Bucharest, Romania is definitely a city you should add to your list when travelling through Eastern Europe. It may not be the most beautiful city in Europe, but it sure has its charms and personality. As always, there are way more than five things to see in a single city, but here are some must-sees in Bucharest.
Palace of the Parliament
Bucharest is filled with giant communist buildings the loom over you in their stern, squareness. The biggest of them all if the Palace of the Parliament, the second biggest administrative building in the world (the Pentagon being the biggest) and my goodness is it ever huge! Unfortunately, it was closed due to the recent protests in the city (peaceful protests against the corruption in the government), but the outside was still very impressive! If you have the chance, book a tour to visit the luxuriousness of this palace!
This outdoor museum is comprised of hundreds of huts, churches, barns, and other habitations from all other Romania and from every era, making a sort of village of itself. If you can’t visit the entire country, spend a few hours in this park to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and to discover a bit of how people lived in various parts of the country.
Eat all the food!
Romania food is delicious. The restaurants in Bucharest have a ton of charm and make the dining experience that much more interesting. My two favourites were Hanul Lui Manuc, an Inn built during the Silk Route with a beautiful inside courtyard and a distinct Turkish architectural style. The food is delicious and there’s live music every evening.
The second restaurant I recommend is Caru cu Bere, a traditional Romania restaurant with a really beautiful decor on the inside, live music and dance every night and amazing food for every taste. The best part? It’s all very affordable. (Make sure you try the famous Romanian dessert, Papanasi!)
Transylvania Day Tour
A trip to Romania would be nothing without visiting Transylvania and Dracula’s Castle! Mr Tripp offers an excellent day tour that takes you to Peles Castle, the home of the first Romanian king, Bran Castle, or Dracula’s Castle, and Brasov, a beautiful medieval town at the foot of the Carpathian mountains. The trip is definitely worth while. The tour guides are excellent, and on top of not having to worry about parking, entrance fees or traffic, you get to relax and hear all about the history of each place.
Discover Bucharest’s quirky details
Bucharest has all kinds of hidden gems. From small beer gardens, to stories of moving churches and strange statues and memorials, there’s something for everyone. The old National Library was transformed into a bazaar, there’s an incredibly picturesque bookstore with over 10,000 books for sale that’s worth a visit and the famous memorial of the revolution that is comically nicknamed the “Potato on a Stick.”