Bucharest, well known for its eventful past, is the economic and cultural centre of the nation. Its elegant, French-inspired architecture has earned it the nickname of the Paris of the East.
A large part of the historical old city was torn down under former President Nicolae Ceausescu, however, and replaced with heavy, pompous communist buildings. Visitors can't miss the sight of the gigantic Palace of the Parliament. Bucharest is a great place if you like meat. The traditional Romanian cuisine and fine beer are good grounds for a feast. But make sure to leave time for an outing to the enormous food markets, vibrant with colour and action. It's definitely worth it. Bucharest has been influenced by countless factors over its long history.
The result is a city rich in cultural diversity. You'll find numerous museums, including one where you can come to understand the rural life of the country. A bit outside the city, there are all kinds of monuments, cathedrals, castles and palaces to see. Any of them make for a wonderful outing. Those who prefer to do their exploring in the evening will find a vibrate nightlife with many bars and clubs in the Romanian capital. One thing is certain: Bucharest never sleeps.
capital of Romania on the Dâmbovița River in the southern part of the country
about 1.9 million
about 228 km²
- Public transport
well-linked network of trams and buses
moderate climate with cold winters, when the temperatures often drop below 0°C and warm summers when they seldom go above 35°C
- Best time to visit
Spring and autumn offer the most comfortable temperatures.
- Good to know
There's a good chance taxi drivers will overcharge you.
- Nice to know
The Palace of the Parliament, erected by the megalomaniac head of state Nicolae Ceausescu, is the largest building in Europe.
Henri Coanda International Airport, about 16 km north of the city
Bus 780 connects the airport and the main station, Gara de Nord. Bus 783 travels between the airport and the city centre and takes 40 minutes.
First you'll take an airport shuttle to a small railway station. From there, you can travel by train to the main station, Gara de Nord, where you can switch to a subway or bus. The ticket you buy is valid for both the shuttle and train. The ride to the main station takes about 50 minutes.
Taxis wait in the ground floor near the airport exit. It is recommended that you order a taxi at the counter. It takes about 25-30 minutes to reach the city centre.