The 27 best sights in Bucharest – descriptions and photos

The 27 best sights in Bucharest – descriptions and photos

The Cantacuzino Palace, built in 1903 upon the project of the most famous Romanian architect Johan Berindheim, is surrounded by the luxuriantly preserved park and lies on an ancient street in the center of Bucharest. 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.

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.

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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, prepare yourself 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.

Temples of Bucharest

The ecclesiastical architecture of the Romanian capital is just as impressive, with many beautiful ancient churches preserved here that continue to delight pilgrims and ordinary tourists today. In a long list of noteworthy churches, it is worth noting the cathedral of the patriarchate of the 17th century, the cathedral of St. George the Old of the 19th century, the Church of St. Aron of the 15th century, as well as monasteries Plumbuita of the 16th century, Antim 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 adorn your pictures from Bucharest.

Attractions in Bucharest

Bucharest is considered to be the main Romanian city and cultural center of the country. Tourists from all over the world are attracted by its rich history and colorful atmosphere. Below we will consider the main attractions of Bucharest, recommended to visit.

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What to see in Bucharest?

The main and most interesting places with photos and descriptions.

1. Palace of Parliament

One of the most popular and iconic sights in Bucharest. The structure is made of different materials – bronze, marble, glass and wood. The palace is ranked as one of the heaviest buildings in the world. Seven hundred architects, designers and engineers worked on its construction. The size and the facade of the palace impress any person who sees it with its massiveness and monumentality. The Romanian Parliament holds its meetings here, as well as excursions, symposia and conferences. But in spite of this only 30% of the space is used, the remaining 70% remains empty. The palace is estimated at 3 billion euros and is considered the most expensive building in the world. However, its maintenance costs the country the equivalent of the maintenance of a small town.

2. Romanian Ateneum

This is a unique concert hall in Bucharest, a symbol of national identity and temple of art. The building with the grandiose oval dome is externally reminiscent of a Greek temple. The columns are Doric in style, and inside the hall are decorated with frescoes of pure gold. The huge fresco illustrates the most important milestones of history, beginning with the time of the conquest of Dacia by Emperor Trajan. In front of the building is a small park with a monument to the famous poet Mihai Eminescu. It is also the seat of the Giorgi Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra. Its excellent acoustics make it possible to host international classical music festivals. In 2007 the building was included in the European Heritage List. Its convenient location in the historic part of the city makes this architectural landmark of Bucharest even more attractive for tourists.

3. Palace of Justice

The next place to visit in Bucharest is the Palace of Justice. It is located on the bank of the river Dambovica and admires its elegance. The first stone in the foundation of the construction personally laid the ruler Karol the first. The facade of the building is made in the style of French Renaissance, it is decorated with six sculptural compositions. On the roof near the clock mechanism placed two sculptural compositions representing the Force and Prudence. Inside, there are 690 luxuriously decorated rooms. Outwardly the attraction can be easily mistaken for a fashionable hotel. The total area of all the buildings is equal to 33 thousand square kilometers. However, the servants of Themis – the Court of Appeal and the Court of the fifth sector settled here. Especially beautiful the building looks at night from the opposite bank of the river, when all the lights are on.

4. National Museum of Dzmitry Gusti Village

It is one of the pioneers among open-air museums worldwide. Many similar objects will later be created in its image. The museum is the result of the painstaking research and experiments of the renowned Professor Dimitri Gusti. He is the founder of the school of sociology in Bucharest. Here, in the shade of century-old trees and shrubs, on the very shore of Lake Herestreu, one can take a break from the noisy metropolis and the hustle and bustle. The main purpose of the development is to convey the way of simple and unpretentious rural life of ordinary people. About 130 professionals were involved to create this landmark in Bucharest. To be more credible, it was planned to place here permanently the peasants, but because of the issue of security and preserving the integrity of the architecture, it was decided to abandon this idea. On the territory there are cabins, churches, 47 residential farms, windmills. Of particular value is the wooden church from Transylvania, built in 1772 and painted according to the Byzantine canon. Visitors also have the opportunity to appreciate the interior decoration of the houses. The museum staff regularly organizes a variety of themed days with dances and songs. On the territory there are many souvenir and wine shops.

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5. National Museum of Art of Romania

This is one of the most popular places in Bucharest for art lovers. The huge museum found a home in the royal residence of the rulers of Wallachia. It was established in 1950. The main part of relics is personal collection of King Carol the First. The number of exhibits is close to 300 thousand. Among them are paintings by Rubens, Repin, Rembrandt and other legendary painters. There are also printed matter, coins, weapons, maps, furnishings and luxury items, clothing. The museum consists of three halls, united in a single manner. In the last one the entire history of national painting is represented.

6. Cismigiu Garden

Attractions in Bucharest

Cismigiu Garden is one of the old city parks of Bucharest, a recreation center for citizens and guests. The place was opened in 1860, and the Russian general P. D. Kiselev took part in its construction. And at the beginning of the IXX century in this place were swampy marshes. From Turkish the name of the garden is translated as “public fountain”. Here grow thousands of interesting plants collected from different parts of Romania. There is a lake with a boat dock, a secluded place for playing chess, playground for children, beer garden. Visitors are delighted with a lot of flower compositions. The pearl of the site is the platform with sculptures of famous writers: Eminescu, Bălcescu, Caragiale, and others. Many travelers associate this garden with the “Jardin des plantses” in France.

7. Arc de Triomphe

Attractions in Bucharest

The Arc de Triumph is one of Romania’s most iconic landmarks, erected in Bucharest in honor of the country’s independence fighters. It is located on the Kiselev Highway. It is known that the Russian general contributed greatly to the process of unification of the country. In the immediate vicinity of the monument is Hărăstrău Park, which is loved by all citizens. The arch is made of stone, and its facade is decorated with many sculptures. On the first day of winter, military parades are held at its base in honor of the national holiday. The arch looks especially splendid at night, illuminated on all sides by street lamps.

8. Stavropol Church

Because of its unique architecture, the temple is very popular. It is made in the Bryncovian style, which is characterized by luxurious and at the same time restrained decor. Near the entrance there is a bell tower. Inside, the Byzantine style predominates, which brings indescribable delight to the parishioners. The iconostasis, sculptures, frescoes and picturesque canvases attract admiring looks. Even though the church is located next to the busy Lipskáň Street, it manages to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the world. A visit to the church can be timed to coincide with a piano concert or choir performance.

9. Cantacuzino Palace

The palace is easy to find in one of the oldest streets of the city, the Calea Victoriei. It originally belonged to the statesman George Cantacuzino. The architecture of this beautiful landmark of Bucharest combines different trends – French academism, Rococo and other techniques of architecture. The exterior is distinguished by weighty balconies, moldings, window openings in the form of arches and stone lions at the entrance. Since 2007, the building is on the list of the largest monuments of cultural heritage. It is the seat of the George Enescu Museum. There are modern spaces for exhibitions, conferences and performances, including the ballet. Excursion programs and thematic meetings are held for guests.

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10. St. Constantine and Helena Patriarchal Cathedral

The temple was laid in the 17th century by order of Konstantin Scherban Basaraba. The author of the project is still unknown. The temple is considered the heart of Orthodoxy in Bucharest and stands on Metropolitan Hill. It was consecrated in 1658, was reconstructed several times and, unfortunately, has not preserved its original appearance. The ascent to the hill along a picturesque alley is not at all burdensome, the entrance is free. It is possible to go inside, to admire magnificent furnishings and to touch the relics. The walls are decorated with mosaic panels, frescoes and fine carvings. For wishing to put a candle there is a special place outside.

11. Kotroceni Palace

In many guidebooks this place is included in the top sights, obligatory to visit in Bucharest. This is a bright representative of the architecture of the XIX century in the neo-Renaissance style. The residence of the president of the country is based here. If you look from an airplane, the palace looks like two white rectangles, which barely make it through the abundance of greenery. There are imposing watchtowers at the entrance. Since 1991, there is a National Museum, which presents a collection of medieval art. The collection consists of over 20,000 exhibits of different kinds of art. Have survived in its original form Norwegian and Oriental Hall, bedroom of the Queen, the library and other rooms. Each year this place is visited by thousands of tourists. The tour can be visited only in an organized group.

Bucharest Botanical Garden

The garden occupies a huge area (about 17 hectares) near the palace of Catroceni. This natural attraction of Bucharest is one of the best gardens and recreational areas in the world. More than 10 thousand species of plants have been collected here and all kinds of natural zones of the planet have been reproduced. The microclimate is suitable for the plants and the scientific research is carried out, including the saving of the earth’s biosphere. Also in the garden there is a museum, an Italian garden, fountains and waterfalls, a rose garden, a sector of coniferous plants. During the warm season, the picturesque corner is filled with couples and friends in love.

13. National Museum of Romanian History

It is one of the largest and most iconic museums in the country. Its walls contain artifacts from prehistoric times to the present day. The Post Palace with an area of 8,000 square meters was chosen for its dislocation. The museum territory includes 60 cozy halls with various relics and valuables. The building itself is of historical interest. The building is a monument of architecture in the style of German classicism. Since 2012, the entrance to the museum has been decorated by a statue of Emperor Trajan with a mystical animal in his arms. This is a peculiar mixture of the Capitoline she-wolf and the Dacian dragon. The world’s best archaeological collections are constantly on display here.

14. National Museum of Romanian Peasantry

Attractions in Bucharest

The exhibits of the museum reproduce the image of peasant life. The building itself took 29 years to construct. It was built of red brick, with large windows, united under vaults. Images of animals are used as decorations. The ornamental tower on the main facade resembles the bell tower of an ancient church. Here are collected costumes, crockery, icons, palases, washstands and other household items. Just over 90 thousand objects, helping to study the household and culture of Romanian farmers. In 1996 the National Museum was named the Best European Museum of the Year.

15. Mogoshoja Palace

Built in the 18th century, the Mogosoiai Palace was the country residence of Constantin Brancovanu. The so-called Brankovian architectural style is connected with his activity. It is distinguished by many decorative elements, paintings, the presence of balconies, covered terraces. Visiting this landmark in Bucharest, you can enjoy not only the chiseled lines of the palace buildings, but also the neat park area. It’s a favorite place for citizens to take walks in the fresh air. The interior of the palace is also noteworthy. You can see pictures and sculptures by famous artists. Various celebrities have visited the palace, including the French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

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16. Courtya-Veque

Attractions in Bucharest

Kurta Veche is a unique complex of buildings of the XIV century, belonging to the residence of the rulers of the Vlascha land. It consists of the temple of St. Anton and ensemble Hanul-lui-Manuk. The ancient relic was discovered by archaeologists in the second part of the 20th century. Now this historical site is in the open air and is among the places worth seeing in Bucharest. Visitors can see part of the gallery, the water supply system, the Turkish bath house, defensive elements and architectural decorations. The ensemble is open every day and admission is free.

17. Cretulescu Palace

Despite the fact that the palace was built relatively recently (it is less than 100 years old), it has already become a hallmark of Bucharest. Its facade, which looks like a fairy tale castle, fascinates with stone lace. A mix of styles was used in its construction: neo-Gothic, baroque, and classicism. Before the war there was a museum of religious art. Now it is a UNESCO site. The building is shrouded in mysteries and riddles. According to legend, among the most secret and mysterious dungeons of the capital is a passage that connects the palace to the monastery Skitu Măgureanu, located in one of the areas of the park Cismigiu.

18. Antim Monastery

Thanks to its good location, in a central area, the monastery is very convenient to visit. The building was built in the “brankovanu” style. It is distinguished by the abundance of interesting tiles, colorful frescoes, high arches and columns. The balconies are elegantly decorated with ornaments of figures of animals, flowers, leaves, berries and fruits. Above the entrance there is a fanciful snail carved as a symbol of faith and humility. The very first key to the door of this holy place is also carved in the shape of a snail. The main pride and value of the sight in Bucharest is the miraculous icon of the Mother of God. At the monastery there is a museum of ecclesiastical art. A separate exposition is devoted to the life and activities of Antimas.

19. Park Tineretului

The park is located in the south of the city and is considered the largest recreational area. In the center of the park is Lake Tineretului, whose area is protected. For musical and sporting events, there is the Polyvalent Hall, which seats 12,000 people. For children there is a special playground with rides and a railroad. There are many cycling and jogging paths. One of the advantages of the park is the territorial proximity to the subway.

20. George Enescu National Museum

Attractions in Bucharest

George Enescu is one of the outstanding musicians of the first half of the 20th century. The museum is located in the Cantacuzino Palace, where the great composer lived and worked. Visitors are greeted by lions at the entrance, so the building is often called “the house with the lions”. Here you can see the great musician’s piano, violins, photographs, a library and rare paintings. Concerts and exhibitions are held in the museum on various occasions. One of the famous events is the ATHENAEUM festival.

Bucharest is rich in historical sites and parks. There are medieval ruins and churches, as well as Parisian houses and communist buildings. All the architectural diversity is easily found in one street.

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