In the beginning of August I went on a trip to Bucharest. And I LOVED it! Here is a list of places to visit and some useful tips. Me and Karlis didn’t go there just to stare at the Communist monuments, although we did that a lot as well. East is just way more alluring; both of us coming from the past ‘Ostblock’ (Slovakia and Latvia). We stayed with a local friend we met in the Westblock (Luxembourg) before he moved back to Buku. This was incredibly useful and great, because first: accommodation was sorted and second: having a local show you around Bucharest is simply priceless. George, on top of being local, is interested in history, so we were totally being spoiled by having almost any and every thing we pointed at explained to us and told a story about :)) We went for a week, but we were chilling a lot. The best places could be done in 3 or 4 days and RyainAir flies to Buku for a low price.

You can take a tour of the furnished parts of it, where the crazy dictator was supposed to live like the king Louis XIV.

Palatul Parlamentului: These pics were taken outside of the palace. I’m wearing a mesh gown I sewed from scratch. I really love it because I don’t get a sunburn, FURTHERMORE I don’t tan! Mission accomplished, it worked.


  • Old Town – Of course!! I was particularly loving the old deserted buildings which were falling apart mixed with newer ones and the general colour scheme. Sure, it’s a very sad story that there’s no money for them to be renovated, but the place is magical.
  • Obor and Dristor – These have a very post-soviet vibe and are definitely worth going to. Dristor is an old industrial part of Buku.
  • Palatul Parlamentului – The second largest administrative building in the world. Built by Ceaușescu in the 80s it is one of the most interesting buildings. It was never finished completely and now houses the government, contemporary art museum and you can take a tour of the furnished parts of it, where the crazy dictator was supposed to live like the king Louis XIV. A truly mesmerizing place; read more about it.
  • Parcul Carol I. and Parcul Herastrau – The first has a massive Soviet monument which is worth seeing and the second is one of  the biggest in-city parks in Europe. Both are super pleasant and you can rent boats on the small lakes.
  • Vulcanii Noroiosi – To see these mud volcanoes you’ll have to get out of town. It was great fun and also on the way there; we got to experience true Romania, where flushing toilets are too futuristic of a concept and roads have seen better days maybe about 50 years ago 🙂
  • Art Café – This is a must if you want to experience real Romanian food. It’s a godforsaken bistro in the center, but the atmosphere there is just awesome. We paid some 5 euros each for 2-course lunch and 2 drinks.
  • Deschis Gastrobar – A rooftop bar with a nice view, very cool furnished and with a wonderful summer atmosphere.
  • Animaletto – Amazzing little restaurant with the bestest pizza and pasta. Very reasonable prices and the staff was cool, pleasant and blasting nice house music.
  • Café Verona and Gradina Eden – Two places I’d highly recommend if you want to sit outside in nice weather with smoothies or something alcoholic with an umbrella and fruit garnish.
  • Mazzaj – Super tasty falafel, approved by the locals.
  • Control – A very western bar and a club where Romanian hipsters meet regularly, ha. It was cool to be there that night, not mind-blowing though.

Places to visit

  • Old Town – Of course!! I was particularly loving the old deserted buildings which were falling apart mixed with newer ones and the general colour scheme. Sure, it’s a very sad story that there’s no money for them to be renovated, but the place is magical.
  • Obor and Dristor – These have a very post-soviet vibe and are definitely worth going to. Dristor is an old industrial part of Buku.
  • Palatul Parlamentului – The second largest administrative building in the world. Built by Ceaușescu in the 80s it is one of the most interesting buildings. It was never finished completely and now houses the government, contemporary art museum and you can take a tour of the furnished parts of it, where the crazy dictator was supposed to live like the king Louis XIV. A truly mesmerizing place; read more about it.
  • Parcul Carol I. and Parcul Herastrau – The first has a massive Soviet monument which is worth seeing and the second is one of  the biggest in-city parks in Europe. Both are super pleasant and you can rent boats on the small lakes.
  • Vulcanii Noroiosi – To see these mud volcanoes you’ll have to get out of town. It was great fun and also on the way there; we got to experience true Romania, where flushing toilets are too futuristic of a concept and roads have seen better days maybe about 50 years ago 🙂

Eat and drink

  • Art Café – This is a must if you want to experience real Romanian food. It’s a godforsaken bistro in the center, but the atmosphere there is just awesome. We paid some 5 euros each for 2-course lunch and 2 drinks.
  • Deschis Gastrobar – A rooftop bar with a nice view, very cool furnished and with a wonderful summer atmosphere.
  • Animaletto – Amazzing little restaurant with the bestest pizza and pasta. Very reasonable prices and the staff was cool, pleasant and blasting nice house music.
  • Café Verona and Gradina Eden – Two places I’d highly recommend if you want to sit outside in nice weather with smoothies or something alcoholic with an umbrella and fruit garnish.
  • Mazzaj – Super tasty falafel, approved by the locals.
  • Control – A very western bar and a club where Romanian hipsters meet regularly, ha. It was cool to be there that night, not mind-blowing though.

2nd hand

Take the circle tram line, number 1, from the very north. Go towards east and then south and you will go through the city parts called Obor and Dristor. On the main street in Obor, and the parallel streets there are sooo many second hands. Also on Calea Mosilor. Adam and Eva recommended these and they found real gems for small prices, but we weren’t so lucky. It was a bit of a disappointment I must add.



2nd handshoppingwasa bit of adisappointment.


Hidden gems, literally

Be prepared to get lost in Bucharest and to not find things which are clearly indicated on a map (even Google maps). For example: I looked up second hands and vintage shops – one was super expensive high fashion stuff and the rest were non-existent. They were just not where their FB pages said they would be. A similar story happened with clubs which our friend recommended. One wasn’t where Resident Advisor said it would be, and the other two were closed despite having an FB event for the party 😀 These are the three clubs (you might be luckier than us) – Studio Martin, Club Guesthouse, Kristal Glam Club.


Transport

Trams are a similar story to the hidden gems. The tram numbers with the list of stops is nowhere to be found at the tram stops. You just have to ask someone whether the tram goes where you want to go. At least you can find metro info in the metro. To get around where the metro won’t take you is best to take a taxi. They’re really cheap (some 0.20 cents/km) and it’s highly possible you will experience something funny – like a taxi driver getting out of the car he’s driving you in, to spit at another driver who pissed him off. Use this app to get a taxi, ‘CleverTaxi’.


No need

The botanic gardens weren’t anything to write home about. Caru cu Bere will be probably on the top of the ‘traditional cuisine restaurants’ list, but it’s overpriced and full of tourists. However, the interior is nice and food alright (nothing special). If you don’t want to hang only in the city center (and you shouldn’t), don’t visit Aviatorilor and Dorobanti. These parts of town are more expensive and not really fun.

Melisa Minca & Karlis Krastins