Romania’s capital is a fun and exciting mix of the old and the new. Communist era apartment blocks sit next to centuries-old churches and august art institutions jostle for space alongside trendy cafes and bars. Having benefitted from an economic boom in recent years, much has changed and continues to change in Bucharest, but its more than two million residents have taken it all in their stride. At the centre of the city lies the colossal Palace of Parliament, a reminder of the Communist past and a fascinating attraction.
Areas & Neighbourhoods in Bucharest
Armeneasca - One of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city and where you can really feel the spirit of Bucharest. Visit the city’s oldest lodging and Theodor Pallady museum.
Baneasa - Found to the north of the city, this unique neighbourhood is only a ten-minute drive from downtown but also close to pristine forests and lakes.
Calea Victoriei - One of the oldest and most affluent parts of the city, connecting the Piata Victoriei to the old city centre. A number of major events have taken place here and it’s where you’ll find the luxury restaurants.
Grivitei - A place where old fashioned Bucharest neighbourhoods and modern day hipsters mix, nowhere more so than at the best markets in the city.
Things to See in Bucharest
You literally can’t miss the Palace of Parliament, the largest of its kind in the world. Built in 1984, it contains more than 3,100 rooms spread over 12 storeys. Much of the old city centre made way for the Palace of Parliament but the old centre, known as Lipscani, remains. The narrow, cobbled streets are home to a medieval court and ancient churches. Other city centre attractions include Revolution Square and the Arch of Triumph. There are some excellent museums to visit too, including the open air Village Museum and Museum of the Romanian Peasant, which gives you some idea of what life has been like over the generations.
Things to Do in Bucharest
Take a walking tour of the city centre. Despite Bucharest being the sixth largest city in Europe, the centre can be covered relatively easily on foot. Stroll through the Cismigiu Garden and Herastrau Park, built around the man-made lakes on the Colentina River. Green fingered visitors should check out the Botanical Gardens and music lovers shouldn’t miss the Opera Nationala and Romanian Athenaeum. Some of the city’s churches and monasteries are well worth a visit, including the Curtea Veche, built in 1559, and Patriarchal Cathedral. Bucharest is also home to a growing art and cinema scene, with a number of top arthouse screens across the city.