4 Days in Bucharest
Take a city break in beautiful Bucharest, an amazingly affordable European city for fresh nature, blended architecture and rich history. During my time there, I partook in so many activities to see the hidden gems and taste authentic local foods to put together the best itinerary for you! Continue reading below on my suggested 4 day trip to experience Bucharest! #experiencebucharest
Arrive in Bucharest Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP), Romania’s busiest airport. It was named after the Romanian flight pioneer Henri Coanda. Wifi is available here in the arrivals section! There are a few ways to get to your accommodation. Taxi – there are taxi services available with signage from the baggage collection areas. Uber/Taxify – download these apps to get a fast, affordable car (50 RON to get into the city). Bus – The 783 takes you from the airport to the city center with stops in between. If you are taking the bus, ensure you get the bus card from the machine or pay station and validate the ticket once you get on the bus. The bus card costs 10 RON and included 2 rides. 1 RON = 0.25 USD.
Where to Stay
There are tons of accommodation options in Bucharest. Many you can find in the city centre that is walking distance to all attractions. I personally stayed at an Airbnb the first night which was right beside the university. For the following 3 nights I was sponsored to stay at Radisson Blu Hotel which was a lovely 4.5 star hotel with ample amenities. I especially loved their full spread of buffet every morning which included fresh juices and made to order eggs. Seriously, the best breakfast ever! We dined in their newly opened restaurant called Ginger, which features a fresh sushi bar. Another option I’d personal recommend is the Pura Vida Sky Hostel for affordable yet comfortable social setting located in the Old Town. They host their passionate, fun travelers in private dorms, double and family rooms. Many of the night activities started at the Pura Vida Sky Bar (next to the Hostel) which I witnessed some incredible sunsets. It is the only real sky bar in the Old Town of Bucharest with amazing views over the history buildings. The staff are super friendly and the location cannot be any more perfect.
Once you’ve settled into your accommodation, its time to explore the city! Check out Walkabout Free Tour Bucharest (ranked #1 on TripAdvisor) for a free tour which fits according to your interest. I personally went on the Story of Bucharest Tour (available 10:30 & 6:00pm March – Sept; 10:30am and 3:00pm Oct – Dec). The walking tour is completely free, if you enjoyed your time, they recommend a tip to the tour guide. We had Carmen tour us around the Old Town, Medieval places, Palace of Parliament, University Square and more! A part from the tour, you could ask her questions about history of Bucharest, culture, advice and more for your trip. They also do a Little Paris vs New Berlin tour which my other friends had gone on where they’ve gotten awesome photos of the Street art, cool hang out places and Belle Epoque French palaces.
Start your day with Urban Adventures Bucharest where they will take you on a historical and culinary adventure through the many faces (and tastes) of Bucharest. I started my day off at the meeting point (National Theater) to meet my guide Emma for the Bohemian Bucharest: markets and Mahallas tour.
Follow me around Bucharest! @experience_bucharest 👉 For the past week I've been on a historical and culinary adventure through the many faces (and tastes) of Bucharest. One of the mornings I spent it with @bucharesturbanadventures to discover the hidden neighborhoods and explore some of the liveliest peasant markets – Obor Market. Thanks Emma for being my guide for the day and introducing me to some awesome Romanian craft beer 'Zaganu'. #EXPERIENCEBUCHAREST
The cost of this adventure is 55€ but was well worth it for the 6-7 hour guided tour which includes food and some transportation. Some of the main sightings – hidden gems like the Armenian and Jewish neighborhoods, the Obor (peasant) market, foodie spots. Emma took us to Dianei 4 for some amazing lemonade and Romanian craft beer. We stopped at a handful of shops along the way for some pastries and snacks. Lasty we took the Bucharest tram to get to the bustling Obor market. Be prepared for a full day of food, history and culture!
They love their pork in #bucharest. As they say, there is no other vegetable like the pig 🐖! During the Bohemian Tour by @bucharesturbanadventures we enjoyed 'rulou carnations cabanos' snacks while admiring street art from the notorious creator of the pig that took over Romania, aka AEUL. #streetart #streeteats #experiencebucharest
Photo-worthy Places: Here are some noteworthy places for some insta-worthy photos: The umbrella alley on Pasajul Victoria (across from Novotel) where there is a hidden Pizza Colossum shop. The beautiful Library – Carturesti Carusel. And of course, you can get amazing street art wherever you look and find hidden neighborhoods.
Nightlife: Bucharest has a full and active nightlife, most of the lounges/clubs do not get full until past 11pm. Locals love to drink well into the night. Some of the recommended places for us was Party Kulturhaus in the old town of Bucharest and Nomad Sky Bar.
Can't wait to share all my photos with you. Thanks @brianmayroam for snapping this picture. 📸 We were lucky enough to participate in the launch of a new space @qreator_by_iqos – a venue dedicated to art, photography, music, fashion, you name it! Creative people of Bucharest, unite! #EXPERIENCEBUCHAREST
Other Suggested Tours operators: Open Doors (ranked #2 on Trip Advisor) has paid tours such as The Communist Tour (history), Alternative Tour (graffiti and street art), Jewish Heritage Tour and Good Taste Tour (local food.
Take a full day to discover all the monuments of Bucharest. This can be a self-guided tour, advised to take a taxi/ uber to get from place to place.
Start the day off at Cismigui Park – here you can find so many locals enjoying their time in nature. This is the oldest public garden in Bucharest – and still in beautiful shape today. Find the Writers Ring where there are statues of the most important classic writers in the history of Romanian literature. Here you also rent a boat to paddle under the Walnut Bridge. Next you can pass by the Bucharest City Hall which is right opposite to the Park, the architecture of this building (neo-Romanian style) attracts many admirers. I want to thank #experiencebucharest, experience offered by A.M.P.T. on behalf of P.M.B (Bucharest City Hall) who opened up the City Hall for us to capture beautiful shots of their grand entrance staircase and visit their attic.
Take a stroll through the park with me 👫. At #cismiguipark you will find so many locals enjoying the outdoors with their family. You are bound to run into crowds with lively entertainment. 🎶 Rent a boat and enjoy the serene pond. 🚣 #lifeatthepark #travelguidebucharest #experiencebucharest Experience offered by A.M.P.T. on behalf of P.M.B (Bucharest City Hall)
Enjoy lunch at the most beautiful rooftop restaurant in Bucharest – 18 lounge. Try to reserve a table at their open top room where you can get the most amazing panoramic views of the city. They currently have a lovely buffet lunch option for 99 RON. From up there, you can see the Triumphal Arch if you have not seen it up close in person at the round-about. This is a meaningful monument for locals as it was erected in 1922 to celebrate the Romanian army’s victories in WW1. During my trip here we had the honor to climb up the arch to observe the city at night. (167 steps). An experience made possible by #experiencebucharest, experience offered by A.M.P.T. on behalf of P.M.B (Bucharest City Hall). In a year’s time or so, they will open this Arch to the public and place inside an art gallery alongside the steps.
The most beautiful rooftop in #bucharest @18lounge 💕 Thanks again to the local team who opened up exclusively the City Hall and the Arch of Triumph for us! In one years' time the Arch will be open to the public with an art museum inside. Be prepared to climb 167 steps up! @experience_bucharest @discoverbucharest 📸@sophieannenadeau
Herastrau Park is another must-visit park in Bucharest. Here you can find statues of famous writers and local artists such as Nicolae Grigorescu, Constantin Bransusi, George Cosbuc and more. Other well known public figures include William Shakespeare, Ady Endre, Sendor Pentofi, Victor Hugo. Here you can get a boat trip on the lake during the summer.
Do not leave Bucharest without a visit to some of their finest museums and historical houses. I visited the Filipescu Cesianu House, where we admired this architectural jewel. We spent some time inside here (entrance 5 RON) to learn about the Romanian lifestyle back in time. Similarly, I also went to Dr.Nicolae Minivici Museum (entrance 5 RON) where they exhibited ceramics, pottery and traditional costumes.
For dinner I went to a lovely local restaurant by the water called Restaurant Pescarus. I especially recommend this place as they had costumed dancers to entertain guests throughout the whole night. We learned a few Romanian dance moves and they encouraged guests to dance with them! It was a bit chilly during the time we went, but I am sure the views by the lake would be stunning in the summer.
As the night falls, pay a visit to the Astronomical Observatory, originally built in a private residence of Vasile Urseanu who cultivate a life long passion for astronomy. The building was donated to the municipality so that everyone can enjoy the astronomical wonders of the world. Inside, has an extensive museum with space facts and a few games to entertain and teach children/adults. At the very top, the open rooftop has in place telescopes and open space to admire the open sky.
The fourth and final day is for relaxing! Reserve a day spa at Therme Bucharest, the biggest wellness, relaxation and entertainment greenfield center in Europe. It’s a tropical paradise with 30,000m of thermal waters. It houses the largest botanical garden with over 800,000 plants. There are different prices depending on which section you want to spend your time in (approx 50 RON). Be sure to bring a bathing suit, flip flops and a towel. There are free shuttle buses available from the city (Piata Romana) inquire within for the details. After some time relaxing and rejuvenating at the spa, you will be ready for your transfer to the airport close by.
Here are some suggested souvenirs to take back to your friends and family from Bucharest – Romanian painted eggs, Romanian Snacks ROM, Romanian Biscuits Eugenia, freshly baked pastries (Pretzels), Romanian Liquor and Wine.
The airport is super convenient to get to either by bus or Uber/Taxify. Check-in and security lines were fast during the day but please allow for minimum 60 minutes for the security check. You can use local RON at the restaurants. Bottles of water were 8-10 RON in the vending machines. However, they only accept € at the duty free shops.
Thank you to Experience Bucharest for organizing this trip to this amazing destination. For this trip I was only able to explore the main city Bucharest, but I cannot wait to be back to explore the rest of Romania! Until next time.