Bucharest, Romania Vacations
Bucharest is Romania’s cultural center and capital city. Its iconic landmark is the massive 1,100-room Palace of Parliament, constructed during the communist era. The Danube River forms much of Romania’s southern border with Bulgaria and is a cruise port for European River Cruise companies.
Featured Bucharest, Romania Hotel
Bucharest is renowned for its wide tree-lined boulevards and Belle Époque buildings, which is why it was once known as “Little Paris.” Bucharest’s most iconic building, however, is the post-modern Palace of the Parliament, an infamous creation of former dictator and Romania’s last communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu which has more than 1,000 rooms and is the world’s second-largest administrative building, after the Pentagon. The city’s most breathtaking buildings are located on Calea Victoriei (Victory Avenue), including Cantacuzino Palace, which houses the George Enescu Museum that pays homage to Romania’s most famous composer and musician; and the National Museum of Art of Romania, located in the Royal Palace. Calea Victoriei is also home to Revolution Square, site of some of the most momentous events in Bucharest history, including the celebration marking Romania’s independence from communist rule.
What to see
Palace of the Parliament – Also known as the People’s Parliament, despite being a symbol of the communist era, it is not only the second-largest administrative building on Earth, but the world’s heaviest building. This iconic building is the seat of the Parliament of Romania and one of the city’s most visited attractions and can be toured.
Romanian Athenaeum – This opulent structure is the proud home of the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra and Bucharest’s most prestigious concert hall, renowned for its superb acoustics.
Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum – Commonly known as just the Village Museum, this open-air ethnographic museum located in Herastrau Park showcases traditional Romanian village life and features hundreds of authentic buildings, such as peasant homes, log cabins, churches, workshops and thatched barns, that were transported from every region of Romania.
Old Town – Take a trip back in time at Bucharest’s Old Town, which boasts buildings dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries, cobblestone streets, and quaint cafés. Here you will also find the National Museum of Romanian History and Curtea Veche, the Old Princely Court, once home to Vlad III, aka Vlad the Impaler and Vlad Dracula, and now home to a bust of the notorious Romanian prince who was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.”
Bran Castle – No trip to Bucharest is complete without taking a daytrip to Bran Castle in Transylvania. Known as “Dracula’s Castle,” it is one of the most visited places in Romania and the inspiration for the vampire legend of Count Dracula.
When to Go
The best time to visit Bucharest is during shoulder season, approximately April though mid-June and September through October. Bucharest tends to be rather hot and overcrowded in the summer. If attending the biennial George Enescu Festival, held in honor of the celebrated Romanian composer George Enescu, plan on visiting in Late August through late September.