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Local time Bucharest

Currency

Lei

Bucharest Travel Guide

About Bucharest

At first glance a clashing blend of neoclassical buildings, wide tree-lined boulevards, and brutal post-Stalinist apartment blocks, Bucharest can be a confusing place, but is a city that rewards closer inspection.

Filled with grey communist housing estates that were often built around or sometimes on top of the finer bourgeois architectural details, it's difficult to conceive that this misunderstood city once inspired the nickname 'Little Paris'. But there are plenty of reminders of a glorious past, and also of a potentially glorious future.

The most symbolic building in Romanian culture, and the spiritual landmark of a nation, is the Atheneum. Built in the heart of the city in the 1880s, this magnificent concert hall has seen great politicians and scientists give lectures, had orchestras and musicians from around the world come to perform, and shown exhibitions of great paintings and sculpture by the masters of fine arts.

Dig a little deeper and you'll quickly find more survivors of the communist architectural desecration. There are Byzantine-style chapels and bell-towered mansions, while side streets in the historic centre hide antique shops, characterful bars, and eateries serving French, Italian and Transylvanian food.

Elsewhere in the centre are the 15th-century remains of the Old Princely Court, built by Vlad the Impaler. According to local folklore, it was the way he treated his enemies (and prisoners in the dungeons) that gave rise to the legends of Count Dracula.

More recent history can be appreciated in Piata Revolutiei, the square at the heart of the 1989 revolution that ended the reign of notorious dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife. Contrasting with this in the ritzy north is sprawling Herastrau Park, which offers boat rides and an open-air museum displaying traditional Romanian homes.

Since Romania joined the EU, the sense of a new dynamism has spread all over town, with the younger population revitalising old buildings and bringing new life to the Romanian capital.

Key facts

Population:
1924960
Latitude:
44.430912
Longitude:
26.123531

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A vibrant collision of old traditions and growing reinvention, Bucharest is an ideal destination for your next city break

Featured Hotels

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Rembrandt Hotel

This classy, intimate boutique hotel, tucked amongst some of the finest Paris-style buildings of the city centre, has 16 smart rooms with wood floors, high-speed internet, and wonderful views. Rates include breakfast in the mezzanine cafe.

Crazy Duck Hostel

A modern hostel suitable for travellers who want a clean but cheap place to rest the night. You can choose a private room that comes with cable TV and a private bathroom, or a dormitory unit that is clean and functional. It's about 12 minutes' walk from the Eroilor metro station but you can rent a bicycle at the reception.

Duke Hotel

A short walk from Piata Romana and the metro station of the same name, this 3-star hotel offers spacious and clean rooms, plus free Wi-Fi. The breakfast may not be well-received by some guests but Piata Romana is flanked by a wide range of cafes and restaurants.

Hotel Razvan

This 3-star hotel is convenient if you know how to navigate Bucharest by bus, as it is not near to a metro station. The rooms are modern and spacious, and have a private bathroom with shower. The hotel also offers transfer to Otopeni International Airport.

Formenerg

The Hostel Formenerg is located next to the Tineretului metro, bus and tram station and is a good value accommodation option also offering a restaurant, fitness area and free Wi-Fi. All 52 rooms are air-conditioned and feature a private bathroom including a hairdryer, a refrigerator and a TV. Typical Romanian food, plus international fare, are served in the à-la-carte restaurant.

Radisson Blu Hotel

A stones throw from the Atheneum in the heart of Bucharest the 5-Star Radisson Blu Hotel offers guests an all mod con experience. This 487-room business hotel complete with indoor and outdoor pools international restaurants jogging track meeting rooms and Wi-Fi throughout is a great base from which to explore the city.