The Romanian capital city is an off the beaten track tourist destination, but its popularity has been increasing as travelers’ tastes become more varied and more and more people become interested in visiting this part of the world. Which are the top tourist attractions in Bucharest? You may have heard about some of them already, but you will certainly discover that the city has much more to offer than you had imagined before you stepped foot on its grey boulevards, ate in its fine restaurants and walked down the cobbled streets of its Old Center.
The Old Center
Also known as Lipscani among the locals, the Old Center is a relatively small area where the commercial activity of the city was once performed. During the last decades the area has gone through a renovation process, restoring some of its original beauty. Here you can admire some of the city’s historical landmarks like the building of the National Bank of Romania. The Old Center is also one of the main entertainment hubs of the city as lots of bars, clubs and restaurants are located in this area.
The gigantic landmark standing on top of a hill right in the heart of the city impresses anyone. It was erected there in 6 years’ time as part of the Bucharest project started in 1978 by the worldwide notorious Romanian totalitarian ruler, Ceausescu. This project was meant to entirely change the face of the city and make it a replica of the North Korean Phenian state-city. While for many of the locals, this building is a constant reminder of the country’s communist past, it is the best known attraction of the city, its size as well as its story appealing to many foreign visitors. Tours are available daily in different foreign languages.
Romanian Peasant Museum
A must-see while in Bucharest, the Romanian Peasant Museum will tell you through its exhibits more than any history book could teach you in words. Unlike other museums of the world, each room here becomes an authentic space where you can breathe the true atmosphere of the Romanian village with its school, church and homes. This Bucharest museum got in 1996 the European Museum of the Year award. For about 10 years, this building located on Kisseleff Avenue is also home to the Romanian Peasant Club where a large part of the city’s bohemian world gathers. Inside the museum you can find a library and a cinema with a very good selection of movies.
The Romanian Atheneum
A top cultural attraction, the Romanian Athenaeum, was built in the heart of Bucharest over 120 years ago (1886-1888), instantly becoming the architectural and spiritual symbol not only for the Romanian capital, but for the entire nation. Designed by the French architect Albert Galleron, the building is inspired by the ancient Greek temples, became in 2004 a item on the List of Historical Monuments. Few know that the Palace Bucharest Romanian Athenaeum was built with money raised from the public by organizing a national lottery.
A charming garden reminding of the times when Bucharest was called the Little Paris, Cismigiu Park is located in the center of the city and is still one of the best looking green areas of the Romanian capital. During the hot summer days you can spend a quiet afternoon here walking down its alleys, rowing a boat or playing chess. During the cold season, an open air skating rink is organized here. The city’s most romantic garden, Cismigiu has all the potential to seduce you from the first sight.