We thought that while we’re in Romania anyway, we should visit the capital city at least once. How can you have seen a country without seeing its capital?
So off we went. We booked our flight and accommodation about a week before we left, which is quite spontaneous in our eyes. A round trip was about €60 per person with Blue Air. I’m assuming that if you book even earlier, the flight will be way cheaper. Blue Air is known as a cheap airline, so would definitely recommend to book a flight with them if you want to travel by plane. By bus or car it’s about 5 hours and nobody has time for that.
Our trip described in one word would be: clueless. We haven’t planned anything beforehand and we didn’t plan anything while we were there either. This might be a good idea for the next time though, seeing as our accommodation was about 12 km from the city center and not a lot of cab drivers have heard of the place or street. Our first cab driver even looked at it in shock and said “what is this?” Even though the accommodation was really nice and spacious with an affordable prize, based on distance from the city center we would not recommend staying in this place. We either needed to take 2 metro’s and a bus to get there, or spend 30 lei on a cab. I would rather spend that money on food, or you know, a destination closer to the city center.
Based on our weekend, we would recommend three places to definitely not miss out on. First one is, what else, a restaurant. Caru cu Bere is located in the old city (which is definitely worth wandering around in as well) and has traditional Romanian cuisine. We heard of this place because of our cab driver, who said it was a popular destination for tourists. And we can see why. The prices, compared to other Romanian restaurants, are a bit higher but certainly doable. We paid about €25 for 2 meals and 2 drinks. You can get one entrée for that money back home. Keep in mind that this restaurant is quite busy. We came during lunch so they had space for us – all the way in the back that is – but if you want to go there during dinner time, book it in advance.
You can’t go to Bucharest without seeing the Palace of the Parliament. This thing is humongous. It is the largest parliament building in Europe and the second largest in the world. I don’t even know what they would use all the rooms for. They can probably house a small village in it seeing as it has 1100(!!!) rooms. You can go inside as well, but we didn’t – I bet I would get lost.
Unfortunately for our wallets, we love shopping. So when we saw that the AFI park mall had 4,5 out of 5 stars, we had to visit it. It was quite a hassle to get there, but we have not regretted any moment of it. Not only does it have a lot of shops and restaurants, it also has a playground for kids, and a climbing wall. After an exhausting day of shopping – and yes it is exhausting – who doesn’t want to climb a wall?
All in all we had a successful trip to Bucharest. We didn’t get the feeling we missed anything important, but I can imagine that some people might want to see more. When some friends asked what we saw during our stay I couldn’t even name the buildings. Bet they totally believed me that I went there. We took it very easy and did not feel the need to rush ourselves from one place to the other. But, there are a lot of museums there and guided tours, so this might float your boat more. Plus, you’ll actually be able to name the places you’ve been to.
- About an hour flight from Iasi to Bucharest (and back of course)
- Book with Blue Air and save some $$$
- Cabs are prone to ripping you off. They’ll name a price beforehand, and that’s when you know you shouldn’t go for it and look further. Keep going, nobody said it was easy.