Bucharest: sights, monuments and places of interest.

Bucharest: sights, monuments and places of interest.

The Cantacuzino Palace was built in 1903 upon the project of the most famous Romanian architect Johan Berindheim. The architectural appearance of the palace combines French academicism and Rococo elements.

Kotroceni Palace

At the top of the hill at the southwest corner of Bucharest is the Cotroceni Palace, a striking example of 19th-century architecture. Thousands of tourists come here every year to see the luxurious residence of Prince Ferdinand and Princess Maria, who later became the King and Queen of Romania.

Parliament Palace in Bucharest

The calling card of Bucharest, its main asset and pride, the largest and hardest civil structure in the world, as well as a controversial symbol of dictatorship and oppression – all this is the Palace of Parliament, a famous architectural monument of Romania.

Romanian Ateneum

The Romanian Ateneum Concert Hall is a remarkable sight indeed. This is not just another concert hall, but a true temple of art, a symbol of the spiritual tradition of the Romanian people. Its construction during the golden age of the Romanian state was the initiative of the cultural elite of the nation.

Bucharest Botanical Garden

The history of the Bucharest Botanical Garden is not an easy and interesting one. It was founded in 1860 and was located near the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Bucharest, and at the time it occupied a small area of about seven hectares. But it did not exist there long, and in 1874 the garden moved to a new place.

The Museum of Jewish History in Bucharest

The Museum of the History of the Jewish People is located in the historical quarter of Bucharest, in the building of the Great Synagogue, which was built in 1850. It appeared in January 1978 during a difficult time for the country – the era of the Ceausescu totalitarian regime.

National Art Museum of Romania

The exhibits of the National Museum of Art of Romania are housed in an old neoclassical building built in 1812. Once the main residence of all the Romanian kings, today it houses more than 60,000 items of national and foreign art.

National Museum of Romanian History

In the heart of the Romanian capital, the splendid neoclassical building houses the National History Museum of Romania. It used to be the Post Office Palace, then the building was taken over by the Central Post Office until the History Museum took it over in 1970.

National Museum of the Romanian Peasantry

The evolution of any country often brings about a conflict between tradition and progress, between old habits and new orders, and Romania is no exception. Historians and museum workers strive to record the unique and original features of peasant life.

The Dimitri Gusti National Rural Museum

In the heart of the Romanian capital there is a place where you forget for a while that you are in the heart of a modern European metropolis. This is the National Rural Museum, which looks more like a nature reserve than a traditional museum.

National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest

The National Museum of Modern Art in Bucharest is located in the world-famous Palace of Parliament, a symbol of Romania’s totalitarian past. In order to build this monument to human gigantomania in the second half of the 1980s, entire blocks of “Balkan Paris” were demolished.

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Cismigiu Garden in Bucharest

In the heart of Bucharest is an amazing corner of paradise – Cismigiu Garden. Today it’s almost impossible to believe that once this place was an endless viscous swamp. The landscaped swampy area has become a lush urban garden with fountains and a lake.

Bucharest has had many inglorious and even sorrowful pages in its history, but despite all the twists and turns, it has managed to save its face, becoming one of the most beautiful European capitals. Most of the remarkable places and monuments of Bucharest are concentrated in the city center – old Bucharest. Ancient quarters, studded with tiny cobblestone streets, cozy green squares, filled with the rustle of trees, birds’ cries and endless tourist cavalcades, are a fascinating sight. And the numerous historical and architectural monuments also add considerable cultural value. While exploring the sights of the Old Town, you will see the Palace of Justice, the Palace of Constacudilo, the Royal Palace, the Triumphal Arch of Bucharest, the exquisite building of the National Bank, the Romanian Ateneum, the old princely court Kurtia-Veche, the Caravanserai Hanul-lui-Manuc, the Carul-ku Bere and many other interesting buildings. Of course, you can not pass by the incredible size of the Palace of Parliament, for the sake of which the wonderful old quarters were barbarically demolished.

In the history of Bucharest there were many inglorious and even sorrowful pages, but despite all the twists and turns, it managed to save its face, becoming one of the most beautiful European capitals.

Museums of Bucharest

If you decide to walk through the museums of Bucharest, you should be prepared for a very rich and fascinating journey. If you decide to visit as many of them as possible, be prepared for the trip to be very long. That is because in Bucharest there are a lot of extremely interesting museums. It is necessary to visit the Museum of the Romanian peasantry: founded more than a hundred years ago, it is still as relevant as at the beginning of its existence. The museum is dedicated to Romanian traditions and culture, illustrating in detail the features of everyday life and life of peasants throughout the centuries. Continuing the peasant theme is the Rural Museum, located right under the open sky. There is an amazing collection of village buildings from all over Romania, some of which are truly unique, dating back as far as the 18th century.

It must be said that Romanians endlessly revere and preserve the historical memory, which is why in Bucharest there are so many historical museums: the National Museum of Romanian History, Museum of the History of the Jews, a museum in the Palace of Parliament, National Military Museum and others.

Art museums immerse visitors in the rich world of Romanian art. The Art Museum of Romania has a collection of Romanian and European painters, the Kotroceni Palace exhibition is focused on medieval art objects, and the Brinkovian Museum, located in the palace complex Mogosoiai, contains objects of everyday life, art, documents and other evidence of feudal times.

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Temples of Bucharest

The church architecture of the Romanian capital is equally impressive, with many beautiful ancient churches that continue to delight pilgrims and ordinary tourists today. In a long list of noteworthy churches worthy of note are the cathedral of the patriarchate of the 17th century, St. George’s Old Cathedral of the 19th century, St. Aron’s Church of the 15th century, as well as the Plumbuit Monastery of the 16th century, Antim Monastery of the 18th century and others. The graceful church Kretsulescu, the Romanian jewel – Stavropoleos Church of the early 18th century, and the elegant Mihai Voda Church will also decorate your pictures from Bucharest.

What to see in Bucharest: Top 15 places to visit

They say that apart from the Palace of Parliament, built by order of dictator Ceausescu, there is nothing remarkable in the Romanian capital. We checked – they are lying. Some 60 museums in the “east Paris”, and then there are parks, palaces, huge squares and narrow streets, restaurants and trendy clubs.

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We’ve chosen 15 places worth seeing when you come to Bucharest for the first time. Save your list and go in search of inexpensive tickets!

1. The Palace of Parliament (Palatul Parlamentului)

Listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the heaviest building in the world. Also in the top of the largest office buildings in the world: its area is 365,000 m², and it has 12 floors with 1,100 rooms. Construction began in 1984 and is still unfinished.

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The local love for the monstrous construction is not blazing: for its construction was demolished old neighborhood in the center of the capital, many families have lost the roof over their heads. In addition, the Parliament was built by order of Ceausescu and cost a lot of money. After the revolution they wanted to tear it down, but cold-blooded calculation won – it turned out to be cheaper to finish. Now the parliament sits there, the empty rooms are rented for offices.

The house is only accessible as a group on presentation of a passport.

Address: Strada Izvor 2-4.

Opening hours: March to October from 9 am to 5 pm, November to February from 10 am to 4 pm.

Cost: 40 RON (8 EUR) for adults, 10 RON (2 EUR) for children 7-18 years old.

2. Old town

Lipscani area is compact – most of it was flattened to make room for the Parliament building. The center is mostly pedestrian, some streets are so densely packed with cafe tables that it is difficult to pass through them.

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Here are many popular attractions and interesting buildings from an architectural point of view: the palace Shutsu, which houses the Museum of History of Bucharest, Koltsa hospital, the Church of St. Anthony, the church Stavropoleos, the former headquarters of the National Bank, the Palace of the Exchange.

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In the evenings the streets become crowded and noisy, the bars open, of which there are more than a hundred in Lipskan. This is a versatile area – in the daytime you can get rich in culture and in the evening you can relax in culture.

The National Art Museum of Romania (Muzeul Național de Arta al României)

It is located in the Royal Palace on the Revolution Square. It is the largest collection of works of art in the country: about 60,000 items, of which 3,000 are works by foreign masters.

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The basis for the collection of European art was formed by the collection of King Carol I, which included paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, El Greco and other famous artists. Later, paintings from the collections of other Romanian collectors and museums were added.

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In addition to paintings, the museum houses collections of antique furniture, crockery, carpets, tapestries, arts and crafts. If you are indifferent to all the above, you can visit the rooms of the former royal palace and admire the interiors.

Address: Calea Victoriei 49-53.

Opening hours: Wednesdays through Sundays, 10:00 to 18:00.

Cost: Each exhibition costs 10-15 RON (2-3 EUR), package ticket – 50 RON (10 EUR). Royal Palace historic rooms – 20 RON (4 EUR).

4. Museum of Romanian Village (Muzeul Satului)

An open-air ethnographic museum founded in 1936. It is located in the King Mihai I Park where there are more than 300 wooden buildings of XV-XIX centuries from all over the country: houses, churches, mills, barns in an area of 100 000 m². You can enter some of the buildings and see the interiors and household items from different eras. On the territory there is a restaurant of local cuisine and a souvenir shop, the staff of which is dressed in national costumes.

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In the same park is the Palace of Elisabeth (Palatul Elisabeta), the residence of the royal family, and next to it is the Arch of Triumph (Arcul de Triumf), where a military parade takes place every year on December 1.

Address: Şoseaua Pavel D. Kiseleff 28-30.

Opening hours: Monday from 9 am to 5 pm, Tuesday to Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm.

Cost: adult ticket costs 15 RON (3 EUR), admission for preschoolers is free.

5. Romanian Museum of Peasant Art (Muzeul Național al Țăranului Român)

In 1996 it was voted the best European museum of the year. The red-brick building with a bell tower, whose construction began in 1906, is under state protection as an architectural monument.

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The collection contains over 100,000 items: costumes, crockery and kitchenware, icons, furniture, handicrafts, textiles, a reconstructed interior of a peasant home from the village of Charu and an 18th century church brought here in 1992.

There is a market in the courtyard of the museum on holidays where you can buy utensils, clothes and handmade souvenirs, try national food and home-made alcohol.

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Address: Şoseaua Pavel D. Kiseleff 3.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 18.00, Monday – off.

Cost: Adult ticket costs 8 RON (1,5 EUR), admission for preschoolers is free.

6. National Museum of Natural History (Muzeul Național de Istorie Naturală “Grigore Antipa”)

If you are travelling with children and the weather doesn’t offer long walks don’t hesitate to visit this museum! It has a collection of minerals, fossils, butterflies, skeletons of mammoths and other prehistoric animals, stuffed animals, birds and fish, as well as an anthropological collection of more than 2,000 items from different parts of the world.

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The museum is interactive: the halls are equipped with screens showing documentaries, 3D projectors and touch screen information panels.

Address: Şoseaua Pavel D. Kiseleff 1.

Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 to 20.00, Monday off.

Cost: adult ticket – 20 RON (4 EUR), for pupils and students – 5 RON (1 EUR), free for pre-schoolers.

7. Cathedral of Saints Constantine and Helena (Catedrala Patriarhală din București)

The complex on the hill includes the main Orthodox Church of the country, the patriarchal palace and the residence of the patriarch, located in the former monastery. The cathedral was built in the 17th century, but since then it has been rebuilt many times, so almost nothing remains of the original appearance. The frescoes that you will see are also new, from the 1930s.

From the cathedral you have a beautiful view of Bucharest.

Address: Aleea Dealul Mitropoliei 2.

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8. Church of Stavropoleos (Biserica Stavropoleos)

The church was built in 1724 and was previously part of a monastery that was demolished in the 19th century. During the earthquake collapsed the dome, which, together with the frescoes that adorned it, was restored at the beginning of the twentieth century. At the same time, a building was built nearby that housed a valuable collection of Byzantine books, a conference room, and a collection of icons and objects of worship from the early 18th century.

The church choir, popular in Romania and beyond, performs neo-Byzantine music based on ancient Romanian psalms.

Address: Strada Stavropoleos 4.

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9. Romanian Ateneum (Ateneul Român)

The concert hall was built in 1888 in the neoclassical style and some of the funds were donated by the citizens. Today it is the home of the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra and hosts an international music festival every year.

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The fresco decorating the hall inside is interesting. It depicts the most important moments of the country’s history: from the conquest of the land by the Roman Emperor Trajan to the creation of the Great Romania.

If you are not planning to attend the concert, you can get inside with a guided tour.

Address: Strada Benjamin Franklin 1-3.

Cost: sightseeing tour – 10 RON (2 EUR), a ticket to a concert – from 20 RON (4 EUR).

10. The Old Courtyard (Curtea Veche)

This is the oldest church in Bucharest, the Church of St. Anthony (16th century), where the coronation ceremonies took place, the inn of Hanul-lui-Manuc with a restaurant, and the bust of Vlad III Basarab, better known as Vlad Tepes or Count Dracula.

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Since the end of the XVIII century, the buildings were abandoned and gradually destroyed. Excavations have unearthed fragments of the foundations, walls, towers and stairs, which are now on public display.

Address: Strada Franceza 25.

Working hours: from 10.00 to 18.00.

The Museum of the National Bank (Museul Băncii Naţionale a României)

This is one of the most beautiful buildings in Bucharest with a collection of banknotes and coins from the last 2,500 years. Here you will see the oldest coin and the smallest bill ever in circulation, bullion, gold coins and medals, and you will learn how the National Bank of Romania was founded.

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The exhibition can only be viewed with a guide, by appointment. You must apply a few days in advance (see the website for instructions) and bring your passport or ID card.

Address: Strada Doamnei 8.

Opening hours: Monday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Cost: free of charge.

12. Cărturești Carusel.

The most photographed bookstore in the Romanian capital is located in a restored 19th century building. From the outside it looks modest, but inside it looks more like a palace: columns, openwork railings, spiral staircase, light-filled halls. Six floors of books in different languages, disks, stationery, dishes and souvenirs!

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On the first floor is a modern art gallery, and on the top floor a cafe with a view of the main streets of Bucharest.

Address: Strada Lipscani 55.

Opening hours: Monday through Wednesday – 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday and Sunday – 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

13. Beraria Gambrinus

The restaurant exists since 1901. Nearby is the National Theater, whose actors along with writers, journalists, musicians and other representatives of creative bohemia were regulars of the institution until its closure in 1940. In 2013, the restaurant reopened, preserving the interior and atmosphere.

On the menu – national dishes, beer and snacks.

Address: Bulevardul Regina Elisabeta 38.

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday 11 am to 1 pm, Friday to Sunday 11 am to 2 pm.

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El Dictador

A club where each room is dedicated to a famous dictator: Ceausescu, Mussolini, Hitler, Pinochet. Not only the interior is interesting, but also the party ideas. On Tuesdays, for example, there are Twin Parties – if you pay for one cocktail, you get the second one for free. And on Friday, if you come dressed in red elements, you will be “punished” with a shock on the house.

Address: Strada Sfantul Dumitru 3.

Opening hours: Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from 22.00 to 5.00, Friday and Saturday from 22.00 to 6.00.

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Fabrica

The first floor of the former stocking factory is a pub, terrace and climbing wall. There are film screenings and fairs, and at night there are parties with musicians ranging from reggae to heavy rock. It’s popular with locals thanks to its cheap booze, good food and friendly atmosphere.

Address: Strada 11 iunie 50.

Opening hours: Pub and terrace open from 11.00 to 5.00, club open according to the schedule of events.

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