Top Attractions in Bucharest
Top Attractions in Bucharest
Bucharest is a pulsating city with a spirited ambition, great architectural styles, hipster coffee shops, artistic streets, vibrant festivities, fabulous summer parks and unbelievable cultural contrasts. Renowned for its architectural and cultural contrasts, Bucharest takes you through a beautiful journey of time from centuries old churches to monumental landmarks. Needless to say, there are plenty of things to do in Bucharest. Locals love culture, whether it is ballet, theater, music or contemporary art and the city attracts visitors from all over the world, especially during summer when it is full of colorful festivities. This Romanian capital continues to readdress itself by fusing its history with a modern identity and depicting a fascinating blend of architecture. Here are the 10 best places to visit in Bucharest.
Located on the northern side of the city and taking its name from the lake it surrounds, Herastrau is the largest park of Bucharest stretching on a surface of 110 hectares, out of which 74 hectares are filled by the Herastrau Lake. There are many cafés, restaurants, walking paths, tennis courts, an amusement park and a boat rental complex and inside the park. It is an ideal spot for relaxing walks and practising outdoor sports.
Palace of the Parliament:
Standing 84 meters above ground level on 12 floors, Palace of the Parliament is the world's second-largest administrative building (after the Pentagon). Originally designed by a young architect Anca Petrescu, who was just 28 at the time to accommodate almost all of the apparatus of the communist state, the building today houses the Romanian parliament, a conference center and Romania’s National Museum of Contemporary Art. Note: Entry is by guided tour only (book in advance).
Built between 1886 and 1888, the exquisite Romanian Athenaeum is a concert hall in the center of the city and a major landmark of the Romanian capital city. It features scenes from the country's history on the interior fresco inside the Big Hall and is a symbolic edifice for the Romanian culture and exemplary architecture. It is one of the top attractions in Bucharest.
The Arch of Triumph:
Also known as Arcul de Triumf, the Arch of Triumph was built in 1936 following plans of the architect Petre Antonescu. The current arch has a height of 27 meters and the sculptures decorating the facades were known to be created by famous Romanian sculptors like Ion Jalea and Dimitrie Paciurea listing itself in the list of major attractions of the city. On the occasion of the Romanian National Day, military parades are held beneath the arch.
Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History:
One of Romania's best natural history museums, the Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History is one of the oldest research institutions in the field of biodiversity and public education and is a must-visit place in Bucharest. The major highlights of the museum are the mineralogical, zoological and paleontological collections, a dinosaur fossil and an extensive butterfly collection. Presently, the museum comprises of about 2 million exhibits and welcomes thousands of visitors annually.
Tineretului Park is a picture-perfect park in the city that welcomes joggers with its free space, off-road trails for mountain biking, cycling, and casual strolling. The park also features several restaurants and cafés as well as the largest multi-purpose hall, Sala Polivalentă. It is the best place to visit on a sunny weekend and has activities suitable for just about anyone. Families can have a picnic under the brick-built tents, children can have fun at the children's Mini-town or take a mini train ride around the park.
Bucharest Botanical Garden and Museum:
Located in the Cotroceni neighborhood of Bucharest, the Botanical Garden manages to create its own bubble of fresh air and amazing flower perfumes. It also has a gorgeous botanical museum with all sorts of seeds, dried plants and stuffed animals inherited from the Romanian scientists who lived here during the beginning of the 20th century.
Cismigiu Lake Park:
Cismigiu is the oldest garden and undoubtedly one of the top tourist sights in Bucharest. Enjoying a central location in the city, the park stretches on a surface of 17 hectares and is a haven of lawns, trees, flowers and lakes. The lake is known to be formed from an old bifurcation of the Dâmbovița river and has a length of 1.3 kilometers, a width of 50 meters and a depth of 1–2 meters. During winters, the lake is dried artificially and a skate park is organized on the lake bed, whereas during summers, one can explore the lake on rowing boats.
Also known as Titan Park or IOR Park, Parcul Alexandru is one of the largest parks in Bucharest stretching on an area of 85 hectares. A considerable area of the park is filled by the Titan Lake which, together with its 5 islands, is collectively named as Pensioners' Island or Drowned Peoples' Island and is a major attraction of the park. The park is complemented by a plethora of cafés, bars, sports facilities as well as an artesian well, a waterfall and a church dedicated to the Pentecost.
Museum of the Romanian Peasant:
If you wish to know the capital of Romania in its true cultural depths, the Museum of the Romanian Peasant is a must-visit attraction. The museum houses the richest folk art collection in the country with more than 90,000 artefacts, 18,000 items in the pottery collection and approximately 20,000 traditional folk costumes. Visitors are also allowed to buy regional handicrafts and textiles from the museum's extensive gift shop.