Unusual Things to Do in Bucharest
Unusual Things to Do in Bucharest: A Guide to the City’s Hidden Gems
Unusual Things To Do In Bucharest
|Experience the enchantment of one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores, offering six floors of literary exploration.
|Discover tranquility and unique finds, from books to vintage vinyl, in a quieter, more intimate bookstore setting.
|Pasajul Victori (Umbrella Street)
|Snap a picture under a canopy of colorful umbrellas in this photogenic alleyway.
|Graffiti Walls Gallery
|Explore the vibrant street art that adorns the city walls, featuring local wildlife and whimsical imagery.
|Pura Vida Sky Bar
|Savor a cocktail with panoramic city views from this laid-back and hidden rooftop bar.
|Delve into the cultural tapestry of Bucharest in the Armenian neighborhood, complete with a historic church and community vibes.
|Stroll through the outer city and spot beautiful, albeit neglected, mansions with their fascinating history and architecture.
|Biserica Olari din București
|Visit this opulent Orthodox church to see its golden interior and richly adorned religious paintings.
|Bazaar (Flea Market)
|Meander through a market with antiquities, jewelry, and various curiosities in an old, atmospheric building.
|Immerse yourself in local life at Bucharest’s largest market, offering fresh, vibrant produce across two bustling floors.
|Dianei 4 Restaurant
|Retreat to this café with a history as a secret police headquarters, now known for its artisanal food and hip clientele.
|Escape the city hustle to unwind in this expansive wellness center with thermal pools, both indoor and outdoor.
As you traverse the cobblestone streets of Bucharest, your curiosity will be rewarded with intriguing discoveries beyond the typical tourist routes. Invest time to peruse the alluring aisles of Cărturești Carusel, not solely a bookstore but a cultural haven where the aroma of books blends with the architectural beauty.
Just a stone’s throw away lies Cărturești Verona, a sibling treasure trove of literature and music that invites you to get lost in its quieter ambiance. For an eclectic mix of the new and antique, step into the local Bazaar, where trinkets and treasures await your perusal.
Capture a singular moment under Pasajul Victori’s umbrella-laden sky, an alley transformed into a canvas of whimsy. Round the corner, you’ll find Graffiti Walls Gallery, an open-air exhibit of brilliant street art to fuel your creative spirits.
Survey Bucharest from above at Pura Vida Sky Bar, a rare gem that offers serene views and allows you to witness the city’s heartbeat from a tranquil vantage point. In Little Armenia, cultural exploration beckons as you are invited to observe the heritage and religious practices of a vibrant community.
Venture outside the city center to trace the contours of hidden mansions, architectural spectacles silently narrating tales of yesteryears. Similarly, Biserica Olari din București stands as a hushed relic of orthodoxy and opulence, its golden interior exuding a solemn majesty.
For palpable local atmosphere, Obar Market brims with life, engaging all senses with its colorful mélange of goods and flavors. And if gourmet delights pique your interest, the storied Dianei 4 Restaurant serves traditional fare in a space rich with hints of clandestine history.
End your day at Therme Bucharest, a sprawling sanctuary where thermal waters promise to rejuvenate both body and spirit, marking an idyllic respite from urban exploration.
Pasajul Vilacrosse and Pasajul Macca
Pasajul Vilacrosse and Pasajul Macca, two intertwined passages in the heart of Bucharest, form an enchanting urban escape that echoes the flair of Parisian arcades. Shrouded just steps away from the bustling Lipscani Street, these passages capture the essence of Bucharest’s history while offering a serene retreat filled with cozy cafés and eateries.
In Pasajul Vilacrosse, a canopy of yellow glass filters the sunlight into warm hues, illuminating an arcade that seems to transport you to another era. This covered passage, shaped like a fork, invites you to stroll amid the historical charm, with its architecture radiating an old-world elegance.
Pasajul Macca complements its twin by providing a similar ambiance. Here too, the tables and chairs adorning the passage suggest a scene straight from an intimate Parisian café. Both passages not only host a selection of hospitable venues but also stand as living memorials to the city’s architectural and cultural evolution.
As you explore, the passages’ blend of history and leisure inevitably draws your attention. From the past life of Pasajul Macca-Vilacrosse as an inn site to its revival as a hub for socializing and dining, these alleys narrate stories of Bucharest’s diverse chapters.
|Filled with a warm, inviting glow from the glass canopy
|Similar enchanting ambiance with Parisian influences
|Fork-shaped arcade with historical elegance
|Complementary design to Vilacrosse, equally captivating
|Hosts cafes and bars, perfect for leisure
|Dining and socializing spot with a casual flair
|Once courts and financial institutions residence
|Site of the former Câmpineanu Inn
|Escape busy city streets, enjoy tranquility and refreshments
|Immerse in history while engaging in Bucharest’s present
Embrace these hidden gems for a moment of respite or to simply savor a cup of coffee as you observe the gentle pulse of the city. Each step through Pasajul Vilacrosse and Pasajul Macca paints a vivid layer of your Bucharest narrative, enhancing your understanding of this multifaceted metropolis.
Obar Market (Known Only by Locals)
As Bucharest’s largest market, Obar Market captures the essence of the city’s vibrant local life. It’s the go-to destination where everyday Romanians navigate through stands bursting with fresh, colorful produce. The market doesn’t cater to the typical tourist experience; rather, it immerses you directly into the Romanian way of life.
Don’t arrive with the expectation of finding an array of ready-to-eat street food options. While street food is sparse, you can indulge in some of the city’s best mici sausages and a refreshing beer available across the courtyard. Obar Market offers a unique glimpse into the daily hustle and cultural richness of Bucharest, away from the typical tourist paths.
At Obar Market, you can expect:
|Seasonal fruits, vegetables, and regional specialties that are fresh, vibrant, and often sold by the growers themselves.
|Traditional mici sausages, loved for their savory spices, complemented by local beers that are a testament to Romanian brewing.
|A bustling atmosphere where residents run their daily errands, offering insights into true Bucharest lifestyles.
|An opportunity to witness the authentic local routines and interactions that define the heart of the city.
Embrace the opportunity to observe locals haggling over prices, exchanging recipes, or simply catching up on the day’s gossip. It’s here at Obar Market where you can truly connect with the soul of Bucharest, making it an unusual and fascinating destination for those looking to experience the city through the eyes of its inhabitants.
Pura Vida Sky Bar
If you’re searching for an aerial perspective of Bucharest with a vibrant atmosphere, the Pura Vida Sky Bar is a must-visit spot. Located in the heart of Bucharest’s Old Town, this bar not only offers a selection of refreshing cocktails and beverages but also provides a panoramic view of the city that’s hard to find elsewhere.
Pura Vida Sky Bar is nestled atop a hostel, and reaching it does involve climbing up five flights of stairs. But the climb is worth the effort once you’re greeted by the stunning skyline view. The bar’s ambiance is laid-back and eclectic, ideal for those looking to unwind after a day of exploring.
Here, you can find an assortment of drinks ranging from local wines and beers to creatively mixed cocktails. Outdoor seating is available, allowing you to soak in the bustling city below. In addition to the drinks, visitors often talk about the mesmerizing sunsets that can be seen from this vantage point.
The location is conveniently situated at 7 Smardan, Bucharest 030077, Romania, making it easily accessible from the Old Town. It’s also known for its friendly service and relaxed atmosphere, where you can freely mingle with locals and other travelers.
Below is a summary of what Pura Vida Sky Bar offers:
|7 Smardan, Bucharest 030077, Romania
|Relaxed, with an eclectic crowd
|Variety of cocktails, local wines, beers, and non-alcoholic beverages
|Panoramic views of Bucharest’s skyline and stunning sunsets
|Climbing five flights of stairs in a hostel
|Accepts Mastercard, Visa, Cash, and Credit Cards
|+40 769 088 596
When you visit Pura Vida Sky Bar, dress comfortably and be ready for a casual, friendly experience high above the city.
Situated in the heart of Bucharest’s Old Town, Cărturești Carusel is far more than just a bookstore. This architectural marvel is often referred to as the Carousel of Light due to its elegant, white spiraling staircases and the natural light that floods through the skylight ceiling. As you enter, six floors of art, literature, and a tranquil café await your exploration.
The building itself is steeped in history, having undergone extensive renovations to transform into the cultural haven it is today. With an emphasis on Romanian literature, Cărturești Carusel holds a wide array of genres that cater to all book lovers, from modern fiction to rare finds.
Cărturești Carusel is not just a place to find books, but also an art gallery; the top floor regularly hosts art exhibitions and cultural events. And when your feet grow weary, the bistro on the top floor offers a spot to relax with a drink and enjoy views over the Old Town.
Features of Cărturești Carusel:
|Bestsellers, New Releases
|Romanian literature, Rare books
|Music & Multimedia
|Vinyls, CDs, DVDs
|Art & Design
|Stationery, Art Supplies
|Café & Bistro
|Light refreshments, Coffee, Pastries
|Art Exhibits, Cultural Events
Whether you seek a cozy nook to sift through pages of a potential new favorite book or a cultural experience in the peaceful atmosphere of an art exhibition, Cărturești Carusel provides a memorable escape from the bustling city life outside its walls.
Carturesti Verona, nestled in the heart of Bucharest, is a renowned bookstore that doubles as a cultural oasis. As you step into this literary haven, you’re greeted by a blend of traditional architecture and modern design elements that create a unique atmosphere for book enthusiasts.
Address: Often not immediately apparent to passersby, Carturesti Verona is located near the city center. It provides a serene environment where you can immerse yourself in a vast selection of books spanning various genres and languages.
Operating Hours: Monday to Sunday: 10 AM – 10 PM
The interior is thoughtfully laid out, leading you on a journey through aisles of books beneath ceilings that hint at the building’s historic past. It’s not only about written works; the store also boasts art exhibitions, cultural events, and a café. While you explore, you can savor a coffee or a light snack, turning a simple shopping trip into an enriching experience.
At Carturesti Verona, you’ll find the latest bestsellers alongside rare finds. The bookstore often hosts book launches and literary discussions, inviting you to engage with the local arts scene.
- Extensive collection of books
- Historic yet modern ambiance
- Cultural hub for events and exhibitions
- Café with wide selection
|Wide-ranging, inclusive of various languages
|Fusion of historic and contemporary elements
|Events and Exhibitions
|Regular cultural activities and art displays
|Coffee, snacks, and relaxed reading space
Whether you’re a devout bibliophile or looking for a unique place to unwind, Carturesti Verona is a must-visit destination in Bucharest. Its ambiance represents a harmonious marriage of literature and art.
The English Passage
When you traverse the English Passage in Bucharest, you will travel through more than a century’s worth of history. Originally erected in 1900 with a storied past as a house of ill repute, the passage has since become a hub of social housing post-World War II. The architectural elegance that survives offers a window into times gone by and deserves your attention.
Visit the Palaraii La Mesterul Nicu Hat Shop: Experience the charm of this quaint corner store, where time seems to pause. Nicu, the nonagenarian artisan, has been perfecting the craft of hat-making since his youth. Step inside, and you may just find a unique and finely crafted hat to call your own.
Hat Shop Discovery:
|Age of Artisan
|Nicu, nearly 90 years old
|Hat-making since age 14
|Possible to discover a hat that suits your style
Your visit to the English Passage is more than a historical journey; it’s a chance to support local craftsmanship and perhaps leave with a tangible memento. As you navigate through this enduring passage, each step reveals a story, each corner uncovers a legacy. Remember to pause, look around, and absorb the ambiance that generations have contributed to this hidden facet of Bucharest.
Bucharest Street Art
Street art in Bucharest is not just an aesthetic delight; it’s a cultural conversation etched on the city’s walls. For those who seek to uncover the story behind each artistic manifestation, local guided tours can provide a wealth of knowledge. These tours offer you the opportunity to explore the alternative facets of Bucharest, where each mural encapsulates social commentary or historical narratives.
Where to Explore:
- Strada Arthur Verona: Known for its dynamic murals, this street transforms into a canvas for local and international artists during an annual street art festival.
- Abandoned Buildings: Spots like Chimopar are canvases for graffiti, showcasing the city’s underground art scene.
- Old Town: A stroll here reveals layers of artistic expression, reflecting Bucharest’s eclectic history.
- Bucharest Alternative Sightseeing Tour: Dive into the city’s less-trodden paths and appreciate the street art from a historical and social perspective.
- Bucharest Street Art Tour: Get an up-close look at the most significant murals and understand the messages conveyed by these urban masterpieces.
|Alternative Sightseeing Tour
|Less-trodden paths, eclectic art
|Historical context, social commentary
|Street Art Tour
|Significant murals across neighborhoods
|Artist intentions, political messages, community expressions
When you immerse yourself in Bucharest’s street art scene, you’re not merely viewing a painting; you’re engaging with the heart and soul of the city’s vibrant, yet often untold, narratives. Each piece is a unique encapsulation of the artist’s vision, a statement that goes beyond the surface to resonate with the onlooker. Your exploration of Bucharest’s street art is an invitation to see the city through the eyes of those who use creativity as their voice.
Pasajul Victoria (Victoria Passage – Umbrella Street)
In the heart of Bucharest, nestled near the central artery of Calea Victoriei and Strada Academiei, lies a charming lane known as Pasajul Victoria. Here, the skies are always bright, even on the cloudiest days, thanks to a colorful canopy of umbrellas that seem to float magically overhead.
Stroll beneath this vivid spectacle and discover the buzz of social media-famed surroundings. This alley has evolved from a hidden gem to a spotlight of urban Bucharest, drawing travelers and locals alike. While traversing, you’re invited to relish in the simple pleasure of a refreshing drink or a slice of pizza at the inviting restaurant positioned beneath this vibrant display.
Just steps away, the intrigue continues with a clandestine treasure: an underground bar tucked out of plain sight. Providing an intimate ambiance, this bar offers an escape from the ordinary, inviting you to savor the secrets of Bucharest’s nightlife.
|Attractions in Pasajul Victoria
|Colorful Umbrella Canopy
|A sky of umbrellas creating an enchanting roof.
|Restaurants serving drinks and pizza under the umbrellas.
|A secret bar offering a unique, intimate drinking experience.
This passage is a testament to Bucharest’s continued growth as a destination, where modern allure meets the whimsy of local culture. The seamless blend of art, cuisine, and mystery in Pasajul Victoria offers a picturesque chapter in your city exploration. Remember to look up and capture the moment; one that’s shared widely beyond the confines of this buzzing European capital.
Antiquities Market And Bazaar
Discovering hidden treasures within the historic heart of Bucharest aligns perfectly with a visit to the Antiquities Market. Nestled within an old, picturesque building, its classic architectural details alone merit a visit. Wander through rows of eclectic stalls and let the charm of past era artifacts enchant you.
|Strada Doamnei 11, central Bucharest
|Architecturally significant, worth seeing
|Antiques, vintage items, unique finds
Upon entering, allow yourself to be immersed in the nostalgia of a bygone time. The Ambiance, with items steeped in history, offers an insightful peek into Romanian culture through the lens of personal collectibles and antiquities. Each vendor presents a treasure trove of items, inviting you to uncover something that speaks uniquely to you.
What You’ll Find:
- Cultural artifacts
- Vintage jewelry and attire
- Historical documents and artworks
- Eccentric home decor
As you navigate the market, engage with the vendors. They often share fascinating stories behind their items, providing depth and context to your finds. Even without any purchases, the experience stands as a cultural immersion into Romania’s multifaceted past.
To partake in this cultural journey, plan your excursion to coincide with the market’s operating hours. Arriving early can ensure the best selections, while visits later in the day might lead to end-of-day bargains. Whether for the atmosphere, the thrill of the hunt, or the opportunity for a unique memento, the Antiquities Market offers an insightful outing into Bucharest’s less-trodden paths.
Largest Corkscrew Collection and The Pressing Iron Collection in the World
Discover an unparalleled spectacle within the heart of Bucharest—the expansive collections at the Museum of Romanian Records. Here, you’ll find the world’s most extensive assemblage of corkscrews and a staggering array of pressing irons. The magnitude of these collections is not just impressive for their size, but for the depth of history and artistry they represent.
Corkscrew Collection: With over 30,000 corkscrews on display, the collection showcases a range of designs, from the elegantly simple to the ornately complex. It’s a fascinating reflection of global history and innovation in the design of this common yet overlooked tool.
Pressing Iron Collection: The pressing iron collection, exceeding 35,000 pieces, is equally impressive. This collection is a trove of household history, demonstrating the evolution and variety of designs from across the centuries and around the world.
Visiting Details: The museum is at Strada Parfumului 25-27, now open to the public. Anyone interested in viewing these collections should arrange visits in advance. This hidden gem is also available for corporate events and group trips, allowing a wider audience to appreciate these unique records.
|A wide array of corkscrew designs from different time periods
|World record for the largest collection of its kind
|Pressing Iron Collection
|Diverse range of pressing iron designs and types
|One of the largest known collections worldwide
Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in these extraordinary collections. Beyond being unusual attractions, they are a testament to the beauty found in everyday objects.
Hanul lui Manuc
Erected in 1806, Hanul lui Manuc stands as the most ancient hotel edifice still in use in Bucharest. This historical site offers a glimpse into the past with its classic medieval tavern, which has been meticulously restored to showcase its original splendor. The Inn’s grounds also include an authentic wine cellar and an inviting summer garden, providing a tranquil escape within the bustling city center.
Your visit to Hanul lui Manuc does not mandate patronage at its restaurant, allowing you to absorb the history and architecture freely. Located at 62-64 Strada Franceză, it’s easily accessible for those intrigued by historical landmarks.
Features at Hanul lui Manuc:
|A space restored to reflect the Inn’s historical era.
|A subterranean vault offering a selection of wines.
|An outdoor retreat to enjoy serene surroundings.
|Open for public viewing without the need to dine at the tavern.
When you step into Hanul lui Manuc, you are stepping into a parcel of Bucharest’s rich history, an experience augmented by the authenticity of its preserved features. Whether you are drawn by the allure of the architecture, the chance to enjoy a tranquil moment in the garden, or the opportunity to explore a heritage wine cellar, Hanul lui Manuc stands ready to enrich your understanding of Bucharest’s historical tapestry.
Nestled on Strada Negustori, Simbio stands out as a must-visit for those who appreciate a warm, inviting dining atmosphere offering a memorable culinary experience. A bit off the beaten path, this venue invites you to explore beyond the central tourist locales, rewarding you with a cozy and authentic environment, perfect for a sumptuous meal.
Address: Str. Negustori nr. 26, Bucharest, Romania
Upon arrival at Simbio, you’ll be engulfed in an ambiance that sets the stage for the best dining experience during your stay in Bucharest. The setting of the restaurant mirrors the city’s vibrant yet undiscovered culinary scene, providing a comfortable space to enjoy a meal.
When it comes to the food, expect nothing less than an array of tantalizing dishes that cater to a variety of tastes, from traditional options to more creative enticements. Made with high-quality ingredients, each dish is prepared to enrich your palate.
Tips for Visiting
While Simbio is not immediately visible in the tourist hub, the short journey to the establishment is part of its allure. Arriving here offers a respite from the typical tourist experience, and you’ll be glad you made the effort.
|Str. Negustori nr. 26
|Requires a short walk
|High, with varied options
|Advised but not always necessary
The value this restaurant adds to your Bucharest excursion is in its ability to deliver not just a meal, but an experience that encompasses what it means to dine like a local in Romania’s capital.
Remember to make reservations, as Simbio’s reputation often precedes it. Despite its somewhat covert location, its fame among both locals and informed visitors ensures a steady flow of diners.
Armenian Church (Cartier Armenesc)
Centrally located in Bucharest’s Cartier Armenesc, or Little Armenia, the Armenian Church serves as a historical and cultural landmark. With a century of history, this Orthodox church not only offers a spiritual haven but also stands as a testament to the city’s Armenian heritage.
Upon your visit, indulge in the religious art that adorns its interior. The Church’s architecture and the artworks within are reflective of the Armenian community’s faith and history. The church is a hub for the local Armenian community, offering not only religious services but also cultural insight.
For a deeper understanding of the heritage, you have the option to explore the modest library on the premises. Here, you will find a collection of documents that shed light on the history and contributions of the Armenians in Romania.
Features of the Armenian Church
|Reflective of traditional Orthodox designs with Armenian influences.
|Embellished with religious art significant to the Armenian faith.
|Houses documents about the Armenian community in Bucharest.
|Serves as a cultural and spiritual center for local Armenians.
Keep in mind that the church is an active place of worship. Plan your visit with respect to the community’s schedule and participate or observe their practices thoughtfully. This visit will offer you a chance to learn directly about the Armenian religion and the historical context of this community within the diversity of Bucharest.
Dianei 4 Restaurant
Discreetly tucked away, Dianei 4 offers a verdant cafe garden atmosphere, steeped in history with its past as a clandestine police quarter during the communist regime. It has since transformed into an enclave frequented by a creative and discerning local crowd with a penchant for both gastronomy and quality coffee.
- Peasant’s Platter: This hearty selection serves up rustic bread, assorted cheeses, crunchy pickles, and savory salami, delivering a traditional Romanian culinary experience.
- Zacuscă: Indulge in this renowned Romanian delicacy, a hearty spread made from aubergines and tomatoes, capturing the essence of local flavors.
- Artistic Hub: Dianei 4 is more than a restaurant; it’s a congregation point for the artistically inclined, offering a slice of Bucharest culture.
- Escape the Ordinary: For those seeking an alternative to generic burger joints in the Old Town, Dianei 4 presents a unique dining experience.
Atmosphere: Bold with its understated exterior, the restaurant invites guests into a setting that juxtaposes its secretive past with the vibrant energy of its current patrons.
Table Summary: Key Aspects of Dianei 4 Restaurant
|Cafe garden with historical significance; a former secret police headquarters.
|Frequented by artistically inclined and young Romanians.
|Peasant’s platter with staple Romanian fare; zacuscă, a classic aubergine and tomato spread.
|A culturally rich escape from the typical dining options in the Old Town of Bucharest.
|Easily accessible in a central location, yet remains as a hidden gem within the city.
To visit Dianei 4 is to step away from the commonplace and into a space rich with cultural and historical layers, all while enjoying simple, authentic Romanian cuisine that stands as a testament to the country’s rich gastronomic heritage.
Therme Bucharest is your escape into a world where relaxation meets nature, offering a unique blend of spa services and botanical inspiration. Located in the Balotești area, just a short drive from the city center, this extensive wellness facility is built around thermal waters, providing a warm sanctuary during Bucharest’s cooler seasons.
- Galaxy Area: Your kids will delight in the indoor and outdoor pools accessible from one to the other. The entertainment here is amplified by waterslides and a dedicated area for fun activities.
- The Palm: Tailored for tranquility, this section is adults-only, featuring a swim-up bar and lounges amidst a palm tree setting.
- Elysium: The sauna area, where themed infusions occur regularly, invites you to relax deeper with healing heat.
Facilities and Services:
|Waterslides, wave pool, activity pool
|Hydro-massage, relaxation areas, swim-up bar
|Themed saunas, infusion ceremonies, panoramic views
Your journey to well-being is complemented by aromatherapy, with distinct fragrances defining different zones. Value-added services like massage therapy and body treatments are available to enhance your experience.
Please note that visiting hours and access to certain areas might vary, and it’s wise to check for seasonal schedules and maintenance closures. Be sure to plan your visit, including transportation arrangements and ticketing information, to make the most of your time at Therme Bucharest.
Hidden gems in Bucharest
When you find yourself eager to unearth the unconventional attractions of Bucharest away from the usual tourist trails, a wealth of lesser-known jewels await your discovery. Here’s a categorized list of such remarkable spots to enhance your exploration in the Romanian capital.
|Admire the elegant design of this beautifully preserved bookstore.
|Enjoy a serene book-browsing experience in a tranquil environment.
|Marvel at the iconic Umbrella Street, an Instagrammable locale with vibrant colors.
|Graffiti Walls Gallery
|Immerse yourself in Bucharest’s street art scene featuring dynamic murals.
|Pura Vida Sky Bar
|Savor the rooftop vista with a relaxing drink at this understated local favorite.
|Delve into the rich heritage of the Armenian community in the heart of the city.
|Take a stroll through lesser-frequented neighborhoods to spot grand yet timeworn mansions.
|Biserica Olari din București
|Witness the opulent interiors and religious art of this quietly grand Orthodox church.
|Discover a trove of antiques, jewelry, and unique finds in this indoor flea market.
|Engage with local life and sample market fare in this vibrant, two-story market.
|Dianei 4 Restaurant
|Experience the city’s culinary diversity in a setting steeped in historical significance.
|Venture to this expansive spa for indulgence in thermal baths far from the city hustle.
Cărturești Carusel and Cărturești Verona Your journey should include a visit to Cărturești Carusel, not just for its extensive literary collection but also to bask in its historical ambiance. For a more secluded sojourn amongst books and vintage vinyls, Cărturești Verona offers a quieter retreat with reading treasures.
Pasajul Victori and Graffiti Walls Gallery Pasajul Victori, also known for its captivating canopy of umbrellas, provides a picturesque passage that deserves a visit, despite its more intimate scale compared to its counterparts in other cities. Afterward, meander to the Graffiti Walls Gallery to view a kaleidoscope of street art, from fauna depictions to fantastical figures.
Little Armenia and Hidden Mansions Explore Little Armenia to gain insight into the Armenian heritage within Bucharest, including an Orthodox church with impressive artistry. As for a visual outside the religious context, embark on a walk through the city’s outskirts to uncover stately yet derelict mansions.
Biserica Olari din București, Bazaar, and Obar Market Biserica Olari din București stands as a testament to devout resplendence, inviting respectful visits. Should commerce call, the Bazaar furnishes eclectic vendors within an antique setting, while Obar Market offers an authentic local ambience with fresh produce and regional delicacies.
Dianei 4 Restaurant and Therme Bucharest For those with culinary curiosity, Dianei 4 Restaurant presents traditional Romanian bites with modern zeal in a space rich with tales. When rest beckons, Therme Bucharest is a sprawling spa oasis, providing a grand escape with thermal relaxation opportunities.
Taking your time to experience these venues will enrich your understanding and enjoyment of Bucharest’s unique character.
Cheap Things To Do In Bucharest
Explore the Old Town (Centrul Vechi) With Affordable Dining
When wandering through Bucharest’s Old Town, you’ll encounter a historical canvas painted with budget-friendly eateries. Indulge in Romanian culinary delights such as mici or covrigi from unassuming street vendors. Seek out comforting traditional meals like sarmale and mamaliga at quaint Romanian restaurants that offer value for your money paired with cultural ambiance. For a quick eat, local pizzerias and bakeries provide a wide array of choices that won’t burden your budget.
|Average Price Range
|15-20 RON per slice
|2-5 RON per item
Leisurely Walk in Herăstrău Park (Parcul Herăstrău)
Embark on a cost-free journey through Herăstrău Park, a green sanctuary offering a restful retreat with picturesque walkways and diverse cultural landmarks. With no entry fee, you can spend time around Lake Herăstrău or partake in the park’s multitude of free activities and events.
Herăstrău Park Features:
|Boating, outdoor fitness areas, playgrounds
|Statues, Village Museum, monuments
|Open year-round, wheelchair-friendly paths
Visit the Palace of Parliament (Palatul Parlamentului)
The Palace of Parliament is not just an architectural marvel but also an educational attraction showcasing Romania’s complex history. Affordably priced entry tickets grant access to this formidable construction.
Palace of Parliament Overview:
Tours: Available in English and Romanian. Pre-booking, especially skip-the-line tickets, is recommended to optimize your visit.
Discover the National Village Museum (Muzeul Naţional al Satului “Dimitrie Gusti”)
For a modest fee, you can step into the National Village Museum in King Michael I Park to experience Romanian rural life. The open-air museum displays original dwellings representing Romania’s folk culture.
National Village Museum Highlights:
| Location | S.O.S. Kiseleff no. 28-30, sector 1, Bucharest | | Admission Fee | Affordable for all tourists | | Exhibits | Over 123 authentic peasant farms and houses |
For more insights into economical experiences in Romania’s vibrant capital, consider visiting Cheap Things To Do In Bucharest.
These selections promise a memorable and cost-effective exploration of Bucharest, whether you’re enjoying the local cuisine, lounging in a vast park, exploring political history, or discovering traditional village life.
Things to Do in Bucharest Old Town
Cărturești Carusel Bookstore
This splendid bookstore is a centerpiece of Bucharest Old Town, inviting you not only to browse through its vast collection but to admire the grandeur of its architecture. Spiral staircases and a charming cafe on the top floor await you in this paradise for bibliophiles.
Step into the serene atmosphere of this 18th-century monastery. Marvel at its richly decorated exterior, balanced by the tranquil courtyard—a peaceful retreat from the bustling streets.
Biserica Sfântul Anton – Curtea Veche The church stands as the oldest in Bucharest, offering insights into medieval architecture and the deep-rooted Orthodox traditions of the region.
Muzeul Micul Paris
Unveil the city’s ‘Little Paris’ era at this museum. Examine the artifacts and exhibits that shed light on the French influence that shaped Bucharest’s golden age of architecture and culture.
Communism Museum Bucharest
Experience an informative journey through Romania’s communist history at this museum, from daily life under the regime to the strategies of state control and narratives of resistance.
Local Artisanal Shops
Discover Romanian Boutique and other local shops where you can find handcrafted Romanian goods, perfect for taking a piece of Bucharest’s spirit with you.
For an exploration of Bucharest’s vibrant history, check out the recommended experiences in the table below:
|Visit Cărturești Carusel, a restored 19th-century bookstore with six levels of literary discoveries and an inviting teahouse.
|The Stavropoleos Monastery and Biserica Sfântul Anton – Curtea Veche offer ancient architecture and Orthodox traditions.
|Immerse yourself in the Belle Époque at the Muzeul Micul Paris, and learn about communism’s mark on the nation at the Communism Museum Bucharest.
|Shop for unique treasures at the Romanian Boutique, where traditional Romanian craftsmanship comes to life.
For more on exploring the Old Town of Bucharest and its plentiful attractions, visit Things to Do in Bucharest Old Town. Delve into an array of historical sites and cultural hotspots that truly embody the soul of the city.
Abandoned Places in Bucharest
In Bucharest, a layer of forgotten history is woven into the urban tapestry through its abandoned places. These relics of eras gone by offer a silent narrative of the city’s past. As you navigate these sites, you step into a world suspended in time, a juxtaposition of Bucharest’s vibrant growth against the stillness of its neglected corners.
Palatul Adevarul (The Palace of Truth) Originally the central hub for Romania’s largest newspaper, Palatul Adevarul stands behind the National Military Circle. Although entry is barred, circumventing this with a discreet incentive may be possible. Inside, you’d find a building in decline, its stairs without banisters, leading to empty, art-adorned rooms, a layered history visible in the peeling paint and discarded objects.
Grand Hôtel du Boulevard Once the pinnacle of luxury accommodations and now fully restored, yet remains empty due to an adjoining unstable apartment block. This juxtaposition makes the Grand Hôtel a monument to the complexities of urban development and the challenges of preservation amidst modern safety concerns.
The English Passage A historical passage that has transformed from a luxury hotel to a high-class brothel and now to residential apartments. On the ground floor, the hat shop, “La Mesterul Nico,” offers a glimpse into a craftsmanship preserved from previous times within the passage itself.
Macca House Envisioned by Ion D. Berindey, Macca House is an example of architectural potential, fusing Art Nouveau and baroque styles. Despite the recent installation of a new roof and attempts at conservation, elements of decay remain apparent, illuminated by stark modern lighting.
Chimopar An industrial site from 1896, Chimopar is now a ghost of its former chemical-producing glory. The vast area contains ruins of various structures and speaks to the dynamic industrial history of Bucharest.
|Former press house, now a deteriorating structure rich in street art and history.
|Restricted; bribery of guardians may grant entry.
|Original press logos, street art, and remnants of former grandeur.
|Grand Hôtel du Boulevard
|A beautifully renovated structure, unable to operate due to adjacent dangerous building.
|Not accessible; viewable from the exterior.
|Contrast of restoration and risk, emblematic of Bucharest’s urban challenges.
|The English Passage
|An evolving historical site, currently a residential area with ground floor commercial establishments.
|Occupancy since 1967 and survival of traditional hat crafting.
|Unfinished 19th-century mansion turned museum, showcasing architectural fusion.
|Access varies; inclusion on a guided tour recommended.
|Skylights, baroque and Art Nouveau features, along with outdoor archaeological displays.
|Sprawling abandoned industrial complex.
|Not officially accessible; entry at own risk.
|Remnants of industrial architecture and artifacts from its operational past.
As you explore these sites, remember that safety should be a priority and that while they are remnants of the past, they should be respected as part of Bucharest’s historical fabric.
Things To Do In Bucharest At Night
As darkness descends upon Bucharest, a pulse of nocturnal wonder takes over the streets. Old Town Bucharest transforms with its medley of pubs, clubs, and bars. Each establishment is a new discovery, offering something different, from lively music scenes to tranquil, intimate gatherings. Embrace the warm, vibrant ambiance of this historic part of the city as you embark on an exploration of its night-time offerings.
For a blend of local flavors and international cuisine, visit eateries scattered throughout Old Town. Places like Lente and VacaMuuu are not only known for their delightful culinary concoctions but also for their inviting atmosphere.
Bucharest’s rooftop bars offer breathtaking views that are paired flawlessly with a roster of sophisticated drinks and bar nibbles. Whether it’s the contemporary Linea – Closer to the Moon, the stylish Skybar, or the upscale 18 Lounge, the perfect spot awaits to admire Bucharest by night while sharing drinks with friends.
Surround yourself with greenery and serene landscapes in the city’s parks, such as Cismigiu Park and Herastrau Park. These green oases provide a calm retreat with softly lit paths and the gentle sounds of nature, underpinning your tranquil strolls or quiet moments of reflection.
For those with a keen interest in culture, places like Carturesti Carusel offer an escape into a world of books within a strikingly beautiful building. The top floor coffee shop is a real treat for those appreciating both literary and architectural beauty.
Enthusiasts of vibrant nightlife will find themselves at the heart of Bucharest’s social scene in Old Town, which stays energetic well into the early hours. Participate in the revelry and socializing that make Bucharest’s nights truly unforgettable.
|Dining & Cuisine
|Romanian culinary heritage, global dishes
|Nightlife & Entertainment
|Craft beers, live music, cozy to energetic atmosphere
|Old Town Bucharest
|Scenic views, signature cocktails
|Linea, Skybar, 18 Lounge
|Parks & Recreation
|Nighttime strolls, lake activities
|Cismigiu Park, Herastrau Park
|Book explorations, architectural beauty
For more thorough insights into Bucharest’s unmatched nightlife and exact locations, consult Things To Do In Bucharest At Night, which serves as an extensive guide to making the most of your evenings in the city. There, you’ll find everything you need to tailor your nighttime adventure to your personal taste.
Museums In Bucharest
The “Little Paris” Museum embodies the charm of Bucharest, often likened to Paris for its architecture and culture. Here, you encounter collections that illustrate why Bucharest earned its nickname, showcasing its own Belle Époque period.
At the “Grigore Antipa” National Museum of Natural History, your understanding of biodiversity will expand as you explore Romanian fauna alongside international exhibits. This museum is renowned for its scientific collections and interactive displays.
Peleș Castle isn’t located in Bucharest but is an unforgettable day trip destination. While more of a palatial estate than a standard museum, Peleș offers a glimpse into the opulence of Romania’s monarchy and its history, allowing you to stroll through lavishly decorated rooms and halls.
Venture into the past with a visit to the National Museum of Romanian History. Significant artifacts are at your fingertips, from ancient Roman treasures to medieval arms and armor, detailing the rich tapestry of the country’s heritage.
Lastly, indulge your senses at the Museum of Senses, a space designed to both challenge and delight your perceptions. This interactive museum offers a unique experience that is as educational as it is entertaining.
Below is a table summarizing these destinations and what you can expect:
|The “Little Paris” Museum
|Bucharest’s Belle Époque, architecture, and culture
|“Grigore Antipa” National Museum
|Romanian fauna, scientific collections, interactive exhibits
|Peleș Castle (Day Trip)
|Royal history, architecture, and decor
|National Museum of Romanian History
|Artifacts from Romania’s past, including Roman and medieval
|Museum of Senses
|Interactive exhibits to engage and challenge perception
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.