Bucharest is probably the most underrated city in Europe. After spending a weekend exploring, it’s safe to say that it has lots to offer. These 10 reasons why your next city break should be Bucharest will make you want to see for yourself.
I was lucky enough to spend the weekend with locals. One of my best friends happens to be Romanian and visits annually with her husband. Of course, this was the perfect excuse to pack my bags and crash their vacation. I was told not to worry about the itinerary and that I just needed to show up. For most people, this would be great news but the control freak in me did not agree. In true Chieff fashion, I put together a list of things I wanted to see and made restaurant reservations. I just couldn’t help myself.
The JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel, conveniently located just a short distance from Old Town and the Palace of Parliament, was my hotel of choice. As a fussy hotel snob I am very particular when selecting the perfect stay and five star Marriott hotels never disappoint.
I arrived late on Friday so it was only fitting to start our evening with a few drinks. Which brings me to the first reasons you should visit Bucharest; the nightlife.
#1 The Nightlife
If you are looking for a good time, this is the perfect city! You’ll find a mix of posh and laid-back watering holes in Bucharest. Our first stop of the evening was Nuba, a dinner club where you’ll find the who’s who of Bucharest. There is no shortage of beautiful people all dressed to impress in a great setting. Nuba has a retractable roof and when the weather is nice you get to party under the stars; the vibe is awesome! Enjoy a late dinner (arrive around 10:00pm) and keep your table for the night.
Freddo Bar & Lounge
Old Town (Centru Vechi) is where the party is at on Friday and Saturday night. Because we were still nursing a hangover from Friday evening we decided to enjoy Freddo on Sunday night. On weeknights and Sundays, the bars are a lot less crowded and the setting is much more relaxed. Enjoy cool mixes from their resident Dj, Christian Lepah, while you sit outside and sip on an Aperol Spritz. Now that’s my kind of evening!
#2 Palatul Parlamentului
The Palace of Parliament is the second largest administrative building in the world, after the Pentagon. You can take a guided tour of the building which is offered throughout the day in English, French and Romanian. Construction began when Romania was under the communist reign and showcases the extravagant lifestyle led by the elite communists of that period. Learn all about the mysterious tunnels, building materials used and other interesting facts during the tour.
#3 Centru Vechi a.k.a Old Town, Bucharest
Old Town isn’t only a party destination. Take a stroll during the day and experience the older more historical side of Bucharest. You’ll find the Stavropoleos Monastery and Curtea Veche (Old Princeley Court) one of the residences of Vlad the Impaler a.k.a. Dracula. You’ll hear locals talk about the buildings being unsafe in Old Town. A legislation was passed in November 2016 that forbids any commercial activity in buildings labelled with a red disc considered earthquake risks. So you can rest assured.
#5 Eat Gelato at Puro & Bio
Ok fine it’s Italian, but the gelato is so good it had to make the list. Puro & Bio’s gelato is organic with an authentic taste derived by a natural production process. If you like less traditional flavors you must try the Rose gelato!
#6 Have Breakfast at Frudisiac
This little Scandinavian breakfast and brunch restaurant offers cold pressed juices and healthy eats with communal sitting or you can sit outside if the weather permits.
#7 Muzeul National Al Satului Dimitrie Gusti (open air-folk museum)
See what a real village looked like in Romania dating back from the 17th century until the early 20th century. You can find monuments, artifacts, fairs, folk performances and theater while walking around the open-air museum.
#8 Romanian Athenaeum
This beautiful building was built 120 years ago in the heart of Bucharest and embodies Romanian culture. We were lucky enough to visit during an orchestra rehearsing and it was just perfect. You can check out the events happening at the Athenaeum here.
#9 Eat Authentic Romanian Food
The food scene is nothing to rave about in Bucharest, quite honestly, I wasn’t very impressed. Besides the restaurants mentioned on this list our meals were quite disappointing. With that said Caru’ Cu Bere is an absolute must! One thing they do know is traditional Romanian food and this place is fantastic!
#10 Palatul Primaverii
The private residence of Nicolae and Elena Ceauşescu, also known as the Ceauşescu Mansion, is worth a visit. From the outside, it looks like a normal mansion you would find in an upscale neighborhood. Once inside, you will be amazed at how the architects managed to make something so grand look much smaller.
Bucharest is also home to the largest spa in Europe that opened last year; Terme Bucuresti. Our intention was to wake up early on Saturday morning to enjoy a nice relaxing day at the spa but we never made it. Note to self, don’t party if you have plans the next day! Luckily my friend got a chance to visit after I left and both she and her husband loved it!
I hope you enjoyed reading about the ten reasons why your next city break should be Bucharest! Let me know in the comments or share it with the social media links! I’d love to keep sharing my travel adventures so feel free to subscribe to the newsletter in the big box below. Don’t forget to follow me on facebook & instagram.