175. Bucharest, Romania
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This city is very rich in history, lot to do and see and explore. It’s up and coming and even has a copy of the Arc de Triomphe. You may think you are in Paris. I recently traveled as a guest of JayWay Boutique Travel whose job it was to arrange everything and that they did.
Bucharest (Bucuresti) is the capital of Romania and sits in the southeastern part of the country near to its neighboring country Bulgaria.
How To Get Here
Bucharest is served by Gare de Nord. Start your booking at RailEurope or Eurail.
The nearest airport is Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP), the home of BlueAir and Tarom.
The following airlines serve the Henri Coanda International Airport (OTP):
Arkia-Israeli Airlines (IZ), Alitalia (AZ), Air France (AF), Aeroflot (SU), Air Moldova (9U), Air Serbia (JU), Aegean Airlines (A3), British Airways (BA), Blue Air (0B), Croatia Airlines (OU), Czech Airlines (OK), Dniproavia (Z6), ELLINAIR S.A. (EL), El Al Airlines (LY), Eurowings (EW), FlyDubai (FZ), Germanwings (4U), Iberia Airlines (IB), KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL), LOT Polish (LO), Lufthansa German Airlines (LH), Meridiana Airlines (IG), Pegasus Airlines (PC), Qatar Airways (QR), Ryanair (FR), Swiss Airlines (LX), SAS (SK), Turkish Airlines (TK), TAP Portugal (TP), Tarom (RO), Vueling (VY) and Wizz Air (W6).
Eurolines has service to Romania from various points in Europe.
If you are already in the region you can take the drive. Just use a service like Google Maps for directions.
Where To Stay
The city is rich in hotels. I stayed at the Rembrandt and the Mansion Boutique Hotel which are both in the Old Town area. These two hotels are different ends of the spectrum, but both provide value for money. So you can find a wide array of accommodations here. From hostels to top brands such as Hilton, IHG, Sheraton, Radisson, etc. Take your pick and choose your location.
When you book through JayWay Travel, they will arrange a place for you as well.
Where To Eat
Lots of places to find local food; just follow your nose and look around. Make sure you try the pretzels as they are quite good. The Old Town area has tons of places to eat, plus they have ice cream, so that can’t be beaten.
What To Do
I first visited Bucharest nine years ago (June 2008). It was a short visit, so it was a great opportunity when I just visited last week while working with JayWay Boutique Travel. They took all the planning away, so all I really did was board my flight and show up.
They arranged a driver for me, a hotel stay, meals as well as tours by a local guide named Flavia who is amazing and taught me more about the city than I need to know. Of course you can see the city by yourself, but having a guide adds so much more perspective and you don’t have to read about it, just experience it in real time. You can tailor your own experience.
Here are some recommendations and photos for you.
Arc de Triomphe. This is a replica of the one in Paris minus the traffic.
Nicolae Ceausescu’s Palace of Parliament. I highly recommend this stop. You get to see a small window into the Romanian parliament via a tour of the facilities. It’s is very grand I’ll tell you.
Revolution Square. This is where the revolution started. It’s a bit eerie as you explore it, but you must.
The Intercontinental Hotel. This building also played a part in the revolution.
Odd Statues. This one is of a naked guy holding a she-wolf.
Beautiful Parks. Bucharest has a number of very beautiful parks. Wander through them at your leisure.
Museums. There are no shortage of museums here, including a living museum with homes from all over Romania all in one place in the city.
Churches. There are lots of churches around the city. Most Russian Orthodox.
Currency: Leu (RON)
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Bucharest’s surrounding are also a great idea for short trips, like the Snagov Lake, the Cantacuzino Palace, the Mogosoaia Monastery, just to name a few. It’s well worth visiting some of the places where locals escape from the city during weekends.