Recent Searches
Clear

Things to do in  Bucharest

Welcome to Bucharest

Often overlooked in favor of the mist-shrouded mountains and castles of Transylvania, Romania's capital has both culture and history that demand a few days’ worth of discovery. Shrouded in architectural vestiges of Communist history, there are plenty of things to do in Bucharest, ranging from the Brutalist Palace of Parliament and the 17th-century belle epoque churches to bohemian cafés and markets, as well as museums that document folklore and Romanian history. The city is also within driving distance of the Black Sea coast, home to seaside gems such as Constanta and Mamaia.

Top 15 attractions in Bucharest

#1
Palace of Parliament (Palatul Parlamentului)

Palace of Parliament (Palatul Parlamentului)

star-51,512
If you’re in Bucharest, it’s impossible to miss the massive Palace of Parliament which dominates the city center and contains more than 1,000 rooms. Built under the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceauşescu, this opulent edifice is now one of Bucharest’s most popular tourist attractions and home to the National Museum of Contemporary Art and more.More
#2
Arcul de Triumf (Arch of Triumph)

Arcul de Triumf (Arch of Triumph)

star-51,195
Like its Parisian namesake, this triumphal arch sits at one of the city’s busiest intersections and is surrounded by a constant whirl of traffic. The 85-foot (27-meter monument, designed by influential Romanian architect Petre Antonescu, was inaugurated in 1936 to celebrate the unification of Romania and victory in World War I.More
#3
Romanian Athenaeum (Ateneul Roman)

Romanian Athenaeum (Ateneul Roman)

star-51,351
Built between 1886 and 1888, the Romanian Athenaeum is one of Bucharest’s preeminent cultural venues. Classical concerts are held in its 800-seat auditorium, which is renowned for its excellent acoustics, though the concert hall is as much worth a visit for its elegant architecture and interiors as it is for its musical offerings.More
#4
Bucharest University Palace

Bucharest University Palace

star-5301
Founded in 1864 by Prince Alexander John Cuza, who ruled over the Romanian United Principalities of Walachia and Moldova, the University of Bucharest is located on Piata Universitatii, a buzzing square snarled with traffic and popular with Bucharest locals as a meeting place. The Bucharest University Palace’s imposing Neo-classical façade stands on the northwestern corner of the square; it was designed by architect Alexandru Orascu and completed in 1859.Today the university has five faculties and is one of the biggest and most prestigious in Romania. Past alumni include playwright Eugène Ionesco, biologist George E Palade and philosopher Emil Cioran.Outside the University Palace stand four monumental statues of pivotal figures in Romanian history as well as numerous stalls selling secondhand books. Piata Universitatii itself is surrounded by a jumble of architecturally diverse buildings, including the National Theater of Bucharest, the School of Architecture, the modernist Hotel InterContinental and the ornate Neo-classical beauty of the Coltea Hospital, the oldest in the city. A memorial of ten stone crosses stands in the middle of the square in tribute to the rebels who died in the 1989 revolution, which saw the downfall of the despotic President Ceaușescu and brought about the end of Soviet domination in Romania.More
#5
Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial

star-544
This memorial serves as a poignant and sobering reminder of the many Romanian Jews and Roma people murdered during World War II. The memorial, which was inaugurated in 2009, was seen as a symbolic step by Romanian leaders, with previous post-war governments having denied the role Romania’s Nazi-allied government played in the genocide.More
#6
Revolution Square (Piata Revolutiei)

Revolution Square (Piata Revolutiei)

star-51,195
Formally known as Palace Square, Revolution Square (Piața Revoluției earned its current title for its role in the Romanian Revolution of 1989 when then-leader Nicolae Ceaușescu made a final disastrous public appearance here to a booing and jeering crowd. At the center of the square sits a memorial commemorating victims of the revolution.More
#7
National Museum of Art of Romania (Muzeul National de Arta al Romaniei)

National Museum of Art of Romania (Muzeul National de Arta al Romaniei)

star-552
Set within the 19th-century Royal Palace, the National Museum of Art of Romania holds an impressive array of artworks. The collection is divided into two parts: Romanian art, with a particular emphasis on medieval and modern pieces; and European art, which includes works attributed to celebrated artists such as El Greco and Rembrandt.More
#8
National Village Museum (Muzeul Satului)

National Village Museum (Muzeul Satului)

star-5219
Step back in time and discover life in rural Romania at the Village Museum (Muzeul Satalui. Located on the shores of Herastrau Lake, this fascinating open-air museum features a large collection of reconstructed buildings gathered from different parts of the country, as well as exhibits and demonstrations of traditional skills and crafts.More
#9
Stavropoleos Monastery (Manastirea Stavropoleos)

Stavropoleos Monastery (Manastirea Stavropoleos)

star-5367
Located in central Bucharest, Stavropoleos Church (Biserica Stavropoleos, also known as Stavropoleos Monastery, is one of the oldest churches in the city. Built in the 18th century, this small, ornately-decorated church is considered one of the most beautiful in the city, and offers an oasis of peace in the heart of Old Town Bucharest.More
#10
Victoriei Street (Calea Victoriei)

Victoriei Street (Calea Victoriei)

star-5691
Extending from Piaţa Victoriei in the north of Bucharest down to the Dâmbovița River, the 1.8-mile (3-kilometer long Victoriei Street (Calea Victoriei is the city’s main artery. The wide road is lined with landmarks, from communist-era blocks to museums and historic houses, churches, and monuments.More
#11
CEC Palace (Palatul CEC)

CEC Palace (Palatul CEC)

star-5391
Built in the late 1890s and opened at the turn of the 20th century on one of Bucharest’s main boulevards, the CEC Palace (Palatul CEC) was designed by French architect Paul Gottereau and the construction of this fine Beaux Arts masterpiece was overseen by Romanian architect Ion Socolescu. Designated to be the HQ of Romania’s oldest savings bank, Casa de Economii și Consemnațiuni (CEC) and located opposite the National History Museum of Romania, it is a monumental mansion topped with five cupolas; the central one stands over the grandiose, colonnaded entrance and is made of glass and steel. The palace is slated for transformation into an art museum and was sold to the city council for more than €17.75 million in 2006; while plans are drawn up the CEC Bank rents it back from the council but its sumptuous, marble-clad interior – much of which was covered over in Ceaușescu’s time – is no longer open to the public.More
#12
Pasajul Macca-Vilacrosse (Macca-Villacrosse Passage)

Pasajul Macca-Vilacrosse (Macca-Villacrosse Passage)

star-590
The Pasajul Macca-Vilacrosse (Macca-Villacrosse Passage) is a fork-shaped arcaded street in central Bucharest. Covered with yellow glass to allow natural light to shine through, the passage was built at the end of the 19th century to connect the Calea Victoriei and the National Bank. Today, the Macca side of the passage opens on to Calea Victoriei, one of Bucharest’s main avenues, while the Villacrosse side opens to the National Bank and Strada Eugeniu Carada. The passage has a French look to it and is similar to other covered passages built in Milan and Paris during the same period. During Communist times, it was known as the Jewelry Passage due to the presence of the city’s largest jewelry shops, but the original name was restored in 1990.Today, the passage is still home to a few jewelry shops, but also features several restaurants, cafes, boutiques and hookah bars.More
#13
Lipscani

Lipscani

star-560
One of the few parts of the city to have escaped both WWII bomb damage and the drastic redesigns of the communist era, Lipscani is Bucharest’s historic hub. By day, its pedestrianized streets are ideal for strolling, antique shopping, and caféhopping, while at night, its many restaurants, bars, and clubs fill with fun-seeking revelers.More
#14
Bucharest Jewish History Museum

Bucharest Jewish History Museum

star-514
Bucharest’s Jewish History Museum was founded in 1978 by Moses Rosen, who was the city’s chief rabbi between 1964 and 1994; it is found in the ornate Holy Union Temple synagogue, which was built in 1836 by the wealthy Jewish Tailors Guild and is in Moorish style, with layers of brickwork alternating with white plaster fronted by an extravagant rose window. Among all the gold and silver religious ephemera inside, displays detail Jewish history in Romania and mark the community’s contribution to Bucharest society. The somber memorial room at the back of the synagogue is dedicated to victims of the Holocaust, when thousands of Romanian Jews lost their lives in Transnistria. However, star prize probably goes to the startlingly colorful interior of the three-tiered, galleried synagogue, which is liberally ornamented with Byzantine and Moorish tiling, marble floors and decorative walls and ceilings.More
#15
Patriarchal Cathedral (Metropolitan Church)

Patriarchal Cathedral (Metropolitan Church)

star-5420
Bucharest’s main Orthodox place of worship is dedicated to Saints Constantine and Helen and sits atop Mitropoliei, one of the few hills in the city center. It was designed by an unknown architect as a copy of the Curtea de Arges monastery in the university city of Pitesti and consecrated in 1658; it has three dumpy spires, a bulbous apse and Byzantine-style gilded paintings of the saints adorning its exterior. Although the cathedral was largely restored to its original form in the early 1960s, four major upgrades have been made over the centuries, particularly to its gold-encrusted interior, where frescoes have been added as recently as 1935. The first Romanian-language bible was printed here in 1688 and the cathedral holds the most valuable collection of icons in Romania.Next to the cathedral is a squat bell tower built in 1698 and opposite is the Patriarchal Palace, which has been the official residence of the head of the Romanian Orthodox church since 1708; it is closed to the public but enjoyed a moment in the spotlight when it became the temporary seat of Parliament following the revolution in 1989. Close by is the Neo-classical Palace of the Chamber of Deputies, built in 1907.More

Top activities in Bucharest

Transylvania and Dracula's Castle Full Day Tour from Bucharest
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Dracula's Castle and Transylvania Day Trip from Bucharest
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Day Trip to Bulgaria from Bucharest
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
The Real tour of Communism

The Real tour of Communism

star-5
58
From
$20.00
Day Trip to Ruse (Northern Bulgaria) from Bucharest
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Palace of Parliament in Bucharest - fast-track tickets and guide
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Dracula's Castle, Peles Castle and old town of Brasov from Bucharest
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Half Day Tour to Snagov Monastery and Mogosoaia Palace from Bucharest
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Salt Mine Day Trip from Bucharest
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out

Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in Bucharest?
Q:
What are the top activities in Bucharest?
Q:
What are the top things to do near Bucharest?
A:
Check out things to do near Bucharest:
Q:
What do I need to know before visiting Bucharest?