WIZZ Guides Logo

You are here: Home Page » Destinations » Bucharest

Basic information

  • Area: 285 km² (110 sq mi)
  • Calling Code: +4021
  • Currency: Leu (L) (RON)
  • Population (EST): 1,944,367
  • Official language: Romanian
  • Time Zone: EET (UTC+2)

Bucharest – Overview

The capital city of Romania, Bucharest is the economic, industrial and cultural centre of the country. Its population of almost 2 million residing in an area of 230 square kilometres makes the city one of the largest in Southern Europe. Nicknamed in the past as “Little Paris of the East” much of the architecture and history that made Bucharest great is sadly no more; however there are still many hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.

Culture lovers will have much to keep them busy in the city which has a wealth of museums and galleries many of which celebrate traditional Romanian life. A few good ones to check out are the Village Museum (a historical open air museum), the Museum of the Romanian Peasant (dedicated to the traditions of Romanian people) and the National History Museum (documenting the evolution of Romanian society). Art lovers head to the National Museum of Contemporary Modern Art where fine examples from Romania’s art scene can be discovered.

Perhaps the most famous piece of Romanian history is that of Count Dracula and his vampires. The old town area of Bucharest is home to the Old Princely Court Museum located on the site of the palace of Vlad III Dracula the ruler of the country in the 15th century and the man fabled to be Dracula. The area of Transylvania is a day trip away from Bucharest and for those brave enough to go, the famous Castle of Bran, Count Dracula’s home can be visited.

For relaxation head no further than one of Bucharest’s wonderful parks where there is enough open space to wander away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Ice skate on the lakes in winter or hire a boat and eat ice-cream in the summer and with designated children’s play areas a few hours at the park is a great chance to have some family fun.

As with most European cities, Bucharest has a great variety of world cuisines to choose from when looking for something to eat. Also widely available are traditional Transylvanian restaurants serving up hearty dishes, although not for vegetarians as the more meat the better tends to be the way with Transylvanian cooking. Bucharest’s old town is where visitors will find the biggest concentration of eateries and restaurants catering for all budgets.

Nightlife in Bucharest is very eclectic and there usually is something happening every night of the week that will suit everyone. Clubbers love the city as there are a huge number of venues playing everything from electro to more obscure music all night long – Bucharest has no licensing hours. Jazz and blues clubs are a big thing in the city and many people head out to see local and international musicians playing all over the city. If it’s a not so quiet drink you’re after the best place to go is the Lipscani area, full of a good mix of bars and clubs and lots of students! Recover from the inevitable hangover in one of the city’s many coffee shops and sit and watch the world go by like one of the locals.