Known for its wide, tree-lined boulevards, glorious Belle Epoque buildings and a reputation for the high life, Bucharest - Romania’s capital was once known as the “Little Paris.”
Romanian legend has it that the city of Bucharest was founded by a shepherd named “Bucur”, whose name means “joy”. His flute playing reportedly dazzled the locals and his hearty wine from nearby vineyards endeared him to the local traders, who gave his name to the place.
Remodeled, in the late 19th century, by French and French-trained architects Bucharest even features a Triumphal Arch on the elegant Soseaua Kiseleff, a boulevard longer that Paris’ famed Champs-Elysees.
Bucharest’s cosmopolitan days were interrupted by the Communist rule. Many years after the overthrown of the communist regime, the “House of the People” - the world’s second largest building after the US Pentagon - reminds Romanians of the communist years. Only Romanian materials and products were used - local marble, cherry and walnut paneling, crystal chandeliers, specially commissioned hand-woven tapestries, carpets and draperies - to build what supposed to be the headquarters of Romania’s last communist leader. Now renamed the Palace of Parliament, this magnificent building of 1,000 rooms reflects the work of the country’s best architects and artisans.
Today, Bucharest - the capital and largest city of Romania - is experiencing renewed vigor. The city reflects an interesting heritage of mixed cultures influenced by: the old Romanian aristocracy educated in France, the German King Carol I, and the communist society.
City of Bucharest - 88 sq.miles (228 sq. km)
Bucharest Metropolitan area - 587 sq. miles (1521 sq. km)
190-295 ft. (55-90 m)
2.1 milion (2002)
OTOPENI International Airport, Bucharest - 12 miles from downtown Bucharest
Scheduled daily flights to / from Romania’s main cities.
scheduled flights to / from main cities in Europe, North America and Asia.
Otopeni Airport Information:
Telephone (+4) 021 230 00 22 / 230 00 42 / 204 10 00
Public transportation from Otopeni airport to downtown:
Train (operated by CFR – the Romanian National Railway Company) – to North Train Station
The line is not finished yet, so the link with the railway station is made via a bus departing from in front the domestic arrivals terminal, which connects with a modern train in a station nearby. The ticket is valid for the whole trip to the North Train Station. Duration: 40 minutes.
Bucharest Bus #783 (to the Unirii Square), #780 (to the North Train Station)
Departs from the arrivals terminal every 15-20 minutes (Monday - Friday) and every half hour in weekends. The two-trip magnetic cards (there are no single trip cards) can be purchased at the card desk in the bus station and cost 7 RON (about $2.20). The magnetic card must be validated using the green machine located in the front of the bus which will print on the card the date and time of the validation. If there are two of you using one card, you have to validate it twice. Otherwise, you risk being fined by the ticket inspectors which often operate on the 783 route and enjoy giving fines especially to foreign passengers. In case you’re traveling by yourself the one two-trip magnetic card will suit you for the trip to downtown and then back to the airport.
Bucharest Shuttle Bus
$5.00 to $10.00 (shuttle busses can accommodate 6 to 40 passengers).
Bucharest Sky Services
From arrivals hall, offers 24 hour shuttle bus and limousine transfer as well as 3 to 6 hours city tours.
Telephone: (+4) 021 204 10 02
Fax: 201 48 40
Taxi - $20.00 (average), prices vary.
Limousine - $30.00 (average).
More information about transportation from Bucharest - Otopeni airport to downtown Bucharest:
BANEASA Airport, Bucharest - 6 miles from downtown Bucharest
Scheduled flights to/ from Romania, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, UK, Ireland, Greece, Switzerland, the Netherlands
Baneasa Airport Information:
Telephone: (+4) 021 232 00 20 / 232 00 22
Public transportation from Otopeni airport to downtown:
Bucharest Bus #131 to downtown Bucharest
Bucharest Bus #205 to the main train station (Gara de Nord)
Taxi - $10.00 (average)
Train stations in Bucharest
Gara de Nord (North Train Station)
Piata Garii de Nord (3 miles from downtown)
All international and most InterCity / long distance domestic routes.
Daily connections to / from Romania’s main cities.
Daily connections to / from the main cities in the region: Paris, Munich, Vienna, Berlin, Budapest, Prague, Bratislava, Venice, Sofia, Belgrade, Zagreb, Ljubljana, Istanbul, Thessaloniki, Athens, Moscow, Kishinev, Kyiv, Minsk
Telephone: (+4) 021 9521
Train ticket reservation offices:
Agentia CFR (Train Travel Agency)
Bucharest 1, Str. Domnita Anastasia 10-14
Telephone: (+4) 021 313 26 44 / 314 55 28
Agentia de Voiaj (Train Travel Agency)
Calea Grivitei 139, near North Train Station (Gara de Nord)
Bucharest 3, 44 bis I. C. Bratianu Bd.
Telephone: (+4) 021 311 08 57
Public Transportation in Bucharest
Bucharest has a complex city transit system, which combines buses, trolleybuses, trams and subways. The transit system covers virtually all areas of the city. It tends to be crowded during peak hours (6:00 AM to 8:30 AM and 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM).
More information on public transportation in Bucharest:
Taxi companies in Bucharest
Cris TAXI / (+4) 021 9461
Aris TAXI / (+4) 021 9469
Meridian TAXI / (+4) 021 9888 / 021 9444
Taxi 2000 / (+4) 021 9494
Speed TAXI / (+4) 021 9477
Main attractions in Bucharest
Bucharest has 37 museums, 22 theaters, opera houses and concert halls, 18 art galleries, lots of libraries and bookstores.
Sights: Architecture of the Historic Center: Calea Victoriei, Piata Palatului, Bulevardul Bratianu, Bulevardul Regina Elisabeta, Strada Lispcani, Piata Romana, Piata Victoriei, Bulevardul Aviatorilor, Soseaua Kiseleff, Bulevardul Dacia, Muzeul Satului (Village Museum), Catedrala Patriarhala, Cismigiu (Park).
For suggested walks through Bucharest please check:
(Bucharest - City Walks)
Museums in Bucharest
The National Art Museum in Bucharest offers a collection of 70,000 works divided into two major sections. Its “National Gallery” features the work of major Romanian artists, including Brancusi, Grigorescu, Amman and Andrescu, while its “World Gallery” presents works by Western masters such as Rembrandt, Rubens, El Greco, Renoir and Cezanne.
Bucharest’s Village Museum of Folk Art, about one square mile in size, is a fascinating outdoor museum that displays more than 300 wooden and stone buildings that reflect the history and diversity of Romania’s rural architecture and design from all regions of the country.
The History Museum of Romania, housed in what was once Bucharest’s main post office, presents a collection of artifacts adn jewelry that date from prehistoric to modern times.
Among other noteworthy museums in Bucharest are the Romanian Peasant Museum, with its collection of folkloric agricultural tools, household appliances, fabrics and apparel, The Museum of Art Collections, which presents major works by Romanian and foreign artists from a number of private collections, The Natural History Museum, The George Enescu Museum in memory of the famed Romanian composer (1881-1995), and the Astronomic Observatory.
Major museums in Bucharest include: National Museum of Art, Art Collections Museum, Museum of the City if Bucharest, National History Museum, Cotroceni Palace Museum, City Museum of Astronomy, National Military Museum, Minovici Museum of Ancient Western Arts, Village Museum, Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Natural History Museum, Museum of the Romanian Music, History Museum of the Jewish Comunity, Museum of the Armenian Community.
More information on museums:
museum.ro National Museum of Art/Bucharest
Arts / Shows in Bucharest
National Philharmonic, Opera House, Opereta House, National Drama Theater, Marionette Theater, Nottara Drama Theater, Odeon Drama, Jewish Theater, National Circus House.
www.sapteseri.ro - Bucharest Shows and Events Listing
www.operanb.ro - National Opera Bucharest
Nearby Attractions in Bucharest
Baneasa Forest and Zoo
Day Trips around Bucharest
Snagov Lake and Snagov Monastery, the burilal place of Wallachia’s ruler Vlad the Impaler (20 miles)
Clock Museum in Ploiesti (45 miles)
City of Ruse in Bulgaria (50 miles)
Peles Castle in Sinaia (70 miles)
Monastery Curtea de Arges (85 miles)
Bran (Dracula) Castle in Bran ( 95 miles)
Local Cuisine in Bucharest
“Ciorba de Burta” (Tripe Soup)
“Mititei” (The “Wee Ones”); small skinless grilled sausages (made of a mix of minced pork, lamb and beef and spices.)
Bucharest Weather Forecast: [link] http://www.accuweather.com/en-us/ro/bucuresti/bucharest/quick-look.aspx
Bucharest Map: [link] www.salutbucuresti.ro