Bucharest is a hip and vibrant city that is rich in history and culture and the perfect spot for a long weekend getaway. We have created the perfect itinerary for how to spend 72 hours in Bucharest for you to maximise the most of your time in this cool city.
After a leisurely breakfast get acquainted with the city on one of the many free walking tours. Walking tours are a get way to get a layout of the city and some general background information about the history of the region you’re visiting.
For this trip, we used Walkabout Free Tour our guide was friendly and funny (in a well-practiced, dry sense of humour way). Our tour was around the main historical areas in the old city of Bucharest and it covered a brief rundown of Romania’s dark past. The tours are daily and completely free they work on the concept that you tip the guide at the end, depending on how much you think the tour was worth.
The tours leave daily 10.30 & 18.00 and lasts for a couple of hours.
Head to Hanu’ Lui Manuc to start your culinary journey with a fest of local Romanian fare. Set in a beautiful courtyard the al fresco dinning is always busy with locals and tourists. It can be hard choosing from the extensive menu and the wait staff aren’t particularly friendly or helpful. However, the food is definitely worth it! Don’t miss Papanasi – a Romanian dessert of fried doughnuts topped with a soft cheese (like ricotta) and jam.
Str. Francezâ 62-64
Tel +40730 18 86 53
Weekdays 9am – 12am, Weekends 9am -2am
After lunch take a tour of Casa Ceausescu also known as Primaverii Palace. This highly informative tour gives you a great background knowledge of the cruel leader Ceausescu and a tour of his Spring Palace. The lavish mansion that is Casa Ceausescu housed his immediate family and the opulent palace only uses the finest materials and extravagant fittings. It’s hard to digest when it was built during a time of hardship for the people of Romania.
Top tip: the only way to visit Casa Ceausescu is through a guided tour. Tours are offered in English, Romanian and on request French. TOURS MUST BE BOOKED 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE
Booking your tour:
Booking a tour is easy enough especially now they have an online booking service. Use either the online service or book via telephone: +40 213 180 989 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Bulevardul Primaverii nr.50
Tel +40 213 180 989
Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 5pm
Just a short walk from Casa Ceausescu is Herăstrău Park, take a stroll around the park, watching the locals participating in their afternoon walks and exercise rituals before stopping for an early dinner. Choose from one of the many chic restaurants located around the lake. We recommend checking out Biutiful by the Lake, this stunning restaurant is a floating terrace overlooking the lake. The modern food has a variety of options with an oriental twist.
It can get really busy especially on weekends so consider booking in advance.
7-9 Nordului Street
Tel +40 733 500 222
Monday 3pm – 2am
Tuesday – Sunday 12pm – 2am
Head back to the old town and soak in this busy pedestrian area and people watch at The Urbanist. A hip and funky cafe and bar where not only can you get a drink but if you’re so inclined you can get a haircut or shop for a range of lifestyle goods and clothing. The Urbanist has a great selection of drinks, friendly staff and it’s a prime location for people watching.
Strada Căldărari 3
Monday – Sunday 9.30am – 10pm
Today head out of the city on a day trip to visit one of the beautiful castles in the gorgeous countryside. We opted for a private driver as we wanted to take our time and didn’t want the time restraints of an organised tour.
Located just outside of the city is Snagov Monastery. Set on a small and beautiful island linked by a pedestrian bridge you will find a lone building which claims to be the burial place of Vlad Tepes (the inspiration behind Dracula). This cute monastery doesn’t take long to get around but the gorgeous orthodox interior is worth a glimpse, as are the pack of friendly stray dogs that seemingly guard it. There is a small entrance fee that you can either pay at the carpark or on entrance to the church and another small fee if you want to take photos.
Located in Sinaia a mountainous town in the foothills of Bucegi Mountains, is this popular castle complex. The outer buildings the old stables, hunting lodge and guard quarters are now souvenir shops, restaurants and a small bar and the grounds actually houses two castles.
The former summer palace of the Romanian Royal family, finished in 1883 after 10 years of construction the German new-Renaissance architecture is strikingly beautiful as are the 160 decorated rooms (well the few we saw). To visit the castle you must complete a guided tour, the tours are busy and it can be hard to hear the guide. During the tour you visit a few of the rooms on the lower level which include the cinema, smoking room and an armoury. For an additional fee you can extend the tour to the upper floors to visit the bedrooms.
On the grounds you can also find the smaller Pelisor Castle which features a furniture and glassware collection.
Str. Pelesului 2, Sinaia
Tel +40 244 310 918
Monday – closed (in winter, autumn & spring also closed on Tuesdays)
Tuesday – Sunday 9.15am – 5pm
Note: The castle is closed for the whole month of November for cleaning and restoration work.
Main tour – 45 minutes – 30 lei ($7.50USD)
Extended tour – 1 hour 15 minutes – 60 lei ($15USD)Str. Pelesului 2, Sinaia
Camera fee – 30 lei ($7.50USD) They monitor this very carefully
Filming fee – 60 lei ($15USD)
There is an option to add a final castle onto your day trip this is Bran Castle (we opted out of this castle as it adds a significant chunk of time onto the trip). Bran Castle is the castle often perceived to be the castle that belongs to Bram Stoker’s character, Dracula. While the castle in the story is entirely made up Bran castle is the only castle in Romania to fit the description in the story.
We opted to use Private Driver Romania to book our tour, this gave us the flexibility to decide on our route and take our time in each destination. We left our accommodation at 9am and returned around 6pm the same evening, to include Bran Castle you will need to depart around 7-8am and return around 9pm. The cost for the hire of a private vehicle was €160 divided between the four of us was €40 each not including a tip for the driver.
There are many day trips that offer different options, including trips that skip Peles and visit Brasov and Bran Castle. Peles Castle and Brasov are also accessible by train.
Take in the changing skyline with a pre-dinner drink at Linea / Closer to the Moon. This trendy bar has an excellent rooftop terrace as well as contemporary indoor restaurant. Linea has a fantastic drink selection and the pre-dinner snack we had was tasty yet reasonably priced.
Calea Victoriei nr. 17
+40 757 824 298
Weekdays 6pm – 2am
Weekends 6pm – 4am
For dinner head to the simply decorated Pâine si Vin which translates to bread and wine. This modern and light, restaurant serves a variety of pizzas and antipasto dishes, with a large selection of good wine. The fabulous ingredients are of the highest standard and are all locally sourced.
Strada Actor Ion Brezoianu 4
Weekdays 5pm – 11pm
Weekends 5pm – 12am
For your final morning take a stroll down down Calea Victoriei this historic street is one of the oldest and prettiest streets in Bucharest. Walking in this area will reveal while Bucharest was formally known as the Paris of the East showing you the cities finest architecture, cultural hot spots and museums.
Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of the many cafes found around Calea Victoriei.
Spend the afternoon exploring The Palace of Parliament. This monstrous building is the the current Parliament of Romania and the second largest administrative building in the world. Commisioned by Nicolae Ceausescu the building took thirteen years to build and the tour shows off some of the most opulent rooms and explains the hardships the people were facing while money was poured in to building this extravagant palace.
Booking your tour: To book a tour for 1 to 9 people you can reserve your place by phone on + 40 733 558 102 or +40 733 558 103. For groups larger than 10+ you can book via email email@example.com. ALL TOURS MUST BE BOOKED 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE
Strada Izvor 2-4
Tel + 40 733 558 102
March – October, daily between 9:00 – 17:00
November – February, daily between 10:00 – 16:00
Standard tour – 50 lei ($10USD)
Standard tour + Underground tour – 45 lei ($11USD)
A trip to Bucharest wouldn’t be complete without a meal at the infamous Caru’ cu bere. A traditional beer house and restaurant that serves up traditional Romanian cuisine that has been tried, tested and refined over it’s 100 years of operation. It’s a bustling scene that has plenty of atmosphere and even a bit of entertainment. Be sure to book in advance to secure a reservation.
Strada Stavropoleos 5
Tel + 40 726 282 373
Weekdays 8am – midnight
Weekends 8am – 2am
Spend your final evening at Nomad Skybar, the moto of the bar is eat, drink, dance and they offer all of this in spades. Not only does this bar offer an innovative menu, it’s one of the few rooftop bars in the old town. The light ambiance continues inside, with the glass top roof and gorgeous greenery providing a great backdrop for the evenings where the bar turns into a happening bar and club.
Smardan 30, 2nd floor
Tel + 40 735 448 080
Weekdays 4pm – 2am
Weekends 4pm – 6am
That concludes our 72 hours in Bucharest, we hope you have a fantastic time! Think we are missing something from this guide drop us a comment or message.
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