(Photos courtesy of Dan Mihai Balanescu )
Here is a list of our top 15 things to do in Bucharest in Winter! We’re hoping it’ll come in handy to all visiting travelers, wanderers, adventure seekers or just expats and people temporarily staying in the capital city of Romania, from late November till…oh well…March.
Although the temperatures in the city might drop quite well bellow zero at times, it’s unquestionably still worth overcoming the cold for and there are a lot of things to do in Bucharest in Winter, a large portion of which are free! To make things clear, Bucharest is not the best snowboard resort, but there seem to be people out there who might even try it in the parks or on the streets. We think you might get a kick out of these things to do:
- See the whole city from another perspective: If it snows (or just snowed) then you are in for a treat. The snow adds a special touch to the city’s buildings and boulevards, coating everything, topping the landmarks in the downtown area and dressing the neo-Romanian structures in another light. And more often than not, instead of kids playing on their sleds and throwing snowballs, a walk in the most of Bucharest parks in the middle of the week in winter time will reveal quiet, mostly untouched places. Come weekend though..oh well that is a different story.
- Watch the parades and enjoy the (free) concerts: On December 1st, witness the celebration of Romania’s national day and the annual military parade, usually held between the House of the Free Press, on the Kiselef boulevard and Arcul de triumf (Triumphal Arch ).
- While there(north side of the city), you can check out Europe’s largest beer hall – Beraria H and/ or the biggest Hard Rock Cafe in Europe that are nearby. Both of them are good options for having lunch, but in our opinion, they are better in the evening, when besides watching memorabilia from huge artists, you can also enjoy concerts from local artists or tribute bands.
- Check out the millions of Christmas lights that are glowing in Bucharest center making it a beautiful EU capital, on Christmas time. Mihai Doarna has a wonderful movie about 2016 Christmas lights in Bucharest.
- Visit the Christmas markets that are set around the city and enjoy concerts, local artisans creations and gift ideas, meet fairy tale characters, or just mingle with the locals.
- Try Romanian traditional Christmas and winter food like sarmale ( minced meat and rice wrapped in a cabbage or grapevine leaf ), cozonac (a specially baked cake), scutecele domnului ( mille feuile like special Christmas dessert). It is more than eating, it is an entire cultural experience, and that is why we believe it should be on the top 15 things to do in Bucharest in Winter list.
- Order mulled wine – from street vendors or in your favorite pub in the old town. But if you really want to experience a taste of authentic Romania (and provided you can stomach strong alcohol) try it’s own white lightning – tuica or plum brandy – a national drink, and especially the winter version of it – mulled plum brandy or “tuica fiarta”.
- Looking for healthier past times? One of the best things about the approach of Christmas is that it heralds the return of Bucharest’s ice rinks. Located throughout the city, the selection varies from well-established ice rinks in almost every park, to more recent additions bordered by some of the city’s most impressive landmarks. While the ice rinks can be crowded in the weekends and in the evenings, they are less crowded during the day. Our favorite ice rink is the one in Cismigiu Garden.
- Go in Bucharest largest amusement park – which only opened as recently as mid summer 2016 – and try the new Ferris wheel (Tei -Plumbuita Park).
- Love to swim? Sauna lover? Go to Therme park, where the water has a perfect temperature of 33 C, and the air temperature is at a steady 29-30C
- Want to stay inside some more yet still exercise a bit? Why not try laser tag. Laser Tag is a great and safe way to have fun, let off steam, and much more!
- If you get too cold outside, why not head inside one of the many Escapes rooms in Bucharest. This past time is very popular with young active people and it is rapidly becoming one of the top things to do in Bucharest in Winter, for locals and tourists alike.
- Those winter holidays are near so if you are looking for gifts, why not go shopping. Some even say that shopping is an unavoidable part of the Bucharest experience, and there are a number of shopping centers and areas to choose from. Bucharest has plenty of malls, and even though they are crowded in the winter time, you will find anything and everything there.
- Want some more adrenaline? Why not try indoor Karting. There are several options in Bucharest, all of them with sharp turns and challenging tracks.
- Or go indoor rock climbing or “bouldering”. Bucharest houses Romania’s largest climbing gym, and you can also go bouldering in some of the malls throughout the city.
Sleigh rides, snowball fights, and other good old fun activities in winter time just didn’t make the list for now, but you are more than welcomed to try them in the parks, or on less traveled streets.
There are also other options to explore in Bucharest – not limited to winter time- like exploring museums, visiting impressive buildings or palaces, but as the winter season has lots of public holidays, you are advised to check if they are opened for visiting. Feel free to check them out
Hope you liked our suggestions! We would love to hear yours, in the comment section bellow!
If you are looking for more things to do in Bucharest in 2017, check out this article! If you’re tired of reading yet interested in what can be seen in the capital city of Romania check out this movie about Bucharest!