Bucharest Must-Sees

If You Only Have Time For A Few Things While Visiting Bucharest, Consider These Top Priority.

Valea Regilor/Macca-Villacrosse

When we at Bucharest Expat first arrived in town, we stayed at the Ramada Hotel just a moments’ walk away from Lipscani. So naturally, our first walk around town began down Calea Victoriei. At that time, Lipscani was still an area in transition, so there really was no designated “Main Entrance” – except for a small side street marked as “Pasajul Majestic”. Easy to miss, this Passage is truly that; a crescent shaped arcade created between the exteriors of vintage buildings where the entire “roof” area is sheathed in glass. Inside the passage are a selection of cafes, lounges and bars, and is the area to go to find a Narghilea for some Sheesha and coffee. These venues were once home  to banks, news offices, and luxury boutiques as part of the original arcade built in 1891 by Felix Xenopol. We’ve written a few articles about this, and its’ certainly worth seeing if not only for a photo opportunity.

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Old Town Lipscani Bucharest

Old Town Lipscani, the Old Town Bucharest, or just simply “Lipscani” is a must-see for anyone traveling to Bucharest. Lipscani, derived from the singular “Lipscan” loosely means trader who brought his wares from Western Europe. As the name implies, Lipscani was the center for all commerce during medieval Wallachian times. More recently, Lipscani was actually scheduled for demolition during communist time, but thankfully for all, that never occurred. Around 2008-2009, Lipscani began a major renovation and has become what it is today; a major pedestrian area in the center of Bucharest home to many dining, shopping, and entertainment options, as well as one of the oldest buildings and courts in Bucharest.

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Palatul Parliamentului/Palace Of The Parliament

The Palace of The Parliament (formerly The People’s Palace – Palatul Parlamentului) is a stunning reminder of the Ceausescu era. Noted as the second largest government administration building in the world (second only to the Pentagon in the US), the Palace of The Parliament is one of the most photographed sites in Romania. It’s easy to see why, as a the neo-classical architecture is a site to behold from nearly any vantage point. This massive structure (both underground and above ground) began construction in 1984 yet never saw completion per Nicolae Ceausescu’s vision. Today, the Palace of the Parliament is not only home to assemblies, conventions, and administrative offices, but also stands as host to many formal events.

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Bucharest Dance Cubs

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Snagov

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Caru cu Bere

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AFI Palace Cotroceni

It’s somewhat strange to see a shopping mall on the “Bucharest Must-See” list, but here’s our reasoning behind it…. When we at Bucharest Expat first travel to any Country/City, we inevitable need to by “something”; whether it’s clothes, electronic adapters, etc. there’s always one item we need to buy quickly, and targeting a mall is likely the most convenient way to get the job done. In addition to finding what you need to buy, Bucharest’s malls are actually quite interesting. Romania’s consumer spending is quite high for Europe, and it shows when you enter a mall here. Modern day Bucurestians are still plagued by very conspicuous consumption, so there’s no better way to get a glimpse of this popular culture then at the epicenter of it all. AFI Mall is one of the largest malls in Bucharest, housing a skating rink, an IMAX Theatre, as well as a 24hr supermarket. AFI Mall gives you a quick snapshot of the very opposite end of the Romanian Heritage spectrum.

Bucharest Piatas

As there’s simply too many “must-sees” in Bucharest to include on a short list within this page, we have decided that the best thing for people to do from an initial sightseeing standpoint, is to focus on the major Piatas circling the city center. This would include Piata Romana, walking down Boulevard Magheru to Piata Victoriei, and continuing to Piata Unirii, and making a circle back into Old Town Lipscani. At Piata Romana you’ll be able to view and photograph the University of Economic Studies, built in 1913. At Piata Victoriei, you’ll be able to see the 1940’s style Governmental Cabinet building – as well as situate yourself at one of the largest junctions in the city. From Piata Victoriei you’ll have the option to continue down famed Calea Victoriei, or continue down Blvd. Magheru towards Piata Unirii where you’ll have a fountain-lined walk towards the People’s Palace, Indepentence Blvd. or enter into Lipscani.

Bucharest Piatas