Explore Bucharest

Bucharest, often referred to as the “Paris of the East,” is a city brimming with history, culture, and architectural splendors. From the medieval Princely Court to the world’s largest administrative building, the Palace of Parliament, Bucharest’s unique blend of old and new captivates visitors. Let’s embark on a journey to explore Romania’s capital city and discover its rich history, vibrant arts scene, beautiful parks, and authentic local cuisine.

Key takeaways

  • Explore Bucharest’s rich history and unique architecture, experience authentic Romanian culture, savor local flavors, and unwind in beautiful parks.
  • Dive into the vibrant arts scene of galleries, theatrical performances and more.
  • Enjoy shopping and nightlife with a range of options from bookstores to artisan markets and lively bars.

Discovering Bucharest’s rich history

Bucharest Romania

Bucharest’s historical landmarks offer a fascinating glimpse into the city’s past. Some of the notable landmarks include:

  • The Princely Court, the oldest medieval court in Bucharest.
  • The Royal Palace, once the residence of Romania’s kings.
  • Revolution Square, the site of the 1989 Romanian Revolution.

Walking through the city, you’ll find yourself transported back in time by the historic buildings, becoming immersed in the captivating tales of Bucharest’s rich history.

Princely Court (Curtea Veche)

The Princely Court, established by Vlad the Impaler in the 15th century, is of great historical significance to Bucharest, the capital city. It served as the economic nucleus of the city, surrounded by the dwellings of traders and craftsmen, and acted as the official residence of the notorious voivode, also known as Count Dracula.

Royal Palace

The Royal Palace, once the residence of Romania’s kings, now houses the National Art Museum. The palace was reconstructed in 1937 after a disastrous fire and boasts a neoclassical architectural style. It was transformed into the National Art Museum in 1948, and today, visitors can explore its impressive collection of Romanian and European art, including the National Gallery and the European Art Gallery.

From the reign of King Carol I to King Michael, the Royal Palace has played a significant role in Romania’s monarchy. Walking through its grand halls, you can picture the opulence and splendor of the palace during its heyday while admiring the exquisite artwork that adorns its walls.

Bucharest architecture

Bucharest, the Romanian capital, boasts unique architecture that is a testament to its rich history and diverse influences. Some prime examples of the city’s architectural marvels include:

  • The Romanian Athenaeum, a stunning concert hall.
  • The Palace of Parliament, the world’s largest administrative building.
  • The Arch of Triumph, inspired by its Parisian counterpart.
  • Bucharest City Hall, a symbol of the city’s Romanian government and administration.

These structures showcase the beauty and grandeur of Bucharest’s architectural heritage. Exploring Bucharest, take the time to admire the impressive Bucharest architecture, appreciating the craftsmanship and creativity that shaped these structures.

The Romanian Athenaeum

  • Designed by French architect Albert Galleron.
  • Symbol of Romanian culture and an architectural masterpiece.
  • Neoclassical style with romantic nuances.
  • Features marble columns, mosaics, and decorative sculptures.
  • Inscribed on the list of European Heritage sites.
  • Reminder of cultural heritage and architectural magnificence.
  • Associated with the prestigious Romanian Academy.

The Athenaeum has hosted numerous noteworthy concerts and events, including:

  • Classical concerts.
  • Opera performances.
  • Dance shows.
  • Festivals.

Its excellent acoustics and illustrious history have made the venue an integral part of the Enescu Festival. Attending a performance at the Romanian Athenaeum allows the enchanting music and grandeur of the concert hall to transport you to a world of artistic excellence.

The Palace of Parliament

The Palace of Parliament, designed by Anca Petrescu and a team of 700 architects, is the world’s largest administrative building and a testament to the country’s communist past. Its architecture is a blend of Modernist, Neoclassical, and Brutalist styles. The palace was intended to be the home of the presidential offices and Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party. However, it was never completed and now serves as the seat of the Romanian Parliament Palace.

Visitors can explore the immense palace, which measures 270 meters by 240 meters in width and length, and stands 86 meters high with 92 meters underground. Walking through its grand halls and corridors, marvel at the sheer scale and intricate design of this colossal structure and ponder the history behind its construction, including the palace houses within its walls.

Experience authentic Romanian culture

Bucharest Romania

Bucharest offers a wealth of opportunities to experience authentic Romanian culture. Some highlights include:

  • The Village Museum, which provides fascinating insights into the country’s rural history and traditions.
  • The Museum of the Romanian Peasant, which showcases the rich cultural heritage of the Romanian people.
  • Traditional restaurants that serve up local flavors and culinary delights.

Immersing yourself in the city’s vibrant culture, you’ll discover the unique customs, craftsmanship, and flavors that define the heart of Romania.

Village Museum

The Village Museum, established in 1936 by Professor Dimitrie Gusti, is an open-air ethnographic museum situated in King Michael I Park. The museum showcases traditional rural homes, churches, farmsteads, barns, and watermills from various regions of Romania, offering a panorama of the country’s former villages.

Wandering through the Museum, take in the architectural details and craftsmanship of these authentic structures, imagining the lives of the Romanian peasants who once inhabited them. The museum serves as a testament to Romania’s rural heritage and provides a captivating insight into the country’s agrarian past.

The Museum of the Romanian Peasant

The Museum of the Romanian Peasant offers a fascinating look into the country’s agrarian history and traditions. The museum’s exhibits include:

  • Woodworking.
  • Pottery making.
  • Egg painting.
  • Weaving techniques of the Romanian peasantry.

There is also a side exhibition showcasing the Communists efforts to nationalize the peasantry in the 1970s and 80s, following the aftermath of World War II.

Explore the museum’s extensive collection of traditional items, such as:

  • Peasant bric-a-brac.
  • Costumes.
  • Icons.
  • Partially restored houses.

Gain a deeper understanding of Romania’s rural past by exploring Romanian history.

The Museum of the Romanian Peasant is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to uncover the authentic roots of Romanian culture.

Savor local flavors

To truly experience authentic Romanian culture, indulge in the country’s delicious local cuisine. Traditional dishes, such as sarmale (cabbage rolls stuffed with spiced minced pork and beef) and mămăligă (cornmeal porridge), are just a taste of the rich flavors that await you in Bucharest’s local restaurants.

Caru’ cu Bere, Hanu’ lui Manuc, Lacrimi si Sfinti, and La Mama are just a few of the renowned traditional Romanian restaurants where you can sample mouthwatering local dishes. Savoring these authentic flavors, allow the aromas and tastes to transport you to the heart of Romania’s culinary heritage.

Bucharest is also the host of speciality coffee and that is something you can notice very easy, as you can find very goods coffee shops all over the Bucharest city centre and not only. Origo Coffee Shop is one of the first coffee roasters that started this culture in Bucharest. You can enjoy a very balanced coffee, or a perfectly smooth cappuccino or latte, in cafeterias as Origo, Trofic, Sloane Cafe, Desoy, Saint Roastery and many others, you just have to explore and you will find many reasons to become passionate about coffee in this city.

Unwind in Bucharest’s beautiful parks

Bucharest Romania

After exploring Bucharest’s rich history, architecture, and culture, take some time to unwind in the city’s beautiful Bucharest parks. Herăstrău Park, Cișmigiu Gardens, and Carol Park offer a peaceful retreat from the bustling city centre streets, providing picturesque landscapes, charming walking paths, and serene lakes to enjoy.

Strolling through these tranquil oases, allow the beauty of nature to soothe your senses and rejuvenate your spirit.

Herăstrău Park

Herăstrău Park, established in 1936, is a large park situated on the northern side of Bucharest, featuring a lake, a beach, and a variety of recreational activities. The park offers visitors the opportunity to rent boats or hydro bicycles to explore the lake, visit the Herastrau Aquarium, or wander through the open air museum.

With its diverse flora and fauna, Herăstrău Park is also a haven for nature enthusiasts. Exploring its winding paths and lush greenery, take a moment to appreciate the park’s natural beauty and the serenity it offers amidst the bustling city.

Bucharest Romania

Cișmigiu Gardens

Cișmigiu Gardens, built around a romantic lake in 1847, is the oldest park in Bucharest and features old-growth trees, wrought-iron signposts, and benches. Its winding paths, charming bridges, and diverse flora make it the perfect place to escape the city’s hustle and bustle.

Meandering through the gardens, take in the picturesque scenery and allow the calming atmosphere to transport you to a world of peace and tranquility. Cișmigiu Gardens is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a serene and romantic retreat in the heart of Bucharest.

Carol Park

Carol Park, named after His Majesty King Carol I of Romania, is a historical park boasting an array of monuments, a mausoleum, and a beautiful lake. Established in 1906 and designed by French landscape architect Éduard Redont, the park provides a range of recreational activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy.

Exploring Carol Park, take the time to appreciate its rich history and cultural significance. From the Zodiac Fountain to the Muzeul National Tehnic Profesor Inginer Dimitrie Leonida, the park offers a unique blend of leisure and education, making it an ideal destination for history buffs and nature lovers alike.

Dive into Bucharest’s vibrant arts scene

Bucharest Romania

Bucharest’s vibrant arts scene is a testament to the city’s creative spirit and passion for the arts. From contemporary art galleries like Zorzini Gallery and Galateca to the National Theatre’s diverse program of plays, ballets, and operas, there’s always something to captivate and inspire.

Immersing yourself in Bucharest’s thriving arts community, you’ll discover the talent, creativity, and passion that make this city a cultural powerhouse.

Zorzini Gallery

Bucharest Romania

Zorzini Gallery, the first gallery space in Bucharest located in an industrial setting, specializes in contemporary art and showcases both established and emerging Romanian and international artists. With its focus on innovative art forms and unique exhibitions, Zorzini Gallery offers a fresh perspective on the world of contemporary art, challenging visitors to think outside the box and appreciate the creative process.

Notable exhibitions held at Zorzini Gallery include works by Dan Maciuca, Ioan Popdan, Jose Legaspi, and more. Exploring the gallery’s diverse collection, allow the thought-provoking and captivating artworks to inspire your own creativity and appreciation for the arts.


Galateca, a multidisciplinary art space, is a hub of creativity and innovation in Bucharest. The gallery organizes exhibitions, events, and workshops that showcase contemporary design and art, providing a platform for artists to share their work with the public.

From art exhibitions and design workshops to artist talks, films, and documentaries screenings, you’ll find a wealth of creative inspiration at Galateca. Immersing yourself in the vibrant arts scene of Bucharest, allow the innovative and thought-provoking events at Galateca to broaden your creative horizons and deepen your appreciation for the arts.

National Theatre

The National Theatre is a cultural institution that offers a diverse program of plays, ballets, and operas, showcasing the talents of both Romanian and international performers. Established in the 19th century, the National Theatre has a long standing tradition of excellence in the arts and is a cornerstone of Bucharest’s vibrant arts scene.

Take in a performance at the National Theatre and witness the passion and talent of the performers as they bring stories to life on stage. From classical plays to contemporary productions, the National Theatre offers a rich array of theatrical experiences that are sure to captivate and inspire.

Shopping and nightlife in Bucharest

Bucharest Romania

Experience the vibrant shopping and nightlife scene in Bucharest by visiting the stunning Cărturești Carousel Bookstore, exploring the lively Old Town district, and browsing local markets and artisan shops.

From unique souvenirs and handcrafted items to stylish boutiques and lively bars, Bucharest’s shopping and nightlife offer a diverse and exciting experience for all tastes and preferences.

Cărturești Carousel Bookstore

Cărturești Carousel Bookstore, housed in a beautifully restored historic building, is a haven for book lovers and a striking architectural gem in the heart of Bucharest. The bookstore offers a wide selection of books, games, and gifts, as well as a café and terrace for visitors to enjoy.

Browsing through the extensive collection of books, let the enchanting atmosphere and stunning architecture transport you to a world of literary wonder. Whether you’re searching for a classic novel or the latest bestseller, Cărturești Carousel Bookstore is a must-visit destination for bookworms and architecture enthusiasts alike.

Old Town Bucharest

Old Town Bucharest, a bustling entertainment district, offers a unique blend of history, local culture, and lifestyle. With its mix of historical buildings, shops, cafes, and restaurants, Old Town Bucharest is a fashionable destination for tourists and locals alike.

Explore the lively streets of Old Town Bucharest and discover its rich history and vibrant atmosphere. From charming boutiques and artisan shops to lively bars and traditional Romanian restaurants, the Old Town district is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered.

Local markets and artisan shops

Bucharest’s local markets and artisan shops offer a unique shopping experience, allowing visitors to discover traditional Romanian handicrafts, art, and antiques. Some of the unique and authentic souvenirs you can find include:

  • Hand painted pottery.
  • Intricate bead jewelry.
  • Vintage furniture.
  • Collectibles.
Bucharest Romania


Bucharest, the “Paris of the East,” offers a rich tapestry of history, culture, and architectural marvels to explore. From the Princely Court and the Royal Palace to the stunning Romanian Athenaeum, the city is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. Immerse yourself in Bucharest’s vibrant arts scene, unwind in its beautiful parks, and savor authentic Romanian cuisine at traditional restaurants. Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or a nature lover, Bucharest has something for everyone. So pack your bags and embark on a journey to the heart of Romania’s captivating capital city.

Bucharest Romania

Frequently asked questions

Is Bucharest tourist friendly?

Bucharest is a friendly and safe tourist destination, boasting great bars, restaurants and interesting architecture. Tourists will find the city’s people to be welcoming and pleasant.

What language do they speak in Bucharest?

Romanian is the official language of Bucharest, and while English is widely spoken, it’s always a good idea to bring a list of useful words and expressions just in case.

Leave a Comment