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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).

A digital image at https://illuminoto.com

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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.

Hotel Opera

Centrally located hotel with a stylish atmosphere. The 33 rooms are rather small, but all en suite with air conditioning, hair dryer, satellite and cable TV, high-speed Internet access, mini-bar and coffee-making facilities. Good value for money.

Hotel Epoque

A deluxe boutique hotel a short walk from Cismigiu Park in central Bucharest, Hotel Epoque offers a variety of rooms and suites. The elegant exterior hides a modern interior design, and coupled with great service its design has led to the hotel being listed among the best in the country.

Casa Capsa

A hangout for poets before World War II, the 30-room Capsa plays up its 150-year history, with sparkling chandeliers and baroque furnishings. Rooms are elegant, with dark-wood walls, antique armoires, tall ceilings and all mod cons. Downstairs, a pastry shop sells traditional homemade sweets.

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.