Bucharest Nightlife

Bucharest's nightclubs vary between hip hop haunts spinning the latest sounds and flashy discos where Romania's wealthy go to let off steam. There are no licensing hours in Romania. Nor is there a legal drinking age, however, you must be over 18 to purchase alcohol. Entrance fees are cheap compared to those in the West. Many nightclubs are concentrated in or around the historic centre, making club-hopping an option. Some nightclubs close in June for the summer and reopen in early October.

Jazz is popular in Romania and Bucharest has good jazz clubs. Latino music is also trendy and salsa-dancing couples invade the dancefloors of certain clubs. Casinos flourish and many of Bucharest's well-to-do flock to those along Calea Victoriei.

For up-to-date information on nightlife, check out www.sapteseri.ro, the website for a free entertainment weekly available in the city, which also lists cultural events. Another useful site is www.bucharest-online.com.

Bars in Bucharest


Expats tend to favour the Irish or English pubs, such as the blokey Dubliner, with Guinness on draught, football on the TV, darts in a side room and great steak sandwiches.

Bulevardul Titilescu 18, Bucharest, Romania
Telephone: (021) 222 9473.
Fire Club

Fire Club has a beer-soaked ground-floor bar with loud students and a basement stage for alt-rock shows.

Gabroveni 12, Bucharest, Romania

Office is a slick lounge with 1980s tunes for a more dressed-up crowd.

Strada Tache Ionescu 2, Bucharest, Romania

Clubs in Bucharest

Other Side

More low key are the student-filled Other Side, a funky lounge with dancing and cubicle seats.

4 Brezoianu, Bucharest, Romania

Live Music in Bucharest

Green Hours 22 Jazz Club

Green Hours 22 Jazz Club is a capsule-style basement club with jazz or theatre most nights.

Calea Victoriei 120, Bucharest, Romania
La Motor

Another key drinking scene is hidden away in the National Theatre. On the theatre's left side, the fourth-floor La Motor's spectacular outdoor roof terrace brings in students not theatre-goers. It's a booze-filled scene, with live bands at the weekends.

Bulevardul Balcescu 2, Bucharest, Romania
Piranha Club

Way out in west Bucharest, the friendly Piranha Club is an outdoor web of bars, aquariums, gazebos, eating areas and a stage for live alt-rock shows.

Splaluil Independentei 313 , Bucharest, Romania

Classical Music in Bucharest

Ateneul Roman (Romanian Athenaeum)

One of the most magnificent places to hear classical music performed is at the Ateneul Roman (Romanian Athenaeum). This splendid 19th-century building (looking like Bucharest's answer to London's St Paul's Cathedral) presents a fairytale backdrop, splendid acoustics and plays host to the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra and other leading groups. The lobby has a beautifully painted ceiling decorated in gold leaf.

Strada Franklin 1-3, Bucharest, Romania
Telephone: (021) 315 6875.

Theatre in Bucharest

Tandarica Puppet Theatre

A theatre that bridges the language barrier is the excellent Tandarica Puppet Theatre. With shows for both children and adults, the action is easily followed without understanding Romanian. Tickets for both venues are great value.

Strada Eremia Grigorescu 24 , Bucharest, Romania
Telephone: (021) 315 2377.
Theatrul National (National Theatre)

The enormous Theatrul National (National Theatre) is Bucharest's theatrical heart. Classic and contemporary plays are performed in three auditoria - but almost always in Romanian.

Bulevardul Balcescu 2 , Bucharest, Romania
Telephone: (021) 314 7171.

Music and Dance in Bucharest

Opera Nationala Romana (National Opera and Ballet House)

The Opera House, completed in 1953, is worth visiting, not only for its brilliant performances but also for the opulent interior design. The world-renowned Romanian Opera performs in Romanian, Italian and German while the Romanian National Ballet also performs here.

Bulevardul Mihail Kogalniceanu 70-72 , Bucharest, Romania
Telephone: (021) 313 1857.