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Bucharest is the capital and largest city of Romania, as well as its cultural, industrial, and financial centre. It is located in the southeast of the country, on the banks of the Dâmbovița River, less than 60 km (37.3 mi) north of the Danube River and the Bulgarian border.
Bucharest was first mentioned in documents in 1459. It became the capital of Romania in 1862 and is the centre of Romanian media, culture, and art. Its architecture is a mix of historical (neo-classical), interbellum (Bauhaus and art deco), communist-era and modern.
In the period between the two World Wars, the city's elegant architecture and the sophistication of its elite earned Bucharest the nickname of "Little Paris". Although buildings and districts in the historic city centre were heavily damaged or destroyed by war, earthquakes, and above all Nicolae Ceaușescu's program of systematization, many survived. In recent years, the city has been experiencing an economic and cultural boom.
Economically, Bucharest is the most prosperous city in Romania and is one of the main industrial centres and transportation hubs of Eastern Europe. The city has big convention facilities, educational institutes, cultural venues, traditional "shopping arcades" and recreational areas.
|POPULATION :||City: 1,883,425 / Metro: 2,272,163|
|TIME ZONE :||EET (UTC+2) Summer: EEST (UTC+3)|
|LANGUAGE :||Romanian 96%, Romany(Gypsy)1.1%, other 2.9%|
|RELIGION :||Romanian Orthodox 96.1%, Roman Catholic 1.2%, Others 2.7%|
|AREA :||228 km2 (88 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||55.8–91.5 m (183.1–300.2 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||44°25′57″N 26°6′14″E|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 48,70% |
• Female: 51,30%
|ETHNIC :||Romaninans 96.6%, Others (Roma Gypsies, Hungarians, Jews) 3.4%|
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :||0xxxxx|
|DIALING CODE :||+40 x1|
Bucharest has a growing cultural scene, in fields including the visual arts, performing arts and nightlife. Unlike other parts of Romania, such as the Black Sea coast or Transylvania, Bucharest's cultural scene has no defined style, and instead incorporates elements of Romanian and international culture.
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 in recent years 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 project finished at this time is the impressive Basarab overpass, which is Europe's widest cable bridge.
Bucharest's history alternated periods of development and decline from the early settlements in antiquity until its consolidation as the national capital of Romania late in the 19th century.
First mentioned as the "Citadel of București" in 1459, it became the residence of the famous Wallachian prince Vlad III the Impaler.
Partly destroyed by natural disasters and rebuilt several times during the following 200 years, and hit by Caragea's plague in 1813–14, the city was wrested from Ottoman control and occupied at several intervals by the Habsburg Monarchy (1716, 1737, 1789) and Imperial Russia (three times between 1768 and 1806).
In 1862, after Wallachia and Moldavia were united to form the Principality of Romania, Bucharest became the new nation's capital city. In 1881, it became the political centre of the newly proclaimed Kingdom of Romania under King Carol I. During the second half of the 19th century the city's population increased dramatically, and a new period of urban development began.
Between 6 December 1916 and November 1918, the city was occupied by German forces as a result of the Battle of Bucharest, with the official capital temporarily moved to Iași, in the Moldavia region. After World War I, Bucharest became the capital of Greater Romania.
In January 1941, the city was the scene of the Legionnaires' rebellion and Bucharest pogrom. As the capital of an Axis country and a major transit point for Axis troops en route to the Eastern Front, Bucharest suffered heavy damage during World War II due to Allied bombings. On 23 August 1944 Bucharest was the site of the royal coup which brought Romania into the Allied camp. The city suffered a short period of Nazi Luftwaffe bombings as well as a failed attempt by German troops to regain the city.
After the establishment of communism in Romania, the city continued growing. New districts were constructed, most of them dominated by tower blocks. During Nicolae Ceaușescu's leadership (1965–89), much of the historic part of the city was demolished and replaced by "Socialist realism" style development.
The Romanian Revolution of 1989 began with massive anti-Ceaușescu protests in Timișoara in December 1989 and continued in Bucharest, leading to the overthrow of the Communist regime.
Since 2000, the city has been continuously modernized and is still undergoing urban renewal. Residential and commercial developments are underway, particularly in the northern districts; and Bucharest's old historic centre is being restored.
Bucharest has a humid continental climate.
Winter temperatures often dip below 0 °C (32 °F), sometimes even to −20 °C (−4 °F).
In summer, the average temperature is 23 °C (73 °F) (the average for July and August) Temperatures frequently reach 35 to 40 °C (95 to 104 °F) in mid-summer in the city centre.
During spring and autumn, daytime temperatures vary between 17 to 22 °C (63 to 72 °F)
Climate data for Bucharest
|Record high °C (°F)||17.1|
|Average high °C (°F)||2.8|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−1.3|
|Average low °C (°F)||−4.8|
|Record low °C (°F)||−32.2|
|Source #1: NOAA|
|Source #2: Pogoda.ru.net|
Bucharest is situated on the banks of the Dâmbovița River, which flows into the Argeș River, a tributary of the Danube. Several lakes – the most important of which are Lake Herăstrău, Lake Floreasca, Lake Tei, and Lake Colentina.
Bucharest is situated in the south eastern corner of the Romanian Plain, in an area once covered by the Vlăsiei forest, which, after it was cleared, gave way for a fertile flatland. As with many cities, Bucharest is traditionally considered to be built upon seven hills, similar to the seven hills of Rome. Bucharest's seven hills are: Mihai Vodă, Dealul Mitropoliei, Radu Vodă, Cotroceni, Spirei, Văcărești and Sf. Gheorghe Nou.
Bucharest is the center of the Romanian economy and industry.Almost one third of national taxes are paid by Bucharest's citizens and companies.
After relative stagnation in the 1990s, the city's strong economic growth has revitalized infrastructure and led to the development of shopping malls, residential estates and high-rise office buildings.
Bucharest's economy is centered on industry and services, with services particularly growing in importance in the last ten years. The headquarters of 186,000 firms, including nearly all large Romanian companies are located in Bucharest.
ucharest is also Romania's largest centre for information technology and communications and is home to several software companies operating offshore delivery centres. Romania's largest stock exchange, the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
There are international supermarket chains such as Carrefour, Cora and METRO operating in Bucharest. The city is undergoing a retail boom, with supermarkets and hypermarkets opened every year.
Bucharest hosts a lot of luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Gucci, Armani, Hugo Boss, Prada, Calvin Klein, Rolex, Burberry and many others. Malls and large shopping centres have been built since the late 1990s, such as AFI Palace Cotroceni, Sun Plaza, Băneasa Shopping City, Plaza Romania, Unirea Shopping Center and Liberty Center. There are traditional retail arcades and markets such as the one at Obor.
Bucharest is divided in 6 sectors:
Sector 1 (population 227,717): Dorobanți, Băneasa, Aviației, Pipera, Aviatorilor, Primăverii, Romană, Victoriei, Herăstrău Park, Bucureștii Noi, Dămăroaia, Strǎulești, Grivița, 1 Mai, Băneasa Forest, Pajura, Domenii, Chibrit
Sector 2 (population 357,338): Pantelimon, Colentina, Iancului, Tei, Floreasca, Moșilor, Obor, Vatra Luminoasă, Fundeni, Plumbuita, Ștefan cel Mare, Baicului
Sector 3 (population 399,231): Vitan, Dudești, Titan, Centrul Civic, Dristor, Lipscani, Muncii, Unirii
Sector 4 (population 300,331): Berceni, Olteniței, Giurgiului, Progresul, Văcărești, Timpuri Noi, Tineretului
Sector 5 (population 288,690): Rahova, Ferentari, Giurgiului, Cotroceni, 13 Septembrie, Dealul Spirii
Sector 6 (population 371,060): Giulești, Crângași, Drumul Taberei, Militari, Grozăvești (also known as Regie), Ghencea
Free Wi-Fi is widely available in Buchurest parks, cafes, hotels and restaurants.
Prices in Bucharest
MARKET / SUPERMARKET
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€0.65|
|Bottle of Wine||1 bottle||€3.35|
|Dinner (Low-range)||for 2||€13.00|
|Dinner (Mid-range)||for 2||€23.00|
|Dinner (High-range)||for 2||€37.00|
|Mac Meal or similar||1 meal||€4.00|
|Beer (Imported)||0.33 l||€1.80|
|Beer (domestic)||0.5 l||€1.35|
|Coctail drink||1 drink||€4.90|
|Men’s Haircut||1 haircut||€8.00|
|Mobile (prepaid)||1 min.||€0.19|
|Pack of Marlboro||1 pack||€3.45|
|Toilet paper||4 rolls||€1.50|
CLOTHES / SHOES
|Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)||1||€60.00|
|Dress summer (Zara, H&M)||1||€29.00|
|Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)||1||€64.00|
|Local Transport||1 ticket||€0.35|
36 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- meals in cheap restaurant
- public transport
- cheap hotel
91 € per day
Estimated cost per 1 day including:
- mid-range meals and drinks
Transportation - Get In
Connections and airports
Bucharest has reasonable connections with most European capitals and with the largest cities in Romania, but it can be difficult to find a direct flight to Bucharest from outside of Europe or the Middle East. The city is also reached by a large number of low-costs flights, mainly from destinations in Italy and Spain as well as from some major cities in Germany, France, the UK, Belgium, Hungary, Turkey, Austria etc.
- Henri Coandă International Airport (IATA: OTP), Calea Bucureştilor 224E, Otopeni(located in Otopeni, 18 km north of downtown.), . All scheduled flights, including those operated by low cost airlines, land here. Henri Coanda airport is often referred to as Otopeni on airline bookings, because of its location . The airport, built in 1968, has undergone a massive modernization effort since the late 90's and is set to be further enlarged. It is the main hub for the Romanian flag carrier Tarom. All concessions inside the airport (shops, cafes, restaurants) are extremely expensive (especially departure side, about four times more expensive than in the city). Avoid exchanging money in the airport, exchange rates are 20-25% worse than what you would find in the city - you are advised to use a credit card at an ATM in the lobby for immediate needs and exchange money downtown. However, there is a Billa supermarket on the basement of arrival side whose price is same as others in the city. It's a bit of walk from the international departures but a great place to get a snack and/or spend your last few lei on departure.
- Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (IATA: BBU), Şoseaua Bucureşti - Ploieşti 40(It's located inside the city, in Băneasa, about 4–6 km to the city center), . This smaller airport was used for commercial flights as early as the 1920s and became a low cost hub in its final years. From March 25, 2012 it is no longer used by passenger airlines. It is now a business airport.
Transport to the city
There are several options to get from Henri Coandă airport to Bucharest:
- Express bus 783. Daily every 20 minutes (every 40 minutes during the night). goes from the airport to downtown Bucharest at Piaţa Unirii. Timetable from Henri Coandă Airport to the city center. - Expect the trip with bus 783 to be about 50 minutes long (from Piaţa Unirii to the airport) or even longer during rush hour traffic. Note that buses do not have luggage racks. 7 lei (return).
- Express bus 780. daily 5:30AM-11PM. every 40 minutes. links the airport with the main train station, Bucuresti Nord (Gara de Nord) and terminate at Basarab (also metro, train and tram station). Timetable from the airport to Gara de Nord.
When taking the 780 bus from Gara de Nord train station to Otopeni airport, note that Gara de Nord is not the end of the bus route, hence, the 780 buses that pass Gara de Nord actually run in two directions. Therefore, at Gara de Nord, to catch the 780 that takes you to Otopeni airport, you need to catch it from the 780 bus-stop that requires crossing a road from south side of the station, i.e. not the 780 bus stop that is directly outside the station. It is best to ask locals where the correct bus stop is. 7 lei (return).
Note that the Arrivals hall is at the first floor but the bus station is at the ground floor.
The lowest price option for any of these express buses is 8.6 lei (two rides minimum uploaded on an un-reloadable Multiplu card, 3,5x2+1.6 lei).
Cards can only be purchased from the booth in front of either the Arrivals (open 24h) or Departures terminals (respectively on the return trip from ticket booths in stations along their route or from the ticket booth at Piaţa Unirii 2 (open 24h) where 783 bus originates), they can't be bought from the driver. There is a ticket machine in front of the Arrivals terminal in service 24 hours a day, but it is only for reloading existing Activ cards. Remember to always validate your ticket on boarding the bus, these two bus lines are a prime target for ticket inspectors. The bus is far superior to the train in terms of both time and cost.
- Fixed-price transfer services - There are manyi transfer services around Bucharest who provide fix-priced fix-time transfer service to Bucharest from the airports and also they can offer a trip around the counry as well. Many transfer services can kend you a car for 4 people, sometimes minivans for 8 but therer are also companies up o 50-people with big buses. Buchareststransfer, TravelMaker, , Bucharest Airport Transfer, TransVision
- Henri Coandă Express (train stop two km away from the airport). Daily 5:15AM-8:20PM hourly. This is a combined transfer service by minibus then train to Bucuresti Nord station. Tickets can be bought inside the airport at CFR ticket counter. The trip starts with a transfer by shuttle bus to a small train stop two km away from the airport, followed by a 30 minutes train to Gara de Nord. The shuttle bus transfer IS INCLUDED in the train ticket. The total duration of the trip from airport to the Gara de Nord is approximately 50 minutes. From Gara de Nord you can take public transport (metro and buses) or you can depart by train towards other cities in Romania. This service is not recommended for transfers to the city center because it takes a long time to get to Gara de Nord, and then to the centre via metro, but can be an option if you plan to continue your journey by train. 8.1 lei.
- Taxi (taxi rank outside the arrivals hall). Due to the bad reputation of rip-off taxi drivers, the airport has now implemented an automated touch screen call-up system. After selecting the price you want to pay, you are given the number of your taxi which should arrive shortly. Make sure to get a taxi with the normal rate (1.39 lei/km) and check the taxi number before getting in. This option is indeed more expensive, however it is more comfortable and you are taken straight to your hotel.
There are still taxis waiting at the Arrivals exit with rip off rates (called 'Fast Taxi'); it's best to avoid them. They charge the maximum allowed rate (3.5 lei/km). A trip to downtown with them costs at least 60-70 lei and may go up to €30 at night. Remember that for €30 you can get anywhere in the country by bus or train, so think twice before you decide to pay a taxi driver the same for a drive of less than 20km. ~30 lei.
Bucharest is linked through direct daily trains to all neighboring countries’ capitals (Belgrade, Budapest,Chişinău, Kiev, Sofia), as well as to Vienna, Istanbul,Moscow and of course to main cities in all of Romania’s 41 counties.
- Northern station (Gara de Nord), București Nord, Piața Gării de Nord 1-3, Sector 1 (Near of the city center, 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), . , All international trains and almost long distance internal trains arrive at here. - Do not use any exchange services around the train station: they offer about 30-50 percent below the actual exchange rate—use an ATM instead or walk a few blocks to get a much better rate, then take the subway system, which is reasonably priced (~1 euro for 2 uses, as of August 2015) and has clearly marked maps and schedules. Problems with taxi drivers cheating and overpricing the clients led to a public auction in August 2013, in order to monopolize and secure the taxi services around the station. Therefore, since November 2013, the only taxi company allowed near Gara de Nord is Meridian Taxi. Still, as in any other place, you should always look to see if the cab driver starts the meter and alert him by saying "aparatul" (ah-pah-RA-tool) while pointing at the meter. There may be a small number of private taxi drivers offering rides - be extremely wary. Their tariff is usually 3.5 lei/km, while the general tariff is 1.39 lei/km (as of August 2015). It is recommended to ride only with drivers who use the meter and have the general tariff. Never accept bargains and other offers, they are usually more than double than the route is worth. +phone=+40 21 3190358. Train to Budapest (16 hours, overnight, seat €57, bed €74), to Constanta(some trains 2 hours, 62 lei 2nd class, 92 lei 1st class).
- Eastern station (Gara de Est-Obor), Bulevardul Gării Obor 5A (Bus 143, 682, N108, Trolley 69, 85). Some trains to and from the Black Sea Coast use this station, however these trains are very slow and out of date.
- Băneasa station (Gara Băneasa), Piata Gara Baneasa (Bus 131, 205, 261, 304, 335, 449, N113), . , The only express train to call here is the train from Timisoara to Constanta, apart from that only local trains stop here.
- Basarab station (București Basarab, Gara Basarab), Sectorul 6, Soseaua Orhideelor, nr. 2 (Metro by Basarab station (Lines M1 and M4). Tram 1, 35. Trolley 65, 86, 97 or Bus 105, 123, 133, 162, 178, 282, 780.), . , , This smaller station is used exclusively for local and regional trains.
- Progresul station (Gara Progresul), Strada Giurgiului (Șoseaua Giurgiului), 194(Tram 4,7, 25, Bus 116, 202, 216, 471), . This smaller station is open, but no passenger trains at all call here.
- Titan Sud station (Gara Titan Sud), Sectorul 3, Bulevardul Basarabia, 254 (M1 Republica or tram 36, 46, 56 to stop 'Republica'), . This smaller station is used exclusively for local and regional trains.
The timetables for domestic routes are available here.
Buses are a good option to get to Bucharest if coming from Moldova, Turkey, Greece and to some extent Bulgaria, given the low frequency and speeds of trains between these countries and Romania.
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 and their local affiliate Atlassib .
- 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' -), .
- Obor bus terminal (Autogara Obor), B-dul Garii Obor nr. (Bulevardul Gării Obor) 5A , Sector 2 (East - Trolley 69, 85 to 'gara Obor'), , fax: .
- 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), , e-mail: , , (Mobil)[email protected]. Buses and minibuses from Chişinău (seven-eight buses every day, about 10 hours travel time, tickets around €15) arrive mostly to here.
- 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 to here
- Militari bus terminal (Autogara Militari), Str. Valea Cascadelor (Strada Valea Cascadelor) nr.1 (West - Tram 8, 25 to 'C.F.R. Cotroceni' - Metro3 'Pacii'), , e-mail: [email protected].
- Griviţa bus terminal (North-west), . , (Mobil)
- 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
- Bus from Sofia (near Tineretului subway station (one station away from city center)).daily bus from Sofia (7 hours travel time, €18)
- Buses from Varna (one or two buses daily only between late May-early September, 5–6 hours travel time, tickets around €30) usually stop in various squares in downtown;
- Buses to Constanta depart every 45 minutes during the summer and some buses offers WiFi-connection. The station is located near Gara de Nord at the intersection of Strada Mircea Vulcanescu & Bulevardul Dinicu Golescu.
Bucharest also has bus connections to a vast number of 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.
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 the University, a major underground parking place opened in 2014. Unfortunately, although modern and safe, finding the entrance may prove to be a little tricky. Among that, an even bigger parking place (with 5 levels) is located near the Unirii Square, behind the Unirii Mall, which is also near the center area and only 10 minutes away (by foot) from the old town's center. Also note that driving on some of the secondary streets might prove to be a bit bumpy, due to only relatively good condition of these roads. If you can, avoid any driving on the Pantelimon Boulevard, since there are several ongoing major repairs in the area.
Transportation - Get Around
Bucharest has one of the most extensive systems of public transport in Europe, even though it can sometimes be confusing and crowded.
Public transport ticketing
The easiest option for the tourist is probably the Activ card, which costs 3.7 lei at any RATB 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 no longer be used for the Metro (subway) system since 2014.
When entering a vehicle or subway station, you need to validate your ticket. Simply hold the card on the orange reader until you hear a short beep and the green LED lights up. If you get a red light and a long beep (validation failed), simply 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, simply 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)
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 originally 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.
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 (as of 2011). 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 Buses, trams and trolleybuses
Bucharest has a very complex network of buses, trams and trolleybuses which is, at first glance, fairly confusing to the tourist. This is not because of any inconsistencies within the network, but rather due to the intricate web of hundreds of bus, tram and trolleybus routes found in the city. 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, you can always 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 are running between 01:00 and 03:00. The lines can be seen here and the map here
Daco Rent a Car and Europcar are both available in the city and at the airport. Other local rental companies can be found throughout the city. The average starting price for a day's rental (small car) is about €20.
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 be 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. It should be noted that 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 beggining 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.
Uber is now also available in Bucharest as an alternative to traditional taxis. There is no shortage of drivers using Uber, and some might view it as safer and easier.
- BEST RATED -
- BEST VALUE -
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:
- Bucharest Mall, Calea Vitan 55-59 (Bus 123, 124, 125, 135 or tram 15, 19, 23 or M1,3 'Timpuri Noi' 1km W), , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. The first one to be completed, in 1999.
- Jolie Ville, Str. Erou Iancu Nicolae nr. 103 bis, Voluntari, judetul Ilfov(In northern Outskirts, Bus 301 to 'Jolie Ville Baneasa' 100 m), , fax: 40 21 2068 002, e-mail: [email protected]. Mega Image hypermarket, services: Florists, pharmacies, cleaners.
- Plaza Romania, Bulevardul Timișoara 26 (M3 "Lujerului" 0.8 km N further tram 41 to 'Bd. Timisoara', or tram 8, 25 to 'Brasov'), , fax: , e-mail: [email protected].
- Unirea Shopping Center, sector 3, Piața Unirii, nr.1 (Downtown - M 1,3 'Piața Unirii' Stn.), , e-mail:[email protected].
- City Mall, Șoseaua Olteniței 2 (M2 'Eroii Revolutiei' further tram 11 to 'Cimitirul Serban Voda' or 0.5 km walk), , fax: , e-mail:[email protected].
- Băneasa Shopping City, Șoseaua Bucureşti-Ploieşti nr.42D (Bus 261, 301, 304, 449 to 'Drumul Matasii'), . Opened in April 2008.
- 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 10:00-22:00, supermarket: 09:00-22:00, cinema:M-F 12:00; Sa-Su 10:00.
- AFI Palace Cotroceni, district 6, Bulevardul Vasile Milea, No. 4, , fax: .
- Sun Plaza, district 4, Calea Văcărești 391 (M2 'Stația Piața Sudului', Trolley 73, 74, 77; Tram 11, bus 232, 242, 312, 313, 381, 634), e-mail:[email protected]. Gallery stores M-Sa 10:00-22:00, Restaurants & Cafes: Su-Th 10:00-23:00, Fr-Sa 10:00-24:00; Cora hypermarket: M-F 8:00 -22:00.
- Promenada, Calea Floreasca 246B. Opened in 2014, it is one of the biggest shopping malls in Bucharest.
- 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.
- 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
- Bastilia. Excellent bookshop (with nice cafe at top) located in newly renovated building right at Piata Romana.
- Nautilus. Is 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.), , e-mail:[email protected]. Is a recently-opened English language bookstore. Lots of reasonably-priced books and a comics (mostly manga) section.
- Dalles. Situated near Piaţa Universităţii (University square).
- Thomas Antiques, Str. Covaci 19 (Lipscani area), .Beautiful antique shop with a large collection.
- Beca's Kitchen.
- Bistro Jariștea, Str. Henri Coanda 5, .10:00-02:00. Stylish bistro with Romanian specialties, including game and a varied selection of wines. Friendly staff, reservations not always necessary.
- Cafeanua Actorilor. Actor's 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.
- Casa Iancului, No.2 Sarafineşti str.. The menu is limited to typical Romanian cuisine. Dishes are based on chicken, fish, pork, game and venison. Casa Iancului boasts an extensive selection of wines and has a professional sommelier.
- 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.
- Jariștea, Strada George Georgescu 50-52 (near the crossroad of Regina Maria Blvd. and Libertăţii Blvd), , e-mail:[email protected]. M-Su 11AM-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). A fine restaurant offering a cuisine which blends the French style and the old Romanian spirit. Prices are medium-high.
- Kanpai, str. George Călinescu 49. Japanese pub/bistro.
- 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 [www]) - focusing on traditional Romanian food. Reasonable prices.
- Lovegan, Bulevardul Lascăr Catargiu Nr. 1 (Near by Metro Piata Romana), , e-mail: , [email protected]. Mon-Fri 12-20PM, Sat 11AM-15PM. One of the few vegan restaurants in Bucharest, serving delicious dishes. Catering workshops on Saturday.
- Malagamba (Italian cuisine), 2 Sf. Dumitru (in the historical centre - next to Comedy Theatre), , e-mail:[email protected]. 11AM-12AM. Named after Sergiu Malagamba, interbelic urban-culture personality, the menu is specifically Italian. They have great risotti, super-fresh pasta, and the most gorgeous lime sorbet. The staff is friendly and the space is modern, hosting also an informal art gallery.
- 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), . 12:00-24:00. Good Indian restaurant near Marriott hotel, especially for vegetarians. Little pricey.
- 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.
- Wok Away, Calea Mosilor, Nr 288 (vis-a-vis Raiffaisen Bank), . Chinese specialities and Asian food. The food is prepared separately for each customer, so you will have a great experience with every meal.
- Hanul Lui Manuc, Str. Franceza nr. 62-64,, 021 313 14 11. Great location in Bucharest city centre and wonderfull traditional food.
Sights & Landmarks
- Parliament Palace (Palatul Parliamentului), Strada Izvor 2-4 (near Piaţa Unirii (Union Plazza). - M1, 3 'Izvor' - entrance is on the north side), . the tourist can see the world's second largest building (after the US Pentagon), formerly named "Casa Poporului" (People's House). The building, which was built in 1984 by Nicolae Ceauşescu, spans 12 stories, 3100 rooms and covers over 330,000 sq m. 1/9 of Bucharest was reconstructed to accommodate this magnificent massive building and its surroundings. There are 30-45 minute tours every half hour which lead through the building's vast collection of marble rooms and culminates in an impressive view from Nicolae Ceauşescu's balcony. The marble and all the original decorations are 100% from Romania. The basic tour includes the halls and the balcony, worthwhile is the terrace addition for the wonderful view from the top of the building. The basement addition on the other hand is not worth the money. They only show two rooms containing airducts, no additional facts and it lasts only 5 minutes. Different Tours ranging in price from 25 lei (15 lei for students, proof required) up to 43 lei.
- Old town. 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.
- Revolution Square (Piaţa Revoluţiei) (M 'Universitate' 600 m - Centrally located, 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.
- 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 located here since 1878.
- 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.
Churches and monasteries
- 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.
- Patriarchal Cathedral (Catedrala Patriarhală din București), Strada Patriarhiei (located on the hill overlooking Piata Unirii, take tram 7, 27, 32 to stop '11 Iunie' 100m or M: 'Piața Unirii 1' 500m). Built in 1658. Next to it is the Mitropoliei Palace (1708) – the residence of the Orthodox Patriarch, a sort of small 'Romanian Vatican'.
- 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), e-mail:[email protected]. Built in the early 18th century, has some stunning decorative sculpture and amazing frescoes. A little jewel.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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 actually means "cruet", because of the initial destination of the street it is situated on. It was built in the 18th Century and it features a number of interesting paintings and stained glass.
- 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. Also here is a exhibition hall.
Museums & Galleries
- Art Museum (Muzeul Național de Artă al României), Calea Victoriei, 49-53(M2 'Piața Victoriei' or M2 'Universitate' 600 m), , e-mail:[email protected]. 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. +phone=+40 21 3148119
- 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 and Su 10.00-17.00.Open-air display of various types of aircraft.
- National Museum of Contemporary Art (Muzeul Național de Artă Contemporana), Strada Izvor(M1,M3 'Izvor' or Bus 136, 385), e-mail: [email protected].Cafe, 4th floor: Open: Tu - Su 10AM-6PM ; Library (Libraria Jumatatea Plina): W-Su 10AM-6PM; ANNEX NMCA. W-Su 10AM-6PM Address: Mosilor 64-68, free entry; Dalles Hall (SALA Dalles) Open: W-Su 10AM-6PM; Address: 18 Avenue N. Balcescu. Recently opened 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.
- Branch Museums:
- The Art Collections Museum (Muzeul Colecţiilor de Artă), 111, Calea Victoriei, phone:+40 21 2129641; +40 21 2121749, Open: Sa-W 11.00-19.00 (May-Sep), 10.00-18.00 (Oct-Apr), Closed: Th, F;
- K.H. Zambaccian Museum (Muzeul K. H. Zambaccian). 21A, Muzeul Zambaccian Street, phone:+40 21 2301920, Open: W-Su 11.00-19.00 (May-Sep), 10.00-18.00 (October - April), Closed: M, Tu;
- Theodor Pallady Museum (Muzeul Theodor Pallady). 22, Spătarului Street, phone: +40 21 2114979, Open: W-Su 11.00-19.00 (May-Sep), 10.00-18.00 (Oct-Apr), Closed: M, Tu 10 lei.
- Curtea Veche Museum (Old Princely Court Museum), Strada Franceză, nr. 25-31 (M 'Piața Unirii 2'), . 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 located in this same place that Bucharest began to develop.
- Cotroceni Palace Museum (Muzeul Național Cotroceni, Palatul Cotroceni), Bulevardul Geniului 1 (Buses and trolleys to 'Gradina Botanica' or M 'Politehnica'), , e-mail:[email protected]. Has collections of objects that belonged to the former Romanian royal family. Today it is also the residence of the Romanian president.
- Firefighters Museum (Muzeul National al Pompierilor), Bd. Ferdinand I, nr. 33 (Foişorul de Foc), sector 2, , e-mail: [email protected]. 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'.
- 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 cca.15min), , e-mail: [email protected]. 09-19:00 (21:00 in the summer). An original open air museum created in 1934, it currently has around 300 traditional buildings (including churches, workshops, mills etc.) plus 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. Fee 3ron for adult, 1.5ron for student.
- Museum of the Romanian Peasant (Muzeul Național al Țăranului Român), Şoseaua Kiseleff, 3 (M2 'Piața Victoriei 1, 2'; bus 205, 300, 381, 783), , e-mail: [email protected]. 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. Entry 6ron for adult, 3ron for student..
- Geology Museum (Muzeul Național de Geologie), Șoseaua Pavel Dimitrievici Kiseleff, 2 (M2 'Piața Victoriei'). M- Sa 10.00-17.30. has a large collection of minerals, rocks and fossils. 8 lei (2014).
- National History Museum(Muzeul Național de Istorie a României), Calea Victoriei, nr. 12(M 'Piața Unirii 2' 600 m), , fax: , e-mail: [email protected]. W-Su 10.00-18.00. Located in a neoclassical late 19th century building, 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 numismatics collection. It is undergoing some remodeling and only two exhibitions are open to the public as of June 2009. Historical THESAURUS of Romania
- 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), , e-mail:[email protected]. Daily 9.00-17.00 except Mondays. temporarily shut down (2014). 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 XVI - XVII, engravings, paintings, rare books, tapestries, carpets, furniture.
- 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, as well as an outdoor exhibit of relatively modern weaponry, including cannons, tanks, helicopters etc 10 lei.
- National Museum of Romanian Literature (Muzeul Naţional al Literaturii Române, Casa Krețulescu), Bulevardul Dacia nr. 12, sector 1(M 'Piata Romana' 500 m East), , e-mail:[email protected].
- D. Minovici Western European Arts Museum, strada N. Minovici, nr.3.Located in a beautiful eclectic villa
- 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), , e-mail:[email protected]. 9.00 - 17.00. This museum presents works of artists of the Storck family.
- Railways Museum (Muzeul Căilor Ferate Române), Calea Griviţei, nr. 139B (M "Gara de Nord", bus 105; trolley 86, 97), e-mail:[email protected]. 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.
- National Museum of "George Enescu" (Muzeul Național „George Enescu”), Strada Gheorghe Manu, 141 (Located in Cantacuzino Palace), , e-mail: [email protected].Tu-Su 10.00-17.00,. Music, memorial museum 6/2/1.5 lei (adults/senior/students).
- National Philatelic Museum (Muzeul Național Filatelic), Calea Victoriei, nr. 12 (Bus to 'Piata Natiunile Unite' 200 m or M 'Universitate' 600 m), , fax: , e-mail:[email protected]. Cone 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. +phone=+40 21 3127491
- 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). temporarily shut down (2014). 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.
- Bucharest History Museum (Muzeul Municipiului București, Palatul Sutu), Bulevardul Ion C. Brătianu. 2 (in the Şuţu Palace), , fax: . Built in 1834, has collections related to the development of Bucharest from a small 14th-century fortress into Romania’s capital. More units: - The "Princely Palace - The Old Court" (Muzeul „Palatul Voievodal – Curtea Veche“ ). Address: Str . Franceză 25-31 , sector 3 ; - Museum "Prof. Dr.Victor Babes" (Muzeul „Prof. Dr.Victor Babeș”). Address: Str. Andrei Mureșanu, 14 A, sector 1; - Memorial Museum "C.l. and C.C. Nottara" (Muzeul Memorial „C.I. și C.C. Nottara”). Address: B -dul Dacia, no. 105, sector 1; - Museum of Art "Frederic and Cecilia - Cutescu Storck" (Muzeul de artă „Frederic și Cecilia-Cutescu Storck”). Address: str. Vasile Alecsandri no. 16, sector 1; - Astronomical Observatory "Amiral Vasile Urseanu" (Observatorul Astronomic „Amiral Vasile Urseanu”). Address: B-dul Lascăr Catargiu no. 21, sector 1; - Art Collection "Ligia Pompiliu Macovei" (Colecția de artă „Ligia și Pompiliu Macovei”). Address: Str. 36–38 June 11, sector 4; - Museum of "Theodor Aman" (Muzeul „Theodor Aman”). Address: C.A.Rosetti, no. 8; - Museum of "Dr. George Severeanu" (Muzeul „Dr. George Severeanu”). Address: Str. H.Coandă, no. 26, sector 1; - Memorial Museum of "George Tătărăscu" (Muzeul Memorial „Gheorghe Tătărăscu”). Address: Str. Domnița Anastasia, No. 7; - Folk Art Museum of "Dr. Nicholas Minovici" (Muzeul de Artă Populară „Dr. Nicolae Minovici”). Address: Str. Dr. N.Minovici, 1 6 lei.
- National Museum of Antiquities (Muzeul Național de Antichități).
- 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'). W-Su 10:00-18:00. 4 lei.
- Jewish Community History Museum, Strada Mămulari, nr. 3.Documenting the life of this community in the region since ancient times and through the Holocaust.
- 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.
- “Dimitrie Leonida” Technology Museum (set to be relocated in a wing of the 'Parliament Palace').
Things to do
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 recreation
- 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.
- Therme București. Huge thermal water park.
- 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.
- 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.
- Botanical Gardens (near Cotroceni Palace). Established in 1884, displays a variety of plants from all over the world, including an indoor tropical plants exhibition. Small entry fee.
- 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.
- Tineretului Park. It has a large multipurpose building (Sala Polivalenta) used for various 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.
- 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), .
- Sala Radio (The Radio Orchestra), Str. General Berthelot, Nr. 60-64, . 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 8PM. Plays mainly independent European movies. 10 lei.
- Europa, Calea Moşilor nr. 127 (at the start of Moşilor road), . Plays relatively recent European movies.
- Elvira Popescu, Bulevardul Dacia nr. 77 (at the French Institute), . Mostly French movies.
- 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.
- Light Cinemas, Şoseaua Progresului nr. 151-171 (in the Liberty Center mall), , e-mail: [email protected]. Located in the south-western part of the city, has 7 screens. 15-33 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 located downtown.
- CinemaPro, strada Ion Ghica nr. 3 (near Universităţii square), , e-mail: [email protected]. 14-24 lei.
- 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.
- Camera din Față. Cafe / tea house
- Curtea berarilor (The Brewers Court), Selari 9-11, .Pub in old center having mostly Timişoreana beer. +phone=40 21 3137532
- Ganesha Cafe.
- Green Hours, Calea Victoriei 120, . , A quiet club which often hosts jazz concerts.
- Interbelic, Intrarea Selari 1A (near Lipscani), .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.
- 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, about €0.60). However, quite crowded and sometimes noisy.
- BEAT bar umanist, Strada Robescu F. Constantin 14, , e-mail: [email protected]. 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.
- Bamboo, Str. Ramuri Tei 39 (in Tei Park), , e-mail:[email protected]. 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), . 3PM-5AM. A rock bar, with a great atmosphere, open thinking, great beer and people.
- Gaia, Strada Tarmului, nr. 19, . 3PM-5AM.
- Club A (near University Square), . 6PM-6AM. 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, be mindful that the bouncers can be overly aggressive to patrons at times.
- Control Club, Str. Academiei nr.19 (go to Victoria Passage coming from University square), . 3PM-5AM. Best alternative/indie club with a lot of live shows and good music.
- Expirat/OtherSide, Str. Lipscani nr. 5/Str. Brezoianu nr. 4, , e-mail: [email protected]. 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, , e-mail: , [email protected].
- Kulturhaus, Str. Sf. Vineri nr.4, . 10PM-5AM. 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, E-4, Str. Mihai Bravu 32, , e-mail:[email protected]. Open 11PM-5AM, Thu 9PM-5AM, Sun 8PM-5AM. May be closed Mon, Tue, Wed.. 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 20.00 lei, but that includes 10.00 lei worth of drinks at the bar.
- Underworld, Str. Colţei, nr. 48 (go to Colţei street coming from the Rosetti Square, near University). The only punk-rock oriented pub in Bucharest. It also has a small concert hall, a fusball table, board games, dedicated evenings, etc.
Things to know
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.
Safety in Bucharest
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, Rome, etc. 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, especially Gypsies. As of 2009 there have been a lot of crackdowns on pimps and prostitutes in the Matasari area, so be careful or you might wind up spending a night in jail and with a hefty fine if caught soliciting.
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.
One must 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.
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 9AM and 6PM, 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.