Bucharest is the capital of Romania and it is a city full of contrasts where you can go from a wide Boulevard with monumental and modern buildings, to a street that could perfectly belong to the Europe of four decades ago. To understand this city you must understand something of its history and that of Romania. It is a very young country with only a century of existence and was the bastion of Europe when it came to avoiding the conquest and spread of the Ottoman Empire, it also suffered from world wars. It currently has incredible tourist potential and in this article we will guide you to discover the most important sites in the Romanian capital.
Bucharest Patriarchal Cathedral¶
In this cathedral is the seat where the patriarch of the Orthodox Church resides. The tranquility that it transmits is impressive, unlike many Catholic cathedrals and the place is located a few meters from one of the noisiest and largest avenues in the city. Around the cathedral there are a set of buildings but without taking away the prominence of the temple, yes, the buildings that surround it are all of the same color harmonizing the set and you will be able to observe that both the cathedral, the chapels to pray, the patriarchal palace and all their rites are very different from the Catholic ones. The iconography is totally flat and in the form of a mosaic and the candles in front of the religious images also exist, but outside the cathedral, it is worth living this completely different religious experience.
Unirii Square offers you a whole light and sound show at night through a large fountain that is located on the side of the square, being one of the most neuralgic points of the city next to Victoria Street, which is another of the great axes that articulate the city. In this square you can see the lights of large neon signs promoting commercial brands and besides being the largest in Bucharest, it is the intersection point between sectors 1, 2, 3 and 4. You should know that the city is divided in six sectors scattered around the Old town in a clockwise direction and it is the area where most of the bus routes for the entire city leave and it also has a metro stop.
The Old Town is impressive to see both during the day and at night, strolling through its photogenic streets is truly a delight!
The Stravopoleos Monastery is one of the true jewels of Bucharest, it is also located in the Old Town and is an Orthodox convent for nuns, just as the patriarchal cathedral is a haven of peace adjacent to one of the busiest streets in the center . The church was built in the Brâncovenesc style, which is like the Renaissance style of the Romanian version, but only the church remains of the original building, as the rest have been remodeled throughout history. The complex includes a 20th-century library, but inside the church you can see the beautiful cloister with its inner courtyard and its façade that stands out for its colors and neoclassical Byzantine frescoes.
The community of nuns have a routine worship where they renew old books, priestly clothes and icons and you can see the church choir singing Byzantine music.
The Macca-Vilacrosse passage has been changing its purpose over time, at first it was the Bucharest Stock Exchange, then it was the National Bank, then it was a hotel and finally it became a place of leisure for tourists. tourists, so that today it is an area of galleries since the mid-nineteenth century, where you can find a spectacular place full of cafes and restaurants, which you can visit both day and night.
Revolution Square is the site with the highest concentration of statues and buildings that will help you understand the recent history of Romania. Nicolae Ceaușescu gave his famous speeches from the balcony of the former Palace of Parliament, currently the seat of the Ministry of the Interior. The secret police building is another of the symbols that remain from the communist era and to remember this historical moment, there are two busts where one of them is cut in two and represent the leaders of historical parties that were imprisoned in the communist period . A monument is also erected in this square to remember the victims of the revolts in Romania in 1989.
Other prominent sites in the square include the Orthodox Church, the statue of King Carol I, the Romanian Art Museum, the University Library and the luxurious Athénée Palace hotel.
The Bucharest Athenaeum, due to its neoclassical style, is another of the buildings for which many people think that Bucharest is similar to a miniature Paris, although it is a place closed to the public, it is the headquarters of the Philharmonic Orchestra and if the day you decide knowing him they are rehearsing, you will not be able to enter. The recommendation is that you inform yourself beforehand so as not to coincide with the rehearsals and to be able to see its interior. It has a round floor plan, Roman elements, the lobby is made of Carrara marble, an auditorium whose dome is decorated with pictorial works and you can enjoy the beautiful views of the city from its terrace.
Arch of Triumph¶
The Arch of Triumph is a replica very similar to the one in Paris, but not only the arch but also the roundabout where it is located, since it is surrounded by large avenues. This arch has smaller dimensions than the one in the French capital, it is 27 meters high compared to the 50 meters of the one in Paris and with fewer statues that represent the battles won. The new and the old Romania are represented by two coats of arms and the arch was inaugurated in 1936.
Where to eat and go out at night in Bucharest¶
In the Romanian capital you can find many lively places to dine and have a cocktail, in the old town you will find endless options at reasonable prices, restaurants and bars, among which are the Sky Bar, El Fratelli which is the premium club in Bucharest or enjoy a Spritz where you can see the city from above, the Nomad is divided into several areas with different environments, where you can snack on salads, mini hamburgers, noodles, etc. and combine them with a good cocktail, a wine or a beer, while listening to good music in any of its environments.
Bucharest is a city full of contrasts in every way, with interesting buildings to discover, as well as its parks, cafes and bookstores full of life.