If you’re planning a trip to Bucharest, Romania, you’re in for a treat. This vibrant city is full of history, culture, and unique experiences that you won’t find anywhere else. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s rich architecture, trying out traditional Romanian cuisine, or simply soaking up the local atmosphere, there’s something for everyone in Bucharest.
One of the best ways to experience the city is to seek out some of its more unique attractions. From hidden speakeasies to abandoned buildings turned art galleries, Bucharest is full of surprises. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most unusual things to do in Bucharest, so you can make the most of your trip and experience the city like a true local.
So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, get ready to discover a side of Bucharest that you never knew existed. From quirky museums to underground clubs, we’ve got you covered with our list of unique things to do in Bucharest, (or Bucuresti, as we say here) .
- Unique Attractions
- Historical Sites
- Offbeat Museums
- Food and Drink
- Explore the city’s vibrant nightlife in one of the many clubs and bars.
- Explore the Herastrau park in a leisurely boat
Bucharest is full of unique attractions that are worth exploring. Here are a few that you should definitely add to your list:
Carturesti Carusel Bookstore
If you’re a book lover, then you won’t want to miss the Carturesti Carusel Bookstore. This stunning bookstore is located in the heart of Bucharest and is housed in a beautifully restored 19th-century building. The bookstore has a wide selection of books, including many in English, and also features a cozy café where you can enjoy a cup of coffee while browsing through your favorite books.
Vacaresti Nature Park
If you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, then head to Vacaresti Nature Park. This urban nature reserve is located in the southern part of Bucharest and is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. You can take a walk or bike ride through the park’s trails, or simply relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
If you’re looking for a unique way to relax and unwind, then head to Therme Bucharest. This massive spa complex is one of the largest in Europe and features a wide variety of pools, saunas, and relaxation areas. You can also enjoy a variety of spa treatments, including massages and facials, or simply relax and soak in the warm waters.
Fortifications of Bucharest
Bucharest has a rich history, and one of the most fascinating aspects of that history is the city’s fortifications. Bucharest was once protected by a series of walls, towers, and gates, which were built to defend the city against invaders. Today, many of these fortifications are still standing, and they offer a unique glimpse into the city’s past.
The most impressive of these fortifications is the Old Court (Curtea Veche), which was built in the 15th century. The Old Court was the residence of Vlad the Impaler, the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Visitors can explore the ruins of the Old Court, which include the remains of the palace, the church, and the watchtower.
Located in the southeastern part of Bucharest, Chijna Monastery is one of the city’s hidden gems. This beautiful monastery was founded in the 16th century, and it is known for its stunning frescoes and intricate wood carvings. Visitors can take a guided tour of the monastery, which includes a visit to the church, the bell tower, and the museum.
Chijna Monastery is also home to a peaceful garden, where visitors can relax and enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings. The garden is filled with flowers, trees, and a small pond, and it is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
Bellu Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Bucharest, and it is known for its beautiful sculptures and mausoleums. The cemetery was founded in the mid-19th century, and it is the final resting place of many famous Romanians, including writers, artists, and politicians.
Visitors to Bellu Cemetery can take a guided tour, which includes a visit to the most impressive graves and mausoleums. The cemetery is also home to a small museum, which showcases the history of the cemetery and its most famous residents.
Bellu Cemetery is a peaceful and serene place, and it offers a unique glimpse into the history of Bucharest and its people.
Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History
The Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History is a great place to visit for those interested in science and nature. The museum has a vast collection of specimens, including animals, plants, and minerals from all over the world. Some of the highlights of the museum include a dinosaur skeleton, a giant squid, and a collection of butterflies.
The museum also has interactive exhibits that are perfect for kids. Visitors can learn about different ecosystems and habitats and even touch some of the specimens. The museum is open every day except for Monday and the admission fee is reasonable.
Museum of the Romanian Peasant
The Museum of the Romanian Peasant is a unique museum that showcases the traditional culture of Romania. The museum has a vast collection of artifacts, including clothing, tools, and household items. Visitors can learn about the different regions of Romania and the customs and traditions of the people who live there.
The museum also has a beautiful courtyard with several souvenir shops, where visitors can relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. The admission fee is reasonable, and the museum is open every day except for Monday.
Theodor Pallady Museum
The Theodor Pallady Museum is a hidden gem in Bucharest that is worth a visit. The museum is located in a beautiful villa that was once the home of the Romanian painter Theodor Pallady. The museum has a collection of paintings, sculptures, and other works of art that were created by Pallady and other Romanian artists.
The museum also has a beautiful garden where visitors can relax and enjoy the scenery. The admission fee is reasonable, and the museum is open every day except for Monday.
Food and Drink
Linea / Closer To The Moon
Linea / Closer To The Moon is a rooftop bar and restaurant that offers stunning views of the city. The bar is located on the 9th floor of a building in the historic center of Bucharest. The menu features a variety of cocktails and dishes inspired by Romanian and international cuisine. The atmosphere is relaxed and perfect for a night out with friends or a romantic dinner.
La Mama is a popular restaurant chain that serves traditional Romanian cuisine. The menu includes dishes such as sarmale (stuffed cabbage rolls), mici (grilled minced meat rolls), and ciorba (sour soup). The portions are generous, and the prices are reasonable. The atmosphere is cozy and the staff is friendly.
Zexe is a restaurant that specializes in farm-to-table cuisine. The menu features seasonal dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. The restaurant is located in a beautiful villa in the Herastrau Park area. The atmosphere is elegant and perfect for a special occasion. The prices are on the higher side, but the quality of the food and service is worth it.
Other notable places to try Romanian cuisine include Caru’ cu Bere, Hanul lui Manuc, and Lacrimi si Sfinti.
When it comes to drinks, Romania is known for its wine and beer. Some local beers to try include Ursus, Ciuc, and Timisoreana. For wine lovers, Murfatlar and Cotnari are popular Romanian wine brands. For a unique experience, try a shot of palinca, a traditional Romanian brandy made from plums.
Explore the city’s vibrant nightlife in one of the many clubs and bars.
As the sun sets and the city transforms, Bucharest reveals its vibrant nightlife, inviting you to step into a world of excitement and endless possibilities. Prepare to dance the night away, for this city knows how to party like no other. Explore the pulsating heart of Bucharest’s nightlife scene, where clubs and bars line the streets, each with its unique atmosphere and music. Whether you’re into electronic beats, live jazz, or the latest chart-toppers, or even music festivals – Bucharest has something for everyone. Lose yourself in the rhythmic melodies, mingle with locals and fellow travelers, and create memories that will last a lifetime. From intimate speakeasies to sprawling nightclubs, the city offers an array of options that cater to all tastes and preferences. So put on your dancing shoes, embrace the infectious energy, and let the magic of Bucharest’s nightlife sweep you off your feet.
Explore the Herastrau park in a leisurely boat
Unique things to do in Bucharest just got better with this idea! Taking a leisurely boat ride on the scenic Lake Herăstrău is a creative and attractive idea for those looking to have a peaceful day out amidst the hustle and bustle of the city. Here are some tips and tricks to make the most of this experience:
1. Start your day early: Lake Herăstrău is a popular attraction, and even more so during weekends. Getting there early will ensure that you avoid the crowds and get the best boat ride possible.
2. Choose the right boat: There are different types of boats available, and they vary in size, style, and the amount of time they take on the water. Choose the one that fits your preferences and budget, and make sure to talk to the boat operator about any other additional fees.
3. Pack a picnic: You can make your boat ride even more enjoyable by bringing along some snacks and refreshments. There are many picturesque spots around the lake where you can stop and enjoy your picnic.
4. Rent a pedalo: If you’re feeling more adventurous, why not rent a pedalo and explore the lake on your own? It’s a fun way to get some exercise, and you’ll get a unique perspective of the stunning views around the lake.
5. Take your time: Don’t rush your boat ride. Take your time to soak in the beauty around you and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. You’ll find that time flies by when you’re on the water!
6. Watch the sunset: Finally, if you’re lucky enough to be there during sunset, make sure to stay for it. It’s a magical experience to see the sky turn different shades of orange and pink, with the lake reflecting the colors beautifully.
Taking a boat ride on Lake Herăstrău is undoubtedly one of the most unique things to do in Bucharest. Follow these tips and tricks, and you’re sure to have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget!
Bucharest is a beautiful city full of unique experiences waiting to be discovered. From touring the Palace of Parliament, to taking a relaxing boat ride on Lake Herăstrău and exploring the historic Old Town, there is something for everyone. Catching a performance at the National Theatre Bucharest and experiencing the city’s vibrant nightlife in its many clubs and bars are also not to be missed. Whether you are a local or a visitor, these unique things to do in Bucharest will enrich your life and offer a glimpse into the city’s rich history and culture. So go ahead and add these experiences to your must-do list for your next trip to Bucharest!
photos by Claudiu Banu, Mihai Petre