Bucharest (Romanian: Bucureşti) is Romania's capital and largest city, as well as the most important industrial and commercial center of the country. With 2 million inhabitants in the city proper and more than 2.4 million in the urban area, Bucharest is one of the largest cities in Southeastern Europe.
Bucharest is the primary entry point into Romania. Bucharest is a booming city with many large infrastructure projects changing the old face of the city. Known in the past as "The Little Paris," Bucharest has changed a lot lately, and today it has become a very interesting mix of old and new that has little to do with its initial reputation. Finding a 300 year old church near a steel-and-glass building that both sit next to a communist style building is commonplace in Bucharest. Bucharest offers some excellent attractions, and has, in recent years, cultivated a sophisticated, trendy, and modern sensibility that many have come to expect from a European capital. Bucharest has been undergoing major modernization programs in recent years and is still going to continue with these projects in the years to come. Those who knew Bucharest in the past but have not visited it after 2010 will be surprised by the scale of the changes that are taking place. The center of the city is being completely revamped, and there is a major project in every part of the city. Bucharest has benefited from an economic boom along with the EU grants that have helped rebuild parts of the city. Ambitious projects are quite common in Bucharest. The largest project finished at this time is the impressive Basarab bridge, which is Europe's widest cable-stayed bridge.
The official language is Romanian, a Romance language which claims to be the closest currently-spoken relative to Ancient Latin, but contains around 20% of loan words from Slavonic languages. Most younger educated people will speak English reasonably well and will likely be proficient in one or more second Romance languages; most educated people born before about 1970 will speak French, Spanish or Italian reasonably well. The Roma people (Gypsies) speak their native Romany, as well as Romanian, and sometimes English as well. Beyond that, as in any major city, there will be a smattering of other languages like Chinese, Arabic, Turkish, Hungarian.
Bucharest, like most of Romania, has a temperate-continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. This region of Romania gets all four seasons, although spring is brief and falls mainly in April. The average high daily temperature in summer is about 29°C and in winter about 2°C. It can get really hot and dry during the summer (40°C) and really cold during the winter (-20°C), even though temperatures below -12°C are extremely rare. Best time to visit is April through June, September through October and early December.
Bucharest is in the Eastern European time zone (UTC+2, with a DST of UTC+3 from April to October).
Connections and airports
Bucharest has reasonable connections with most European capitals and with the largest cities in Romania, but it can be difficult to find a direct flight to Bucharest from outside of Europe or the Middle East. The city is also reached by a large number of low-costs flights, mainly from destinations in Italy and Spain as well as from some major cities in Germany, France, the UK, Belgium, Hungary, Turkey, Austria etc.
- Henri Coandă International Airport (IATA: OTP), Calea Bucureştilor 224E, Otopeni (located in Otopeni, 18 km north of downtown.), ☎ . All scheduled flights, including those operated by low cost airlines, land here. Henri Coanda airport is often referred to as Otopeni on airline bookings, because of its location . The airport, built in 1968, underwent a massive modernization effort since the late 90's and is set to be further enlarged. It is the main hub for the Romanian flag carrier Tarom. All concessions inside the airport (shops, cafes, restaurants) are extremely expensive (especially departure side, about four times more expensive than in the city). Avoid exchanging money in the airport, exchange rates are 20-25% worse than what you would find in the city - you are advised to use a credit card at an ATM in the lobby for immediate needs and exchange money downtown. However, there is a Billa supermarket on the basement of arrival side whose price is same as others in the city. It's a bit of walk from the international departure but a great place to get a snack and/or spend your last few Lei on departure.
- Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (IATA: BBU), Şoseaua Bucureşti - Ploieşti 40 (It's located inside the city, in Băneasa, about 4–6 km to the city center), ☎ . This smaller airport was used for commercial flights as early as the 1920s and became a low cost hub in its final years. From March 25, 2012 it is no longer used by passenger airlines. This is set to become a sort of business airport. 8.6 lei.
Transport to the city
There are several options to get from Henri Coandă airport to Bucharest:
- Express bus 783. Daily every 20 minutes (every 40 minutes during the night). goes from the airport to downtown Bucharest at Piaţa Unirii. Timetable from Henri Coandă Airport to the city center. - Expect the trip with bus 783 to be about 40 minutes long (from Piaţa Unirii to the airport) or even longer during rush hour traffic. 8.6 lei.
- Express bus 780. daily 5:30AM-11PM. every 40 minutes. links the airport with the main train station, Bucuresti Nord (Gara de Nord) and terminate at Basarab (also metro, train and tram station).
When taking the 780 bus from Gara de Nord train station to Otopeni airport, note carefully that Gara de Nord is not the end of the bus route, hence, the 780 buses that pass Gara de Nord actually run in two directions. Therefore, at Gara de Nord, to catch the 780 that takes you to Otopeni airport, you need to catch it from the 780 bus-stop that requires crossing a road from south side of the station, i.e. not the 780 bus stop that is directly outside the Nord station. Best to ask locals where the correct bus stop is.
Lowest price option for any of these express buses is 8.6 lei (two rides minimum uploaded on a un-reloadable Multiplu card, 3,5x2+1.6 lei). Cards can only be purchased from the booth in front of either the Arrivals or Departures terminals (respectively on the return trip from ticket booths in stations along their route, but no ticket booth at Piaţa Unirii 2 where 783 bus originates, you have to walk a bit toward the tram stop to find it), they can't be bought from the driver. There is a ticket machine in front of the Arrivals terminal in service 24 hours a day, but it is only for reloading existing Active card. Remember to always validate your ticket on boarding the bus, these two bus lines are a prime target for ticket inspectors. The bus is far superior to the train in terms of both time and cost.
- Henri Coandă Expres (train stop two km away from the airport). Daily 5:15AM-8:20PM hourly. This is a combined transfer service by minibus then train to Bucuresti Nord station. 8.1 lei.. Tickets can be bought inside the airport at CFR ticket counter. The trip starts with a transfer by shuttle bus to a small train stop two km away from the airport, followed by a 30 minutes train to Gara de Nord. The shuttle bus transfer IS INCLUDED in the train ticket. The total duration of the trip from airport to the Gara de Nord is approximately 50 minutes. From Gara de Nord you can take public transport (metro and buses) or you can depart by train towards other cities in Romania. - . Timetable for Henri Coandă Express
After such a bad reputation of rip-off taxi drivers, the airport implemented touch screen automated taxi call-up system. After agreeing the price, you are given taxi number that should arrive shortly. Make sure to use them to get a taxi with the normal rate (1.39 lei/km) and check the taxi number before getting in.
There are still taxis waiting at Arrivals exit with rip off rate (called Fast Taxi), it's best to avoid them: they charge the maximal allowed rate (3.5 lei/km). A trip to downtown with them costs at least 60-70 lei and may go up to €30 at night. Remember that for €30 you can get anywhere in the country by bus or train, so think twice before you decide to pay a taxi driver the same for a drive of less than 20km.
If you're willing to make extremely long bus rides it's also possible to get to Bucharest from a large number of cities in Western and South-Western Europe; these lines are operated by Eurolines and their local affiliate Atlassib.
- Băneasa bus terminal, Str. Ion Ionescu de la Brad nr. 10, Sector 1 (in the northern part of town - Bus 112, 149, 205, 261 to 'Brodina' -), ☎ .
- Obor bus terminal (Autogara Obor), B-dul Garii Obor nr. (Bulevardul Gării Obor) 5A , Sector 2 (East - Trolley 69, 85 to 'gara Obor'), ☎ , fax: +40 21 2527646.
- Filaret bus terminal (Autogara Filaret), Piata Garii Filaret (Piața Gării Filaret) nr.1, Sector 4 (South - linked to downtown by tramway 7 and bus 232), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Buses and minibuses from Chişinău (seven-eight buses every day, about 10 hours travel time, tickets around €15) arrive mostly to here. - Mobile: +40 723 671011; +40 733 452738
- Rahova bus terminal (Autogara Internationala Rahova), Sos. Alexandriei (Șoseaua Alexandria) nr. 164, Sector 5 (South-west, - Tramway 32 (terminal 'Depoul Alexandriei') links it with the city center), ☎ . Transfer buses for routes from Western Europe usually arrive to here
- Militari bus terminal (Autogara Militari), Str. Valea Cascadelor (Strada Valea Cascadelor) nr.1 (West - Tram 8, 25 to 'C.F.R. Cotroceni' - Metro3 'Pacii'), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Griviţa bus terminal (North-west), ☎ . +Mobile: +491 761 1224006
- Viilor road bus stop, Sos. Viilor, ~20 (- Tram 23, 32 to 'Piata Chirigiu' from the northern end and tramway 7 from the southern end -). Buses from Athens (several times per week, 16–20 hours travel time, tickets around €60) arrive at stations along Viilor road; also from Istanbul (three-four buses per day, 12–14 hours travel time, tickets around €45) arrive to here
- Bus from Sofia (near Tineretului subway station (one station away from city center)). daily bus from Sofia (7 hours travel time, €18)
- Buses from Varna (one or two buses daily only between late May-early September, 5–6 hours travel time, tickets around €30) usually stop in various squares in downtown;
- Buses to Constanta depart every 45 minutes during the summer and some buses offers WiFi-connection. The station is located near Gara de Nord at the intersection of Strada Mircea Vulcanescu & Bulevardul Dinicu Golescu.
Bucharest also has bus connections to a vast number of cities in Romania. They're a convenient choice primarily when coming from places from which railways are under repair (like Constanţa and the Black Sea resorts) or too indirect (like Sibiu).
Timetables for most domestic routes and several international ones are available on .
Bucharest is linked through direct daily trains to all neighboring countries’ capitals (Belgrade, Budapest, Chişinău, Kiev, Sofia), as well as to Vienna, Venice, Thessaloniki, Istanbul, Moscow and of course to main cities in all of Romania’s 41 counties.
- Northern station (Gara de Nord), București Nord, Piața Gării de Nord 1-3, Sector 1 (Near of the city center, linked by buses, trolley 79, and tramway 42, 44, 45, 46 - M1, M4: Gara de Nord), ☎ . , 0213190358All international trains and most long distance internal trains arrive at here. - Do not use any exchange services around the train station: they offer about 30-50 percent below the actual exchange rate—use an ATM instead or walk a few blocks to get a much better rate, then take the subway system, which is reasonably priced (~1 euro for 2 uses, as of August 2011) and has clearly marked maps and schedules. - Watch out for the shady private taxi services and avoid taking taxis near the stations, no exceptions! You should know that near the stations all of them will try to cheat you and you will have to be both vigilant and lucky to avoid being ripped off. Always look to see if the cab driver starts the meter and alert him by saying "aparatul" (ah-pah-RA-tool) while pointing at the meter. There will be drivers offering rides - be extremely wary. It is recommended to ride only with drivers who use the meter and have the general tariff (currently 1,39 lei/km, August 2011). Never accept bargains and other offers, they are usually more than double than the route is worth. +phone=+40 21 3190358. Train to Budapest (16 hours, overnight, seat €57, bed €74), to Constanta (2.5 hours, 60 lei, every 2 hours).
- Eastern station (Gara de Est-Obor), Bulevardul Gării Obor 5A (Bus 143, 682, N108, Trolley 69, 85). Some trains to and from the Black Sea Coast use either this station, as well as the main Gara de Nord station (most of the trains). Currently the route between Bucharest and Constanţa, the main city in the Black Sea area, has been modernised and the trip duration was lowered to 2:30 hours on direct trains. Following further modernisation expected to finish in 2012 the duration is expected to get to 2:10-2:15 hours.
- Băneasa station (Gara Băneasa), Piata Gara Baneasa (Bus 131, 205, 261, 304, 335, 449, N113), ☎ . +phone=+40 21 2243762
- Basarab station (București Basarab, Gara Basarab), Sectorul 6, Soseaua Orhideelor, nr. 2 (Metro by Basarab station (Line M1 and M4 line). Tram 1, 35. Trolley 65, 86, 97 or Bus 105, 123, 133, 162, 178, 282, 780.), ☎ . This smaller station is used exclusively for local and regional trains. +phone=+40 21 2230660, +40 21 2230880
- Progresul station (Gara Progresul), Strada Giurgiului (Șoseaua Giurgiului), 194 (Tram 4,7, 25, Bus 116, 202, 216, 471), ☎ . This smaller station is used exclusively for local and regional trains.
- Titan Sud station (Gara Titan Sud), Sectorul 3, Bulevardul Basarabia, 254 (M1 Republica or tram 36, 46, 56 to stop 'Republica'), ☎ . This smaller station is used exclusively for local and regional trains.
The timetables for domestic routes are available here.
The city’s entrances from the north (the E60 road coming from Braşov), west (the A1 highway from Piteşti), east (the A2 (Sun) highway from Constanţa), south (the E20 road from Giurgiu) and the avenues in the city center are very crowded, especially at rush hours. Inside the city there are few parking spaces and some of the secondary streets are in bad condition.
Bucharest has one of the most extensive systems of public transport in Europe, even though it can sometimes be confusing and crowded.
The metro, which has four lines (M1, M2, M3, M4) and covers the city quite extensively, is usually a cheap (4 lei for 2 trips, 15 lei for 10 trips and 60 lei for a monthly pass) and easy way to get around even though there are surprisingly few stops in the city center, since the system was originally built to transport workers and commuters from outlying neighborhoods through the city to peripheral industrial areas. If you're staying outside the city center, or even if you want to travel within it, the Metro can be a very fast and convenient way of traveling to your destination, avoiding the traffic jams and crowds that frequently characterize surface transport.
The network is arguably frequent and fairly comfortable, reliable and easy-to-use. Surprisingly for some, it is by far the safest way to travel through the city. Since 2002, Bucharest Metro has embarked on a comprehensive modernization plan, including the replacement of old train-sets with state-of-the-art Bombardier Transportation trains and the renovation of stations and tracks in collaboration with Alstom.
Line M1 starts in the eastern part of the city and then goes through the downtown on a circular route, passing by the main train station Gara de Nord and meeting up with the M2 line (which runs north-south) at Piaţa Unirii and Piaţa Victoriei stations. Line M3 links the western and eastern parts of the city. The central section on the M3 between Eroilor - Nicolae Grigorescu is shared with M1 and trains from both lines run in tandem having the terminus displayed at the front of the cab. Line M4 is a short shuttle line starting from Gara de Nord 2 going to Parc Bazilescu in Bucureştii Noi neighborhood (as of 2011). Even though Gara de Nord and Gara de Nord 2 are in close proximity, transferring between the two is taxed as a separate trip. The only platform to platform link between M4 and M1 is at Basarab station. M4 line is planned to eventually link the city with its airports.
Maps of the subway can be found on the Metrorex official site .
Buses, trams and trolleybuses
Bucharest has a very complex network of buses, trams and trolleybuses which is, at first glance, fairly confusing to the tourist. This is not because of any inconsistencies within the network, but rather due to the intricate web of hundreds of bus, tram and trolleybus routes found in the city. Once you know your way around the network, however, public surface transport can be a very good way of getting around since there is a bus, tram or trolleybus stop virtually everywhere in this city. The vehicles are usually very frequent, although they can also get terribly crowded at peak hours.
Make sure you know the stop you're getting off at - even though in most trolleybuses and in some modern buses and trams, following stops are announced automatically and displayed on a screen inside the vehicle. However, these displays tend to be not very reliable, pointing to either a wrong stop or not working at all. In addition, the older buses (most commonly found outside the core center) do not have any displays or announcements. If you are uncertain if a stop is the one you want, you can always ask your fellow travelers.
The ticketing system uses contact-less smart-cards, called Activ cards . Once bought for 3.7 lei (you will need some ID to do that) the cards can be loaded with various ticketing options, including some that allow usage on both the subway and surface networks. The other type of card intended for occasional user is called Multiplu  cards that can be bought for 1.6 lei and loaded with minimum 2 trips up to 10 or as daily/weekly. The multiplu card cannot be reloaded and thus purchased every time after used up. To validate the card after entering a vehicle (or subway station) hold it still in front of the validating device (an orange box with a small LCD screen) until you hear a short beep (The LCD display will show "Calatorie Placuta" = Have a nice trip). If you hear a long beep followed by the message "Repetati validarea la acelasi validator" = "Repeat the validation on the same machine" or any other message, please validate the card again. It is very common in this system to give errors very often, so it recommendable to be sure that you have paid for your trip. If you want to be sure that you have paid, press the button 1 and hold the card near the validator, it will mention the amount left and for how many passengers it was validated. To validate it for more than one passenger (this is available only for electronic wallet not for daily/weekly/monthly pass), you have to press the button no. 2 and hold the card near the validator. For any other additional traveler you have to press 2 again and receive the message "Calatorie Placuta" for each passenger. The paper tickets valid for one ride on one route are not any more available (they were removed starting with May 2011). Be warned that you cannot buy tickets/cards in the vehicles and if caught by an inspector (controlor) you could be fined with 50 lei. Some buses still use the old system of paper ticket, essentially a strip of paper that needs to be validated inside the bus. Be sure to validate your ticket, as enforcers can be very strict, even to visitors unfamiliar with the system. A ticket is valid only on the bus/tram/trolley where it was validated. If you change the bus/tram/trolley, you have to validate again the card. Also, the ticket is valid only for one trip with the transport vehicle from one end to the other. However, in Bucharest most of the buses and trolleys will have one end (usually in downtown, where is no space for creating proper "end of the line" stops) without any distinct stop, so you will not be aware that you have to validate again, being liable to receive a fine. For this reason, is better to buy a daily (8 lei = 1.8 Euro) or weekly pass (17 lei = 4 Euro) for your trips in Bucharest, because the pass will not require any validation. The prices are very small compared with the travel options available (buses, night buses, trams and trolleys), so the pass will help you to have a trip without any headaches.
Starting with July 2011, the night buses are also available. They will run between 23:00 to 01:00, every 30 minutes, 1 to 5:00, every 1 hour and 5:00 to 6:00, every 30 minutes. The lines can be seen here  and the map here 
Car rental in the Pache Protopopescu Street or Europcar are all at the city and airport. Other local rentals also throughout the city. The average price for a day rental is about €20 for the cheapest car.
There are a lot of taxi companies in Bucharest and you'll easily find a cab here. But be aware! Don't take any independent cab drivers, but use only the services of big taxi companies. Cars from these companies have the rates displayed on the door. Each door used to contain an initial "sitting" fee (between 1.6 to 3 lei), a per km fee (1.4 to 3.6 lei) and per hour fee. However, taxis now display a single number which is both the initial "sitting fee" and the per km fee. The per hour fee is not listed, but should be around ten times the per km fee. Independent have significantly higher fees (up to ten times the average!) If a taxi does not display these prices on the door it is best not to take it and find another, as you'll probably be charged a rate five to ten times higher than usual. Also, it should be noted that some taxis now have a low "nighttime rate" listed in a large font with an expensive daytime rate listed in a small font. So, read carefully and remember that noapte means night. And you should insist the driver starts the meter, and pay the sum displayed on it. If you are traveling outside the city limits (say to or from the airport) prices per km and per hour are often doubled, or an extra 10-15 lei is added to the fare. Be wary of taking taxis from places where a lot of tourists pass through, especially from Gara de Nord. Many of these taxis may be operated by con men. Tourists being asked to pay large sums to recover their luggage from the trunk or even muggings after taxi rides are not unheard of.
- Parliament Palace (Palatul Parliamentului), Strada Izvor 2-4 (near Piaţa Unirii (Union Plazza). - M1, 3 'Izvor' - entrance is on the north side), ☎ . the tourist can see the world's second largest building (after the US Pentagon), formerly named "Casa Poporului" (People's House). The building, which was built in 1984 by Nicolae Ceauşescu, spans 12 stories, 3100 rooms and covers over 330,000 sq m. 1/9 of Bucharest was reconstructed to accommodate this magnificent massive building and its surroundings. There are 30-45 minute tours every half hour which lead through the building's vast collection of marble rooms and culminates in an impressive view from Nicolae Ceauşescu's balcony. The marble and all the original decorations are 100% from Romania. The basic tour includes the halls and the balcony, worthwhile is the terrace addition for the wonderful view from the top of the building. The basement addition on the other hand is not worth the money. They only show two rooms containing airducts, no additional facts and it lasts only 5 minutes. Different Tours ranging in price from 25 lei (15 lei for students, proof required) up to 43 lei.
- Old center - A part of the city's historical heart was not demolished by Nicolae Ceauşescu. The area (stretching approximately between the Dâmboviţa river to the south, Calea Victoriei to the west, Calea Moşilor to the east and Regina Elisabeta boulevard to the north) today contains an assortment of middle 19th century buildings, ruins of the Wallachian princes' medieval court, churches, bank headquarters, a few hotels, clubs, restaurants and shops. Narrow cobblestoned streets retain the names of the ancient guilds that resided on them. The area was mostly renovated and is now a place of gathering for the young generation of the city.
- Revolution Square (Piaţa Revoluţiei) (M 'Universitate' 600 m - Centrally located, it is not a long walk from the other squares, Gara de Nord, or the Parliament Palace.). - Site of part of the Romanian Revolution of 1989. There is a tall monument in the center of the square in memory of those who died during the revolution.
- Arch of Triumph (Arcul de Triumf), Piața Arcul de Triumf (northern part of the city, close to Herăstrău Park- Take tram 41 to 'Casin' or M2 'Aviatorilor' 500 m). The current arch was inaugurated in 1936, but on the same site other arches stood starting with 1878.
- Romanian Atheneum (Ateneul Roman), Strada Benjamin Franklin, 1-3 (Near Revolution Square.- m2 'Piata Romana'). A beautiful building is home of the George Enescu Philarmonic. If you have the time, visit the interior of the building as well, as it holds a fresco that depicts scenes of the Romanian history. The building was inaugurated in 1888.
- Art Museum (Muzeul Național de Artă al României), Calea Victoriei, 49-53 (M2 'Piața Victoriei' or M2 'Universitate' 600 m), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. In the building of the former Royal Palace, has collections of ancient, modern and contemporary Romanian art as well as exhibitions of rare European art dating as early as the 14th century. +phone=+40 21 3148119
- Aviation Museum (Muzeul Aviației), Fabrica de Glucoza (Șoseaua Fabrica de Glucoză) street, 4, in District 2 (on the former Airport Pipera), ☎ . Tu-F 09.00-16.00, Sa and Su 10.00-17.00. Open-air display of various types of aircraft.Otopeni airport
- National Museum of Contemporary Art (Muzeul Național de Artă Contemporana), Strada Izvor (M1,M3 'Izvor' or Bus 136, 385), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cafe, 4th floor: Open: Tu - Su 10 AM-6 PM ; Library (Libraria Jumatatea Plina): W-Su 10 AM-6 PM; ANNEX NMCA. W-Su 10 AM-6 PM Address: Mosilor 64-68, free entry; Dalles Hall (SALA Dalles) Open: W-Su 10 AM-6 PM; Address: 18 Avenue N. Balcescu. Recently opened inside a converted wing of the Palace of the Parliament, in what had been the private apartments of Ceauşescu, the museum features fresh exhibitions from Romania's burgeoning art scene. - Branch Museums: The Art Collections Museum (Muzeul Colecţiilor de Artă), 111, Calea Victoriei, phone:+40 21 2129641; +40 21 2121749, Open: Sa-W 11.00-19.00 (May-Sep), 10.00-18.00 (Oct-Apr), Closed: Th, F; - K.H. Zambaccian Museum (Muzeul K. H. Zambaccian). 21A, Muzeul Zambaccian Street, phone:+40 21 2301920, Open: W-Su 11.00-19.00 (May-Sep), 10.00-18.00 (October - April), Closed: M, Tu; - Theodor Pallady Museum (Muzeul Theodor Pallady). 22, Spătarului Street, phone: +40 21 2114979, Open: W-Su 11.00-19.00 (May-Sep), 10.00-18.00 (Oct-Apr), Closed: M, Tu 10 lei.
- Curtea Veche Museum (Old Princely Court Museum), Strada Franceză, nr. 25-31 (M 'Piața Unirii 2'), ☎ . the ruins of the crown palace of the Wallachian princes, some parts dating as early as the 16th century. It’s around an earlier fortification located in this same place that Bucharest began to develop
- Cotroceni Palace Museum (Muzeul Național Cotroceni, Palatul Cotroceni), Bulevardul Geniului 1 (Buses and trolleys to 'Gradina Botanica' or M 'Politehnica'), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. –has collections of objects that belonged to the former Romanian royal family. Today it is also the residence of the Romanian presidents.
- Firefighters Museum (Muzeul National al Pompierilor), Bd. Ferdinand I, nr. 33 (Foişorul de Foc), sector 2, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. rarely opened. Bd. Ferdinand, nr. 33 - Fire Tower (Foișorul de Foc) s a 42-metre high building inBucharest, Romania, between Obor, Calea Moșilor and Nerva-Traian. It was used in the past as an observation tower by the firemen. Tram 14 to 'Bd. Pache Protopopescu'.
- Village Museum (Muzeul Național al Satului „Dimitrie Gusti”), Șoseaua Pavel Dimitrievici Kiseleff, 28-30 (Tram 41 to 'Agronomie' or M2 'Aviatorilor' and walk across the Park cca.15min), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 09-19:00 (21:00 in the summer). –an original open air museum created in 1934, it currently has around 300 traditional buildings (including churches, workshops, mills etc.) plus furniture, pottery, clothing gathered from villages in every region of the country in an effort to showcase the traditional way of life of the Romanians. Occasionally hosts folkloric and traditional crafts festivals. Fee 3ron for adult, 1.5ron for student.
- Museum of the Romanian Peasant (Muzeul Național al Țăranului Român), Şoseaua Kiseleff, 3 (M2 'Piața Victoriei 1, 2'; bus 205, 300, 381, 783), ☎ +40 21-317.96.61, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su 10.00-18.00. Also dedicated to the traditional way of life, it focuses mainly on traditional interior decoration, tools, clothing and artifacts. Again, it sometimes hosts folkloric and traditional crafts festivals. Very interesting, touching exhibit about one's grandma. With hidden rooms to surprise you. Entry 6ron for adult, 3ron for student..
- Geology Museum (Muzeul Național de Geologie), Șoseaua Pavel Dimitrievici Kiseleff, 2 (M2 'Piața Victoriei'). M- Sa 10.00-17.30. has a large collection of minerals, rocks and fossils. 8 lei (2014).
- National History Museum (Muzeul Național de Istorie a României), Calea Victoriei, nr. 12 (M 'Piața Unirii 2' 600 m), ☎ , fax: +40 21 3113356, e-mail: email@example.com. W-Su 10.00-18.00. Located in a neoclassical late 19th century building, has exhibits documenting the evolution of society on Romania’s territory from the Paleolithic until today, a replica of Trajan’s Column in Rome and a very interesting numismatics collection. It is undergoing some remodeling and only two exhibitions are open to the public as of June 2009. Historical THESAURUS of Romania
- Nicolae Minovici Folk Art Museum (Muzeul de Artă Populară Prof. Dr. Nicolae Minovici), strada dr. Nicolae Minovici 3 (in front of the station Baneasa. Bus 131, 205, 335), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 9.00-17.00 except Mondays. temporarily shut down (2014). Also here is Museum of Old Western Art the (Muzeul de Artă Veche Apuseană Minovici). There are collections of the various works of art, such as stained glass from the XVI - XVII, engravings, paintings, rare books, tapestries, carpets, furniture.
- Military History Museum (Muzeul Militar Naţional), Strada Mircea Vulcănescu, 125-127 (M 'Gara de Nord' , bus - 122, 126, 168, 226, 268, 368 to stop 'str.Berzei', trolley - 62, 85, 93, 96 to (str.Mircea Vulcănescu),), ☎ . W-Su 09.00-17.00. has collections of weapons dating since the prehistoric times and permanent exhibitions dedicated to important military events, including the Romanian revolution of 1989, as well as an outdoor exhibit of relatively modern weaponry, including cannons, tanks, helicopters etc 10 lei.
- National Museum of Romanian Literature (Muzeul Naţional al Literaturii Române, Casa Krețulescu), Bulevardul Dacia nr. 12, sector 1 (M 'Piata Romana' 500 m East), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com.
- D. Minovici Western European Arts Museum, strada N. Minovici, nr.3. located in a beautiful eclectic villa
- Frederic and Cecilia Cuțescu-Storck Art Museum (Muzeul de Artă Frederic Storck și Cecilia Cuțescu-Storck), str. Vasile Alecsandri nr.16, sector 1 (M 'Piaţa Victoriei' 300 m), ☎ 2113889, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 9.00 - 17.00. The museum presents works of artists of the Storck family
- Railways Museum (Muzeul Căilor Ferate Române), Calea Griviţei, nr. 139B (M "Gara de Nord", bus 105; trolley 86, 97), e-mail: email@example.com. rarely opened, W-Su 10.00-16.00.
- National Museum of "George Enescu" (Muzeul Național „George Enescu”), Strada Gheorghe Manu, 141 (Located in Cantacuzino Palace), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tu-Su 10.00-17.00,. Music, memorial museum 6/2/1.5 lei (adults/senior/students).
- National Philatelic Museum (Muzeul Național Filatelic), Calea Victoriei, nr. 12 (Bus to 'Piata Natiunile Unite' 200 m or M 'Universitate' 600 m), ☎ , fax: +40 21 3125585, e-mail: email@example.com. Stamps, stamp collections, postal items: boxes of values, old paintings, seals, horns, prints, old letters, maps postal coachmen costumes, furniture used in post offices, etc. +phone=+40 21 3127491
- Museum of Mary and Dr. G. Severeanu, (Muzeul Maria și dr. George Severeanu), Strada Henri Coandă (fostă I.C. Frimu) nr. 26, sector 1 (M 'Piata Romana' 500 m SE). temporarily shut down (2014). The exhibition includes a variety of objects: pieces of archeology - ancient Greek vases, statuettes of Tanagra, bronze and marble, glass Roman items, ancient Greek, Dacian Roman, Byzantine and medieval coins. Romanian and foreign orders and decorations. 6 lei.
- Bucharest History Museum (Muzeul Municipiului București, Palatul Sutu), Bulevardul Ion C. Brătianu. 2 (in the Şuţu Palace), ☎ , fax: +40 21 3102562. Built in 1834, has collections related to the development of Bucharest from a small 14th-century fortress into Romania’s capital. More units: - The " Princely Palace - The Old Court " (Muzeul „Palatul Voievodal – Curtea Veche“ ). Address: Str . Franceză 25-31 , sector 3 ; - Museum "Prof. Dr.Victor Babes " (Muzeul „Prof. Dr.Victor Babeș” ). Address: Str . Andrei Mureșanu, 14 A, sector 1 ; - Memorial Museum " C.l. and C.C. Nottara " (Muzeul Memorial „C.I. și C.C. Nottara” ). Address: B -dul Dacia , no. 105, sector 1 ; - Museum of Art " Frederic and Cecilia - Cutescu Storck " (Muzeul de artă „Frederic și Cecilia-Cutescu Storck”). Address: str.Vasile Alecsandri no. 16 , sector 1 ; - Astronomical Observatory "Amiral Vasile Urseanu" (Observatorul Astronomic „Amiral Vasile Urseanu”). Address: B -dul Lascăr Catargiu no. 21, sector 1; - Art Collection " Ligia Pompiliu Macovei " (Colecția de artă „Ligia și Pompiliu Macovei”). Address: Str . 36-38 June 11 , sector 4; - Museum of " Theodor Aman" (Muzeul „Theodor Aman” ). Address: C.A.Rosetti , no. 8; - Museum of " Dr. George Severeanu " (Muzeul „Dr. George Severeanu”). Address: Str . H.Coandă , no. 26 , sector 1; - Memorial Museum of " George Tătărăscu " (Muzeul Memorial „Gheorghe Tătărăscu” ). Address: Str . Domnița Anastasia , No. 7; - Folk Art Museum of " Dr. Nicholas Minovici " (Muzeul de Artă Populară „Dr. Nicolae Minovici”). Address: Str . Dr. N.Minovici , 1 6 lei.
- National Museum of Antiquities (Muzeul Național de Antichități).
- National Museum of Old Maps and Books (Muzeul Național al Hărților și Cărții Vechi), Str. Londra nr. 39, sector 1 (M 'Piața Victoriei' or Bus 131,182, 301, 330, 331, 335 to stop 'Liceul I.L.Caragiale'). W-Su 10:00-18:00. 4 lei.
- Jewish Community History Museum, Strada Mămulari, nr. 3. Documenting the life of this community in the region since ancient times and through the Holocaust
- Grigore Antipa Natural History Museum, Şoseaua Kiseleff, nr. 1. This has over 300.000 exhibits illustrating the transformations of Earth and the evolution of species.
- “Dimitrie Leonida” Technology Museum (–is set to be relocated in a wing of the 'Parliament Palace').
Churches and monasteries
- Curtea Veche Church (Old Court Church, Biserica Curtea Veche), Strada Covaci and Strada Franceză, sector 3 (near Piata Unirii). The Church of the Old Princely Court built around 1559, used to be the coronation church of the Wallachian princes.
- Patriarchal Cathedral (Catedrala Patriarhală din București), Strada Patriarhiei (located on the hill overlooking Piata Unirii, take tram 7, 27, 32 to stop '11 Iunie' 100m or M: 'Piața Unirii 1' 500m). Built in 1658. Next to it is the Mitropoliei Palace (1708) – the residence of the Orthodox Patriarch, sort of a small Romanian Vatican.
- Stavropoleos Church (Biserica Stavropoleos), Strada Stavropoleo / Strada Poștei nr. 6, sector 3 (in the old center area, M: Piața Unirii 2 walk half km northwest), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Built in the early 18th century, has some stunning decorative sculpture and amazing frescoes. A little jewel.
- Colţea Church (Biserica Colțea, Biserica "Trei Ierarhi"), Bulevardul Ion C. Brătianu 1 (near to Piaţa Universităţii. M: Universitate). The first church in Bucharest built in the Brancovenesc style (1702).
- New St. George Church (Biserica Sfântul Gheorghe Nou din București), Bulevardul Brătianu I. C. 49, sector 3 (half way between Piaţa Universităţii and Piaţa Unirii. Take tram 5, 16, 21 to stop 'Piata Sf. Gheorghe'). Dating from the 18th century, houses the tombs of the princes Constantin Brâncoveanu and Ion Mavrocordat.
- Kretzulescu Church (Biserica Crețulescu), Calea Victoriei, 45, (M: Universitate 400m, on the left side of the National Art Museum). An interesting example of the Brancovenesc style (1722).
- Plumbuita Monastery (Manastirea Plumbuita), off Şoseaua Colentina, Str. Plumbuita nr. 58, sector 2 (relatively far from the city center, on Lake Plumbuita shore. Take tram #21 to stop 'Doamna Ghica' and walk toward north a half km). Built in the last half of the 16th century, it once housed the first printing house in the region (1582); today has a religious objects museum and a large park.
- Oţetari Church (Biserica Oţetari), 4, Strada Oţetari (close to the Rosetti Square, National Theatrer and the Spiru Haret National College). The Oţetari Church is a very discreet, yet spiritual place, giving some religious comfort in the centre of the city. It's name actually means "cruet", because of the initial destination of the street it is situated on. It was built in the 18th Century and it features a number of interesting paintings and stained glass.
- Great Synagogue of Bucharest (Sinagoga Mare din București, בית הכנסת הגדול של בוקרשט), Strada Vasile Adamache 11 (Tram 14, 40 and 56 to stop 'Piata Sf. Vineri'), ☎ . Religious services on weekends. This decorative temple was raised in 1845 by the Polish-Jewish community. It was repaired in 1865, baroque style, redesigned in 1903 and 1909, repainted in Rococo style in 1936. Also here is a exhibition hall.
There are two free weekly guides published in Bucharest featuring all the events of the week, as well as listing the addresses of most restaurants, clubs, pubs, bars, cinemas etc. in the city. One is Şapte Seri (Seven nights), the other 24-FUN. They have small sections in English available.
Walking and recreation
- A walking tour is always the best solution for getting accustomed with a new city. You can find free guided walking tours of the city centre, this being an option for budget travelers, youth and backpackers. Usually, you have to book the tours, but in the high season there are tours organized every day, rain or sun.
- There are also paid tours to be found, in this case booking being necessary at all times.
- Access the free Audio Guide with GPS on smartphone for most relevant tour (17 attractions) on http://IZI.travel (IOS, Android, Windows). Then consider other tours with Audio Guides in Bucharest and surroundings. In example: "Bucharest - Old City Center" (with 40 included attractions) or related to the nearby protected natural area from Snagov lake and forest.
- Cişmigiu Garden (Centre). is a lovely small park. It's the oldest in the city (designed 1845-1860). Has boat rental in summer, ice skating in winter time,reasonable restaurants and more specially a French restaurant in Trianon Hotel and several bars.
- Herăstrău Park. the largest of several parks around man-made lakes on the Colentina River running through the city’s north and east side) houses the Village Museum, an open-air theater, various sports grounds, something like an amusement park and numerous restaurants and clubs. Has boat rental and boat-trips in summer.
- Botanical Garden (near Cotroceni Palace). , established in 1884 , displays a variety of plants from all over the world, including an indoor tropical plants exhibition. Small entry fee.
- Carol Park (one subway station south of Piaţa Unirii). (designed in 1906), has an open-air theater replicating a Roman arena and another construction replicating a medieval fortress. It houses the tomb of the Unknown Soldier as well as an infamous mausoleum built for the Communist nomenclature.
- Tineretului Park. has a large multipurpose building (Sala Polivalenta) used for various concerts, sporting events, exhibitions etc., an amusement park for children, boat-rental, several restaurants and bars.
- Titan Park (I.O.R. Park). a green oasis among Communist era high rise apartment buildings in the eastern part of the city (Titan subway station), has a charming wooden church as well as several lake-side clubs.
- Opera Naţională (National Opera), Bulevardul Mihail Kogălniceanu nr. 70-72 (Eroilor area), ☎ , fax: +40 21 310 2660. 5-64 lei.
- Filarmonica George Enescu (George Enescu Philharmonic), Strada B. Franklin nr. 1-3 (Revoluţiei square), ☎ , fax: +40 21 312 2983. Housed in the Romanian Athenæum, a city landmark
- Teatrul Naţional de Operetă Ion Dacian (Ion Dacian National Operetta Theater), Bulevardul Nicolae Bălcescu nr.2 (near University square), ☎ .
- Sala Radio (The Radio Orchestra), Str. General Berthelot, Nr. 60-64, ☎ . +phone=+40 21-3031428 price is around €7.
Most films are screened in their original language with Romanian subtitles; some animation features and children's movies are dubbed in Romanian.
- Cinemateca Română, strada Eforie nr. 2 (near the old quarter), ☎ . A branch of the National Film Archives, screens mostly classic movies
- Noul cinematograf al regizorului roman (Romanian director's new cinema), strada Intrarea Monetăriei nr. 3 (at the Romanian Peasant Museum), ☎ , fax: +40 21 312 9875. Art films and documentaries selected by major Romanian directors 10 lei.
- Eurocinema, strada Johann Gutenberg nr. 19 (near Izvor bridge), ☎ , fax: +40 21 3121962. Th-Su at 8PM. Plays mainly independent European movies 10 lei.
- Europa, Calea Moşilor nr. 127 (at the start of Moşilor road), ☎ . Plays relatively recent European movies
- Elvira Popescu, Bulevardul Dacia nr. 77 (at the French Institute), ☎ . Mostly French movies
- Cinema City, Bulevardul Vasile Milea nr. 4 (in the AFI Palace mall), ☎ . Largest multiplex in the city (21 screens, including one IMAX) 17-32 lei.
- Hollywood Multiplex, Calea Vitan nr. 55-59 (in the Bucharest Mall), ☎ . First multiplex to open, has 10 screens 22-35 lei.
- Movieplex, Bulevardul Timişoara nr. 26 (in the Plaza Romania mall), ☎ , fax: +40 21 4078333. Located in the western part of Bucharest, has 11 screens 15-45 lei.
- Light Cinemas, Şoseaua Progresului nr. 151-171 (in the Liberty Center mall), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Located in the south-western part of the city, has 7 screens 15-33 lei.
- Patria, Bulevardul Gh. Magheru nr. 12-14 (between Universităţii and Romană squares), ☎ . A large (over 1,000 seats) 1930s cinema located along the city's main avenue
- Scala, Bulevardul Gh. Magheru nr. 2-4 (between Universităţii and Romană squares), ☎ . Another large older cinema located in the downtown
- CinemaPro, strada Ion Ghica nr. 3 (near Universităţii square), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 14-24 lei.
Major brand-name shops and upscale boutiques are concentrated along the main boulevard from Piaţa Romană to Piaţa Unirii and on the small streets adjacent to this boulevard, but also on Calea Victoriei, on Calea Dorobanţilor (the part between Blvd. Iancu de Hunedoara and Piaţa Dorobanţilor) or on Calea Moşilor's section between Blvd. Carol I and Piaţa Obor.
In the past years numerous modern shopping centers have sprung up in the city (and even more are in construction), the best known being:
- Bucharest Mall, Calea Vitan 55-59 (Bus 123, 124, 125, 135 or tram 15, 19, 23 or M1,3 'Timpuri Noi' 1km W), ☎ , fax: +40 21 3209209, e-mail: email@example.com. The first one to be completed, in 1999.
- Jolie Ville, Str. Erou Iancu Nicolae nr. 103 bis, Voluntari, judetul Ilfov (In northern Outskirts, Bus 301 to 'Jolie Ville Baneasa' 100 m), ☎ , fax: 40 21 2068 002, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mega Image hypermarket, services: Florists, pharmacies, cleaners
- Plaza Romania, Bulevardul Timișoara 26 (M3 "Lujerului" 0.8 km N further tram 41 to 'Bd. Timisoara', or tram 8, 25 to 'Brasov'), ☎ , fax: +40 21 3195051, e-mail: email@example.com.
- Unirea Shopping Center, sector 3, Piața Unirii, nr.1 (Downtown - M 1,3 'Piața Unirii' Stn.), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- City Mall, Șoseaua Olteniței 2 (M2 'Eroii Revolutiei' further tram 11 to 'Cimitirul Serban Voda' or 0.5 km walk), ☎ , fax: +40 21 3193521, e-mail: email@example.com. .
- Băneasa Shopping City, Șoseaua Bucureşti-Ploieşti nr.42D (Bus 261, 301, 304, 449 to 'Drumul Matasii'), ☎ . Opened in April 2008
- Liberty Center, section 5, Strada Progresului 151-171 (Tram 8, 11, 25, 23, 32 or bus 117, 173 - M2 'Eroii Revolutiei' 1.5 km), ☎ . Shops 10:00-22:00, supermarket: 09:00-22:00, cinema:M-F 12:00; Sa-Su 10:00.
- AFI Palace Cotroceni, district 6, Bulevardul Vasile Milea, No. 4, ☎ , fax: +40 31 4257513. .
- Sun Plaza, district 4, Calea Văcărești 391 (M2 'Stația Piața Sudului', Trolley 73, 74, 77; Tram 11, bus 232, 242, 312, 313, 381, 634), e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Gallery stores M-Sa 10:00-22:00, Restaurants & Cafes: Su-Th 10:00-23:00, Fr-Sa 10:00-24:00; Cora hypermarket: M-F 8:00 -22:00.
More shopping malls in Bucharest and its surrounding area are being currently constructed or in the planning stages of being constructed
Book stores with a good supply of English language books are difficult to find in Bucharest but there are a few places mainly situated in the center.
- Cărtureşti, Str Arthur Verona nr.13, ☎ . A few blocks south of Piaţa Romană on the east side of Bd. Magheru. The store is set back the street and has a small park in front of it. +phone=+40 21 72 1518351, 788758408
- Bastilia, excellent bookshop (with nice cafe at top) located in newly renovated building right at Piata Romana.
- Nautilus. Is an English language bookstore near the Kiseleff Park, mostly with fantasy and science fiction books.
- Anthony Frost English Bookshop, Calea Victorei, Nr. 45, Sector 1, Bucharest, Romania (The bookstore near the Art Museum. Walk down the right side of the large building just to the left of a very old church. The bookstore is near the back.), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. is a recently-opened English language bookstore. Lots of reasonably-priced books and a comics (mostly manga) section.
- Dalles - situated near Piaţa Universităţii (University square)
Also, the biggest chain of libraries in Romania called "Diverta" has in every location a department with English/German/French books. Now it's down.
- Thomas Antiques, Str. Covaci 19 (Lipscani area), ☎ . Beautiful antique shop. With a large collection of antiques and where it is possible to have a drink in this unique atmosphere.
- Bistro Jaristea, Str. Henri Coanda 5, ☎ . 10:00-02:00. Stylish bistro with Romanian specialties, including game and a varied selection of wines. Friendly staff, reservations not always necessary.
- Cafeanua Actorilor, Actor's Cafe, strada Batişte (located at the National Theater). Attracts a lot of Americans, because of good food, and the U.S. Embassy and Intercontinental are right across the street. The salads, especially the one called "Act II" is a meal all by itself. Service tends to be excruciatingly slow, driving away many locals.
- Caru' cu bere, Stavropoleos str. No. 5. One of the most famous places to eat in the old city centre, it is situated in a wonderful building, with an extraordinary architecture. Present in Bucharest from 1879. Best home-made beer in Bucharest.
- Casa di David, Soseaua Nordului nr. 7-9, Tel. 021/ 232 47 15. Opened in 2005, it is a hangout of the city's nouveau riche. It comes complete with a German car ads at the entrance and an extensive wine list. Food (Italian inspired) and ambience are at best good, but portions are small and prices are far above average for Bucharest. A 3-course meal for two with local wine will set you back over 400 Lei.
- Casa Iancului, No.2 Sarafineşti str.. The menu is limited to typical Romanian cuisine. Dishes are based on chicken, fish, pork, game and venison. Casa Iancului boasts an extensive selection of wines and has a professional sommelier.
- Cuptorul cu lemne, ☎ . B-dul Pache Protopopescu nr. 63, - A nice pizza place with a nice outdoor summer garden and a relaxed atmosphere (the restaurant also houses a caricature club). Low prices. Tends to be very crowded during weekends.
- Jariştea, strada George Georgescu 50-52 (near the crossroad of Regina Maria Blvd. and Libertăţii Blvd), +40 021 335 33 38 (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org), , M-Su 11AM -last customer. Beautiful historically themed restaurant, live traditional music, old Romanian specialties... but always check the bill thoroughly. Reservations are compulsory.
- Jour-Fixe, Str. Garamont 23 (near George Cosbuc Square and Carol Park). A fine restaurant offering a cuisine which blends the French style and the old Romanian spirit. Prices are medium-high.
- La Mama (6 outlets around Bucharest, Barbu Văcărescu 3, Delea Veche 51, Episcopiei 9, and Carrefour Orhideea being the largest ones, +40 21-2124086 ) - focusing on traditional Romanian food. Reasonable prices.
- Lovegan, Bulevardul Lascăr Catargiu Nr. 1 (Near by Metro Piata Romana), ☎ 021 367 23 66, e-mail: , 0742 12 11 email@example.com. Mon-Fri 12-20PM, Sat 11AM-15PM. One of the few vegan restaurants in Bucharest, serving delicious dishes. Catering workshops on Saturday.
- Malagamba (Italian cuisine), 2 Sf. Dumitru (in the historical centre - next to Comedy Theatre), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 11AM-12AM. Named after Sergiu Malagamba, interbelic urban-culture personality, the menu is specifically Italian. They have great risotti, super-fresh pasta, and the most gorgeous lime sorbet. The staff is friendly and the space is modern, hosting also an informal art gallery.
- POEM Restaurant. Suter Str. 23-25 (in the Carol park area), +40 21 3363377. One of Bucharest's exclusive restaurants, in the elegant CPH atmosphere. Excellent international chefs, but very pricey.
- Red Angus Steakhouse, 87th Nicolae Caramfil Boulevard, ☎ +40 21 720.720.863. and 56th Franceza St. -in the Old Center, across the street from the Old Court. The restaurant serves high quality USDA Choice beef and offers an excellent, diverse menu, for all tastes.
- Red Lion Cafe, strada Academiei 1A (in the Universităţii area). Nice atmosphere, budget prices, very good pizza.
- Rossetya, 9 Str Dimitrie Bolintineanu, classic style restaurant with prices a bit higher than average, but with a very neat and cultivated atmosphere, outstandingly friendly English-speaking personnel, high food quality.
- Taj Indian Restaurant (Calea 13 Septembrie, 127-131,), Sector 5, Bucureşti (Near Marriott hotel), ☎ . 12.00-24.00. Good Indian restaurant near Marriott hotel, especially for vegetarians. Little pricey.
- Wok Away, Calea Mosilor, Nr 288 (vis-a-vis Raiffaisen Bank), ☎ . Chinese specialities and Asian food. The food is prepared separately for each customer, so you will have a great experience with every meal.
- Absintherie Sixtină (Sixtine Absintheria), Covaci 6, 1st floor, ☎ . Classic style bar with reasonable prices. The absinthe is served with a slow drip fountain.
- Beer O'Clock, Gabroveni 4 and Villacrosse passage (near Police Department). Bar with several types of Belgian, Czech and Slovak beer.
- Curtea berarilor (The Brewers Court), Selari 9-11, ☎ . Pub in old center having mostly Timişoreana beer. +phone=40 21 3137532
- Green Hours, Calea Victoriei 120, ☎ 0722 234356. , 0788 452485A quiet club which often hosts jazz concerts.
- Interbelic, Intrarea Selari 1A (near Lipscani), ☎ . 17:00-last. Cocktail bar; fine spirits, great nights. medium.
- La Motoare, Bd. Nicolae Bălcescu nr. 2 (on the roof of the National Theater, Universitate Square), ☎ . An outdoor pub offering great views over the city. Mostly frequented by university students. Rock music and movies in the evening. It is temporarily closed for renovation. (summer of 2011)
- Piranha, Splaiul Independenţei 313 (in Regie, the student campus, next to the Polytechnic University), ☎ . A large pub, with a huge outdoor terrace in the middle of a wooded area, featuring a small collection of exotic animals. One of the few outdoor places where the summer heat is actually bearable. A favorite among students, with amazingly low prices (a beer is 2.5 lei, about €0.60). However, quite crowded and sometimes noisy.
- BEAT bar umanist, Strada Robescu F. Constantin 14, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Nice cosy bar near Unirii / oldtown. the area is also quite cool to discover by walks.
- Bamboo, Str. Ramuri Tei 39 (in Tei Park), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. It's the largest club in Bucharest. Upmarket and expensive.
- Cafe Hazard, Baraţiei (coming from Unirii towards University, take your first right after the fornetti store and then your first left), ☎ . 3PM-5AM. A rock bar, with a great atmosphere, open thinking, great beer and people.
- Club A (near University Square), ☎ . 6PM-6AM. The first and oldest club in Bucharest, with nearly 40 years tradition (this means amazingly much for a city where most clubs are less than 5 years old). Since the beginning, it was and remains a student pub and club, with an unpretentious but welcoming atmosphere, good music and low prices. Like many clubs in Bucharest, be mindful that the bouncers can be overly aggressive to patrons at times.
- Control Club, Str. Academiei nr.19 (go to Victoria Passage coming from University square), ☎ . 3PM-5AM. Best alternative/indie club with a lot of live shows and good music.
- Expirat/OtherSide, Str. Lipscani nr. 5/Str. Brezoianu nr. 4, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Very lively and popular club, divided in two sections - Expirat, the old club with rock/dance/hiphop music, and its newer offspring, the OtherSide, where DJs spin electronica. Themed nights, very expat-friendly, great cocktails and very reasonable prices.
- Fire Club (near Lipscani), ☎ . The most well known rock and metal club in Bucharest. By day a pub and outdoor cafe.
- Fratelli, Str. Nicolae Golescu 5, ☎ , e-mail: , firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Kulturhaus, Str. Sf. Vineri nr.4, ☎ . 10PM-5AM. A club with a German concept – ”the culture house” – a place where all sort of cultural events (such as live music concerts, art exhibitions, film projections) take place. Kulturhaus is very cheap – no entry fee (except for music concerts) and low prices – it is the cheapest club in town – maybe this is why the place is crowded every Friday and Saturday night until 05:00.
- Queen’s Club, E-4, Str. Mihai Bravu 32, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Open 11PM-5AM, Thu 9PM-5AM, Sun 8PM-5AM. May be closed Mon, Tue, Wed.. Like Gay clubs the world over, this place has become tremendously popular with a hetero set fed up with the meat market atmosphere at so many of the city’s other locations. That, together with superb music, makes this an essential stop for hedonists of all persuasions. Shake it. It can become quite crowded so watch yourself." Entry 20.00 lei, but that includes 10.00 lei worth of drinks at the bar.
- Underworld, Str. Colţei, nr. 48 (go to Colţei street coming from the Rosetti Square, near University). The only punk-rock oriented pub in Bucharest. It also has a small concert hall, a fusball table, board games, dedicated evenings, etc.
- Camping Băneasa/Casa Alba, Aleea Privighetorilor 1-3 (at the edge of the Băneasa Forest, close to the Băneasa Airport). Space for up to 80 caravans or 120 tents, running water, showers, toilets, kitchen. It is the only camping site in Bucharest proper. Note that it is quite far from the center of the city, and, during rush hour, it may take well over 1 hour to reach downtown.
- Butterfly Villa Hostel, Str. Ştirbei Vodă 96 (entrance from Str. C.Stahi), ☎ , e-mail: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Newly renovated, clean hostel in the centre of sector 1. Bedsheets, breakfast and internet is included the price. Airport pick-up, excursions and laundry-service. From €12/night.
- East Hostel, Bvd Hristo Botev 11 (University subway station, exit), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 24/24, check-out: 11AM. Brand-new hostel in Lipscani Quarter. Free breakfast, free pasta daily at 7PM, fast wi-fi connection throughout, A/C at night, thick comfy mattresses and quality pillows and duvets, lavish bathrooms. From €9/night.
- Explorers Hostel, Str. Luigi Cazzavillan 21, ☎ , e-mail: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 11:00. Great boutique hostel, centrally located and also close to the train station. Free breakfast,free internet,free air conditioning. Bike renting,city tours on bike and laundry-service are available for good prices. from €7/night.
- The Funky Chicken Hostel, Str. Gen. Berthelot 63, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Close to Gara de Nord (10 min) and the main squares. Simple place for one night, but a bit dirty and uncomfortable for a longer stay. Around €10/night.
- Hostel Tina, Odobesti 2B Street, Bloc N3B, 9th Floor, nr. 38. (Buzzer 38 C), District 3 (3 stops from the centre and 6 stops from the railway station Gara de Nord, 10 min from Dristor metro station). Cosy two room house, hot breakfast, bed linen and towels are included in price. Free coffee, tea, use of computer printer, all rooms have free wifi. Clean and safe hostel. Will send driver and car for €22. Tourist information is provided. 1 private room with queen bed €28, and one shared room 4 beds €14/bed.
- The Midland Youth Hostel, Str Biserica Amzei no 22, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Central, breakfast included, free internet. from €8/night.
- Vila Gabriela, Str. Mărgăritarului 18, Vila A 104, Otopeni, judeţul Ilfov (just outside Bucharest on the way to the international airport), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Big house managed by a friendly couple, Carmina and Vlad. Carmina can speak English, French and Italian. The rooms are clean and welcoming. Double room €25/night (you can pay in euro) with a shared toilet. If you want the best room, you'll also get your own toilet for €35/night. Breakfast is included..
- X Hostel Bucharest, Str. Balcesti, 9, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Party hostel & pub. Free strong wireless connection, hotel standard rooms as well as large cheaper dorms, mainly air conditioned. from €6/night.
- Cameliei, Strada Cameliei, nr. 37, ☎ . €25-31/night.
- Carpaţi, str. Matei Millo nr. 16, ☎ , fax: +40 21 312 1857, e-mail: email@example.com. Located in one of the oldest parts of Bucharest, directly between Calea Victoriei and Grădina Cişmigiu. 15 min walk to the University metro station. Small, affordable rooms in a clean and welcoming atmosphere. €40-85/night.
- Domino, Str.Basarabilor nr.10, ☎ , fax: +40 21 629 1307, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. €10-30/night.
- angelo Airporthotel Bucharest, 283 Calea Bucurestilor (hotel offers complimentary airport shuttle), ☎ , fax: +40 21 20 36510, e-mail: email@example.com. Located within 300 meters of Henri Coanda International Airport from €95/night.
- Ambasador, Blvd. Magheru nr 8-10, ☎ , fax: +40 213 123595, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. €56-99/night.
- ApartHomes, George Valentin Bibescu Street 33, ☎ . €49-79/night.
- Alia Accommodation Bucharest, 18 Nicolae Balcescu, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 1 PM, check-out: 12 PM. Serviced apartments located in the city center at the University Square. The Old City with many restaurants and terraces is at 5 minutes walking. Public transportation (metro and buses) just outside the building. €30-65/night.
- Capitol, Calea Victoriei 29, ☎ , fax: +40 21312 41 69. Comfortable, though admittedly not quite hassle-free, 100-year-old three-star hotel with big rooms and enormous bathrooms, near Cercul Militar. €55-75/night.
- Casa Victor, Str. Emanoil Porumbaru nr. 44 (on a quiet side street parallel to B-dul Aviatorilor a few blocks north of Parcul Kiseleff and a few blocks south of the Aviatorilor metro station), ☎ +40 21 222 57 23 or 222 96 26, fax: +40 21 222 94 36, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-out: 11AM. €55-140/night.
- Class Hotel, 30A Garlei St., ☎ +40 37.2135700. In the elitist residential and business area of Bucharest, on the side of Baneasa lake. Privately owned, medium-sized hotel, with very nice staff and a relaxing leisure center
- Crowne Plaza, B-dul Poligrafiei nr. 1, ☎ , fax: +40 21 318 13 02. from €80/night.
- Dalin Center Hotel, Sos. Ştefan Cel Mare 33A, ☎ . Dalin Center Hotel is a new hotel, with a particular interior design and modern facilities. €49-59/night.
- Ibis-Nord, Calea Grivitei nr. 143, ☎ , fax: +40 21 3009098, e-mail: email@example.com. from €45/night.
- K+K Hotel Elisabeta, Str. Slanic 26, ☎ , fax: +40 21-3118 632, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Located in the centre. From here you can easily reach the University, business quarter, city center as well as the famous Cismigiu Gardens.
- Le Boutique Hotel Moxa, 4 Mihail Moxa Street, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Four star hotel, centrally located. €80-110/night.
- NH Bucharest, Bulevardul Mircea Voda, 21, ☎ +40 21.3000545. Modern 4 star hotel located in the heart of the business district. Bedrooms are cosy and comfortable with a modern twist. Rooms from €50.
- Ramada Majestic, Calea Victoriei nr. 38-40, ☎ , fax: +40 21 3102799, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. €80-180/night.
- Hotel Siqua, Calea Plevnei nr. 59A (near Opera), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. from €75/night (tax and breakfast included).
- Hotel Suter Inn, Aleea Suter nr. 3 (5' from Parliament Palace), ☎ , fax: +40 21 3371133, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 10:00. Three-star hotel near Carol Park, the Palace of Parliament and Autogara Filaret. €35-52/night.
- Carol Parc Hotel, Str. Aleea Suter 23-25, ☎ . Boutique hotel near the Carol park, it has a great view of the city.
- El Greco, str. Jean Louis Calderon nr. 16, ☎ , fax: +40 21 3158898, e-mail: email@example.com. Central location, near to the commercial and cultural zone. Founded in 1896 and recently redecorated.
- Hilton-Athénée Palace, str. Episcopiei nr. 1-3, ☎ , fax: +40 21 3152121, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Typical 5 star Hilton, nice coffee shop, in the summer pretty garden terrasse (in the moment under renovation), near Atheneum.
- Howard Johnson Grand Plaza, Calea Dorobanţilor nr. 5-7, ☎ , fax: +40 21 2011888, e-mail: email@example.com. New hotel near Plata Romana, with expensive restaurants (Benihana) and Casino inside.
- Intercontinental, Blvd. Nicolae Bălcescu nr. 4, ☎ , fax: +40 21 3120486. Partly newly renovated, still renovation in progress, large rooms with balconies directly in the city center, friendly staff, good club floor and excellent club lounge in 22nd floor. Since the new German general manager a good place again.
- JW Marriott Bucharest Grand, Calea 13 Septembrie nr. 90, ☎ , fax: +40 21 403000, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Large hotel behind the Parliament building. All typical amenities, not ultra central, but still centrally located.
- Opera, str. Brezoianu nr. 37, ☎ , fax: +40 21 3124858, e-mail: email@example.com.
- Parliament, strada Izvor nr. 106, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. designer hotel,close to Marriott and Parliament building
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Calea Victoriei No. 63-81, ☎ , fax: +40 21 601 3625, e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 12:00. Recently nominated as the Global Hotel of the Year 2010, this hotel is a landmark of great architecture and design. Almost permanently no.1 on Trip Advisor. €100-150.
The emergency number in Romania is 112.
Buses are safe, but use your common sense, and put your things in internal pockets, just to be 100% sure. Taking taxis from areas frequented by foreign tourists may also pose a threat as some of these taxis may be operated by con men waiting for an unsuspecting victim. This is especially true for taxis around Gara de Nord where their associates actively try to lure you into such cars. If possible, avoid taking cabs from Gara de Nord unless you are familiar with the taxi operators there.
One rule of thumb is to go with older taxi drivers, since they will be more cautious and only try to get a bit extra out of you if they scam you, unlike young drivers who will claim a trip costs 3-5 times as much as it should, may claim the meter does not work, and may try intimidation tactics to make you pay. The company the taxi driver is working at and the prices should be written on the car and the driver's ID card (issued by his employer) should be visible and should contain his photo.
Be very careful of unsolicited offers of help by passersby, even if they have good English. In particular if a stranger offers to accompany you to your hostel or hotel in a taxi to show you the way, decline immediately. They are often working in tandem with unlicensed taxi drivers who will attempt to scam you, drop you at incorrect (and remote) locations while demanding exorbitant payment, or who will simply steal your luggage. A common scam is for a stranger to tell you that a place is not safe, and to direct you to an official "government" or "student" taxi, that is driven by an accomplice. They will then drive you a remote location, and demand high sums of money, possibly threatening you with violence if you don't comply.
Be also careful when boarding or leaving trains. Scamsters have been known to impersonate other passengers, and enter couchettes or sleeping booths on trains while the occupant politely waits outside, and then steal from luggage. When requesting assistance on boarding trains, deal only with the conductor and if anyone asks you for information, demand to see ID.
As strange as it sounds, you'll see that Bucharest is a far safer city than its western European counterparts. Statistically Bucharest is one of the safest capitals in Europe, far safer than cities like Berlin, London, Rome, etc. Nevertheless, possibly more so than the aforementioned counterparts, violence is not an uncommon solution, towards locals or towards foreign looking people (minorities, out of place individuals, etc.) in any club, but particularly those playing ethnic music, especially when drinking and after hours are involved. However, just avoiding any conflict, particularly with people who have the air of "owning the place" or a mafioso look would reduce your chances to almost zero. Generally speaking, the larger and richer the city, the fewer problems you'll have.
Bucharest has perhaps the largest population of stray dogs for a city in eastern Europe. Although their numbers are gradually decreasing due to projects by the City Hall, they still remain a threat to safety and, at night, they tend to form packs which greatly increases their danger. Rabies vaccinations are recommended but not required, as there have been no rabies cases in Bucharest since 1979. Most dogs will not give you a problem unless you go out of your way to pester them, but many dogs have been treated poorly. Be extremely wary of them, and do not approach a stray dog if you are alone. It is perhaps best to walk around in a group or walk where you see other people. As of 2009, stray dogs are an ever more rare sighting in the city center.
Like most other big cities, walking around at night isn't safe in some parts of the city like Pantelimon, Ferentari, Giulesti, and the Gara de Nord area. If you must travel into these neighbourhoods, it's safer to take a taxi.
Gara de Nord is not particularly dangerous to walk in, but avoid suspicious-looking characters, and if you feel that you are being followed, just walk into the station. Gara de Nord and its surroundings are populated by homeless people and children. Be careful, as many street children use an inhalant drug (equivalent to huffing paint) and may be dangerous. As heartbreaking as this problem is, it's best to avoid any contact. If you do wish to give them something, buy food for them, don't give them money.
Ferentari is a gypsy enclave in Bucharest and, while not as dangerous as it used to be, it's not advisable to walk there at night. In fact it is better to avoid it completely. For the traveler, there is nothing of interest there so you should have no reason to go there to begin with.
The unofficial red light district is Mătăsari, which is also a popular place for clubbers and pubs; you can walk there without any worries because it's always crowded and lively, but avoid talking to strangers in that particular area, especially Gypsies. As of 2009 there have been a lot of crackdowns on pimps and prostitutes in the Matasari area, so be careful or you might wind up spending a night in jail and with a hefty fine if caught soliciting.
In the event that you do get caught in a police raid, do not attempt to bribe your way out of it with so many of them around as you might get into serious trouble. Police are more inclined to take bribes from locals than from foreigners so do not contribute to this phenomenon that has been plaguing this country for so many years. Police corruption has been vigorously fought in the past years, and it is not as generalized as it used to be in the 1990s. It's always better to walk on boulevards and avoid alleys and backstreets.
The crime rate is low, but a traveler must always be cautious. Violent attacks are very low, but if attacked just yell, "Ajutor!". It is very difficult for anyone to get away with violent crime because as everything is packed so closely together, any loud noise will attract attention. This is truly a city that doesn't sleep. You'll find people out and around at all hours in most parts of the city. Police men are pretty friendly and the younger ones speak English, so you can ask directions. In the event that you do need to report a crime to the police, do not hesitate and proceed to the nearest police station. They will often help you to the best of their ability.
One must be incredibly careful as a pedestrian in Bucharest. Drivers are inconsiderate and often do not obey traffic signals. NEVER assume a car will stop for you at a red light—be vigilant at all times. This is definitely the biggest hazard in Bucharest, not so much in the daytime, when crowded streets make it impossible to drive cars at high speeds, but, at night, the streets clear out, a lot of illegal races taking place with reckless driving on main boulevards.
When sewer lids are removed from the street, pedestrians often aren't protected. Pay attention where you step!
Asian tourists are more likely to be seen as an easy mark for dishonest taxi drivers and other criminals. It does not make a difference if you are Asian-American or are from Asia. Some young Asian women may also get a lot of perverted looks from men all around the city - be prepared to be stared at especially if you are traveling alone, though some men will stare no matter what.
Those with allergies may find Bucharest annoying in that it is both hot and very dusty in the summer, with temperatures easily exceeding 30 C in July and August, so bring whatever you might need to stay comfortable. Please note that during the summer, sun strokes and heat strokes can be very dangerous.
Pharmacies are usually open between 9AM and 6PM, but some will stay open through the night. In Romania, there are relatively few over-the-counter drugs available, but pharmacists are allowed to dispense limited quantities of some prescription drugs (such as pain relief medicine) for what they see as immediate needs. Bucharest has 6 designated emergency hospitals and a modern ambulance service, plus a large number of additional public and private hospitals, clinics, and dental practices.
- Finland, Strada Atena 2 bis, Bucuresti 011832, ☎ , fax: +40 21 2307505, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Mo-Th 8AM-4:15PM, Fr 3PM.
- Bucharest is one of the starting points for trips inside Romania. See the country article for longer trips.
- Constanta (East 225 km). A large city located on the Black Sea coast. Immediately North of Constanta is Mamaia, a common summer resort.
- Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, is a beautiful city located on the banks Danube. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site for the cultural and architectural significance.
- Belgrade, the capital city of Serbia
- Chişinău, the capital city of Moldova
- Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine
- Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria