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Friday, October 27, 2023

Best Things To Do in Bucharest

Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is frequently perceived as a mundane city, primarily known for its vibrant nightlife. However, this perception couldn't be further from reality. Bucharest is an exceptional destination in Romania and an underrated gem in Europe. The city offers an abundance of captivating and varied activities, ensuring that boredom is simply not an option when exploring Bucharest.

During my multiple visits to Bucharest, I have been consistently amazed by the immense potential this city possesses. Although it may require a certain level of open-mindedness to fully appreciate its chaotic nature, once you approach it with the right mindset, it becomes effortlessly enjoyable and captivating. This is precisely what occurred to me and numerous individuals I am acquainted with, and I sincerely hope that your experience with Bucharest will mirror this sentiment as well.

Best Things To Do in Bucharest

Visit Palace of Parliament

The Palace of Parliament, also known as the Republic's House or People's Palace, is a must-visit destination in Bucharest. It is the second largest administrative building in the world, after the Pentagon in the US, and dominates the central part of the city. However, to construct this magnificent structure, a significant portion of the historical center (5% of the city's overall area) had to be demolished, and approximately 40,000 residents were relocated.

Construction of the Palace of Parliament began in 1983 and was completed in 1997, with 80% of the building already finished by the time communism ended in Romania in 1989. The building boasts around 1000 rooms, 30 ballrooms, 4 restaurants, 3 libraries, 2 underground parking lots, 1 large concert hall, and an unfinished pool. Although the building is now home to the Romanian Parliament and is used for various state functions and conferences, 70% of it remains unoccupied.

If you have the opportunity, I highly recommend taking a tour of the Palace of Parliament's interiors. The grandeur and opulence of the crystal chandeliers, massive marble columns, and intricate details are indescribable and can easily leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Visit Stavropoleos Monastery

Stavropoleos Monastery, located in Bucharest's Old Town, is a true gem that should not be missed. Originally constructed in 1724, the monastery has undergone restoration after being ruined. It is considered the most beautiful church in central Bucharest. The monastery's architecture is a blend of Romanian, Oriental, Byzantine, and late Italian Renaissance styles, with the unique Brâncovenesc style being the most prominent. The frescoes on display today are partly original from the 18th-century monastery.

Shop at Cărturești Carusel

Cărturești has multiple bookstore locations throughout Romania, but their Bucharest Old Town shop on 55 Strada Lipscani is renowned as one of the most exquisite bookstores in the world.

The building, originally owned by the Chrissoveloni family, was constructed in 1903 as a bank headquarters. After being confiscated by the communist regime in the 1950s, it was repurposed as a general store and eventually forgotten.

However, in 2007, the building was returned to its rightful owners and underwent extensive renovations. Today, visitors can explore the three floors of stunning interiors complete with curved balconies, columns, stuccos, and more. Additionally, there is a teahouse on the top floor for those who want to relax.

To avoid crowds, it's best to visit in the morning. Another charming Cărturești bookstore, Cărturești Verona, can be found on Bulevardul General Gheorghe Magheru in central Bucharest. While it may not be as visually striking as Cărturești Carusel, it still has an inviting atmosphere that encourages browsing.

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