This cosmopolitan city is a wealth of rich culture, breath-taking beauty, and electric excitement. Learn about the surprises and the top 5 reasons to visit Bucharest Old Town.
Gorgeous and historic Bucharest is Romania’s capital and cultural epicenter. It is home to nearly 3 million people and, just as importantly, home to a tangible and living history. The past comes alive and blends seamlessly with all of the amenities of the 21st century in this eclectic and vibrant city.
1. Surprising Natural Features
Bucharest is a city bursting with natural delight. Stretching across the northern portion of the city is a series of charming lakes that add a level of peace and tranquillity to the metropolitan area and its residents. The unlikely match of thriving urban life and the calming beauty mixes perfectly in this city soaked in antiquity.
Not content with breath-taking natural lakes, at the city’s center is Lake Cișmigiu, an artificial lake that channels the same tranquil energy of Lakes Herăstrău, Floreasca, Tei, and Colentina to the north. Surrounding Lake Cișmigiu is the storied Cișmigiu Gardens which have been frequent haunts for poets, painters, and artists since they opened in 1847.
In touch with nature from top to bottom, Bucharest is also home to the city Botanical Garden. Featuring more than 10,000 exotic species, it is the largest of its kind in Romania.
2. Remarkable Landmarks
A city that has been around as long as Bucharest has will invariably accumulate landmarks worth remark. The most prominent is perhaps the Palace of the Parliament. A relatively recent construction—it was built in the 1980s—it is the second-largest administrative building after Pentagon, the USA, and the heaviest building in the world.
Other notable sites include the Arch of Triumph, built-in 1935 and reminiscent of Paris’ Arc de Triomphe; The Romanian Athenaeum building, a symbol of Romanian culture and a European Heritage Site; and the InterContinental Bucharest, a five-star hotel of international acclaim that affords unique panoramas of the city.
3. Rich Visual and Performing Arts
The most well-known museum in Bucharest is the National Museum of Art of Romania. Located in the royal palace it features a number of notable and historic pieces both national in origin as well as an international collection handpicked by the royal family.
While the national museum is a stunning mix of historical masterpieces, other, smaller museums offer more specialized collections, and these dots the city.
Bucharest’s extraordinary performing arts scene is also a great reason to visit the richly cultured city; it is widely known to be one of the most developed and strongest aspects of Bucharest’s cultural elements.
The world-renowned symphony orchestra National Radio Orchestra of Romania calls Bucharest its home, along with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra.
In addition to internationally acclaimed concerts, there is also the allure of live theatre. Home to the Romanian National Opera, the I.L Caragiale National Theatre, and the State Jewish Theatre, Bucharest is alive with the sound of music.
4. Exciting Nightlife
With all of the sights and sounds to take in during the day, a night on the town may seem like a tall order. Night-time entertainment is always just around the corner however, as Bucharest doesn’t have a centralized nightlife district. Instead, establishments are all over the city, and each neighbourhood has its own flavour of the vibrant night-time scene.
Boasting some of the best electronic music clubs in Europe such as Kristal Glam Club and Studio Martin, it may come as a surprise that Bucharest also has well-developed and prominent jazz and blues scene. Notable jazz hotspots include the famous Green Hours and Art Jazz.
5. Unbeatable Culture
Above all else, Bucharest has a unique culture that must be experienced to be fully appreciated. It is a blend of tradition, modernity, and contemporary internationalism. With so many competing influences, one would suspect that the natural culture of Bucharest would be stifled. This is not the case!
Instead, the city’s character flourishes and draws strength from its rich diversity. From a lively mix of modern and traditional culture to the elegant pairing of modern and traditional architecture, the city doesn’t suffer from its duality: it thrives on it.
Dive deeper into the things to see and do in Bucharest here.
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