Bucharest, the dashing metropolis of the not so Little Paris

A population of 2 million totals as the largest city and capital of Romania. Bucharest is located in the South-Eastern part of the country, alongside the Dambovita River. It is, by definition, the financial, industrial and cultural center of Romania.

First attested in 15th century, legend says it was founded by a shepherd called Bucur, a Romanian words which means “joy”, Bucuresti roughly translating as “people of Bucur”.

Bucharest became the capital of Romania in 1862, when the first government and parliament took form. The city’s architecture fills the streets with a dazzling mélange of neo-classical, Bauhaus, art deco, communist and modern buildings. The inter-war period found Bucharest in a full-dressed manifesto of sophistication and elitism and like this it got its nickname of “Little Paris”.

The most outstanding landmark of Bucharest is undoubtedly the Palace of the Parliament, which was built at the special request of Nicolae Ceausescu, the dictator of Communist Romania. It is one of the world’s largest and heaviest buildings, with an estimated cost of a whopping 3 billion euro, having entered the Guinness World Records 3 times.

There are plenty other notable sights in Bucharest, such as the Arch of Triumph, designed after the Parisian Arc de Triomphe or the Romanian Athenaeum. The most captivating and charismatic street of the City of Joy is Victory Avenue. A promenade along this street, with its ends in Victory Square and United Nations Square, will enable tourists to discover breathtaking Belle Epoque buildings like the National History Museum, Cantacuzino Palace, Grand Hotel Continental, Central University Library “Carol I”, Athenee Palace Hotel, Macca-Villacrosse Passage and Revolution Square.

Other iconic markers are the large Herastrau and the old Cismigiu Parks, the Grigore Antipa Natural History Museum, the Village Museum, National Art Museum, Cotroceni Palace and Museum and other 56 dedicated museums and memorial houses.

The Old Town of Bucharest, Lipscani, is where the merchants of the 15th century installed their shops. In present time, it nests an endless variety of cafes, restaurants, shops, art galleries, night clubs and what not.

As it is a cultural center, Bucharest hosts innumerable events and festival, be them newcomers or already traditions. International Opera Festival, Bucharest Biennale, CowParade, Chinese New Year’s Eve, Bucharest of Old, Summer Well, these are events not to be missed.

Needless to say, Bucharest is the home of national television channels, newspapers, radios, and all famous people. It also has two international airports; therefore it can easily adjust to every type of budget. Accommodation goes from modern to classical and from traditional to luxurious. These aspects make the capital of Romania suitable for absolutely all tourists. It is the ideal starting point of a tour through Romania, as well as a tour of must-see capitals of Europe.

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Stefania Tripe
“Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” ― Stephen King.

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