Heading over towards the northern part of Bucharest will lead you to one of the larger, most well known parks in Bucharest, Herastrau Park. Herastrau Park sits around Lake Herastrau which is nearly three-quarters of a square kilometer in area. This lake (which may not look as pretty below the surface) was originally marsh land prior to the Parks’ opening in 1936. Herastrau Park (Originally Parcul Carol or Parcul National) is divided into two zones: a rustic or natural zone (left more undisturbed) and a active zone with open areas for recreational activities. When walking through the park it will be apparent which zone is which. The best time of day to go is actually on the weekday evenings. It stays relatively cool outside and the people are not jammed into every corner like on the weekends. This gives you the chance to grab dinner at one of over a dozen of the parks nice terraces. As the season progresses you’ll begin to notice more and more terraces nearing completion.
When we go to walk and enjoy the outdoors in the evening, we typically spend a few hours walking around the perimeter (approximately 5.78 km). The best bet is to park along the main boulevard and head North first around the lake, as that area is less lit as the sun goes down. You’ll wind up reaching the more active and well-lit areas towards the end of your walk. The one annoying thing that nearly everyone seems to comment about is the somewhat aggressive bicyclists that meander off the designated bike path and cut corners a bit too close to pedestrians. They ride bicycles with the same care as they drive here we see. So be careful and don’t think just because you’re walking they will move out of your way.
If you feel like you need a little bit more to do the walk, bike, or jog around the park, then of course you’ll have some great photo opportunities. There is also a handful of pedal-boats (2 person) and rowboats for 10 ron and 15 ron per hour respectively that one can rent to go out on the lake itself. Bring your ID for renting the boats.