Bucharest City Guide travel tourist sightseeing attractions information

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Related Pages   Rail services to and from Bucharest  – International Coach services to and from Bucharest / Romania Skiing

Local Pages   Bucharest Airport and Public Transport information / Romania Skiing  Nightclubs In Bucharest

Bucharest History Overview

Bucharest is sometimes referred to as the ‘Paris of the Balkans’ Fortunately it lacks anything as hideous as the Eiffel tower but its mere location between the Carpathian Mountains and the Black Sea has a certain romance about it. The earliest documentary reference to Bucharest is dated 1459. The document was signed by the ruler of Wallachia (the first Romanian State) Vlad Dracula, better known as ‘Vlad the Impaler’ as he would impale a stake into the chest of those who crossed him and then watch them slowly die. In the Old town in Bucharest there is a ruin of a palace which some say was once his.

Between the 16th and 19th centuries Bucharest was the centre of many conflicts and wars. In 1595 it was burnt to the ground by the Ottomans. Several times It was the battleground for the armies of the Austrians Ottomans and Russians. In 1862, it became the capital of the new united Romania. In an attempt to create a new identity it commissioned French architects who initiated French style boulevards aligned with buildings inspired by classical French architecture. Post WW1 these styles were supplemented by native Romanian artist who had travelled abroad. As a result Bucharest became home to those who could afford what some regarded as examples of Europe’s grandest residences..

In 1946 Communism ended this Bohemian era as Stalin made his customary contribution to the architecture of acquired lands. Later Romanian President Nicolae Ceausesce destroyed many of the city historic buildings and churches as he sought to repeat the French experience. Consequently this city is a compendium of intrigues – whatever your tastes are.

Sightseeing & Attractions in Bucharest

Bucharest is the Romanian capital and is Romania’s largest cultural, financial and industrial centre. The city lies on the banks of the beautiful Dambovita River. It has a population of nearly 2 million people. Romania was very Bohemian like until Russian leader Stalin intervened and  made his customary impact on the Countries architecture and cultural landscape. The Village and National museums give a tremendous insight into ancient, medieval and modern Romanian life.

 There are a significant number of religious and cultural landmarks along with entertainment for the kids in the form of Bucharest’s first Theme Park, ironically titled Terra Park. This romantic city has often been referred to as ”The Paris Of Balkans” but many be surprised to find Bucharest a more fascinating and charming city than the French capital.Romanian Palace of Parliament, Calea 13 Septembrie Bucharest – This multi Purpose building houses both chambers of the Romanian parliament. This is the former home of Ceausescu, a residence which he built for himself and his wife as an opulent palace. It’s reportedly the largest Presidential building in the world second only to the Pentagon in Washington. This extremely lavish building was the brainchild of Romanian Architects, designed in a Neoclassicism Style. The construction took 4 years between 1994 and 1998 and cost around 3 Billion Euro’s. The Palace is Bucharest’s number one attraction  and offers guided tours in English, French and German. Opening  hours are 10 am till 4 pm and the tour costs 6 Euro’s and an extra 10 Euro’s for the use of camera’s. website n/a 
The Romanian Athenaeum Strada Benjamin Franklin  Bucharest tel no: 021315-6875 -The Athenaeum  is at the Revolution Plaza was built in 1834 and is the former residence of the Romanian Royal family. This building is a prime example of the French influence on Classical architecture. It is now used as a venue for Classical Music concerts, music festivals and is home to The George Enescu philharmonic. It was officially opened in 1888 and is conveniently located in the centre of Bucharest. A substantial amount of renovation and reconstruction took place in 1992 to restore it to its former glory and save  the Athenaeum from collapsing. Saving this historic building cost 9 million Euro’s donated courtesy of the Romanian government and the Council of Europe Development Bank. website n/a
Village Museum Bucharest, Sos kiseleff 28-30 – This museum founded in 1936 and covers 15 hectares in area. it is one of the nicest outdoor museums in the Balkans. This fascinating Museum offers over 250 buildings and farm homes from all over Romania on a 10 hectare site. Amongst this collection of interesting buildings are watermills, Windmills, Churches and original Romanian houses. The buildings come from all of Romania’s main regions including Transylvania and Moldavia. Many consider the Museum’s main attraction to be the steep belfry on the Maramures Church which is complete with spectacular yet fading icons. The Museum has a charming little souvenir shop and a stall which sells traditional Romanian sweets and cakes. The Museum tends to be a big favourite amongst children. Entry fee is 6.00 lei and 1.50 lei for children/ students. open 9 am to 7 pm and  9 am till 5 pm on Monday’s.website http://www.muzeul-satului.ro/
National Museum of Romanian History Calea Victoriei  Bucharest  – This large early 20th century houses over 70,000 exhibits. The Museum contains documents and artefact’s from Prehistoric till Modern Day Romania. The main features are the Romanian Crown jewels, The Trajan’s column and Pietrosaele Treasures. The museum underwent a reconstruction in 2007. there is a Portrait of Elizabeth Weid  who was Queen Consort of Romania in the mid 19th century. The frontal and main views of the buildings are pretty majestic and imposing. Opening times are Weds-Sun 10 am to 6 pm and open till 7 pm in the summer. Entry fee is 5 Lei for Adults and 2.00 Lei for students and children. website http://www.mnir.ro/ro/Default.aspx
National Controceni Museum, Bucharest St Geniului 1 – The museum houses an extensive collection of old Romanian art. It is situated on Controceni Hill and was originally a palace and the residence of the Romanian President. The buildings construction began in 1888 and was designed in a Brancovenesc style which is a type of Romanian Architecture founded during the reign of King Constantin Brancoveanu. Opening times are daily 10 am till 6 pm. Entry fee is around 5 Euro’s.website http://www.muzeulcotroceni.ro/
Bucharest Zoo, 4 Valdul Moldovei Street Bucharest tel no: 40-021-230-45-10 –  The Bucharest Zoo was established as The Zoological corner in 1955. It was opened as an actual public zoo in 1962 . They have all the typical wildlife you would expect from a zoo including elephants, reptiles and a cute lion couple Marc and Ella and  bears Gina and Vasile who you can witness eating their breakfast at 9.30 am every day.  The Zoo contains over 800 animals and 100 species.  Opening times are 9 am till 5 pm. Admission fee is 3 Euro’s and 1.50 Euro’s for children.website n/a
Anglican Church, str.Xeonopol 2 Bucharest  – The Anglican Church of the resurrectia quaint church located in the heart of Bucharest. This traditional looking church was built out of red bricks  and was erected in 1914, but they didn’t hold their first service until 1920. They have an English Language service every Sunday from 10 till 11 am. The church was shut during the Second World War and was suitably reopened on Christmas Day of 1944 with help from the Royal Navy and United States Military.  The Church used to have  different priests appearing to conduct services but now has a permanent priest who is Martin Jacques. You will also find an English fiction library here.  Sunday services are at 10 am. website  http://www.churchoftheresurrection.eu/
Terra Park, Bucharest 8a Bulevardul Timisoara – Terra Park is a new and enchanting Theme Park in the Romanian capital opened in late 2011.  it is the City’s first real theme park which is great news for the kids. It has the all the typical attractions including roller coaster Rides Carousel’s  and a  Log Flume. The Park cost around 25 Million Euro’s to build.  The entry fee is averagely priced. Opening times are  daily from 11 am till10 pm. website http://www.terra-park.ro/
Bucharest National Museum Of Art Sector 2 Bucharest  – The National Museum of Art is situated in the  former Royal Palace in Bucharest’s Revolution Square. There are extensive collections of Medieval and contemporary Romanian Art.  The Museum was opened in 1937 and was damaged in 1989 during the Romanian revolution which lead to the downfall of President Nicolae Ceausescu who was sentenced to death in the same year.
Along with Romanian works the Museum contains many notable International pieces such as  Bernardino Licinio’s  ”Return Of Prodigal Son and Claude Monet’s ”Camille In Green Dress”. Work by influential Romanian artist Nicolae Grigorescu  who was heavily involved in the founding the Modern Romanian Art Movement. The Museum’s building and its grounds are really quite magnificent.  Opening hours are Weds-Sun 11 am till 7 pm and 10 am till 6 pm October-April. Admission fee is 8 Lei ,and the first Wednesday of every month is free.website http://www.mnar.arts.ro

Restaurants In Bucharest

A curious Romanian restaurant with tables surrounded by stuffed birds and chairs with sheepskinsis The BureBista at Calea Mosilor 195 (Tel 201 9704). Good food and the sarmale – stuffed cabbage, meat rice and herbs is especially good. The night live folk music creates a good ambience. The Bisto Atheneu at Str. Episcopie 3 (Tel 313 4900) aesthetically seems French but in reality it has a fairly European menu and a number of Romanian dishes. The best of the latter is varza a la cluj – chopped meat and cabbage under a sea of sour cream. Good food – averagely priced.

The Silviu at Str. Louis Pasteur 44 (Tel 410 9184) is a good Italian restaurant especially if you appreciate meat and pasta dishes. In the summer you can eat in the garden and they have a private dining room as well. Reasonably priced. The Bradet at Str. Caro Davila 60 (Tel 410 8215) is a small establishment with wood panelling offering traditional Romanian dishes as well as the more common beef, chicken and fish dishes. Good food and average prices.

The Casa Venescu at Calea Victoriei 133 is a particularly attractive French restaurant. It serves some elaborate dishes including lobster in rice and a very good goose in red wine sauce. This said it also offers some local dishes. In the summer you dine in their garden.

A City For Gambling! Bucharest is a city where gambling has become socially acceptable. Many of the cities 18th and 19th century former palaces and mansions have been converted to Casinos which have an elegance that is not found anywhere else in Europe. They offer blackjack, poker, craps, roulette, baccarat and other games of chance. Many also offer indulging food and live music all night long if you want to party! Practice your gaming skills online here  (sponsored link) before you encounter the real deal!

Crime and Personal Safety & Security In Bucharest Petty theft, pickpockets and bag snatchers operate in busy areas especially near ATM’s, on public transport, main stations and the airport. Travel to and from the airport poses similar risk. When paying by credit card do loose site of it as copying fraud is increasing. Beware of bogus policeman wanting to check documents – do not leave valuables in your hotel room.

Official Bucharest Tourist Board  http://www.romaniatourism.com/bucharest.html

 Nightclubs in Bucharest

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Bucharest Romania Weather Forecast

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