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Things to do in Bucharest

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Once known as “Little Paris” for its elegant architecture and vibe, Romania’s capital of Bucharest has a contrasting charm. Enriching history, impressive architecture quaint landscape, friendly locals, vibrant nighlife and world-class cuisine, what else can you ask for?

Here are top things to do in the capital city!

Stroll along the Lipscani Streets

Want to know what the city’s history was like back in the 15th century? The Lipscani Street is the living embodiment of Bucharest’s history. Over the centuries, it has been the seat of Romanian princes, a center for trade, a place to worship, and a crossroads for travelers. This small pocket was one of the only parts of Bucharest to be retrievable after the Second World War and has been reborn as a stylish pedestrian zone that has boutiques, restaurants and bars in restored buildings. Popular things to do here include visiting Curtea Veche, an open-air museum built on the site of the Old Princely Court, once home to Vlad the Impaler, and the National Museum of Romanian History with its fine collections of religious and royal treasures. Every corner of this area is quite beautiful as they have tried to keep the old beauty while adding the modern touch to it.

Lipscani Streets
Source: Park Inn by Radisson Blog

Know about the city’s history in detail by visiting the museums

Whether it’s Romanian art, the country’s rich folklore, or a piece of the country’s exciting history you’re after, the capital has a museum for it, with something to offer each of its ever-growing number of visitors. The city boats as many as 60 museums and memorial houses.

National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC) is an art-lover’s dream come true! It lies within a glass wing of the Parliament building and is a reminder of Romania’s Communist era. MNAC features many Romanian artists, but also artists from all over Eastern Europe.

The Museum of the Romanian Peasant hosts the country’s most valuable collection of peasant costumes, ceramics, rugs and carpets, and other household objects gathered over generations from all regions of the country.

Housed in the former Royal Palace, the National Museum of Art of Romania (MNAR) is the country’s leading art museum and houses the world’s most complete collection of Romanian art, including medieval and modern art.The museum sculptures by Milita Petrascu and Dimitrie Paciurea. One room is dedicated to Constantin Brancusi, one of the most influential sculptors of the 20th century. The European Gallery next door has 15 rooms including works by El Greco, Monet, Rembrandt, Renoir, and Rubens.

Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum sits in the Herastrau Park and is the best way to take in the diversity and charm of Romanian traditional village architecture. In this space you can get a sense of life in a traditional Romanian village by visiting the various peasant farms on site, as well as more than 360 different monuments.

If you want to go off the beaten track, then check out the Museum of Art Collections for exquisite Romanian art, the Storck Museum for charming murals and Casa Melik to soak in the spirit that breathes in Bucharest’s oldest house.

Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum
Source: Routes.global

Visit churches and monasteries

Bucharest’s churches are deeply part of the history and local tradition and spirituality. The churches radiate an atmosphere full of spirituality and features harmonious beauty. Often, these architectural treats are actually the oldest buildings belonging to the city showcasing medieval art, many of them being built around 17-18 century.

Situated in the heart of the Old Town, the iconic Stavropoleos Church is impossible to miss. Built in 1724 in Romanian Renaissance style, the church suffered from earthquakes, demolition, the communist regime, and yet its beauty remains intact. Having a courtyard full of curious tombstones dating from the 18th century, an impressive library with over 8000 books, and a fine collection of old icons and ecclesiastical objects, the Stavropoleos church is one of the many interesting churches of Bucharest worth a visit.

The imposing Antim Church dates back to 1715, and it’s yet another valuable historical monument in the city. With imposing fortress walls, and a beautiful courtyard, it’s actually the church itself particularly worth admiring for its sumptuous icons, impressive wood and stone sculptures.

Just 40 km away from Bucharest lies one of the oldest and most beautiful monasteries in Romania. Caldarusani Monastery is an oasis of peace, calm and beauty that should not be missed. Its breathtaking exteriors, unique illustrations of local architecture, and heavenly natural landscapes will make you fall in love with this centuries-old beauty.

 Stavropoleos Church
Source: Flickr

Relax in the park

There’s no better way to escape the crowds than head to one of Bucharest’s parks and gardens perfect for picnics, shadowy alleys for strolls, plenty of lakes you can row on, and, perhaps surprisingly, often a rich range of wildlife.

Located in the center of Bucharest, Cismigiu Gardens are the city’s first public garden, opened in 1854. Featuring playgrounds, a gazebo that hosts live concerts in summer and plenty of green meadows for picnics, it’s the perfect spot to relax away to glory. In the middle of Cismigiu Gardens, an artificial lake is the perfect spot for renting a boat in summer or a pair of skates in winter.

Previously named as Herastrau Park, King Michael I Park is one of the most visited parks in Bucharest for plenty of reasons. It covers 200 hectares of land surrounded by a sparkling lake where you can rent a boat and sail. You can also find tons of restaurants and cafes near the shore of the lake. You can attend many sporting activities, as well as a flower exhibition in an open-theatre.

Another beautiful location for an eventful afternoon is the Bucharest Botanical Garden. Here you can see up to 10,000 species of plants spread over the 18 hectares.

Herastrau Park
Source: www.trover.com

Enjoy the vibrant nightlife

Bucharest has come a long way for a city which was once the center of one of history’s most gruesome communist regimes. Times have certainly changed and, above all , this European capital is nowadays greatly appreciated for its spicy and energetic nightlife. Start off with a cocktail in one of the hip bars in Palatul Universul or at the many pubs in the old centre before heading to Control or Expirat for a cool, alternative crowd, or Fratelli for an unforgettable glamorous extravaganza. The Caru ‘ Cu Bere is the oldest Brewery in Bucharest and it has been opened since 1875. The iconic Gothic style architecture of the brewery even resembles Dracula’s Castle a bit. For a more chilled time the bars and restaurants around Herestrau Park are a little more relaxed, better for chilling with a cocktail. 

nightlife in bucharest
Source: Flickr

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