Advertisement on crumbling building, Bucharest

Bucharest, not an entirely awful place

Bucharest will probably not be anyone's highlight on a trip to Romania, but we found plenty to do walking around the old town, visiting a historical museum and an Easter market, and spending the afternoon in the tranquil city park.

We arrived at Henri Coandă International Airport in the evening and located bus 783 going into town. One was pulling out just as we arrived, but another one arrived shortly. The tickets were sold in a kiosk by the bus stop, setting us back 3,5 lei (about 1 USD) per person. There was a bus stop at Piața Unirii, from where we could walk to our hostel. It was Friday evening and people were already having cocktails in the outdoor patios of the restaurants lining the streets as we walked by.

The following morning we went out at around 10 am trying to score some breakfast, and to our surprise almost nothing was open, save for some clubs with guests who had clearly not stopped drinking since the night before. In the end we found a quite uninspired café that would serve us a croissant. The vacation could finally start!

The national history museum

We went off to visit the national history museum, Muzeul Național de Istorie a României, which is only partially open due to ongoing restoration work. Still, it had enough historical artefacts to keep us busy for several hours, and one area had costumes that you get to try on!

Palace of the parliament bucharest

Palace of the Parliament

After that, we went to check out the Palace of the Parliament, the world’s second largest administrative building once ordered by Ceaușescu. They offer tours in there, and there are several museums on the site, but since the weather was nice and we’d just been to one museum, we opted to just have a look from the outside instead.

On the other side of the big road was an Easter market, with loads of little stalls selling traditional foods and handicrafts. We strolled around it for a while and had a Hungarian langos with cheese.

Cismigiu park

In the afternoon, we walked over to the Cismigiu park, a quite big park near the old town, with walking paths, playgrounds and ponds. It was a really relaxing place, and many local families had come to spend the nice spring day there. Traffic can be a bit exhausting in Bucharest, and this was a great place to get away from it all for a bit.

Where to stay in Bucharest

We had booked two nights in a double room at Little Bucharest Old Town Hostel for the start of the trip. It was located smack bang in the middle of the old town, with loads of restaurants and nightlife nearby. When we came back at the end of the trip for one more night, we stayed at Hotel Opera right next to the Cismigiu park, which was a bit more fancy but still good value for money. I would recommend both for a night or two in Bucharest, although neither is as special as the other places we stayed on this trip.

Planning a trip to Romania? Check out our nine day itinerary!

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