The Complete Day Guide to Bucharest
There’s simply no other city like Bucharest left in Europe and there’s no time like the daytime to explore this fascinating city. It’s raw, it’s real and it’s modernizing at a super rapid pace to make up for lost time under the former communist era dictatorship. Picture a city and people living with years of repression when it was suddenly lifted in 1989. Bucharest’s young generation of people have now imagined a future for themselves and their city that’s bursting with energy, creativity, and the kind of anarchic can-do attitude that makes this one of our top cities for a weekend abroad.
Bucharest’s architecture is, well, eclectic. Crazily haphazard might be a better description – but we’re not complaining! We like our cities to be a bit crazy looking. Gorgeous art nouveau villas nestle against communist era apartment blocks. Garish modern office monstrosities crowd out 17th century Orthodox churches. It’s random city planning but that just makes it all the more wonderful to our eyes. Check out these sights to get a feel for beautiful Bucharest.
Alternative Tour – Forget about museums with staid collections of paintings featuring some royal dead dudes and explore the art that impacts Bucharest now. Explore the streets and the street art that animates the city and brings to life the social and cultural realities of contemporary Bucharest. From the graffiti scenes below the surface in the subways to galleries in abandoned buildings and former squats, get your alternative art fix on this Alternative tour.
Palace of Parliament – Perhaps the only parliament building visible from the moon (joking), this 12-storey monstrosity has 3,100 rooms and covers 330,000 sq metres and cost an estimated 3.3 billion euros (not joking). It makes you wonder if Ceauşescu was trying to compensate for something – find out for yourself on our tour of the Palace of Parliament.
Communist Tour – History with a capital “H” begins and ends with this tour through the past 50 years of life in Bucharest under communist rule. From World War II to the anti-communist revolution of 1989, get a content-rich feel for how this ideology impacted daily life in Bucharest. See its buildings and listen to stories of its people. It was a new era, a system of government that boasted it would last for a 1000 years – they made it 42.
The Food and Drink
Bucharest has some of the best eateries in Eastern Europe. Check out the following tips for places to brunch or lunch.
Lente & Cafea – This stylish eatery features an eclectic yet affordable menu featuring tempting fish and chicken dishes with a splash of local flavour. It’s perfect for those looking to eat out for brunch or lunch, or for chilling in the leafy back garden with a cup of perfectly brewed coffee.
Address: Str Gen Prapargescu 31, Bucharest
Snack Attack! – If you’re trying to save money for your nights out but don’t want to sacrifice on quality, the cheap, fresh sandwiches on offer at Snack Attack!’s eight locations around Bucharest are your best bet for tasty lunch.
Sale e Pepe – The only place in Bucharest that serves the perfect pizza – thin and crispy crust just like mama used to make. It’s a tiny place located just behind the Radisson Blu Hotel so it’s easy to miss but it’s perfect for a quick and easy lunch. Open for breakfast, too!
Address: 3 Luternana Street, Bucharest
Do you like to collect cultural knick-knacks? Searching for that rare Romanian film or first edition folio? Or are you simply looking for stunning deals on the latest designer fashions? Check out these retailers if you’ve just got to settle those shopaholic cravings.
Carturesti Verona – Carturesti is one of the biggest chains in Bucharest and the main shop is well worth a visit, but for our money the coolest one is located in Verona. It’s a combination of bookshop, carefully curated music store and tearoom with a modish backyard garden to boot. It also features funky designer goods from clothing to atypical Romanian souvenirs created by local artists.
Kombinat – Based on the concept of slow-shopping this retail space concentrates on retro-vintage clothing and hosts a variety of clothes and handmade accessories from contemporary Romanian fashion designers. It’s also a perfect place to chill out with a book, play board games with friends, and shop for music on vinyl.
Madison – We’re all a bit metro-sexual these days aren’t we? If you feel like having a made-to-measure cologne designed specifically to your taste then this is the only shop for you. Opened in 2007, Madison specializes in rare and luxurious scents, fragrances and beauty products. Go on, treat yourself.
Bucharest has all the latest and greatest activities a group could crave for a wicked day out. We have loads of activities on offer but the following three are our top picks.
Autocross – Fancy yourself a bit of a rally car racer? Now’s your chance to prove it to the rest of your mates. Get behind the wheel of a VW Golf GTi and a BMW E26 as you careen around a track at breakneck speed.
Guns – Exactly what it says on the package. Shotguns, Glocks and Carbines all feature in our Gung Ho Shooting Package. Get your hands on the world’s most popular semi-automatic with our AK-47 activity. Or test your aim against the rest of your mates with our Clay Pigeon Shooting activity. All of these and more are perfect activities to get the adrenaline pumping during your time in Bucharest.
Grand Prix Go-Karting – Race your mates for bragging rights on this state-of-the-art, multi-level indoor racing course. 5 minute qualifiers determine the start positions of each racer before the main even kicks off. The course is challenging, the action is fast, and the winner gets a trophy. History doesn’t remember losers.
Bucharest is a safe walking city so don’t be afraid to strike out on your own no matter the time. It’s also huge, with many points of interests spread liberally throughout the city so walking is definitely not the efficient way to get from point A to point B.
Taxis – Always have the bar or restaurant book you a taxi as you’re likely to get better rates that way. Always ask for the cost of the fare before setting off to your destination.
Eventhuse Transfers – Book limousines, party buses, and airport transfers with us as you’re guaranteed the best rates and best service.
Bucharest really is the new capital for group travel. It’s cheap, it’s cheerful and there’s so much to do. We’ve given you just a taste of what’s on offer during the day and we haven’t even scratched the surface. Check out our Bucharest nightlife guide to see what fantastic frolics this city has to offer your once the sun goes down. Contact our party planners for any questions or requests for additional activities or to help you create a custom party package.