Capital of Romania, Bucharest is a city of almost 2 million inhabitants located in the south of the country, only a few dozen kilometers from Bulgaria. It is a city full of history that is just waiting to be discovered.
Here we present you with a list of Bucharest’s must-do activities in order to plan a memorable stay in the capital.
How to get to Bucharest?
To get to Bucharest, you have no choice but to fly. Flights are scheduled every day, even in the off-season, which should make it easy for you to organize your trip.
From Paris, count on about 3 hours for a non-stop flight. From Prague, the trip will be shorter and you will need to allow about 2 hours for a non-stop flight.
What to do in Bucharest?
Are you planning a trip to the Romanian capital and would you like to prepare your program as well as possible? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we share with you our selection of must-do activities in Bucharest for a successful trip to the “little Paris”.
1. Admire the Parliament Palace
Second largest building in the world behind the Pentagon, the Parliament Palace was built during the communist era. It is composed of 1100 rooms spread over 340 000 square meters, and you will need more than an hour’s walk just to walk around it!
For about 8 euros, you can take a guided tour of the building lasting about 1 hour and 15 minutes. You will discover gigantic rooms, with sumptuous decoration. Really one of the must-do activities in Bucharest.
2. Wander around the old town
The old town is one of the few parts of Bucharest that was not too badly affected during the Second World War. You will love to stroll through this area that has become pedestrianized in the last few years.
You can take a break at any time in one of the countless bars, cafes and restaurants that line the streets that you will want to return to again and again.
3. Stroll through Heraustrau Park
If you want to get away from the density of the city, head to Heraustrau Park, where you’ll never feel crowded. There is no shortage of things to do there: you can rent a bike for a short ride, relax in the Japanese garden, or enjoy a show at the open-air theater. If you are hungry, there are many restaurants along the park.
4. Go to the Place de la Révolution
It was in 1989, during the coup d’état against Nicolae Ceausescu, that the Palace Square became the Revolution Square. There is the monument of the rebirth, which commemorates the victims of this event.
It therefore plays a central role in Romanian history and deserves a visit during your stay in Bucharest. The square is surrounded by a number of historical buildings and tourist sites, such as the Romanian Athenaeum (mentioned later in this article) and the Senate Palace.
5. Explore the Dimitrie Gusti Museum Village
The Dimitrie Gusti Museum Village is the perfect opportunity to get out and explore Romania’s rural environment… while staying in Bucharest. It consists of 322 old buildings, mostly farms, and covers about 100 000 square meters. It is a must for anyone who wants to learn more about the country’s rural culture and traditions.
6. Visit the Romanian Athenaeum
The Romanian Athenaeum is a sumptuous building dating from the 19th century, located in the historical center of Bucharest. Once inside, you can admire the masterly interior decoration, including the historical fresco that runs through the entire hall.
Dedicated to arts and culture, the building is home to the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra, which gives nearly 300 concerts a year.
7. Discover the Stavropoleos Church
The Stavropoleos Church is not very big, yet it is a must-see. It is on the list of historical buildings in Romania.
Once past the beautiful Brâncovanesc-style facade, you can marvel at the interior, which is entirely covered with paintings and gilding. The building contains a library of more than 8000 books on arts, history and Byzantine music.
This small church is a survivor: it resisted several earthquakes and escaped the Bucharest fire of 1847. Initially, the church was part of a complex comprising a monastery and an inn, but both were destroyed in the 19th century.
8. National Art Museum of Romania
The National Art Museum of Romania is housed in the former royal palace, near Revolution Square. It houses an impressive collection of over 100,000 works, from ancient times to modern art.
It also houses the royal collection. A must-see activity for all art and history lovers during their stay in Bucharest.
9. Spring Palace
If you are interested in learning more about the lifestyle of the leaders of the communist regimes, book a visit to the Spring Palace Museum. Formerly the residence of Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu, the mansion was opened to the public in 2016.
During the tour, you’ll see the decadence of the country’s former leader and gain access to the mansion’s 80 rooms and private pool. A must-do activity to discover the country’s tragic past.
10. Walk along the Avenue of Victory
Victory Avenue is the most famous and lively street in Bucharest. It is almost 3 kilometers long and leads to Victory Square. However, it was not named that way for the same reason: the street was renamed that way to celebrate Romania’s independence on October 12, 1878.
The avenue abounds with luxury shops and hotels, mixed with old buildings for a special setting that you will not find elsewhere. A must-see activity that we recommend during your trip to the capital.
Where to sleep in Bucharest?
It is impossible to visit the capital of Romania in one day. That’s why you will probably be looking for a place to stay in Bucharest. In order to avoid annoying searches, you can check our article on the best hotels in Bucharest!
Where to eat in Bucharest?
There are many national specialties, and a trip to Bucharest is the perfect opportunity to discover them! Whether it’s the traditional Ciorbă (lightly spiced soup) or Sarmale (cabbage stuffed with meat), discover the country’s authentic gastronomy in our selection of the best restaurants in Bucharest.
What to do in Bucharest? Our conclusion
Visiting Bucharest is an excellent idea: it is a city full of history, and you will be able to take advantage of considerably lower prices than in France. To continue your program and prepare your stay, don’t hesitate to consult our other articles about the Romanian capital such as the best hotels in Bucharest.