Romanian Athenaeum (Ateneul Roman)
A cultural icon of the city, the Romanian Athenaeum is a common stop-off on sightseeing tours of Bucharest. The George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra is based here, and their musical performances, as well as performances by touring artists, take place throughout the year. Tickets can be purchased via the website or in person at the box office, and typically go on sale the week of the performance.
Outside of showtimes, travelers can take a peek inside the venue, viewing the foyer and the main hall, where an elaborate series of frescoes depict episodes from Romania’s history.
Things to know before you go
- There is no need to book tickets far in advance, making it an excellent choice for spontaneous travelers and last-minute planners.
- The Romanian Athenaeum is wheelchair-accessible.
- While there is no dress code, many concert attendees choose to wear smart clothing (i.e. no shorts or flip-flops).
How to get there
The Romanian Athenaeum is on Revolution Square (Piața Revoluției) in central Bucharest. The nearest metro station is Roman Square (Piața Romană), which is about 5–10 minutes away on foot.
When to get there
If you want to view the venue as opposed to attending a performance, go in the morning. Rehearsals and concerts sometimes take place in the afternoon, and parts of the venue may be inaccessible to visitors then. September is a good time to visit, with the popular George Enescu Festival—one of Eastern Europe’s biggest classical music events—taking place here biennially.
What to See Nearby
The Romanian Athenaeum is a short stroll from Revolution Square (Piața Revoluției), the grand central plaza where former leader Nicolae Ceausescu made his final public address from the balcony of the Communist Party headquarters before fleeing the city in a helicopter. Bordering the square is the National Art Museum of Romania, which is housed inside the neoclassical Royal Palace, and Kretzulescu Church (Biserica Kretzulescu), an 18th-century Orthodox Church.
- National Museum of Art of Romania (Muzeul National de Arta al Romaniei)
- Victoriei Street (Calea Victoriei)
- Revolution Square (Piata Revolutiei)
- Bucharest University Palace
- Pasajul Macca-Vilacrosse (Macca-Villacrosse Passage)
- Holocaust Memorial
- CEC Palace (Palatul CEC)
- Stavropoleos Monastery (Manastirea Stavropoleos)
- National Museum of Romanian History (Muzeul National de Istorie a Romaniei)
- George Enescu National Museum (Cantacuzino Palace)
- Choral Temple (Templul Coral)
- Great Synagogue (Sinagoga Mare)
- Bucharest Jewish History Museum
- Grigore Antipa National Museum of Natural History