Once known as the “Paris of the east” Romania’s capital Bucharest is a fascinating mix of Art Nouveau, imposing municipal buildings, ancient churches and leafy parks, all with a cool, cosmopolitan vibe. It even has its own Arc de Triomphe.
Bucharest has long been overshadowed by its neighbour Budapest, but the city is stepping out of the shadows to become one of Europe’s most popular destinations. Start your day with breakfast and a strong coffee at Pukka Tukka, the country’s first organic café. A short walk away is the National Museum of Art housed inside the Royal Palace. The museum is split into two galleries – one for national art and one for European masters. Pieces by Rubens, Rodin and Monet and included in the stunning collection.
After lunch in one of Bucharest’s hip cafes explore the vibrant Old Town (Lipscani) which is currently undergoing a massive regeneration project. Pop into one establishment that has been transformed into one of the world’s coolest bookshops Carturesti Carusel. Take some time out to explore the tiny Stavropoleos Church built in the “Brancovenesc” style. If you want a break from the city, head for the Cismigiu Gardens, the oldest and largest park in central Bucharest where you can people watch around the boating lake.
Bucharest is known for its nightlife so make sure you check out some of the popular restaurants including Caru’ cu Bere which translates as “beer cart”. The clientele is a mix of tourists and locals, all attracted by the authentic Romanian dishes like mittitei (grilled spiced sausage) and tochitura (pork stew). Learn more about Romanian wine at one of the several new wine bars around the old town or finish of your evening in a club or lively outdoor terrace.
* prices based on cheapest quotes made in Skyscanner.net throughout 2018