There are 51 public hospitals (of which 13 are designated emergency hospitals, including 2 for pediatric emergencies only) and about 18 private hospitals in Bucharest, along with a considerable number of private clinics, dental practices and a modern ambulance service. The nearest hospital from the city center is Colțea Hospital, located on Ion C. Brătianu Boulevard just near the Colțea Church and about 5 minutes away on foot from the University Square. It is also one of the most modern public hospitals in Bucharest.
There is a new laundromat with free WiFi and new equipment. It is centrally located and a nice place to hang around:
- Finland, Strada Atena 2 bis, București 011832, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Th 08:00-16:15, F -15:00.
- Spain, Aleea Alexandru 43, București 011822, ☏ .
- United Kingdom, Strada Jules Michelet 24, București 010463, ☏ . M-F 08:00-17:00.
Unlike in other European cities, you won't get stamps in souvenir shops or kiosks, but only in post offices, that are almost all closed on weekends. If you're there for just a weekend, the only possibility to buy stamps for your postcards, is at the north station (Gara de Nord), where you'll find a post office that opens on Saturdays and Sundays from 09:00 to 13:00.
- The most attractive area of Romania is Transylvania, with its mountains and well-preserved medieval towns. Closest to Bucharest, 160 km north, is Brașov. Beyond it lie Sibiu, Sighisoara, Targu Mures and Cluj Napoca.
- Constanța, 225 km east, is a beach resort on the Black Sea coast. Frankly it's seen better days.
- Ski resorts include Sinaia, Poiana Brasov, and Predeal.
- A day's journey takes you out of Romania into the neighbouring countries. The star destinations, which you'll want to visit more than once, are Budapest in Hungary and Istanbul in Turkey. Also worth seeing are Belgrade in Serbia, Sofia and Plovdiv in Bulgaria, and Kiev and Odessa in Ukraine. Chişinău in Moldova doesn't take long to see but you might need to stop-over on the way to Ukraine.