Saturday, 26 August 2017

ROMANIA: Bucharest Is Safe, But Avoid Stray Dogs And Getting Ripped Off By Young Rogue Taxi Operators

Statue of Ion Luca Caragiale near InterContinental Bucharest
Bucharest is Romania's capital and largest city, as well as the most important industrial and commercial center of the country. With 2 million inhabitants in the city proper and more than 2.4 million in the urban area, Bucharest is one of the largest cities in Southeastern Europe.

Bucharest is the capital and largest city of Romania, as well as its cultural, industrial, and financial centre. It is located in the southeast of the country, on the banks of the Dambovița River, less than 60 km (37.3 mi) north of the Danube River and the Bulgarian border.

Bucharest is the 6th largest city in the European Union by population within city limits, after London, Berlin, Madrid, Rome, and Paris.

Bucharest is the primary entry point into Romania. Bucharest is a booming city with many large infrastructure projects changing the old face of the city. Known in the past as The Little Paris, Bucharest has changed a lot lately, and today it has become a very interesting mix of old and new that has little to do with its initial reputation. Finding a 300 year old church, a steel-and-glass office building and Communist-era apartment blocks next to one another is a common sight.

Bucharest offers some excellent attractions, and has, in recent years, cultivated a sophisticated, trendy, and modern sensibility that many have come to expect from a European capital. Bucharest has been undergoing major construction and modernization works in recent years, such as the Basarab Overpass and the National Arena. Bucharest has benefited from an economic boom along with the EU grants that have helped rebuild neglected parts of the city, such as the historic Lipscani area.

The official language is Romanian, a Romance language which claims to be the closest currently-spoken relative to Ancient Latin; but which contains around 20% of loan words from Slavonic languages. Most younger educated people will speak English very well indeed; and the drawback of this will be that they will certainly not want you to try your Romanian, to the point of pointing your mistakes out.

Also, they will likely be proficient in one or more second Romance languages; most educated people born before about 1970 will speak French, Spanish or Italian reasonably well. The Roma people speak their native Romany, as well as Romanian, and sometimes English as well. Beyond that, as in any major city, there will be a smattering of other languages like Chinese, Arabic, Turkish, Hungarian.

Bucharest is the center of the Romanian economy and industry, accounting for around 23% of the country's GDP and about one-quarter of its industrial production, while being inhabited by 9% of the country's population. Almost one-third of national taxes is paid by Bucharest's citizens and companies.

In 2013, Bucharest had a nominal GDP per-capita €20,564 ($27.300), or 122% that of the European Union average and more than twice the Romanian average. After relative stagnation in the 1990s, the city's strong economic growth has revitalized infrastructure and led to the development of shopping malls, residential estates, and high-rise office buildings. In January 2013, Bucharest had an unemployment rate of 2.1%, significantly lower than the national unemployment rate of 5.8%.

Bucharest's economy is centered on industry and services, with services particularly growing in importance in the last 10 years. The headquarters of 186,000 firms, including nearly all large Romanian companies, are located in Bucharest. An important source of growth since 2000 has been the city's rapidly expanding property and construction sector.

Bucharest is also Romania's largest centre for information technology and communications and is home to several software companies operating offshore delivery centres. Romania's largest stock exchange, the Bucharest Stock Exchange, which was merged in December 2005 with the Bucharest-based electronic stock exchange Rasdaq, plays a major role in the city's economy.

International supermarket chains such as Carrefour, Cora, and METRO are operating in Bucharest. The city is undergoing a retail boom, with supermarkets and hypermarkets opened every year. Bucharest hosts luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Gucci, Armani, Hugo Boss, Prada, Calvin Klein, Rolex, Burberry, and many others.

Malls and large shopping centres have been built since the late 1990s, such as AFI Palace Cotroceni, Sun Plaza, Baneasa Shopping City, Plaza Romania, Unirea Shopping Center, and Liberty Center. Traditional retail arcades and markets include the one at Obor.

Bucharest is the seat of the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, one of the Eastern Orthodox churches in communion with the Patriarch of Constantinople, and also of its subdivisions, the Metropolis of Muntenia and Dobrudja and the Archbishopric of Bucharest. Orthodox believers consider Demetrius Basarabov to be the patron saint of the city.

The city is a center for other Christian organizations in Romania, including the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bucharest, established in 1883, and the Romanian Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Saint Basil the Great, founded in 2014.

Bucharest also hosts 6 synagogues, including the Choral Temple of Bucharest, the Great Synagogue of Bucharest and the Holy Union Temple. The latter was converted into the Museum of the History of the Romanian Jewish Community, while the Great Synagogue and the Choral Temple are both active and hold regular services.

A mosque with a capacity of 2,000 people is in the planning stages and will be built on 22–30 Expoziției Boulevard. The plot of land on which the mosque will be built was granted to the Muftiyat of the Muslim Cult in Romania under a 49-year lease by the Romanian Government. The project will be funded by the Turkish Government and from various donations.

Bucharest, like most of Romania, has a temperate-continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. This region of Romania gets all four seasons, although spring is brief and falls mainly in April. The average high daily temperature in summer is about 29ºC and in winter about 2ºC. It can get really hot and dry during the summer (40ºC) and really cold during the winter (-20ºC), even though temperatures below -12ºC are extremely rare. Best time to visit is April through June, September through October and early December.

Traditional Romanian culture continues to have a major influence in arts such as theatre, film, and music. Bucharest has two internationally renowned ethnographic museums, the Museum of the Romanian Peasant and the open-air Village Museum.

The Dimitrie Gusti National Village Museum, in Herastrău Park, contains 272 authentic buildings and peasant farms from all over Romania.

The Museum of the Romanian Peasant was declared the European Museum of the Year in 1996. Patronized by the Ministry of Culture, the museum preserves and exhibits numerous collections of objects and monuments of material and spiritual culture. The Museum of the Romanian Peasant holds one of the richest collections of peasant objects in Romania, its heritage being nearly 90,000 pieces, those being divided into several collections: ceramics, costumes, textiles, wooden objects, religious objects, customs, etc.

The Museum of Romanian History is another important museum in Bucharest, containing a collection of artefacts detailing Romanian history and culture from the prehistoric times, Dacian era, medieval times, and the modern era.

A number of cultural festivals are held in Bucharest throughout the year, but most festivals take place in June, July, and August. The National Opera organises the International Opera Festival every year in May and June, which includes ensembles and orchestras from all over the world.

The Romanian Athaeneum Society hosts the George Enescu Festival at locations throughout the city in September every two years - odd years. The Museum of the Romanian Peasant and the Village Museum organise events throughout the year, showcasing Romanian folk arts and crafts.

In the 2000s, due to the growing prominence of the Chinese community in Bucharest, Chinese cultural events took place. The first officially organised Chinese festival was the Chinese New Year's Eve Festival of February 2005, which took place in Nichita Stanescu Park and was organised by the Bucharest City Hall.

In 2005, Bucharest was the first city in Southeastern Europe to host the international CowParade, which resulted in dozens of decorated cow sculptures being placed across the city.

In 2004, Bucharest imposed in the circle of important festivals in Eastern Europe with the Bucharest International Film Festival, an event widely acknowledged in Europe, having as guests of honor famous names from the world cinema: Andrei Konchalovsky, Danis Tanović, Nikita Mikhalkov, Rutger Hauer, Jerzy Skolimowski, Jan Harlan, Radu Mihăileanu, and many others.

Since 2005, Bucharest has its own contemporary art biennale, the Bucharest Biennale

Bucharest is home to Romania's largest recording labels, and is often the residence of Romanian musicians. Romanian rock bands of the 1970s and 1980s, such as Iris and Holograf, continue to be popular, particularly with the middle-aged, while since the beginning of the 1990s, the hip hop/rap scene has developed. Hip-hop bands and artists from Bucharest such as B.U.G. Mafia, Paraziții, and La Familia enjoy national and international recognition.

The pop-rock band Taxi have been gaining international respect, as has Spitalul de Urgența's raucous updating of traditional Romanian music. While many neighbourhood discos play manele, an Oriental- and Roma-influenced genre of music that is particularly popular in Bucharest's working-class districts, the city has a rich jazz and blues scene, and to an even larger extent, house music/trance and heavy metal/punk scenes.

Bucharest's jazz profile has especially risen since 2002, with the presence of two venues, Green Hours and Art Jazz, as well as an American presence alongside established Romanians.

With no central nightlife strip, entertainment venues are dispersed throughout the city, with clusters in Lipscani and Regie. The city hosts some of the best electronic music clubs in Europe, such as Kristal Glam Club and Studio Martin.Some other notable venues are Fratelli and Control.

Performing arts are some of the strongest cultural elements of Bucharest. The most famous symphony orchestra is National Radio Orchestra of Romania. One of the most prominent buildings is the neoclassical Romanian Athenaeum, which was founded in 1852, and hosts classical music concerts, the George Enescu Festival, and is home to the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra.

Bucharest is home to the Romanian National Opera and the I.L. Caragiale National Theatre. Another well-known theatre in Bucharest is the State Jewish Theatre, which features plays starring world-renowned Romanian-Jewish actress Maia Morgenstern. Smaller theatres throughout the city cater to specific genres, such as the Comedy Theatre, the Nottara Theatre, the Bulandra Theatre, the Odeon Theatre, and the revue theatre of Constantin Tanase.

In terms of visual arts, the city has museums featuring both classical and contemporary Romanian art, as well as selected international works. The National Museum of Art of Romania is perhaps the best-known of Bucharest museums.

It is located in the royal palace and features collections of medieval and modern Romanian art, including works by sculptor Constantin Brâncuși, as well as an international collection assembled by the Romanian royal family.

Other, smaller, museums contain specialised collections. The Zambaccian Museum, which is situated in the former home of art collector Krikor H. Zambaccian, contains works by well-known Romanian artists and international artists such as Paul Cézanne, Eugène Delacroix, Henri Matisse, Camille Pissarro, and Pablo Picasso.

The Gheorghe Tattarescu Museum contains portraits of Romanian revolutionaries in exile such as Gheorghe Magheru, ștefan Golescu, and Nicolae Balcescu, and allegorical compositions with revolutionary or Romania's rebirth, 1849) and patriotic - The Principalities' Unification, 1857 themes. Another impressive art collection gathering important Romanian painters, can be found at the Ligia and Pompiliu Macovei residence, which is open to visitors as it is now part of the Bucharest Museum patrimony.

The Theodor Pallady Museum is situated in one of the oldest surviving merchant houses in Bucharest and includes works by Romanian painter Theodor Pallady, as well as European and oriental furniture pieces.

Bucharest has a growing cultural scene, in fields including the visual arts, performing arts, and nightlife. Unlike other parts of Romania, such as the Black Sea coast or Transylvania, Bucharest's cultural scene has no defined style, and instead incorporates elements of Romanian and international culture.

The Museum of Art Collections contains the collections of Romanian art aficionados, including Krikor Zambaccian and Theodor Pallady.

Despite the classical art galleries and museums in the city, a contemporary arts scene also exists. The National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), situated in a wing of the Palace of the Parliament, was opened in 2004 and contains Romanian and international contemporary art. The MNAC also manages the Kalinderu MediaLab, which caters to multimedia and experimental art. Private art galleries are scattered throughout the city centre.

The palace of the National Bank of Romania houses the national numismatic collection. Exhibits include banknotes, coins, documents, photographs, maps, silver and gold bullion bars, bullion coins, and dies and moulds. The building was constructed between 1884 and 1890. The thesaurus room contains notable marble decorations.

Bucharest is in the Eastern European time zone (UTC+2, with a DST of UTC+3 from April to October).

Bucharest has reasonable connections with most European capitals and with the largest cities in Romania, but it can be difficult to find a direct flight to Bucharest from outside of Europe or the Middle East. The city is also reached by a large number of low-costs flights, mainly from destinations in Italy and Spain as well as from some major cities in Germany, France, the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Hungary, Turkey, Austria, Israel etc.

All scheduled flights, including those operated by low cost airlines, land at Henri Coanda International Airport, located in Otopeni , 18 km north of downtown. Henri Coanda airport is often referred to as Otopeni on airline bookings, because of its location . The airport, built in 1968, underwent a massive modernization effort since the late 90's and is set to be further enlarged. It is the main hub for the Romanian flag carrier Tarom.

All concessions inside the airport,shops, cafes, restaurants are extremely expensive,everything is about twice more expensive than in the city. The one exception is a grocery store Billa with prices similar to the prices in the city. It is in the basement of the arrival area where the buses are located. Avoid exchanging money in the airport, exchange rates are 10-15% worse than what you would find in the city - you are advised to use an ATM in the lobby for immediate needs and exchange money downtown.

The smaller Aurel Vlaicu International Airport was used for commercial flights as early as the 1920s and became a low cost hub in its final years. From March 25th 2012 it is no longer used by passenger airlines. It's located inside the city, in Baneasa, about 4-6 km to the city center and is set to become a sort of business airport.

There are several options to get from Henri Coanda airport to Bucharest:

Express bus 783 goes from the airport to downtown Bucharest. It runs approximately every 20 minutes, daily, including weekends and holidays ,every 40 minutes during the night.

Expect the trip with bus 783 to be about 40 minutes long from Piaţa Unirii to the airport or even longer during rush hour traffic. At night the bus can be much quicker, making the journey is 20 to 30 minutes.Buses that operate the line are modern with stop announcement system which however might stack in the middle of the route,April 2016).If however you want to avoid all the route until Uniri, simply disembark at Victory Square where you can take the metro(M1,M2).

Express bus 780 links the airport with the main train station, Bucuresti Nord or Gara de Nord. It runs approximately every 40 minutes, daily including weekends and holidays from 5.30AM to 11PM.

When taking the 780 bus from Gara de Nord train station to Otopeni airport, note carefully that Gara de Nord is not the end of the bus route, hence, the 780 buses that pass Gara de Nord actually run in two directions. Therefore, at Gara de Nord, to catch the 780 that takes you to Otopeni airport, you need to catch it from the 780 bus-stop that requires crossing a road, i.e. not the 780 bus stop that is directly outside the Nord station. Best to ask locals where the correct bus stop is.

Lowest price option for any of these express buses is 7 lei then two rides are uploaded on a Activ card. Cards can only be purchased from the booth in front of either the Arrivals daily from 6:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. or Departures terminals,respectively on the return trip from ticket booths in stations along their route, they can't be bought from the driver. A 'to and fro' ticket without "Activ" card from Airport to city center and back costs 8.6 Lei, which is also cheap.

The normal transport passes do not work on these Express buses No. 780 & No. 783. There is a ticket machine in front of the Arrivals terminal in service 24 hours a day. Remember to always validate your ticket on boarding the bus, these two bus lines are a prime target for ticket inspectors.

One Activ Card costs 3.70 Lei about $1.25. To ride the bus you will also need to add value to your card,add 7 Lei for two trips from / to the airport or 3.50 Lei for one trip. For two persons who plan to use Trams and buses inside the city simply add 50 Lei when you buy the card and use it accordingly. After you validate in the touch screen of the bus simply press number 2 in the validating machine and revalidate for the second person. The bus is far superior to the train in terms of both time and cost.

The Henri Coanda Expres is a combined transfer service by minibus then train to Bucuresti Nord station. It temporarily resumed service in late March 2012.

Tickets can be bought inside the airport at CFR ticket counter; price is 8.1 lei. The trip starts with a transfer by shuttle bus to a small train stop two km away from the airport, followed by a 30 minutes train to Gara de Nord. The shuttle bus transfer IS INCLUDED in the train ticket .

The total duration of the trip from airport to the Gara de Nord is approximately 50 minutes. From Gara de Nord you can take public transport metro and buses or you can depart by train towards other cities in Romania. The service runs approximately once every hour between 5.15AM and 8.20PM.

In the past taking a taxi from Bucharest Henri Coanda airport was a hazardous experience, there was a long running scam with tourists. However, please note that this has now been resolved through the introduction of the ticketing system where taxi customers should get a ticket from the booths as coming out of the arrivals hall.

Once you have a ticket, wait for the taxi with your number on the side to arrive outside and after that the fare should be as per the meter, usually 1.39 lei per kilometre, around 30 lei to the centre of Bucharest - very cheap indeed. The issues below are still concern outside hotels and main shopping areas and especially Gara de Nord railway station - but only usual caution is required at the airport now - i.e just ensure the driver has the meter on, and don't negotiate a fixed price.

Be extremely careful when taking a taxi from the airport to the centre, and avoid it if possible. Even official taxi drivers will likely try and extort some extra money out of you if you don't speak the language and seem clueless enough.

Taxi scams are one of the most common crimes in Bucharest, so think twice before delivering yourself to the mercy of an unknown driver.

Common tricks:

- You get offered a ride for 20 lei, cheaper than a normal taxi. Once driving, it's suddenly 20 lei per kilometer.

- You are driven to a remote forsaken place and have to pay up if you want to be driven to your destination.

- You are promised a ride for 50 lei, which sounds pretty normal, but then 'taxes' for another 50 lei are added, and if you want a receipt it's suddenly another 50 lei.

- The second before setting off, another man jumps in the car, and together with the driver, threatens you out of your money one way or another.

- With excuses like it's after midnight or this is a private taxi or delivery to a hotel has a special price a taxi driver may ask you for 50 lei for a route that normally costs under 10 lei

Should you end up in a situation like this, where the car is driving and the doors are locked and your luggage is in the trunk, then the only way out is to buy your way out through bargaining and lots of yelling back and forth. When lucky you might be able to settle for 120 lei with the driver, but 200 lei or more is not unheard of, especially when you end up having to pay a personal escort of multiple people.

The safest way to get a low cost taxi - Dacia Logan(1.39 lei/km) or premium taxi - Mercedes-Benz (up to 3.49 lei/km) is to order one using the electronic touch-screen kiosks on the Arrivals level,after you claim your luggage and exit. This will provide you with a printed ticket which you should be sure to keep for a specific taxi which will arrive within minutes. Just wait outside for it , show the ticket and keep the ticket for complaining if you have surprises.

Never let the ticket to the driver. Check nonetheless the rate before getting in,it should be written on the taxi's doors and also check that the meter is turned on. With a normal-rate taxi the ride to the city center should cost only €10 (30-50 LEI) and for premium taxis should not exceed €20 (80-90 LEI).

Most taxis take only cash. Ask before you get in if you want to pay by card or SMS. Prepare small bills like 5 and 10 lei as some drivers won't want to break a 50 or 100 lei bill. It's common for drivers to insist you round up for a tip and give you change inclusive of a tip. For example, if you give them a 50 lei bill for a 21 lei ride, then you'll get back 35 lei.

All genuine taxis are marked in a clear way with the word "TAXI" on top in a light-bar as well as a car number. They’re not all necessarily yellow but a lot of them are. The vast majority of taxi rides are safe, economical ways of getting around town when it’s either too far or else you’re tired or have been drinking. The drivers are professionals and get you where you want to go at a set rate and all goes well.

Bucharest taxi companies worth trying include Meridian, Cristaxi and Cobalcescu. While English may be spoken, do not rely on it. As such, it is worth downloading a taxi app before leaving home. There are two recommend: Star Taxi and Clever Taxi. Both apps offer cheap and reliable taxis from a wide range of Bucharest taxi companies.

Under no conditions should you accept the offer of the people near arrivals terminal who ask you if you want a taxi or offer to carry your luggage.

You can Pre-Book your Taxi to avoid last minute stress, you can book online a taxi between 30 days and 1 hour in advance. They have also minivans for 8+1 passengers like Mercedes Vito, Fiat Scudo and Renault Traffic. For credit card payment in the car, meet and great, wifi in the cars, car rental with driver at your disposal, kids taxi, drivers speak english, fix rates for all transfers you can use Taxi Bucharest ,Bucharest Driver , Bucharest Transfers , Bucharest Limo , Marius Taxi.

You can rent your private driver for a fix price. The driver will wait for you in the airport with your name written on an banner. Unlike the normal taxi services, you know from the start how much you are going to pay for your trip and you will never have surprises.

You can book or rent a private taxi for a fixed price up to 4 passengers / car, but you also can order a minibus or a 50-seats bus. The driver will wait for you in the airport.

Non-shared transfers are also available - endowed with a regular license issued by the competent local authority, regular permit and insurance for the transport of peoples as provided by law - and can be pre-booked on-line: Elegance Taxi and Taxi Bucuresti offers a Mercedes E-Class transfers for up to 4 passengers for €20 from OTP to the city, pay online or to the driver, by card or cash.

Unlike the normal taxi services, you know from the start how much you are going to pay for your ride and you will never have surprises.

Buses are a good option to get to Bucharest if coming from Moldova, Turkey, Greece and to some extent Bulgaria, given the low frequency and speeds of trains between these countries and Romania.

If you're willing to make extremely long bus rides it's also possible to get to Bucharest from a large number of cities in Western and South-Western Europe; these lines are operated by Eurolines and their local affiliate Atlassib.

- The city has several bus terminals: Baneasa located in the northern part of town, Obor (east), Filaret (south), Rahova (south-west), Militari (west), Griviţa (north-west) as well as many other smaller stations.

- Buses and minibuses from Chişinau,seven-eight buses every day, about 10 hours travel time, tickets around €15 arrive mostly at Filaret bus station linked to downtown by tramway 7 and bus 232.

- Buses from Istanbul,three-four buses per day, 12-14 hours travel time, tickets around €45) arrive at multiple stations along Viilor road linked to downtown by tramway 32 from the northern end and tramway 7 from the southern end

- The only daily bus from Sofia 7 hours travel time, €18 stops near Tineretului subway station one station away from city center

- Buses from Varna,one or two buses daily only between late May-early September, 5-6 hours travel time, tickets around €30 usually stop in various squares in downtown

- Buses from Athens,several times per week, 16-20 hours travel time, tickets around €60) arrive at stations along Viilor road.

- Transfer buses for routes from Western Europe usually arrive at Rahova bus station,tramway 32 links it with the city center.

Bucharest also has bus connections to a vast number of cities in Romania. They're a convenient choice primarily when coming from places from which railways are under repair like Constanţa and the Black Sea resorts or too indirect like Sibiu.

Bucharest is linked through direct daily trains to most neighboring countries’ capitals Budapest, Chişinau, Kiev, Sofia, as well as to Vienna, Venice, Thessaloniki, Istanbul, Moscow and of course to main cities in all of Romania’s 41 counties.

All international trains and most long distance internal trains arrive at Gara de Nord (Northern) station, located quite near of the city center, to which it is linked by subway and several buses, trolley, and tramway lines. Trains from Chişinau depart at 16:35 and arrive in Bucharest Gara de Nord at 06:00 the next day, costing 494 Moldovan lei for tickets purchased on the day itself, or 600 lei in advance.

Some trains to and from the Black Sea Coast use either Gara de Est-Obor (Eastern) station, or Baneasa station, as well as the main Gara de Nord station most of the trains. Currently the route between Bucharest and Constanţa, the main city in the Black Sea area, has been modernised and the trip duration was lowered to 2:30 hours on direct trains. Following further modernisation expected to finish in 2012 the duration is expected to get to 2:10-2:15 hours.

The other three smaller stations Basarab, Progresul and Republica are used exclusively for local and regional trains.

Do not use any exchange services around the train station: they offer about 30-50 percent below the actual exchange rate,use an ATM instead or walk a few blocks to get a much better rate, then take the subway system, which is reasonably priced and has clearly marked maps and schedules.

Watch out for the shady private taxi services and avoid taking taxis near the stations as they are often rogue operators who may take advantage of less prudent tourists. You should know that near the stations all of them will try to cheat you and you will have to be both vigilant and lucky to avoid being ripped off.

Always look to see if the cab driver starts the meter and alert him by saying "aparatul" while pointing at the meter. There will be drivers offering rides,be extremely wary. It is recommended to ride only with drivers who use the meter and have the general tariff. The tariff is written on the front doors of the car. Never accept bargains and other offers, they are usually more than double than the route is worth.

The city’s entrances from the north the E60 road coming from Braşov, west the A1 highway from Piteşti, east the A2 Sun highway from Constanţa, south the E20 road from Giurgiu and the avenues in the city center are very crowded, especially at rush hours. Inside the city there are few parking spaces and some of the secondary streets are in bad condition.

Bucharest has one of the most extensive systems of public transport in Europe, even though it can sometimes be confusing and crowded.

Note that most of the neighborhoods and urban areas are known and called using the name of the nearest Metro station. The other well-known areas without Metro stations are Dorobanţi in the Northeast, Drumul Taberei in the West, Rahova and Ferentari in Southwest - best avoided and Lipscani - the old city centre situated between Unirii and Universitate Square.


Pipera station: The metro, which has four lines (M1, M2, M3, M4) and covers the city quite extensively, is usually a cheap - 5 lei for 2 trips, 20 lei for 10 trips and 70 lei for a monthly pass 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 traveling to your destination, avoiding the traffic jams and crowds that frequently characterize surface transport.

The network is arguably frequent and fairly comfortable, reliable and easy-to-use. Surprisingly for some, it is by far the safest way to travel through the city. Since 2002, Bucharest Metro has embarked on a comprehensive modernization plan, including the replacement of old train-sets with state-of-the-art Bombardier Transportation trains and the renovation of stations and tracks in collaboration with Alstom.

Line M1 starts in the eastern part of the city and then goes through the 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. M4 line is planned to eventually link the city with its airports.

Maps of the subway can be found on the Metrorex official site.

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 this city. The vehicles are usually very frequent, although they can also get terribly crowded at peak hours.

All stations for the public transport are signalized with a small white plate and red writing with the station's name and the number of all the other bus and trolley that stop there. They include the night-buses, which contain an "N" before their number.

Make sure you know the stop you're getting off at - even though in most trolleybuses and in some modern buses and trams, following stops are announced automatically and displayed on a screen inside the vehicle. Note that the audio volume announcement in the older trolleybuses can be quite low, although the buses work fine. If you are uncertain if a stop is the one you want, you can always ask your fellow travelers.

The ticketing system uses contact-less smart-cards, called Activ cards. Once bought- you will need some ID to do that, the cards can be loaded with various ticketing options, including some that allow usage on both the subway and surface networks. To validate the card after entering a vehicle or subway station hold it still in front of the validating device - an orange box with a small LCD screen, until you hear a short beep (The LCD display will show Calatorie Placuta meaning Have a nice trip.

If you hear a long beep followed by the message "Repetati validarea la acelasi validator" means Repeat the validation on the same machine or any other message, please validate the card again. It is very common in this system to give errors very often, so it recommendable to be sure that you have paid for your trip. If you want to be sure that you have paid, press the button 1 and hold the card near the validator, it will mention the amount left and for how many passengers it was validated.

To validate it for more than one passenger,this is available only for electronic wallet not for daily/weekly/monthly pass, you have to press the button no. 2 and hold the card near the validator. For any other additional traveler you have to press 2 again and receive the message "Calatorie Placuta" for each passenger. The paper tickets valid for one ride on one route are not available anymore,they were removed starting with May 2011.

Be warned that you cannot buy tickets/cards in the vehicles and if caught by an inspector or controlor, you could be fined with 50 lei. Some buses still use the old system of paper ticket, essentially a strip of paper that needs to be validated inside the bus. Be sure to validate your ticket, as enforcers can be very strict, even to visitors unfamiliar with the system. A ticket is valid only on the bus/tram/trolley where it was validated.

If you change the bus/tram/trolley, you have to validate again the card. Also, the ticket is valid only for one trip with the transport vehicle from one end to the other. However, in Bucharest most of the buses and trolleys will have one end usually in downtown, where is no space for creating proper end of the line stops, without any distinct stop, so you will not be aware that you have to validate again, being liable to receive a fine.

For this reason, is better to buy a daily 8 RON = 1.8 Euro or weekly pass 17 RON = 4 Euro for your trips in Bucharest, because the pass will not require any validation. The prices are very small compared with the travel options available buses, night buses, trams and trolleys, so the pass will help you to have a trip without any headaches.

Starting with July 2011, the night buses are also available. They will run between 23:00 to 01:00, every 30 minutes, 1:00 to 5:00, every 1 hour and 5:00 to 6:00, every 30 minutes.

For the official map of the public transport network, use the official RATB site.

Car rental is available within the city or at the airport. You can find all international car rental companies Avis, Hertz, Europcar, Enterprise etc at the Otopeni Airport. Some even offer free delivery to the airport. The average price for a day rental is about €20 for the cheapest car.

There are a lot of taxi companies in Bucharest and you'll easily find a cab here. But be aware! Don't take any independent cab drivers, but use only the services of big taxi companies. Cars from these companies have the rates displayed on the door. Each door used to contain an initial sitting fee - between 1.6 to 3 lei, a per km fee - 1.4 to 3.6 lei and per hour fee. However, taxis now display a single number which is both the initial sitting fee and the per km fee. The per hour fee is not listed, but should be around ten times the per km fee.

Independent taxis have significantly higher fees,up to ten times the average. If a taxi does not display these prices on the door it is best not to take it and find another, as you'll probably be charged a rate five to ten times higher than usual. Also, it should be noted that some taxis now have a low nighttime rate listed in a large font with an expensive daytime rate listed in a small font. So, read carefully and remember that noapte means night.

You should insist the driver starts the meter, and pay the sum displayed on it. If you are traveling outside the city limits say to or from the airport prices per km and per hour are often doubled, or an extra 10-15 lei is added to the fare. Be wary of taking taxis from places where a lot of tourists pass through, especially from Gara de Nord. Many of these taxis may be operated by con men. Tourists being asked to pay large sums to recover their luggage from the trunk or even muggings after taxi rides are not unheard of.

It is not necessary to take a taxi from the front of the queue in Romania, in fact it is usually safer to take the last taxi there. Always stick with the large safer companies, these include Speed Taxi, Meridian, Taxi 2000, National Taxi, Cobalcescu and Dartex. Avoid Cris Taxi, Leone, Titan, Street, Decebal and Aresenal, these are often criminals.

Also be careful to read the side of the taxi closely, there is not a trend of less reputable companies copying the logo of trusted companies for instance Street copies the logo of Speed. Uber is also widely available and many locals use it to get around the city

Bucharest has landmark buildings and monuments. Perhaps the most prominent of these is the Palace of the Parliament, built in the 1980s during the reign of Communist dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu. The largest Parliament building in the world, the palace houses the Romanian Parliament the Chamber of Deputies, and the Senate, as well as the National Museum of Contemporary Art. The building boasts one of the largest convention centres in the world.

Another landmark in Bucharest is Arcul de Triumf or The Triumphal Arch, built in its current form in 1935 and modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. A newer landmark of the city is the Memorial of Rebirth, a stylized marble pillar unveiled in 2005 to commemorate the victims of the Romanian Revolution of 1989, which overthrew Communism.

The abstract monument sparked controversy when it was unveiled, being dubbed with names such as "the olive on the toothpick", maslina-n scobitoare, as many argued that it does not fit in its surroundings and believed that its choice was based on political reasons.

The Romanian Athenaeum building is considered to be a symbol of Romanian culture and since 2007 is on the list of the Label of European Heritage sites.

InterContinental Bucharest is a high-rise five-star hotel situated near University Square and is also a landmark of the city. The building is designed so that each room has a unique panorama of the city.

House of the Spark or Casa Scanteii is a replica of the famous “Lomonosov” Moscow State University. This edifice built in the characteristic style of the large-scale Soviet projects, was intended to be representative to the new political regime and to assert the superiority of the Communist doctrine. Construction started in 1952 and was completed in 1957, a few years after Stalin’s death that occurred in 1953.

Popularly known as Casa Scanteii or House of the Spark after the name of the official gazette of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, Scanteia, it was made for the purpose of bringing together under one roof all of Bucharest’s official press and publishing houses. It is the only building in Bucharest featuring the “Hammer and Sickle”, the Red Star and other communist insignia carved into medallions adorning the façade.

Other cultural venues include the National Museum of Art of Romania, Museum of Natural History Grigore Antipa, Museum of the Romanian Peasant or Muzeul țaranului Roman, National History Museum, and the Military Museum.

Parliament Palace - In the center of Bucharest, near Piaţa Unirii or Union Plazza, the tourist can see the largest parliament building in the world, formerly named Casa Poporului or People's House. The building, which was built in 1984 by Nicolae Ceauşescu, spans 12 stories, 3100 rooms and covers over 330,000 sq m. 1/9 of Bucharest was reconstructed to accommodate this magnificent massive building and its surroundings.

There are 30-45 minute tours every half hour which lead through the building's vast collection of marble rooms and culminates in an impressive view from Nicolae Ceauşescu's balcony. The marble and all the original decorations are 100% from Romania. There are different Tours ranging in price from 35 RON up to 55 RON,taking photos is another 30 RON.

The basic tour includes the halls and the balcony, worthwhile is the terrace addition (10 RON) for the wonderful view from the top of the building. The basement addition on the other hand is not worth the extra 10 RON. They only show two rooms containing airducts, no additional facts and it lasts only 5 minutes! The tourist entrance is on the north side of the building.

Old center (Lipscani) - A part of the city's historical heart was not demolished by Nicolae Ceauşescu. The area stretching approximatively between the Damboviţa river to the south, Calea Victoriei to the west, Calea Moşilor to the east and Regina Elisabeta boulevard to the north today contains an assortment of middle 19th century buildings, ruins of the Wallachian princes' medieval court, churches, bank headquarters, a few hotels, clubs, restaurants and shops.

Narrow cobble stoned streets retain the names of the ancient guilds that resided on them. The area was mostly renovated and is now a place of gathering for the young generation of the city.

Revolution Square (Piaţa Revoluţiei) - Site of part of the Romanian Revolution of 1989. Centrally located, it is not a long walk from the other squares, Gara de Nord, or the Parliament Palace. There is a tall monument in the center of the square in memory of those who died during the revolution.

The Arch of Triumph (Arcul de Triumf). - Situated in the norhern part of the city, close to Herăstrău Park. The current arch was inagurated in 1936, but on the same site other arches stood starting with 1878.

Romanian Atheneum - A beautiful building situated near Revolution Square or Piaţa Revoluţiei is home of the George Enescu Philarmonic. If you have the time, visit the interior of the building as well, as it holds a fresco that depicts scenes of the Romanian history. The building was inagurated in 1888.

WWII American Memorial - Small memorial dedicated in 2007. Located in the eastern area of the Kiseleff Park (Parcul Kiseleff). It is visible on the western side of the Bulevardul Aviatonlor between the Institutul de Istorie Nicolae Iorga al Academiei and Strada Ion Mincu.

Village Museum –an original open air museum created in 1934, it currently has around 300 traditional buildings,including churches, workshops, mills etc. plus furniture, pottery, clothing gathered from villages in every region of the country in an effort to showcase the traditional way of life of the Romanians. Occasionally hosts folkloric and traditional crafts festivals. Entry fee 10 Lei for an adult, 5 Lei for student, closes at 9PM in the summer. Şoseaua Kiseleff, 28-30.

Museum of the Romanian Peasant, also dedicated to the traditional way of life, it focuses mainly on traditional interior decoration, tools, clothing and artifacts. Again, it sometimes hosts folkloric and traditional crafts festivals. Very interesting, touching exhibit about one's grandma. With hidden rooms to surprise you. Has a quite decent cafe, a notable museum shop, and a Cărtureşti bookstore. Entry 6ron for adult, 3ron for student. Şoseaua Kiseleff, nr. 3

Art Museum, in the building of the former Royal Palace, has collections of ancient, modern and contemporary Romanian art as well as exhibitions of rare European art dating as early as the 14th century. Calea Victoriei, nr. 49-53

Museum of Art Collections, recently reopened, as an art museum is second only to the museum in the former palace, especially but not exclusively for the works of Romanian artists. Calea Victoriei, nr. 111

National Museum of Contemporary Art Recently opened inside a converted wing of the Palace of the Parliament, in what had been the private apartments of Ceauşescu, the museum features fresh exhibitions from Romania's burgeoning art scene.

Curtea Veche or Old Court Museum –the ruins of the crown palace of the Wallachian princes, some parts dating as early as the 16th century. It’s around an earlier fortification located in this same place that Bucharest began to develop.Strada Franceza, nr. 25-31

Cotroceni Palace Museum –has collections of objects that belonged to the former Romanian royal family. Today it is also the residence of the Romanian presidents.Bd. Geniului, nr. 1

National History Museum -located in a neoclassical late 19th century building and covering an area of 8,000 square meters, the museum has exhibits documenting the evolution of society on Romania’s territory from the Paleolithic until today, a replica of Trajan’s Column in Rome and a very interesting numismatics collection.

The exhibits provide a glimpse into the material and spiritual culture of the Geto-Dacians, The Dacian-Roman wars and the transformation of Dacia into a province of the Roman Empire, the power structures of the state in medieval society, the Phanariot reigns, the bourgeois-democratic revolution of 1848, the gain of independence, the outbreak of the two world wars, and the entry of Romania under Russian influence. Calea Victoriei, nr. 12

Bucharest History Museum – situated in the Şuţu Palace, built in 1834, has collections related to the development of Bucharest from a small 14th century fortress into Romania’s capital.Bd. I.C. Brătianu, nr. 2

Military History Museum – has collections of weapons dating since the prehistoric times and permanent exhibitions dedicated to important military events, including the Romanian revolution of 1989, as well as an outdoor exhibit of relatively modern weaponry, including cannons, tanks, helicopters etc.Strada M. Vulcănescu, nr. 125-127

Jewish Community History Museum – documenting the life of this community in the region since ancient times, through the Holocaust, and beyond. Includes quite a good art collection. Strada Mămulari, nr. 3

Grigore Antipa Natural History Museum – has over 300.000 exhibits illustrating the transformations of Earth and the evolution of species. Şoseaua Kiseleff, nr. 1

Geology Museum – has a large collection of minerals, rocks and fossils.Şoseaua Kiseleff, nr. 2

Dimitrie Leonida Technology Museum – is set to be relocated in a wing of the Palace of the Parliament

Aviation Museum – open-air display of various types of aircraft.Otopeni airport

Railways Museum – rarely opened.Calea Griviţei, nr. 139B

Firefighters Museum – likewise.Bd. Ferdinand, nr. 33

Future Museum, a newly established platform based on a system of open call commissions. All artists and curators based in Romania and Moldova are invited to submit project proposals which will be selected by an international board. The ethos of the museum is a belief in unexplored concepts, uncharted intentions, unknown phenomena, undiscovered schemes and unprecedented theories. Ion Ghica, nr. 11

There are also a number of smaller museums, housing private collections, notably the “D. Minovici" Western European Arts Museum located in a beautiful eclectic villa (strada N. Minovici, nr.3) and numerous memorial houses dedicated to various literary, scientifical and political personalities.

Curtea Veche (Old Court) Church – built around 1559, used to be the coronation church of the Wallachian princes.Near Piata Unirii.
Patriarchal Cathedral (1658) and Mitropoliei Palace (1708) –the residence of the Orthodox Patriarch, sort of a small Romanian Vatican.Located on the hill overlooking Piata Unirii.

Stavropoleos Church – built in the early 18th century, has some stunning decorative sculpture and amazing frescoes. A little jewel. In the old center area.

Colţea Church – (1702) it’s the first church in Bucharest built in the Brancovenesc style. Near Piaţa Universitaţii.

Sfantu Gheorghe Nou (New St. George) Church – dating from the 18th century, houses the tombs of the princes Constantin Brâncoveanu and Ion Mavrocordat. At half way between Piaţa Universitaţii and Piaţa Unirii.

Kretzulescu Church – another interesting example of the Brancovenesc style (1722). On the left side of the National Art Museum.

Plumbuita Monastery – built in the last half of the 16th century, it once housed the first printing house in the region (1582); today has a religious objects museum and a large park. Relatively far from the city center, on Şoseaua Colentina.

Oţetari Church - The Oţetari Church is a very discreet, yet spiritual place, giving some religious comfort in the centre of the city. It's name actually means "cruet", because of the initial destination of the street it is situated on. It was built in the 18th Century and it features a number of interesting paintings and stained glasses. Close to the Rosetti Square, National Theatrer and the Spiru Haret National College.

There are two free weekly guides published in Bucharest featuring all the events of the week, as well as listing the addresses of most restaurants, clubs, pubs, bars, cinemas etc. in the city. One is Şapte Seri (Seven nights), the other 24-FUN. They have small sections in English available

A walking tour is always the best solution for getting accustomed with a new city. You can find free guided walking tours of the city centre, this being an option for budget travelers, youth and backpackers. Usually, you have to book the tours, but in the high season there are tours organized every day, rain or sun.

There are also paid tours to be found, in this case booking being necessary at all times.

Many of the neighborhoods north and east of the city center are of equal architectural interest to the center, far less heavily touristed, but equally safe for just wandering.

You can rent a bicycle for two hours without cost in the northwestern corner of Kiseleff Park or Parqul Kiseleff and use it to cycle in nearby beautiful Herastrau Park. Bring your passport.

Cişmigiu Garden is a lovely small park located in the very centre of Bucharest. It's the oldest in the city designed 1845-1860. Has boat rental in summer, ice skating in winter time, a reasonable restaurant and several bars.

Herastrau Park,the largest of several parks around man-made lakes on the Colentina River running through the city’s north and east side houses the Village Museum, an open-air theater, various sports grounds, something like an amusement park and numerous restaurants and clubs. Has boat rental and boat-trips in summer.

The Botanical Gardens, established in 1884 near Cotroceni Palace, displays a variety of plants from all over the world, including an indoor tropical plants exhibition. Small entry fee.

Carol Park (designed in 1906), a quiet oasis not so far from Piata Unirii, has an open-air theater replicating a Roman arena and another construction replicating a medieval fortress. It houses the tomb of the Unknown Soldier as well as an infamous mausoleum built for the Communist nomenclature.

Tineretului Park, just one subway station south of Piaţa Unirii, has a large indoor arena or Sala Polivalenta used for various concerts, sporting events, exhibitions etc., an amusement park for children, boat-rental, several restaurants and bars.

Titan Park (also known as I.O.R. Park), a green oasis amongst Communist era high rise apartment buildings in the eastern part of the city Titan subway station, has a charming wooden church as well as several lake-side clubs.

Concert venues

Opera Naţionala or National Opera, Bulevardul Mihail Kogălniceanu nr. 70-72 (Eroilor area).

Filarmonica George Enescu, Strada B. Franklin nr. 1-3 (Revoluţiei square). Housed in the Romanian Athenæum, a city landmark.

Teatrul Naţional de Opereta Ion Dacian, Bulevardul Nicolae Balcescu nr.2 near University square.

Arenele Romane are a complex built in 1906, in the Carol I Park, designed for outdoor performances.

Most films are screened in their original language with Romanian subtitles; some animation features and children's movies are dubbed in Romanian.

Cinemateca Romana, strada Eforie nr. 2 near the old quarter. A branch of the National Film Archives, screens mostly classic movies.

Noul cinematograf al regizorului roman, strada Intrarea Monetăriei nr. 3 at the Romanian Peasant Museum. Art films and documentaries selected by major Romanian directors 10 lei.

Eurocinema, strada Johann Gutenberg nr. 19 (near Izvor bridge). Th-Su at 8pm. Plays mainly independent European movies 10 lei.

Europa, Calea Moşilor nr. 127 (at the start of Moşilor road). Plays relatively recent European movies.

Elvira Popescu, Bulevardul Dacia nr. 77 at the French Institute. Mostly French movies.

Cinema City, Bulevardul Vasile Milea nr. 4 in the AFI Palace mall. Largest multiplex in the city (21 screens, including one IMAX) 17-32 lei.

Holywood Multiplex, Calea Vitan nr. 55-59 in the Bucharest Mall. First multiplex to open, has 10 screens 22-35 lei.

Movieplex, Bulevardul Timişoara nr. 26 in the Plaza Romania mall. Located in the western part of Bucharest, has 11 screens 15-45 lei.

Light Cinemas, Şoseaua Progresului nr. 151-171 in the Liberty Center mall. Located in the south-western part of the city, has 7 screens 15-33 lei.

Patria, Bulevardul Gh. Magheru nr. 12-14 between Universităţii and Romana squares. A large (over 1,000 seats) 1930s cinema located along the city's main avenue

Scala, Bulevardul Gh. Magheru nr. 2-4 between Universitaţii and Romana squares. Another large older cinema located in the downtown

CinemaPro, strada Ion Ghica nr. 3 (near Universitaţii square)

Major brand-name shops and upscale boutiques are concentrated along the main boulevard from Piaţa Romana to Piaţa Unirii and on the small streets adjacent to this boulevard, but also on Calea Victoriei, on Calea Dorobanţilor ,the part between Blvd. Iancu de Hunedoara and Piaţa Dorobanţilor or on Calea Moşilor's section between Blvd. Carol I and Piaţa Obor.

In the past years many modern shopping centers have sprung up in the city, the most popular being:

- Baneasa Shopping City, Soseaua București-Ploiești 42D.

- AFI Palace Cotroceni, Bulevardul Vasile Milea 4, District 6.

- Promenada, Calea Floreasca 246B, District 1. Mon-Sun: 10:00 to 22:00.

- Plaza Romania, Bd. Timişoara nr. 26.

- Unirea Shopping Center, Piaţa Unirii.

- Sun Plaza in district 4, Calea Vacaresti, No. 391.

- Bucharest Mall, Calea Vitan 55-59 - the first one to be completed, in 1999.

- Liberty Center in section 5, opened 31st October 2008

- Jolie Ville, str. Erou Iancu Nicolae nr. 103 bis, Voluntari, judetul Ilfov.

More shopping malls in Bucharest and its surrounding area are being currently constructed or in the planning stages of being constructed

- Thomas Antiques, Str. Covaci 19 (Lipscani area). Beautiful antique shop. With a large collection of antiques and where it is possible to have a drink in this unique atmosphere.

- Tow truck 24, Str. Elev Nicolae Popovici nr. 1. Roadside assistance 24 of 24

- Leonidas Universitate (Belgian Chocolate), Strada Doamnei 27. Mon-Fri: 10:00 - 20:00 Sat: 11:00 - 15:00. A well-known chocolate store, for those who have a sweet tooth. Its location is very close to the historical old center. They also serve Ben & Jerry's Ice cream.

- Obor Market (Piața Obor), (East of Obor metro). The city's largest public market, covering several city blocks and with many other working-class shops around it. Mostly, but not exclusively food. Modernized in the 2010s, but still has a lot of character.

- The Cage Escape Room Bucharest (The Cage Eacape Room Bucuresti), Strada Doctor Niculae D. Staicovici, nr.7, sector 5, BUCURESTI (Near Opera Romana). 10:00-23:00. The most entertaining and innovative escape rooms in Bucharest are located in a central residential area. Go with friends, is a team game.

- Escape Room Bucuresti (911 Escape Room), (Middle of Bucharest Piata Unirii). If you want to have fun in the middle of the town escaping outting your mind at work escaping from a room with your friends 911 escape room is the place to go.

- Zestre. Local clothing, accessories and jewelry brand that combines traditional hand-made Romanian motifs with urban garments and wooden jewelry.

- BestRide. Off road equipments for cars, come on and buy.

- TopDivers. Awnings, pergolas, shadow systems.

- Studio Videochat No2Studio. Awnings, pergolas, shadow systems.

Meals

Prices usually go anywhere from €5-7 to €30-40 for high-end dining for a single person menu consisting of a meal,most places offer €5-7 Euros menus that include an Entree, Main Dish and Dessert or a Drink and a soft drink. The most popular fast-food is undoubtedly Shaorma, with hundreds of places selling it in almost every Square, Mall or street crossroads. Objectively, the most popular places with Romanians are Dristor Kebap, Calif or Dines.

Cuisine-wise, you can find many places which offer Romanian or other cuisines, especially Turkish (Divan, Saray, Sultan), Italian (Trattoria Verdi, Trattoria Il Calcio)and French cuisines (French Bakery, Bon), but also Chinese (Peking Duck, 5 Elemente), Spanish (Alioli), Indian (Kumar's Agra Palace, Taj), Greek, Japanese (Zen Sushi).

Caru' cu bere, Stavropoleos str. No. 5. One of the most famous places to eat in the old city centre, it is situated in a wonderful building, with an extraordinary architecture. Present in Bucharest from 1879. Known for their home-made beer. The food is amazing and the decor is a work of art. Make a reservation beforehand specially during the rush hours. They have quite a good and cheap 3 course lunch menu,only during the lunch hours on weekdays.

Cercul Militar National (Strada Constantin Mile 1). The Palace of the National Military Circle was built in 1911 using French neoclassical style. The restaurant and the terrace are open to the public for affordable prices.

Casa di David, (Șoseaua Nordului 7-9). Opened in 2005, it is a hangout of the city's newly wealthy. It comes complete with a German car ads at the entrance and an extensive wine list. Food Italian inspired and ambiance are at best good, but portions are small and prices are far above average for Bucharest. A 3-course meal for two with local wine will set you back over 400 Lei. A bistro with an urban cuisine using fresh ingredients, homemade drinks and dishes, Romanian craft products & epicurious recipes. Located in Bucharest's uptown.

Locanta Jaristea, strada George Georgescu 50 - 52 near the crossroad of Regina Maria Blvd. and Libertaţii Blvd. M-Su 11AM -last customer. Beautiful historically themed restaurant, live traditional music, old Romanian specialties but always check the bill thoroughly. Reservations are compulsory.

La Mama, 6 outlets around Bucharest, Barbu Văcărescu 3, Delea Veche 51, Episcopiei 9, and Carrefour Orhideea being the largest ones,Good for simple dishes like steaks and chicken wings, stews not recommended. Prices are a bit over the top, given the quality. Real amount of food 2-3 times less than stated in the menu.

Muse Bistro and Cafe (Fusion Cuisine), Strada Paris 17, Bucureşti (Behind Victoria Palace). A small bistro that serves fusion cuisine with strong Mediterranean and French influences. They use locally grown and organic ingredients. Perfect for a quick break. The Village Museum, as well as the museum of the Romanian Peasant are within walking distance. 8-15€/person.

Taj Restaurant (Calea 13 Septembrie, 127-131,), Sector 5, Bucureşti (Near Marriott hotel). 12.00 - 24.00. Good Indian restaurant near Marriott hotel, especially for vegetarians. Little pricey.

The Harp Irish Pub & Restaurant (Calea Bibescu Voda, 1,), Sector 4, Bucureşti (Unirii Square). 10.00 - 02.00. Beautiful Irish themed restaurant, live music from Thu to Sat, good Irish and traditional food.

Trattoria Buongioro, Str Franceza 52. 8.00 - 00.00. Trattoria Buongiorno has multiple locations, all in the Bucharest city center.

Drinking And Night Life

Bucharest Pub Crawl. The only regular Pub Crawl in Bucharest: 9 euro get you 5 shots and entry in 5 pubs/clubs and a great night out! Meet at 10pm in Piata Roma in the old town every Tuesday and Thursday to see first hand the amazing nightlife of Bucharest.

Absintherie Sixtina (Sixtine Absintheria), Covaci 6, 1st floor. Classic style bar with reasonable prices. The absinthe is served with a slow drip fountain.

Beer O'Clock, Gabroveni 4 and Villacrosse passage (near Police Department). Bar with several types of Belgian, Czech and Slovak beer.

Curtea Berarilor (The Brewers Court), Selari 9-11. Pub in old center having mostly Timişoreana beer.

Green Hours, Calea Victoriei 120. A quiet club which often hosts jazz concerts.

Interbelic, Intrarea Selari 1A (near Lipscani). 17:00-last. Cocktail bar; fine spirits, great nights. medium.

La Motoare, Bulevardul Nicolae Bălcescu 2 (on the roof of the National Theater, Universitate Square). An outdoor pub offering great views over the city. Mostly frequented by university students. Rock music and movies in the evening. It is temporarily closed for renovation.

Piranha, Splaiul Independenţei 313 in Regie, the student campus, next to the Polytechnic University. A large pub, with a huge outdoor terrace in the middle of a wooded area, featuring a small collection of exotic animals. One of the few outdoor places where the summer heat is actually bearable. A favorite among students, with low prices,a beer is 4,6 lei, about €1,05. However, quite crowded and sometimes noisy.

Club Downtown, Mendeleev 32 st. 21:00-last client. With a history of more then 12 years, Downtown is the place to party on every night of the week, with dancers and live DJ. It is situated in the very heart of the city, near 'Piata Romana'. With theme parties on Fridays and Saturdays and great atmosphere on every night of the week, you have to pay a visit. Prices are very fair, the staff is very friendly.

The Vintage Pub, Str. Smardan 43 (in The Old City Center). The place to be in Bucharest's Old Center. Great place to meet people and not very expensive.

Bamboo, Str. Ramuri Tei 39 (in Tei Park). It's the largest club in Bucharest. Upmarket and expensive.

Cafe Hazard, Baraţiei,coming from Unirii towards University, take your first right after the fornetti store and then your first left). 3PM-5AM. A rock bar, with a great atmosphere, open thinking, great beer and people.

Club A, near University Square. 6PM - 6AM. The first and oldest club in Bucharest, with nearly 40 years tradition,this means amazingly much for a city where most clubs are less than 5 years old. Since the beginning, it was and remains a student pub and club, with an unpretentious but welcoming atmosphere, good music and low prices. Like many clubs in Bucharest, be mindful that the bouncers can be overly aggressive to patrons at times.

Control Club, Str. Academiei nr.19 go to Victoria Passage coming from University square. 3PM-5AM. Best alternative/indie club with a lot of live shows and good music.

Expat Pub, Str. Blanari, nr. 21. Open Tue - Sun: 7PM-7AM. Cocktail Bar / Pub located into the old city part of Bucharest. Your Home away from Home. Friendly staff. Classic and forgotten cocktails prepared and served like in the good ol' times. Themed nights. Home of Expats living in Bucharest

Expirat/OtherSide, Str. Lipscani nr. 5/Str. Brezoianu nr. 4. Very lively and popular club, divided in two sections - Expirat, the old club with rock/dance/hiphop music, and its newer offspring, the OtherSide, where DJs spin electronica. Themed nights, very expat-friendly, great cocktails and very reasonable prices.

Fire Club, (near Lipscani). The most well known rock and metal club in Bucharest. By day a pub and outdoor cafe.

Fratelli, Str. Nicolae Golescu 5.

Kulturhaus, Str. Sf. Vineri nr.4. 10PM-5AM. A club with a German concept – the culture house – a place where all sort of cultural events such as live music concerts, art exhibitions, film projections take place. Kulturhaus is very cheap – no entry fee except for music concerts and low prices – it is the cheapest club in town – maybe this is why the place is crowded every Friday and Saturday night until 05:00.

Queen’s Club, E-4, Str. Mihai Bravu 32. Open 11PM-5AM, Thu 9PM-5AM, Sun 8PM-5AM. May be closed Mon, Tue, Wed. Like Gay clubs the world over, this place has become tremendously popular with a hetero set fed up with the meat market atmosphere at so many of the city’s other locations. That, together with superb music, makes this an essential stop for hedonists of all persuasions. Shake it. It can become quite crowded so watch yourself." Entry 20.00 lei, but that includes 10.00 lei worth of drinks at the bar.

Underworld, Str. Colţei, nr. 48 go to Colţei street coming from the Rosetti Square, near University. The only punk-rock oriented pub in Bucharest. It also has a small concert hall, a fusball table, board games, dedicated evenings, etc.

Secret Massage & Club, Str. Lamaitei, nr. 14. Great atmosphere and drinks with beautiful Romanian girls.

Player Club, 1 Montreal Square (on Kiseleff Avenue in front Herastrau Park. Night Club & Pool with unique daytime clubbing in Bucharest

VIP Obsession Massage, 16 Unirii Blvd (between Unirii Square and Ceausescu Palace). NON STOP. Night Club & Massage - for special moments in Bucharest

Bucharest LGBT Scene,Bucharest is home to the leading gay community in Romania, the city being a lot more lenient towards LGBT couples than any other Romanian places. Romania is just starting to get accustomed to LGBT individuals, as being gay was criminalized during the Communist Era (1947-1989) and people still have a shallow and intolerant understanding of the matter.

Usually the worst thing that can happen is to be frowned upon or at most being made fun of, but during the day it is extremely rare. It is advisable to keep interactions between gay couple at a minimum at night. There is currently one gay club in Bucharest: the Freedom Club to the side of the McDonald's in Romana Square, others being constantly opened and then relocated or permanently closed.

There are multiple gay-friendly cafes or bars, like the open-air Gradina Eden, the fashionable and eccentric Gaia Boutique Club, the traveler-popular Ceainaria Cinci or the hipser Acuarela.

Accomodation

Camping Baneasa/Casa Alba, Aleea Privighetorilor 1-3,at the edge of the Baneasa Forest, close to the Băneasa Airport. Space for up to 80 caravans or 120 tents, running water, showers, toilets, kitchen. It is the only camping site in Bucharest proper. Note that it is quite far from the center of the city, and, during rush hour, it may take well over 1 hour to reach downtown.

X Hostel Bucharest, Balcesti street, number 9. X Hostel Bucharest. Central and safe hostel operating in Europe with this brand in other cities since 2008. Pub on site, all air-conditioned rooms, twin and double private rooms with bathroom, daily events. Lockers for each guests, multinational and multilingual staff. Bitcoin ATM machine. We have one of Europe`s only Axe Throwing arenas, from €8.

Little Bucharest Old Town Hostel, Smardan street, number 15, 2nd floor. Little Bucharest Old Town Hostel. The only hostel located in the pedestrian old town city center – Little Bucharest has been designed especially for backpackers and young travelers, active, vibrant people who want to be part ofthe action-packed downtown area. The building in which we’re located has a long history; a neoclassical style ediffice, it’s been built in 1902 and for most of its time standing it hosted banks. Right across the street you in fact will find the National Bank of Romania, so you can be sure security is not an issue. from €8.

Peaches Hostel, 52 Orzari Street. Peaches Hostel. Newly renovated house. Cosy outdoor green terrace with barbecue area. Exterior chill out zone with sofas and hammocks. Very close to the National Stadium and easy reach of city centre. from €8.

East Hostel, Bvd Hristo Botev 11 University. checkin: 24/24; checkout: 11 a.m.. Brand-new hostel in Lipscani Quarter. Free breakfast, free pasta daily at 7 p.m., fast wi-fi connection throughout, A/C at night, thick comfy mattresses and quality pillows and duvets, lavish bathrooms. From €9/night.

Explorers Hostel, Str. Luigi Cazzavillan 21. checkin: 13:00; checkout: 11:00. Great boutique hostel, centrally located and also close to the train station. Free breakfast,free internet,free air conditioning. Bike renting,city tours on bike and laundry-service are available for good prices. from €7/night.

The Funky Chicken Hostel, Str. Gen. Berthelot 63. Close to Gara de Nord (10 min) and the main squares. Simple place for one night, but a bit dirty and uncomfortable for a longer stay. Around €10/night.

Hostel Tina, Odobesti 2B Street, Bloc N3B, 9th Floor, nr. 38. (Buzzer 38 C), District 3,3 stops from the centre and 6 stops from the railway station Gara de Nord, 10 min from Dristor metro station. Cosy two room house, hot breakfast, bed linen and towels are included in price. Free coffee, tea, use of computer printer, all rooms have free wifi. Clean and safe hostel. Will send driver and car for €22. Tourist information is provided. 1 private room with queen bed €28, and one shared room 4 beds €14/bed.

The Midland Youth Hostel, Str Biserica Amzei no 22. Central, breakfast included, free internet. from €8/night.

Vila Gabriela, Str. Mărgăritarului 18, Vila A 104, Otopeni, judeţul Ilfov,just outside Bucharest on the way to the international airport, . Big house managed by a friendly couple, Carmina and Vlad. Carmina can speak English, French and Italian. The rooms are clean and welcoming. Double room €25/night,you can pay in euro with a shared toilet. If you want the best room, you'll also get your own toilet for €35/night. Breakfast is included.

Crazy Duck Hostel Bucharest, Strada Stirbei Voda, 130. Free welcome drink & free map of Bucharest. Excellent downtown location, close to Central Railway Station and Old Town. Perfect for groups and single travelers - all rooms and dorms with private bathroom. Good WIFI, nice recreation area, garden terrace for summer. Excellent kitchen area. hub from €8.

Loft City, 118 Calea Floreasca. Set in the heart of Floreasca/Primaverii residential area this cozy studio offers you a true city feeling. €25-€35/night.

Cameliei, Strada Cameliei, nr. 37. €25-€31/night.

Carpaţi, str. Matei Millo nr. 16. Located in one of the oldest parts of Bucharest, directly between Calea Victoriei and Grădina Cişmigiu. 15 min walk to the University metro station. Small, affordable rooms in a clean and welcoming atmosphere. €40-€85/night.

Domino, Str.Basarabilor nr.10. €10-€30/night.

StayInBucharest Apartments, 23A Nicolae Balcescu Blvd. €20-€45/night.

Hotel Hello 2*, Calea Grivitei 143. €30-€45/night.

Little Bucharest Apartments – Amazing central penthouse in Bucharest with park view, Bulevardul Mihail Kogalniceanu, Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania,the bus and tram station is right in front of the building, connecting you with all the areas of the city. The metro is 7 minutes walking. The boulevard sits between two lovely parks, being an old neighborhood of Bucharest, close to the Law School and the Palace of Parliament. from $139/night.

Angelo Airporthotel Bucharest, 283 Calea Bucurestilor,hotel offers complimentary airport shuttle. Located within 300 meters of Henri Coanda International Airport from €95/night.

Ambasador, Blvd. Magheru nr 8-10. €56-€99/night.

ApartHomes, George Valentin Bibescu Street 33. €49-€79/night.

Capitol, Calea Victoriei 29. Comfortable, though admittedly not quite hassle-free, 100-year-old three-star hotel with big rooms and enormous bathrooms, near Cercul Militar. €55-€75/night.

Casa Victor, Str. Emanoil Porumbaru nr. 44,on a quiet side street parallel to B-dul Aviatorilor a few blocks north of Parcul Kiseleff and a few blocks south of the Aviatorilor metro station. checkout: 11:00AM. €55-€140/night.

Crowne Plaza, B-dul Poligrafiei nr. 1. from €80/night.

Dalin Center Hotel, Sos. Ştefan Cel Mare 33A. Dalin Center Hotel is a new hotel, with a particular interior design and modern facilities. €49-€59/night.

Grand Boutique Hotel, Str. Negustori nr. 1B. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. from €65/night.

Ibis-Nord, Calea Grivitei nr. 143. from €45/night.

K+K Hotel Elisabeta, Str. Slanic 26. Located in the centre. From here you can easily reach the University, business quarter, city center as well as the famous Cismigiu Gardens.

Le Boutique Hotel Moxa, 4 Mihail Moxa Street. Four star hotel, centrally located. €80-€110/night.

NH Bucharest, Bulevardul Mircea Voda, 21. Modern 4 star hotel located in the heart of the business district. Bedrooms are cosy and comfortable with a modern twist. Rooms from 50€.

Ramada Majestic, Calea Victoriei nr. 38-40. €80-€180/night.

Hotel Siqua, Calea Plevnei nr. 59A near Opera. from €75/night tax and breakfast included.

Rin Central, Str Traian 55 near Unirii Square. RIN Central Hotel is the perfect choice for those willing to visit the historical, commercial and tourist center of Bucharest. €55-€75/night.

Hotel Suter Inn, Aleea Suter nr. 3 from Parliament Palace. checkin: 12:00; checkout: 10:00. Three-star hotel near Carol Park, the Palace of Parliament and Autogara Filaret. €35-52/night.

Alia Accommodation, Blvd. Balcescu nr 18. From €30/night.

Rin Airport Hotel, 255A Calea Bucurestilor hotel offers complimentary airport shuttle. Located within 600 meters of Henri Coanda Otopeni Airport from €39/night.

Carol Parc Hotel, Str. Aleea Suter 23-25. Boutique hotel near the Carol park, it has a great view of the city.

Epoque, Intrarea Aurora 17C. Boutique hotel at the end of a quiet street just west of Cișmigiu Gardens.

Hilton-Athenee Palace, str. Episcopiei nr. 1-3. Typical 5 star Hilton, nice coffee shop, in the summer pretty garden terrasse at the moment under renovation, near Atheneum.

Howard Johnson Grand Plaza, Calea Dorobanţilor nr. New hotel near Plata Romana, with expensive restaurants (Benihana) and Casino inside.

Intercontinental, Blvd. Nicolae Bălcescu nr. 4. Partly newly renovated, still renovation in progress, large rooms with balconies directly in the city center, friendly staff, good club floor and excellent club lounge in 22nd floor. A good place.

JW Marriott Bucharest Grand, Calea 13 Septembrie nr. Large hotel behind the Parliament building. All typical amenities, not ultra central, but still centrally located.

Hotel Opera, str. Brezoianu nr. 37.

Parliament Hotel, strada Izvor nr. 106. designer hotel,close to Marriott and Parliament building

Phoenicia Grand Hotel, strada Alexandru Serbanescu 87. checkin: 14.00; checkout: 12.00. Deluxe hotel, in the north area of the town

Radisson Blu Hotel, Calea Victoriei No. 63-81. checkin: 15:00; checkout: 12:00. Recently nominated as the Global Hotel of the Year 2010, this hotel is a landmark of great architecture and design. Almost permanently no.1 on Trip Advisor. €100-150.

Rin Grand Hotel, str. Vitan Barzesti 7D. checkin: 14.00; checkout: 12.00. One of the biggest hotels in Bucharest.

Mercure Bucharest City Center, Str.George Enescu 15 - 17A. The first Mercure hotel in Romania, opened in 2014.

Security

Bucharest's crime rate is rather low in comparison to other European capital cities, with the number of total offenses declining by 51% between 2000 and 2004, and by 7% between 2012 and 2013. The violent crime rate in Bucharest remains very low, with 11 murders and 983 other violent offenses taking place in 2007. Although violent crimes fell by 13% in 2013 compared to 2012, 19 murders 18 of which the suspects were arrested were recorded.

Although in the 2000s, a number of police crackdowns on organized crime gangs occurred, such as the Camataru clan, organized crime generally has little impact on public life. Petty crime, however, is more common, particularly in the form of pickpocketing, which occurs mainly on the city's public transport network.

Confidence tricks were common in the 1990s, especially in regards to tourists, but the frequency of these incidents has since declined. However, in general, theft was reduced by 13.6% in 2013 compared to 2012. Levels of crime are higher in the southern districts of the city, particularly in Ferentari, a socially disadvantaged area.

Although the presence of street children was a problem in Bucharest in the 1990s, their numbers have declined in recent years, now lying at or below the average of major European capital cities. A documentary called Children Underground depicted the life of Romanian street kids in 2001. An estimated 1,000 street children still inhabit the city, some of whom engage in petty crime and begging.

Buses are safe, but use your common sense, and put your things in internal pockets, just to be 100% sure. Taking taxis from areas frequented by foreign tourists may also pose a threat as some of these taxis may be operated by con men waiting for an unsuspecting victim. This is especially true for taxis around Gara de Nord where their associates actively try to lure you into such cars. If possible, avoid taking cabs from Gara de Nord unless you are familiar with the taxi operators there.

One rule of thumb is to go with older taxi drivers, since they will be more cautious and only try to get a bit extra out of you if they scam you, unlike young drivers who will claim a trip costs 3-5 times as much as it should, may claim the meter does not work, and may try intimidation tactics to make you pay.

The safest option to take a cab in Romania if you have a smart phone is to download the Speed Taxi, Meridian or Star Taxi application. It gives you instant access to reliable taxi companies and it operates by locating your exact position on the map and asking nearby free cabs if they want to take you to your destination.

You will receive instant messages from the taxi driver closest to where you are located, giving exact details of the price per km, the company that they are employed at, their full name and picture and also the number of minutes that takes them to get to you.

You can accept or decline the driver. After you have accepted you can track your cab on the map and once he/she has arrived you will get a message saying that. You can also chat with the taxi driver or call them directly through the appilcation. Once you are in the car just make sure the meter is on and feel free to enjoy their free wifi until your destination.

Only licensed taxis, with regular rates can register their services with this application so no worries about being scammed. Be sure to avoid the scam companies, Cris Taxi, Titan, Leone, Arsenal.

Prostitution is illegal as is soliciting. Be very mindful of this and do not accept any offers, especially from intermediaries that "know a place"pimps,taxi drivers,etc. because the girls are most often coerced and if you get caught you will be charged with a crime related to human trafficking which usually ends in a prison sentence. This also applies to the numerous erotic massage parlors that have opened in recent years.

Be very careful of unsolicited offers of help by passersby, even if they have good English. In particular if a stranger offers to accompany you to your hostel or hotel in a taxi to show you the way, decline immediately. They are often working in tandem with unlicensed taxi drivers who will attempt to scam you, drop you at incorrect and remote locations while demanding exorbitant payment, or who will simply steal your luggage.

A common scam is for a stranger to tell you that a place is not safe, and to direct you to an official government or student taxi, that is driven by an accomplice. They will then drive you a remote location, and demand high sums of money, possibly threatening you with violence if you don't comply.

Be also careful when boarding or leaving trains. Scamsters have been known to impersonate other passengers, and enter couchettes or sleeping booths on trains while the occupant politely waits outside, and then steal from luggage. When requesting assistance on boarding trains, deal only with the conductor and if anyone asks you for information, demand to see ID.

Although statistically, Bucharest is one of the safer capitals in Europe, violence is not an uncommon sight in certain areas, towards locals or towards foreign looking men - minorities, out of place individuals, etc. Nightclubs and bars, where heavy drinking occurs regularly, are especially prone to this, particularly those playing ethnic music. However, just avoiding any conflict, particularly with people who have the air of owning the place or a mafioso look would reduce your chances to almost zero.

Bucharest has perhaps the largest population of stray dogs for a city in eastern Europe. Although their numbers are gradually decreasing due to projects by the City Hall, they still remain a threat to safety and, at night, they tend to form packs which greatly increases their danger. Rabies vaccinations are recommended but not required, as there have been no rabies cases in Bucharest since 1979. Be extremely wary of them, and do not approach a stray dog if you are alone. It is perhaps best to walk around in a group or walk where you see other people.

Like most other big cities, walking around at night isn't safe in some parts of the city like Pantelimon, Ferentari, Giulesti, and the Gara de Nord area. If you must travel into these neighbourhoods, it's safer to take a taxi.

Gara de Nord is not particularly dangerous to walk in, but avoid suspicious-looking characters, and if you feel that you are being followed, just walk into the station. Gara de Nord and its surroundings are populated by homeless people and children. As heartbreaking as this problem is, it's best to avoid any contact, including offering money.

Ferentari and Rahova are gypsy enclaves in SW Bucharest and, while not as dangerous as it used to be, it's not advisable to walk there at night. In fact it is better to avoid it completely. For the traveler, there is nothing of interest there so you should have no reason to go there to begin with.

In the event that you do get caught in a police raid, do not attempt to bribe your way out of it with so many of them around as you might get into serious trouble. Police are more inclined to take bribes from locals than from foreigners so do not contribute to this phenomenon that has been plaguing this country for so many years. Police corruption has been vigorously fought in the past years, and it is not as generalized as it used to be in the 1990s. It's always better to walk on boulevards and avoid alleys and backstreets.

The crime rate is low, but a traveler must always be cautious. Violent attacks are very low, but if attacked just yell, "Ajutor!". It is very difficult for anyone to get away with violent crime because as everything is packed so closely together, any loud noise will attract attention.

This is truly a city that doesn't sleep. You'll find people out and around at all hours in most parts of the city. Police men are pretty friendly and most of the younger ones speak English, so you can ask directions. In the event that you do need to report a crime to the police, do not hesitate and proceed to the nearest police station. They will often help you to the best of their ability.

One must be incredibly careful as a pedestrian in Bucharest. Drivers are inconsiderate and often do not obey traffic signals. Never assume a car will stop for you at a red light--be vigilant at all times. This is definitely the biggest hazard in Bucharest, not so much in the daytime, when crowded streets make it impossible to drive cars at high speeds, but, at night, the streets clear out, a lot of illegal races taking place with reckless driving on main boulevards.

Hygiene And Health

Those with allergies may find Bucharest annoying in that it is both hot and very dusty in the summer, with temperatures easily exceeding 30 C in July and August, so bring whatever you might need to stay comfortable. Please note that during the summer, sun strokes and heat strokes can be very dangerous.

Pharmacies are usually open between 9 AM and 6 PM, but some will stay open through the night. In Romania, there are relatively few over-the-counter drugs available, but pharmacists are allowed to dispense limited quantities of some prescription drugs such as pain relief medicine for what they see as immediate needs. Bucharest has 6 designated emergency hospitals and a modern ambulance service, plus a large number of additional public and private hospitals, clinics, and dental practices.

Laundry And Dry Cleaning

This can be a small issue for any traveler going to Bucharest. If you want to wash your clothes there are curatatories that you'll find everywhere (dry cleaners) and a couple of laundromats. The cost to launder your clothes in one of these curatatories is pretty high,around 4 euros for a t-shirt, so the laundromat is the only solution about 2 euros for a washing machine.

There are three laundromats. Two are located in student campuses, one near Timpuri Noi, and one in the Crangasi area. The other one is located at Piata Unirii, behind the Horoscop Hotel and in front of the private clinic MedLife. One of the laundromats, WASHescu also has a convenient delivery service that operates in the evening and brings fresh laundry to your location anywhere in Bucharest:

WASHescu, Strada Cristian Pascal Nr. 25 - 27, Belvedere A3 - A4, Bucharest, Romania (9 minutes walking from the Crangasi subway station, easy to find on Google Maps. The laundromat is inside a student dorm but visible and easily accessible from the street. It has wifi, A/C and all staff is English speaking. Here you can get a complete service: wash, dry and iron. WASHescu is also the only laundromat that offers a delivery service from and to your home or hotel room starting from 5.5 euro/laundry bag.

Access the WASHescu Delivery English website from the main link above. 2 euros/washing machine with detergent included and 1.7 euros extra for a complete dry cycle.

Cleaning Services, Calea Crangasi Nr.54, Bucharest, Romania (at home/office.). 1 euros/mp.

Easywash Laundromat Concept, Bulevardul Gheorghe Sincai nr.16, Bucharest, Romania the subway station is very close of the building, connecting you with all the areas of the city. The laundromat is inside a student dorm. 2 euros/washing machine.

Fourwood Laundry, Calea Serban Voda nr.18-20, Bucharest, Romania Take the Subway to Piata Unirii, behind the Horoscop Hotel, in front of the private clinic MedLife. The laundromat consists of washing machines, dryers and iron with free Wi-Fi.

Unlike in other European cities, you won't get stamps in souvenir shops or kiosks, but only in post offices, that are almost all closed on weekends. If you're there for just a weekend, the only possibility to buy stamps for your postcards, is at the north station (Gara de Nord), where you'll find a post office that opens on Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00am to 1:00pm.

Snagov is a small town 20 km north of Bucharest, and a quick escape from the city for many locals, with its big lake and beaches. Visit the small monastery on the island in the middle of the lake, where the grave of Vlad III lies,better known as Dracula or Vlad The Impaler. Note that the route from the highway to the monastery is not very well signposted and quite hard to get to, and you will need to cross a pedestrian bridge
Mogoşoaia is yet another small town close to Bucharest (5 km), featuring a large late 17th century palace in the unique Brâncovenesc style.

Targovişte is located 78 km North-West of Romania's capital city and is easily accessible by train bus or minibus. It was the capital city of the South part of nowadays Romania called Wallachia or Romanians Country between early 15th century and 1714.

The main attractions of the city are the open-air museum "Princely Court", in fact, the remains of this medieval princely court from Targoviste from where the famous Vlad Țepeș (Dracula) ruled the country, the former Military Base were Ceauşescu spent his last days from 22end to 25th of December 1989 when he was trialed, convicted and executed in the same spot, and over 20 churches built most in the 17th and 18th century but few even as old as the 15th century.

Buşteni get a trip to our small town from the Prahova Valley by train, take the Gondola lift and see the Omu mountain, The Babele or the famous Natural-Made Sphinx.

Sinaia is easily seen as a day trip from Bucharest taking the train is the recommended option. Do not miss the beautiful Peleş Castle.
Bucharest is one of the starting points for trips inside Romania.

Budapest is 16 hours on two daily overnight trains leaving at 13:00 ("Dacia") and 17:30 ("Ister"), seat costs about 50EUR, bed 70EUR as of Sep.2011.

Constanta is 3.5 hours away at a cost of 55 RON. Buses depart every 45 minutes during the summer and some buses offers WiFi-connection. The station is located near Gara de Nord at the intersection of Strada Mircea Vulcanescu & Bulevardul Dinicu Golescu.

Sofia is about 11 hours by Train. There is a Train leaving Gara de Nord at 23:15 for about 120RON for Seating and about 170RON for Courchette.
Istanbul is about 12 hours by Bus. There are several (direct) buses leaving every day, operated by Toros, Murat, Oz Ortadogu and Star. Tickets can be purchased for about 160RON one-way.




Tourism Observer