Things To Do In Bucharest Old Town
Let´s see the things to do in Bucharest old town. From all the things to do in Bucharest, the majority of them are in the old town.
|Iconic and elegant; a literary haven.
|Muzeul Micul Paris
|Showcases Bucharest’s history; detailed exhibits.
|Communism Museum Bucharest (Undeva in Comunism)
|Insightful exhibits on the communist era.
|Football Museum Bucharest
|Celebrates Romanian football achievements.
|Offers traditional Romanian crafts.
You can explore the historic Old Town, where bustling streets lead you to the Stavropoleos Monastery, an 18th-century architectural gem, and Biserica Sfântul Anton – Curtea Veche, the oldest church in Bucharest. Wander past the Lupa Capitolina Monument and absorb the history resonating from the impressive BNR Palace, the National Bank building that stands as a testament to Romania’s financial history.
For dining, Caru’ cu Bere offers traditional Romanian cuisine within an ornate, historic setting and Manuc’s Inn (Hanul lui Manuc) serves as both a historic inn and a restaurant. Creative souls will appreciate the Romanian Kitsch Museum dedicated to kitsch culture, while art enthusiasts may visit Hanul cu Tei, known for its art galleries within a historical inn.
For contemporary entertainment, The Tube is a go-to spot for a modern bar and club atmosphere. Each venue provides a distinct experience, contributing to the charm and diversity of Bucharest’s Old Town.
Where is Bucharest’s old town?
Bucharest’s old town, also known as Lipscani after its main street, is nestled in the very heart of the city. It is a historically significant area, bounded by Bulevardul Brătianu to the east, Calea Victoriei to the west, Regina Elisabeta Boulevard to the north, and the Dambovita River to the south. This district is renowned for its blend of history, culture, and entertainment.
When you visit Bucharest, the old town is conveniently accessible through various modes of public transportation. The Universitate and Piața Unirii Metro stations flank the area, making it reachable in a matter of minutes from other parts of Bucharest.
Below is a summarized layout of the surrounding landmarks and their relation to the old town’s location:
|Direction from Bucharest’s Old Town
|Regina Elisabeta Boulevard
Each street surrounding the old town has its own historical significance and is lined with a variety of architectural styles, cafes, and boutiques. In the vicinity, you’ll find prominent Bucharest landmarks such as the National Bank of Romania and Stavropoleos Monastery. Walking through the area, you experience the diverse storied past of the city, from medieval times to the influences of the French and the communist era.
Though compact, Bucharest’s old town is a dense and layered district where every narrow street and hidden alley might lead you to discover remnants of the city’s diverse legacy. Whether you’re looking for vibrant nightlife, historical sites, or artisanal shops, you’ll find it within the labyrinthine streets of this quarter.
Cărturești Carusel: Iconic, elegant bookstore
When you stroll through Bucharest’s Old Town, the Cărturești Carusel bookstore emerges as a beacon of culture and elegance. It’s not just a place to find books; it’s an architectural marvel and a historical monument. Nestled within a 19th-century structure that has been meticulously restored, your experience in this literary haven is elevated through its stunning combination of history and modernity.
Upon entering, you’re greeted by a visually striking interior, replete with white balustrades spiraling upwards through six floors. Each level houses an abundant selection of over ten thousand books, promising a title for every interest. Furthermore, the bookstore features a quaint teahouse, where you can enjoy breathtaking views with your chosen read.
Features of Cărturești Carusel:
|Latest releases and bestsellers
|A diverse range of genres and reading nooks
|Teahouse with views of the Old Town
|Art gallery and space for cultural events
The bookstore isn’t merely a commercial space; it’s a cultural hub that hosts various events, promoting arts and literature. As you peruse this literary sanctuary, each page turned is a journey back in time, where the legacy of the building’s original owners—the wealthy Greek bankers—is palpable.
Remember, your visit here offers more than just a wide collection of works. By stepping into Cărturești Carusel, you actively partake in the preservation of literary and architectural heritage, creating a connection between Romania’s storied past and its vibrant present.
Muzeul Micul Paris: Museum Showcasing Bucharest’s History
Muzeul Micul Paris enriches your understanding of Bucharest’s illustrious past. Tucked away in the Old Town, this museum offers a collection that transports you to the city’s celebrated Belle Époque.
Upon entering, you’ll find yourself surrounded by historical artifacts and echoes of a time when Bucharest was known as the “Little Paris.” The curated exhibits display a range of items from that era, including photographs, clothing, and personal belongings, each with a story to tell.
Artifacts are organized thematically, covering areas such as:
|Models and photos depicting the French architectural styles adopted in Bucharest.
|Objects and narratives detailing the French influence on Romanian culture.
|Diaries and letters providing intimate insights into the lives of Bucharest’s inhabitants during this period.
- French Architectural Styles: Discover how Parisian architecture influenced Bucharest’s cityscape.
- Cultural Artifacts: Explore how the Romanian elite embraced French culture in fashion, art, and literature.
- Photographic Journals: View sepia-toned images documenting the transformation of Bucharest.
The museum’s ambiance reflects this bygone era’s glamour, further immersing you in the historical experience. Each artifact holds a narrative that contributes to the patchwork of Bucharest’s Golden Age and ultimately, the shaping of modern-day Romania.
For an authentic experience of Bucharest’s history, where its moniker “Little Paris” comes alive, a visit to Muzeul Micul Paris merits your itinerary.
Communism Museum Bucharest (Undeva in Comunism): Exhibits on communist era.
When you visit the Communism Museum Bucharest (Undeva in Comunism), you’re transported through the decades of Romania’s communist period. The exhibits on display are crafted to give you a comprehensive understanding of what life was like under communist rule.
- Historical landmarks: Inspect evocative images and artifacts that mark significant events.
- Interactive sections: Engage with exhibits that replicate daily life during the era.
- Authenticity: Try on outfits from the period and open books that were actually used during those times.
|Learn about Romania’s political climate and pivotal moments in its communist history.
|Explore re-creations of Romanian home life and consumer goods from the era.
|Delve into the mechanisms of state surveillance and propaganda.
|Resistance and Revolution
|Uncover stories of dissent, rebellion, and the eventual fall of communism in Romania.
The museum is notable for its hands-on approach to history. Here, you can interact directly with the exhibits, which encourages a deeper connection with the past. The incorporation of a coffee shop with specialty coffee and sweets typical of communist times helps you immerse yourself in the bygone era, adding a multisensory layer to your experience.
Interactive Learning takes center stage at Undeva în Comunism. The museum has made an effort to go beyond traditional display cases, offering you a chance to engage with history on a personal level. Whether you are leafing through period-specific literature or examining the personal effects that once belonged to Romanian citizens, your visit promises a rich educational journey in an atmospheric setting.
Football Museum Bucharest: Celebrating Romanian football
When visiting the Bucharest Old Town, your exploration of history is incomplete without a stop at the Football Museum Bucharest. Nestled on Gabroveni Street, this attraction honors Romania’s passion for football and offers you a deep dive into its local and national football heritage.
As the first football museum in Eastern Europe, it showcases an impressive collection that features shirts of legendary players like Maradona, Ronaldo, and Romania’s own Gheorghe Hagi. You experience an interactive journey through the rich history of football, encountering exhibits connected to famous clubs such as Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Your visit provides a unique opportunity to understand the sport’s impact in Romania, especially during the Night of Museums event that the museum actively participates in. Imagine walking through the halls, viewing the collection shirts, and absorbing the tales of football glory.
Discover the Experience:
|Learn about the Romanian football milestones and significant figures.
|See authentic memorabilia from famous football icons.
|Engage with exhibits that bring the sport’s history to life.
|Participate in occasions like the Night of Museums.
While the museum is fairly new, having opened its doors in November 2022, it stands as a testament to Romania’s dedication to celebrating and preserving the spirit of football. Immerse yourself in the stories, triumphs, and spirit that form the tapestry of Romanian football at the Football Museum Bucharest—where history and sport unite.
Romanian Boutique: Traditional Romanian Crafts
When you visit Romanian Boutique in the heart of Bucharest’s Old Town, you are immersing yourself in a treasure trove of traditional Romanian crafts. Here’s what you can find:
Handwoven Textiles: The intricate patterns woven into textiles here are not just fabric, they narrate stories of Romanian folklore and tradition.
Pottery and Ceramics: You’ll discover a variety of painted or glazed items, marking them as unique pieces of artisanal heritage.
Wooden Handicrafts: Skilfully carved wooden items reflect the rich, forested landscapes of Romania and its woodworking legacy.
Table 1: Crafts at the Romanian Boutique
|Carpets, rugs, and clothing items made from woven fabrics.
|Colorful patterns and motifs; authentic Romanian designs.
|Pottery and Ceramics
|Bowls, plates, and decorative items made from clay.
|Hand-painted or glazed with traditional symbols.
|Carvings, furniture, and decorative objects made from wood.
|Carved with precision; inspired by nature and folklore.
As you explore, take note of the colors and motifs in the textiles – deep reds and blues are prevalent, often signifying life and energy. In the pottery, common symbols such as the sun, the tree of life, or wheat might be discerned, each a testament to their meanings in Romanian lore.
By choosing from these crafts, you not only bring home a piece of Romanian aesthetic but also support the local artisans preserving these age-old techniques. Remember, each craft at the Romanian Boutique isn’t just a product; it’s a piece of Romania’s cultural soul, shaped by generations of craftsmanship.
Biserica Sfântul Anton – Curtea Veche: Oldest church in Bucharest
When you wander the cobbled streets of Bucharest’s Old Town, Biserica Sfântul Anton – Curtea Veche stands as a testament to the city’s rich history. Erected by Mircea Ciobanul in the mid-16th century, it is the oldest church in Bucharest, with an enduring legacy that continues to fascinate visitors and locals alike.
|Mid-16th century by Mircea Ciobanul
|33 Franceză Street, Lipscani quarter, Bucharest
|Oldest church in Bucharest
|Feast of the Annunciation, Saint Anthony the Great
Your visit will reveal a structure unaltered in its original architectural essence, a rarity in a city where many historical buildings have succumbed to the passage of time. The church, dedicated to the Feast of the Annunciation and Saint Anthony the Great, has served as a coronation site and spiritual center for centuries.
Admire the church’s humble yet elegant facade, and step inside to be enveloped by the peaceful ambiance of its interior. The walls inside may not be adorned with the opulent decorations seen in newer churches, but their simplicity speaks volumes of a bygone era that valued spiritual over material wealth.
Regular services are still held here, offering you a glimpse into the living history of the Romanian Orthodox tradition. Participating or observing quietly, you’ll find that Biserica Sfântul Anton – Curtea Veche is more than just a point of interest; it’s a cornerstone of Bucharest’s spiritual life and historical identity.
Lupa Capitolina Monument: Symbolic she-wolf statue
The Lupa Capitolina holds great historical importance in Bucharest Old Town as a symbolic representation of myth and power. This bronze sculpture depicts a powerful image of a she-wolf suckling Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. Your visit to Bucharest Old Town isn’t complete without seeing this iconic statue.
The representation in Bucharest is a replica of the original statue housed in the Capitoline Museums in Rome. It stands as a testament to the rich shared history between Romania and Italy. As you approach, you’ll notice the she-wolf’s head is slightly turned, as if surveying her surroundings, with the subtext of Rome’s legacy underscoring her gaze.
|The Founding of Rome
|Of the original in the Capitoline Museums,Rome
|Romania-Italy historical connections
|Bucharest Old Town
When you visit, take a moment to appreciate the artistry of the sculpture. It’s not just an art piece; it encapsulates a legend that is integral to the identity of Rome and, by extension, to the shared cultural heritage with Bucharest. Observe the intricate details—the muscular tension of the wolf, the innocent postures of the infants, and the way the figures interact with each other.
Remember, while photos are encouraged, the true beauty of the Lupa Capitolina Monument is best appreciated in person. Explore its surroundings in Bucharest Old Town, where history and culture converge to create a perfect backdrop for this exquisite piece of art.
BNR Palace: Impressive National Bank building
As you explore Bucharest’s Old Town, one landmark that captures the eye is the BNR (National Bank of Romania) Palace. This is not just any building; it’s an architectural masterpiece that embodies a rich history and carries significant economic importance for Romania.
Architecture and Design
At first glance, your attention will likely be drawn to the neoclassical style—a design choice that was quite popular in Europe during the 19th century. The BNR Palace displays intricate detailing such as the Corinthian columns that stand proudly at its facade. These architectural elements offer a visual narrative of Romania’s cultural and historical layers.
Constructed in the early 1880s, the palace has been an active financial hub, with its historical role being as important as its architectural beauty. Guided by the vision of architects like Cassien Bernard and Albert Galleron, the BNR Palace stands as a witness to Romania’s financial evolution.
|Neoclassical, with imposing Corinthian columns
|Cassien Bernard and Albert Galleron
|Year of Completion
|Operating central bank of Romania
|Limited; special occasions allow public visits
|Less than 1 hour for viewing the exterior and photography
Despite being a functional building, you can admire the BNR Palace from the outside anytime. However, public access inside is often reserved for special events, such as commemorative open days marking the bank’s establishment. When available, these visits offer a rare glimpse into Romania’s banking lore and the palace’s interior design, which is often lauded for its beauty.
So, when you walk through the cobblestone streets of Bucharest’s Old Town, make sure to pause and appreciate the BNR Palace. View its facade, photograph its grand columns, and if you’re fortunate to visit during an open house, step inside to discover a piece of Romania’s economic tapestry.
The Tube: Contemporary bar/club
When you explore Bucharest Old Town, a visit to The Tube offers a unique nightlife experience. This modern bar and club echoes the vibrant energy of Bucharest, creating a lively backdrop for an evening out. Savor the contemporary ambiance and enjoy the eclectic music selection that spans various genres.
|Modern, vibrant environment
|Contemporary hits, electronic, rock
|In the heart of Bucharest Old Town
|Fashion-forward, diverse crowd
|Themed nights, DJ events, signature cocktails
The Tube distinguishes itself with a stylish interior that melds comfort with modern design aesthetics. You’ll find plush seating arrangements perfect for intimate conversations or larger gatherings. Their music selection, curated by experienced DJs, will keep you engaged throughout the night—whether you prefer the latest electronic beats or classic rock anthems.
What truly sets The Tube apart is its thematic evenings. Depending on the night, you may find yourself enveloped in a retro ambiance or experiencing a futuristic party scene. Your taste buds won’t be neglected with a menu that offers an array of signature cocktails, crafted by skilled mixologists who are eager to impress with both classics and inventive new creations.
Remember that The Tube’s clientele is as varied as its music playlist. You can anticipate mingling with a crowd that’s fashion-conscious and represents a cross-section of Bucharest’s cosmopolitan society. Dress to impress and be ready for a night filled with memories at this standout destination in Bucharest Old Town.
La Mine’n Copac: Unique bar experience
When you wander through Bucharest’s Old Town, La Mine’n Copac invites you to enjoy a distinctive bar ambiance. This bar, known for its quirky decor and informally cozy atmosphere, creates a compelling narrative for each visitor.
|Intimate setting with thematic decor that draws you into its unique charm.
|A selection of drinks to cater to various tastes, from classic cocktails to local favorites.
|Nestled on the second floor along with other bars, it serves as a niche retreat from the bustling streets.
La Mine’n Copac stands out among Bucharest nightlife with an average rating of 3.5. It’s not just a place to drink, but an experience that mingles with the enigmatic aura of the night. Despite mixed reviews about pricing, the overall sentiment from visitors like One_Eye_123 is of a spot worth visiting for its individualistic character.
What To Expect:
- Thematic Nights: Regular events that transform the evening with specific themes.
- Music & Entertainment: Engaging music that resonates with the venue’s unique vibe.
- Bar Culture: The bar doubles as a snapshot of Bucharest’s vibrant night scene, giving you a taste of local entertainment.
With its peculiar charm, La Mine’n Copac caters to those looking for a night out that strays from the ordinary. Whether you’re sampling the flavors of the city’s nightlife or seeking an offbeat corner to relax, this bar offers an intriguing addition to your Bucharest itinerary.
For in-depth visitor insights, you can read firsthand accounts and reviews on TripAdvisor.
Hanul cu Tei: Historical inn with art galleries
Hanul cu Tei stands as a treasured landmark within the fabric of Bucharest Old Town. Built in 1833, this historical inn encapsulates the architectural charm of the era, offering you an immersive glimpse into the past.
At Hanul cu Tei, you’ll discover an array of art galleries that beckon for your exploration. Whether you’re an avid art lover or a curious traveler, these galleries provide a sanctuary where contemporary works by Romanian artists are showcased, melding tradition with modern creativity.
|Experience the inn’s original 19th-century architectural style.
|Wander through numerous galleries highlighting local artists.
|Browse the antique shops for unique finds.
|Soak in the vibrant setting, a hub for cultural events.
As you stroll through the courtyard, take note of the well-preserved structures. Allow yourself to be transported back in time, yet stay rooted in the present as you interact with the current Romanian art scene. (Hanul cu Tei – Travel Romania)
The shops within Hanul cu Tei not only offer antiques but also an opportunity to engage with the contemporary fashion scene. A visit to “Hippy Hippy Shake,” a favorite among the youthful crowd, is a must for those interested in Bucharest’s street fashion trends. (Hanul cu Tei – LikeALocal Guide)
Peruse the art galleries at Hanul cu Tei to experience a rich tapestry of culture that continues to thrive in the heart of Bucharest. This historical inn is not just a place to visit; it’s a venue where Romania’s art, history, and present intersect.
Bucharest Party ON: Nightlife and Party Tours
When you’re looking to dive into the nightlife of Bucharest Old Town, Bucharest Party ON offers immersive tours known for their quality service and local insight. A leader in the capital’s nightlife scene, they cater exclusively to visitors wishing to experience the best party spots.
|Professional guides leading nightlife tours and club crawls
|Access to top bars, clubs, and discos in Bucharest Old Town
|Tailored experiences to group preferences
|Introduction to local party traditions and hot spots
These tours take you to multiple venues in one night, offering a curated look at the city’s vibrant scene, from elegant cocktail bars to energetic dance clubs. As part of the experience, you get the chance to mingle with locals and understand the Romanian way of celebrating.
What to Expect:
- Meet & Greet: Begin your evening with an introduction to your friendly guide and fellow partygoers.
- Bar Hopping: Visit a selection of handpicked bars, each with their unique atmosphere.
- Dance the Night Away: Gain VIP access to some of Bucharest’s renowned clubs.
- Local Flavors: Taste Romanian beverages, including premium spirits and local brews.
- Safety & Comfort: Rest assured you’re in good hands, with guides ensuring a safe and enjoyable night out.
Bucharest Party ON ensures you get a taste of the city’s nightlife and provides a memorable and authentic partying experience in the heart of Romania’s capital.
Tramvaiul 41: Unique bar in a tram
Tramvaiul 41 stands out in Bucharest Old Town as a novel attraction for both its historical appeal and its modern-day function as a quirky bar. Set in a refurbished vintage tram, this spot combines the charm of old public transport with the lively atmosphere of a bar. You won’t be traveling anywhere physically, but the interior takes you on a journey back in time with its retro fittings and unique ambience.
When you step inside, you’re greeted by the sight of original wooden panels and tram benches converted into seating areas. The tram car is stationary, but the allure of transport-themed decor is very much in motion.
|Vintage, transport-themed with original wooden tram decor
|Authentic tram benches reimagined as cozy bar seats
|A selection of local and international beverages
|Anchored in Bucharest Old Town, easily accessible
The drinks menu offers a range of choices, from local Romanian beers to international cocktails, ensuring there’s something to cater to your taste. Local craft beers are a highlight, giving you a taste of Romanian brewing craftsmanship. The bar staff at Tramvaiul 41 is known for their friendly service, enhancing your experience with knowledgeable recommendations.
- Authentic tram environment
- Variety of beverages
- Central location
- Unique atmosphere
Visiting Tramvaiul 41, with its combination of history and nightlife, provides an experience that’s hard to find elsewhere. Whether you’re a local or a traveler, this tram-turned-bar is worth a stop during your exploration of Bucharest’s Old Town.
Romanian Kitsch Museum: Museum dedicated to kitsch culture
Bucharest’s Old Town, Covaci Street no. 6
Daily 12:00 – 23:00
- Standard: 30 lei
- Discounted (Romanian visitors): 20 lei
When you visit Bucharest, a unique attraction awaits in the heart of the Old Town—the Romanian Kitsch Museum. Celebrating the local variety of kitsch, the museum showcases over 200 items that provide a humorous and intriguing lens into Romanian culture.
Upon entering, you’re greeted with exhibits spanning two floors in a historically rich building. Exhibits range from the iconic Dracula themes to tributes to former communist leader Nicolae Ceaușescu, each carefully curated to provide insight as well as amusement.
- Dracula-themed memorabilia
- Communist era relics
- Contemporary Romanian kitsch items
Entrepreneur Cristian Lica is credited with the museum’s creation, stemming from his extensive world travels and personal collection of kitsch.
As you explore, you’re encouraged to consider the line between taste and tastelessness, between art and kitsch. Not only is the museum an entertaining detour, but it is also an opportunity to learn about the values, aesthetics, and sense of humor that define a significant part of Romanian everyday life.
- Allow 1-2 hours for your visit
- Suitable for all ages
- Photography is allowed (and encouraged)
For a dose of local color and a slightly irreverent take on Romanian history and daily life, the Romanian Kitsch Museum is a must-visit.
Stavropoleos Monastery: 18th-century architectural gem
When you visit Bucharest Old Town, the Stavropoleos Monastery stands as a testament to 18th-century Romanian architecture. Built in 1724, the monastery is an exquisite example of Brâncovenesc style, a Romanian Renaissance architectural style featuring Byzantine, Ottoman, and Baroque elements.
The monastery welcomes you with its intricately carved wooden entrance that introduces the finesse of this architectural jewel. Inside, you are greeted by frescoes that have stood the test of time, showcasing rich colors and biblical scenes.
Architecture & Art
|Notable for its harmony and balance, featuring ornate stonework and sculpted columns.
|Home to captivating frescoes and Orthodox iconography, preserved with excellent care.
|A symbol of craftsmanship, the ornate entrance is a prelude to the monastery’s beauty.
|Houses old funeral stones, providing a glimpse into the past denizens of the monastery.
In the courtyard, you will discover a collection of old funeral stones — silent storytellers of the monastery’s history and the people who have passed through its gates. Your journey here gives you an authentic experience of Romanian spiritual and cultural history nestled in the heart of Bucharest’s bustling Old Town.
As you explore, you experience the soundscapes of neo-Byzantine music. This musical tradition has roots in the works of renowned 19th-century psalmodists and has been an integral part of the monastery’s atmospheric presence.
To understand its historical significance and resilience, it is essential to learn that the monastery has survived despite multiple challenges, including fires and earthquakes in the 19th century.
For a deep dive into the history and splendors of the Stavropoleos Monastery, click here to explore further.
Manuc’s Inn (Hanul lui Manuc): Historic inn and restaurant
Located in the heart of Bucharest’s Old Town, Manuc’s Inn (Hanul lui Manuc) represents a beloved landmark with a significant place in Romania’s history. Constructed in 1808 by a wealthy Armenian trader, Emanuel Mârzayan (Manuc Bey), it remains one of the oldest operating hotels and restaurants in the city.
Originally a caravanserai, this historical inn was a bustling hub for travelers and merchants. With its traditional Balkan architecture, it stands out as a cultural monument, drawing visitors who seek to immerse themselves in the ambiance of bygone eras.
Today, Manuc’s Inn is not only an architectural gem but also a place where you can enjoy traditional Romanian cuisine. The restaurant within the inn offers a variety of dishes that cater to diverse dietary preferences including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
|Authentic Balkan with a central courtyard
|Traditional Romanian dishes with dietary options available
|Strada Franceză 62-64, Bucharest
|Close to the ruins of the Old Court (Curtea Veche)
|Situated near Old Town; easy to reach by foot or taxi
Whether you’re in for a meal at the restaurant or just wandering through the cobblestone pathways of the inn, your visit promises a journey back in time, offering a slice of Bucharest’s historical charm. Remember to pass by the Old Court’s ruins, which lie just across the street, to complete your historical exploration of the area.
Caru’ cu Bere: Famous traditional Romanian restaurant
Caru’ cu Bere, a jewel of Bucharest Old Town, stands as a testament to Romanian culture and culinary tradition. With its 130-year history, this restaurant has become a landmark for both locals and visitors. You can find yourself immersed in the charm of its neo-Gothic architecture, revel in the stained glass windows, and be engulfed by its lively atmosphere.
When you visit, you’re not just going for a meal; you’re embarking on a historical and gastronomical journey. Here’s a range of what you can expect:
|Neo-Gothic architecture, historic interiors
|Traditional Romanian dishes
|Mici, Ciorba de burta, House pork knuckle
|Variety of Romanian beers
|The Rolling Stones, Prince Naruhito, Edward Kennedy
Mici and Ciorba de burta are some of the most beloved items on the menu, but your culinary adventure doesn’t end there. Try the house special: a slowly roasted pork knuckle paired with braised sour cabbage and polenta, a dish that’s as satisfying to the palate as it is to the eyes.
For an authentic taste of Romania, accompanied by the golden brew that the country is known for, Caru’ cu Bere is a dining experience that should be on your itinerary. A place where the flavors of the food resonate with the stories of the past, ensuring your visit to Bucharest is memorable.
National Bank of Romania: Landmark banking building
The National Bank of Romania (BNR) Palace is an architectural jewel in the heart of Bucharest Old Town. Constructed in the neoclassical style, this historic building is not only a symbol of Romania’s financial heritage but also a site of cultural significance.
When you visit the BNR Palace, you’ll observe the intricate façades and grandiose design that recount the story of Romanian architecture at the turn of the 20th century. The builders employed a mix of Corinthian columns and neoclassical motifs, which were meticulously chosen to reflect the bank’s stability and importance.
Inside, you’ll find the Museum of the National Bank of Romania, offering a unique glimpse into the Romanian financial landscape. Exhibits feature a wide array of numismatic curiosities, including antique coins and historical monetary items that have been integral to Romania’s economic development over the centuries.
To enhance your visit, below is a table detailing various features of the National Bank of Romania Palace and Museum:
|Neoclassical, with features such as Corinthian columns and detailed stone work.
|The bank has played a pivotal role in Romania’s economic history since its establishment.
|Houses one of the most significant numismatic collections in Romania, spanning thousands of years.
|Open to the public, allowing you to explore its rich history and architecture firsthand.
For practical information regarding the visiting hours and entry fees, it is recommended to check the official website of the BNR prior to your arrival.
Palace of Parliament: Iconic, Monumental Government Building
When you visit Bucharest, the Palace of Parliament demands your attention with its sheer size and grandeur. Constructed during the regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu, it stands as a symbol of the country’s historical communist past.
|March – October
|November – February
|9:00 am to 5:00 pm
|10:00 am to 4:00 pm
- Valid Passport or Identity Card (photos or driver’s license not accepted)
- Bookings recommended, especially for groups
Upon entering this colossal structure, you’re enveloped by the aura of what is often regarded as the world’s heaviest building. The Palace of Parliament claims a spot in record books for its impressive 365,000 m² floor area and an overwhelming volume.
- Height: 84 meters
- Total number of rooms: over 1,000
- Named the world’s second-largest administrative building (after the Pentagon)
The palace’s interiors are adorned with opulent decorations that include crystal chandeliers, marble, and intricate carvings, reflecting the grandiosity intended by its original design. Guided tours are available, giving you insights into its architecture and history. Immerse yourself in the grand halls and listen to stories of its construction and subsequent use post-communism.
Ensure you comply with the operational hours to make the most out of your visit to this architectural marvel, and it is wise to book in advance to secure your spot on a guided tour.
Fire Club Bar
When you visit Bucharest’s Old Town, Fire Club Bar presents a vibrant atmosphere for lovers of rock music and live sports. This establishment is known for its cozy pub environment, which also extends to a terrace ideally situated in the historical center of the city.
Entertainment & Cuisine:
- Music: A strong presence in the rock scene, offering a stage for new and popular local bands.
- Sports: Screens live sports events, catering to a variety of fans.
- Food: Serves a mix of dishes, including pizza, burgers, Mexican specialties, and Romanian classics.
Location & Availability:
|Open daily, typically from early afternoon to late at night.
|In the heart of Bucharest’s Old Town.
As you plan your evening, consider making Fire Club Bar a part of your itinerary. The combination of hearty meals, a selection of drinks, and the energetic ambiance cater to a range of preferences, ensuring a memorable experience in Bucharest.
Mojo Music Club Karaoke Bar
At Mojo Music Club Karaoke Bar, you’ll find a dedicated karaoke space that operates every night from 21:00. It stands out as the first karaoke bar in Bucharest to offer nightly karaoke sessions, making it a staple for music enthusiasts.
|Nightly karaoke sessions from 21:00
|Lively and inviting for guests seeking musical fun
|English-speaking staff, all-week sports events broadcasts
|A variety of quality drinks available
The venue is known for its quality drinks and excellent service, with an English-speaking staff that caters to an international crowd. Alongside the main karaoke feature, Mojo boasts an impressive array of live sports broadcasts. If sports interest you, Mojo promises an array of games, events, and tournaments, which are shown across numerous screens.
For a break from singing, head to the ground floor pub, where you can catch any major sporting event, including English football through broadcasts from Sky and BT Sports. The underground area of Mojo enriches the night with live music, catering to a variety of musical tastes.
|Sports bar with live broadcasts
|Live music venue
Mojo’s karaoke stage invites you to showcase your singing talent or enjoy others’ performances in what is often referred to as the best karaoke place in town. Whether you are a local resident or a traveler exploring Bucharest Old Town, Mojo Music Club Karaoke Bar is a vibrant spot to experience the city’s nightlife at its finest.
Bucharest Old Town walking tour
Embarking on a walking tour through Bucharest’s Old Town invites you to uncover a rich tapestry of history, architecture, and culture on foot. Traverse cobblestone streets to observe a blend of medieval, neoclassical, and art nouveau buildings that tell the story of Romania’s capital.
Start your journey at Lipscani Street, a buzzing commercial hub in the heart of the Old Town known for its shops, cafes, and historical landmarks. Just a few steps away, the Stavropoleos Monastery beckons with its intricate Brâncovenesc-style architecture and peaceful courtyard.
Take a moment to visit Manuc’s Inn, the oldest operating hotel building in Bucharest, which effortlessly captures the essence of 19th-century Romanian hospitality. Appreciate its well-preserved structure and grab a refreshing lemonade.
Explore the heritage by visiting the National Museum of Romanian History, where exhibitions and artifacts reveal Romania’s past. This museum houses valuable collections that provide insight into the nation’s journey through the ages.
No walking tour is complete without experiencing local cuisine. Traditional Romanian restaurants scatter across the Old Town, offering authentic dishes that tantalize your taste buds. Enjoy local delicacies, such as sarmale (cabbage rolls) and mămăligă (polenta).
Table 1: Walking Tour Highlights
|Commercial center with shops & historical significance
|Architectural gem with a stunning courtyard
|Historical hotel offering a glimpse into the past
|National Museum of Romanian History
|Extensive exhibits on Romanian history
|Traditional Romanian Restaurants
|Authentic dining experiences with local cuisine
As you traverse the streets of Bucharest Old Town, immerse yourself in the ambiance of the city. Listen to street musicians, admire the artistry of local vendors, and enjoy the vibrant energy that surrounds you on your walking tour.
Bucharest Old Town Restaurants
When you stroll through Bucharest’s Old Town, you’re stepping into a culinary mosaic. Explore the variety of restaurants that capture the essence of Romanian tradition and international cuisine.
- Caru’ cu Bere (The Beer Cart): Immerse in the Gothic revival architecture and savor a plate of mici, grilled Romanian sausages.
- Hanu’ Berarilor (the Brewery Inn): A 1925 aristocratic house offers a peek into the old Bucharest charm.
- La Mama (Like at Mom’s House): Cozy up for hearty, home-cooked meals that linger in your memory.
- Hanu’ lui Manuc (Manuc’s Inn): Engage with the historical inn, offering a traditional menu amid the buzz of the city.
- Aubergine Restaurant: Delicate dishes showcasing the best of eggplant cuisine, a vegetarian’s delight.
- [Locanta Jaristea (Jaristea Inn)]: Enjoy a slice of Bucharest’s history with an ambiance that reflects the city’s interwar period.
- The Artist: Satisfy your palate with innovative dishes in a contemporary dining experience.
- [Zahanaua Zexe (Zexe Eatery)]: Indulge in old recipes that tell stories of Bucharest in each savory bite.
- [Restaurant Joseph]: Relish in a modern twist to classic cuisine in an intimate setting.
- Casa Doina: Experience international dishes in a stately home where each meal is an event.
Bucharest Old Town Dining Options:
|Caru’ cu Bere
|Gothic revival architecture, Traditional fare
|Aristocratic house, Interwar charm
|Home-cooked meals, Family-friendly
|Hanu’ lui Manuc
|Historical inn, Vibrant atmosphere
|Eggplant dishes, Modern interiors
|Historical setting, Memorabilia
|Contemporary cuisine, Artistic presentation
|Old recipes, Authentic
|Modern European, Cozy
Enjoy the gastronomic journey, where each restaurant in Bucharest Old Town offers you a unique narrative through its food and atmosphere. Embrace the flavors and stories that each meal unfolds.
Bucharest Old Town History
Bucharest’s Old Town bears testament to a rich tapestry of history, in which every cobblestone and crumbling façade tells a story. This area served as the heart of merchant and artisan life from the 16th century onwards, around the Princely Court. Today, the Old Town is a lively hub, mixing remnants of history with vibrant cafés and nightlife.
Evolution of Lipscani
|Emergence of first Lipscani Lane, heart of the Old Town
|Discovery of wood-paved Lipscani beneath current streets
|Reconstruction post Great Fire of 1847, modern-day structures
Revitalization Efforts: After decades of infrastructure neglect, regeneration projects have been injecting a renewed spirit into the Old Town’s veins. Refurbishments have brought some buildings back to their former glory, standing as proud representations of bygone eras.
The Princely Court
The cradle of Bucharest’s history, the Princely Court, once flourished as the home of Wallachian Princes for nearly 400 years. It has been reshaped by expansion, fortification, and final abandonment. By the 18th century, the space it formerly occupied was auctioned off and repurposed, giving birth to new constructions.
Majestic Inns and Their Histories
|Hanul lui Manuc
|The last Southeastern European caravanserai, now restored
|Hanul cu Tei
|A survivor of the Great Fire, home to art and antiques
These establishments are revered for their architecture, like the glazed veranda and double arched galleries at Manuc’s Inn, which exhibit the unique confluence of Balkan-Ottoman and Wallachian influences.
Remaining Monuments and Artifacts
Despite the loss of many original structures, you can still witness remnants of the prosperous trade center of yesteryear. The She-Wolf Statue is a symbol of the connection with Rome, and intricate vaulted caves lie hidden beneath the area.
Your exploration of Bucharest’s Old Town will reveal glimpses into a past that, despite natural disasters and the passage of time, stands resilient and full of life.
Underneath the Old Town
Bucharest’s Old Town also conceals a labyrinthine network of cellars, vaults, and secret passages originating from a time long before its streets were thronged with modern-day visitor. The hidden layers below ground level whisper tales of the city’s history just as profoundly as the structures above.
Things To Do In Bucharest At Night
Bucharest transforms as the sun sets, with an array of vibrant activities to immerse yourself in. Wander through Old Town, which lights up at night, showcasing a mix of modern energy and historical charm. Below are some curated activities that will enrich your nocturnal exploration of this dynamic city.
Dining: Enjoy a meal at Lente, known for its homely ambiance and selection of over 100 board games, offering a diverse menu. Or head to VacaMuuu for premium cuts like Black Angus and experience Romanian culinary delights.
Craft Beer and Cocktails: Savor a craft beer or a handcrafted cocktail at The Urbanist—more than a bar, it’s a hub where you can also shop, get a haircut, or even a tattoo. Alternatively, Little Bucharest hostel offers a vibrant lounge vibe with local and international beverages.
Rooftop Views: Visit Linea – Closer to the Moon for striking panoramas of Bucharest’s skyline. If you prefer sophisticated places, head to Skybar for music that caters to all, from rock to jazz, in a trendy environment. The 18 Lounge is perfect for a quieter evening with stunning city views, offering a classier atmosphere.
Green Spaces: Old Town’s Cismigiu Park Garden remains open 24 hours, offering a serene escape with its English garden and water features. Or, engage in evening activities like boating in Herastrau Park, encircling the majestic Herastrau Lake.
Explore Literary Charm: Indulge in the literary world at Carturesti Carusel Bookstore, a beautifully restored site housing a vast collection of books, and enjoy a delightful milkshake at its cafe.
|Lente & VacaMuuu
|Cultural cuisine; Relaxed and upscale dining
|Craft Beer & Cocktails
|The Urbanist & Little Bucharest
|Multi-functional space; Lounge
|Unique drinks; Shopping; Grooming
|Linea; Skybar; 18 Lounge
|Panoramic views; Stylish settings
|Nightlife; Cocktails; High-end lounging
|Cismigiu; Herastrau Parks
|Gardens; Lake; Boating
|Nature; Romance; Recreation
|Carturesti Carusel Bookstore
|Historic Building; Wide selection
|Reading; Culinary treats
Immerse yourself in these diverse offerings to extract the essence of Bucharest by night, from its culinary intricacies to breathtaking heights—each moment crafted to create lasting memories in Romania’s heart.
Old Town Bucharest Shopping
When in Bucharest, the Old Town area offers a shopping experience rich with local flavor and unique finds. Unlike the larger shopping centers peppered across the city, which may be far from walking distance, Old Town shopping streets present a walkable and cozy ambiance, filled with distinctive shops and boutiques that reflect the local culture and architecture.
Calea Victoriei: This is Bucharest’s main shopping artery, covered with a variety of shops and local boutiques that range from affordable to high-end. The street is also home to historical landmarks, so you can enjoy a bit of sightseeing while you browse.
Lipscani Street: Situated in the heart of the Old Town, this bustling area brims with small shops offering everything from souvenirs to specialized local crafts.
- Look for the numerous antique shops sprinkled throughout Old Town if you’re interested in historical and unique items.
- Local fashion shops are abundant, reflecting the trendy nature of Romanians with a mix of street fashion and traditional garments.
Shopping in Bucharest’s Old Town isn’t just about finding the latest fashion; it’s an opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture. As you explore, you’ll encounter a blend of the old with the new, set against the backdrop of restored historical buildings.
Sample of Old Town Bucharest Shopping:
|Main shopping street with stores for various budgets, plus historical landmarks.
|Range of stores and boutiques, historical sightseeing
|Central street in Old Town with an array of boutiques and souvenir shops.
|Local crafts, souvenirs, antiques
Remember, while Old Town Bucharest provides intimate and unique shopping experiences, substantial shopping malls with extensive retail offerings are located outside of the Old Town area, which would require a means of transport to reach.
We visited a few of the best cities in Romania, cities with a wealth of activities to do. Our favorite city is Bucharest because it has a lot of things to do, some very unusual. Bucharest is cheap, very safe, and has also free activities too.