It’s no secret I love Bucharest. The city was a surprise detour during my 2017 tour of Europe in the best of ways. Bucharest quickly grew on me because of it’s incredible people, amazing post-communism atmosphere, openness towards new things, and unique experiences. Bucharest attractions are pretty great! This Eastern European capital city is brimming with interesting things and fun activities to peak your interests and keep you entertained. Ya just have to give it a chance!
One of the things that makes Bucharest such an interesting place is its communist past. For much of its modern history Romania was ruled by an oppressive communist regime. The country suffered greatly under the communist government until the late 80s when the government was overthrown. As a result, the city is experiencing a renewal and the energy is palpable. Bucharest is already one of the go-to destinations for Eastern Europeans on holiday and it’s only a matter of time before the rest of the world finds out how awesome this city is and it becomes a prime travel destination.
My advice is to plan a trip to Bucharest to get a taste of a different Europe before it becomes too popular. The city is a rather affordable get away and you won’t be disappointed. It’s such a different experience than what you find in Western Europe and, yet, feels so familiar at the same time. From parks to churches to museums…here are some of my top picks of Bucharest attractions not to be missed during a trip to Bucharest.
Bucharest Attractions: Old Town
No visit to Bucharest is complete without walking through the Old Town located at the center of the city. The architecture in this part of the city is much different than the communist era architecture of the rest. It’s beautiful and really reminds you of Western Europe. During the day, it’s fun to walk around and explore the Old Town, stopping in at cafes and shooting photographs. At night the atmosphere changes completely. Come sundown, it turns into party central as all the bars open and the area quickly becomes saturated with people having a good time!
Bucharest Attractions: Churches
Bucharest has many small churches though you can’t always see them easily. During the communist governments rule, churches were destroyed or moved because they were seen as symbols of resistance. As a result, you really have to look to find the churches of Bucharest. They’re usually hidden behind buildings in cramped quarters and are well-worth visiting. Many of the churches date back hundreds of years and are filled with artwork. My favorites are Stavropoleos Monastery and the Russian Church.
Bucharest Attractions: Parks/Street Art
Parks are the name of the game in Bucharest. There is so much green space in this city that you should have no problem finding a nice park to relax in. Gardens, hiking paths…even an urban wilderness are all waiting for you. My favorite park is Cișmigiu Park because it is quite large, beautiful, and just a great place to ride a bicycle. With parks come public art and there is no shortage in Bucharest. You can find all sorts of sculptures and monuments across the city. If you’re into street art, that’s something Bucharest excels at boasting graffiti art by some of the world’s most famous artists.
Bucharest Attractions: Museums
Museums are a great place to spend a rainy day and Bucharest has plenty to keep you entertained. Learn about communism, pre-communist Romania, or even take a stroll through a palace and gain a better understanding about the country. One of my favorite museums is the Art Collections Museum because it’s filled with art I’ve never seen before. The museum features many Romanian artists and is situated in the former royal palace of Romania. Stepping outside you’ll see the gigantic statue of Romania’s King Carol I and the Memorial of Rebirth (a controversial statue stained with red paint). Another great museum you should check out is the Museum of Records which houses Romania’s three world record collections of irons, trivets, and corkscrews. That’s right! Romania is home to the largest collection of these items in the world.
Bucharest Attractions: Palace of Parliament
This monstrous building, also known as the People’s House, is one of the largest buildings in the world and was a massive, yet controversial, undertaking to build. It was built by Romania’s fallen communist government at quite the expense to the Romanian people. Now, however, it is considered one of the ugliest and one of the most beautiful buildings in Romania while serving as the seat of the Parliament of Romania. It also is home to three museums and an international conference center. You can tour this massive building and visit the museums which include the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Museum of Communist Totalitarianism, and the Museum of the Palace.
Interested in taking an organized tour in Bucharest, check out my recommendations here!
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I hope these tips for Bucharest attractions are helpful!
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