Bucharest, Romania’s capital and largest city, is officially a budget travel destination after ranking 5th on a Forbes list for the best budget travel destinations for this year. It’s a city dotted with gorgeous Belle Epoch architecture and French-designed Art Nouveau buildings. It is also a place reminiscent of Communist rule. The present-day Bucharest is a prime party destination with a pulsating nightlife and cheap food. Bucharest is an eclectic mixture of the old and the new and you must not miss this lively city with its wonderfully mismatched architecture.
The Henry Coanda International Airport is well connected with all major European cities. The airport is located around 12 miles away from the city center and you can take a bus, train or taxi to reach your destination. Bucharest is notorious for taxi scams so avoid catching a cab from near the airport. Use a touch screen kiosk to call one and the standard rate is about 30-50 lei.
Bucharest has a plethora of accommodations available for tourists on all sorts of budgets. There are decadent luxury hotels if you’re looking to splurge, hipster hotspots for younger tourists, charming little B&Bs and budget hostels at dirt-cheap prices. Drive into the countryside and stay in affordable holiday homes. Go camping in Bucharest’s only campsite located away from the city center, near the airport.
The super cheap subway is the best option to get around the city on a budget. With four metro lines, it covers the city pretty thoroughly. Buses, trams and trolleybuses are all great options to get around and you can even take hop-on hop-off bus tours to take a dip into Romanian architecture. Find bike tours and city walks to roam around the city and get familiar with other tourists. You can also rent a car or hire a taxi if you want to.
There are a number of things to see and do in Bucharest so conserve your energy.
- Head to the Palace of the Parliament, a gigantic structure spanning twelve floors and three thousand one hundred rooms. Whether you are awestruck or you find it deplorable, you just can’t ignore it.
- Visit the Revolution Square, the scene of the Romanian Revolution of 1989 and look at the old headquarters of the Communists.
- The National Village Museum is a must visit to acquaint yourself with the indigenous architecture from all across Romania.
- The Royal Palace houses the National Art Museum which much like the rest of Bucharest, is home to art from both medieval and modern Romania.
- If you’re a book lover, a visit to Carturesti Carusel could be a life changing experience.
- Challenge yourself to take the Dracula tour and visit his grave in Snagov without losing your nerves.
Eat & Drink
Bucharest has a wide range of restaurants and bistros that specialize in French, Italian or Turkish cuisines. Pubs and Clubs stay open all night and form the nerve center of the party loving travel destination. Caru’ cu Bere in Old Town is a favorite beer haunt in a rich neo-gothic building. Visit Bordellos for a drink and cabaret in a building that used to be a 19th century brothel. Coffeeholics can find a good number of hipster coffee joints strewn across Bucharest.