Do you know that feeling when you visit a new city and want to discover it all, street by street? Yes, it is an exciting feeling, but let's be real, we also want to see the fascinating parts of it. So we have crafted together a list of fun things to do in Bucharest. Also, if you are planning to wander through Romania, then you should also read Fun things to do in Romania.
Bucharest is a city full of various attractions that can charm any traveler, regardless of his or her preferences. An energetic nightlife, vast shopping areas, rich history, impressive landmarks, and more. We're going to cover what we believe are the best things to do in Bucharest.
If you're looking for an evening of relaxation, Bucharest has some great parks that are perfect just for that.
The Cismigiu Park (also known as The Cismigiu Gardens) is situated near Bucharest's center, and it is a famous monument for Bucharest. It is the largest park in the city's central area, and it spans around an artificial lake where you can take a boat ride and see the dozens of ducks and swans swimming in the lake.
Another beautiful park is Herastrau, the largest park in Bucharest. Herastrau Park is surrounded by restaurants and cafes. The city is home to several outdoor events and activities, such as jazz concerts and movie nights. Herastrau Park has a lake just like the Cismigiu Gardens, where you can take a boat ride, or you can choose a small sail, a hydro-bike, a canoe, or even try some water sports.
Palace of Parliament
If you haven't got lost yet inside the largest administrative and heaviest building in the world, now is the time! We want to add that you can do this only in Bucharest.
With a length of 240 meters, a width of 270 meters, and a height of 84 meters, it is the second-largest building in the world after the Pentagon.
Even if you can't get into all the 1100 rooms of the building, you will surely find many intrigues about the role of those chambers.
Also, you will find out how this megalomaniac project was developed. We dare you to discover about the districts of Bucharest where all the existing buildings were demolished and how tens of thousands of people were involved in completing the construction.
Basically, imagine the Palace of Parliament as the imprint of the personality cult developed by Nicolae Ceausescu. This is also of the main reasons why it has now become the most expensive administrative building in the world.
The Village Museum
Houses with reed roof and whitewashed walls from the Delta of the Danube, wooden churches from Maramures or reconstructed watermills animated by many folk arts and crafts. This open-air museum recreates the atmosphere of the traditional Romanian villages. This way, Bucharest Village Museum creates a gateway in the middle of the city, however far from the urban noise and futuristic buildings, right next to Herastrau Lake.
Here you can feel a returning experience to the quiet rural life of the past, given by the representative buildings, monuments, and artifacts from the most significant ethnographic areas in Romania.
You can also find "La Bariera", a traditional inn where you can enjoy a Romanian traditional dish, cooked as in the countryside cuisine. The inn has its origins in Valenii de Munte, a region that connects Prahova Valley with Buzau Valley and dates back from 19th century.
Therefore if you wish to visit Bucharest and National Village Museum you can do it easily by yourself, as it is easy to reach, having good links with Victoriei Square, Unirii Square or Gara de Nord (the main train station).
Spring Palace (Ceausescu Mansion)
Now that we already suggested a visit to one of the most megalomaniac projects in the world, a communist tour would be more effective to discover what communism meant in Romania and how Bucharest as a city was visibly marked.
Even though Europe's last dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, was taken down from power 30 years ago, the traces of the communist Bucharest are still clearly visible throughout the city.
A Bucharest communist tour will take you through the most striking remnants of the heyday of Romanian communism and help you see new details about life from our recent history. You will visit neighborhoods that were built for the working class, discover the grandeur of the Palace of the Parliament, and take a tour of the Spring Palace, the place where the Ceausescu family lived their luxurious life.
This kind of tour takes around 7 hours, and you will get the chance to learn more about the Ceausescu family while discovering a different side of Bucharest.
CEC Palace, view from Smardan Street
The French culture influenced Bucharest general setting during the 19th century, especially through the young nobles who were studying in Paris. Thus, the French language becomes a cultural standard. Initially, it was the language of intellectuality, but later on, the middle-class population started to speak it as well. This is how the French language started to be heard quite frequently in the city center's cafes and restaurants.
The architecture was also influenced by this current. Starting with the first half of the 19th century until the interwar period, more and more impressive buildings in style such as Neoclassical or French baroque began to be erected.
Victoriei Avenue always had a charm from this point of view. You can admire the Romanian Athenaeum, the National University Library or the CEC Palace.
But that's not all! We strongly suggest a visit to the National Museum of Art located inside the Royal Palace and to enjoy a Romanian craft beer at Fabrica de Bere Buna brewery. Moreover, the National Museum of Romanian History is located only two steps away, why not to take a look there too? Who knows what you will discover.
Stavropoleos Monastery, Carturesti, Obor Market, Vasile Conta 7-9 Street, Arthur Verona Street, Kretzulescu Church, Linea - Closer To The Moon
Instagram is perhaps the most popular social media channel among travelers. With a little imagination and a suitable filter, you can create a virtual postcard from your picture.
The most popular and appreciated pictures are those full of dynamism, authenticity, and colors. Since Bucharest is a city with a particular bohemian chaos, we thought of proposing you some Instagram-worthy places to take such pictures.
Stavropoleos Monastery - with its small inner courtyard, and its oriental-inspired arches, it is considered by many bloggers and influencers to be perhaps the most instagrammable place in Bucharest.
Carturesti Carusel - Most of the people come here for the oasis of peace that the place offers and for books, of course. But it would be a pity, in addition, to not take a picture full of shapes and colors.
Obor Market - local markets are always a rich source of inspiration for street photography lovers. Meet the locals, try some fresh vegetable and impress your page followers with another authentic experience!
Vasile Conta 7-9 Street - Everyone in the virtual world knows the photos taken the ground level with the astounding blocks of flats in Hong Kong. We also have something similar, so note the name of the street.
Arthur Verona Street - You should definitely get here to take a picture of the beautiful and colorful mural paintings.
Kretzulescu Church - It is a stain of color, in a unique architectural style, which will make your photography one of the most appreciated on the internet.
Linea/ Closer To The Moon Restaurant - take the best sunset photography, in a special atmosphere, while sipping your drink.
Macca Villacrosse Passage
If you love taking photos, you should try "getting lost" in this place to capture its uniqueness. This passage looks similar to Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. It still retains the flavor of the interwar period, being one of the most beautiful gateways to the city's history.
Tip: Currently, the passage hosts several restaurants including an Egyptian-themed one, tailoring workshops, a wine bar, stores and much more.
Carturesti Carusel, photo source: https://interestingtimes.ro
If you're looking for a souvenir from your trip to Bucharest, Carturesti Carusel, a book store built within a historical building, is the place to go.
The French Style building dates from the 19th century and impresses with its modern interior design, but in balance with the historical past. The house was the headquarter of an important inter-war bank. The family that ran the business was pretty close to the Romanian royal family of that time.
After getting lost on the streets of the old center, you can relax here reading a book about Romania, about Bucharest or about the places you just wandered around. And this only while enjoying a good tea.
Romanian Athenaeum's fame was brought by the fact that a party of the funds for raising it was obtained by public subscription.
We recommend you to listen to a concert of the Philharmonic and admire the impressive fresco in the concert hall. This includes 25 representative scenes from the history of Romania. It can briefly introduce you to Romanian history.
Bucharest Old Town
As long as you are in Bucharest you can't miss the opportunity to try some tasty local food. And where you can do this if not in a traditional restaurant?
For lunch, we suggest Hanul lui Manuc (Manuc's Inn). Besides the traditional dishes, the place has a rich history behind it and a typical eastern auberge atmosphere. You will feel like an old merchant from the east, quenching his hunger and thirst.
For dinner, try Caru' cu Bere restaurant. The delicious dishes and folk show will prove to you that Romanians know how to party. Furthermore, picture that before your arrival here, personalities such as The Rolling Stones, Nicolas Cage, and Demi Moore have passed the threshold of this restaurant.