Destination Tips

What to Do in Bucharest, Romania

If I had to describe Bucharest, Romania in one word, it would be interesting. It’s not your normal tourist destination, which is probably why I liked it so much. The architecture is vdiverse with many different styles. I thought it was odd but equally captivating. My little brother is half Romanian. (He’s not my biological brother). I heard a few stories about Bucharest from him. The facts that I gathered from his stories are all I knew about Bucharest prior to visiting. I honestly didn’t expect to like this city as much as I did. However, the three days that we spent here were quite memorable and exciting.

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We arrived to Bucharest via bus from Sofia, Bulgaria. Our Airbnb hosts picked us up from the bus station and welcomed us like we were family. I was blown away by their hospitality. First impressions mean a lot to me, and I knew in that moment that I was going to enjoy my time here.

WHERE TO STAY:

In my opinion, the best area to stay in Bucharest is in the Old Town. This area has everything you can possibly want. The area is filled with tons and restaurants and pubs. See what accommodations are available here:

TRANSPORTATION:

Uber operates in Bucharest and we used it a lot. Uber rides are very reasonable in terms of price. A twenty minute ride costs us about $6 USD. Some of our Uber rides were actually not much more expensive than taking public transportation. We did not use taxis at all so I don’t know how the prices compare. Our Airbnb hosts did warn us about some taxi drivers being dishonest. Just use your common sense and make sure the prices are posted on the door when using a taxi.

CURRENCY:

The currency in Romania is the Romanian Leu. One RON is equivalent to $0.25 USD. I loved the exchange rate here because it was easy to do the conversions in my head.

WHAT I DID IN BUCHAREST:

  • Got lost in the Old Town.

The Old Town is the heart of Bucharest. This area is brimming with restaurants and pubs. The Old Town was my favorite hangout spot in Bucharest. The architecture is exquisite and makes you feel like you are traveling back in time. At the same time, there is a modern vibe to it. We also developed a love for a restaurant called Ettitude Lounge & Club. Be sure to sit outside if you go. It’s relaxing and fun to people watch. The food is so reasonable and delicious. We ordered a steak, two beers and another entree for $20 USD. You seriously can’t beat that!

  • Saw the Arcul de Triumf

This arch was built in 1922 to celebrate Romania’s victory in World War I. The arch sits in the middle of the road so it is difficult to get a good photo of it. This photo was taken from the car.

  • Saw the Palace of the Parliament

This is the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon. It is also the heaviest building in the world. We did not see the inside of it. You can go inside as long as you have your passport and pay a fee.

  • Visited Bran Castle

The area around Brasov is thriving due to Bram Stoker’s, “Dracula.” The castle is situated on a hill and overlooks the town. We visited on a foggy morning so it added an element of spookiness to our visit. You do have to pay an entrance fee of 20 RON per person. Bring your student ID card and you will get a discount. To be completely honest, I thought that the castle was underwhelming. The exterior is spectacular and eerie. However, the interior was rather disappointing. I was expecting the interior to be just as grand as the exterior. There are very few signs guiding you around the interior. I just went up and down stairs without any logic. I also thought that the tie between Bran, Dracula and Vlad the Impaler was not discussed at all.

  • Visited Peles Castle

Peles Castle is a ravishing masterpiece! This castle is located near the town of Sinaia and used to be the home of the Romanian Royal Family. We hired a driver to take us to Bran Castle and Peles Castle. After we toured Bran Castle, his car broke down. We were stranded in Bran with no way of getting to Peles Castle and back to Bucharest. We still had two hours to make it to Peles Castle before it closed. We grabbed a taxi as fast as we could from Bran to Sinaia. We got to Peles Castle five minutes too late. The castle closed early that day due to a national holiday. I am still heartbroken about the fact that I was not able to go inside of Peles Castle.

What did you do when you went to Bucharest? What was your favorite thing about it? Let me know in the comments below!

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2 Comments

  • Sabina

    Hi Disha! I’ve been to Romania in 2015 and been longing to come back ever since. If I may recommend you something for your next trip there… visit Sibiu. It was my absolute favorite city! I was there right before Christmas… freezing, but the Christmas market was amazing! Another great experience was attending a classical concert. Ok, this may not be for everyone, but Bucharest has an amazing music hall, so nicely decorated, and concerts are so cheap (like 2 USD per person)!! 😊

    • Disha S.

      You are the first person I’ve “met” who has been to Romania. I am definitely adding Sibiu to the list now. Wow–I had no idea how cheap the concerts are. I definitely missed out. Thank you, Sabina!

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