Bucharest at a glance
Dubbed ‘Paris of the East’, with its own Arc de Triomphe to prove it, this dynamic city is the sixth largest in the EU and one of the most affordable capitals.
Its journey through the ages can be experienced through the contrasting architecture, from splendid art nouveau treasures down unexpected sidestreets to Ceausescu’s gargantuan Palace of Parliament, to shiny designer boutiques. More traditional dwellings can found in the open-air ethnographic Village Museum which exhibits authentic peasant farms and houses from across Romania. However this city is anything but behind the times, and the newly-developed ‘Old Town’ thrums with hip cafes and bars.
For those wishing to spread their wings, Peles Castle, the exquisite former summer residence of the Romanian royal family idyllically situated in leafy Sinaia, and Brasov in stunning Transylvania can be reached by train, bus or on a guided excursion. A popular side trip is to Bran Castle, with its links to the Dracula legend. Whether or not there is any truth to the myths, the castle is certainly an imposing and fascinating structure in a breath-taking location.
Perfect if you’re looking for:
- Historic sights
- Night life
- Arts and culture
The city centre is flat and easy to navigate with many beautiful parks, lending itself to a pleasant stroll. For longer journeys, there is an extensive public transport system encompassing metro, buses, trams and trolley buses. The ticketing system uses contactless smartcards called Activ cards which can be loaded with various ticketing options and must be validated at the start of each journey.
An express bus links the airport to downtown Bucharest, departing around every 20 minutes during the day and taking approximately 40 minutes (although this can be greatly extended during rush hour).
Dining in Bucharest
Bucharest has a buzzing food and drink scene with something for everyone. Marvel at the stained glass windows and 19th century décor as you wash down hearty pork knuckle with homemade beer at Caru’cu Bere or for a more millennial experience hit FoodHood, a street food and urban market in the heart of the old town.
Romanian food is influenced by German, Greek and Austro-Hungarian cuisine as well as that of Slavic countries such as Poland and Bulgaria. It comprises warming meat dishes and soups, lifted by ingredients such as the sour cherry, which is also showcased in the potent visinata liqueur. As you might expect for such an up-and-coming destination, vegan, vegetarian and raw food restaurants can also be found in central Bucharest.
Must-try local dishes:
- Mititei – a cylinder of grilled, spiced ground meat, similar to a kofte kebab without the skewer and typically served with mustard.
- Sarmale – stuffed cabbage or vine leaves, often accompanied by mamaliga (polenta).
- Papanasi – sweet cheese dumplings with cream and jam.
Get your tailor-made city break itinerary
Osprey Holidays can create a fabulous short break to Bucharest designed completely around your needs. We can arrange whatever you need, including:
- All travel and transfers on days of your choice
- Accommodation from our handpicked range of Bucharest hotels, to suit your budget and requirements
Our award-winning team can provide expert advice and recommendations, from general questions to tiny details. Contact us now for your tailor-made itinerary.
- Important information
Population 1.836 million Languages Romanian Currency Leu Visa Information No visa required for EU citizens
- Average temperatures
(monthly highs °C)
- Interesting facts
Bucharest's most famous landmark is the Palatul Parlamentului government building, which has over 1,000 rooms
- Distance from airports
Henri Coand Airport 19 km