Did You Know About Another (Little) Paris of Europe?

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Words cannot express the excitement I have when it comes to promoting a travel destination which is not as well-known as it should be and I am referring to lovely Bucharest here. When it comes to Europe, most of the travelers and tourists never look beyond Rome, London, Paris, Istanbul, Prague and similar popular destinations. Well it is time for a change and we are taking you on a discovery of a new experience at Bucharest. Glimpses of must-see spots in Bucharest, great places to have a conversation over drinks, Bucharest party places,  landmarks of Bucharest and information on how to get to each of these twelve destinations- I am giving it all away as you read on so prepare your backpacks and let’s go. And before we start DO NOT FORGET to watch the awesome video of Bucharest in the end!

Some general bits about Bucharest

Bucharest is the capital of Romania and the largest city in the country with a population of over 2.3 million. The city is well known for its wide boulevards, amazing belle époque buildings, the People’s Palace (House of Parliament) and the Arc De Triomphe.

Legend has it that Bucharest was founded by a shepherd named Bucur. His name can be roughly translated into “joy” (from the Romanian word bucur-ie). In the 1900s, the city earned its well-deserved nickname “Little Paris”, because its streets and architecture resemble the ones in Paris. Arc De Triomphe and the North Railway Station are fine examples of this semblance. But may I add that it’s not all quite the same but different and special in its own way. The city is a mix between old and new, traditional and modern, blending these elements together in such a way that you might think that this was the plan all along. You’ll see what I mean in a second as we proceed. I must mention that the attractions have been arranged below in an orderly fashion as they appear from the Otopeni Airport (OTP), towards the city center (University Square).


1.   “H” Beer Shop

Did I mention great place to meet up over drinks? Well Beraria H it is! It is the biggest beer place in the South-East Europe, opened in 2014 and is located in the North of Bucharest, on one the shores of the famous Herastrau Lake. The building was built between 1949-53 and along the years this beer hall has served various purposes such as an exhibition space for large machines, furniture and clothing. Today it represents one of the most famous places to go out with friends or families, and it hosts the best concerts and parties in Bucharest.

How to reach

Buses: 131, 205, 331, 335

Trams: 41


2. The Village Museum

The Village Museum is located in the Herastrau Park and it is an open air ethnographic museum containing traditional houses from all over the country which includes religious buildings, dwellings and annexes, arts and crafts, wind mills, water mills and many more such exhibits that give a great insight into the country life of Romania . It is an excellent place to visit in order to get to know a little more about our patrimony by strolling along these beautiful houses. It has a great souvenir shop and gives you an opportunity to taste Romanian sweets and cakes sold in there by locals. It is a place where you can relax like you were in the countryside whereas actually you are in the heart of the capital, Bucharest.

How to reach

Buses: 783, 131, 335, 331, 205

Trams: 41

Video Presentation:

It was built 120 years ago and is a symbolic edifice of the Romanian culture where grand exhibitions showcasing paintings and sculptures take place. This place has hosted legendary musicians over years and many well known Romanian personalities and scientists have held their lectures at the Athenaeum. If you are lucky you may get to witness a master at play here! This place should make it to the top of things to do in Bucharest.

How to reach:

Bus: 126, 168, 226, 300, 368,

Subway: University Square (+3 min walk)


4.  The Revolution Square

It was known as Piata Palatului (Palace Square) until 1989 when the communist regime of Ceausescu ended. This square has a lot to offer to tourists as it is lined by the greatest attractions of Bucharest. We have the formal Royal Palace (now the National Art Museum), the Athenaeum, the University of Bucharest Library and the Memorial of Rebirth right here at one place located around each other!

How to reach:

Bus: 126, 168, 226, 300, 368

Subway: University Square (+3 min walk)


5.  The National Theatre

The “Ion Luca Caragiale” National Theater Bucharest is one of the most impressive constructions in the City. The building itself is shaped like a hat that is an ode to Ion Luca Caragiale who was a Romanian play writer, short story writer, poet, theater manager, political commentator and an accomplished journalist. About the hat-like construction…..well it is inspired by Ion Luca Caragiale’s hat!

How to reach:

Bus: 122, 137, 138, 268, 381, 783, 61, 66, 69, 70, 85, 90, 91, 336, 601

Subway: University Square


6.  Cismigiu Park

The oldest park in the city spread over an area of 17 acres, Cismigiu is a garden surrounded by an impressive artificial lake. Whether you want to take a quiet boat ride, bike ride or have a good time with your kids, this park is a perfect place to indulge in some good times. Quaint bridges over the lake, lush greenery and a walk on the historical side of Bucharest is some of the thing this scenic place offers for revelers.

How to reach:

Bus: 61,66,69,70,85,90,91,122,137,138,268,336

Subway: Izvor (+5min walk), University Square (+8min walk)


7.  The People’s Palace (Parliament)

This impressive building was built in the “golden age” of the dictatorial regiment and is the second largest building in the world after the Pentagon. It houses the Romanian Parliament and also serves as an international conference center. The interior has a luxurious display of crystal chandeliers, mosaics, oak paneling, marble, and floors covered in rich carpets. When in Bucharest, do not miss the grandiose of this spectacular place.

How to reach:

Bus: 385, 136, 104, 123, 124

Subway: Izvor (+10 min walk)


8. Old Town

Trip to old town is almost like travel to the older times but it is an old city like none other! The old city is a vibrant place with a fair share of art galleries, antique shops, coffee houses and Bucharest nightlife. You can take delightful walks along the narrow streets lined by numerous restaurants and terraces. Admire old buildings that used to be the workplaces of craftsmen and merchants back the 1400s that included sizeable population of Romanian, Austrian, Greek and Bulgarian folks. Get a drink, enjoy traditional Romanian food at any of the Bucharest restaurants here, and spend the night in one of the clubs. This place has it all.

How to reach

Bus: 381

Subway: Unirii Square (+2 min walk), University Square (+5 min walk)


9. Manuc’s Inn

Hanul lui Manuc is an old inn in the heart of Bucharest, an important landmark and a historic monument. Its founder, Manuc Bei (Manuc Marzaian) was born in 1769 in Rusciuc, Bulgaria and in 1808 was named Bei of Moldavia. Bei was a title like a governor of a country or a province of the Otoman Empire. In the same year this wonderful place was built. Its main purpose was to host the most distinguished foreign guests from all over the world. It has still retained the boyar air of those days owing to the architecture of the building with a picturesque courtyard. Manuc’s Inn is an ideal place to taste the authentic Romanian Cuisine.

How to reach

Bus: 381

Subway: Unirii Square (+2 min walk), University Square (+5 min walk)


10.   The Beer Wagon

Caru cu Bere has a history that goes back to 1892 when it was built. It is a Romanian traditional restaurant in the Historic part of Bucharest, and was the favorite place of Romanian writers and actors such as George Cosbuc and Ion Luca Caragiale. The imposing architecture makes this place like a museum with big arcades, paintings and stained glass paintings. Sometimes there are people playing the violin or traditional music and the food is a lavish spread of Romanian delicacies.

How to reach

Bus: 381

Subway: Unirii Square (+2 min walk), University Square (+5 min walk)


11.   Wine Bar “1000 De Chipuri”

This is a once in a lifetime experience, the perfect introduction for first-time visitors. This Bar takes you on a journey of discovering some secrets. It's all about the taste. See which one you like best. And you guessed it right…..wine tasting is the specialty here! It's the perfect way to end an evening. 1000 de Chipuri (1000 Faces) was established in 2008 and was the first wine bar in Bucharest. Back then, Bucharest was the only European capital that didn’t have such a bar.

Right now, they offer a wide variety of wines counting at around 500 assortments from all over the world. Famous wines, terroir wines, branded wines, limited edition wines from boutique wineries, eco grapes, champagne, sherry and wine with no alcohol!

How to reach

Bus: 117

Trams: 23, 32

Subway: Square (+ 5 min walk)

Video Presentation:


12. Train Museum

Muzeul CFR is again a place where you take a trip back in time and go through the history of one of the most prominent human inventions:  the train tracks! The main attraction point is the miniature models which are an example of the Romanian train tracks, the biggest in the South-Eastern Europe. Also you can visit the office of the engineer Anghel Saligny and others who contributed to the construction of the first Romanian train track. While at it do not miss the model of the famous “Mocanita” the steam train.

How to reach

Bus: 205

Subway: Gara de Nord (+2 min walk)

So these were twelve of the must-see attractions of the Bucharest City and trust me we just got started! And since Bohotraveller did not give me space for twenty pages I had to pick these twelve out!! Bucharest is a modern historical city and is really special and so unique. It is something you have to see for yourself, to believe. Now that we have discussed the destinations, let us touch upon a little about the extensive transportation system in the city which makes it really convenient for people to move around.


Transportation & Moving Around

You name it and Bucharest got ‘em all- Buses, trains, airports, subway stations, taxis and trams. You can combine them in order to reach any area in the city. As prices go, here is a little breakdown for each vehicle.


This is the subway card, which can be purchased at any station. The one in the picture is for 2 trips and it costs 5 RON (1.1 euros). Then you have the card for 10 trips costing 20 RON (4.41 euros) and one-day card at 8 RON (1.76 euros). Monthly passes are also available that cost about 70 RON (15.44 euros/month)

All of the subway card passes are valid for one year. But if you’re getting the 2 trips for example, you can travel any day, at any time you desire as long as you keep in mind that the subway is operating daily between 5.00AM at 11.00PM.

You can find more details here: http://www.metrorex.ro/fees_p776-2

Bus & Tram

Next up is the bus and tram network with two types - The regular and the Express. The regular card (green) can be purchased at almost every bus station. The price for one trip is 1.3 RON (0.29 euros). And you can use them whenever you want. Once you get the card, you can charge it with more money from the same counters where you bought them from.

Then we have the blue card used for express lines like bus 783 (ex. Airport transfer). One trip costs 3.5 RON (0.77 euros). Same rules apply as for the green card; charge it with more cash, use it anytime.

The bus and tram schedules are the same as for the subway (5.00AM at 11.00PM).

More info here: http://www.ratb.ro/portofel_electronic.php


The train ticket is used for one trip only and can be purchased at the train station or online. The trains can take you anywhere you want in Romania. But for now, we’re going to focus mostly on Bucharest, so if you need more information about this, here it is: http://www.infofer.ro/


And let’s not forget about the taxi service. You can easily spot them around the city. There are around 10 taxi companies in operation.

Be aware of the prices. The normal fare for a taxi ride is 1.39 RON/km (0.31 euros). Never get in a cab that is more expensive than that. Also, make sure they turn on their meters when you get in.

Getting on from Airport

Airport in Bucharest is very well connected with regular shuttle service. However, the choice is completely yours and you can pick a taxi, get the 783 bus or a shuttle service booked in advance.

The taxis can be found parked right outside the arrivals gate. If not, you can always call for one with the phone numbers found on the poles outside the airport. The bus leaves from the airport and arrives at Unirii Square, covering the city center and its surroundings. Here is a schedule for the bus, as well as the stops it makes.

The city is really accessible, especially if you use the subway. Luckily, most of the attractions are located pretty close to each other. So you can reserve one day for walking around the city and cover most of them. Trust me, it’s better than using the public transportation because walking is a way to observe and discover more, not to mention a great way to avoid the traffic too.

Where to Stay: We highly recommend the following stay options 

There are of course other options too to suit every budget

Before we leave, let me gift you this beautiful video that truly captures the essence of Bucharest!


About the Travel Expert:

Andrei Iliescu is the owner of Finding Romania Travel Agency. He always had a passion for traveling and decided to channel that passion through his travel agency. He graduated with a degree in Hotel Management in Switzerland. He felt that best way to share his new-gained knowledge with others was to promote the country he was born in. FINDING ROMANIA is not just another travel agency and its spirit goes beyond destination hunting. It lays a lot of emphasis on people, their thoughts, feelings and experiences.  


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