I visit Bucharest regularly. My parents in law live in this city, I got married there, it has been our start point for summer holidays few times. It’s a big city, crowded and busy, the traffic can be overwhelming, but it’s worth to visit it. There are many beautiful places, squares, parks, churches, museums, in fact it’s called sometimes “Little Paris”. I haven’t seen it all yet, but based on what I did see, here is my recommendation:
1. Palace of Parliament.
It’s the largest building in Europe, seconds largest in the world after Pentagon. This monumental building was build in Ceausescu times, it has more than a 1000 rooms, weights around 4,098,500,000 kilograms, which makes it the heaviest building in the world. It’s definitely a thing you want to visit while being in Bucharest. You’ll see a lavish administrative, the dream of a communist dictator, hear interesting stories from it. According to the information I have it’s open everyday, so go and visit it 🙂
2. Old town.
Just get there and get lost in those small, narrow streets, full of bars, pubs and restaurants. Beautiful architecture and atmosphere makes the walk very enjoyable. It’s also a place where the night life happens. It’s easily reachable from other parts of Bucharest, just take a subway, a tram or a taxi if you wish (I recommend subway though, cheap and fast).
3. Carturesti Carousel book store.
Can’t miss it while wandering around old town. It’s so beautiful, that you just go there and don’t even care about the books. This place is very bright, with white as main color, you can see all the floors and beautiful staircases… perfect spot for Instagram photo.
4. Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum.
It will take you back in time to traditional homes of Romanian, their daily activities, clothes, furniture. I felt there like in a different world, just thinking I am in biggest/busiest/most populated city of Romania and I walked around village neighborhood, admiring the wooden architecture and the lake nearby. Go there for a calm afternoon.
Bucharest is full of lakes, parks and green spots, which gives the city a nice balance between nature and industrial vibes. You’ll love the old charming Cismigiu, Herastrau (where the Village Museum is), huge Tineretului, or Titan. Perfect places for a walk, meeting with friends, bringing kids, having a picnic. /
6. Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History.
I am not museum girl, but enjoyed this one anyway. It could be very entertaining for kids as well.
While you walk around, never, but never, just pass by a church. They are rather smaller than catholic churches, but you will spot them easily, since they are everywhere. You absolutely have to go inside and see the beauty of Orthodox architecture. The icons, the colors, the atmosphere… and now that they opened this huge cathedral, you could go and visit this enormous monument.
Truth is I haven’t seen even 10% of what this city has to offer, I am sure. But I did use the metro if it counts! To sum it up, Bucharest is good for a city trip, for a weekend or a few days. You will definitely have things to do and places to see. But if you’re coming to Romania, do yourself a favor, come for longer, don’t stay in capital city and go discover what this beautiful country has to offer. Only then you will experience the true spirit of Romania.