Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is the largest city and the main political, administrative, economic, financial, banking, educational, scientific and cultural center of the country. Bucharest, a capital which was certified more than 500 years ago, is nowadays animated by a population of almost two million inhabitants.
Time has preserved the scent of the past and has embedded it in never-ending stories. The Lipscani area is the oldest remaining part of Bucharest and is known as the “historical center”. This district was Bucharest’s most important commercial zone from the middle ages to late 20th century. Also, the prince had his court here – the ruins can be seen today on the French Street. While probably famed more for its history and its nightlife, the Old Town area of Bucharest is in fact home to some superb places to eat: both high end, fine-dining establishments as well as kebabs and take-aways.
Today, the city is a mix of old and new, traditional and modern, in a neoclassical style that is showing originality and charm. In 2012, Bucharest ranked second among Europe’s ‘coolest’ cities, according to a top published by the online magazine slate.fr, taking into account several criteria, such as the price of beer, the number of students in the city and the number of neighborhoods where tourists and residents can have fun.
Money: Romania’s currency is LEU (RON).
For more information on the level of exchange rates, please consult the page of the National Bank of Romania.
Transportation: Public transportation includes an extensive system of buses, trolleybuses, trams and metro lines. For more information please consult the following sites:
We recommend you to pay attention when using taxis, as there are 2 types of taxi drivers in Bucharest: those who are individually licensed and practice high prices, and those working for taxi companies, with prices between 1.39 lei / km – 3.9 lei/km.
Coming from the airport to Bucharest
Bucharest is well connected to almost the entire world. Daily flights arrive and depart from the Henri Coanda Airport. We suggest you to book a flight with at least one month in advance to benefit from more attractive fares.
The Palace of Parliament – also called the House of People, it has been built between 1984-1989 and it represents the grandest administrative construction in Europe. It has hundreds of offices, halls for receptions or for other events (scientific, cultural, social-political), dozens of conference rooms. It covers 265.000 sqm interior surface, being the second biggest building in the world after the Pentagon in Washington. It is also the third in the world considering its volume, after Cape Canaveral building, USA (where the cosmic shuttles are assembled) and after the Quetzalcoatl pyramid in Mexico.
The Village Museum – one of the world’s most interesting ethnographical parks in open air. Founded in 1936 by Dimitrie Gusti following a Royal Decree, this museum illustrates the perpetual spring of surprising originality. The house and house holding samples gathered from all regions of the country are exhibited according to ethnographical areas. Here you can see 50 complete homesteads, churches, windmills and even sunken houses from rural Romania.
The National Museum of Art – located in the building of the former Royal Palace. After more than 10 years of restoration to the extensive damage caused during the revolution in 1989, one can admires treasure painted by Rembrandt, Veneziano, Monet, Sisley, El Greco, Breughel and Rubens. During the fighting in December 1989, 448 works of art were destroyed or went missing and another 716 were damaged. A total of 18 valuable paintings were generously restored and cleaned by museums in the Netherlands, USA, Italy and France.
The Romanian Athaeneum – this was the headquarters of Romanian Athenaeum Society, seated up at 28 January 1965, which had as purpose spreading cultural and scientific information. The land was the Vacaresti family’s property, where a church was built and then became the property of Romanian Equestrian Society, who wanted to build a manege. This seems to be explanations for the round shape of the building. The projects of the building are made by Albert Galleron (France) helped by C.Baicoianu and was inaugurated in February 1888.
The old court Church – is one of the valuable exemplary of religious architecture in the feudal epoch, the oldest in Bucharest, preserved in its original form. It was build between 1545 – 1547, by the King Mircea Ciobanul, for the needs of the Royal Court. There also preserved some frescos from the reign of Stefan Cantacuzino (who made some repairing). It is declared historical monument.
The Stavropoleos Church – has an architectural style that belongs to the Brancoveanu Epoch, and its decorative stone cavings, furniture, and interior and exterior murals are a unitary expression of this period in the history of Romanian art. The church was built in 1724 by Archimandrite Ioanichios for travellers and merchants. In the nave of the church, next to the iconostasis, there is a casket containing particles of the relics of saints venerated by the Eastern Orthodox Church: Ss. Andrew and Peter the Apostles, St. Ignatius Theophorus, St. Basil the Great, St. Pantaleon, St. Theodorus Stratilatus and St. Haralambos.
The Arch of Triumph – inaugurated on 1st December 1936, glorifies the bravery of the Romanian soldiers who fought in the First World War, celebrating at the same time the 1918 Union of Romanian provinces. Designed by the architect Petre Antonescu, the monument is 27 m high.
Antim Monastery – founded 1714 – 1715 by the metropolitan bishop of Georgian origin, Antim Ivireanul, one of the outstanding cultural personalities during Constantin Brancoveanu’s reign. The church of monastery represents one of the most beautiful monuments of architecture in Bucharest that belongs, through its decoration and conception, to the Brancoveanu style. Karol Storck added some remarkable wood sculptures.
The “Cotroceni” Palace – built in 1893, after the plan of French architect Paul Gottereau, as the permanent residence of the heir Prince Ferdinand. At the present, it is used as a residence of the President of Romania.
The Peasant Museum – You’ll find inside collections of a special historic and artistic value, records, patrimonial objects consisting in a glass-negatives, engravings, peasant costumes, traditional furniture, wood and glass paintings, ceramics. The building is an architectural monument. It was founded in 1906 as a Museum of Decorative and Industrial Art of King Carol the First initiative. In 1912 it became the National Art Museum, in 1946, the Museum of National Ethnography and art and in 1990 it became the Museum of the Romanian Peasant.