You know that feeling when you visit a new city and want to discover it all, street by street? The only problem is that time is limited, and you can’t afford to waste it on visiting places that are less than extraordinary. Bucharest is a city full of various attractions that can charm any traveler, regardless of his or her preferences. An energetic nightlife, huge shopping areas, rich history, impressive landmarks, and so on.
But because time isn’t on our side, we’re only going to cover what we believe are the 8 best things to do in Bucharest. Whether you want to visit the city’s museums or just relax in a cafe, you’ll find some worth suggestions below.
1. Take a boat ride in the Cismigiu Park
If you’re looking for a relaxing evening, this is probably one of the best things to do. Slowly rowing a boat on the calm water of the lake will make you forget about the stress and escape from the routine. After that, you can take a walk on the Lover’s Alley. Cismigiu is the perfect spot for youngsters or for all of you who feel young and/or in love. There is a small island in a lagoon where there are dozens of ducks and swans – including two beautiful black swans.
Tip: During the winter, the lake is turned into a huge skating ring.
2. Enjoy a drink in Bucharest’s Old Town
If all you want to do is sit in a café and watch the people of Bucharest as they go about their business, the city’s Old Town is the place to go. A large boulevard full of cafés, restaurants and bars, the architecture of the buildings mixes historical and modern elements and turns the whole area into a perfect place to soak the atmosphere of the city.
Tip: When the night begins this part of the city becomes pretty crowded and terraces are brimming.
3. Visit The Village Museum, an homage to the Romanian life in the countryside
Although approximately 45% of the Romanian population lives in rural areas, life in the countryside isn’t what it used to be. Sure, there are still some villages with wooden houses and full of craftsmen, but most of them are slowly advancing towards the modern era. The Village Museum is the perfect spot to take a look in the past and get a glimpse of the authentic Romanian countryside. It is one of the most diverse museums in the European family of Museums of Arts and Popular Traditions, with a collection that includes over 100,000 objects. At the beginning of 2015, the museum received the “Country brand” certificate, being the first Romanian institution to receive this title.
Tip: Throughout the year, the Village Museum organizes all kinds of events such as exhibitions, book launches, creativity workshops, craftsmen fairs or artistic performances.
4. Take a photograph with the Arch of Triumph – Arcul de Triumf
You probably didn’t know this, but the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris has a smaller sibling, right here, in Bucharest. It was initially built in 1878 after Romania gained its independence, but it was replaced after World War I. It’s one of the many landmarks of Bucharest and it is one of the reasons why Bucharest is called “Little Paris”.
Tip: Arc de Triomphe hosts a museum that can be visited only on certain special occasions.
5. Visit the Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History
This is a perfect place for those who are looking for an unusual experience. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see some truly remarkable things. The museum houses an impressive collection of expositions, including live butterflies, spiders, scorpions and even human bodies.
Tip: The permanent exhibition houses numismatic collection, several collections of minerals, birds, mammals, fish mollusks and fossils. Did you know that in the past there were seals in the Black Sea?
6. Visit the National Military Museum
For those of you who love history, this place must be on your bucket list. The museum covers all of Romania’s military history from the early days (World War I and World War II) until the Cold War as well as some of the more modern military equipment and vehicles.
Tip: The National Military Museum is the largest institution of its kind in Romania and was established by the decree of King Ferdinand I.
7. Walk through the Macca Villacrosse Passage (Pasajul Macca-Vilacrosse)
If you love taking photos, you should try “getting lost” in this place to capture its uniqueness. This passage looks alike Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. It still retains the flavor of the interwar period, being one of the most beautiful gateways to the city’s history.
Tip: Currently, the passage hosts several restaurants including an Egyptian-themed one, tailoring workshops, a wine bar, stores and much more.
8. Visit the Carturesti Carousel
If you’re looking for a souvenir from your trip to Bucharest, the Carturesti Carousel is the place to go. Carturesti Carousel is a library built within a historical building, and you can purchase various items, from books and photo albums to jars of homemade jam or bottles of wine.
Bucharest is a young, thriving city that offers a wide array of entertainment opportunities and countless leisure activities.