A Local´s Guide to Bucharest

For a captivating weekend in Bucharest, we created a suggested itinerary for a fulfilling weekend in the capital of Romania. In this travel guide, there’s a mix of historical landmarks, vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and lively nightlife – expect impressive communist-era architecture, Old Town vibes, tasty food and fun!

Our best travel tip is always to stay at Leonardo Hotel Bucharest City Center, centrally located and beautifully equipped to offer a great night’s stay. 
Saturday Morning

After an opulent breakfast buffet at Leonardo Hotel Bucharest City Center, start your weekend getaway in Bucharest by visiting the world’s heaviest and largest administrative building, the Palace of Parliament, also known as the Republic’s House or People’s Palace. It’s the second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon. We suggest taking a guided tour to explore its opulent interiors and learn about its history.

Close to the Parliament, you can see the People’s Salvation Cathedral, Catedrala Mântuirii Neamului. It’s another impressive place to witness the grandeur of the largest Orthodox cathedral in Southeastern Europe, both inside and out.

After that, head to the Revolution Square, Piața Revoluției: This square played a significant role in Romania’s history. Admire the Revolution Memorial and the former Royal Palace, which now houses the National Museum of Art of Romania.

At lunchtime, the Old Town area offers numerous cafes and restaurants. We recommend to dive into the Romanian cuisine and taste some delicacies such as a Ciorbă (sour soup) as a starter; otherwise the sarmale, cabbage rolls stuffed with a mixture of minced pork or beef, rice, and spices, often served with polenta and sour cream; a yummy alternative can be also the tochitură, a hearty pork stew served with mămăligă, a type of polenta, topped with a fried egg and sometimes accompanied by pickles.

Saturday Afternoon

It’s time to discover the Stavropoleos Monastery, Biserica Stavropoleos. This charming 18th-century Eastern Orthodox monastery is known for its intricate architecture and serene courtyard. Later in the afternoon, stroll along the Avenue of Heroes, Bulevardul Elisabeta. This elegant boulevard is lined with shops, cafes, and historic buildings. 

If you feel like shopping, we recommend a visit to Carturesti Carusel, a beautifully designed bookstore, perfect for book lovers and photography enthusiasts. For those who want to have a more local experience, we suggest the Farmers’ Market in Piața Obor to taste local produce and shop for unique crafts and goods.

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Saturday Evening

For dinner, head to a local restaurant and don’t miss trying dishes like grilled sausages. We recommend mititei or mici! After that, explore Bucharest’s nightlife. The city is renowned for its vibrant nightlife. Head to the Lipscani or the Strada Covaci area for bars, clubs, and live music venues. Experience the local energy and party culture!

Sunday Morning

Start your Sunday at a slower pace and head to the Cismigiu Gardens. Take a relaxing stroll through one of Bucharest’s oldest and most charming parks. Rent a paddleboat on the lake or simply unwind in the serene surroundings.

For lunch, head back to the Old Town for a unique dining experience at Caru’ cu Bere, a historic beerhouse known for its ornate interior and traditional Romanian food. Take our advice and try also the zacusca, a spread made from roasted eggplant, red peppers, and tomatoes, or the salată de vinete, an eggplant salad.

Sunday Afternoon

It’s time to visit a museum. There are some notable museums worth exploring during your holiday in Bucharest. If you like art, the National Museum of Art of Romania (Muzeul Național de Artă al României) is what you might like. This museum houses an impressive collection of European and Romanian art, including works by famous Romanian painters like Nicolae Grigorescu and Theodor Aman, as well as international artists like Rembrandt, Monet, and Bruegel. History geeks will enjoy the National Museum of Romanian History (Muzeul Național de Istorie a României), to dive into Romania’s history through a diverse collection of artefacts, including ancient artefacts, mediaeval treasures, and more.

If you have more than a weekend, we suggest you taking a day trip from Bucharest, check our recommendations here.

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