We all know Christmas is a magical time. Probably the most anticipated time of the year. Planning to visit Romania this Christmas? That’s awesome because we have a few things to tell you about what to expect and things you can do during Christmas time in Bucharest, and Romania.
Romanians love their holiday traditions, spending time with families, caroling, and eating traditional food. So if you want to have a taste of the culture, spending Christmas in Bucharest, or anywhere in Romania will be the greatest experience.
Things to do in Bucharest on Christmas Days
Starting December 1st the whole city of Bucharest gets a different kind of vibe. The vibe of lights, snow, and joy. And wine. Oh, the wine! There is no better way to enjoy pre-Christmas than visiting Bucharest Christmas Market and drinking some wine.
Christmas lights in Bucharest
You remember how we are always prepped to give you the best experiences in Romania.
Our tour Wine Tasting Tour in Bucharest will give you two of the best things you can see for Christmas in Bucharest: a city tour, and a wine tasting experience. Here is what you should know about the tour:
- Total time: 2.5 hours
- Pick-up: your address of choice
- Price: 79 euros / adult
- Book here
Visit Bucharest Christmas Market
We all love Christmas Markets! And this year there are three Christmas Markets in Bucharest.
What an amazing way to feel the atmosphere, taste traditional treats, drink some mulled wine or crafted beer, and buy souvenirs!
Visiting the Christmas markets brings an authentic feel of Christmas in Bucharest. Brace yourselves, there are three Christmas markets in Bucharest this year:
It opened on the 26th of November and it will be open until the 26th of December – so you can spend your Christmas at Bucharest Christmas Market – or, at least a few hours. Here is what you can find there:
Traditional food, drinks, and souvenirs
All the goodies are gathered in one place. Especially traditional food such as pork specialties, fasole cu ciolan, and sarmale.
Pastries and sweets have their place of honor:
- Cozonac: a traditional sweet bread that implicated a mixture of milk, flour, sugar yeast and a filling of chooped walnuts with sugar, which are swirrled together before baking. It’s traditional for all South-Eastern part of Europe, and it’s usually prepared for special holidays such as Christmas.
- Home-made chocolate: everyone’s favorite. It’s not the chocolate you would be used to, but a kind made with powder milk. It is common to add walnuts, raisins and other spices in the mixture. *drool*
- Mulled wine or Vin Fiert: nothing to warm you up better, and introduce you to the spirit of Christmas in Bucharest than mulled wine. Boiled together with sugar, cinnamon, apple, and orange slices for an awesome taste.
- Artisan beers and teas: Romanian pride themselves on the multitude of leafs that grow everywhere and can be made into amazing and healthy tea. But if you are not a tea person nor a wine person, you will love the artisan beer. There are quite a few alternatives there and you will easily recognize them by their “hand-made” look of the bottles.
- Souvenirs: Romanians love their hand-crafted souvenirs, and they usually make the most out of what nature gives – meaning all sorts and sizes of cones, fruits, and branches. At the same time, hand-made globes for the Christmass tree with immaculate designs will amaze you.
If you like souvenirs, we have an entire article dedicated to this, click here and pick your favorite when in Bucharest for Christmas.
Entrance fees at Bucharest Christmas Market
There is a small entrance fee required by the organizers this year.
You can purchase the tickets either online, or at the market.
Tickets are CHEAPER if you buy them online: 5 RON / person, and if you get them at the market it will be 7 RON / person.
There are regulations that need to be respected during your visit to the Bucharest Christmas Market. Also, there is a limit of 30% of the total capacity, and the entrance is allowed to:
- People who are vaccinated against Covid-19 (at least 10 days before, with the second dose)
- People who have had Covid-19 and it’s been at least 15 days since recovery, but no more than 180 days
- The access is granted with the proof of those mentioned above (EU Covid Pass for EU countries, and any other proof for countries outside the EU)
- People under the age of 12 DO NOT need any of these.
- Everobody is obligated to wear a protective mask (expection children under 5 years old) and keep social distancing
Classical Christmas Market and West Side Christmas Market
As mentioned earlier, there are a total of three markets in Bucharest this year. The Classical one is located in front of the National Opera – such an amazing location. Access the location easily by clicking here.
And if you still have some time on your hands, and want to check out one more, take a trip to Moghioros Park and check it out. Access the location by clicking here.
The same goodies and treats can be found here, as in the main market: food, sweets, and delicious wines and beers.
Traditional Christmas Dinner and Evening City Tour
Here is something else you can do during your visit to Bucharest for Christmas. For instance, we want to recommend one of our tours to go to one of the most famous traditional restaurants: Caru’ cu Bere, alongside an evening city tour.
See what the tour includes by clicking here. Meanwhile here are some details:
- Total time: 3 hours
- Price: 59 euros/ adult and 49 euros/ child aged 7-11
- Pick up: at your address of choice
- Discounts: 5% for 3 people, 8% for 4 or more people traveling together (call us for a discount code)
Traditional Romanian Food for Christmas
My, oh my where do we begin? As one might expect, Christmas meals are all about quantity. And quality, of course, but the point is there are lots of dishes.
Appetizers, Main Dishes and Desserts for Christmas Dinner
Traditional Christmas dinners in Romania usually start with appetizers, followed by soup, a main dish, and, of course, dessert. Oh, and a lot of pre-dinner drinks, during meal drinks, and after-meal drinks.
- Salata de boeuf (Boeuf Salad): is not what you would expect. The name may be salad but it consists of boiled root veggies, mixed with pickles and mayonese.
- Salata de vinete (Eggplant Salad): another salad with mayonese. The eggplants are baked and made into a paste. Later on you add chooped onions and mayonese. Mix and eat. One of the best things ever.
- Piftie: an aspic receipe prepared with pork, chicken or goose meat with a lot of garlic. It is quite heavy, but many Romanians really enjoy it.
- Sarmale (Cabbage rolls): the most famous Romanian main dish, served for holidays such as Christmas or Easter. It is made with ground pork mixed with rice, vegetables and wrapped up in cabbage leafs. After this they are slowly boiled for hours and they are served with warm polenta and sour cream.
- Pork specialties: this includes sausages, bacon, toba, caltabos and others.
- Cozonac: a traditional sweet bread that implicated a mixture of milk, flour, sugar yeast and a filling of chooped walnuts with sugar, which are swirrled together before baking.
- Cake, pastries and pies: commonly made with walnuts, raisins, and apples.
Pre and Post Christmas Dinner Activities
Now, all those delicious dishes and drinks can get a bit heavy on your stomach (and liver). So we have found a few activities that you can include during your Christmas in Bucharest.
- Stroll around the Old City and Carturesti Library: a walk after a meal is always a good idea. And walking around the Old City is always a great idea. The lights and music will be food for soul. And since you are at it enter Carturesti Library – a six stories library covering over 1000 sqm. It also has an entire basement dedicated to art, and a bistro at level 6. Enjoy!
- Ice Skating in AFI Palace Cotroceni: what a better way to burn all those calories than by ice skating? AFI mall has a great skating ring that you will love. And since you are here you can also go to the Museum of Senses – you have 30% discount if you book any tour with Travel Maker!
Day Trips to Transylvania
Yes, Bucharest is magnificent for Christmas. But Transilvania is always beautiful to visit. Especially for Christmas.
It’s important to keep in mind that most museums and historical monuments will be closed during Christmas days. That is why a day trip from Bucharest is a good idea.
Brasov Christmas Market
It opened on the first of December and it will only close on January 9th. So there is a lot of time for you to check it out. Brasov is one of the most beautiful cities in Romania. Here’s what you can find here:
- Traditional food and sweets: some of the dishes found in Brasov Christmas Markets can be a bit different than the ones found in Bucharest Christmas Markets. The area is highly infuenced by Saxons, so brace yourslef for a new culinary experience.
- Mulled wine and artisan beers: there is no winter without mulled wine! So you will find plenty of it here as well.
- Santa’s Workshop: if you travel with kids, there are plenty of activities for them as well. Or for the child in you, why not?
Visit Peles Castle and Dracula’s Castle
Since you are in the Brasov area, it’s a shame not to go to visit the famous nearby castles.
Peles Castle is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Europe, and the most visited one in Romania. We have an entire article dedicated to the magnificent Castle, read more by clicking here.
Recently is was a movie set for a popular film called A Christmas Prince. Check it out on IMDB.
Dracula’s Castle (Bran Castle) is the most visited castle in Romania by foreign tourists. Quite understandable we’d say.
And if you want to visit both of these amazing castles in one day, we have a great tour that will accommodate you: Two Castles in One Day Tour. Here are the highlights of the tour:
- Itinerary: Peles Castle, Bran (Dracula’s Castle) and the medieval city of Brasov
- Total time: 12-13 hours
- Price: 69 euros/ adult and 49 euros/ child aged 7-11
- Pick up: from central locations in town
Book in December with code TRAVEL25 for 25% DISCOUNT!
Visit Sibiu Christmas Market
Sibiu Christmas Market has been declared the most beautiful market in Romania, for years.
Located in the heart of Transylvania, Sibiu brings forward the finest traditions, foods, and drinks from the area. An absolute delight to visit any day, but especially during the holiday seasons.
Take our Transylvania Tour from Bucharest to fully enjoy the beautiful Sibiu and so many other famous places here.
- Total time: 3 days
- Price: 429 euros/ adult and 359 euros. child aged 7-11
- Pick up: your hotel in Bucharest
Is December a good time to visit Romania?
If you are not the type of person who wants to spend winter on the beach, it sure is! Romania’s climate is continental, which means hot summers and cold winters.
However, we have seen a slight change. Winters are not getting too close to what they used to be. Days are significantly less cold, and there’s a lot less snow as well.
We don’t want to disappoint you, but spending Christmas in Bucharest doesn’t guarantee snow. Going to Brasov, or the mountainside could help with that.
How to dress for December in Romania
As mentioned, temperatures don’t drop as much as they used to year a few years back.
From December to February, is cold throughout Romania and the sky is often cloudy. Snowfall might be encountered but not abundant.
In cities located around sea level (such as Bucharest) the average daily temperature in January is between 0°C and -2°C. In the Transylvanian Plateau, it will be slightly colder: in Cluj-Napoca and Sibiu, both located above sea level the average in January is -3°C.
New Year in Bucharest
If you are lucky enough to still be around Bucharest for New Year’s, you are in for a treat. There is no party like a Romanian party. Romanians love music, and dancing all night long.
Even if you don’t go to a nightclub, and choose a restaurant instead, there is a big chance there will be dancing. So here are some recommendations:
- Caru cu Bere organizes a theme party this year The Vieneese Ball. They offer a huge and delicious menu of traditional Romanian dishes. The price for 1 person is 840 RON. If your party is of 6 pax or bigger, you get a 10% discount. At the same time, you get 50% off for all kids under the age of 10.
- Casa Doina is another wekk-known traditional Romanian restaurant. They also have a set-menu that guarantees total satisfaction of taste. The price varies between 860 RON – 960, depending on the salon that you choose.
- Linea Closer to the Moon Sky Bar invites you to be amongst the stars. The offer a full buffet and an open bar for the entire night. The set price is 650 RON per person.
All in all Christmas in Bucharest is a great idea. There are a lot a places to be explored, and Christmas time just makes everything so much more beautiful and magical!
All our tours can be found here, take a look at all of them, just click here.
Feel free to let us know if there is anything else you would like to know about this destination.
Just send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +40 735 525 710.