Bucharest

About Bucharest

Bucharest, the capital of Romania, is the largest city and the main political, administrative, economic, financial, banking, educational, scientific and cultural center of the country.

It is located in the SE of Romania, at an altitude of 60-90 m, on the rivers Dambovita and Colentina, at latitude  44 ° 25’50 ” North (as Belgrade, Geneva, Bordeaux, Minneapolis) and longitude 26 ° 06’50” East (like Helsinki or Johannesburg). It is also located about 60 km far from the Danube, 100 km far from the Carpathians Mountains and 250 km far from the Black Sea. The city is divided into six administrative urban areas and measures about 22 km between the northern and the southern extremities and 20 km between the eastern and western extremities.

As the largest city of Romania, with a population of over 2.3 million inhabitants, Bucharest is full of green areas, parks and lakes such as: Herastrau Park, Cişmigiu Garden, Carol Park, Bordei Park, Icon’s and Ioanid Parks; the main hydrographic artery that runs through Bucharest is Dambovita river.

Although many areas of Bucharest were demolished in the Communist period, to make way for  the monocolor neighborhoods that had the same architecture, it still retains the old charm that attracted tourists after the First World War (1914-1918), when it  was called “Little Paris” due to the brightness of its cultural life and its social atmosphere and thanks to its architecture, it was becoming one of the most beautiful European capitals.

Surrounded by wide avenues, Ceausescu’s megalomaniacal Palace of Parliament sprawls in the south. The majestic Romanian Athenaeum music hall and the world-class National Art Museum cluster just north of the old quarter. Follow the tree-lined Kiseleff boulevard to the Arcul de Triumf. You must also visit the historical center of Bucharest, a place still caught in the time trap, which features a contrast between past and present that will surely astonish you.

Today the city is a mix of old and new, a mix of traditional and modern, East and West, which gives the first appearance of an eclectic city but the neoclassical style is showing originality and charm.

Arrive in March when Romanians celebrate the coming of the spring by handing a Martisor (a brooch with a red an d white thread attached to it) to every woman or girl they know. Also is perfect if you arrive in May for music and theatre spectacle like Europe Fest and B-FIT in the STREET (Street Theatre Festival), in June for the Street Music Festival Bucharest Music Film Festival when troubadours roam the city. Watch professional tennis at the BCR Open Romania, discover the best in domestic design at the International Furniture Fair, celebrate Bucharest City Days or relax and enjoy the music of some world’s finest musicians at The George Enescu Festival in September. Find a special Christmas present when local artists present hand-made pottery at the Winter Gifts Festival in December.

 


 

Useful Information:

  • Safe: Bucharest is a safe city, the crime rate is much lower than many of the European capitals. For emergencies, call 112.
  • Money: Romania’s currency is LEU, meaning 100 BANI. The safest places to change money are banks for currency, exchange offices may charge a fee (not all of them).
  • Health: If you have health problems, Bucharest hospitals are more than adequate but it is recommended that every tourist should his own health insurance.
  • Transportation: Public transportation includes an extensive system of buses, trolleybuses, trams and metro lines. Cabs represent a problem for tourists because there are two types of taxi drivers in Bucharest: Those who are  individually licensed and practice high prices, and taxi companies with prices between1.4 lei / km – 3.9 lei/km. We recommend you avoid taxi cars that don’t show any company name, phone number and price.
  • Weather: Take a hat and sunscreen in the summer, when temperatures easily reach 30°C or more. Pack gloves in winter, when things can get chilly (+10C to -10C). July and August are the hottest months, February the coldest. The best time to visit is spring or autumn, when conditions are pleasant.
  • Electricity: 230V AC, 50 Hz, two-pin plugs are standard.
  • Dialling Code: +40 (national), (0) 21 (Bucharest).
  • GMT: +2 (+1 in summertime).