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Have you ever considered being a tourist in your own city?
If you live in Bucharest and you’re out of weekend ideas, if you are tired of driving outside the city to see something interesting, if you are a traveler who doesn’t know what to do for a few days in the capital of Romania, then read on. 🙂
In this post I’ll show you 20 less known places to see in Bucharest.
I’m gonna start with the obvious reason for choosing Bucharest as your travel base: it’s cheap! 😀
Coming from other parts of the world, like western Europe or USA, means that you will be thrilled when looking at a restaurant menu. You can have a beer for less than 2 euros, or lunch in the city center with less than 8 euros! The buzzing nightlife is probably no.1 reason for travelers who come to Bucharest.
But let’s move on. In the last 2 years we really started to question why are we so active when visiting a new city, and so uninterested when it comes to Bucharest. Human nature, i guess. 🙂 The same paradigm explains why you never visit that friend who lives nearby, right?
So we decided to change that! It turns out, Bucharest has a lot of things to see and do.
For the ones of you who are passionate about history, geography, art, nature or just relaxation, here are my favorite hidden treasures of Bucharest.
Map of Bucharest
Let’s see if you discover a place or two you haven’t been to, yet. And because traveling and food go hand in hand, we also added our favorite places to have a tasty snack nearby.
Thank us later! 🙂
Address: Strada Doctor Nicolae Minovici; Opening hours: Wed. to Sun. 10AM-6PM
If you often ask yourself what’s that beautiful building you pass by when driving out of Bucharest, you should know it’s Nicolae Minovici folk art Museum, open to visitors.
Take a walk through Herastrau Park afterwards. Have a beer at “Beraria H”, or look for the delicious brownie at “Hard Rock Cafe“.
Address: 28-30, Şoseaua Pavel D. Kiseleff; Opening hours: Sun. to Sat. 9AM-7PM
If you’re in Herastrau Park, you should know that it also hosts an open-air collection of old houses from all the historical regions of Romania. The Village Museum is my favorite place to walk in Bucharest, maybe because it makes you feel you’re not in Bucharest at all! 🙂
You will find a small inn inside, where you can try all sorts of traditional Romanian dishes like “mici” or “MBS”.
Address: Bulevardul Primăverii 5; Opening hours: Tue. to Sun. 10AM-5PM
The “Spring” Palace, as it is also called, was the luxurious residence of Ceausescu family for a quarter of a century. The head of state’s life standards were in striking contrast to how hard people lived under the Communist regime.
Stop by the little shop at the end of your visit. You will find the “Polar” icecream, exactly how it looked like in your childhood under Communism.
Address: 21A Strada Zambacian; Opening hours: Wed. to Sun. 10AM-6PM
It’s a pleasure to wander the leafy streets and admire the stunning architecture on Aviatorilor boulevard. If you want to check out a beautiful art collection, including works of Picasso, Matisse and Romanian artists, stop by Zambaccian Museum.
Address: Şoseaua Pavel D. Kiseleff 2; Opening hours: Sun. to Sat. 10AM-6PM
The Geology Museum will reveal an impressive collection of rocks and crystals, hosted in an stately architectural monument near Victoriei Square.
Address: Strada Londra 39; Opening hours: Wed. to Sun. 10AM-6PM
The National Museum of Maps and Old books is a villa with over 1000 maps dating from the 16th to the 20th century, waiting to be discovered by the curious eyes. Really fun journey through history!
So much learning requires a place to refill our batteries. A fresh lemonade and a pizza at “Trattoria Buongiorno” are just perfect at the end of the day.
Address: Strada Vasile Alecsandri 16; Opening hours: Wed. to Sun. 10AM-6PM
Stork Museum is a beautiful house built by the couple between 1911 and 1913, which preserves the creations of an entire family of artists.
Address: Calea Victoriei 141; Opening hours: Tue. to Sun. 10AM-5PM
Opened in the Cantacuzino Palace on Victoriei Square, the Enescu museum tells the story of a life dedicated to music. Three of the palace’s rooms contain photographs, manuscripts, musical instruments, documents and objects related to the life and work of the great musician George Enescu.
Go look for the best pancakes in town, at “Maison des Crepes”.
Address: Strada Henri Coandă 26; Opening hours: Wed. to Sun. 10AM-6PM
Hidden on a quiet street near Romana Square, you will find the impressive art and numismatic collection of doctor Severeanu. He was an outstanding personality in the Romanian radiology field, but also passionate about numismatics.
Reward yourself with soup at “La Placinte”.
National Military Museum
Address: Strada Mircea Vulcănescu 125-127; Opening hours: Wed. to Sun. 10AM-5PM
Detailed military history of Romania, together with an outdoor collection of army vehicles, airplanes, helicopters.
Address: Bulevardul Geniului 1; Opening hours: Tue. to Sun. 10:30AM-5:30PM
Did you know that Cotroceni Palace, the official residence of the President, is partially open to the public? Just make an online reservation, take your passport and go.
Kretzulescu Palace & Cișmigiu Gardens
Address: Strada Știrbei Vodă;
Beautiful renaissance-style building, housing the headquarters of UNESCO‘s European Centre for Higher Education. Cannot be visited on the inside, but you can take a walk in the surrounding Cismigiu gardens.
Go to “Tartelicious” for the best tarts in town!
Address: Calea Victoriei 12; Opening hours: Wed. to Sun. 10AM-6PM
The History Museum hosts a rich patrimony collection of pottery, numismatics, philately, medals-seals, jewels, manuscripts, historical photographs, engravings, maps, metal, weapons and equipment, textiles and furniture. The central exhibition contains the life-size copy of the base of Trajan’s Column from Rome.
Take your sweet reward from “Coffeol” or “Cremeria Emilia“.
Address: Strada Doamnei 8; Free guided tours are organised Mondays to Fridays, between 10:00 and 17:00. Tours start daily at 10:00, 12:00, 14:00, and 16:00.
We actually waited a couple of months to get inside this gorgeous building. And not because it’s too crowded, but the last tour starts at 4PM and only during the week. This being said, we took half a day off work and finally made it to the last guided tour. Totally worth it!
Grab a sandwich and soup at “Papila”. You will have a feast for all senses.
Address: Bulevardul Ion C. Brătianu 2; Opening hours: Wed. to Sun. 10AM-6PM
Sutu Palace is one of the oldest aristocratic buildings in Bucharest, almost unchanged in 150 years. Hidden behind old trees in the University Square, it may not grab your attention, but it is worth visiting. It hosts the document issued by Prince Vlad III Dracula on September 20th 1459, mentioning for the first time the citadel of Bucharest.
Go to “Energiea” for the best french fries in town.
Address: Strada Spătarului 22; Opening hours: Wed. to Sun. 10AM-6PM
Hidden in a nice garden in the Armenian district, the Melik house is currently the oldest private building surviving in Bucharest (1750).
Dimitrie Leonida Technical Museum
Address: Strada General Candiano Popescu 2; Opening hours: Wed. to Sun. 10:30AM-6PM
Check out engineering inventions of the past in a retro-look museum! It’s a bit outdated, but still worth visiting.
Go for a walk in Carol Park, or take a coffee at one of the terraces nearby.
IOR/Alexandru Ioan Cuza Park
Address: Strada Baba Novac;
IOR park has been our weekend getaway for years. It’s a less known place than Tineretului or Herastrau parks, but just as nice and probably less crowded. Every season has its own charm, but what i love the most is when the lake gets literally invaded with ducks, swans and other migratory birds.
Conveniently placed, “Park Lake” mall is nearby. Just in time to grab an unhealthy bite after a healthy walk. :))
Address: Strada Sfântul Gheorghe 20, Pantelimon; Opening hours: Mon. to Fri. 9AM-5:30PM, Sat. &Sun. 9AM-6:30PM
Just a short ride to Pantelimon suburb, you will find an Animal Farm. Feeding the horses or even milking the cow can be fun!
Address: Calea Bucuresti 1K
Winters can be tough in Bucharest. Wind, snow, freezing temperatures can keep you inside the house for the whole weekend. If i told you there is a place where you can indulge yourself in hot water, thematic saunas, jacuzzis, waterslides, have a drink at the pool bar, would you go? Bucharest has the biggest relaxation, wellness and indoor entertainment centre in Europe, and it’s called Therme. This is our to-go place for the whole cold season. 🙂
That’s about it, guys! I’m sure there are tons of other hidden places all around the city, but this is all we could cover in the last year. One more reason to leave us a comment with your favorite under the radar spots in Bucharest!
I honestly admit that we were always complaining about it, but it surely has its own charm. Even if we moved, my hope is to see Bucharest grow over the years into a modern, clean and entertaining capital, with a more reliable infrastructure, just as i picture it in my mind.
With no further explanations, there are plenty of things to do in Bucharest. Just go!
Happy travels and stay safe!
Anita & Geo, World travellers