Bucharest, the Romanian capital: 10 things to see and do

Bucharest, the Romanian capital: 10 things to see and do

When visiting Romania, it is customary to dedicate a few days to the capital, Bucharest. A lot of tourists only want to stay one or two nights and then spend more time exploring Transylvania but in reality, there is no shortage of things to see in this city

It must be said that most parts of the city centre are pretty modern. However, the former communist governments have left visible traces that are still in evidence in the architecture of this Romanian city which has been the capital since 1659. However, there is no lack of interesting examples of buildings in the Art Nouveau style as well as splendid orthodox churches which date back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

Here is a list of the 10 things to visit during a stay in the city.

The Arch of Triumph

This was first built in 1878 when it was commissioned in honour of the conquering Romanian soldiers who were the victors in the War of Independence. It was subsequently rebuilt in 1922 and parts of it were replaced in 1936. From the top of the arch you can enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the city.

Calea Victoriei

Is the oldest and the most charming street in the Romanian capital. As you stroll along it, you will be able to admire some of the most beautiful buildings in the city.

Piata Revolutiei

This is the Square of the Revolution which is where Ceausescu, looking out from the balcony of the general headquarters of the Communist Party, witnessed with disbelief, the fall of his dictatorship on the 21st December, 1989.

The Royal Palace

Built between 1927 and 1937, this is a building in the neo-classical style which was inhabited by the Romanian royal family until the abolition of the monarchy which occurred in 1947. Today this is the seat of the Romanian National Museum of Art.

The Parliament Building

The second largest administrative building in the world after the Pentagon is located in Romania, in the country’s capital, Bucharest. This is the Parliament Building which was commissioned by the dictator, Nicolae Ceausescu, as the headquarters of his communist government and which today is the location of the Bucharest International Conference Centre and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The Romanian Athenaeum

Brought into being thanks to one of the largest fund-raising campaigns ever held in Romania, here in the capital you will find a concert hall that is known throughout the world for its exceptional acoustics. This is the Romanian Athenaeum which is the work of the French architect, Albert Galleron.

The Great Synagogue

Was built in the 19th century by Polish Jews who had emigrated to Bucharest and houses an exhibition that is dedicated to the Holocaust. The interior of the building, which has been meticulously restored, is really worth a visit.

The Stavropoleos Church

Dates back to 1724 and is the result of a marriage between byzantine and roman architecture. It is surrounded by a peaceful garden and its frescoes and icons make this a real gem that is worth seeing.

The Choral Temple

Amongst those that are still active, this is the main synagogue in Bucharest. In 1991 on the front of its facade, a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust was installed. Amongst the victims were some 400 thousand Romanian Jews.

The Cişmigiu Gardens

The Cişmigiu Gardens is one of the favourite places of the Romanian capital’s inhabitants. You can stroll along the shady tree-lined avenues or relax in a café or on the shores of the lake.