Things to do in Bucharest
Catch a football match
Romanian football might not be what it once was, when the likes of Gheorghe Hagi and Gheorghe Popescu were stunning the world, but there's still something special about attending a local derby between perennial champions and Champions League-winners Steaua Bucharest and their rivals Dinamo Bucharest. Tickets are cheap, so join their fans at the Arena Naţională which is just a short walk from metro station Piaţa Muncii.
De-stress at Therme
Just 10 minutes from the city centre, Therme (https:therme.ro) has thermal water feeding a myriad of pools, saunas and water slides in a building that looks like a modern aircraft hangar. With indoor temperatures kept at 29°C (84°F) throughout the year and over 800,000 plants to provide a sanctuary of peace, this place is the perfect antidote to the stresses of modern urban life.
Embrace some nature
A vast area of land reclaimed from swampy wetlands intended for mega architectural projects, Văcărești was abandoned after the 1989 revolution. Over the last few decades, the untouched surroundings have given an opportunity for plants to thrive and birds, including protected species, to flourish. Bring a pair of binoculars, some comfortable shoes and take Bus 123 from Unirii Square to venture out to this green oasis.
Explore urban ruins
It evokes a strange sensation when you step into the crumbling Palace of Truth (Palatul Adevărul). Once a newspaper HQ, it's now empty, derelict and splashed with graffiti, but makes for a quirky stop. Another urban ruin worth checking out is The English Passage. The narrow building with tiny rooms was a hotel and then a brother until 1947.
Find the next perfect read
Bucharest has some seriously beautiful bookstores, and Cărturești Carusel (Strada Lipscani 55) may be the prettiest shop you've ever seen. Housed in a 19th-century financial building in the Old Town, it spans six floors and has over 100,000 books neatly grace the wooden shelves. Its top floor bistro sells (expensive) coffee but you get great views.
Try craft beers
Bucharest is bubbling with craft breweries. Great places to sample IPA, Porter and a myriad range of craft beers include Mikkeller Bucharest (Piața Charles de Gaulle 3), Zăganu (Calea Victoriei 91), Berestroika (Aleea Căuzași 57) and Ground Zero (Str. Somesul Rece nr. 123).
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