How to Spend a Day or Two in Bucharest

Romania

Published on 10 May 2023

As explained in my post Bucharest Bus Controllers and Squashed Bananas, we didn’t have the best first impression of Romania because of Bucharest. Now that’s not to say that Bucharest is bad: it’s not. It just wasn’t our favourite place, and this bad experience definitely tainted our perception. However, there were many things that we did like – notably the restaurants, walking tour and architecture. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend for you to visit Romania for Bucharest, you will likely travel through at some point if you’re heading to Romania. Whether you’re flying into the country to visit Transylvania or heading across the border by train or bus into Bulgaria, chances are you’re going through Bucharest.

So, let’s say you arrive into Bucharest, you’re booked onto a night bus this evening or maybe tomorrow; how should you fill a day or two?

Bizarre Mix of Architecture, Bucharest

Mix of old and new

Concrete Bucharest

High rise from communist times

Book Yourself on a Free Walking Tour or Two

Bucharest is a large city and so has two different walking tours, both run by Walkabout Free Tours, that target different areas. The ‘From Monarchy to Communism’ tour is a really interesting one, and our guide, Elena, was knowledgeable and hilarious. It lasts about two and a half hours and starts at 3pm.

Pasajul Englez (The English Passage)

Revolution Square

Marvel at the Grand Architecture

Bucharest really hassome huge and imposing buildings, and we had great fun just wandering and taking it all in. From the stark, grey concrete of communism, to the fanciness of Neo-classical and Gothic, to modernism. There is a little bit of everything in a contrasting mash-up of flavours. Make sure you head over to the Palace of Parliament to see the world’s heaviest building. It has a dark history so join the waking tour to learn more about it. Or you can book a tour of the palace.

Grand Architecture of Bucharest

Gringott’s?

Keep an Eye out for Street Art

We found some great street art. We used this map to point us in the right direction, but are not sure of the owner of it. Bucharest Street Art Map

Parrot Street Art

Parrot electrical box

Colourful Street Art

Bird artwork

Colourful Wall

Full wall mural

Head out to the Mountains

You can reach Busteni (Bucegi Mountains) within an hour and a half on the train from Gara de Nord. So, the train leaving at 08:00 will get you into Busteni by 09:30 which means you have plenty of time to hike and explore. Find all the hiking routes on Maps.me. Watch out for bears!

Bucharest to Busteni Train

Busteni train station

Busteni

Mountain view from town

Mountains of Busteni

Bucegi Mountains

Gorge Yourself on a Variety of Cuisines

We went to a load of restaurants in Bucharest but didn’t eat much Romanian food because we got too excited about the huge variety of cuisines available. By this point, we had been on the road for three months and had only really been able to find Balkan food the whole way.

Beijing Garden

A Chinese restaurant (pretty sure you’ve guessed that already) where we ate for Chris’ 30th birthday! The food is delicious and the portions are huge. We had mapo tofu, spicy fried green beans and a mushroom chow mein between us. We are big eaters (trust me) and we couldn’t finish it all. Takeaway box, please!

Beijing Garden Restaurant, Bucharest

Happy place

Mapo Tofu

Hefty portion of mapo tofu

Baba

An Indian takeaway that also has some seating inside. This is good Indian food. We were walking up to Gara de Nord to book our train tickets and spelt the spicy aromas wafting down the street. Our eyes lit up, so we quickly crossed the road to make a curry pit stop. We had the mushroom curry, Bombay aloo and garlic nan. Super punchy flavours at small prices.

Baba Indian, Bucharest

Plenty of choice

Restaurant Amarin

An Iraqi restaurant with a beautifully decorated inside seating area as well as a cute outside lounge area. We had falafel, salad, hummus and bread and it was all really good.

Iraqi Meal, Bucharest

All the super food

Sublimmme

This is a fully vegan restaurant that serves really tasty stuff. You’ll find meat-alternative burgers, seitan shawarma, buddha bowls, smoothie bowls and raw vegan treats.

Just Sublimmme

Seitan shawarma

Black Habit

This is a perfect brunch spot. We had avocado toast with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce with a nice macchiato. Lovely.

Brunch at the Black Habit, Bucharest

Brunching

French Bakery

A small place serving lunch, desserts and coffee. We ordered a quiche and a cake which were both great.

Quiche

Indulge in the Coffee Culture

Perfect Simplu Speciality Coffee

A cute coffee shop tucked away down a quiet road. Beautiful inside décor with a little bench out the front and good strong coffee.

Coffee

Coffee art

Perfect Simplu Cafe, Bucharest

Cafe minimalism

Ted’s Coffee

A coffee chain that you will find all over Romania. They do a good flat white with non-dairy milk alternatives. They all have jazzy indoor seating areas.

Vibrant Wall at Ted's Coffee

Fancy background

Rainy coffee stop

Five to Go

Another coffee chain that you will find everywhere in Romania. Most coffees will cost you 5 RON and they’re take away. It’s all in the name. Decent coffee for a good price.

Have you been to Bucharest? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts, recommendations or questions.

Thanks for reading!

Like it? Save it!

krusevo p

Follow us on Instagram and Pinterest

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.