Exploring Bucharest in 2024: our guide for the enthusiastic traveller

For the always curious traveller, with a passion for exploration and a thirst for authentic travel experiences, Bucharest promises to be a unique destination in 2024. You will enjoy the captivating blend of old-world charm and the modern, vibrant city waiting to be discovered. A rich history, lively parties, amazing cuisine, and affordable prices are only a few arguments for choosing this thriving eastern European capital as your next holiday destination.

Thinking about a trip to Bucharest, Romania? Here are some reasons to visit our beautiful city, along with a list of must-see places. Hidden gems of Romania’s capital – we are sure they will leave you longing for an extended holiday. 

Once you decided to visit our city, make sure to book one of the tours we offer.

You can either choose a themed tour of the capital (such as Bucharest City Tour by Night, Half-Day Tour of Bucharest, Bucharest City Tour and Wine Tasting) or one that starts from Bucharest and provides an opportunity to further explore our country. You can take, for instance, our Transylvanian Medieval Castles & Fortified Churches Tour or our Romanian UNESCO Heritage Tour.

These are just two of our most popular tours, which last more than a day and include transportation, meals, and accommodation. We invite you to explore all our tours and destinations to choose the one that suits you best.

Why visit Bucharest? Here are our five reasons

Bucharest is a diverse and sophisticated city, packed with amazing places, things to discover and incredible photo opportunities. You will love its landmarks and monuments, but also the lovely architecture or charming cafés. In this article, we gathered five good reasons for visiting our city, but we are sure that you’ll find more once you visit our beautiful city.

1. An incredible blend of architectural influences

Bucharest is packed with different architectural elements that represent the cities passage through time. All these styles have been shaped by a multitude of factors, including geography, culture, and historical events.

For example, visit our 16th or 17th-century monasteries such as Stavropoleos, Antim or Radu Vodă Monastery. You will find them in the city centre or in its vicinity and they will all give you a glimpse into the city’s architectural heritage, combining: Renaissance, Byzantine, Ottoman and Baroque styles.

The Arch of Triumph, situated in the northern part of the city, near the Herastrau Park and the Kiseleff Road, influenced by French Neoclassical architecture, particularly the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Its restorations and additions introduced some elements of Romanian architectural styles.

The Palace of the Parliament, also known as the People’s Palace, one of the largest administrative buildings in the world, stands as a testament to the grandiosity of the Romanian communist era, reflecting the massive and utilitarian appearance, common in the architecture of that period.


If you’d like to enjoy more of this variety of styles and walk through the old town, book a seat in the 4 hours sightseeing tour of Bucharest.

2. The rich, complex history of the city

Out capital’s history is as diverse and captivating as its architecture.

The city, founded in the 15th century, Bucharest began as a fortified market town in the Romanian principality of Wallachia. Over the centuries, it witnessed Ottoman rule, which left a mark on its architectural heritage. 

The Communist era has also influenced most of Bucharest’s main boulevards. During this period, Bucharest experienced rapid urbanization and modernization, but also the destruction of historic neighbourhoods to make way for massive, utilitarian buildings. The Palace of the Parliament is a prominent example of this era’s architecture. We can give you an insight into the story of “the golden era” and the impact the communist regime had on the society of Bucharest, Romania.

3. An engaged nightlife

If there is one thing you will certainly notice while in Bucharest, Romania, is that people here love to party. While you are in the bars or clubs of the Old Centre, you’ll notice that Romanians dance till the early hours of the morning on most weekend nights. You can bet you’ll have an awesome time as well.

Catch a glimpse of Bucharest’s nightlife before hitting the clubs, with our short 1.5-hour tour. You’ll get to see the main attractions, in the beautiful night lights, while driving around the city centre.


4. Delicious cuisine

Bucharest reflects Romania’s diverse heritage, with traditional dishes and finding inspiration in Ottoman, Greek, Hungarian, and French cuisines. The restaurants here offer a large variety of foods and tastes that will fit your preferences.

Try the famous local “sarmale” – cabbage rolls stuffed with a flavourful mix of ground meat and rice, traditionally accompanied by “mămăligă” a creamy polenta. Finish your rich dinner with “papanasi” – doughnuts topped with sour cream and jam – or “cozonac” a sweet bread filled with nuts or chocolate.

Besides the incredible local foods that you should try at least once while in Bucharest, Romania, you’ll also find the latest culinary trends.

If you’d like to enjoy a complete Romanian dinner, we’d be happy to accompany you. Our Bucharest Evening Tour and Traditional Dinner tour will also give you the advantage of discounted prices in our partner restaurants.

5. Affordable prices

Even though Romania has been affected by the inflation trend in recent years, Bucharest remains among the most affordable capitals in Europe. You can enjoy our delicious local cuisine at reasonable prices, find budget friendly accommodation or affordable admission fees at museums or historical sites. The public transportation is generally efficient (especially if you avoid the bus, taking the metro instead, during the rush hours) and budget-friendly.

Bucharest is an accessible destination for those looking for value without compromising on experiences.

 Bucharest City Guide: 8 hidden gems for the avid traveller

Now that we have some good reasons to visit the Romanian capital, let’s discover some of its hidden gems. Less-known places, stunning, ideal for some extraordinary Instagram photos… You shouldn’t miss them!

The Melik house

The Melik house has been built back in the 1750s and is considered to be the oldest private house that has been preserved in a habitable condition, although it is not currently inhabited, housing the Theodor Pallady Museum. Here you can find Some of the remarkable paintings by the Romanian painter Theodor Pallady, as well as other Romanian and international artists. You will also enjoy the spacious courtyard of an old boyar house, and the tranquillity of the place

You can find the house at 22 Spatarului Street, open from Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 to 18:00 (from October to April) and 11:00 to 19:00 (from May to September).

The Xenofon stairway street

The Xenofon street is the only stairway street in Bucharest. It has more 100 steps, being less than 100 meters in length and 220 years old. To get here, you need to go to Carol Park area, which is a quiet neighbourhood with beautiful, old houses. The street links Constantin Istrati street to the Suter alley and will take you to the highest altitude point of the city.

A few years ago, the steps have been painted by modern artists and to reflect Bucharest’s urban vibe. Time has passed and the place kept its unique charm, though the pained steps look a bit faded and grubby.

The Macca-Vilacrosse passage

This passage is a historical passage located in the heart of Bucharest, famous for its beautiful architecture and unique design. It is popular attraction for both locals and tourists

At the beginning of the 19th century, there was an inn built on what we call the Macca-Vilacrosse passage today. At the end of the 19th century, the inn was demolished and it was replaced by the structure we can admire today.

The stained glass windows contribute to the passage’s unique artistic character, making it a favourite spot for photographers and art enthusiasts. The narrow street is home to several restaurants, bars, cafes, and even a wine bar, making it a perfect place to stop and admire.

You can find the passage between Calea Victoriei and Lipscani Street, two of the most interesting and bustling streets in Bucharest.

The Carturesti Carusel bookstore

After visiting the Macca-Vilacrosse passage, look for the Carturesti Carusel bookstore! It is situated Lipscani Street 55. It is one of the iconic places of Bucharest, housed by a beautiful restored 19th-century building. You will be charmed by the architecture of this elegant building, blending neoclassical and Baroque elements.

You will find here a rich selection of books, both in Romanian and English, but also a beautiful café, situated on the top floor of the building and allowing you to admire the place in all its splendour. The place is perfect for buying some special souvenirs, but also a popular spot for photographers and Instagrammers.

The Old Princely Court

The Old Princely Court or „Curtea Veche” (in Romanian) is located in the old city center, at a walking distance from Carturesti Carusel bookstore. Here you will have the opportunity to admire the ruins of the old court, including the St. Anton Church, which is one of the oldest churches in Bucharest. The place is also home to a museum that presents artifacts and information related to the history of the city of Bucharest and Wallachia.

The Old Princely Court will give you the opportunity to explore the historical footprint of the city.

Manuc’s Inn or Hanul lui Manuc

A few meters away from the Old Princely Court is Manuc’s Inn or Hanul lui Manuc, one of Bucarest’s iconic restaurants. You will definitely enjoy here a unique experience in a traditional and atmospheric setting. The building has a distinct architectural design, with a central courtyard surrounded by two stories of wooden balconies and arched galleries. 

You’ll notice the red-brick façade and an entrance gate adorned with decorative elements. You enjoy here traditional dishes such as mămăligă (polenta), sarmale (cabbage rolls), mici (grilled sausages), and various stews and soups. The atmosphere is cosy and inviting and the courtyard will offer you a delightful experience.

Vlad the Impaler Fortress in Bucharest

The Romanian ruler Vlad the Impaler is often associated with the fictional character Dracula. You must have heard of him already! His fortress is located in the heart of Bucharest, close to Carol Park. The construction dates back to 1906 and is a scaled-down replica of Poenari Castle, the fortified residence of Vlad the Impaler situated in the valley of Arges river. The building is evocative of Romanian medieval ages and heroic past.

The building was a water reservoir of the city and is nowadays home to the National Office for the Cult of Heroes. In fact, many locals pass by the fortress every single day and don’t know its history.

So, if you’re curious to see places related to Vlad Dracula, this is one of them. For safety issues, access is permitted inside the building only two days per year: on the Romanian Army National Day – October 25th and on Heroes Day, the same with the Ascension Day. But you can admire the beautiful building if you chose to spend a quiet afternoon in Carol Park (featured below).

The building is situated in Street General Candiano Popescu, nr. 6.

The House of Mița Biciclista (Mița the Cyclist)

Right in the city center, there’s a breath-taking art nouveau style house in which Mița Biciclista (Mița the bicyclist) lived.

Mița’s real name was Maria Mihăescu. She was a beautiful courtesan who stole the hearts of hundreds of wealthy men from interwar Bucharest.

She got that nickname from a man whose advances she rejected, but also because she was the first woman to ride her bike and wear pants, something unacceptable in the 20th century.

The house is situated at the intersection of Biserica Amzei and Christian Tell streets. The place is another popular spot for photographers and Instagrammers.


Five parks to visit during your trip to Bucharest

Among Bucharest’s wonderful landmarks, some of its beautiful parks are definitely worth a visit. The city hosts quite a large number of recreational grounds, where you can simply take a walk and enjoy a corner of nature in the bustling capital of Romania.

If you plan on visiting one of our capital’s beautiful parks, be sure to bring a camera with you, because you won’t regret it.

Herăstrău Park

It is the largest park in Bucharest, covering an area of 182 hectares in length. A large part of the area is occupied by the Lake Herăstrău – which encompasses 74 hectares.

Due to the lake’s size, most of the areas within the park have access to the lakeside. You’ll almost always catch a nice view of the lake with the trees in the background. Here you can walk or ride your bike enjoying the view, but also savour a picnic in the designated areas or rent rowboats or pedalboats to glide across the lake.

A part of the park hosts the Village Museum. It is a massive open-air museum which hosts hundreds of traditional houses from the past days in Romania.


Cișmigiu Park

The Cișmigiu Park is a series of large floral gardens which collectively form an entire park. It is the largest green zone in Bucharest’s central area. It provides a breath of fresh air amidst all the concrete of the big city.

The park also hosts an artificial lake, in which visitors can navigate by renting rowboats.

“Cismigiu Park,” is located in the city center, close to the University, on Regina Elisabeta Boulevard. To get here, you can take the Bucharest Metro to the “Universitate” metro station. From there, it’s a short walk to Cișmigiu Park.

Kiseleff Park

Back in the 19th century, Bucharest wasn’t as extensive as it is today and many of the areas were part of the wilderness surrounding the city. What would end up becoming the Kiseleff Park was first a forest.

The same architect who designed the Cișmigiu Park envisioned this forest as a pleasant recreational area and thus, somewhere around the year 1850, the Kiseleff Park came into existence.

Situated along the Kiseleff road, the park isn’t the wild forest it once was. However, the trees are still there and you can just take a detour along the alleyways to enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet. 

The park’s location is near Piața Victoriei, making the place accessible to those exploring the central part of Bucharest.

Tineretului Park (Youth Park)

Tineretului Park translates to “Youth Park” in English. The place is a large urban park situated in southern Bucharest, covering a significant area. It is a favourite destination for both locals and visitors, though it is located a bit far from the city centre.

The park features a large lake where you can rent paddleboats or rowboats, but also several playgrounds, making the place a family-friendly destination. You can rent bicycles to explore the park or just take a long walk and forget about all your worries here.

The easiest way to get to Tineretului Park is by metro – look for “Tineretului Metro Station” on Line 2 (M2). There are also buses that stop nearby or you can take a taxi, a Uber or a Bolt. Just make sure you name of the park in Romanian (“Parcul Tineretului”) to communicate with the driver.

Carol Park

Close to the city centre, Carol Park is a 36-hectare landmass hosting an abundance of monuments. Inside the park, you will find various archaic structures, statues and fountains.

The park was named after King Carol I of Romania and is home to some beautiful gardens, serene ponds, historical monuments and cultural significance, providing a quiet escape from the urban bustle. The centrepiece of Carol Park is the Mausoleum, built in 1963 to honor the Romanian soldiers who died during World War I.

The mausoleum’s design reflects a blend of architectural styles, including neoclassical and socialist realism. Less known to the public and also situated in Carol Park there is Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Dracula’s castle in Bucharest. This is a replica of one of his fortresses (you can find more info about it above) and you will find it on Street General Candiano Popescu, nr. 6.

You will definitely admire the park’s well-maintained gardens, sculptures, and pathways. To reach the park, you can take the public transportation – you can start your exploration via metro, Line 1 (M1) at the “Eroilor” metro station, which is within walking distance of Carol Park. There are tram and bus stations near Carol Park. You can take tram lines 23, 27 and 47 or bus lines 117, 136 or 381. The closest tram stop to the park is Gramont, for lines 23 & 27.

Bucharest certainly will be a pleasant surprise for the curious and enthusiastic visitor. Come and explore its historical Old Town, relax in its beautiful parks, or savour its diverse cuisine! Our city invites you to uncover its hidden gems and embrace its undeniable charm.

Whenever you want to discover Romania’s capital, we’ll be delighted to be your Bucharest city guide. Feel free to give us a call at +40 735 525 710 or just drop us an email at reservations@travelmaker.ro if you want to find out more details about our tours. 


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