Bucharest is home to roughly 1.8 million people and the capital of Romania. This metropolitan city is very vibrant and has a vast and interesting past. If you plan on visiting Bucharest, then you will want to make sure that you enjoy the art and culture it offers, along with some amazing buildings, numerous museums and several theatres. And if you find a great airline ticket to visit this amazing eastern European city, well, we have you covered with our list of 10 interesting sights you may want to see while there.
Bucharest has a colorful mix of architectural styles that include buildings from a variety of eras. If you roam the streets of this lovely city, you’ll encounter classical, gothic, and art nouveau houses. Next, to these, you will find pompous buildings from the socialist era. Buildings you would not see in other cities so close to each other. The change of epochs in the architectural style is an impressive sight worth seeing, and what better way to do so then by wandering the streets for free.
Athenaeum with Concert Hall
The Romanian Athenaeum is a beautiful wide dome concert hall located in the center of Bucharest and the home of the “George Enescu” Philharmonic. The inside of the dome you will notice some of the most important events in Romanian history. The Athenaeum is a cultural sight the is enormously important and an interesting note about its build is that it was almost entirely financed by public donations.
Hence, if you are interested in classical music, you should definitely consider purchasing a ticket and visiting a concert. The acoustics of the hall are very unique and are also considered to be one of the best in the world.
Arcul de Triumf
The arc of triumph was originally built in 1878 and is located in the northern part of Bucharest (Kiseleff road), initially only built out of wood and stucco. The architecture that can be seen today was inaugurated in 1936. A famous landmark and sightseeing point for tourists.
Royal Palace of Bucharest
This palace, also known as the Palace of the Republic between 1948 and 1990 is an infamous building situated on Calea Victoriei. Initially the Romanian King Michael I resided in this palace until 1947. After that, it was used for the National Art Collection. The palace became famous when Ceauşescu tried to address the people gathered in front of it from the balcony in 1989. Afterward, he had to flee with a helicopter due to the angry crowd he was addressing.
Albeit the history of the palace not being a wonderful story like other European palaces, it is definitely worth a visit. It is among Bucharest’s most popular attractions.
The Parliamentary Palace
This building was only completed in 1989, shortly before the collapse of the socialist dictatorship. It is one of the largest buildings in the world and is the second largest governmental building only after the Pentagon. The construction began under dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu and although the palace is considered a neoclassical building, it documents primarily the megalomania of the government during this period. When it Bucharest, this building is a must-see as we guarantee that you’ll lose your breath at its sheer size!
Natural History Museum Grigore Antipa
The Natural History Museum in Bucharest has an extremely rich collection of interesting exhibits. One of the primary collections and one of international importance is the butterfly collection with 82,000 species. If you are interested in nature, you surely should pay a visit to this museum. Especially if you are traveling to Bucharest with children, a visit here is a real highlight. Not only is there a lot to see and learn, but it also has interactive exhibits, games, and videos for the little ones – many of which are in English too!
Dimitrie Gusti – National Village Museum
The Village Museum is located away from the city however is a museum of a very different kind. It is considered the largest open-air museum in the Balkans and it is here you will find over 250+ very well-preserved houses in different architectural styles from all over Romania.
Among them are ancient farmhouses and wooden churches from all over the country. Complete households, old workshops, and mills provide insights into the rural life of Romania. A highlight is the bell tower of the Maramures Church and the houses of Straja, which are dug in the ground. There is information in different languages, a great souvenir shop and a café serving Romanian treats.
This park, 17 hectares in size allows you to comfortably relax while walking in the French gardens, the “writers area,” the rose garden or the Roman garden. There are also three lakes within the park to enjoy while picnicking on the grass. Among all the attractions in Bucharest, this one has probably got to be the most relaxing of them all.
The National Theater in Bucharest is a place where you will find amazing performances of modern and classical operas. It was originally founded in 1852 and became a national institution in 1864. The new site as it is known today is located roughly half a kilometer away from the old site, close to the Hotel Intercontinental at the University Square. It is one of the largest theaters in Europe that holds 900 people.
In this area, you will find medieval buildings, which in the past was densely populated by Transylvanian merchants offering goods from Leipzig. Today you can stop in numerous cafes and bars, and enjoy a delicious drink – all after having explored the most famous attractions in Bucharest. Sit down with friends and family, or simply enjoy the culture and atmosphere of the locals.
Bucharest is a vibrant capital in the heart of one of the most bustling countries of Eastern Europe. It’s history and culture, architecture and food are things you cannot miss while visiting, whether it’s for a city break or a business trip, take in as much as you can. It goes without saying that this city was once considered to be the “little Paris.”
What else would you add to this list? Is there something we missed. Leave a comment below and let the community know.