Bucharest, Romania’s trendy capital city, offers over 500 years of history in a glamorous and modern way. There are many things to do in Bucharest, Romania regardless of your interest.
The Romanian capital is filled with architectural contrasts that resonate with Baroque, Neoclassical, and medieval styles. It was even called Little Paris in the 1900s. This charming city provides hearty culture, good company, and plenty of activities for exploration.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Bucharest?
Bucharest embraces a dynamic and energetic atmosphere that centers around its charm and history. Many locals and tourists recommend visiting Bucharest during the spring and early autumn months. Summer can get pretty hot and crowded, reaching uncomfortable temperatures.
Bucharest has the nickname “Paris of the East” in the years before World War II. Today, Bucharest is the largest city in Romania and is famous for its thriving culture, art, and finance.
This Eastern Europe city has done an excellent job at preserving most of the ruins and structures to bring to light the city’s sophisticated architecture. and historic buildings.
If you are considering visiting Bucharest, here are some of the most interesting and entertaining things to do in Bucharest.
Best Things To Do In Bucharest
Parliamentary Palace (Palace of the Parliament)
Parliamentary Palace is the second largest administrative building in the world and is one of the top things to do in Bucharest.
This enormous piece of rich Romanian history showcases over 3,000 uniquely designed rooms and spans well over an impressive 350,000 square meters.
In addition to the beautiful architecture, you will also get see classic Romanian art and the spacious green palace square when you tour this palace of the parliament.
Constructed out of marble, steel, and critical attention to detail, the Parliamentary Palace perfectly embodies Nicolas Ceausescu’s grandeur. The building’s initial intention was to serve as a residence, but it also includes reception halls, museums, government offices, and more. There is still a portion of the parliament building that is empty.
Admission to explore the palace of the parliament starts at around USD 19. Make sure to have an ID or passport handy at all times. It is also advisable to pack light to get through security easily.
You can imagine many people want to check out this famous landmark in Romania, so be sure to book early for this.
Bucharest Old Town (Lipscani)
Old Town Bucharest is a modern, trendy tourist attraction and most popular to visit during the night. The old city features a medieval flair and various architectural staples such as Baroque, Neoclassical, and Art Nouveau.
The old town is all that remains of the pre-World War II in Bucharest. What once was a ghost town has become one of the Romanian capital’s flourishing entertainment neighborhoods.
The district features hundreds of trendy hangouts, including bars, lavish dining experiences, and vibrant storefronts. It has an upbeat ambiance that encourages guests to have a fun time.
Bucharest’s Old Town is located in the heart of the capital. It’s easy to get to Old Town from just about anywhere in the city as it is a pretty walkable district in Bucharest.
Old Town offers a perfect blend of peace and tranquility in the morning, liveliness during the day, and a booming Bucharest nightlife.
Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum
The Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum, also known as Muzeul Satului, is one of Romania’s most visited museums, and for a good reason.
The National Village Museum is an intriguing attraction to explore when visiting Bucharest. The museum features over 200-year-old buildings that are open daily and covers nearly 25 acres of landscape.
In addition, the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum is home to over 270 farms and peasants’ houses dating back from the 15th to the 19th centuries. Most of the display homes provide insight into the living conditions from back in the day. Exhibits include authentic utensils, pottery, wool fabrics, and furniture such as stools and beds.
The best time to visit the Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum is any time of the year. Visitors worldwide travel to see the museum in all its glory, especially during the winter months when Bucharest becomes a winter wonderland.
Popular Parks of Bucharest
Bucharest is home to some of Romania’s most frequently visited parks and green spaces, including Herastrau Park, Cismigiu Park, and Parcul Izvor.
Herastrau Park is one of the largest parks in Bucharest. You will find options to bike, boat, and stroll with ample space for privacy.
The romantic lake in the park makes it a place for a nice couple’s outing. You can find boat rentals to go unto the lake. Herastrau Park is also in close proximity to the Village Museum.
Cismigiu Park is popular with its lush green alleys and a small serene lake. For a pleasant, quiet experience, visit Parcul Izvor, located right in front of the Palace of the Parliament.
Each park features several food stalls where guests can grab a quick bite to eat after exploring the bustling city. If you’re visiting on the weekend, don’t be surprised to find a community event going on.
Lazing around Bucharest parks is one of the most relaxing things to do in Bucharest, Romania.
Bucharest Botanical Gardens
The Bucharest Botanical Gardens is a haven of natural beauty and tranquility in the midst of the bustling city. It’s a great place to relax, take a walk, or have a picnic.
The botanic garden is also home to many interesting plants and animals. This is an excellent spot for tourists who want to learn more about Romania’s biodiversity.
Majestic Churches of Bucharest
Among the many thrilling attractions Bucharest offers, it is also home to some of the world’s most impressive and hidden churches in the heart of the city. These include Stavropoleos Church Monastery, Coltea Church, and Mihai Voda Church.
You can find the Stavropoleos Church in Bucharest’s Old Town city center. It is one of the most stunning orthodox churches the city has to offer.
Stavropoleos Church is the perfect representation of the Brancovenesc style. It features a small interior court where pieces of churches remains and antique stones are preserved.
The Coltea Church is one of Bucharest’s oldest churches, built more than 300 years ago. The Mihai Voda Orthodox Church holds the record for being over 400 years old. This particular church used to be a hospital, a medical school, and an archive deposit at one point in time.
The Romanian Athenaeum is an unrivaled structure that the country holds dear. This Neoclassical-inspired building is a performance venue with wrap-around gardens and ornamented stucco work.
The circular concert hall seats more than 650 guests and is the prime destination for the annual music festival by George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra in September.
To this day, the Romanian Athenaeum is a powerful symbol of the National Romanian Culture. It is one of Romania’s most prized things to do when visiting Bucharest.
While the Romanian Athenaeum generally functions as a prestigious concert hall, it also hosts events such as painting expositions, conferences, symposiums, and more.
The Romanian Athenaeum is a representation of Romania’s unity, cultural heritage, and national pride. Each room in the building features impressive acoustics and intricate detailing in the architecture.
The cost to explore this extraordinary Romanian landmark starts around 10 lei. Due to popularity, you should consider booking tickets at least 24 hours in advance.
Royal Palace of Bucharest Romania
The Royal Palace of Bucharest is a neoclassical palace that is the main residence of the Romanian Royal Family. The palace is located in the city center of Bucharest and covers an area of 1,100 square meters.
The palace was originally built in 1812. It served as the former royal palace for the Prince of Wallachia in 1837. Throughout the years, the palace was used as a residence, museum, and even the Romanian Communist Party headquarters during the communist era in 1948.
The Royal Palace of Bucharest was returned to the Romanian Royal Family in 1990 after the fall of the communist regime. The palace is open to visitors and contains a collection of Romanian art and furniture.
READ MORE: 12 BEAUTIFUL ROMANIAN CASTLES IN ROMANIA
Curtea Veche (Old Princely Court Museum)
Curtea Veche, known as the Old Princely Court Museum, served as the residence for Vlad III Dracula (Vlad the Impaler) back in the 15th century.
Since then, it has transformed into a historic archaeological site that houses a crafted statue of Dracula himself. Oddly enough, Vlad III Dracula has no relation to the fictional character, the infamous vampire Dracula.
Today, those who visit the old court museum can find a collection of ancient ruins featuring an open courtyard, colorful mosaics, and remnants of an artificial moat.
Curtea Veche is open daily with a low admission fee. Keep in mind that there may be additional charges to do photography at the old princely court.
Grigore Antipa National Museum
The National Museum is one of the most highly respected museums in Romania.
It’s home to a variety of collections that include Romanian and international art, natural history, and nature. The museum is dedicated to preserving the natural world and promoting education about the sciences.
The Grigore Antipa National Museum was founded in 1875 by Grigore Antipa. The museum has a rich history that spans more than 140 years.
It’s named after Grigore Antipa, who was a Romanian biologist, geographer, historian, and journalist. The national museum originally opened as the “Museum of Natural Sciences” and displayed an array of items from the natural history and world.
READ MORE: 30 INTERESTING AND FUN FACTS ABOUT ROMANIA
National Museum of Romanian History
The National Museum of Romanian History is a must-see attraction in Bucharest if you want to find out more about Romania’s history.
Located in a historic building called Palatul Poştelor”, the museum offers visitors a fascinating glimpse into Romania’s rich and varied history.
From the prehistoric artifacts on display to the stunningly beautiful paintings and sculptures from more recent times, there is something for everyone at this museum.
National Museum of Contemporary Art
With various things to do in Bucharest, the capital does not fall short with its collection of beautiful museums that embody Romanian history.
Some of Bucharest’s most significant museums include the National Museum of Contemporary Art, located in the southwestern part of the Palace of Parliament.
This museum is Bucharest’s top art venue featuring some of the most iconic pieces of Romanian history. It is also a good place to get an idea of modern Romanian art.
Admission starts at 16 lei during regular operating hours, but it is free on the first Sunday of each month. The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 am to 6 pm.
Beraria H Bucharest
Beraria H Bucharest is the largest beer hall and brewery in Eastern Europe. Located in the heart of Bucharest, this grandiose beer hall offers a unique experience for beer fans.
The beer hall has a capacity of 2,000 people and serves various types of beers from all over the world. In addition to its delicious beers, Beraria H Bucharest also offers an excellent selection of traditional Romanian food.
If you’re looking for a unique and authentic European beer hall experience, then be sure to visit Beraria H Bucharest!
The University Square is a popular spot in Bucharest, particularly for visitors.
The square is home to several iconic landmarks, including the University of Bucharest and the National Bank of Romania.
It’s a great place to people-watch, as it’s always full of activity. In addition, the square is located close to many other popular tourist destinations, making it the perfect starting point for your sightseeing tour of Bucharest.
Be sure to check out the University square while you’re in Bucharest.
The Revolution Square first earned its title from the chaos that dissolved the reign of Nicolae Ceausescu and the Socialist Republic of Romania.
A growing crowd of over 100,000 civilians gathered in the square in protest against Nicolae Ceausescu, which was the start of the Romanian revolution, thus earning the name Revolution Square.
Romania holds a dark past, but Revolution Square has the most complex history. At the center of Revolution Square is a statue of Iuliu Maniu, one of Romania’s greatest politicians.
This striking landmark is a symbol of Romania’s independence, making it one of the most empowering things to do in Bucharest.
Calea Victoriei is one of the most famous streets in Bucharest. It’s no surprise that a decent amount of Romanian popular attractions and landmarks are located along this street.
The Calea Victoriei street starts at Revolution Square and travels down to the Dambovita River and features several stylish storefronts, entertainment, cafes, art galleries, and much more.
For hundreds of years, Calea Victoriei used to be one of the very few paved streets in the city. It was typically a district for the wealthy. The street is lively during the day but lights up beautifully in the evening, making it all that much more special when visiting Bucharest.
Get on a Free Walking Tour
The best way to learn about a city is by walking its streets. The buzz of the crowds, the smells from local restaurants and bakeries, and even the architecture can only be truly experienced when you’re on foot.
Walking tours are a great way for visitors to explore the city. There are even free walking tours where you can determine the price/tip regardless of your budget.
The history of Romania is closely tied with that of Europe as a whole. There are centuries worth of stories about war, revolution, and invasion – each more fascinating than the last!
Local guides are a great source of stories about Romania’s involvement in the first World War I to the French revolution and Romanian war.
Apart from historic sites, they can also point out the hidden gems in this big city that are unknown to tourists.
Where to Stay In Bucharest, Romania
There are a good variety of accommodations catering to different budget ranges in Bucharest.
If you are visiting as a tourist, it is generally most convenient to stay in the city center as that puts you at a location to walk everywhere easily. Here are some well-rated accommodations you can consider.
Mil Pasos Hostel: A modern, clean and friendly hostel with a superb location that is just outside the Old Town of Bucharest.
Bread and Breakfast: Clean and homey hostel with a well equipped kitchen at the edge of city center, near Carol Park I.
Sleep Inn Hostel: Simple, clean, no frills hostel right in the city center. Lockers are big.
Moxy Bucharest Old Town: Conveniently situated in the old town with modern and stylish design. Also has amenities like fitness and business center.
Hotel Lido by Phoenicia: Historic hotel from the 1930s and you can see it from the beautiful architecture and interior design. It is also well equipped with regular hotel amenities.
Union Plaza Hotel: A modern hotel located at the edge of the city center on the popular Unirii Boulevard. It is near the Jewish neighborhood. The hotel is best known for its views, particularly their top floor sky bar/restaurant.
The Marmorosch Bucharest, Autograph Collection: Housed in an historic building with classic luxury interior, this hotel is right in the city center with convenient access to the city’s highlights.
Epoque Hotel – Relais & Chateaux: Elegant boutique hotel with luxury amenities like spa, fine dining restaurant, indoor pool and more. Also in a good location near Cismigiu Central Park.
Suter Palace Heritage Boutique Hotel: Classy boutique hotel housed in a palace/castle like historic building that has views of the city. Luxury and stylish interior decor with huge terrace for relaxing.
Visiting Bucharest, Romania
Romania’s capital is a city rich in history and culture, with no shortage of things to do. Whether you’re interested in exploring Romania’s history, getting a taste of Romanian food, or experiencing its lively nightlife, Bucharest has something for everyone.
These attractions only scratch the surface of what this amazing city has to offer. Be sure to explore on your own and discover all that Bucharest has to offer!