Bucharest: the capital and one of the most developed cities in Romania


Bucharest is the capital of Romania, a state located in southeastern Europe. The city is located in the middle of the Lower Danube Lowland. The non-navigable Dymbovica River flows through Bucharest, enclosed in a granite embankment. In the northern part of the capital there are several lakes, the largest of which is called Floriasca. Bucharest also has an artificial reservoir Cismigiu, located in the park of the same name. The city is also home to a number of large lakes, some of which are renowned for their mineral water, such as the Ribnita River.

The city covers almost 240 square kilometers and is one of the most numerous cities in the country. At the beginning of 2017, more than 2 million people lived in the Romanian capital. The ethnic composition of Bucharest residents is mainly represented by Romanians, and only 3% are other nationalities. There are small groups of Germans, Hungarians, Jews, Gypsies and other nationalities.

The city is divided into six sectors, which are in turn divided into districts. All sectors have their own administration, called the mayor’s office. The administration of Bucharest consists of the heads of all the sectors and the chief mayor of Bucharest. There is also a prefect, who is appointed by the Romanian government. His task is to supervise how the development plans of the country are implemented in the city.

Founded: 1459 Area: 228 km 2 Population: 2,106,144 (2016) Currency: Romanian Leu Language: Romanian Official website: http://pmb.ro/

Flight time: from Moscow – from 3 hours 10 min. from Saint-Petersburg – from 5 hours 45 min. (1-4 transfer) from Kazan – from 6 hours 35 min. (1-4 transfer) from Ekaterinburg – from 7 hours 30 min. (1-4 transfer) from Novosibirsk – from 10 hours (1-4 transfer)

More than two dozen theaters with their own companies are currently operating in the Romanian capital. The first educational institution in the country – the Academy of St. Sava, which gives higher education, was founded in 1694. The University of Bucharest opened in 1864. In the modern city there are 21 institutions of higher education where more than one hundred thousand students study.

How to get there

Romania has air links with many countries around the world. To get to Bucharest by land is possible by train and by car from neighboring countries. It is worth recalling some customs regulations in the country. In Romania, rather loyal approach to the import of money. You can enter any amount of foreign currency, but there is one rule: it must be declared. Local currency is also subject to licensing. You can import a fairly large list of things, if their total value will be up to 100 U.S. dollars. Not subject to duty and personal use items, as well as personal video, audio or photographic equipment. But valuable items are worth declaring so that they can be taken out without problems. For purchased goods, you need to keep receipts. It is best to find out all the customs regulations before you travel.

By Air

The fastest way to get to Bucharest is to buy a ticket for an international flight. In the capital of Romania there are two airports. Henri Coanda– the air gateway of Bucharest, located 18 kilometers from the city. The airport connects Romania with all the capitals of the European continent and with many major cities of the world. The leading airline of the country is the national state airline Romanian Air Transport, or TAROM for short, which operates most flights both within the country and abroad.

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From the airport to the city center, there are regular buses and trains. Cabs are also available. From early morning until late at night, buses 780 and 783 pass through the city center, their terminus being the Gara de Nord railway station in Bucharest. Gara de Nord train station. The ticket costs 3.5 lei and you can buy it from the driver. To Bucharest there is a train, analogous to the usual train, which you can take near the airport. There is a free shuttle service to the station. The price of a train ticket is 6 lei, the ticket must be validated during the trip. The trip by cab is more expensive. Tourists are recommended to order a cab from official carriers, not to take a car at the airport.

Second airport Aurel Vlaicu is located almost within the city. Most often, charter flights and departures of “business” class aircraft take place here. The airport is small and has only a few terminals. From here you can get to the center of Bucharest by buses 131, 301 and 205. You can buy tickets at the bus stops. You can easily and comfortably get to the capital by local cab.

The flight from Moscow to Bucharest takes 3 hours. But often, a direct flight by Aeroflot will be more expensive than a connecting flight in a European country. The Moldovan company Air Moldova offers a flight with a connection, which will take a little longer, but will be 1.5 times cheaper. Spending more time in the flight and making a connection from Moscow to Bucharest, but paying less money allow the airlines of the Netherlands and Germany.

By train

Most international trains arrive at Gara de Nord train station. This is the largest transport hub in the country. It was built in 1872, and today there are two hundred trains a day. The old station has all the necessary modern equipment: storage rooms, waiting rooms, public address systems and more. There are many stores and food outlets in the area.

There are three other railway stations in the city: Basarab, Progresul and Republika, which take local trains.

From Russia there are two ways to get to Bucharest. The train Moscow – Odessa leaves from Kiev railway station, in Vinnitsa you will need to change to the train to the capital of Romania. You can also buy a ticket for a flight Moscow – Chisinau, at the end point change and go to Bucharest.

Bucharest has direct rail links with neighboring countries. Trains from Budapest to Bucharest leave from station Keleti. The trip takes 14 hours. There are several trips per day, one of them is usually at night. From the Bulgarian capital to Bucharest once a day there is a train from Sofia Sever station. The train arrives in the Romanian capital in 9 hours and 20 minutes. Chisinau also connects with Bucharest by direct rail service. Trains leave from Chisinau station and take almost 14 hours to reach the destination.

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There is no direct train from the Serbian capital to Bucharest. You have to change trains. For example, go to the Romanian city of Timisoara, and then take a train to Bucharest. There is no direct travel from the capital of Ukraine, Kiev.

You can take the bus .

You can reach Bucharest by bus. International flights connect the capital of Romania with many cities in Europe. Several Moldovan carriers provide buses for travel from Chisinau. From Chisinau station twice a day there is a direct flight to Bucharest with a travel time of 8 hours. To get to the capital of Romania you can take direct buses from Budapest and Sofia. Traveling from Serbia and Ukraine, you will need to take a detour or other means of transportation.

By Car .

The distance between Chisinau and Bucharest is 440 kilometers. This way can be covered in 6-7 hours by car.

Kiev is situated on the distance of 900 kilometers from Bucharest. The trip will take 12 hours.

The road from Budapest is 838 kilometers, it takes 9 hours.

From Sofia to Bucharest is 350 km, they can be driven in 4,5 hours.

Belgrade is situated 624 kilometers from the Romanian capital, the traveling time will be 8 hours.

Travelling by a car through the countries of Europe one must remember about the strict observance of the traffic rules, infringement of which can entail big fines. In Romania there is a separate fee for cars with foreign license plates for using the roads. You can buy a permit at the border crossing or at petrol stations. Ten days of travel in one’s own car will cost about 10 euros. Special fees are also charged for certain stretches of road.

For those traveling in a private or rental car, remember that the passenger compartment must be equipped with a mandatory kit consisting of an emergency stop sign, first aid kit, fire extinguisher and emergency flak jacket. Customs officers and police on the roads of Romania can stop the driver and demand to show this kit. In winter, drivers must also have anti-skid tire chains. They may also be checked by customs officers.

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Bucharest is home to 9% of the country’s population but is home to 25% of Romania’s industries. The unemployment rate in the capital is almost twice lower than in the rest of the country. Among the largest industries are machine-building and chemical plants, as well as food processing and metalworking factories.

The origin of the name of the city has several versions. According to legend, the first settlement was named after the local shepherd Bukur, who built a church here, and later the village of Bukuresti appeared around it. Some historians attribute it to the Albanian word “bukur” – beautiful. A similar meaning is the Romanian bukurie, meaning joy. The city received such a name in the XIV century from its founder Mircea the Old in honor of his victory over the Ottoman army. “City of joy” is how people today prefer to call Bucharest. A variety of architectural styles, many interesting sights, clean air and an abundance of green areas are complemented by friendly and hospitable residents, who are always happy visitors.

The early history of Bucharest goes back to the Paleolithic period. Even then the first human settlements appeared here. Later, the tribes of the Dacians liked the land and settled there. At that time there was an active cooperation with the Roman Empire, trade developed. After the Dacians, the Slavs began to live here.

Documentary history of Bucharest can be traced back to the 14th century, although many historians say that the city emerged much earlier. According to one version, Mircea the Old, ruler of Wallachia, founded a city-fortress in honor of the victory over the Ottomans. The purpose of the settlement was to protect the approaches to Targoviste, which was at that time the main city of Wallachia. Another version traces the appearance of Bucharest as a guarding fortress – the residence of Vlad Tepes, also known as Count Dracula. There is a charter signed by the ruler and dated 1459, which mentions the modern name of the city.

The development of Bucharest falls on the XVI century. At that time the whole craft districts began to appear in this area. The city was on the trade route between several countries, and the local princes needed possessions, weapons and food. So quarters of butchers, soapmakers, skinners and other craftsmen appeared. Each quarter built its own small church, but large temples were built on the money of the rulers.

At the end of the XVI century the troops of the Ottoman sultan burned Bucharest, but the city was quickly rebuilt and continues to play an important role in the south. And a hundred years later Bucharest became the main city of Wallachia. Its influence on the life of the whole country is evidenced by the large, beautiful churches built at this time. Since 1859 Bucharest is the capital of the united Romanian state, and since 1881 – the main city of the new Romanian Kingdom. And no longer cedes its primacy to any other city in Romania. It is also where the main events of the Romanian liberation movement took place.

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Since the XIX century, an image of the capital of Romania was formed, which has partially survived to this day. The country, which gained its independence in 1878, began to decorate Bucharest with beautiful mansions, parks and public buildings. The benchmark for the capital becomes no more or less than Paris. For the construction of new buildings architects from France were invited. Since the late XIX century and early XX century was built district, which today is called the Old Town. The stylish Western architecture here is intricately intertwined with traditional Romanian buildings. In 1922, the Arc de Triomphe was built, similar to the one in Paris. To be more precise, its construction, originally made of wood, is replaced by a construction made of more modern materials.

Romania was a member of the Triple Alliance during World War I. And from 1916 begins its occupation by German troops, which lasted two years. Workers’ strikes were repeatedly held in the capital, in which the people protested against the establishment of a pro-fascist regime in the country. But by the beginning of World War II, the country was once again in an alliance with Germany. And from 1941 to 1944 Bucharest was under German occupation.

In the summer of 1944 there was a rebellion in the city, supported by the Red Army. Bucharest was soon liberated from the German forces. After the war the People’s Republic of Romania was proclaimed. And in 1948 the first Constitution was adopted. In the 60s of the last century, Romania declared itself a Socialist Republic, which lasted until 1989. The new formational system in the country began with the transition of power to the Council of National Salvation. Today, Romania is a presidential republic. The official residence of the head of the country, the Cotroceni Palace, is in Bucharest.

The last century and the change of formations in Romania have not only affected the country’s development, but also slightly changed the architectural appearance of Bucharest. The years of the revolution have left their mark on the appearance of the capital. Many recognize that from the old city, which at the beginning of XX century was called “a little Romanian Paris”, very little remained. During the socialist period of the country’s development many new faceless buildings were built. Very little was thought about the aesthetics of the city then. Some of the old buildings were torn down to build new, more functional houses in their place. But the historical part of the city managed to survive.

Climate and weather in Bucharest

Bucharest is located in the center of the Lower Danube Lowland. The climate in the capital is almost the same as in the rest of the country, except for its coastal and mountainous areas. Bucharest has a moderate continental climate, with distinct seasons, characterized by the weather over the vast land masses.

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Winters here are snowy and cold. Windy days with heavy snowfall are not uncommon, but winters are somewhat milder in the city than in the countryside. Average temperatures range from -6°C to 4°C. Christmas in Bucharest is quiet and peaceful, as many residents go to their relatives in the countryside. But before the New Year, many come back to celebrate the holiday in the squares and parks of the capital. The biggest free party takes place on Revolution Square. On this night, the city is filled with music and dancing. The city lies in the snow, and the holiday decorations make it even more chic and glittery.

It gets warmer in Bucharest in late March and early April. There are two big holidays during this period. March 1, the capital of Romania celebrates the arrival of spring, and in April, the city trees are decorated with ribbons, which are tied on the branches, so that the wishes come true. Spring can be so stormy that in the middle of May is almost warm summer weather and the temperature rises to 17-19 ° C. Bucharest is also beautiful in May, when the trees in the many parks and streets begin to bloom, and the first spring flowers bloom.

From late May to September Bucharest is dominated by hot weather. Summertime abounds with days when the thermometers rise to 30 degrees Celsius or more. July and August are especially indicative of this, when the capital’s residents themselves rush on vacation to the sea or in the mountains, away from the heat of the city. And even nighttime readings of 14-16 °C do not make Bucharest’s summers comfortable.

September is characterized by mild warm weather. It is a good time to visit Bucharest. The heat is gone, but the cold has not yet set in. There are very few rainy days in September. The festivals in September are just another reason to visit the Romanian capital in the fall. This period is often long and dry, but in late October it starts to get very cold, the temperature at night drops to 0 ° C, it rains more often, and in early November the first snow falls.

The lowest rainfall is in March and August, when the humidity is also low. June is the month of greatest precipitation, when the first summer thunderstorms occur. By July, however, the weather gets hot, and for the other two months of the year it rains very rarely. Tourists, especially with small children are advised in these months to prefer a holiday in other parts of Romania, for example, the Black Sea coast with a milder climate. Even the inhabitants of the Romanian capital during this period try to leave the city closer to nature.

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