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17 Reasons Why You Want To Visit Bucharest

Bucharest is one of the largest capital citites of Eastern Europe and it has an excellent mix of beautiful architecture, an interesting history, many museums, large parks, and lively bars and restaurants. Although Romania’s capital is very safe and has all the ingredients for an amazing city trip, its reputation is often still judged by its dark communist past and it doesn’t help that the government is barely doing anything to promote the city to tourists. This makes the city less touristic than other ex-communist capitals like Prague and Budapest, but if you don’t mind a few rough edges, you’re going to have a fantastic time. So here are 17 reasons why Bucharest is definitely worth visiting.

1. There Are Many Cheap Flights To Bucharest

There are many cheap direct flights to Bucharest International Airport, and budget airlines Wizz Air and Ryanair even use it as a hub. There are also several international train and bus connections with other European cities, so it’s easy and cheap to get to Bucharest from almost anywhere. This makes it perfect for a weekend trip, but if you’re planning to visit other parts of Romania, like Transylvania or the Black Sea coast, we definitely recommend not to skip on the capital city, even if it’s just for a day.

2. It’s Cheap And Easy To Get Around

From the airport you can easily get to the city by train, bus, or taxi, while transportation within the city is also very good. There are currently 5 metro lines (plus one to the airport which is being constructed), and there’s an extensive network of trams, trolley-buses, and buses. Public transport is dirt-cheap, but if that’s not your thing, taxis are also fairly priced and slightly cheaper ride-sharing apps like Uber and Bolt are also working well within the city. Picking up an electric scooter can also be a fun alternative, but be very careful in the busy traffic. In our Bucharest Transportation Guide you can find everything you need to know about the transportation options in the city.

Union of Romanian Architects

3. It Has A Unique Mix Of Architecture

You might think of Bucharest at first a former Soviet city with lots of ugly concrete buildings, but in fact, that’s only a small part of the story. The history of Bucharest goes back hundreds of years through which the city has undergone major transformations and each period has left its own heritage which is still visible today. Bucharest is unlike any other city because of its unique blend of Neo-Classical, Byzantine, Neo-Romanian, Neo-Gothic, and modern architectural styles.

Stock Exchange Palace in the Old Town

4. It’s Called ‘Little Paris’ For A Reason

During a fire in 1847, large parts of Bucharest went up in flames causing a need for new construction. This was a time when France was seen as having a rich culture and many people went to study there and got influenced by the French lifestyle. Wallachia prospered under King Carol I and so the idea was born to create large Paris-style boulevards and luxurious palaces to resemble the prosperity of the Belle Époque. They even built a real Arc de Triomphe, people were wearing French designer clothes and greeted each other in French, so no wonder the city got nicknamed ‘Little Paris’ or the ‘Paris of the East’. Some other examples of this beautiful French architecture are the Old Town, the Romanian Atheneum, and the Central University Library Carol I.

Food Hood craft market
Food Hood – one of the hip craft markets

5. It’s Full Of Hip And Trendy Places

Since the fall of the communist regime during the 1989 Revolution, the city has been undergoing a slow but big transformation. Although this is still ongoing and there are still rough edges, the city has significantly mondernized and has become full of hip and trendy bars, restaurants, hotels, shops, food trucks, and craft markets.

Crângași Park

6. There Are Many Parks To Escape From The Crowds

Despite being one of the largest and crowded cities of Eastern Europe, there are many large and small parks in Bucharest to relax and escape from the crowds. In the center there is the beautiful Cișmigiu Garden, in the north there’s the King Michael I Park around the Herăstrău Lake, and in the south you can find the Carol I Park and the Youth Park which also has a large lake. So there are plenty of options to go for a relaxing walk, take a boat ride, or find a playground for your kids.

National Geology Museum

7. It’s A Walhalla Of Beautiful And Interesting Museums

No matter if you’re interested in history, culture, historic or modern art, rural village life, technology, military, or natural history, there’s a museum for everyone. Bucharest is full of museums, art galleries, and memorial houses, many of which are located in beautiful historic buildings as well.

The Stalinist-style House of the Free Press

8. You Can Learn About The Dark Communist Past

Romania has suffered under some of the toughest communist regimes and there’s no better place to learn about this dark past then in its capital Bucharest. You can for example visit the Palace of the Parliament, which was ordered by the communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu, visit his residence the Spring Palace (Palatul Primaverii), or take a guided communist tour.

Palace of the Parliament

9. It’s Home To The Largest Building In Europe

The Palace of the Parliament is the largest building in Europe, and the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon. It’s also the heaviest and most expensive building in the world. So this is another reason to visit Bucharest and get that off your bucket list.

10. You Can Indulge Yourself With The Most Delicious Food

Bucharest is a heaven for foodies and combines the best of both worlds with an abundance of traditional and international food. Romanian food has historically been based on German (mostly Saxon), Hungarian, and Ottoman influences, but Romanians have given it its own twist with local ingredients and lots of love. The local food is mostly hearty and if you love meat, you’re absolutely in the right place with many l0vely restaurants serving amazing local food. But Bucharest is more than traditions as there are many international restaurants serving Italian, Turkish, Greek, Asian, American, and other contemporary dishes. Bucharest is also no stranger to street food with many traditional bakeries selling delicious pies and other bakes from their shop window. Food trucks and food markets are also on the rise so there’s no reason to stay hungry in this city.

Patriarchal Church and Palace

11. You’ll Find Beautiful Historic Churches Everywhere

Romania is a very religious country which is why most of its historic churches are still in use and taken care of. No matter in which neighborhood you walk around, you’ll always come across several beautiful churches. Historic masterpieces to especially look out for are the Curtea Veche Church, the Patriarchal Cathedral, and the monasteries of Stavropoleos, Radu Vodă, and Antim. The new People’s Salvation Cathedral being built on Spirea’s Hill will be the largest and most important church of the city.

Nightlife in the Old Town

12. It Has The Best Nightlife

Romanians love to party and dance until the early hours of the night. Combine this with a big city that is evolving from a dark past to a modern city while embracing the influx of tourists and combining this with local traditions and you’ll have a perfect mix for a vibrant nightlife. Some clubs are very modern, but alternative spaces have also turned into entertainment venues, coffee shops, concert venues, and night clubs giving the city a bit of a young and hipster character. This is one of the reasons why the second nickname for Bucharest is the ‘New Berlin’, the German capital that became famous for being a hub for creative minds after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Light projections on the National Military Circle during the Spotlight Festival

13. There Are Many Festivals And Fairs

All year around, but especially in the summer, there are many festivals, street parties, art events, food festivals, and markets in Bucharest, so there’s almost always something going on in the city.

14. It’s A Budget Friendly Destination

Although prices are on the rise, Bucharest is still very affordable which makes it one of the most budget-friendly capital cities in Europe. So if you’re on a budget, a trip to Bucharest is not going to cost you an arm and a leg!

15. The Streets Are Safe

Unfortunately, the dark communist past gives many people the wrong impression that Bucharest is some sort of unsafe wild west, while in fact the opposite is true. It is even one of the safest capital cities in Europe with relatively low crime rates. So if you just use your common sense, you don’t have to worry about your safety at all.

16. Internet Speeds Rank Among The Highest In the World

Whether you want to stay in touch with your friends, browse our website for ideas while strolling around, or do some serious work as a digital nomad, you don’t have to worry about staying connected in Bucharest. Free wifi is available in almost every cafe, restaurant, or hotel, and the internet speeds rank amongst the highest in the world. In a Remote Working Index report published by Broadband Deals, Bucharest even ranks #1 as the best city for remote working, based on factors including internet speed, availability of food delivery, and cost of living.

17. It’s Not Overly Touristy (Yet)

Eastern Europe is quickly gaining in popularity, and numerous cheap flights and hordes of partying foreigners in the old town might suggest otherwise, but in general Bucharest is in fact not that touristy (yet). Especially when you compare this with other Eastern European capitals like Prague or Budapest, and definitely compared to many Western European cities, but this will change soon so you’d better get there before everyone else does.

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