Bucharest in a nutshell

If you are a Romanian and you are not from Bucharest, you really dislike this city. I guess it’s a normal syndrome not to be fond of your capital. But, my non-Romanian husband and dear friend Sara who lives in Bucharest helped me see it in a different light.

Bucharest is the capital of Romania and before the way too many decades of communism it was quite a hype place to be in Europe. It used to be called little Paris and much appreciated by the aristocracy of Europe. Today, it’s a bit of a melting pot of many Romanians coming from all parts of the country and increasingly more and more foreigners. It’s a charming, sometimes rough but very intriguing place to be.

Before going, my husband was warned by all the Romanians that he should be very careful and that they actually don’t see the point of wasting our days there. As a reply he said:”If you go to New York, do you go visit the Harlem or Bronx, or do to hang out in Manhattan?”. And he’s right, of course all cities have its crappy sides, but most of us visit its pretty and safe attractions. And so we did.

We have spent two days in Bucharest and enjoyed its best places, tourist attractions, restaurants and coffee shops. To my surprise I have found the best cappuccinos in Europe, right next after those in Italy. We went to popular restaurants, cute and full of personality cafes and generally explored the old center of the city.

So, here’s what we got to enjoy:

Tourist Attractions:

  • Historic Center, Lipscani is a gorgeous, little neighborhood. It’s perfect for any time of the day. I really enjoyed the cafes and architecture.

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  • The House of the People (Casa Poporului) until recently used to be the second largest building in the world, after the Pentagon. Now, it’s third, since the Chinese announced that they built the biggest building. This is one of the most ostentation legacy of our former dictator Ceausescu. It’s also the heaviest building in the world and most expensive maintenance for an administrative building. It actually hosts Romania’s House of Deputies, among others. Needless to say it’s really impressive and has a lot of quirky facts. Our former dictator destroyed an entire neighborhood just to built this and in front of it a boulevard imitating Paris’ Champs Elysee.

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  • Romanian Athenaeum (Ateneul Roman) is another landmark of the city, but its primary purpose is being a concert hall. I managed to snatch a picture of the inside. It’s quite spectacular.

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  • Beautiful Church: Stavropoleos Church, Russian Church, Coltea Church.

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  • CEC Palace is the national savings bank.

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  • Romania’s National History Museum (Muzeul National de Istorie a Romaniei)

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  • Cercul Militar (CCA) hosts the house of culture of the Romanian army.

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Restaurants:

  • Caru cu Bere: this place can’t be missed. It’s a real experience with it’s exquisite delights and amazing architecture.

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  • Manuc’s Inn (Hanul lu Manuc) for an authentic food experience and feel.

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There are plenty other places to go to, restaurants to try and attractions to visit, but we had a very limited time. Nevertheless, we had a very pleasant and relaxed stay. I re-discovered Bucharest and I have to be honest I would gladly go back and explore some more.

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One thought on “Bucharest in a nutshell

  1. Romania is a beautiful country! I don’t say that because I’m a romanian girl, I say that because I can see my country with all defects but also with qualities. I hope you’ll enjoy here and you’ll have very beautiful memories.

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