–by Angelina Morino, World Traveller–
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The capital of Romania, Bucharest, is the largest city and Romania’s financial centre. This concrete jungle is an intense mixture of New, Old and Balkan flavours. Just like their famous soups, Bucharest is a mixture of random ingredients but somehow they all infuse together to create something delicious and interesting.
What is there to do in Bucharest?
SEE THE SIGHTS!
If you find yourself in Bucharest you MUST see the Parliament, although you would certainly be hard pressed to miss it. Lonely Planet sums is up quite nicely – the world’s second-largest building (after the US Pentagon) and Ceauşescu’s most infamous creation. Built in 1984 (and still 10% unfinished), the building’s 12 storeys and 3100 rooms covers 330,000 sq metres – an estimated around €3.3 billion project.
What lonely Planet doesn’t quite mention is the extreme extent of genocide Ceauşescu inflicted on his own people to enable him to build such an enormous extension of his ego.
Triumphal Arch address- Şos Kiseleff Floreasca
Standing at a modest 11 metres tall, the Triumphal Arch of Bucharest was built in 1935 to celebrate the reunifications of Romania which took place in 1918. (Its viewing platform is closed to public)
Princess Bălaşa Church
Located in the Historic Quarter, the Princess Bălaşa Church is a stunning church that managed to survive the 1980’s demolition. Originally a timber church built in 1744 and destroyed only to be replaced by a stone church in 1751. The second church was destroyed by an earthquake and a third church was built in 1838-42, that too was damaged by floods and replaced by a fourth church in 1881-1885.
Piaţa Charles de Gaulle
The centre of Bucharest’s wealthiest areas, Piata (pronounced ‘piazza’) See how the big dogs play.
Cișmigiu Gardens address – Bulveradul Regina Elisabeta
A public park near the centre of Bucharest, built in 1847, a great place to stop, rest and enjoy nature in the middle of a busy city.
Like most Eastern Euro countries, food is certainly a big deal and there simply is no reason anyone should be counting calories! Romanian food is hearty, large and delicious. Lots of meats, soups and more desserts than anyone could possibly consume in a lifetime. The ‘Old Town’ is teeming with restaurants and cafes and the decision to decide where to settle and enjoy a meal is difficult with so much to offer! With a wide variety of cuisine styles, there is something here to satisfy even the fussiest of tongues. So, pull up a chair order a drink, enjoy and watch the world go by.
You must try the following delicious delights!
Goulash a thick hearty stewy soup with plenty of vegetable and usually beef- (slightly more Hungarian but sharing is caring!), Mamaliga is a porridge made out of yellow maize – very similar to polenta, zacusca is a traditional spread popular on toast at breakfast time, made from vegetables predominantly tomato, eggplant and capsicum, savarina is a delicious Moorish sponge cake drenched in rum, ciorba a clear vegetable soup and if you are feeling adventurous try some ciorba de burta is a clear vegetable soup with tripe, Sarmale – rice and chicken wrapped in vine leaves. OH! Don’t forget the Boiled Wine.
Arcade cafe has a huge list of both food and drinks, here is something here to suit everyone. The menu is bulging with ever conceivable variation of meat, salad, pasta and thats not even mentioning dessert! Plenty of cocktails, vino and beer – grab a seat, satisfy your appetite and whet your whistle!
The following link is a great comprehensive list of places to go whether it be for breakfast, lunch, dinner or stumbling between venues in the wee hours of the morning. Personally seeing the insides of most of the suggestions, I would highly recommend Grand Cafe Van Gogh (sorry for the massive link but its the translated version!) & Caru Cu Bere
Alcohol is never in shortage no matter where you are. Romanians are always up for a party!
Bamboo 50 Tuzla street
The biggest nightclub in Bucharest. Romania’s version of a Miami Nightclub.
Control Club No. 4 Constantine Miller street
A great speakeasy a tad tricky to find, but the fantastic cocktails are worth the search!
Here are some more party venues to get down and dirty.
Go to www.hostelworld.com or www. for the best sleeping options.
If you have a few extra dollars, the Marriott Hotel offers prestige accommodation with an incredible buffet breakfast.
Bucharest is a booming city with the fusion of new meets old coming together in unity. A busy city offering a cosmopolitan lifestyle within the structures of old world architecture. There is certainly something here for people from all walks of life, whether it be to appreciate the rich cultural history, sample local fare or wake up bleary eyed with a sore head, Bucharest has you covered!
With a career spanning Design, Aviation and now Health & Fitness, Angelina is never satisfied sitting still. When she isn’t squirreling away at another zany idea she is trekking the globe on the pursuit for the path less traveled …
Visit Angelina’s store The Haus of Health
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