Bucharest is the capital and the largest city in Romania, it’s also a cultural and economic center. Most of the travelers stop in the city just for a night or two, before heading north to Transylvania, but that’s not enough. Once called ‘Little Paris of the East’ and it sure has a lot to offer. From the historic old town center, the vast palace of the Parliament, miles of parks, lots of museums. We stayed in Bucharest for two days at the end of our trip and would love to stay more.
What to do in Bucharest:
If you are in Bucharest you need to take a walk through the old town. It’s situated in the center of Bucharest and it’s a maze of alleys and streets full of restaurants, bars. It’s a great place to have a meal or at least to have a drink, you have many options to pick from.
It’s a public park near the center of Bucharest. It’s one of the most beautiful parks in the city and it’s a place to see when you are in Bucharest. Parks offers a lake, many pubs, and trees.
(adults 15 lei, retired people and Euro 26 cardholders 8 lei, students 4 lei; opening hours every day 9am – 7pm)
Bucharest Village Museum is one of those few places that take us back to the past and inspire us to understand and appreciate it for its true value. Extending on 14 hectares, in one of the capital’s most beautiful and largest parks, Herastrau, the Village Museum is one of the first open-air ethnographic museums in the world. This must-see museum recreates the past three centuries of the Romanian village, obtaining on an almost surreal experience in urban Bucharest.
(adults 20 lei, retired people 10 lei, students 5 lei (valid ID); opening hours from Tuesday to Sunday 10 am – 8 pm; last entry at 7 pm)
The Grigor Antipa National Museum of Natural History in Bucharest is considered one of Romania’s best museums, as well as one of the best natural history museums in all of Europe. It is named for a famous Romanian biologist who, among his other accomplishments, was the first Romanian to reach the North Pole. With some two million objects, the museum is the largest museum of natural history in the country and features a range of ethnographic, mineralogical, zoological and paleontological exhibits, with highlights including an extensive butterfly collection, a hall dedicated to the Black Sea and dinosaur fossils.
The Palace of Parliament is the largest and heaviest administrative building on the planet used for civilian purposes, and also the second largest administrative building overall, after the Pentagon. We just went to see the building from the outside, didn’t take a tour.
(Adults 25lei, children 10 lei, children under 7 free – ticket is valid 24 hours from the first validation)
RATB offers daily double-decker tourist bus city tour, which takes you to the most important tourist attractions.
If you like walking tours, we have good news for you. Its a project, run by locals, that are very passionate about their city and also love traveling. It’s a very good way to explore Romania. They offer a free walking tour in Bucharest and Brasov.
Transport from the airport:
A taxi trip shouldn’t cost more than 50 lei under no circumstances (including the tip). You tell the driver in advance that you won’t pay more than that.
If you ask me, I recommend the bus. We took it, it’s really easy, it’s a lot of them and most importantly it’s very cheap.
From the airport there are 2 buses:
The 780 Express line connects Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport with the Gara de Nord (main railway station). We took this one, cause we went directly to Brasov with the train.
The 783 Express line connects Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport with the city center. This line runs day and night. At night, the bus leaves every 40 minutes.
You get the bus downstairs in front of the Arrivals entrance (from International Arrivals, take the stairs, follow the signs to get to Arrivals and then exit) or follow the yellow Bus signs. On the right there is a kiosk/ machine where you can buy tickets, the driver doesn’t sell tickets
Price for one trip is 3,5 lei.
The magnetic card valid for two travels costs 7 lei.
I think that the metro is the best way to explore the city.
We took a daily metro ticket and it worked out great for us.
Bus, tram, trolleybus
The ground transportation system consists of buses, trams, and trolleybuses operated by the public service company, RATB. The buses, trams, and trolleybuses run every day from 04.30 to 23.00 and after this hour they are replaced by night buses that run once every hour
Taxi prices are written on the cab doors, check before you get in. Most cabs are 1.39 per km but some are 3.50 – with no additional quality. Additionally, make sure the meter is switched on before setting off. Also make sure that you have small bills on you, as some drivers are known to insist they don’t have change when you give them a 50 bill for a 30 lei fare.
Avoid taxi drivers asking the price in advance
Avoid »helping« taxi drivers, even if they look really nice and helpful, they usually try to rip off tourists, make sure that they always use the meter.
Uber is very popular and better than taxis. They have better cars, more respectful drivers and they mostly speak English.
If you use Uber for the first time, you can click below and we both get free kilometers:
Where to stay
All trip around Romania we were using Airbnb for accommodation and I really recommend it.
If you sign up to Airbnb for the first time, click below and get 30€ of discount for your first adventure: