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Romanian legend tells that Bucharest was founded on the banks of the Dambovita River by a shepherd named Bucur, whose name means “joy”. By playing the flute, he amazed the people, and his wine from nearby vineyards was very popular among the local traders, who gave his name to the place.
As one of Europe’s most up-and-coming destinations, Bucharest has had to react quickly to its newfound status. As a result, there is a bevy of recently opened venues to eat, drink, shop, club and sleep. Standards are high and local residents have come to expect only the best.
From Piaţa Universitatii, most sights of interest are easily accessible. The nearby Calea Victoriei is a great starting point for shopping. These two landmarks constitute the central Bucharest area where many of the most well-known restaurants and bars are situated. Walking in this part of the city is the best way to see Bucharest quickly, but do not be afraid to venture further north, east and west to discover many more treasures.
Wander the tree-lined streets, take in the authentic folk art and sample a range of international cuisines. Whether you want traditional Romania or contemporary city life — come and find it all before the rest of the world does.
Bucharest boasts many beautiful monuments and landmarks, the most prominent being the Palace of Parliament — an imposing structure that now houses, among other things, one of the city's best museums: The National Museum of Contemporary Art. Other museums worth visiting are the Museum of the Romanian Peasant and the National Art Museum, housed in the old royal palace. Alternatively, enjoy the vast green spaces the city has to offer, like the gorgeous Parcul Carol, or wander around the charming old town.
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Bucharest offers a fantastic selection of international cuisine, including French, Italian, Japanese and much more, though sampling local fare should be your top priority. Traditional restaurants are inspiring and offer top-notch food in lively surroundings. Here are a few international and local choices.
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Bucharest has developed a varied and sophisticated café scene, absorbing influences from around the world in terms of coffee production and preparation, as well as decor and ambience. The city's wonderful coffee can and should be accompanied by a fresh pastry or a light snack, both of which are done so well in Bucharest.
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Bucharest’s bars are scattered around the city and searching for the best venues is all part of the fun. Here you will find cosy pubs, chic lounges and trendy bars that all add to the city’s nightclub scene. There are enough top nightspots here to cater to everyone’s taste, whether you want to dance the night away or chill out in one of the more mellow venues.
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Bucharest, a hidden gem for fashion enthusiasts, rivals the likes of Paris, Milan and London with its exquisite shopping scene. However, the city's true charm unfolds in its treasure trove of local offerings. Venture into a world of unique Romanian handicrafts, quaint knick-knack shops and intriguing antique stores, each offering a glimpse into Romania's rich heritage. From relics of the Communist era to authentic souvenirs, Bucharest's shopping experience is a delightful journey through history and culture.
Henri Coandă International Airport (OTP)
Bucharest is served by two airports: Henri Coandă International Airport (OTP) and Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (BBU). The Henri Coandă International Airport is located approximately 17 kilometres from the city centre of Bucharest and the journey takes about 40 minutes. Most international and domestic flights leave regularly from here.
Trains connect the airport and the Bucharest North Railway Station. The trains depart every 40 minutes and the trip takes 20 minutes. You can also catch the 100 Express line. Bus 100 connects the airport and the city centre. By day, the bus leaves every 15 minutes and every 30 minutes at night. You can find the buses in front of the Arrivals Terminal and the Departures Terminal.
Taxis can be ordered on the touch screen in the Arrivals Terminal.
Address: Aeroportul Internațional Henri Coandă București, Bucharest
Phone: +40 21 204 1000
Bucharest Băneasa — Aurel Vlaicu International Airport (BBU)
Bucharest Băneasa Airport (BBU) is located 8 kilometres north of the city centre, and the journey takes approximately 20 minutes. It mainly serves charter flights for package holidays and domestic flights.
To get to and from the airport you can catch buses 131, 335, 148, 112 and 301. You can also catch tram number 5 and the 100 Express line.
Address: Aeroportul Internaţional București Băneasa Aurel Vlaicu, Bucharest
Phone: +40 21 230 56 07
You can easily walk or bike around the city, but you can also take the bus, tram, trolleybus or metro around Bucharest. With these forms of public transport you can get around the city safely and efficiently.
Bus, tram and trolleybus tickets can be purchased at any RATB kiosk. Punch your ticket in the machine board to avoid a fine. Transport runs from 4:30 am to 11 pm. Night busses are available after that.
Bucharest’s metro has five lines. Trains run every 5-15 minutes, every 15-20 off-peak, from 5:30 am to 11 pm. Sit at the front of trains to avoid missing station signs which are not clearly signposted. The metro is good for travelling longer distances.
Tickets can be used on all means of transportation except the express buses.
Always make sure your taxi has a meter to avoid unnecessarily high fares. Once this has been established, you are in for a comfortable and inexpensive ride. Just hail a taxi down from the side of the street.
Uber, Bolt and Yango ridesharing apps work in Bucharest, too.
Stamps can be bought at the post offices that are usually open from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm during the weekdays and from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on Saturday. The central office of Poșta Română is located on Strada Matei Millo.
Address: Strada Matei Millo 12, București
Phone: +40 21 313 7459
Pharmacies in central Bucharest are well stocked and several of them stay open late.
Address: Farmacia Dr. Max, Strada Locotenent Aviator Radu Beller 3-7, București
Phone: +40 799 106 538
Country code: +40
Area code: 21
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