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Bucharest is the capital and largest city of Romania with over 2 million inhabitants. Located on the banks of the Dâmboviţa River, it is an important industrial and economic centre for the country. For many travellers, it is the gateway into Romania.
The earliest known reference to Bucharest comes from 1459, when it was known as the Citadel of Bucureşti and became the residence of the Wallachian prince Vlad III the Impaler. Throughout the Middle Ages, Bucharest grew in prominence. In 1861, Bucharest was made the capital of Romania.
Bucharest is divided into six sectors. Each sector is managed by a mayor and city council, who have responsibilities provides for local businesses, such as secondary streets, parks, schools and cleaning services. Each of the six sectors contains a number of districts which have no administrative function:
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Nicolae Ceausescu, Romanian dictator from 1965 to 1989, is to thank for the Palace of the Parliament, the world's second largest administrative building. Construction was begun in 1983, but not before a large chunk of Bucharest's historic district was torn to the ground to make way for the indulgent dictator's dream. When Ceausescu was overthrown and executed in 1989, the building was nearly complete. Parts of it are still not completed. Tours of the palace are available.
The Cişmigiu Gardens are a welcome oasis in the heart of Bucharest. It is the city's oldest park and remains a popular hang-out for locals. During summer, boats can be hired to go out on the man-made lakes; in winter, many people skate on the lakes.
The Memorial of Rebirth is found in Revolution Square. It commemorates the Romanian Revolution of 1989. The memorial, which features a tall pillar with a metal "crown", is quite controversial in Romanian society, owing largely to the fact that the symbolism in its design is very abstract.
Curtea Veche was the royal court during the Middle Ages. Today, it is a museum.
In Bucharest, summers are hot and dry averaging around 30 °C in July and August, while winters are cold (around 0 °C). Alltime highs and lows are 41 °C and -32 °C respectively. Rain or snow in winter falls in every month, though summers are rather wetter, with sometimes heavy downpours. Spring and autumn are very pleasant seasons for a visit.
|Avg Max||1.5 °C||4.1 °C||10.5 °C||18 °C||23.3 °C||26.8 °C||28.8 °C||28.5 °C||24.6 °C||18 °C||10 °C||3.8 °C|
|Avg Min||-5.5 °C||-3.3 °C||0.3 °C||5.6 °C||10.5 °C||14 °C||15.6 °C||15 °C||11.1 °C||5.7 °C||1.6 °C||-2.6 °C|
|Rainfall||40 mm||36 mm||38 mm||46 mm||70 mm||77 mm||64 mm||58 mm||42 mm||32 mm||49 mm||43 mm|
The Henri Coandă International Airport (OTP/LROP) is located a short distance north of the city and is Romania's busiest airport. Most low-cost airlines fly into nearby Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (BBU), in Băneasa.
Numerous airlines serve these airports, from many European destinations and some cities further away, including New York. Tarom is the national airline with an extensive network. They also fly to several domestic destinations, including Timisoara and Constanta.
To/from Henri Coandă Airport
To/from Aurel Vlaicu Airport
The airport is situated 8 kilometres north of Bucharest city centre and is accessible by RATB buses 131, 335 and Airport Express 783, RATB tramway 5 and taxi.
International sleeper trains arrive in Bucharest from Venice, Vienna, Budapest, Prague, Bratislava, Kosice, Krakow, Belgrade, Sofia, Thessaloniki, Istanbul, Moscow, Kiev, and Chisinau. Train travel is generally slower than bus travel. See the Romanian Railways website for train timetables and fares. You can find a travelmap as well.
CFR operates many trains throughout the country from and to Bucharest. Have a look at this website for inter-city train timetables and fares.
The city’s entrances from the north (the E60 road coming from Braşov and the A3 highway from Ploieşti), west (the A1 highway from Piteşti), east (the A2 highway from Constanţa), south (the E20 road from Giurgiu) and the avenues in the city center are very crowded, especially at rush hours. Right in the city center, just across the University, a major underground parking place opened in 2014. Unfortunately, although modern and safe, finding the entrance may prove to be a little tricky. Among that, an even bigger parking place (with 5 levels) is located near the Unirii Square, behind the Unirii Mall, which is also near the center area and only 10 minutes away (by foot) from the old town's center. Also note that driving on some of the secondary streets might prove to be a bit bumpy, due to only relatively good condition of these roads. If you can, avoid any driving on the Pantelimon Boulevard, since there are several ongoing major repairs in the area.
You can check timetables for many destinations online. There are quite a few bus station in the city: Băneasa (located in the northern part of town), Obor (east), Filaret (south), Rahova (southwest), Militari (west), Griviţa (northwest) as well as many other smaller stations. Buses and minibuses from Chişinău (10 hours) arrive mostly at Filaret bus station. Buses from Istanbul (12-14 hours) arrive at multiple stations along Viilor road. The only daily bus from Sofia (7 hours) stops near Tineretului subway station. Buses from Varna (5-6 hours) usually stop downtown. Buses from Athens (16-20 hours) arrive at stations along Viilor road. Buses for routes from Western Europe usually arrive at Rahova bus station. Also check out Eurolines for options further afield.
Daco Rent a Car and Europcar are both available in the city and at the airport. Other local rental companies can be found throughout the city. The average starting price for a day's rental (small car) is about €20.
The easiest option for the tourist is probably the Activ card, which costs 3.7 lei at any RATB point of sale (including the airport) and can be loaded with pay-as-you-go credit and a variety of passes (daily to monthly). You can read the pay as you go and subscription tariffs online. The Activ card can no longer be used for the Metro (subway) system since 2014.
When entering a vehicle or subway station, you need to validate your ticket. Simply hold the card on the orange reader until you hear a short beep and the green LED lights up. If you get a red light and a long beep (validation failed), simply try again.
One card can be used to pay for more than one person (pay-as-you-go only for the second and subsequent people). In order to validate the card for additional people, simply press the button "2", and then present the card a second time. In order to check the number of people the card has been validated for, and the remaining balance on the card, press "1" before presenting the card.
The metro, which has four lines (M1, M2, M3 and M4) and covers the city quite extensively, is usually a cheap and easy way to get around even though there are surprisingly few stops in the city center, since the system was originally built to transport workers and commuters from outlying neighborhoods through the city to peripheral industrial areas. If you're staying outside the city center, or even if you want to travel within it, the Metro can be a very fast and convenient way of getting around, avoiding the traffic jams and crowds that frequently characterize surface transport. The network is frequent, fairly comfortable, reliable and easy-to-use.
Line M1 starts in the eastern part of the city and then goes downtown on a circular route, passing by the main train station Gara de Nord and meeting up with the M2 line (which runs north-south) at Piaţa Unirii and Piaţa Victoriei stations. Line M3 links the western and eastern parts of the city. The central section on the M3 between Eroilor - Nicolae Grigorescu is shared with M1 and trains from both lines run in tandem having the terminus displayed at the front of the cab. Line M4 is a short shuttle line starting from Gara de Nord 2 going to Parc Bazilescu in Bucureştii Noi neighborhood (as of 2011). Even though Gara de Nord and Gara de Nord 2 are in close proximity, transferring between the two is taxed as a separate trip. The only platform to platform link between M4 and M1 is at Basarab station.
Bucharest has a very complex network of buses, trams and trolleybuses which is, at first glance, fairly confusing to the tourist. This is not because of any inconsistencies within the network, but rather due to the intricate web of hundreds of bus, tram and trolleybus routes found in the city. Once you know your way around the network, however, public surface transport can be a very good way of getting around since there is a bus, tram or trolleybus stop virtually everywhere in the city. The vehicles are usually very frequent, although they can still get terribly crowded at peak hours.
Make sure you know when to get off - even though in most vehicles the following stops are announced and displayed on a screen, these displays can be unreliable. If you are uncertain if a stop is the one you want, you can always ask your fellow travellers.
Bucharest can be a very confusing place to walk around on foot. If you do decide to explore it on foot, make sure you have a decent map with you to help you find your way around.
Bucharest is nothing short of a nightmare to walk around, and if I ever find myself teaching a class on how not to organize a city, this city would without a doubt be the best example Europe has to offer.
|Amzei Hotel||8 Piata Amzei Street, 1st District, Bucharest - RO||Hotel||-|
|Apartment Blue||23rd, Balcescu blvd.||APARTMENT||-|
|Arc De Triomphe Oliviers Hotel Residence||19 Clucerului||Hotel||-|
|Bella B&Bfirstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|BestFlat||Bd. Dacia Nr.53||Apartment||85|
|StayInBucharest||23 A Nicolae Balcescu Boulevard||APARTMENT||-|
|Butterfly Villa Hostel||Stirbei Voda, no. 96 entrance around the corner of Str. C. Stahl||Hostel||-|
|Calea Victoriei Studio||Calea Victoriei Bd. Stirbei Voda||Apartment||-|
|Central Hostel Bucharest||Str. Salcimilor nr.2||Hostel||-|
|Central Hotel - Bucharest||13 Brezoianu str||Hotel||-|
|Citadella Hotel||Str. Popa Lazar nr. 12||Hotel||-|
|City Hotel - Bucharest||Timisoara Bd. no. 46||Hotel||-|
|Club Palace Hotel Residence Citroniers||137A Odaii Street||Hotel||-|
|Confort Traian Hotel||Str. Traian 55A, sector 3||Hotel||-|
|Coral Apartment||23rd, Balcescu blvd.||Apartment||-|
|Dalin Center Hotel||Stefan Cel Mare 33 A||Hotel||-|
|Diplomat Hotel||73 Poligrafiei Bv.||Hotel||-|
|Domenii Plaza Hotel Residence Cerisiers||33 Alexandru Constantinescu Street||Hotel||-|
|Duke Hotel||Bld. Dacia, no.32, sector 1||HOTEL||-|
|Est Hotel||Soseaua Pantelimon, Nr. 23, Sector 2||Hotel||-|
|Friends Hostel Bucharest||Mircea Vulcanescu 114 (former Stefan Furtuna St.),||Hostel||85|
|Grand Accommodation||29 Ion Campineanu Avenue||Apartment||80|
|Green Apartment||23rd, Balcescu blvd.||Apartment||-|
|Happy Hostel||Street Drumea Radulescu No.32||Hostel||-|
|Hello Hotels - Bucharest||Calea Grivitei nr. 143||Hotel||-|
|Hostel Litovoi||Strada Litovoi, Nr.60||Hostel||-|
|Hotel Armonia||Calea Mosilor nr.112, Calea Mosilor nr.112,||Hotel||-|
|Berthelot Hotel||Bulevardul Berthlot, nr.9||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Bliss||Str. Sapte Drumuri nr. 4C||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Funny Time||Calea vitan nr 275||Hotel||-|
|Herastrau Hotel - Bucharest||Soseaua Nordului, 7 - 9||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Piccolo Mondo-Bucharest||9, Clucerului Road, 9, Clucerului Road,||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Suter Inn||Aleea Suter 3, sector 4, Bucharest||Hotel||-|
|Ibis Hotel Gara de Nord||Calea Grivitei 143||Hotel||-|
|Intercontinental Hotel||4 Nicolae Balcescu Bld.||HOTEL||-|
|Nelisse Hotel||Popa Lazar Street, no.12,||Hotel||-|
|Nelisse One Hotel||Str Popa Lazar No 10||Hotel||-|
|Opera Hotel||Str. Brezoianu nr. 37||Hotel||-|
|Orange Apartment||23rd, Balcescu blvd.||Apartment||-|
|Ramada Park Hotel||3-5 Poligrafiei Avenue||Hotel||-|
|Razvan Hotel||No 159 Calarasilor Str.||Hotel||-|
|Rembrandt Hotel||11 Smardan St||Hotel||-|
|RomPromo Plus Accommodation||Mendeleev str. 17 - 5th fl. - apt 35 - Bucharest 0||APARTMENT||-|
|Suter Inn Hotel||Aleea Suter no.3||Hotel||-|
|Tempo Hotel||Armand Calinescu 19||Hotel||-|
|The Funky Chicken Hostel||Str. Gen. Berthelot 63 Sector 1||Hostel||-|
|The Midland Youth Hostel||Str Biserica Amzei, nr 22 Apt 3, Sector 1||Hostel||89|
|Trianon Hotel||Str. Cobalcescu Grigore, nr 9||Hotel||-|
|Venezia Hotel||2 Pompiliu Eliade St||Hotel||-|
|Victoria Apartment||23 Bulevardul Regina Elisabeta||Apartment||-|
|Vila 11||Strada Institutul Medico Militar Nr.11||Guesthouse||80|
|Vila Gabriela||Str.Margaritarului 18, Vila A 104 Otopeni, Judet Ilfov||Guesthouse||83|
|Villa Helga Youth Hostel||Busolei 7A||Hostel||-|
|YMCA Universitaria Hostel||Strada Theodor Stefanescu 1||HOSTEL||-|
|Accommodation Cazare||Calea Grivitei 123||Hostel||-|
|Alex Villa Hostel||Avram Iancu Street, no5||Hostel||76|
|Class Hotel||30A Garlei Street 1st District||Hotel||-|
|Relax Comfort Suites Hotel||22 Nicolae Balcescu Bulevard , sector 1||Hotel||-|
|Hostel Tina||Odobesti 2B Street Mansion N3B, 9th Floor No 38 (interphone 38 C)||Hostel||83|
|Didahouse||Strada Albinelor nr32 Bloc 32 Scara 4 Etaj 2 Ap.62 Sector 4||Apartment||-|
|Charter Airport Hotel Bucharest||1D, Drumul Odall Street||Hotel||-|
|Prince Residence||Strada Principatele Unite nr. 42 sector 4||Apartment||-|
|Finitconsult Apartments||4 Emil Garleanu Street||Apartment||-|
|Studio Amzei||Mendeleev str 17||Apartment||-|
|2 Open Rooms Amzei||Biserica Amzei street 27||Apartment||-|
|Dacia RRT Hotel||19th Matei Basarab 3rd district||Hotel||-|
|Dalin Hotel||Bd. Marasesti 70-72||Hotel||-|
|AVIS Hotel||B-dul Aerogarii nr 10||Hotel||-|
|Zava Boutique Hotel||Strada Stefan Mihaileanu 21 District 2||Hotel||-|
|Rin Grand Hotel||7D Vitan Bârzesti Str||Hotel||-|
|Comfort Rin Resort||Calea Bucurestilor 255 A Otopeni||Hotel||-|
|Prince Park Residence||Str. Principatele Unite 38-40||Apartment||-|
|Vila Arte||78, Vasile Lascar Street Bucharest 2||Guesthouse||-|
|Doors Hostel||Olimpului Street No 13,||Hostel||88|
|Carpati||No. 16, Matei Millo Street||Hotel||-|
|Elizeu Hotel||Elizeu Street 11/13 Sector 1||Hotel||-|
|Horoscop Hotel||Dimitrie Cantemir, Nr 2 District 4||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Cantemir||Dimitrie Cantemir 13A||Hotel||-|
|Regim Hotelier||Str.Magheru Gheorghe General Nr.32-36||Apartment||-|
|Tache Hostel||Str. Madrid nr 6||Hostel||-|
|Wonderland Hostel||Coltei nr 48 Bucharest||Hostel||75|
|Alia Accommodation Bucharest||18 Bulevardul Nicolae Balcescu||Guesthouse||-|
|Studio Magheru||Bld Magheru, 20||Apartment||-|
|Miramont Hostel||STRADA MORILOR NR 25 B Sector 3 , Timpuri Noi||HOSTEL||81|
|Tripoli Hotel||Stada Hagiului 10||HOTEL||79|
|A&A Accommodation||91-93, Calea Victoriei sector 1||Apartment||-|
|RIN Central||55 Traian St.||Hotel||-|
|Le Boutique Hotel Moxa||129 Calea Victoriei crossroads 4 Mihail Moxa Str.||Hotel||-|
|RIN Grand||7D Vitan-Barzesti Str,||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Green Forum-Bucharest||Str. Pictor Barbu Iscovescu 19, Sector 1 Str. Pictor Barbu Iscovescu 19, Sector 1||Hotel||-|
|Unirii Residence||Cuza Voda 40-42||Hotel||-|
|Victoriei Residence||Maltopol 22||Hotel||-|
|Hotel Casa Victor-Bucharest||Str. Emanoil Porumbaru nr. 44, Sector 1||HOTEL||-|
|Green Frog Hostel||Str. G-ral Dona nr.11||HOSTEL||-|
|Byzanthin Hostel||Doctor Caracas Constantin no.22 street||HOSTEL||69|
|Hotel Tranzzit-Bucharest||Str. Lipova, Nr 24||HOTEL||-|
|Hemingway Residence Hotel||Str. Mantuleasa, 31 sect.2||HOTEL||-|
|Phoenicia Express Hotel||441- 443 Odai Street, Dristric||HOTEL||-|
|Michelangelo Bucharest||Str. Henri Coanda Nr.25, Sector 1||HOTEL||-|
|Tecadra Hotel||Strada Erou Iancu Nicolae 67A||HOTEL||-|
|Amphitryon Hotel||Str. Ardeleni nr 2-4 sect.2||HOTEL||-|
|Kretan Hostel||84 Stirbei-Voda Street, sector1||HOSTEL||79|
|Confort Traian Hotel||Str. Traian 55A sector 3||Hotel||-|
|Best Western Plus Mari Vila-Bucharest||Balta Doamnei nr 44-50 Sector 3||HOTEL||-|
|Agentia H Apartments||2 Stirbei Voda street 1 Luterana||APARTMENT||-|
|Zenix Hotel||Basarabilor 18||HOTEL||-|
|Starlight Suites Hotel - Bucharest||Grigore Alexandrescu||HOTEL||-|
|Holiday Hostel Bucharest||Romulus Street, No. 79||HOSTEL||-|
|X Hostel Bucharest||Balcesti 9||HOSTEL||84|
|Counting Crows Hostel||20 Ocolului Street||HOSTEL||-|
|East Hostel||Hristo Botev no.11||HOSTEL||-|
|Puzzle Hostel||Luigi Cazzavillan Street, No. 44, District 1||HOSTEL||-|
|Explorers Hostel||Luigi Cazzavillan Street, Number 21||HOSTEL||-|
|Peaches Hostel||Orzari Street No 52||HOSTEL||-|
|Hotel Miorita||Str. Lipscani nr.12||HOTEL||-|
|Umbrella Hostel||Christian Tell Str, No 21||HOSTEL||89|
|Zorba Hostel||Strada Viitorului 93A Sector 2||HOSTEL||-|
|Hotel Siqua||Calea Plevnei nr. 59A||HOTEL||-|
|Hotel Litovoi Central||Toamnei Street, 68||HOTEL||-|
|Antique Hostel Bucharest||G-ral Constantin Coanda nr 16||HOSTEL||88|
|The Cozyness Downtown Hostel||Domnita Anastasia street, nr 15 Apt 17, 6th floor||HOSTEL||-|
|Casa Sofia Bucharest||Str. Paul Greceanu 14||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|Bucharest Accommodation Apartment||Strada Camil Ressu nr28 blA8 et4 ap20 Sector3||APARTMENT||-|
|Scala Hotel||C.A. Rosetti nr. 19||HOTEL||-|
|Phoenicia Grand Hotel||Blvd. Alexandru Serbanescu, no.87, sect.1||HOTEL||-|
|Magic Grand Hotel||Occidentului 2 Sector 1||Hotel||-|
|Relax Comfort Suites||22 Nicolae Balcescu Bulevard Sector 1||HOTEL||-|
|Studio in the Center of Bucharest||Piata Alexandru Lahovari 1A||APARTMENT||-|
|Costa Apartments||Aleea Lunguletu nr 6 Street, bloc d14||APARTMENT||-|
|Green Olive Guesthouse||General Dona nr. 11 etaj 1||GUESTHOUSE||-|
|EVS Apartments Sebastian||Calea Rahovei 297||APARTMENT||-|
Internet cafes exist in most cities and towns. The number of internet cafes seems to be declining in bigger cities recently because of cheap availability of computers and the rising living standard here. Wifi is widely available in University areas, airports, public squares, parks, cafes, hotels and restaurants. Pay-as-you-go Wifi is also available in many venues. If uncertain, look for plazas near the Town Hall, large parks or other important buildings. Most (if not all) McDonald's restaurants and Starbucks in Romania have Wifi access and so do most 3-star (and higher) hotels.
See also International Telephone Calls
Romania's country code is +40. To dial to other countries from Romania, dial 00 and then the international number usually without the first 0.
Public phones work well and are available in all areas. You must purchase a phonecard from a kiosk to use them. When dialing within Romania, dial 0 + three digit area code + six digit telephone.
There are five networks - four GSM/3G (Orange Romania, Vodafone, Cosmote and DigiMobil) and one CDMA (Zapp). Orange and Vodafone have almost full national coverage (98-99% of the surface of the country), while the newly-merged Cosmote+Zapp are expanding quickly. Tariffs are average for the European Union (€0.08-0.30/min, €0.04 per SMS). Both pre-paid cards and subscriptions are available, and special options for discounted international calls exist with some pricing plans. Roaming is available but is, like in most of the EU, rather expensive. Pre-paid cards or recharge codes can be bought in almost every shop, either rural or urban.
On prepaid SIMs you can activate extra options ("extraopţiune") starting from €5 (+ 24% VAT) in total = RON27-32, with a validity period of 30 days, containing thousands (200 -3,000) of minutes and SMSs within the same network and up to 100 minutes outside the network, including most European Union fixed land-line networks and two or three mobile networks.
Posta Romana is the national postal service of Romania. Postal services are generally very affordable, reliable and reasonably fast. Post boxes are red and can be found near the post offices, along the street or in main train stations. Post offices can be found in even the smallest towns and the opening hours are generally Monday to Friday from 7:30am to 6:00pm and Saturday 8:00am to 12:00, closed on Sunday. You can buy stamps here or at kiosks. Prices for international mail start at around €0.55 and takes at least 3-5 days to countries within Europe. It's slightly cheaper and faster for domestic mail to be send. Intercontinental post is slightly more expensive but takes much longer. For slightly more expensive but faster and more reliable services you can also try international courier companies like TNT, DHL, FedEx or UPS.
Ask carmenggq a question about Bucharest
I am from Bucharest, and enjoy going out, so I can advice on how to spend a lovely time in the city
Ask Focus_on_travel a question about Bucharest
I live in Bucharest, I love it, I would best describe it as an European capital, that has all the things a tourist might be interested in: a rich history, a mix of arhitecture, a lively night life, quite a few shopping venues, the accessibility from/to other parts of the world is also very good and people are friendly. I would love to see Bucharest receiving more and more tourists, because it has many things to offer. I will give only few examples: the House of Parliament - the second largest building in the world, the Village Museum - an open-air museum showing houses from all over Romania, old center of Bucharest - with its narrow streets, and lovely arhitecture, the Arch of Triumph and the Kiseleff Avenue - our Champs Elysees - testifying why Bucharest was called the ''Little Paris''. Bucharest is also a green city, with several parks/gardens, the most famous being the Garden of Cismigiu, Herastrau Park and Botanical Garden. Other specific features are the orthodox churches, which are numerous, very beautiful and worth to be visited, because religion was always a part of our history, culture, and people's soul. Nightlife consists in many pubs, bars, restaurants, clubs, discos, one of the best place to enjoy this variety is Lipscani or the Old Center of Bucharest. Once there, you will meet a happy crowd, which celebrates the joy of life, maybe some birthday/name day, but there is also a reason for hapiness because Romanian people have a particular way to cope with the good or bad things happening in their lives.
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