Bucharest Travel Guide
Why? With the opening up of Eastern Europe, a
holiday in Bucharest, capital of Romania, has become an interesting
experience, its rather grim architectural aspect, museums and main
attractions telling the story of its communist era under the
notorious Nicolae Ceausescu. Many people travel to Bucharest simply
out of curiosity and discover that this paradoxical city has a
sophisticated air and plenty to recommend it.
When? If you travel to Bucharest in summer expect to bake in a series of dry heat waves, and in winter the temperature seldom rises above freezing point. The best time to holiday in Bucharest is in the between seasons of spring (April/May) or autumn (September/October).
Who for? Don't expect theme parks and souvenir stands when you go on holiday to Bucharest. The city's attractions are mainly galleries and museums, so it is best to leave the children at home when you travel to Bucharest. The city does, however, have a growing reputation among clubbers and gamblers with many new nightclubs and casinos opening apace.
More Info: Find out everything required to enjoy a holiday in Bucharest in our full Bucharest travel guide, which is updated daily. The guide contains information like entry requirements, events, attractions and how to get around the city on public transport.
Parliament Palace, Bucharest © Romanian National Tourist Office
The nation's capital since 1862, Bucharest is the country's largest and wealthiest metropolis. Tree-lined boulevards, classical buildings and extravagant public structures lie in juxtaposition to untidy, congested streets, unsightly Stalinist apartment blocks and incomplete constructions. It is a city that most people either love or hate at the first encounter.
Once considered the 'Paris of the East' for its long leafy avenues and grand buildings together with its distinguished social scene enjoyed by the extravagant Romanian aristocracy, the city's elegance and beauty soon deteriorated under the harsh era of communism. The notorious redevelopment project by Nicolae Ceausescu, leader of the Communist Party in 1965, was a scandalous affair; in order to create an imitation Champs Elysee, a Civic Centre and 12-storey palace for himself together with a parliament building, he demolished an immense area of historic architecture in the old city, including 26 churches. The parliament building was designed to be the largest building in the world. It is now known as the Palace of Parliament, second in size to the Pentagon, and has become one of the city's prime tourist attractions.
Bucharest offers a number of superb museums, galleries, exquisite Orthodox churches and architectural surprises and its political legacy provides a fascinating selection of sights where visitors can rediscover the events and emotions of its history. It is experiencing renewed vigour; historic buildings have been restored and there is plenty of nightlife and an increasing amount of cultural events. Traditional Romanian cooking can be savoured alongside international cuisine, and in summer festive beer gardens and picturesque parks are filled with cheerful crowds.
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