I visited Bucharest in October ( in order to participate in European youth project Eco-Wave realized in Galati) and was really impressed. As well as a booming financial industry and constant development, this fashionable city has no shortage of big high street names, shopping malls, cool bars, exciting night clubs and a variety of great restaurants.
Also known as ‘Little Paris’, Romania’s capital is one of the most ancient cities in the Old Continent.
With a population of nearly two millions, the city is the sixth biggest capital in the European Union, and more than 3 million people crowd the financial and commercial district every day. Bucharest was also the first oil-lighted city in the world.
1. Visit Ceausescu’s House of the People, second largest building in the world.
The Second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon is in Romania and it is called the House of People. Ceausescu built it during his reign of terror over Romania.
After the earthquake in 1977, Ceausescu decided to put into practice an old plan (from 1935) of King Carol the Second of Romania . King Carol had a desire to create a new Bucharest by redesigning the center of the city. So Ceausescu desided to put his plan into practive. During 1978 to 1979 a contest was organized and a 28 years old architect named Anca Petrescu won it.
40.000 workers were on the site at the time of the building process. The workers were the conscripts from the military and people that were imprisoned for opposing the regime of Ceausescu. They worked in three shifts, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
At this moment we are talking about a building 270 m by 240 m, with a height of 86 m and 92 meters underground. The building has 12 levels above the surface and 8 levels under the surface. There are about 1000 rooms in the building, 440 offices, 30 halls and saloons, 4 restaurants and other special purpose rooms.
The estimated price tag of the building in 1989 was about 1,75 billion dollars and in 2006 the price tag was 3 billlion dollars.
2. Have dinner at Carul cu Bere restaurant, eat some amazing things that Romania has to offer and enjoy the presence of professional dancers.
You will be in the same rooms used 100 years ago by the politicians and artists of Romania to eat and have fun.
Palinka, a great traditional drink….highly recommended 🙂 Just be careful… don’t drink too much!
3. Wander around some of the most important streets in Bucharest: Calea Victoriei (Victory Road) which holds the The Vernescu House and Boulevards Gh. Magheru, Carol I, Calea Mosilor, Calea Dorobantilor and Soseaua Kiseleff.
From the point of view of architecture, the city has a lot of aspects in common with Paris. The Triumph Arch: Inspired by the Triumph Arch of Paris, he is the symbol of Romania’s Great War for Unification 1916-1918.
These statues were made by students
4. Enjoy your coffee during the day or take a bar hopping night hike during the weekend through the Old Historical Center of Bucharest.
Just loved this place!
5. Take some fresh air and see some Romanian culture in Herastrau Park, the largest and most beautiful park in Bucharest.
An oasis of nature with a lot of attraction inside. In also contains the Village Museum, restaurants, a big lake, tennis fields.
Small boats are allowed on the lake.
6. Visit The Village Museum: An open-air museum, with around 50 cottages, farmsteads, churches, water-mills, workshops, and roadside crosses from all over the country.
7. Sit on the steps of the National Musem of History and take a photo or ask someone to take a photo of you and the weird statue of Emperor Traian and something coming out of his head.
8. Visit MNAC(National Museum of Contemporary Art) and have a snack on their terrace overlooking the whole of Bucharest. It boasts an amazing view and it is one of the things not be missed while in Bucharest.
9. Wake up on a Saturday morning and go to the Obor Market and experience first hand another Romania, different from the one you can see during the weekends in the Old Center.
10. Take a biking trip to the Mogosoaia Castle. Experience first hand the way people drive in Eastern Europe and at last experience of the best castles in this part of Europe. An amazing view and experience for the ones that are interested in this type of things.
Warning: It’s extremely dangerous renting taxi in Bucharest, so make sure to rent a car or bike, you can also use the public transport.