Best Things to Do in Bucharest: Top 12 Attractions to Visit

by Jen
Best Things to Do in Bucharest
This post may have affiliate links, where I may receive a commission if you purchase through them. Here's our Disclosure and Privacy Policy for more info.

Are you thinking about visiting Bucharest this year? Here are some of the most fun and unique things to do in Bucharest. These diverse sights, activities, and attractions are sure to make for an unforgettable vacation experience.

Welcome to Bucharest, Romania’s enigmatic capital! Bucharest—a city that dances between the past and the present like a ballerina on a moonlit stage. When you explore Bucharest, you’ll discover a rich tapestry of history and culture. Often overshadowed by its European siblings like Paris or Rome, Bucharest is an unsung hero waiting for its moment in the spotlight. And trust me, there are countless things to do in Bucharest. That moment is now.

Imagine strolling through cobblestone streets where grandiose Belle Époque buildings stand shoulder to shoulder with edgy street art. Picture yourself sipping a cup of strong Romanian coffee in a bohemian café, as the sounds of laughter and traditional music fill the air. It’s a city where every corner whispers secrets of a tumultuous history, yet screams with the vibrancy of modern life.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a foodie, or someone who just loves to wander, Bucharest offers a smorgasbord of experiences that promise to captivate your senses and ignite your wanderlust. So grab your camera, put on your most comfortable walking shoes, and get ready to explore this Eastern European gem.

In this article, we’ll dive into the amazing things to do in Bucharest, from hidden gems to iconic landmarks. Buckle up, fellow travelers, because Bucharest is about to blow your mind! Here’s everything you need to know about these fun things to do in Bucharest.

The top places to visit in Bucharest right now
This article on the Best Things To Do in Bucharest contains affiliate links where I may earn a small commission at no cost to you.

Best Places to Visit in Bucharest

Ready to jump into all the coolest things to do in Bucharest? As noted above, there’s something for everyone at this vibrant vacation spot. So keep reading to discover all these unique Bucharest places to visit.

Are you looking to immerse yourself in a vibrant cultural scene, exploring museums, theaters, and lively nightlife? Or would you prefer exploring diverse culinary experiences, with a wide range of restaurants serving both traditional Romanian dishes and international cuisine? Whatever you’re planning, these must-sees in Bucharest can accommodate your needs. Here’s all the best attractions in Bucharest that you should know about.

1. Palace of the Parliament

If you’re wondering about the best things to do in Bucharest, look no further than the awe-inspiring Palace of the Parliament. This colossal structure is a testament to Romania’s complex history. Designed by architect Anca Petrescu, it’s the world’s heaviest building and the second-largest administrative building after the Pentagon.

As you walk through its grand halls and opulent chambers, you’ll be struck by the sheer extravagance of it all. From marble staircases to crystal chandeliers, every inch screams luxury. But don’t let the grandeur fool you; the building also serves as a poignant reminder of the country’s communist past and the sacrifices made by its people.

While guided tours are available, you can also opt for an audio tour to explore at your own pace. Either way, visiting the Palace of the Parliament is undoubtedly one of the coolest activities in Bucharest. It’s not just a building; it’s a living, breathing piece of history that you simply can’t afford to miss.

Palace of the Parliament is one of the best things to do in Bucharest.
Visit Bucharest’s awe-inspiring Palace of the Parliament, a testament to Romania’s history and one of the world’s heaviest buildings.

2. Herastrau Park

Ah, Herastrau Park—a slice of paradise in the heart of the city. If you’re compiling a list of best places to go in Bucharest, this verdant oasis should be at the top. Covering over 187 hectares, it’s the largest park in Bucharest and a haven for both locals and tourists alike.

Picture this: you’re walking along tree-lined paths, the sun is shining down, and the tranquil waters of Lake Herastrau are shimmering in the distance. Whether you’re into paddle boating, cycling, or simply enjoying a leisurely picnic, the park offers a plethora of activities to suit all tastes.

Herastrau Park is also home to the Village Museum, an open-air ethnographic museum that showcases traditional Romanian village life. Here, you can step back in time and explore over 200 authentic buildings, including churches, barns, and windmills, each transported from different parts of Romania.

So, if you’re planning where to visit in Bucharest for a mix of leisure and culture, Herastrau Park is your answer. It’s more than just a park; it’s a sanctuary where you can escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in nature and history. Is this among the top things to do in Bucharest, Romania? You bet!

Herastrau Park: A Bucharest oasis, the city's largest park, and a must-visit destination.
Herastrau Park: A Bucharest oasis, the city’s largest park, and a must-visit destination.

3. Lipscani District

Lipscani District is the beating heart of Bucharest, where the city’s soul comes alive in a tapestry of cobblestone streets, vibrant cafes, and historic landmarks. If you’re searching for unique places in Bucharest, this is where you’ll find them.

The district is a living museum, a testament to the city’s rich past. From the Curtea Veche, the Old Princely Court built in the 15th century, to the myriad of churches that dot the landscape, history is around every corner. But don’t think it’s all about the past; Lipscani is as modern as it gets. Trendy boutiques, art galleries, and hip bars offer a contemporary contrast to the area’s historical core.

Foodies, rejoice! This is also the place to indulge in some of the city’s finest culinary delights. Whether it’s traditional mici sausages or a modern fusion dish, the gastronomic scene here is nothing short of spectacular.

And, what’s the verdict? Well, if you’re making a list of the coolest things to do in Bucharest, a visit to the Lipscani District should be right on top. It’s a place where history and modernity coalesce, offering an exceptional blend that’s quintessentially Bucharest.

Lipscani District is the heart of Bucharest, where the city's soul thrives with cobblestone streets, cafes, and historic landmarks.
Lipscani District is the heart of Bucharest, where the city’s soul thrives with cobblestone streets, cafes, and historic landmarks.

4. Carturesti Carusel Bookstore

Carturesti Carusel Bookstore is not just any bookstore; it’s a cultural experience that you simply can’t miss. Situated in the heart of Bucharest, this architectural marvel is a feast for the eyes and the soul.

The moment you step inside, you’ll be greeted by a labyrinth of books that seem to stretch infinitely upwards, spiraling around a grand, white staircase. It’s a bibliophile’s dream come true. Carturesti Carusel is also an art gallery, a café, and even a multimedia space.

The top floor offers a selection of Romanian wines and artisanal teas. It’s the perfect spot to unwind after a day of exploring the city’s many attractions. And speaking of attractions, the bookstore frequently hosts events, from book launches to art exhibitions, making it a hub of cultural activity.

In a city brimming with history and modernity, Carturesti Carusel stands as a symbol of what makes Bucharest so special. So, if you’re crafting a list of must-see in Bucharest, make sure this extraordinary bookstore is on it.

Carturesti Carusel Bookstore is more than a bookstore, it's a cultural experience and architectural marvel in the heart of the city.
Carturesti Carusel Bookstore is more than a bookstore, it’s a cultural experience and architectural marvel in the heart of the city.

5. Macca-Vilacrosse Passage

Macca-Vilacrosse Passage is a hidden gem that’s begging to be discovered. Tucked away in the bustling streets of Bucharest, this glass-covered arcade is a sanctuary for art lovers, shoppers, and anyone looking to escape the city’s hustle and bustle. If you’re keen on finding unique things to do in Bucharest, this should be on your radar.

As you meander through the passage, you’ll encounter an eclectic mix of shops, from antique stores to modern boutiques. The architecture alone is worth the visit, with its intricate designs and stained glass that cast colorful reflections on the floor. It’s like stepping into a different world, one that’s quieter and more refined.

But the passage isn’t just for window shopping. It’s also home to some of the city’s most charming cafes and bistros, where you can sip on a cup of Romanian coffee or indulge in local pastries.

online pharmacy buy flomax no prescription with best prices today in the USA

And if you’re a fan of shisha, there are several lounges that offer a wide variety of flavors.

Thinking about where to go in Bucharest for a distinctive blend of art, shopping, and relaxation? Macca-Vilacrosse Passage is your answer. It’s a must-visit spot that encapsulates the city’s artistic spirit and offers a tranquil respite from the urban jungle.

Macca-Vilacrosse Passage is a sanctuary for art lovers, shoppers, and those seeking escape from the city's hustle and bustle.
Macca-Vilacrosse Passage is a sanctuary for art lovers, shoppers, and those seeking escape from the city’s hustle and bustle.

6. La Mama

La Mama is where Bucharest’s culinary heart beats the loudest. For those who are passionate about food, this is one of the best places in Bucharest to experience authentic Romanian cuisine.

You’re greeted by the warm aroma of mămăligă and mici as soon as you walk through the door. The atmosphere is cozy, with wooden tables and traditional Romanian decor creating a homey vibe. It’s the kind of place where every dish tells a story, from the hearty mutton stew to the delicate papanasi dessert.

The chefs here use age-old recipes passed down through generations, ensuring that each bite you take is a true representation of Romanian culinary traditions. Whether you’re a meat lover or a vegetarian, the menu offers something for everyone.

For those compiling a list of Bucharest places to visit, La Mama is more than just a restaurant; it’s a cultural experience that offers a taste of Romania’s rich culinary heritage. It’s a must-visit for foodies and anyone looking to dive deep into the local culture.

La Mama offers authentic Romanian cuisine for passionate food lovers.
La Mama offers authentic Romanian cuisine for passionate food lovers.

7. Stavropoleos Monastery

Stavropoleos Monastery is a sanctuary of peace and spiritual reflection right in the heart of Bucharest. If you’re curious about what to do in Bucharest that offers a break from the city’s fast-paced life, this is your spot.

At the entrance, you’ll immediately notice the intricate Brâncovenesc-style architecture, characterized by its elaborate stone carvings and woodwork.

online pharmacy buy keflex no prescription with best prices today in the USA

The monastery’s small yet awe-inspiring church is a masterpiece of this design, featuring frescoes that date back to the early 18th century.

More than the architecture that captivates visitors, the monastery also houses a library filled with rare religious texts and Byzantine music manuscripts. Whether you’re religious or not, the spiritual energy here is palpable, offering a moment of serenity that’s hard to find in the city’s bustling streets.

And let’s not forget the courtyard. Filled with lush greenery and the soft sounds of chanting from the adjoining chapel, it’s a perfect place for reflection or a quiet read.

Stavropoleos Monastery should be right up there on your list of Bucharest things to do. It’s not just a religious site; it’s a pocket of tranquility that offers a glimpse into Romania’s rich spiritual heritage.

Stavropoleos Monastery in Bucharest is a sanctuary of peace and reflection in the city's heart, offering respite from its fast-paced life.
Stavropoleos Monastery in Bucharest is a sanctuary of peace and reflection in the city’s heart, offering respite from its fast-paced life.

8. Village Museum

The Village Museum is an open-air treasure that sprawls across 30 acres of Herastrau Park. If you’re crafting a list of Bucharest attractions, this museum is a must-add. It’s a time machine that transports you back to rural Romania.

While wandering through the museum, you’ll come across over 200 traditional buildings from all over Romania. Each structure, whether it’s a Transylvanian church or a Moldovan cottage, has been carefully reconstructed to offer a glimpse into the country’s diverse cultural heritage. The attention to detail is astounding, from the hand-painted furniture to the authentic farm tools.

It also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including craft fairs, folk festivals, and traditional cooking workshops. So, there’s always something happening that adds a contemporary twist to your historical journey.

For those who are keen on diving deep into Romanian culture, this museum offers an unparalleled experience. It’s one of those unique places in Bucharest where history comes alive, making it a captivating destination for both young and old.

The Village Museum is a sprawling open-air treasure spanning 30 acres of Herastrau Park.
The Village Museum is a sprawling open-air treasure spanning 30 acres of Herastrau Park.

9. Control Club

Control Club is where Bucharest’s night owls flock to, a pulsating hub of music, art, and culture. If you’re asking yourself where to go in Bucharest for an unforgettable night out, look no further.

From the moment you step through its doors, you’ll feel the energy. The club is renowned for its eclectic music lineup, featuring everything from indie rock to electronic beats. It’s a place where you can let your hair down and dance the night away, or simply enjoy a cocktail while soaking up the atmosphere.

Aside from being a party place, it’s also a cultural venue that hosts art exhibitions, film screenings, and live performances. The club’s commitment to fostering creativity makes it a standout in Bucharest’s vibrant nightlife scene.

The venue also offers a terrace where you can catch your breath and engage in some people-watching. It’s a fascinating mix of locals and tourists, all brought together by their love for music and art.

When putting together a list of coolest things to do in Bucharest, Control Club deserves a spot. It’s not just a club; it’s a cultural epicenter that captures the essence of modern Bucharest.

Control Club is a hub of music, art, and culture where night owls flock for an unforgettable evening.
Control Club in Bucharest is a hub of music, art, and culture where night owls flock for an unforgettable evening.

10. Therme Bucharest

Therme Bucharest is a slice of paradise that you wouldn’t expect to find in a bustling city. If you’re compiling a list of cool destinations in Bucharest, this spa and wellness center is a must-include.

The stress of urban life melts away the moment you step in, and is replaced by the soothing scents of eucalyptus and lavender. The facility is massive, boasting nine pools, six saunas, and four wet areas. Whether you’re into thermal relaxation or you’re more of a hydrotherapy enthusiast, Therme has something for everyone.

The center also offers a range of spa treatments, from classic massages to exotic therapies like the Balinese ritual. And if you’re a fan of botanical beauty, the indoor tropical garden will leave you spellbound with its 800,000 plants.

For the foodies, there’s a selection of restaurants offering healthy, delicious meals. You can even enjoy a glass of wine or a cocktail at the poolside bar.

To escape the city’s hustle and bustle, Therme Bucharest offers a luxurious respite that caters to all your relaxation needs. It’s a haven of tranquility that promises a rejuvenating experience.

Therme Bucharest: A surprising slice of paradise in the city, a must-include destination for spa and wellness seekers.
Therme Bucharest: A surprising slice of paradise in the city, a must-include destination for spa and wellness seekers in Bucharest.

11. Romanian Athenaeum

The Romanian Athenaeum is more than just a concert hall; it’s a symbol of Romanian culture. As you approach this neoclassical marvel, you’ll be struck by its grandeur, from the ornate columns to the intricate frescoes that adorn its dome. A visit to this destination is among the most unique things to do in Bucharest.

Inside, the opulence continues. The auditorium, designed in the style of an ancient Greek amphitheater, can seat over 800 people. It’s a venue that has hosted some of the world’s most renowned musicians and orchestras, making it a mecca for classical music lovers.

The frescoes on the circular wall of the concert hall depict significant moments in Romania’s history, offering a visual feast that complements the auditory experience.

For those interested in architecture, the building itself is a masterpiece. Designed by French architect Albert Galleron, it was completed in 1888 and has since become one of the city’s most iconic landmarks.

The Romanian Athenaeum deserves a top spot on your bucket list of Bucharest places to visit. Whether you’re a music aficionado or simply a lover of beautiful spaces, this is a place where art and history collide in the most magnificent way.

Romanian Athenaeum: Bucharest's cultural symbol with neoclassical grandeur
Romanian Athenaeum: Bucharest’s cultural symbol with neoclassical grandeur

12. Bellu Cemetery

If you’re the kind of traveler who seeks out the unusual, then Bellu Cemetery is a one-of-a-kind place in Bucharest that you won’t want to miss. Far from being just a somber place of rest, this cemetery is a veritable outdoor museum, teeming with intricate sculptures, ornate tombstones, and captivating stories.

Wandering through the labyrinthine pathways, you’ll encounter graves of famous Romanian poets, artists, and politicians. Each tombstone is a work of art, often designed by renowned Romanian sculptors. It’s like walking through a gallery where each piece has a tale to tell.

Bellu Cemetery also offers a fascinating glimpse into Romanian history and culture. The variety of architectural styles—ranging from Gothic to Art Nouveau—reflects the country’s diverse influences and periods of change.

For those who appreciate the quieter Bucharest attractions, this is a place of reflection and discovery. You might even catch a glimpse of local artists sketching the intricate details of the tombstones, or families paying their respects in traditional Romanian fashion.

A trip to Bellu Cemetery is a hauntingly beautiful experience that offers more than meets the eye.

Bellu Cemetery in Bucharest is an unusual outdoor museum with captivating sculptures and stories for unique travelers.
Bellu Cemetery in Bucharest is an unusual outdoor museum with captivating sculptures and stories for unique travelers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the Best Things to Do in Bucharest

Looking for more content on the top things to do in Bucharest? Here are some popular questions (and answers) I get that will help you plan your trip to Bucharest:

What’s the best time to visit Bucharest?

The best time to visit Bucharest is during the late spring (May to June) and early autumn (September to October) when the weather is mild, and outdoor activities are enjoyable. Avoiding the extreme heat of summer and the cold winters ensures a more comfortable and pleasant experience in the city.

Is Bucharest safe for tourists?

Bucharest is generally safe for tourists. Like any major city, it’s advisable to exercise common safety precautions such as safeguarding belongings and avoiding poorly lit or secluded areas at night. Violent crime is rare, and the city’s overall safety record is reasonably good, making it a safe destination for tourists.

What’s the local cuisine like in Bucharest?
online pharmacy buy cenforce no prescription with best prices today in the USA

Bucharest offers a diverse local cuisine that reflects Romania’s culinary heritage. Traditional dishes include sarmale (cabbage rolls stuffed with meat and rice), mămăligă (cornmeal porridge), and mici (grilled sausages). You can also savor a wide range of soups, stews, and pastries, often featuring hearty and flavorful ingredients.

How do I get around Bucharest?

Getting around Bucharest is convenient with various transportation options. The city has an extensive public transportation network, including buses, trams, and the metro. Taxis and rideshare services are readily available. Walking is a great way to explore the city center, which features many attractions within a manageable distance.

Bucharest's Old Town with historic buildings and cobblestone streets in Romania.
Bucharest’s Old Town with historic buildings and cobblestone streets in Romania.

Is 2 days enough for Bucharest?

Two days in Bucharest is a tight schedule, but it’s enough to get a glimpse of the city’s main attractions and feel its vibe. While you won’t be able to explore every corner, you can certainly cover the highlights.

Here’s a suggested itinerary for a 2-day visit:

Day 1: Historical Bucharest

  1. Palace of the Parliament: Start your day with a visit to the world’s second-largest administrative building (after the Pentagon). It’s a testament to the communist era and the ambitions of former dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu.
  2. Old Town (Lipscani): Wander the cobbled streets of Bucharest’s historic center, filled with lively cafes, bars, and shops. Key attractions include the Stavropoleos Monastery and the Old Princely Court.
  3. Cărturești Carusel: This stunning bookstore is a must-visit for its architecture and ambiance.
  4. Evening: Dine in one of the traditional Romanian restaurants in the Old Town, trying local dishes like mămăligă, mămăliguță, or sarmale.

Day 2: Parks and Museums

  1. Village Museum (Muzeul Satului): Located in Herastrau Park, this open-air museum showcases traditional Romanian village life with over 200 buildings from all over the country.
  2. Herastrau Park: After the museum, take a leisurely stroll or boat ride in this expansive park surrounding a lake.
  3. Revolution Square: This square is significant for its role in the 1989 Romanian Revolution. Here, you’ll find the Royal Palace, now the National Museum of Art of Romania, and the Memorial of Rebirth commemorating the Revolution.
  4. Evening: Consider attending a performance at the Romanian Athenaeum, a neoclassical concert hall, or explore some of Bucharest’s trendy bars and clubs.

What is Bucharest best known for?

Bucharest is best known as Romania’s vibrant capital, a city of contrasts where history and modernity coexist. Famous for landmarks like the colossal Palace of the Parliament and the historic Old Town, it’s also a hub for arts, culture, and nightlife. The city offers a unique blend of Eastern and Western influences.

Is it worth going to Bucharest?

Absolutely, Bucharest is well worth a visit for its rich history, diverse culture, and vibrant arts scene. The city offers a unique blend of architectural styles, from grand palaces to historic churches, and has a lively nightlife. It’s a destination that provides both surprises and lasting memories. Here are some reasons that Bucharest, Romania is worth visiting:

  1. Architectural Diversity: Bucharest is often referred to as the “Little Paris of the East” because of its elegant architecture, wide boulevards, and the Arcul de Triumf. The city showcases a mix of neo-classical, Bauhaus, Art Deco, Brâncovenesc, and communist-era architecture.
  2. Palace of the Parliament: This colossal building is the second-largest administrative building in the world (after the Pentagon). It’s a testament to the communist era and the ambitions of former dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu.
  3. Old Town (Lipscani): The historic heart of Bucharest, with cobbled streets, old churches, lively bars, cafes, and restaurants. It’s a great place to wander, dine, and soak in the city’s atmosphere.
  4. Parks and Green Spaces: Herastrau Park, Carol Park, and Cismigiu Gardens are beautiful green oases in the city, perfect for relaxation, boat rides, or leisurely strolls.
  5. Village Museum (Muzeul Satului): An open-air museum showcasing traditional Romanian village life with authentic houses, churches, and mills brought from different regions of the country.
  6. Nightlife: Bucharest boasts a vibrant nightlife with a plethora of bars, clubs, and music venues catering to various tastes.

Final Thoughts on Exploring Bucharest

So there you have it! A curated list of unique things to do in Bucharest, a city that’s so much more than its Communist past or its bustling present. From the hidden gems to the iconic landmarks, Bucharest is a city that begs to be explored, experienced, and adored.

Whether you’re an art aficionado, a history buff, or someone who simply loves to soak in the local culture, Bucharest has something for everyone. It’s a city where the old and the new coexist in a beautiful, sometimes chaotic, yet always fascinating harmony.

So why wait? Pack your bags, book that ticket, and get ready to fall head over heels for Bucharest. Trust me, this is one love affair that you’ll never want to end.

The top things to do in Bucharest for all types of travelers
Enjoyed reading about the top things to do in Bucharest? Pin it!

You may also like

Leave a Comment