Romania is one of the upcoming eastern european countries that is starting to be on many travellers hit list. It is cheap, the locals are friendly, it has a vibrant culture with many quirky bars and restaurants. Therefore, it is no surprise that Bucharest is now becoming a popular and cheap holiday destination for many europeans. There are numerous fun and interesting activities that you can take part in whilst visiting this fabulous city.
1. Take the free walking tour
The best thing you can do when arriving in a new, foreign city, especially one that does not speak much English, is to take a free walking tour to help familiarise yourself with the city. This way you also take a mini history lesson on the city, learn where is good to eat and drink, as well as finding out what the top attractions the city has to offer.
2. Herastrau Park
If it is a lovely day, take a walk or cycle around Herastrau Park. This is the largest park in Bucharest and has a variety of botanical gardens, lakes, rivers, paths and massive trees. The folk museum is also located in the centre of this park.
3. Bucharest Folk Museum
The folk museum is one of the most interesting cultural experiences you can have in Romania. In this open air museum, their are a variety of different houses and orthodox churches from a variety of different centuries. All of these are made from wood and are decorated very colourfully with different wool blankets and trinkets. Also the cliché royal blue of Romania was everywhere which I loved.
4. Art Museum
Located next to the opera house, is the National Art Gallery. A nice architectural building holds Romania’s art collection from it’s past royals. If you ever wanted a quiet gallery, then this is the one for you. I think I was one of five for the whole time I was in there, with the guard constantly wanting to talk to me about the paintings and asking me about Australia.
5. Stauropoleous Church
Located in the heart of the old town, is the oldest orthodox church of Bucharest. The inside is ornately painted and is very dark inside. Mass is still sung there everyday by the nuns and they encourage the public to join.
6. Romanian Athenaeum
In city centre, lies the opera concert hall. One of the most extravagantly decorated concert halls I have ever seen, and is quite small so makes for an intimate evening of entertainment. For a small fee, you can enter when there are no shows on, to take a look inside the theatre.
7. Dracula’s Statue and Prison Ruins
Basically, you can’t go to Romania without seeing a statue of the one true Dracula… and boy, he was very cruel in killing his people. He was known as an impaler and lets just say after having hear what is done described to me, its enough to make you feel sick.
8. Palace of Parliament
During the communist occupation, they built the second largest parliament house in the world. The biggest parliament house in the world is the Pentagon in America.The parliament house in Bucharest has a museum you can visit, of which you need to book a tour at least 24 hours in advance so security checks can be done. I didn’t get to do this but I hear it is fantastic!
9. Old Town and Nightlife
The old town is the cultural heart of Bucharest. There are dime a dozen different restaurants and bars that are jumping every night of the week. You can’t go wrong by spending a night out here.